My letter to a sufferer.
First of all honey I want to say how brave you are to take the first, and perhaps hardest step towards recovery – Admitting you have a problem.
I’m sure you have been told a thousand times before that ‘what you see isn’t real’ and ‘anorexia is tricking you’ and I know firsthand how ridiculous that sounds. To think your brain might be altering what you see before it shows you seems ludicrous. But, I can tell you from experience – it’s entirely possible and highly probable. I consider myself fairly intelligent but Anorexia ran rings around me for years. I was convinced I was in control, that I was being healthy and that losing weight was the answer to my problems — but this was a false reality Anorexia kept me entranced in so I didn’t see the damage it was doing. Anorexia is perhaps one of the slipperiest slopes I have ever encountered, it doesn’t take much to activate a dormant predisposition to an eating disorder, perhaps a diet gone wrong, a nasty comment here or there , or perhaps just a feeling of helplessness.
It’s not in any way your fault you happened to develop this disorder – you didn’t choose this illness. It is important to remember this, anorexia will often make you feel guilty for accepting help, but you would never deny someone with cancer treatment.
While it was not your choice to fall victim to anorexia, it is your choice as to what you do now. You can choose to surrender, sure its the easiest road – but a life with anorexia is no life at all. I can promise you hear and now, no number will ever be enough. As a result of surrendering for 3 years I dropped out of school after being a straight A student, I had to quit all my sports as I had heart palpitations, I succumbed to anxiety that builded to the point I had panic attacks when I rode a bus, I lost birthdays, Christmas’s, my dignity and all control to hospitals, nurses and nasogastric tubes.
The other option is fight back and live for your family, friends and future. It’s a long journey, I’m not going to lie – but the faster you U-turn, the closer you will be to the finish line x You need to trust that your mum has no reason to lie to you, she wants you happy, healthy and ready to live out your dreams. You need to trust that what your seeing isn’t real, anorexia is filtering your vision… changing your reflection to fit its own agenda. As hard as it sounds you need to trust in your mum as if you were blind… and she was your guide. Ask her for reassurance as many times as anorexia yells at you, trust her to give your body its medicine when anorexia tries to tell you it’s poison — you are her baby girl and she will fight for you when you are weak. My mum was my foundation, strong and steady when anorexia’s storm hit. Let your mum hold you, she won’t let you fall — she’s your mum and she wants you to FLY.
I want you to know without a doubt recovery is REAL. It’s not easy but by-god love it’s worth it. Since kicking anorexia to the curb I have moved out and live independently, I go out to meals and laugh not cry and I have started planning a future. My friends and I are slowly getting to know each other again, my family and I are so much closer and I am so much stronger. I still have daily battles with my disorder, but it gets easier and easier to swat it as if it was a fly. Because that’s what it is, a parasite posing as a powerful monster. Call anorexia’s bluff, do a U-turn, put this fire out, fight back — you have too much to live for.
Recovery is real and your life is waiting for you.