When it comes to removing toxic relationships from your life, it’s only natural to crave a little bit of closure. However long your relationship with your eating disorder has lasted, be it ten months or ten years, it’s time to say goodbye. Maybe you’ve been wanting to break up with the calorie counting, exercise guilt, and fear foods for awhile now, but haven’t found the strength to. If you watched last week’s VIP video, you know I’m a big believer in therapy. One of the reasons for that is because when I was in therapy, we learned one incredible tool for removing damaging habits or relationships from ones life: letter writing.
Get It All Out
The idea is simple, compose a letter to whomever or whatever has been causing you pain. Get all your feelings out on the page, whether you have any intention of sending it or not. Why? Because expressing your anger, your concerns, and your hope for the future allows you to make peace with the bad and move towards the healing. I’ve written letters to family members, heartache, and my eating disorder. Each time, the benefits were numerous. So if you’re ready to leave your eating disorder, and all the pain it’s caused in the past, put down your fears and pick up the pen. I’m going to show you how to write the perfect goodbye letter to keep you motivated towards recovery and away from disordered behavior.
Be Honest with Yourself
Remember, nobody is going to see this letter but you! So don’t hold back. When you’re filling in the blanks, take time to think about your answers. How long have I really struggled with these habits? What are my greatest fears keeping me from letting go of my eating disorder and having a healthy relationship with food? What are the most important things in my life that my eating disorder has caused me to neglect? How can I prioritize them again? Look at this letter as your way to accomplish several things:
- Release negative energy
- Acknowledge the pain your eating disorder has caused
- Set intentions for your recovery
- Give you a reminder to hold you accountable during tough times
Give Yourself Permission to Feel Unconditionally
There is no wrong way to write this letter. And doing so is bound to bring up a flux of different emotions. Chances are, you’ll feel something different each time you write or re-read your goodbye letter, and that’s okay! Keep in mind that while some of these feelings will be pleasant: relief, motivation, and strength. Others will be painful. Writing about your eating disorder may trigger feelings of pain, guilt, and sadness. Don’t worry, it’s part of the healing process. Remind yourself that whatever emotions this exercise brings you, they are valid. You are a human being and as such, entitled to all of your feelings. The great thing about the break up letter template that I’ve created for you to download is that it’s a fillable PDF form. That means you have the option of typing your answers right into the blanks, saving several copies, and re-doing the activity throughout your recovery. Not sure where to start? Check out the example below of my break up letter
It’s Your Turn
Fire up the printer and grab a pen, or just stretch out those fingers so you can do some typing because the next letter is going to be yours. Your recovery, your journey, and all the tools you use within it only serve to make you stronger. I hope this letter provides you the closure you need to move on and make peace with food, your body, and yourself. Happy writing!
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