The way you’re feeling now- when you’ve lost all hope in eating disorder recovery… it’s terrible. There’s no other way to describe it. The fear of losing control and listening to someone else and yet fearing death and destruction if you don’t.
Let me guess, you’re terrified most about the dreaded weight gain.
Honestly, who wouldn’t be? Your whole life has been structured around this drive to restrict, limit intake, deprive your body of what it needs. This familiar process gives you a sense of security.
So it’s no surprise that you’re afraid of change. That’s where your security has been found. Changing your actions requires you to change where your sense of safety comes from.
That can be terrifying.
Can I ask you something, though? Is it worth it? Do you want to spend the rest of your life feeling like you’re running from something?
I’ve been there, feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of recovery. And what is recovery anyway, right?
Maybe this is your new normal. Maybe your parents need to get off your back and just leave you alone. Or maybe other people are jealous of you and that’s why they keep telling you to stop restricting, to follow your meal plan and stay away from exercise right now.
Friend, here’s the truth
Friend, I’m here to tell you the truth.
The truth is that no one who cares about you is going to let you stay in the place you are at.
Your parents are rooting for you and only want the best for you. And other people aren’t jealous- they’re scared. Scared that you might not live a long, joyful life.
It’s scary. No one wants to admit that they’ve chosen a wrong path; a wrong way to handle emotions. But that it where healing begins.
Even though it can be absolutely terrifying to accept help and advice, that is where you will find true freedom. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t feel like freedom at first.
Now, I told you that I’ve been in the darkness of fear and seemingly-overwhelming emotions. But I’m not there anymore.
This is the reason I offer you this letter- it can get better.
Hold onto hope when it comes to eating disorder recovery!
You’re not bound to a life of fear and restriction. You have the ability to overcome and heal.
Someday you’ll realize that you aren’t constantly thinking about when you get to eat next, you’ll have shown your body that you will continue to feed it. You’ll realize that exercise isn’t something you worry about doing. You just do what your body needs, even if that means sitting on the couch and watching movies with your family all day.
You may even realize that you don’t mind the way that some of your clothes don’t fit right anymore. Maybe you’ll have to buy some new jeans. But let me tell you, that can be one of the happiest parts of recovery – realizing that your clothes aren’t baggy and falling off of you.
So don’t give up.
Don’t give up because there is so much more to this life than restriction, weight, looking a certain way, maintaining a sense of control and being the smallest person in the room.
There is hope, joy, healing of your physical body and your relationships, maybe even a sense of peace when you know you’re back on the path of life. And in this whole process you’ll get to rediscover what you enjoy, what you are passionate about, that maybe that you don’t even agree with ED.