Right now it might be hard to see clearly. You probably feel anxious, overwhelmed and are thinking the eating disorder can fix it. You may be unhappy with your body/weight and want to do something small about it. Just a few pounds right and then you will stop? You may be thinking that cutting out a little food from here or there isn’t a big deal. (After all, Tracy has no idea what she is talking about right?) Or that stepping on the scale one more time may make you feel a little better. Maybe if you just count calories for a day or two the feelings will go away and you will be able to go back to normal. Just hit the gym or go for a run for a few hours and your worries will melt away once again. You are probably thinking that this time is different and that you won’t let yourself fall too hard, after all you know what you are doing and aren’t dumb enough to fall for the eating disorder tricks again.(side note: you aren’t dumb AT ALL) Just a little break and then you will get right back on track. No harm, no foul.
Please don’t do it. Learn from your mistakes. Remember that for you it’s a snowball effect; one skipped meal turns into 5, which then turns into 10 and then every meal is a challenge after that. Remember that there is no such thing as just doing it “one more time”. You will get sucked into the patterns and it will happen way quicker than you expect. Try and stop remembering the glorified parts of the eating disorder. Remember the dizziness, exhaustion and irritability. Remember what it’s like being unable to focus and concentrate on anything, as well as the lapses of time in your memory. Remember the people who care about you and are on your side and willing to help. Remember your plans for the future; your dreams and aspirations. But most importantly, remember how hard it is to get back on track. Because you know that you eventually will have to and you will. Remember how hard that first meal/snack is and the few following that. Remember the pain that you will feel. Remember the freedom and independence that you lose. Remember the disappointment and frustration that you feel in yourself and how defeating it is. Remember the tears and emotional roller-coaster that makes simple things seem catastrophic.
Remember to ask for help. Not a few minutes/days/weeks from now. Not when it gets worse. If you are reading this letter, seek out the people on your support team. Share your doubts and frustrations with them. They are more than willing to help. They will not judge you or be disappointed in you at all, despite what you are thinking/doing. Explain that the eating disorder is looking pretty appealing and raring it’s ugly head. Whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t stay silent and turn inward. Don’t think you are a failure and don’t deserve help. Don’t let the cycle of self-berating start. You don’t deserve it and it will only perpetuate the cycle.
Take a deep breath; call upon your courage and fight. And not in your usual “just suck it up” kind of way but in a kind, compassionate, encouraging kind of way. Have faith in yourself and don’t let your guard down. Remember what truly matters in your life. Don’t waste another minute believing what the eating disorder is currently promising you. It’s all lies. You are good enough just the way you are.
If you have already stumbled some, it’s ok. Learn from it. Lean into the discomfort. Use it as a tool to stop and reflect what is going on in your life. But not as an excuse to just give up. Nor as an excuse to be angry and beat yourself up. You will get through this either way. But you don’t need to make it harder on yourself. It’s hard enough on its own.
If you are reading this, it’s probably a tough pill to swallow. You are probably looking for any and every excuse to just give in. You may not even believe a single word written on this paper. And that’s ok. Maybe this experience is necessary to reach true freedom. But please at least take it into consideration. It may not feel that great right now, but it will get easier. It will get better. And the rate at which that happens is completely up to you. The ball is in your court. The power and choices are all yours. You are much stronger than you think and you will get through this. Don't lose faith.
p.s- "Every time you get up and get back in the race, one more small piece of you starts to fall into place." ~ Rascal Flatts