To family and friends of those struggling with an eating disorder
Family members don't get enough credit for supporting an individual through recovery from an eating disorder. As much an ED affects the one battling the illness, an eating disorder affects the entire family.
I truly mean it when I say, I wouldn't be the person I am today were it not for the support of my family. They were LITERALLY there for me through thick and thin, and endured the pain I inflicted on them in every way possible.
They sat with me at the table, cheering me on until I had finished my food. They held me and whispered "one foot in front of the other" when all I wanted to do was die. They wrote songs and edited videos dedicated to me, even on the days I had hurt them.
One of the hardest parts about battling an eating disorder, is that it's lonely. You feel like no one understands, because in fact, probably no one does. No one can see the swarm of thoughts buzzing around your brain every millisecond of every day, or the opposing voices screaming in opposite directions at every bite of food.
My family could never, and will never, be able to SEE or UNDERSTAND the pain I went through...I believe only one who has endured an eating disorder themselves can do so...but my family always persisted in trying to see the real ME.
Even when I looked colorless like a corpse or behaved malicious as a tyrant, my family looked for the good in me. They constantly reminded each other that I was still in there somewhere, I was just blindfolded by the illness that was my eating disorder.
My family reminded me that things would be okay, even on the nights I went to bed, wondering whether it would be my last. My family expressed TRUST in me, even in the times where I was most definitely not to be trusted.
It's that loving trust in me - that unconditional loving trust in me - that gave me a reason to love and trust myself. The thing is, when you don't have trust, you don't have anything. My family's trust in me gave me something to hold onto: it gave me hope.
So dear beautiful family of mine, dear ALL the families out there supporting a loved one through recovery: thank you for giving us something to hold onto. Thank you for embarking on this journey with us and trusting that we'll be okay... thanks to you, WE WILL BE.
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