A Letter From the Brink of Relapse

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015

By Don Blackwell, author of Dear Ashley: A Father’s Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope 

See this original post on EatingDisordersBlogs.com


A Letter From the Brink of Relapse

“Just eat for God’s sake, for your sake – for our sake!”

Dear Mom, Dad, Husband, Brother, Sister, Friend,

I know you’re frustrated and angry that I’m struggling – AGAIN! Believe me, I am too, but I’m also terribly afraid – afraid of slipping back into the quicksand of this insidious disease, afraid of the darkness that I know is waiting for me if it succeeds in pulling me back in, if it is allowed to re-gain a foothold.

Most of all, I’m afraid of disappointing and hurting you – even more than I already have. I’m afraid that every new misstep and slip will be the proverbial straw that finally breaks the camel’s back, that this time when I reach out for your hand to give me a reason and the strength I need to pull myself out it won’t be there. You won’t be there.

That’s the part that’s unbearable to me. The disease is a tough enough adversary to fight with an army behind you, let alone when you’re alone.  It’s doubly difficult when you’re saddled with guilt and shame, like I am (like most sufferers are) for having put so many others, especially those I love, through so much.

I wish I knew what to say. I wish I had words that could make you understand what it’s like to live with this disease, why I get stuck sometimes – why I stumble. The truth is: I don’t really understand it myself.  There are, however, some things that are very clear to me that I want – actually, I need – you to know:

On the BrinkI’m committed to battling this disease until I beat it.

I’m grateful for all you’ve done and how patient you’ve been with me.

Your belief in me and in my ability to win this war matters – a lot.

I never wanted or intended to cause you pain or hardship and now is no exception.

I may have taken a step back, but it’s only a step (or two). It’s all part of the journey.

I can’t afford for you to give up on me. I’ve/we’ve come too far.

In fact, I need you now more than ever. I’ll find the courage and I’ll do the fighting, but I need your support. I need your love.

You have mine.

Don Blackwell is a South Florida trial attorney, author, and all-embracing Dad. He is the author of Dear Ashley: A Father’s Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope, and writes for several eating disorder websites, including EatingDisordersBlogs.com.