A Thank You Letter to Anorexia

I once had a therapist tell me I should write a goodbye letter to my eating disorder, telling it exactly how it’s helped me and hurt me and why I’m deciding to part ways.

I really struggled with that idea.

But recently, I’ve come to be extremely grateful toward my eating disorder. It has taught me so much. And it gives me a constant ability to help others stand up. So, I won’t write a passive-aggressive goodbye letter — but rather a thank you letter for what it taught me.

Dear Anorexia,

I feel like this letter has been a work in progress for about a quarter of my life. You first got me into trouble five years ago and haven’t really stopped since. But those trials are not what I am writing to you about. I am writing to say thank you. Thank you for introducing me to some of the strongest and most inspirational people I have ever met. Thank you for teaching me immense empathy for those who struggle. Thank you for allowing me to fall and learn to pick myself back up. Thank you for the life lessons.

However, those aren’t the only things I want to thank you for. Thank you for causing my health problems. Thank you for causing me to lose friends. Thank you for having me cry over cereal and cheese sandwiches. Thank you for all the pain. Because, you see, without those struggles, I wouldn’t have learned so many of the things I need for life.

I now know how to be a good friend and how to let go of toxic ones. I know how hard it is to gain health and strength back and how much to value those things. And I know how to cry and be OK. Most importantly, I know how to sit with myself and work through what you’re telling me. I know how to find me.

So, thanks, Anorexia. But I think I won this battle.

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