A letter to my Eating Disorder
A letter to my eating disorder,
I believe it is time we had a chat, and no, not that kind. It’s time that I tell you all the things that I’ve been holding onto and time for me to draw a line in the sand.
I’ve tried so hard to keep you at a distance and make it clear that you are not me and I am not you. But you’ve been tethered to me for so long that you’re voice has become difficult to separate from my own. There are some moments nowadays that I begin to believe that maybe I do truly want the destruction that you promise and I begin to wonder if maybe this is just the person that I’ve become.
But I know you too well now for this to keep working. I know all of your tricks and I will not fall for them. I know what you want and I know that it isn’t me. We are different, you and I, and we do not want the same things even though you try to tell me that we do.
I recognize that there will be days when this line gets blurred. There will be days where you will take over one day to write us an entry or two. You may share what you think about the way we look, the size we are, the way we move, the way we will never know our body weight, and you’’ criticize what we eat, and the way that we eat it and you will try to pass these thoughts off as my own. There will be days when you will cry and you scream in protest. You will say that things are terrible and you will accuse me of being ungrateful. You will tell me that all you ever do is care and that I am standing in your way.
But what you need to understand is that this isn’t about you.
It never was.
It’s always been about me.
For you, dear heart, were born in a time of great sorrow. Birthed from a creature who had fallen so far into the depths of despair and crushed by the weight of their past. You were brought into this world to serve this aching soul who could not see the light no matter how hard they sought it out. To protect them from the things that hurt them by teaching them to keep busy and helping them feel in control when the world was crumbling around them. To soothe their anxieties by redirecting the chatterings of their mind to a mindless mantra of serving sizes, calories, percentages, addition, subtraction, and net totals all in an effort to help them forget the world around them.
And it worked. I won’t lie and say that it didn’t. With all of these things swimming around in my skull there was no room for anything else. In my little bubble of self-absorption, the rest of the world melted away and you and I were left alone. Left to become more and more intertwined with each passing day.
But the truth is, you hurt me. You became an all-consuming itch that didn’t ask but rather demanded to be scratched. You waived the false promise of happiness and security through disordered eating like dog treats in my face and made me believe that nothing outside of us mattered. Nothing bad, but also nothing good.
The countless events that I missed out on because you couldn’t stand having eyes on us when we ate.
All of the friendships I never had because I was too preoccupied with how to make lunch periods pass quicker.
All of the memories that I’d never have room to make because we were too busy memorizing the nutrition facts on every food that passed by us.
You made me hate myself to my very core and you broke me down until I was nothing.
You made my own mother my biggest competitor. It became a competition of who could drop more weight. Who could suffer more. Who would demonstrate their worthiness to receive help. Cancer? Or an immature child who didn’t know how to ask for help.
You said I could diet my way to self-love. But you lied. Instead, you made me hate myself to my very core and you broke me down until I was nothing I will never forgive you for all of the things that you have stolen from me and I will never forgive you for hurting those around me.
And so while you may say that you love me, I know that it is a twisted love that no one deserves. It is a suffocating love that smothers and a selfish love that you disguise as altruism.
Whether or not you will admit it, the truth is, you want me to die. You want to take over until there is nothing left of me. You want to be the only thing I accomplish and the only thing that matters.
But to go through life without connecting to people, how much could you call that a life?
I’m not sorry if this upsets you, but I do not want that.
I want to experience what this world has to offer.
To meet people and connect with them.
Laugh and dance and create memories that I will cherish.
To love deeply and be loved deeply.
I want to grow and discover more of who I am and I want to become everything that I am capable of becoming.
So while you can give me a false sense of security and the illusion of control, you cannot give me what I want.
And I understand that you will always be here. There is no getting rid of you. Like a shadow you will follow me everywhere I do and you will grow and change as I do. I am willing to accept your presence and I will keep you at a distance.
But, no, I will not die for you.