Just this morning, I received a desperate email from a young gal who has just begun treatment for a severe eating disorder. Feeling broken, shaken, and afraid, she begged for reassurance. This is what I shared with her...
Take a deep breath. Take a moment to center yourself and become present in this moment. Do not allow your mind to wander, be here with me.
First and foremost, let me share this quote with you…
“Fear is the biggest indication that I am doing what I need to do”
Read those words and allow them to resonate. Of course you are afraid - you have just stepped into a completely new world! It’s okay to be afraid. But what you may not realize is that you, yourself, are not the one who is fearful right now. ED is the one who is terrified, therefore making you feel the fear inside of your mind and body. He is terrified that this is going to be the end for him, and that you are going to win this battle. ED is afraid that you have finally stood up to him and have taken the initiative to beat his ass to the ground. Don’t confuse his fear with yours. You may feel lost, confused and anxious, but do not be afraid. Think about how miserable you have been with a constant feeling of guilt, anxiety, and depression. That’s because you have been so tightly attached to ED for so long! He is the source of your sadness and sickness, so give this a shot. You have quite literally nothing to lose. You weren’t happy before, so this experience can do nothing but improve your happiness in the long run. Please give it a shot because I know for a hard fact that if you give this experience your greatest effort, you will be forever grateful that you did. This could be the moment that launches you into recovery. Do not waste it.
Secondly, treatment is hard. I will not sugar coat it. It is scary to give up everything you’ve ever known and let go of your security blankets, but this is the ONLY way that recovery is achieved. You have to want recovery in order for treatment to be effective. I know that right now you just want to crawl out of your skin, go home, and continue living your life the way you have been, but this is what it takes to achieve the life you have hopelessly dreamed of for years. This is your opportunity to win this battle! I will not avoid telling you that this process gets harder before it gets easier because you will be pushed to your limits, but that is when it is the most crucial to keep pushing forward. If you retreat back to your old behaviors after making such substantial progress, all of those hard days would have been for nothing. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, but trust the process. Trust that your doctors only want the best for you. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. Trust that your brain is stronger than ED. Trust me when I say that I have been in your exact shoes, feeling shaken, broken and afraid, but that I am now living a beautiful life in recovery because I gave this process 110%. It works, you just have to give it a chance.
Lastly, I have read these words a million times, and each time they become even more deeply rooted in my soul. I would love to share them with you…
“I know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart; you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful.”
Do not allow the fear of change to keep you chained to a life you hate. Embrace the unknown, and be willing to dive into something new. Right now, you are feeling heartbroken, flooded with anxiety, and hopeless in knowing how you will ever come up with the strength to fight this. But please do me a favor - close your eyes and take a blind leap. You may not know where you will land, but it’s sure as hell better than where you left. You got this.