Maris was known in my small community for being a “perfect” kid. When I first came across her artwork, I saw her emotional pain. Having suffered from anxiety and depression as a young woman myself, I was compelled to reach out to Maris and her mom. They revealed to me a breathtaking story of triumph. Too often, stories about eating disorders focus on scandal, emaciated bodies, “crazy” behaviors, and damaging repercussions. I wanted to tell a story of hope and healing. Maris demonstrates that mental illness is not a weakness, but a catalyst for building strength, spirit, and empathy.