A letter: Part IPosted: March 16, 2010
At the suggestion of my counselor, J, I’m writing a letter to myself, that is my former self. The 17 year old me, an unhappy high schooler: intense, focused, unhappy, rapidly sinking beneath her anxieties, and firmly in the grip of an eating disorder. One of the things I’ve discussed with J, or rather that she pulled out of me, is that I’m not able to grieve for that struggling 17 year old girl. I don’t feel sad for the time I lost, or all that I went through. I’m not sympathetic even with myself.
Dont get me wrong, the fact that I lost nearly four years of my life to an eating disorder and lived day in and day out ruled by anxiety, frustrates me to no end. I am angry. But I’m not sad. I don’t know what it means to grieve for that lost time (and J says this is necessary for full recovery…I’m not sure I agree, but the inability to feel really bothers me). I’m angry and hard on myself for having allowed things to get so bad, so twisted, so hopeless.
I am all too aware that looking at an eating or anxiety disorder as my fault is less than helpful, if not completely inaccurate. Still, I am angry and pretty hard on myself. Other times, I don’t feel anything. Thus, J suggested that I write a letter to my former self, as if that girl were any other girl. As if the 17 year old me were someone I knew and could help. How would I talk to that girl? Would I be so harsh and unforgiving? Wouldn’t I be sad for her? I’m not really sure. But I said I would try.