Letting go of your eating disorder may be a difficult consideration for you. How do you feel when you consider letting go of it? What thoughts come to mind? Can you picture yourself letting go of your eating disorder? If this is difficult for you to do, can you identify why?
With letting go of your eating disorder, it’s only natural to have a hard time. We find eating disorder behaviors oddly comforting, we see eating disorder recovery as an overwhelming or even impossible process, and /or the eating disorder seems to be such a part of us that we can’t imagine our lives without it. You may find that you need to face many fears as you consider letting go of your eating disorder. Between changing eating habits, working through underlying issues and developing healthy coping skills, it’s a scary process.
The willingness to let go, even if you don’t feel ready to do it, is a significant step toward a better life. This step is one that can potentially help you through a lot of challenging times through your eating disorder recovery. Letting go in your heart, even though you’ll still have a lot of hard work ahead of you to break free of it, is something you can look back on when you’re tentative or discouraged about moving forward in your recovery. In fact, I encourage you to write a letter to the eating disorder. You may benefit from having this important step in writing.
The tone of this letter is up to you. It may be tense and angry or it might be reflective and sad. In places, it may reveal your determination. In other places, it may show that you remain a bit tentative. This letting go letter can be long or short, formal or informal, done on the computer or in your own handwriting. You might want to tuck it away in a special place or you might prefer to have it out where you can read it on a regular basis. The main thing is that your letting go letter is in your own words and that it genuinely reflects what is in your heart.
If you aren’t ready to let go of your eating disorder yet, give yourself time, but please don’t give up on the idea altogether. You can try letting go of one part of it at a time. There’s nothing wrong with breaking this down into smaller steps. You may even want to write a series of letting go letters.
There’s so much more to you than your eating disorder. You don’t have to be defined by it. You can live and live well without the eating disorder in your life. Yes, there will be challenges and plenty of ups and downs during the recovery process, but recovery is possible nonetheless. If you write a letting go letter, you’ll have your own heartfelt message to refer to whenever you may need the reminder of your decision to recover.
If, in time, you can leave the eating disorder behind you, you won’t regret it.
By Laurie Glass