Last week was the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which ran from February 26th through March 3rd. We’re a little late in putting this up, but hey, better late than never right?
For more information about NEDA, visit their home on the web at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
dearest 16-year-old me,
it wasn’t your fault that that man violated you. it wasn’t your fault that he told you terrible things about your body while he hurt you. it wasn’t your fault.
it isn’t your fault that your family always told you your body wasn’t good enough, that you weren’t good enough. it isn’t your fault.
if only. if only I could go back and talk to you, my dear child. if only I could hold you and let you know that you are beautiful, but that external beauty doesn’t mean anything anyway. that you don’t have to measure your worth on the size of your body or the way your face looks in the morning. that you don’t have to base your self-respect on how much other people like you or how straight you can make your hair.
if only I could tell you that you are loved just because you are you, because you exist, BECAUSE you’re human and imperfect, and that’s what makes you beautiful, on the inside, on the inside…
if only I could tell you that the most important thing is that you love yourself, and that you don’t need the approval of the world or anyone else to tell you how much you can love yourself or love other people.
I love you, dear younger me– I love you. no, you are not perfect, but you never will be. I am not perfect, but I do my best.
that’s all you need to do. do your best.
your body is beautiful, but more importantly… the strength of your spirit is beautiful. and how I wish I could tell you that years later, in the future, you’ll be making all your dreams come true after you get through all of this! that you’ll learn that recovery is something you’ll do daily, but that it’ll be something that you actually learn to love and enjoy. how I wish I could tell you that one day, you will publish books and write to thousands of people every day and learn to love deeply and live the beautiful life you’ve always wanted, and that yes… sometimes you will still struggle, sometimes you will still fall down flat on your face, but what you are going through now… oh, girl! the fact that you’re surviving this is the only reason that you can, in the future, live your dreams… I’m rooting for you.
you are stronger than you think.
much, much stronger.
and I love you.
Sui Solitaire | New York, NY | USA
Sui Solitaire is a human being who was born in Shanghai, China and grew up in the Bay Area under traditional Chinese parenting. She shares her journey of love, warriorship, and eating disorder recovery to inspire and illuminate others. She writes about love, body image, presence, eating, growth, and the occasional poem.