This is a powerful phrase: I am worthy. Many times, it is the message I seek to plant in my clients. They deserve to feel empowered and to believe that they are worthy, just as I see them. For those struggling with an eating disorder, the journey towards self-acceptance is not that simple. Believing “I am worthy” is as difficult as it sounds. I am worthy means loving yourself at any size, and often it is marked by internal battles of questioning, second guessing, sometimes relapsing, and using those newfound coping techniques for better or for worse.
Last month, the news of Robin Williams’ death shook those with and without mental illness and brought to light the basic tenet of “I am worthy.” Sometimes believing “I am worthy” is the work of a lifetime, not to be confused with acquiring material goods and being loved by others. There is no better way to understand the darkest depths of an eating disorder, the deepest self-loathing than to read or hear a survivor’s story. So, next time you suspect a friend’s struggle with an eating disorder or otherwise begin with “You are worthy; you are powerful; you mean a lot …” to me.