How to Write a “Never Go Back” Letter

Girl with tea writing

It’s easy to doubt ourselves during recovery— to miss our eating disorder or our old bodies or our old coping mechanisms—and that’s okay. However, just because you miss your eating disorder doesn’t mean you should go back to your eating disorder, in fact, it probably means you need to fight harder for your recovery. For those who are currently struggling with their recovery, it’s important that you reach out to your therapist, treatment team, or support system. In addition, we hope you know that you can also be your biggest advocate! By making the choice to never go back to your eating disorder, you become your strongest ally. Which is why we encourage you to be there for yourself when times get tough. One simple way to reinforce your recovery is to write a “never go back” letter.

A never go back letter is a letter to your current or future self to remind you why you chose recovery. Your letter can be in paragraphs, bullet points, or just a simple sentence. You can find some ideas below!

A one sentence never go back letter

For this version, simply fill in the blank!

I refuse to return to my eating disorder because ____________________________________________.

I want to stay in recovery for ____________________________________________________________.

I gave up my eating disorder so I could ____________________________________________________.

Recovery gives me ____________________________________________________________________.

A bullet point never go back letter

I will not go back to my eating disorder because

  • It made me do _________________________________________________________________.
  • It made me feel ________________________________________________________________.
  • It told me _____________________________________________________________________.
  • It caused me to _________________________________________________________________.
  • It interfered with _______________________________________________________________.
  • It left me ______________________________________________________________________.

I will stay in recovery because

  • Recovery makes me feel __________________________________________________________.
  • Recovery gives me a chance to ____________________________________________________.
  • Recovery tells me that I am _______________________________________________________.
  • Recovery helps _________________________________________________________________.
  • Recovery encourages me to _______________________________________________________.
  • Recovery is smart because ________________________________________________________.
  • Recovery is ____________________________________________________________________.

A paragraph never go back letter

Dear me,

I am writing this because I know you are going to struggle in recovery. I know you are going to have days where you miss your eating disorder and doubt yourself. But I want you to remember that recovery is worth it. Recovery allows me to be __________. It allows me to see __________. It allows me to taste __________. It tells me that I am ___________ and ___________. Recovery makes my life healthier. It makes me more alive. It lets me do __________. It will be there for me on the good days and the bad days. It will allow me to communicate honestly with those I love. It stops me from keeping secrets. It helps me to go out to eat with friends. It helps me to __________. It reminds me that it’s okay to enjoy food. It reassures me that it’s okay to __________. It tells me my body is exactly what it should be.  It tells me that I am good enough. That I am worthy. It lets me live. And, because of recovery, one day I will be able to __________, __________, and __________.

Love,

Me.

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