Topic Tuesday: Courage

Macie H“Dear Younger Me” (By: Maci Hughlett)

Dear Younger Me,

Later on in life, you will have an eating disorder – twice. Your family will refer to it as “the food problem” because they don’t want to dwell on the disorder but only focus on fixing you. It’s going to be bulimia and it is going to be hard. Here’s what I wish you could know before the disorder takes over your mind:

You are not an eating disorder, you have an eating disorder. Bulimia is simply a side-effect of living at the moment. You are a strong, young woman with gifts that are going to be shaped into some pretty awesome opportunities – with the disorder and after recovery. You are graciously redeemed, deeply loved, and enormously forgiven.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting.” What one person says is beautiful is not what the other says is beautiful and so on. Beauty is in your character, your nature, and your very being. People will remember how you made them feel and how you treated them – not your appearance.

Guess what? Those dreams you have been dreaming for your whole life? They are going to start coming true and you won’t even see it coming. One day you will wake up and realize your life began a long time ago and the moment you awoke is one of a precious blessing and the perfect opportunity to jump into life again. You will travel. You will hear stories of heartache and victory. You will come to understand malnourishment when it is the only option for a child and you will eat at a five-star restaurant in France alongside those whom provided you the chance to understand earthly wealth. Both of these experiences will make you eternally grateful for a piece of fruit and a piece of pie.

When you feel guilty, talk about it. The only way for this society to become more comfortable with eating disorders is for someone with one to branch out and speak. You have a voice and it matters. The people around you for both rounds are going to love you in ways you never thought possible. On the loneliest days, the community gifted from Above to you is there to carry you into safety once more. Temptation will continue even after recovery, but you have already overcome this battle – so do not look back. No one is actually telling you to do this to yourself; and the ones that haven’t told you to stop, well, they are not the people you need in your life. This is not the end. You did nothing to deserve this. You do not have to live with the disorder mastering your life; your life’s Keeper has never stopped caring.

Yes, you have a gap between your teeth, usually untamed hair, big wrists, and a big collarbone. But you also have wisdom, compassion, listening ears, patience, joy, and a big ole’ smile living inside of you that will always go a whole lot further in changing this world than external features ever could. You are beautifully tall and your hips are naturally wide-set so there’s no need to press into the bones with your hands hoping for them to shrink. You have friends to laugh with, you have midnight milkshakes to grab on your way home from a night on the town, you have a mom who needs a helping hand every once and a while, and your best friend (i.e. your dog) who needs someone strong enough to take on walks. Yeah, these eating disorders are going to be hard, but the best is yet to come. And people need to hear your story on the other side.

Your Completely Recovered Self

About the Author

Maci Hughlett is a girl on a mission. She loves Jesus, coffee, books, hiking, and sees everything as an adventure. Maci is studying at Johnson University with a double major in Bible & Theology and Human Services – Counseling. She is up for doing anything in life that will help people see the light and would love to use her testimony for the good of others. Maci is a Tennessee native, growing up in Knoxville and is always making trips up to Nashville to visit family. She has found recovery from a bulimia twice and plans to stand strong against any future temptation to fall into the food trap once more. Family, friends, and her local church have been such a blessing in her life, especially on the road of recovery and she cannot thank them enough. Blessings!