To the Ones Without Drastic 'Before and After' Eating Disorder Photos


Your struggle still matters, and you were sick enough to recover. I promise that you are still valid. You were not wasting time, resources, finances or energy. You are just as deserving of recovery as the owners of those #edrecovery accounts on Instagram.

Weight is simply a side effect of an eating disorder, but so is comparison. Maybe you were never tubed or forced into treatment or underweight. Maybe you didn’t spend X months in treatment, or maybe you never went into treatment. Maybe it was your choice and no one else knew.

I promise that you still struggled, and I promise that you are worthy of healing.

I can say this until I’m blue in the face, but I struggle to believe it too. It’s hard to accept that I’m allowed to recover when I was never on death’s doorstep. It wasn’t “recover or die.” For me, it was “survive or thrive,” and I chose the latter. I don’t regret my decision, but I do feel guilty on occasion. I struggle to believe that I was sick enough, too. Let me tell you a secret, friend. No one ever feels sick enough. No one ever actually feels deserving of recovery. You could have been the “sickest” of them all, and I doubt that you would be saying, “Wow. I can recover now! I finally deserve it.” You don’t have to have gained X pounds or practice intuitive eating or love your body or run a popular blog to call yourself recovered. You may be following a meal plan for a long time, and you may still hate your body, and you may have never had to undergo weight restoration. That’s OK.

Your story and struggles are still valid.

Sincerely,
Someone Still Learning

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via max-kegfire

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Eating Disorders

woman looking out the window

We Cannot Continue to Deny Treatment to People With EDNOS

“There’s nothing we can do to help you at your BMI.” I turned to leave, but before I reached the door, I’d turned around and said, “You know what this means, right?” She knew. There was nothing she could do to help me. Not until I was thinner. *** I’d had an eating disorder as [...]
Silhouette of a girl standing on a bridge

Life With a Child Who's Living With Anorexia

Editor’s note: This story has been published with permission from the author’s daughter. If you live with an eating disorder or have experience with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741. From the moment your child is born, you instinctively start to worry [...]
Vector illustration of Woman

How Comparison Affects My Eating Disorder Recovery

Everyone’s recovery is different. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this, and in some ways, I’m still working on it. The truth is, I compare.  I compare my journey to those I see around me. I see their triumphs, and I feel differently about my own. I see their journeys, and I [...]
woman from behind looking at palm trees

To My Eating Disorder: The Relationship I Didn’t Know I Was In

Dear Eating Disorder, I had originally planned on doing this over text, but you deserve better. We have had a great run, but we are through. I wish I could say, “it’s not you, it’s me,” but that is cliché and downright false. It’s not me, it’s you. You are the problem. Sorry for being [...]