To the People Who Supported Me in Eating Disorder Recovery
Dear (friends, family, boyfriend, roommates, treatment team),
For supporting me through some of the hardest times of my life.
For checking in on me when I was suffering in silence, and thinking I was hiding my relapse well.
For accepting me with open arms when I came to you, defeated, crying, telling you I needed more help.
For never questioning the illogical parts of my eating disorder, and never making me feel worse for the things I truly could not explain.
For sitting with me when the guilt and shame consumed my body whole, and it felt like there was nothing you could say or do to help me.
For being patient with me as I began to open up, and finally started using my voice to describe my experiences.
For learning my cues when I was triggered, or struggling with conversation or a meal, and giving my hand a quick squeeze under the table to calm my nerves.
For being my cheerleaders as I began to tell my story, fully and completely, and for treating me like a rockstar for doing it.
For letting me cry about my body, my dinner, my thoughts being so intrusive and so loud, and never once making me feel like a burden for doing so.
For listening to me go on and on and on about how amazing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is and letting me call “judgment!” at you or myself as I embraced a new way of thinking.
For changing your schedules around so I could more easily eat my three meals and two snacks, and not go too long without a meal.
For forgiving me when I lashed out at you when the eating disorder got too chaotic and loud, and the only way out felt like using anger.
For recognizing when I was talking and when the eating disorder was talking, and calling me out, making me aware that you knew when my eating disorder was knocking on the door.
For making me feel like a warrior, and making me see my inner strength and resilience.
For working around my crazy treatment schedule and never judging me when I couldn’t make plans because I was too emotionally exhausted from five days of hard emotional work every week.
For constantly checking in on me, making sure I was OK, asking if I need anything.
For never once letting me feel like I was alone in this fight against this illness.
For never giving up on me.
For giving me hope that I can and will recover.
For helping me save my own life.
Unsplash photo via Nicole Honeywill