Open Letter to My Eating Disorder Support Network

I understand it's a privilege to have a solid and committed eating disorder support network. I know that some people must fight the treacherous current of their eating disorders alone. But I am fortunate to pursue recovery with the relentless encouragement of so many loved ones around me, and I just feel compelled right now to share an open letter to those in my eating disorder support network who stuck with me throughout this entire ordeal. 

Their words of honesty and accountability, combined with their actions of kindness, patience, forgiveness, and acceptance showed me that I deserved to heal. Although I still had to choose recovery for myself, I found the strength because instrumental friends and family members believed I could take those first steps—however unstable, hesitant, or insecure I felt. So to communicate my endless gratitude, here is an open letter to those who continued to stick with me.

For all the people in recovery who read this and think of their own support networks, I recommend voicing that appreciation too. It feels incredible to return the kindness, even in a small way.         

To My Eating Disorder Support Network

To My Eating Disorder Support Network:

You are the true definition of community and one of the main reasons I am still alive. You know I mean that in a literal sense. You championed, fought, and advocated for my life in the times when I questioned if this life mattered to begin with. You were devoted to my healing before I even wanted to consider the possibility.

You never backed down from all those confrontations when the eating disorder seized control of my brain, and cruel words erupted from my tongue. You braced my shoulders and urged me to breathe when the tidal waves of anxiety wracked my limbs and blurred my vision. You held space for the confusion and fear which engulfed me as I cried onto a plate of food that I knew must be eaten so my body could function.

You answered each phone call or text message as I rambled on about the pain I was consumed with and the actions I was too risk-averse to take. You made the decision not to judge or condemn my behaviors, but to zealously point me in another direction—one that led to wholeness rather than more wreckage. You demonstrated that your love for me could weather all the outrageous stunts I pulled just to see if you would leave. You made me feel important, like someone worth your time and effort, like a human being with a future to embrace—not an anorexic with a past to be ashamed of.

You taught me that I am not a label, a sickness, a victim, or a number on the scale. You looked past my callous exterior and reached out to the vulnerable young woman underneath. You were not interested in how much I weighed or if my clothes were a particular size. You showed me that I am here on this earth to thrive and create, to laugh and express, to dream and wonder, to imagine and unleash.

You never treated me as a burden, but you held a mirror to those blindspots that had squelched the life right out of me. You maintained a vision for the person I might become, and you inspired me to want to know her too. So this open letter is for you, the members of my eating disorder support network. From the depths of fear to the hope of recovery, I am grateful that you chose to walk this road out beside me.                                 

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2020, May 27). Open Letter to My Eating Disorder Support Network, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 24 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Connect with Mary-Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog.

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