A Note to Me

I actually never really realized, or it never occurred to me, that I had to like you! I found it so hard to be in love with you, but I never thought for a moment I would deeply struggle to like you – the deep-down liking.

I spent so much of my life learning to love you. Being told I had to love you, that to love you was key! The key to all. “Got to love yourself before you can love and be loved.” as the saying goes. I thought that was it, that was all I needed and with that key I had it all and everything would be OK.

Never once in this whole process did it occur to me that I had to like you. I was so focused on loving myself, learning to love myself, growing to love me and trying to love me that it never dawned on me that I had to like you, too!

Yes, like you. I must say I am sorry as I really think I loved you before I liked you. I mean “Like you, like YOU.”

When in the true midst of our eating disorder I was only every intoxicated by you. I would be drawn in by you and liked what you were achieving, being and so desperately wanted to look like. The mental illness, the strength and drive you so determinedly showed gave me that false sense of admiration which was a romanticized, idealistic love. You made me feel great and loved. Mind you, this was only on the high notes. In the low times I didn’t love you, I loathed you.

I knew what I liked you to be and in a removed disconnected way I knew what you were like. I in an indirect way liked you I guess, kind of, sort of, but not “Liked, liked” you. I acknowledged you, you were like an acquaintance. I liked the life you had. I was proud and assured of your life. (I think that is what saved me.) But the real you, I just inwardly and deep down did not like you. At times I liked the show of you, your alter ego; but all that was not really the you I knew. On an exceptionally fine line I also really loathed this part of you, so badly that it kept me mentally ill. We had such a love/hate relationship. I pretended that I liked you; it was my cover up. When it was just us alone, we had such a toxic relationship. In the silence of just us I did not like you; I did not want to like you. In those alone quiet times, I knew you were there; but you were so terribly sad. I was sad for you and didn’t know what to say to you, so I said nothing. I did not like your destructive ways, your self-torment and lack of just being you without all those voices. I was not then able to be kind to you; instead I was very unkind to you. I am sorry I just never stopped to really look right at you. I always overlooked you and looked at the eating disorder you, the mentally ill you and the disconnected/sad you. I did not get you.

I became so hell bent on loving you, I focused on that. I forced myself to love you; but love you I did.  I truly found a self-love that was true, grounded, honest, connected and loving. I was in love and happy with you though at times I still did not like you.

To like you, I first had to love you and from this love I grew to like you. Once I liked you, I began to understand you, accept you and belong with you. This newfound “like” helped me know who you were – all parts and facets of you. I honestly enjoyed seeing you, being with you and you became my greatest best friend. I adored the way you loved me, supported me and let me be me. This all manifested the “like” I had towards you. The love brought the like and the like gave me admiration, acceptance and understanding.

I was grateful you let me see and feel all of this through liking you. It helped me be me and be comfortable with you. I know I could be myself with you and that was OK; so I then became myself. I just had to be me and own this. This helped me to respect you.

I had a newfound way to be towards you: love, like, respect.

I am still baffled by the fact that I had to really like you. It never occurred to me that I wasn’t liking you.

But with this light bulb moment we grew and blossomed. I respected you and you respected me. With this great new understanding I connected to you and the dots all lined up and joined one another.

We joined one another and so there was us! Me!

Heidi Fabian Lee
Heidi Fabian-Lee is a mental health advocate, helping people understand, recognize and walk their mind's map with worthiness, peace and purpose. She has a true personal understanding of what it means to be kind to yourself with mental well-being. After overcoming her own eating disorder 23 years ago, she knows first hand what it's like to work through a mental disorder. From her own experience and recovery, Heidi is passionate to assist and shed her light on eating disorders and mental illness. She is hearing a calling to work with people on a holistic level of connecting with oneself to understand and navigate the mind through relatable connections of self-worth, kindness and self-understanding. As an artist, Heidi has always believed art can help show us our way and guide, even enlighten our path. She can often be found cooking, creating teas in her apothecary, feeding the birds, tinkering in her garden, rescuing plants, laughing with her cat and enjoying life with her 3 beautiful children.

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