This is a real letter - to a real friend of mine. But it could very easily be a letter to any of you, if some details were changed. She's struggling. And I'm struggling to find the right words to push her in the right direction.
You are hurting. You are numb. I can feel it in your words. But your spark is not gone, because I can feel that too. Am I worried? Yes. I've said it to you countless times already. Am I hopeful? Yes. Always. Why? Because I know you can do this. I know you can beat this thing that for some reason has seen fit to grab hold of you again.
I know you're stronger than your eating disorder. I know you are a fighter. Hell, everyone who knows you knows that. Are you forgetting?
I can't let you forget. I can't let you throw away all the progress you've made. You deserve better and recovery is the only "better" there is. Trust me. Please trust me. I know a huge part of you wants to just throw in the towel and let the glamorous version of your eating disorder take over. But you are not a quitter. And that glamorous version may scream "You'll be thin!" and spout pleasing numbers at your numbed mind, but it's all fluff. Fallacy.
I've seen what you can accomplish - on your own, with help, with support. The fact is, you can accomplish a lot and amaze people around you - not by your dwindling physique, but by your determination, your true beauty (curls, freckles, a really great smile, and yes - a body that's lovely whether you see it or not), your intelligence, your passion, your creativity, and your sense of fun.
You have a real sense of fun.
And guess what? It's going to go away. A part of you thinks you'll be happier if you continue down this path of letting the illness and obsession take over... but you're wrong. And I don't want you to find out the hard way. Not again.
It all seems like too much. I know. I know recovery seems too hard, too annoying, too overwhelming, too invasive. And I know that you're screaming inside, "That's not what I want! I want to be thinner! I want that number to keep going down!' But every time you give in to that screaming voice, you're losing a piece of yourself. And I don't just mean in pounds.
I don't want to see you go.
I'm willing to play hardball and tell you to cut the crap. I'm also willing to love you fiercely (and ferociously). And I'm also willing to listen to you vent and rage and cry and freak out. Any time. As long as you won't give in to that voice.
And one last thing: This whole thing totally sucks.
I know it sucks. And I know it's hell. But I'm here for you. And the time to move forward is now. You can do it.
No, you can do it.
NO, you CAN do it.
I love you.
What do you think, guys? Can you give E some encouragement?