Part one can be found here and part two here. Feel free to check them out. They aren’t directed at anyone in particular (well, maybe you (and maybe you too)) but rather, are meant to be general in their content. This letter in particular is an interesting one – it comes from the other side of the fence, from a recovered mindset and is directed at someone who may still feel trapped by their eating disorder, or who is in recovery.
I don’t know exactly where to begin, but please allow me to start by saying this: you are lovely. You are so, so lovely and so, so valuable. I wish I could make you believe that somehow, but I can’t. I wish I could make your eating disorder go away, but I can’t do that either. All I can do is sit here alongside you and care for you and love you and be your friend. And I have every intention of doing that.
I feel very afraid. I feel very afraid as I sit here typing this hearing exactly what you’re doing in the bathroom. I feel afraid for you because I have experienced these emotions that you must be feeling right now – the anxiety, the fear of weight, the light-headedness, the bloating and full stomach, the blood sugar crash as you rid your body of the food you so kindly just fed it. I feel, in some bizarre way, responsible. Like perhaps I should have just walked in and stopped you. Or told someone who could. But what would that solve? Nothing. I fear that would only serve to perpetuate the behaviour you’re currently engaging in.
I feel confronted. And out of my depth. I feel like maybe I actually don’t know anything at all about eating disorders and that maybe I actually have nothing at all to offer you in terms of experience, particularly in terms of my recovery from my eating disorder. I wish I could offer you a plan of sorts, a ‘How to Recover From Your Eating Disorder’. I wish I could do all these things and take the destructive eating disorder away.
I hope you know that I’m in this for the long haul. I don’t intend on walking away from our friendship and your eating disorder if it gets really tough. I don’t intend on quitting on you. I might get mad or stressed or tense or annoyed or frustrated or upset sometimes but that doesn’t mean that I’ve quit. I haven’t.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I know I’m not perfect. I know I haven’t got a great deal to offer you. I don’t think I can help a lot. But I do hope that my own recovery gives you just a weeny, weeny bit of hope… And I pray that through all of this you will come to know how infinitely valuable you are. How precious you are. How lovely you are. And not just to me and many others, but to the One who created you in His very image. I pray that you’ll meet Him halfway in this. And I pray that you keep asking questions and seeking answers. And that ultimately, you will recover.