Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Hey Ladies,

First of all, I’d like to say that I am going to miss each and every one of you so much! You have all been such a great asset to my recovery and helping me be able to conquer and overcome my eating disorders and struggles.

Our biggest challenge is to be able to conquer “self” – not our true self, inside, but the “self” that we have become acquainted with and have come to know over the past years. ED was able to wean himself into our minds and take over our every thought. Our minds and actions were consumed and controlled by ED. We lost complete control and our souls were at the mercy of his grasp.

Life is a continuing challenge to conquer self. We must learn how to let go of that which is unhealthy, be it physically or emotionally. Our task is to become our best selves, for no failure ever need be final. Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement. The poem, “Broken Dreams”, fits perfectly for all of us as we struggle with the decision of completely letting go of ED or not.

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried,
“How can you be so slow?”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go.”

– Unknown Author

We cannot expect to receive things without putting in any sort of effort. How can we? We must do our part, and begin to trust people around us, believing that they only want the best for us. This life is an experience in profound trust, and to trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning. We cannot predict the future. Sometimes, we just need to let go, jump, land, and accept where we’ve landed. We will receive help, love, and support from those around us. That support, however, will generally come step by step, a portion at a time.

Our life is full of pain and difficulty, and if all matters were immediately resolved at our first petition, we could not grow. A former patient said, “As awful as it is, we need these struggles to make us stronger and… to become who we need to be.”

Go forward and not backward. Courage, ladies, and press on and on to the victory! To the victory of recovery and living life to the very fullest. Being happy with and accepting of our true selves, acknowledging that we will not always love ourselves, but at least we can and will someday accept ourselves, our true selves.

I wrote the following poem, “The Av’nue to Success,” last month:

There’s more to life than pain
So forget about the shame
Don’t suffer in silence
Let go of all the violence

Don’t hang on to the past
Or else you’ll never last
For that you can be sure
And your life will mean much more

Empty all your pockets
And fill up your lockets
Release all your emotions
Introduce new innovations

Although you’re at a low
You will begin to grow
And walk the road of happiness
The av’nue to success

And on this journey
You’ll need no gurney
So put your fears on the shelf
And have faith in yourself

The road is long
But you are strong
“You can do it
And you’re worth it!”

In ending, I’d like to express my faith in each and every one of you, including myself. I know that we all have the strength, knowledge, and ability to overcome any obstacle that will come our way. I have faith that you and I will recover, and will be able to live a happy and fun-filled life. We need to remember to always be ourselves; to be the real YOU. It’s not about what you look like, it’s how you are, and what you’re like inside. A key note to remember is that if you want to have genuine friends, you have to be a genuine person.

As a last thought, I’d like to remind you that although no one can go back and make a brand new start, we can start now and make a brand new end. I love and will miss you all greatly!

With much love,

(Name Withheld)