4 Things I Wish I Could’ve Told Myself When I Was Sick a.k.a. When You Can’t Change Your Past, Use It To Help Others.
I can’t change my past. I can’t rewrite my story.
But I can share some of the things I wish I could’ve told myself when I was sick, in hopes that it can help you.
LIVING A LIFE ENSLAVED TO ED IS NOT WORTH A THINNER FRAME
The size of my arm, whether I can wrap my fingers around my thighs or wrists, how prominent my collarbone is, how many meals & snacks I find excuses to skip, the lower number on the scale, the time wasted weighing spinach & cherry tomatoes, family events & dinners I missed, the weekly blood tests, countless fainting spells & hospital scares, the lies I told myself that I had more energy & felt healthy, blankets, heaters & triple sweaters I wore to keep my frail body warm, food journals, nights I lied in bed crying, feelings of anger, loneliness, depression & isolation, family interventions & the anxiety around food & social situations… Every one of these behaviours means ED is beaming with pride at the toxicity it succeeded at bringing into my life.
STOP FIGHTING MY BODY’S INSTINCTS
I am damaging my body, POSSIBLY FOREVER. My metabolism is slowing to compensate for the lack of food. My heart rate is slower than normal because my body is dehydrated & my electrolytes are imbalanced. My blood test results are a sign that my body is severely malnourished. My borderline osteoporosis is putting me at risk for infertility & is a sign that my bones are weak & more susceptible to break. The hair growing all over my body (lanugo) is a sign of low body temperature & that my body is fighting to keep me alive. Use these signs as motivation to get healthy & NOT AS FUEL TO PURSUE YOUR ED.
I’M HURTING MYSELF, BUT I’M ALSO HURTING ALL THOSE WHO STAND BY ME, LOVE & CARE ABOUT ME
They see me suffer & their heart breaks. They look at me & feel the need to turn away because they can’t stand watching me degrade right before their eyes & they feel hopeless. My pain is their pain, my suffering is theirs.
As hard as it is, RESPOND to & APPRECIATE them. Those who support you when times are tough & when life isn’t all sunshine & rainbows, are worthy of your LOVE & RESPECT. Cherish them.
YOU CAN & YOU WILL RECOVER
You’ll learn to eat without feeling guilt or shame. You’ll find ways to cope with your anxiety. You’ll rebuild a stable metabolism. You’ll be happy again. You’ll find your health. You’ll begin living your life FOR YOU & not for your illness. Your family will be happy around you again. No matter how far gone you think you are, there is always hope. Recovery is always possible because YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WORTH IT.