A Letter to the 17-year-old, Anorexic Me.

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Use your words.

Use your words and not your body to communicate your needs.

Use your words and not your body to ask for help.

Use your words and not your body to set boundaries, to rage about what infuriates you.

Stop silently miming your needs and wants to the world.

Your mouth can speak your truth far more effectively than your emaciated body ever can.

The world needs you to stop trying to prove whatever the f*ck you are trying to prove about how little you need or how strong you are or how badly you are hurting.

Whatever love you are manipulating others into giving you by wearing your suffering or your “strength” on your flesh—that is a sh*tty version of love.

That’s pity. That’s the by-product of manipulation.

Stop it.

You are ripping people off.

When you withhold nourishment from yourself, you deprive people of the fullest expression of you.

The you who does not have to ration her energy.

The you who is available for authentic connection.

The you who is free to use her mind to find creative solutions to the world’s problems because her thoughts are not bound inside a prison of her own making.

You are robbing the world of you.

And it’s selfish.

It’s not fair.

The love that you lack is the love that the world lacks.

And rather than trying to extract that love from others with the force of your deprivation, I ask you to go be that love.

There is no scarcity of love when you are it.

I know that you are in pain, but that pain is your humanity. And by your unwillingness to feel it, by your insistence on numbing and escaping yourself, you are severing your connection to your humanness.

That pain is not yours, it is ours.

You feel it because you are meant to know that it is there.

It is your individual experience of the collective pain of humanity, and you were sent here to do something about it.

Not to turn against it within yourself.

When you reject your pain, you reject your purpose.

We need you to have the energy and the freedom to honor the call of your purpose.

The earth needs you. The animals need you. Children need you. Women need you. Immigrants need you. The poor and starving and disenfranchised and depressed and sick and wrongfully incarcerated and drug addicted and abused need you.

And they don’t give a damn how much you weigh or how much you ate or what you look like.

They don’t give a damn about whether or not your stomach rolls or whether or not you have cellulite or how much weight you have gained or lost.

They are waiting for you to say “no” to the abusive relationship that is your eating disorder.

And they don’t have time to wait. They need you now.

We need you.

We need you to have a surplus of energy that you can use in rebellion against the very forces of oppression that turned you against yourself.

We need you to brave the discomfort of nourishing yourself back to optimal vitality.

I need you.

They need you.

You need you.

We need you—to join the rebellion.

author: Brandilyn Tebo

Image: @brandilyn_tebo / Instagram

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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Brandilyn Tebo

Brandilyn Tebo is an acclaimed transformational coach, writer and speaker. Once a type-A perfectionist who struggled with anorexia, she knows firsthand how destructive attachment to external validation can be. Through years of inner work and deep meditation, coach trainings, and the study of eastern and western transformational philosophies, she learned how amazing life can be once you let go of fear, limiting beliefs and false identification with achievements. She has traveled the world to teach empowering workshops in high schools, prisons, Fortune 500 companies and colleges. Today, she coaches clients on how to remove internal barriers to following their hearts and be the fullest expression of themselves! You can connect with Brandilyn on her website, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

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