Dear Juniper,

This morning I went to see my therapist and I felt so relieved and grateful to be getting some help. She asked me how things were going. I told her that this week had been hard. Ed’s voice has been loud and I have felt tempted to turn back to old “coping” mechanisms. I also explained how I have been trying to control my food because I felt as thought I had no control over certain other aspects of my life this week.

I went on to say “I just don’t know what to do”. Her response: “You do know what to do”. At first I thought she was being unfair. She’s the theapist. It’s her job to tell me what to do, give me coping mechanisms, tell me the answer to my problems. But on reflection she was totally right. I do know what to do. I know the coping mechisms and all the answers. I just need to put them into practice. There is no point in kidding myself into thinking that I don’t know how to cope with difficult days and let that be an excuse to fall back into old habits.

I also said how despite controlling my food to try and make me feel better, it in fact made things worse. She asked me how it made me feel. I said that it made me feel fragile, weak and frustrated. She recommended that I remind myself of these words the next time I try and solve problems by controlling my food. So I’ve decided to write a short note to myself. It will be a reminder for the days when I think that my Ed holds the solution to my problems.

Dear Juniper

No matter how sad, lonely, disappointed, tired or helpless you are feeling, you need to remember that turning back to old “coping” mechanisms will only make things worse. On days like these, restriction and exercise won’t help you. It will only fuel Ed. It will make his voice louder and make you feel weaker. Controlling your food won’t make you feel stronger or happier, it will just make you feel helpless, frustrated, weak and fragile. Don’t try taking shortcuts or making excuses, however little they may be. The shortcuts and restrictions will start out small, but remember, nothing will be good enough for Ed. You will have to keep cutting back, keep restricting and keep missing out until he wins.

You don’t want your Eating Disorder. You want to be free. You want to be able to do whatever the hell you want, go wherever you want, laugh with friends, follow your dreams, be young. You want to live. Trying to solve a difficult day or improve your body image by listing to what your eating disorder tells you will make all of these things impossible. So hang in there my friend. Keep fighting and show Ed that you’re stronger. You don’t need him. You don’t want him. Choose life.

Lots of love, Juniper x

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One thought on “Dear Juniper,

  1. Beautiful letter and a great way to handle it. It’s amazing how we can know the right thing to do but still need permission to do it. I’m proud of you xxxx

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