Letter to past self about ED recovery
Mod Note: Potential trigger warning for EDs
I’m in my third year of recover from an eating disorder. I’m doing better, and I’m stronger for having experienced what I did. Sometimes I have bad days, and I’m still easily triggered, but the good days outweigh the bad, and I’m grateful for that.
Last week, after a particularly triggering experience, my therapist had me write a letter to my past self about my recovery. I thought I would share it with you and your followers, if you think that they might enjoy reading it.
Dear Me (circa 2007-2010)
I remember how you used to feel when you’d go a few days without eating. The pit in your stomach was almost the same feeling you get when you go down a rollercoaster (and believe me, you think you’ve seen rollercoasters but you haven’t yet) or fall in love. But the difference between that, the jump your stomach does when you’re in love and the soreness it gets when you’re starving yourself, is like the difference between baking cookies and eating sugar out of a bowl. One seems like a good idea, but it’s not worth it and you wind up sick and without enough sugar to make the cookies when you’re better.
That’s not just the metaphor, though. It’s 2012 right now, and what you’re doing is still affecting me. And I hate it. I hate how easily I’m triggered, I hate how hard it is to just get up in the morning and eat a fucking bowl of cereal. God, I still break down sometimes just putting food in my mouth or looking at pictures of me someone posted on facebook. But I do it less and less. And I know how many times you thought “oh, I’m in too deep now, I’ll never get better so I might as well not even try.” But that’s bullshit and you know it. You will get better. The only reason you’re not trying now is because you’re scared it won’t work, but I know you’re too strong to let that fear take over your life.
You deserve to be loved. I think that’s the most powerful sentence in the world, but most people don’t realize it. Either they think it’s obvious and they take it for granted, or they pretend they think it’s trite to cover the fact that they don’t believe it at all.
You deserve to be loved, especially by yourself. I used to repeat that to myself when things got bad, and one day I believed it. It took me years to get to that point, and sometimes I slip back, but it’s the greatest feeling in the world, believing that. And trust me when I tell you that it’s better than any self starving high you’ll get, better than looking like someone else.
You’re going to do awesome things, past self. You’re going to travel the world and write novels and have brilliant ideas and fall in love. But the most incredible thing you’ll ever do, is someday, you’ll wake up and belive what I just said. You’ll believe that you deserve to be loved.
And you’ll be right.