National Eating Disorders Association

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

Karla Mosley, NEDA Ambassador

If you could go back and talk to yourself at the beginning of your recovery journey, what would your wiser self say to your younger self?

Looking back, I have so much compassion for the young woman who was brave enough to seek out recovery from bulimia and binge eating almost 14 years ago. She was sad, and felt so alone despite the beautiful life and friends surrounding her that she was trying to take herself out, numb the hurt, escape the fear...with food.

When I came into recovery, though it took me a few years of trying, I knew I was ready to stop. I took all the suggestions. I tried - like I did everything else in my life - to do it perfectly. And while that drive gave me the strength to hang in there, even when everything felt hopeless, it's also what kept me in a hamster wheel of pain and relapse.

I was approaching recovery like I did everything else, like a test I had to ace so everyone else would know what a good student I was. But it wasn't until I got really messy that the biggest and most life-changing things started coming.

In the past few years, especially, I've learned that it's ok to be soft and easy with myself. I offered that kind of love to everyone else, but held myself to an unattainable standard.

Yes, I have soft areas on my body - they are beautiful and healthy and womanly...and they're all mine! Yes, I make BIG mistakes sometimes, I'm really human sometimes...that's ok, too. And actually, recognizing that I've made a mistake instead of trying to hide it from others is the more loving action. Yes, getting work done, going to dance class, and volunteering is great, but so is lying around and watching TV that makes me belly laugh with friends.

What would I say to my younger self? You're beautiful, but everyone gets zits. You're enough, but no one can do everything on their own. You have friends and family, but it's you're differences that make you YOU...and it's all GREAT!!!