A Love Letter to Me: Healing an Eating Disorder

This submission was originally posted on I AM THAT GIRL 

Dear Allison,

I know you’ve been hurting for a long time. Silently suffering so as not to burden the ones that you love. The gorgeous smile on the outside completely masks the war that is taking place within you. I know your pain and I know your struggle and I want you to know something important:

No matter how lost you may feel- You are NOT ALONE.

Although yours is an individual battle, please know that millions of other people are fighting their own, and their struggles look a lot like yours.

Listen Al, I know how alone you feel and I know that one of your biggest fears is becoming a burden on your loved ones. But let me ask you something. What would you do if you found your best friend in the same pain? Or your baby sister? What about your daughter? I know you would go through hell and back to take away their suffering if you could. I know you would tell them how much you love them and how beautiful they are and how smart they are and how strong they are. You may not be able to stop coming up with examples of their greatness because you can see it with such certainty.

Well, my dear, I know they would share the same sentiments about you. And I know those compliments are hard to hear and maybe even impossible to process right now, because you don’t feel that way about yourself. But believe me, one day you will.

One day, in the not so distant future, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and love what you see. Because the girl looking back at you will be a strong woman who finds value in herself everyday! She will know her worth and will give herself a lot more credit than she did in previous years. She asked for help and she got it and now, her life is absolutely wonderful. She now finds joy in her work, in writing, in helping others and with family and friends.

You have a bright future ahead, sweet girl. One that is full of love and laughter and more joy than you can possibly imagine right now. I know you’re hurting today, and that’s alright. But don’t lose sight of what’s really important to you. The people you’re afraid of burdening love you and they would do anything to help you. So go ahead… tell them you’re hurting. Tell them you need someone to catch you as you fall. Ask them to put you on their back for a little while and carry you through this valley. Eventually, you’ll be the one helping them up a mountain of their own.

You know why?

Because you are strong enough to beat this. You are courageous enough to take that first step. You are resilient enough to fight all the way through. And you are inspiring enough to help someone else along the way.

The moral of this story, love, is that you are in fact, ENOUGH… just as you are. You’ll realize that eventually, and you will brilliantly and gracefully share your amazing gifts with more people than you can imagine. You WILL find love and happiness in unexpected places. And most importantly, sweet girl, you will find it within yourself.

With so much love and encouragement,



Allison is a collegiate and youth gymnastics coach at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she earned a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Coaching. She began writing for I AM THAT GIRL in September of 2014 in an effort to help inspire women to be proud of exactly who they are.