...Because of the ways in which it touches - in the most damaging, destructive, and potentially devastating of ways - not only the life of the sufferer, but the lives of the sufferer's friends, family, loved ones.
I can relate to this wholly and completely, in regard to all those I love and hold dear.
It hurts me so much, every single day, to think of how they have been hurt by my eating disorder, how much they have suffered. Every day, a crippling sense of guilt claws at my heart, because deep down, I still do blame myself for what happened. Though through the help and support I have received over the past few months, I am now beginning to attempt to challenge this core central belief of mine, which has been with me ever since the day I recognised that I had an eating disorder. That it is your fault, Emmy. You are an awful, selfish person. You can't throw off this disorder which has caused - and still causes - your loved ones so much pain and heartbreak!!
This is what I know I need to accept and take as my new little belief, and which, as I write to you now, I beg you to adopt, too. This being, that You did not choose to become sick, you do not CHOOSE to struggle as you attempt to shake off this sickness. Would you blame yourself if you developed cancer? If you broke a leg? If your appendix became infected and you had to have it removed? An eating disorder is an illness, NOT a choice. You are not to blame for having developed an eating disorder. You did not choose this illness. But like all those brave, determined people out there who are choosing to fight their illness or condition - the young boy who has broken his ankle but is forcing himself to rest every day in order to allow the essential healing and recovery process take place , the lady who has been diagnosed with breast cancer but who has refused to resign herself to her fate and has gone into treatment to receive chemotherapy...
YOU - yes, YOU - can choose to not give up, and to fight this illness before it destroys you...
I know that my eating disorder has hurt and caused pain to so many of my loved ones. For example...my Mam. My beautiful, strong, inspiring, loving Mam who has dedicated so much of her life, her time, to caring for me, for looking out for me, for holding me close when I cried and sobbed that I couldn't do it. She has been there for me every step of the way. Ever since I opened up to her that day in May, when I told her that I was struggling, sinking in that cold, cold sea, the sea of my eating disorder, and allowing it to submerge and drown me...she has always, always been at my side. She has never given up on me. And I know she never will.
I have lost count of the amount of times, when I have looked into Mam's eyes and have had to look away before she realised that what I saw reflected in them nearly made me weep bitter, angry tears on the spot, every single time. Because I know Mam has gone through so, so much pain and hurt through my illness. To initially see me so sick, so frail, so weak. And then, now that I have actually gained weight, I know that my eating disorder still causes her to suffer. because she can see what I don't see, what ED won't allow me to see. That I look a hundred times more healthier than the way I was before. But I am struggling to accept my new body, and I am still, after all this time, far from free of an eating disorder. And I know that Mam knows this, that she sees it in me every day. And I know that this hurts her. I know that it almost is enough to break her heart.
But I know, the best gift I could give my Mam, would be my recovery...my full recovery. Iknow nothing will make her happier than for to see me happy again, to see a genuine smile of pure joy on my face. To see me embracing and living life to the full.
Remember this. You did not choose to have an eating disorder. You did not choose to hurt your loved ones, to cause them so much pain and suffering and grief. But. You CAN choose recovery. You can choose to fight your eating disorder. You can choose to make your loved ones smile again, to never be hurt again. You can choose to make them happy, to never be hurt again by your eating disorder.
You can choose recovery. <3 xxx