In January I was seeing a different therapist for a number of sessions while waited for the NHS team to get back to me. During the course of these sessions, I was asked to do a number of ‘homework‘ assignments, one of which was writing letters. In each letter, I had to imagine a different scenario for five years in the future. One letter was to be written with the idea that I was five years without anorexia, and the other was the opposite.
Why write letters about my anorexia?
The idea of writing letters from a place in the future–good or bad–is to help put the idea of anorexia recovery into perspective. One asks you to imagine all the ways your life has improved without anorexia, and one asks you to imagine all the ways it hasn’t if you choose to keep anorexia in your life.
It allowed me to see why I was doing engaging in anorexia behaviours both from a positive and negative standpoint.
Five Years without Anorexia: A Letter
Note: this letter was written in January 2019, and some facts will have changed.
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To my therapist,
It’s been five years since we first met. I just thought I would write to tell you how I’ve changed and how my life has changed without anorexia.
Since recovering from anorexia a number of years ago Ryan and I have been able to travel to more places. We’ve visited Finland, which has been on my bucket list since I was a teenager. It was every bit as magical as I had imagined. We even got to see the northern lights.
There are a few other places we’ve been to as well: Egypt, Japan, Singapore and we’re planning to visit my extended family in Australia.
Travelling with an eating disorder was always so stressful for not only me but Ryan as well.
I never thought leaving the disorder behind would open so many doors! I still get anxious flying but I think that’ll be something I’ll always deal with. It’s just my character.
I’ve continued with to work and although this is rough sometimes, I’m managing well. I’ve worked on several side projects in regards to mental illness and wellness, specifically writing. Through doing this I’ve not only helped others but I’ve helped myself along the way.
In the future, I’m considering branching out into a career in counselling to help other eating disorder sufferers. At the moment, however, this is still only an idea and I have nothing set in stone.
Our family has grown by one more member. We adopted another little cat to keep Willow company in her old age! She wasn’t happy but got used to the idea fairly quickly.
Self-care has become part of my daily vocabulary. I frequently practice Yoga and mindfulness as a way to calm my mind and become present with myself. I realize now that self-care is necessary and not selfish, so I try to take as much time as I can to look after myself and my mental health. I’m also managing well in regards to understanding and processing my emotions, something I was clueless about before meeting you.
Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough, I just wanted to write to you and thank you for all your help you gave me in the early stages of my recovery.
Kind regards, Chloe.
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