A Letter to my Younger Self
I wish that you could see how beautiful you are, how valuable and worthy you are, how many people love and adore you.
I wish you could understand that the only thing you can control is yourself. You could not be a better friend; it is not your fault that you could not solve her crippling anxiety. It is not your fault he relapsed and overdosed. It is not your fault they died in that car crash.
Starving yourself will not make him love you, but it will make him worry. He will not come to save you, he will step back and watch you kill yourself.
Your eating disorder will not bring people closer to you, it will isolate you. It will push people away and destroy your relationships. They will be horrified.
Losing weight will make you feel good in the short term, but living with anorexia will destroy your self-esteem. You will grow to hate yourself more and more; it will never be enough.
What’s comfortable isn’t always good for you. You may be scared of how many calories are in your dinner, but don’t be. It could be the difference between a safe heart rate and a trip to the hospital.
The “friends” that reject you for being “too sick” don’t matter and they never will. Don’t miss them. The people that really matter will stick by you, even if it means creating a healthy distance.
Listen to the people that care about you; they are not overreacting. This disease will kill you. Don’t think or tell yourself that you can “just do it once” or “just skip one meal” because honey, you are addicted to starving. Your brain will release dopamine. Your brain will change and chemical imbalances will get worse. You will lose gray brain matter and your MRI will show holes.
Your eating disorder thrives on isolation and secrecy; please reach out.
You will lose your period from eating too little. This is not something you should be happy about or push under the rug. You will develop osteoporosis and become potentially infertile. The damage you do now could be permanent.
Your mother is not sending you to treatment because she hates you, she just wants you to get help; please forgive her.
You are young and you are naive. Don’t always look for the best in people, some are just not capable of being good.
Your body is a temple, treat it like one. Eat 5-6 small meals a day and keep your protein high. Don’t google weird diets to experiment, and more importantly don’t try them. Eating high carb vegan, fruit only for the first half of the day will not help you lose weight, it will mess with your metabolism and blood sugar. Keep a routine, do yoga, and nourish your body with whole foods. People will make fun of you for the food you eat and the quantity you need to consume; ignore them, this is YOUR health, not theirs.
The guys you’re dating are scumbags. You’re worth more than you think. Set your standards higher. If a man makes you uncomfortable, get out. He doesn’t really want to get to know you. Just because he wooo-ed you a couple times doesn’t mean he’s worth staying with. Just because he can play a few songs on the piano doesn’t mean he deserves to be with you.
Most importantly, be patient and go easy on yourself. Forgive. Keep loving. The next few years are going to challenge you in ways you could never imagine. That’s okay. Life is a journey and recovery is never a straight line. Things get so much better, you just have to do the work.
Sincerely, your older, wiser, more mature, and forever evolving self.