An Open Letter to Those Who Have Been Hurt By My Eating Disorder

Dear family,

I don’t even know where to begin. Standing in the place I am now, looking back, I can see the hurt. I can see the times when I disregarded your concern or lied to you by saying everything was fine.

When I look back at that dark time of fear, anxiety, restriction, and comparison, I am astounded. How did you continue loving me? How did you continue to speak truth into my life when I was so distant and self-focused?

Your strength is amazing. Thank you for not giving up on me.

Mom and dad:

When I look back on the memories, those “dark times,” I’m deeply saddened by the way I treated you. I often disregarded your concern, even telling you that I was going to change – only to fall back into the same cycle after a day or two.

I often spoke to you as though we were enemies, fighting on different teams with no hope of ever reaching reconciliation. In many ways, I guess, this is true.

You were fighting for my life, my joy, and me. I was fighting to remain in the deadly cycle I had created.

Comparing that time to where I am now… wow. How did you love me in that dark place of loneliness, fear and isolation? How did you continue to press in and speak truth into my heart?

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To my brothers and sisters…

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for the many times when I played the “game” of comparison with you. And for the times I yelled at you and told you to just leave me alone.

I can’t imagine how that must have felt. I can’t imagine how it must have felt to see someone literally fading before your eyes. Yet oblivious (or perhaps ignorant) to their own illness.

I’m sorry for disregarding your concern, thinking that you were trying to hurt me or cause trouble. In reality, you were speaking the truth. I was the one looking for trouble.

How did you become so wise and observant? How did you still love me at my darkest?

You are the ones I hurt the most with my actions, words, thoughts and comparisons. For that, I am sorry.

I’m sorry for the way I treated you and the way I acted.  I’m sorry for hurting you with lies and an unwillingness to change.

And thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me.

Thank you for believing that my life is worth more than the eating disorder. I was lost, and you brought me home. You created a home filled with love, truth and accountability.

And to you…

Maybe you’re trying to love someone who refuses to see their brokenness right now. Maybe you’ve been hurt by a person who seems to like living in a cycle of lie and fear.

To you, I’ll say this: don’t give up.

Don’t stop loving that person and speaking truth into their lives. Continue to fight through the darkness that seems to surround your loved one. Someday, you’ll discover they’re still there, deep down inside.

There’s no way of knowing how long this might take, but it will be worth it. It will be worth all the struggle when you reach that day when you walk into the dietician’s office with them for that last, celebratory appointment. Or when you can have a conversation about anything other than the eating disorder.

Keep going. It will be worth it.

I’m in a wonderful place now. I feel healthy, strong, fueled, and excited for the future. I know getting here was a process of consistent effort on my part, but it was also a process of your continued encouragement, guidance and prayer fueling and directing my recovery.

For that, I thank you.

I pray that our relationships continues to be reconciled and that the truth you have spoken into my life will be a light to others. Thank you for loving me through the darkness. You are an inspiration, and I’m so grateful for you.

Love,

Your daughter, sister, friend, and eating disorder defeater

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