Dear Eating Disorder
It’s been you and I for quite some time now. You’ve always been there, sitting on my shoulder and we know each other well. So well, that I’ve come to consider you a strange kind of friend. You’ve always been there when life got out of control, your words so familiar and reassuring. You learned to disguise your voice as my own, making it hard to distinguish truth from lies. I’m writing this today because I’m ready to say that I don’t need our “friendship” anymore. I’m ready to call you out for what you are.
You’re a tyrant. And I became a slave to your warfare’s agenda. Counting, tracking, monitoring, obsessing, judging, striving, pushing. You consumed my every thought and set my mind and body against one another. I punished myself when I let you down. Exercising till I felt dizzy, throwing up until I couldn’t stand. I did your bidding to the point of exhaustion and to the exclusion of everything that mattered to me.
You’re a thief. You stole my joy, energy, excitement, health and personality. You stripped me of life and happiness and robbed me of so much TIME. Holidays, parties, time with family, time with friends, new experiences and opportunities- all tainted with your toxic chatter. Time spent critiquing, obsessing, and panicking. Time that I will never get back.
You’re a liar. You told me my worth was a number and a size. I only saw distortion, reflected in the mirror. You promised me happiness after one more kilogram or one more kilometre. You had me convinced there was nothing wrong, as my hair fell out and I shivered in summer heat. I believed you when you said my worth was based on my appearance. “Lazy, hopeless, incompetent, stupid, not trying hard enough, failure”. You went further than food and weight- You had me convinced that I would never amount to anything in life.
But You are NOT ME. You never have been and you never will be. And although it’s hard to let you go, I’ve finally learned to distinguish your thoughts from my own. You are no longer welcome in my mind. You’re persistent and familiar but our “friendship” is off and despite your best efforts, I am finally FED up with your abuse. I am choosing happiness over control. I am choosing me over you.
***If you or someone else you know is struggling with food and body image visit: http://nedic.ca