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May 1, 2024

A Letter To Those Fighting in Silence

A Letter To Those Fighting in Silence

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Jason* is passionate about supporting other males in eating disorder recovery. If you are interested in connecting with Jason, you can send him an email at Jasgooday@gmail.com.

*Last name omitted at the author’s request.

Hello,

My name is Jason. I am 45 years old and have two beautiful, vibrant daughters, ages 4 and 7. I have worked in innovation and technology for 20 years. I often sail and practice yoga and gratitude for each day I have to live.

As you look at me, you would never have known that 25 years ago, I suffered some of the darkest days of my life alone with an eating disorder. My hope as you read this is that you know that I see you, I feel you, and I am you, and that my story will give you hope and the courage to know you are truly loved and never alone. You have so much to give to the world. Just as others gave me hope in my hardest times, I know that one day, you will do the same for others.

My eating disorder began in high school when I was participating in sports. In order to be competitive, there was always pressure to cut weight.  It was common for me to restrict and then binge, repeating this cycle over and over, week after week, for many years. This cycle became a way of life, and because so many of my teammates were doing the same, I did not fully realize the impact of these behaviors. I hid these behaviors from everyone and felt very alone. The coaching staff even encouraged this disordered pattern. I felt alone and too afraid to share my experience with anyone.

As I moved on to college out of state, I went through a significantly stressful time. I was taking double the classload of credits and experiencing a really hard relationship breakup when—guess what? Those old high school behaviors came up, and my eating disorder kicked in again. 

I remember times when I was just lying down in bed, wondering how I would ever make it through another day of such loneliness and suffering. I will always remember reading that our happiness or stress is based on our most repeated thoughts. For me, those thoughts were “I am not enough” and “I am alone.” If we want to end our suffering, we must create new thoughts and learn to believe them.  

One day, I wrote post-it notes all over my dorm room and bathroom. The one note that stood out the most was “I am loved and worthy.” Reading these words gave me the push to decide that I needed to end my suffering, as I couldn’t take another day of such pain. I knew I deserved to be happy and healthy.

I now experience each day knowing life is a gift. I can now give back to those struggling with the confidence that there is another choice. You deserve to have joy and peace and love in abundance.

I look forward to supporting you in any way I can. The story you have created for yourself can happen in one moment with a single decision! You are the author of your life, your mind, and your story, so today, take a moment to write out what story will bring you true joy and happiness, put that post-it up on the wall, feel and believe it to be true in every cell in your body, and watch what unfolds in your life.

You are one of the rare, brave ones. You got this!!

Jason

We want to hear your voice of recovery! If you are interested in participating in our Recovery Conversation series, please email blog@emilyprogram.com to learn more.

If you or a loved one is experiencing an eating disorder, help is available. Reach out to The Emily Program today by calling 1-888-364-5977 or completing our online form.



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