I’ve spent a good portion of my life hiding who I really was because of all the shame I had with my appearance. Growing up I was told to be everything I was not because it didn’t fit the social norm. So without knowing, I was putting on several masks throughout the years to please others, seek approval and allow myself to drown in worrying about others before I could even pay attention to myself. And even though it felt good to receive the compliments and be told how good of a girl I was, I had crippling anxiety, avoided confrontation at all costs, terrible relationship with food, and I would miss out on any opportunity that made me uncomfortable and fearful.
After taking this work, within the past 3 months I’ve changed my relationship with food and my body, I’ve made amends with my family members who I was convinced I would never speak to again, and I’ve given my inner child the wings to fly so she is seen and heard. To be free from pain, anxiety, anger and frustration is unrealistic, but to allow yourself feel it, embrace it, and shift to who you really are, is a privilege. I wouldn’t be who I am today without being given this opportunity. I’m beyond grateful for EAC, Sam and Ariya.

Paulina Pirichian