By: Allison Annala, Guest Blogger
I know you’ve been hurting for a along time. Silently suffering so as not to burden the ones that you love. The gorgeous smile on the outside, completely masking the war that is taking place within you. I know your pain and I know your struggle and I want you to know something important:
No matter how lost you may feel: You are NOT ALONE.
In fact, 30 million people in the US will be impacted by an eating disorder at some point in their lives (NEDA.com) …30 MILLION… so you’re in good company. Although yours is an individual battle, please know that millions of other people are fighting their own battle, and their battles look a lot like yours.
Listen Al, I know how alone you feel and I know that one of your biggest fears is becoming a burden on your loved ones. But let me ask you something. What would you do if you found your best friend in the same pain? Or your baby sister? What about your daughter? I know you would go through hell and back to take away their suffering if you could. I know you would tell them how much you love them and how beautiful they are and how smart they are and how strong they are. You may not be able to stop coming up with examples of their greatness because you can see it with such certainty.
Well, my dear, I know they would share the same beautiful sentiments about you. And I know those compliments are hard to hear and impossible to process right now, because you don’t feel that way about yourself. But believe me, one day you will.
One day, in the not so distant future, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and love what you see. Because the girl looking back at you will be a strong woman who finds value in herself everyday! She knows her worth and it’s a LOT; it’s a lot more that she gave herself credit for years ago. She finds joy in her work, in writing, in helping others and in the family and friends she didn’t want to burden, but she did. She asked for help and she got it and now, her life is absolutely BEAUTYFULL.
You have a bright future ahead, sweet girl. One that is full of love and laughter and more joy than you can possibly imagine right now. I know you’re hurting today, and that’s alright. But don’t lose sight of what’s really important to you. Those people you’re afraid of burdening, they love you. And they would do anything to help you. So go ahead and tell them you’re hurting. Tell them you need someone to catch you as you fall. Ask them to put you on their back for a little while and carry you through this valley. Eventually, you’ll be the one helping them up a mountain of their own. You know why?
Because you are strong enough to beat this. You are courageous enough to take that first step. You are resilient enough to fight all the way through. And you are inspiring enough to help someone else along the way.
The moral of this story, Love, is that you are in fact, ENOUGH just as you are. You’ll realize that eventually, and you will brilliantly and gracefully share your amazing gifts with more people than you can imagine. You WILL find love and happiness in unexpected places. And most importantly, sweet girl, you will find it within yourself.
With so much love and encouragement,
Let's Chat! Are you or someone you know struggling with an eating disorder? Know you are not alone and there are communities and resources to support you! Visit National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to learn more.
A gymnast since age 4, Allison uses the life lessons learned through the sport to help young women discover their greatness! She is a huge advocate for girls and women, particularly when it comes to body image and self-worth! Along with coaching, Allison now teaches at her Alma Matter, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She loves sharing her passion for gymnastics with women of all ages and her passion for life and love on her blog www.allison-lifeisbeautiful.blogspot.com. She is so thrilled to be an advocate for IATG and can’t wait to help inspire women all over the world!