DENVER — Anorexia is an eating disorder that makes people obsess about their weight and what they eat. For one Colorado teen, it almost cost her her life. 

Now, she wants to share her survival story to encourage others in similar situations to get help.

"There was always this voice in my head that was saying, ‘don't eat that,' or 'you're going to gain weight,' or 'you won't fit into your double zero jeans,’" Analicia Vargas said.

In the Summer of 2018, she was so malnourished that she fainted and split her chin open. The 18-year-old knew she needed to get help.

“At that point, I was like 'you know, we need help,'” Analicia’s mom, Monica said. “You need help."  

So that's what Analicia got.  

"It was her life that was in jeopardy,” Monica said. “I had no choice but to get her the help she needed, whether she wanted it or not."

She enrolled Analicia in an eight-week eating disorder program at Children's Hospital Colorado.

"It's kind of like you're dropping them off for the first day of school,” Monica said. “You're scared for them. You're nervous, you can see that they're nervous. You walk into a place that's not your normal, and you're wondering if you're doing the right thing."

Analicia and Monica Vargas
KUSA

It was a hard transition for Analicia to make.

"I felt like, once I got to the hospital, my life was stripped away from me because this was my life," she said.  

But her story gets better. Part of Analicia's program encouraged her to channel her feelings into writing and art.

"If I put it out on paper, maybe my mom, for example, can see what it's really like inside my head,” she said.  

Analicia Vargas' art
KUSA

Analicia's story gets better, but not necessarily easier.

"We still go through battles every single day,” Monica said. “There's not one day that's perfect, and I doubt there will be in the near future. And we've just accepted that this is what life is. I don't paint it pretty and perfect. I tell it how it is because it sucks, to be honest. Life sucks right now. It's sucked for a while but I know, I have faith now. I didn't in the beginning. But I have faith that at some point we are all going to be okay again."

Analicia Vargas
KUSA

Analicia spent 50 days in treatment. March 6 marks the 35th day of her recovery. Below is one of the poems she wrote during her treatment.

"It doesn't matter that my thighs are thicker, so is my hair.

No one cares that my stomach isn't sunken in.

I can stand strong.

Now, my happiness shows instead of my bones.

My eyes aren't wet with tears, my skin is no longer dry and tight.

Yeah, maybe my hips are wider but so is my smile."

My body is full of food, my eyes are full of life. I am finally living and I'm finally happy."

If you would like to support the Vargas family, click here.

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