As I little girl, it seemed like whenever I would try to express my feelings - I would be ignored, missunderstood, made fun of, or it would come out wrong and I would get in trouble. And so I started to hide. I kept things to myself. And I started to believe that silence was the only way I would feel safe. If I kept my feelings, my thoughts, my secrets to myself then I couldn't get hurt. But what it was really doing was killing me. Slowly, the silence was breaking apart my already fragile spirit. On the outside, I had my mask on. I became really good at pretending to be okay - when on the inside I was lost and hurting.
And then at 13 years old, I found a way to express those feelings. I found a way to cope with those feelings. My eating disorder became my voice. It said the things that I couldn't say. The things I didn't know how to say. The things I was afraid to say. And I hid behind my eating disorder. It wasn't until being in therapy for many years that I was able to slowly start to find my voice. That voice that I lost so long ago. It was always there inside of me... I just stopped using it, and then eventually forgot how to use it and then became very fearful of using it. But because of my family, my friends, and some amazing people who were on my treatment team - I found my voice again. And I slowly learned how to use that voice again. And that was one of the greatest gifts recovery has given me.
Something that was said to me so often in treatment is "our secrets keep us sick." And they do. But those secrets need to be heard so that there can be healing. So my prayer today is that all of you out there who are still struggling to find your voice - that you will find that strength deep inside to take the steps you need to reclaim that voice. Your life depends on it, and it's worth it! YOU are worth it!