I found out the other day that a friend I made in treatment years ago passed away. This was shocking to find out. I honestly hadn't spoken to her in a long time but that doesn't make it any less of a surprise. Having an eating disorder or addiction is not a joke, a fad, or a lifestyle. These are serious illnesses that can literally take your life.
I don't want any sympathy, what I want is awareness. I want everyone to know how much mental illness can affect the individual suffering as well as everyone around them. The family and friends surrounding an person with these issues can hurt almost as badly as the one diagnosed with the actual illness.
Since finding out about my treatment sister, I have found an immense sense of gratitude for the fact that I am still alive. I could have lost my life many times throughout the years. I am lucky my body is so resilient and my mind never got to a dark place I could not find my way out of.
There were nights when I was at my worst that I would pray that when I closed my eyes I would not wake up to open them in the morning. It is shameful to admit this, but I do because it shows the reality of what having an eating disorder and depression did to me. This thought crosses the minds of more people than I think we all like to imagine. The lucky ones come out of it, while the others are taken over and can no longer fight. Its a truth that is hard to swallow but it is still the truth.
It is not my aim to bring anyone down from reading this. I, again, write this for awareness. If you or someone you know needs help, get it sooner rather than later. If you think you are not sick enough to receive treatment, think again. Early intervention can save your life. Too many have passed due to mental illness. Take the steps to prevent this as much as possible.
Remember brighter days are ahead. The things you are feeling will not last forever. You are strong, you are worthy, and you have people that care about you. Take each day one minute at a time, knowing you can make it through. I believe in you.
To my old friend, I hope you are at peace. I hope you have received the serenity you were looking for. You will be missed.