Dear younger Alex, I wish you knew what the future holds: A letter from Glitter Girl
‘Recovery is going to be one hell of a struggle, but guess what? You are going to win’
Dear Younger Alex,
I know that you are hurting right now. I know that you feel broken and hopeless and empty. I know that you feel like you are in a pit of despair and just feel like giving up. There is no end in sight and you fully believe that you are going to struggle with anorexia the rest of your life. You can’t imagine ever beating this demon that has been haunting you for so long and the idea of ever loving your body or loving yourself seems so far fetched.
I hate how much pain you’re in. I hate that you have had to endure the constant lies that the enemy has thrown at you every day. I hate that you have spent years battling those agonizing voices in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough, not pretty enough and not skinny enough. My heart breaks for you, younger Alex.
You have spent years trying to find your acceptance from fleeting things. You have searched for your worth in your dancing ability, in a number on a scale and in what others think about you. But those things will never satisfy you, Al. Those things are not your identity, and until you realize that, you will continue to struggle with the eating disorder and continue to struggle with loving yourself.
But…here is where the good news comes in. You will eventually come to realize this truth and you will be set free by the amazing grace of your Savior. You will finally realize that your identity and your worth come from Christ alone, and this realization changes your life entirely. You will be healed by the blood of Jesus and you will regain your life back through the power of God.
I’m not saying that the journey to freedom is going to be easy. In fact, it is going to be hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. You are going to have to put on your boxing gloves and get ready for the fight of your life. Recovery is going to be one hell of a struggle, but guess what? You are going to win this fight. You have the God of the universe fighting alongside of you, and with Him, you can do anything. Even beat ED.
The road to recovery is difficult and long. The feeling of gaining weight is horrifying. The feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing your thighs touch is extremely uncomfortable. You will feel disgusting when you go to put on an outfit only to realize that none of your old clothes fit anymore. Nothing about the process of recovery or weight restoration is fun, but trust me when I say that those feelings don’t last forever. So keep pushing through when you are feeling that way, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The road to recovery is also full of ups and downs. You will experience temporary recovery only to relapse just a few months later. You will hit many walls and experience a lot of frustrations during your recovery process. You will want to quit, but do not give up. Keep fighting for your life, Al. Just keep taking it one day at a time, and I promise that you will start to feel the chains of ED falling off as you start to find your identity in Christ.
Not only will you find your identity in Christ throughout this process, but you will also find the love of your life, your Savior, Jesus Christ. You will experience a love like never before as you come face to face with unconditional grace, mercy and love. His perfect love will set you free. Once you realize that the creator of the universe sees you as His prized possession and loves you beyond imagination, you will start to see yourself differently. You will no longer see yourself as a number on a scale, but you will see yourself as a child of the One True King. Once you find your identity in Christ, your life will begin to change.
In fact, your life will change entirely. You will go from being an insecure and shy girl to a confident and bold woman of God. You will go from being your own worst enemy to being your own biggest fan. You will go from hating every part of yourself to loving and embracing every part of you. You will go from constantly worrying about what others think of you, to just living life as you and not worrying at all about what others think. You will go from trying to hide from the world to letting the world see your literal sparkle.
Yes, literal sparkle. You will spend many a day covered in glitter before tens of thousands of people. You will laugh and smile and let your light shine before the world as you cheer on the Tar Heels in full on glittered glory. Oh yeah, you go to college and become a football fan. Crazy right? Just wait until you see what your life is like post ED.
God is going to use your story to change many lives and to spread the message of hope and recovery to millions of people. He is going to give you a platform in the most unusual way, through being a hardcore sports fan. You are going to become known as “Glitter Girl” because you cover yourself in glitter for every sports game and God is going to give you so many opportunities to share your story to the world through this Glitter Girl platform. Many lives will be touched through your journey and your story.
I know this probably seems so unbelievable, but I promise you that it’s all true. You are going to do great things Al. But just because you are going to do all of these wonderful things and be a bold advocate for eating disorders, please don’t feel like you always have to have it together and always have to be strong. You are going to feel overwhelmed at times – you’re going to feel the weight of the world on you as you try to help as many people as you can. But guess what? Sometimes you are going to need help, too. Don’t be afraid to be honest with your struggles and to open and vulnerable with others. You don’t have to be strong all the time.
I know it may not feel like God is with you right now and you may not feel His presence, but I promise you that He is right at your side fighting for you. One day you will look back and see His hand in everything and see how He worked everything together for your good and for His glory. He loves you so much, Al, and I can’t wait for you to finally realize just how much He loves you, because that’s when you will finally be set free.
So although you feel like you are rock bottom right now, this pain does not last forever. You will be healed. You will recover. You will be free from ED.
That does not mean that you won’t have any scars from the years that you battled against ED or that you won’t ever struggle with hearing ED’s voice from time to time. In fact, ED may always be there a little bit. But ED’s voice will no longer control your brain and you will be able to recognize the lies that ED tells you as exactly what they are…lies. ED will no longer have power over you, because an ever greater voice will speak so much louder to you: the Voice of Truth. When the enemy tries to tell you that you are ugly and fat, God will remind you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and loved beyond measure.
You have a long journey ahead of you Al, but there is a happy ending to your story. The pain you are in now will be broken by the grace of God and you will experience life like never before. Run to Jesus and cling to His strength. Let Him fight for you. Let Him heal you. Let Him love you.
Now chin up, girl. It’s time for you to begin this journey and go change the world.