In continuation with our series of inspiring shared in support of the True Beauty campaign, Lexie Lindskog has offered to share her incredible story of her serious battle with borderline personality disorder she faced due to her struggle with body image issues. For years Lexie endured a serious diagnosis of depression and feeling of lack of self-worth associated with her disorder, which eventually led to her addiction of self-mutilation.
In her courageous efforts to cure herself, Lexie shared her story with the world on MTV’s The Buried Life, and she continues to share it today in the hopes of helping young women everywhere dealing with the terrible fight to accept themselves and improve their self-esteem. While heartbreaking, Lexie’s story is also inspiring and shows a girl who took something that was destroying her life and turned into something that is now saving lives.
You went through a depression fueled by self image issues, how old were you when it began?
Lexie-I think my self image issues probably started when I was in Elementary school. Early middle school was when I probably noticed it more than anything else. I think when you notice that you’re bigger than other kids or when you have to sit at a desk and you don’t fit like everybody else does, that just kind of fuels those issues that you have that’s when it started, like fifth grade.
What would you say were the underlying issues that led to you cutting yourself?
Lexie- I think with me it kind of broke into different categories. The borderline personality disorder that I have, there is self-injury and self-mutilation that comes along with it in itself. And specifically with my body image, I think for me it got to the point where I self-loathed myself so much that I thought I was so big and so fat. I hated my stomach. I hated my legs, where I thought if I add more cuts to it, it’s not going to make it worse than it already is. The cutting itself didn’t come from those issues. Those issues themselves had a part in why I started to cut more. And for me a lot of why I cut was emotional. I would have kind of those more emotional days that would feed into why I would cut.
Was there outside pressure? You said you would look at yourself and feel bad, but did school or friends play in a role in your lack of self-esteem?
Lexie- I think a lot of it has to do with friends. Not that they would specifically say anything, but I have a lot of really great friends and for me it was really hard to be out with them. When I got older and we went out more, I was the fat friend that everyone brought along. It was really hard for me. Especially when it came to guys, I thought everyone looks at me as their best friend but no one is ever going to look at me as their girlfriend because I thought why would anyone want to date a fat chick. It’s kind of what I went through for a while.
Society had a huge part in it, too. You know you watch TV, and I’ve always loved to do things like singing and I’ve loved to do public speaking, and I thought no one’s going to want to have the fat girl come do it. For me just seeing how everybody else was so skinny and I thought they were so pretty, that kind of stuff was really hard for me to look at. That all really set into my depression.
How long before you realized I have to get help? What was rock bottom for you, where you knew the cutting can’t go on any longer?
Lexie- I started getting help for my depression when I was in college. It’s when I started to really figure out what was going on. When I was in high school, because I felt like I was the fat kid that no one ever wanted to be friends with, I would do everything I could to be friends with people and I thought okay all these people aren’t looking at the fact that I’m fat, they’re looking at the fact that I do things for them. And so that would kind of lead to unhealthy relationships with friends. And then it came to college and I started to notice that it was affecting me a lot more than I thought it was. I had a suicide attempt when I was in college and after that my family and I decided I needed to be treated and to be looked into what was going on. I went to a doctor and I was officially diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and depression.
How was the treatment process to get better?
Lexie- I think for me the process is definitely still happening. I mean after being on The Buried Life and given the situations that I do now, it’s still a process and I’d never say that my depression has been cured or that I’m fully better but I started to realize a lot more. This is something that I’ll always struggle with throughout life and I can decide what I want to do with it and I’ve decided that the best therapy for me has been to talk about it and to tell other people my story in hopes that if my story can help them, then for me I feel like it’s totally worth it. I think that’s very therapeutic for me to go through that whole process, and especially after The Buried Life a lot of people have been so kind and supportive of me. That has definitely helped in my process of healing as well. I am able to go on TV and do something positive and it doesn’t matter what I look like because people are actually listening to what I have to say.
I recently posted a blog and a lot of people responded saying we didn’t see what you look like but we heard what you were saying. And for me that helped me a lot.
So you would say that sharing your story has not only helped others, but been a process of self-help for you as well.
Lexie- Absolutely. And not just for my body issues I’ve had, but also for my depression in itself. I’ve been able to celebrate my six months of being clean of cutting as of this past Monday. And there was never a time where I could feel like that was ever going to happen. I always thought I’d be cutting or that I’d have this issue, so for me The Buried Life has definitely helped in numerous ways.
What advice do you have for girls who are now dealing with what you dealt with? What would you like to say to them?
Lexie- One advice that I always give is that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of great courage and bravery and I believe with every bit of my heart that asking for help really shows that you’re ready to take that next step. It’s definitely a hard one to take and it takes a lot more courage than people give themselves credit for. I think when you’re dealing with those body image issues, just remember that true beauty comes from inside. And it comes from who you are, not what you look like. And to surround yourself with people who see that and see the beauty that you really are. Those are the people that you need to surround yourself with. And those who tell you otherwise, they may not be the best person to have in your life and there’s nothing wrong with not having those people in your life anymore.
Why do you think there is this obsession with the outside physique so much from society? According to the National Eating Disorders Association, over 11 million girls in the US alone are struggling with some form of an eating disorder.
Lexie- I think it’s a lot easier to judge someone by the way that they look instead of getting to know them as a person. I think our society puts a huge weight on what you look like and that you can’t make it anywhere unless you’re skinny and you have perfect skin and all those different kind of things. And I think it’s harder to get to know someone and it’s easier just to look at them. I think society has morphed that so much that we do have the millions like you said that suffer with these issues, and I think the main reason that it is, is that we think we want a perfect society, and in order to have a perfect society, you have to have perfect looking people. And that’s just completely unrealistic.
Since we started this campaign, we’ve had so many girls reach out and share their struggles and their hopes to get better and offers to help us, it’s like they were waiting for an outlet like this.
Lexie– Oh absolutely, absolutely. Everyone thinks that, but they’re so scared to take that first step. I’m definitely not the only person out there who’s talking about cutting by any means but opening that door is definitely something. I’ve had girls come up to me all the time and say, “thank you for talking about it. You said the words that I couldn’t say and it means so much to me that you were able to say them, because I can’t.” It’s crazy when you are the one saying those words, like how many other people are saying it and waiting for someone to take that step.
Well it’s very courageous of you to share your story Lexie on television and to share your story with me and I know that it’s going to help a lot of people. On behalf of everyone at Team True Beauty, we all thank you greatly and wish you the best with everything.
Lexie- Thank you to you guys for starting this. I hadn’t really talked about my weight issue at all because it was scary for me, so for me personally I appreciate you guys doing this. If any of them want to contact me, please pass that along, I have no problem with that at all.
You can follow Lexie on Twitter @LexieLindskog
Follow @TeamTrueBeauty To learn more The True Beauty campaign and how you can help- Stars Join Team True Beauty Campaign To Help Raise Awareness & Cures For Eating Disorders.
To donate to the True Beauty Crowdrise page to help raise funds for those who cannot afford the expensive treatment, click here.