Dear Eating Disorder,
I am writing you a note to say thank you. This might surprise you, as I’m sure you don’t hear “thank you” all that often. I’m saying thank you because you taught me so very much, particularly within the past 2 years.
You say, “I made you drop out of school.” but I say, “Thank you. It’s because of you that I have had the opportunity to work with my current violin teacher.”
You say, “I got your education completely off course. It will never be like it ‘should’ have been.” but I say, “Thank you. It is because of quitting school and changing course that I will now be at University of Michigan in the fall.”
You say, “I made you lose so much weight that your hair fell out and you were dizzy all the time.” but I say, “Thank you, it’s because of you that I can look in the mirror and see talent, grace, and a human being – not fat or a certain pants size.”
You say, “I made you hate yourself.” but I say, “Thank you. It’s because of you that I have empathy for others and have found my identity in Jesus Christ.”
You say, “I made you chase perfection.” but I say, “Thank you. It’s because of my unattainable goal to achieve perfection that I found that Christ is the only perfect thing.”
You say, “I took you away from your friends.” but I say, “Thank you. I have met so many more wonderful people on this journey.”
You say, “I tried to, and nearly killed you…aren’t you mad?” but I say, “I’m not mad. I am thankful…because although I am not out of the woods yet, by any stretch of the imagination, I am finally feeling and growing in ways that were never possible before. I know so much more now than I did 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 8 years ago, etc that this entire journey – although completely exhausting and sometimes seemingly neverending – has all been a remarkable test of will and faith and through this journey I have formed my own relationship with Christ and learned to identify myself in and through my Savior!”
I never want to live through another year that has been like the last 2 and I pray every day that things will only get better from here…but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world and that is something I often times need to remind myself. I would never wish an eating disorder on a single soul on this planet because they truly are pure hell. The amount of exhausting work it takes mentally, emotionally, and even physically day in and day out is grueling and the recovery process is long and arduous. I have moved mountains and I plan to continue onwards and upwards from here. God has held my hand through this entire process, carried me when I was too weak to walk (which was often), and never let a tear fall from my eyes without collecting it in a jar! If THAT doesn’t bring me hope for a better tomorrow and a brighter future, than I don’t know what could.
I pray for continued healing mentally, emotionally, and physically and I know that as long as I keep my eyes on the cross this is a battle that can and will be won! Thank you to everyone who has and continues to pray for me! And thank you, to my eating disorder, for teaching me, challenging me, and helping me pursue a healthy life mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually! God’s got this!
Sarah Catherine 🙂