I'm writing you this letter because I'm really concerned about you. You seem so unhappy and unhealthy lately.
Please know that you are beautiful at any size. But you've lost the sparkle in your eyes, and you seem to want to hide from everyone and everything life has to offer. I wonder what's happened to you that has made you lose your energy and charisma.
You've been down on yourself for a long time. You find faults in everything you do - the way you work, the way you keep the house, the way you raise your children, the way you do and don't keep in touch with friends and family when they need you, the way you relate to your husband, the way you relate to God. Why do you find so much fault in who you are, and why are you so down on yourself all the time?
You brush off compliments when someone gives you a sincere "thank you." I recognize it's because you feel like you should or can always do more. That you can always do better. But I am afraid that your heart is hardening and that you're giving up on feeling the happiness and love that life has to offer. It's like you're afraid to feel because you know how much you'll be hurt when it ends.
I know you're upset about your Dad's Alzheimer's, and you're afraid of all the terrible things you know it will do to him. You're worried about your mom. And you're worried about the "what if's" that you can't answer. It really is a terrible situation, and I wish I could take it away for you. But I can't. Nobody can.
But you need to stop trying to numb yourself from this pain by eating. Anxiety can't be gotten rid of by eating. Fear cannot be subsided by eating. Uncertainty cannot be made certain through eating. Unassuredness will not turn into confidence through eating.
I'm asking you to take care of yourself. As the matter of fact, I'm demanding it. I'm demanding that you get to bed at a decent hour. I'm demanding that you make good choices when you walk into the kitchen. I'm demanding that you start treating yourself with the same kindness that you treat all your other friends when they are distressed.
Please stop criticizing all you do and all that you are. Be good to you. Look in the mirror and find the good in your appearance and the good in your heart. Dig deep inside and see and learn who you really are and the greatness you are made of. I know in my heart of hearts that you are a strong beautiful woman, and you are a beloved child of God. It's just time for you to live a life that radiates those facts.
I know you won't feel fantastic about yourself after reading this letter. As the matter of fact, it will take you a long time to feel better about you, and to take actions that put you on the right path. You're going to have ups and downs, and you will have times when you want to eat all that is in your sights and behind pantry doors. Just know that your journey will take a long time, and that even if you have a not-so-stellar day or week, you are not to quit on yourself, because good changes take a LONG TIME, time that is worth being spent. As your closest friend, I have the responsibility to tell you that I notice you give up on yourself a LOT.
You give up because you're afraid of failing. Then when you fail or simply don't meet your expectations, you eat to shut up those feelings. You must stop being afraid of failing in all you do. Please know that you will not be perfect, ever. You're not meant to be. Know that you are enough. Stop being afraid of failing, and stop being afraid of succeeding. Stop being afraid of the unknown. Stop being afraid of the changes that you are completely uncertain about. God has not led you astray thus far, and he has no intentions of doing so anytime ever. He will never EVER lead you astray.
So take control over what you can. You can control what you eat. You can control your activity. You cannot control your father's disease. Do you remember the Serenity prayer? If not, look it up. Say it, several times a day. And make a list if you have to, of the things you can do to be good to yourself, and make it an action plan. You are deserving of your time and love and care.
So I'll close this out now, my friend. You are wonderful. You are loved. You are amazing. It's just time for you to realize that you are as great as I think you are.
Be good to yourself Andrea. I love you,