As anyone who’s ever suffered from an eating disorder knows, the illness quickly takes over your life and invades your every thought. We convince ourselves that if we just lose a few more pounds, it’ll solve all our problems and we’ll finally feel like worthy human beings. The recovery process is often incredibly painful, but it’s more than worth all the hard work — and a woman who recovered from the illness penned a powerful open letter to her eating disorder.
She posted the must-read letter to Instagram, accompanied by a photo of herself wearing shorts that no longer fit. Here’s what she has to say to her eating disorder, which is thankfully now in her past:
"To my Eating Disorder: Oh ED.... remember these shorts? When we were together I lived in them. I saw them in the drawer and the memories were all too tempting. They.don't.fit.anymore. In the same way you no longer fit into my life. And the thing is . . . you almost had me. Remembering our life together was painful and enticing. Some days I forget that I'm still getting over you. Here's the thing. I don't want you back. I don't want 'that' body back. I don't want these shorts back. I'll find another pair that I won't have to kill myself to get into next time."
For many eating disorder sufferers, a tough part of “letting go” of the illness is the constant reminder that our “skinny” clothes no longer fit. When we keep them in our closets, they serve as a constant reminder of the bodies we once had — and, on our worst days, sometimes we long to have that body back.
We intellectually know that health is far more important than the size of our jeans — but getting rid of these clothes often feels like it’s the final step in acknowledging that we can no longer survive at an unhealthy weight. As the woman’s Instagram letter points out, seeing her shorts brought back “memories that were all too tempting.”
Although the letter acknowledges that recovery is a long process, it ends on a positive note as the woman declares that she doesn’t want her shorts or her unhealthy body back. As she points out, there are plenty of other great shorts out there that won’t require her to starve herself to the brink of death.
The letter resonated with countless women who suffer from eating disorders. Over the course of 12 hours, it received nearly 2,000 likes and an outpouring of supportive comments. It couldn’t have been easy to share something so personal on social media, but her message will undoubtedly provide encouragement and inspiration to individuals who are engaged in the hard work of eating disorder recovery.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?