I wrote this letter to help me to look back and reflect on how much my life has changed for the better since I started my journey to recovery. It is aimed at my younger self as an encouragement to keep going when I was really struggling to fight against my eating disorder.
I hope this can also help you to see that there is hope and you can overcome this. So this letter is also for you:
Firstly, I want you to know that you will get the help you need and things will get better!! Please don’t give up, because this illness isn’t going to take over your whole life. It’s also important that you know this isn’t your fault and you do deserve to be free!!
I know you’re struggling at the moment, even though you won’t personally admit it, but just remember that so many people out there care about you and the only person you’re being dishonest with is yourself. Don’t allow the illness to torture you and then pretend everything is fine, because deep down you know that it isn’t.
This is going to be a tough journey, but you are strong enough to battle through it!! You’ll learn to allow yourself to feel the anxiety and to not avoid the situations which trigger such anxiety.
I know at this moment in time, you see no way out and it seems like your eating disorder is your only hope, but please realise that it is lying to you!! It will not make you happier, you won’t be satisfied with your next ‘target weight’ and it certainly won’t resolve your problems. You will also no longer have any control, because your eating disorder will have taken that from you as well.
So all I am going to say is that your sheer determination is what will help you in your recovery. It will take a long time to fully recover and you will have blips along the way, but one bad day does not mean that you are relapsing; it just means you’re living a normal life and although today isn’t great, tomorrow can be better.
Recovery is what you make it to be!! Although it would be great to have no intrusive thoughts (especially around body image and food), that may not necessarily be the case. However, learning to manage these thoughts is the key to living a happy and healthy life and living a life that you value.
So please don’t give up! You’re allowed to be kind to yourself and realise that once you’re on the road to recovery, you can do so much more! Everything just seems more fun and enjoyable and trust me, it’s worth all of the anxiety you have to endure in order to get your life back!
At times when you’re finding things difficult, please read this letter to assure you that you can and will get through this difficult time.
Onwards and upwards, R.A.E xx