‘No Need To Worry’

drownLetter from a friend:

Hi Emma.  

Sorry I haven’t replied for a while.  In answer to your question;

My eating disorder makes me feel strong. I know this isn’t true but I feel like it is. 

I know you’re right. I know this takes everything away from me. I know I have to eat and not lose more weight, but it’s much more easy to listen to the lies.

I want to trust God but I’m frightened. And when I eat better I feel worse.

You asked how I was doing  – I think it’s ok. Sometimes my heart beats really fast and I feel a bit dizzy, but it usually stops if I sit down. Also sometimes when I’m sick, there’s some blood – but it’s not all the time. My legs and chest hurt but I think that’s running! I do find it hard to stay still and to sleep – but I drink too much coffee.  So please don’t worry- there’s no need.

You asked what I’m scared of. I’m scared that I have nothing left if I can’t control my weight. I’m scared that if I’m normal, I’ll disappear into the crowd. I’m scared because I don’t know who I am without the disorder. I’m scared because if I get better, people will expect more of me; things I’m not able to do.

I’m scared of having a grown-up body with fat and a shape. I’m scared of looking like a woman, (though some of my hair has fallen out so there’s not much chance of that!)

I’m scared of saying I feel bad things and I don’t know what to do with them. I’m scared of having needs. I’m scared of facing the past: sickness, pain, abuse, divorce.

I’m scared of talking to people, even old friends. It costs me energy and I haven’t got any. I’m quiet because I’m ashamed and then I’m disappointed in myself because I’m quiet. I’m scared I’ll be alone for the rest of my life and I’ll never succeed in relationships. I don’t know what job I have to do or what I’d even like to do.

Sometimes I think I have a problem, but then I think I’m okay. My family try to make me eat so I don’t really see them. I don’t have any friends because I stopped going out and I have to stick to my routines. I used to go out a lot, but that feels like somebody else and I don’t even want to anyway.

I read about other people who are worse and I know bad things happen to them, but I don’t think they will happen to me. I know I’ll be ok.

4 thoughts on “‘No Need To Worry’

  1. My heart breaks for your friend. It’s so hard watching the people we love make choices that hurt themselves. How can I be praying for her? And you?

  2. Thanks Kara: I think we pray that we she sees herself as Christ sees her: and looks to Him for life. And we pray that for ourselves too!

  3. Oh this is incredible! I have found myself coming to the point where more and more of my thoughts, words, and life are dominated by “I’m scared ______,” to the point where I’m really just a wanderer (kid you not, I’ve wasted hours around campus going from one place and/or solo activity to another, afraid to stop, but also afraid to go! the contradictions Emma spoke of)! I walk to the dining hall, afraid so trek back to the dorm, but afraid then of not eating, so go to a different eatery wasting time and $ barely eating in the end and it’s just a mess! Please, will someone tell me the context of this post? I guess there was an initial question, and I’m confused whether this is her or a friend, and what the reply is. I feel desperate for this answer.

  4. Hi Heidi

    The letter was from a friend: and the context is us talking about her desire to recover from an eating disorder, but also wanting to keep hold of it. Here’s some posts I’ve written on recovery, which also summarise some of the things we’re talking through:
    https://emmascrivener.net/2013/02/some-thoughts-on-recovery/
    https://emmascrivener.net/2012/05/the-shape-of-recovery/
    https://emmascrivener.net/2011/03/reasons-for-recovery-782/
    https://emmascrivener.net/2011/01/what-does-recovery-look-like/

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