This may seem hard to believe but I was right were you are standing once. Terrified, angry, frustrated, confused, more feelings than I could identify.When I first walked through these doors I felt like someone had shit on my life. Like the whole world that I had known had been flipped on its head. The change and the fear of the unknown, the unfamiliarity, the culture shock is incredibly overwhelming. It will get harder before it gets easier. You have every right to feel exactly the way you are feeling. Or maybe you’re not feeling anything, or you are not sure how to describe the emotions you are experiencing, and that is all perfectly normal too. You don’t have to label it, just let it come and go, I promise it will not last forever.
What you’ve come here to do isn’t easy, believe me I know. I’m not going to spare you the disheartening details, and tell you it’s not bad because the truth is that what you are doing is challenging, it might be one of the hardest things you ever will do. But believe me when I say it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. And you’ve already made it through one obstacle: making the decision to come to treatment. I want you to know how brave, courageous and strong you are. You absolutely have what it takes to beat this. It may seem impossible at the moment, but it’s not. Recovery is and will be completely possible. I believe in you and all though we’ve never met, I have no doubt in my mind that you can conquer this disorder. I have no doubt that you will not only fly, but you will soar.
When I first came here I hardly believed that recovery was possible. Life with ED just seemed so normal. I lived with ED most of my life, my identity was my eating disorder. For so long I just accepted this, everybody is thrown a deck of cards, and the stack of cards I was dealt with was manageable eating disorder. It was something I had come to terms with. But in the time that I’ve been here in treatment I’ve come to learn that I don’t have to live with ED, in fact the reality is I don’t have to live even with the smallest trace of ED. And neither do you. You don’t have to listen to ED, he’s gonna scream and give you shit for defying him, but this is because YOU are getting stronger, you are gaining power, and the more power you gain, the weaker ED will become.
I came to learn, and you will too, that there is no food that exists that will harm you more than your eating disorder has. I came to learn that life without ED is possible. How I got to this place of recovery, I’m not even sure, but I know it took letting go of the reigns and letting the people here take over. It was one of the hardest parts of the process, giving over control to complete strangers. But you’ll come to share some really inspiring moments with the staff and the patients alike. These people here are rooting for you, as am I.
During my time here one of the best pieces of advice I was given was to trust the process. Trusting your case manager, your nutritionist and all the other staff members here. Trusting your body, and to trust that recovery is possible. Trust that you are making the right decision to come here. Trusting that your body is smart, and it knows exactly what to do with the food you are feeding it. Trusting that you are worth it, you deserve life without ED, you deserve to be happy. Trusting that there will be hard days, but they won’t last forever. Trusting that life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone.
I hope you can take comfort in these words. I believe you can and will overcome this,
A fellow recovering soul.