Today I attended the funeral of my old friend, who was 24, who overdosed on pain medication a few days ago.
There were hundreds of people there.
Hundreds of people who wanted to show their love and respect for him.
As his friends and family spoke about him, they all kept one main theme within their speeches: that he loved everyone around him, and he gave so much love to those around him, yet he kept no love for himself.
I kept wondering, why did someone who had so many people in his life who love him and care about him, feel the need to take these pain pills all the time and escape?
And then I realized, I could ask myself the same question.
Why did I feel the need (and sometimes still do feel the need) to turn to an eating disorder, even though people in my life care and love me so much?
The answer was simple; because he didn’t love himself, and because I didn’t love myself.
I realized that if we don’t love ourselves, there is no way we can even be open to receiving the love of others in our lives.
It has only been in the past 7 months since I started recovery, that I was able to create deep and meaningful relationships with people in my life.
Before, I couldn’t even be open to seeing how much I even wanted those relationships because I was so busy being wrapped up in my eating disorder, trying to make me into a “skinner” and therefore “better and perfect” version of myself.
Unfortunately for my friend, he never got to take the journey to self acceptance like I am doing now, and therefore, I don’t know if he ever knew how loved he really was. I don’t know if he saw it, and that makes me so sad for him.
During the funeral, my friend’s mom spoke to her now passed away son.
“Everyone knew that you were a talented artist and musician, but they didn’t know that your best talent was loving your mother.”
Even though he used his body as a canvas for tattoos; even though he got a nose job; even though he didn’t love the way he looked; none of those things were what he was remembered for.
He was remembered by his mom, for loving her.
How fortunate would we all be, that when we leave this earth, we are not remembered by our bodies or our weights, or our hair style; but for how beautifully we loved one another.