A Timeless Gift

This was written to a friend of mine by her friend, whilst she was in residential eating disorder treatment. A beautiful and timeless gift right here:
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“I want you to wake up in the morning floating in a sea of clean sheets, foggy with sleep and sweet dreams. You might start mulling over the day ahead or the day before as you make your way into the kitchen. The worries ebb and flow in a tide muddled with anticipations and sweetened with ambitions. This time, the thoughts are simply thoughts. They have no bearing on the following decision:
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to eat, or not to eat
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There is food in your house. Cereal boxes in a row on top of the fridge, strawberry ice cream in the freezer, trail mix, rosemary French bread, butter, leftover steak from date night: food with taste, color, sugar, fat, calories, energy, life, freedom, variety, joy. Your choices are driven by your physical needs and wants, not your emotional compass.
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Your closet will be full of clothes that serve as an extension of your personality. They are your art, your brand, and your unique mode of expression. Their tags and numbers are meaningless. Instead of a scale, your bathroom corner will hold a table of fresh flowers – roses and peonies and pale-pink chrysanthemums.
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I cannot promise you that you won’t experience pain. In fact, you may very damn well feel more pain that you have ever felt before. The sting of words and emotions will be present and identifiable. In return, I can promise you will experience joys that were previously impossible. Your relationships will no longer be clouded by the mental chatter or tainted with your self-loathing. The glow of your quiet confidence now lights you from the inside. You are a bright, buoyant paper lantern floating above the world of obsession and fear you once called home.
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I hope you’re an adrenaline junkie, because this life is going to be a fucking adventure. Sure, you can have experiences in your disordered life. But adventures – adventures that you need two hands to hold, the kind that shape and inspire you – are only possible if you let go of the burden you’re dragging behind you. Having an eating disorder is like viewing the world through a sepia filter.
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In your new life, you will eat pizza and drink champagne on the beach at midnight. There will be newfound spontaneity. When you go for a hike, you will notice the smell of spring and the laughter of your friends. You will feel like a child under the endless cloudy skies as you stop for breath. You will have mercy and kindness for yourself and your body. Most importantly, the people in your life will value you for the same reasons you now value yourself. They always did, you just couldn’t see it. And with all that spare time that you once spent in isolation, you’ll actually be able to maintain and nurture those relationships.
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Your healthy body is going to have some incredible superpowers. I made you a handy list:
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– Hold hands with someone who sees your soul
– Embrace others
– Walk up the aisle
– Snuggle with puppies
– Snuggle with kittens
– Take risks
– Grow another human
– Swim in the sea
– See a play
– Play catch
– Catch a wave
– Wave goodbye
– Buy your first home
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I see how willing you are to love and give; how much you want this life for everyone else. It is incredibly unfair to ask everyone else to give up their greatest coping mechanism and not take that liberty for yourself. There’s going to be a period of ambivalence in the transition between these two lives. Drive yourself forward with that golden fire I’ve seen in you. Call on your goddamn loved ones. Remember the worst of your past and claw yourself forward towards these bright promises. Wrap yourself in a pink cloud.
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It’s going to be worth it, little bison.”