SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR EATING DISORDER SELF
At the end of Key 2 in the 8 Keys secrets, there is an assignment to write a goodbye letter to your Eating Disorder Self. Here is an example of one client’s letter.
Dear Eating Disorder Self,
It feels really weird to actually sit down and write with the intention of saying good-bye to you. You ‘re like an oldfriend, someone who has been with me for a long time, someone who knows me in ways that most others don’t. And to put an end to our relationship for good makes me really sad, but I know now it is right.
I am finally strong enough to say goodbye to you. I know there will be times when my strength wavers. There will be times when life does not go my way and that’s when I will miss you the most. I will want to turn to you. Who else can make me forget my problems and feel like everything is okay? Can I endure the pain without you? If things don’t go my way, not only can I not turn to you for comfort and protection, but I also won’t be able to blame you. I will have no more excuses, nowhere to hide.
But it’s time to grow up and accept responsibility for myself and my actions. It’s time to take care of myself and to truly believe that I deserve the care. I have to face my fears, face my future, and risk failure but have the strength to get back on my feet without you. I am scared knowing that this good-bye is real and permanent, but there is something I feel even stronger than that fear. I feel it throughout my body and it’s calm and it’s warm and it’s this feeling that I will be okay in spite of the struggle. And I can be thankful for you because you allowed me to get the help I needed to find my strength, to search my soul, to examine my life and my being. For a while there may be times that I will regret saying good-bye, but I know this is the right thing and I know I will get over those feelings as my Healthy Self gets even stronger. Actually you will always be here with me. I don’t need the behaviors anymore so this is a full good-bye to them but you will be my reminder to pay attention, to speak up, to get my needs met, to find a healthy way to deal with the various issues life presents. I will never forget you and the lessons I learned because of you. And I will remember to respect you because I know how powerful you can be. Good-bye, J
WRITE YOUR GOODBYE LETTER TO YOUR EATING DISORDER SELF
Saying good-bye. This is important even if you do not yet feel ready to let the eating disorder go. You can tell your Eating Disorder Self what it has done for you, but also the price you have had to pay and that you will no longer follow its directives. When writing your own letter, articulate why you don’t need the eating disorder behaviors anymore. (This will bring out whatever resistance there still is to giving it up.)