A letter to my eating disorder
I thought you were my friend. Best friend. Better than that — you were part of me.
You made me feel safe — comfortable in your arms. Together, we were invincible; a dynamic duo.
But we weren’t super heroes. You are a villain.
I thought I controlled you but it was you who controlled me all along. Together we took the key to my soul and buried it next to pain and sorrow. You made the hurting stop, and I loved you for it … but you also made joy stop. Without my soul I was a shell of a being, as empty as my stomach.
In a downward spiral I followed you, losing track of who was chasing who and how many friends I forced out. Losing myself. But never losing track of any fraction of a pound lost or gained … or a single calorie eaten or burned or purged. We counted numbers, not blessings.
Until we hit the bottom.
The close bond we’d shared started to crack. It was a small crack in the beginning. A tiny crevice. I didn’t recognize it at first but love seeped in and the crack grew millimeter by millimeter … until it split us apart. I finally realized that we weren’t attached, that I didn’t need you … that you were not me. In fact, I didn’t want you.
With strength and desperation, I dug up the key to my soul we’d buried years ago and let the pain and sorrow surface. It flowed through me with electric force. The nerves of my emotions were bare and being beaten with turbulent waves. Feelings. It was agonizingly beautiful. I’d forgotten what it was like to feel. To cry. To be.
I still think of you sometimes. Memories of our time together — time I used to wish I could have back but I’ve made peace with the past. With you. It makes me grateful for having my key back. For having me back.
Thank you for hitting the rocky bottom and giving me that tiny crack in our union. The force of hitting the bottom hurt; but hurting is infinitely better than following your downward spiral in a sea of numbness. Without you I am happy, joyous, pained, wary, passionate … filled with all the good and all the bad where you left me empty.
Without you, I am whole.
(Read more about my story.)