Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | July 23, 2010

Dear Eating Disorder

Written by: ViR on Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dear Eating Disorder,

I hate you and I love you. I thought you were the answer, when I was tired, happy, sad, anxious, lonely and hateful to myself. At first you snuck up to me, making me think you were the answer to my weight issues. But I did not realize you had your own mission, to take things slow until I could no longer give you up. You were my deceiving way to comfort myself. I did not even see how you sucked me in and grabbed on for dear life. But life is not your goal for me, it is that of death. You made me think I was not good enough, that I didn’t deserve anything, that I was worthless, and would never be able to love myself.

You then started playing games with my head. Talking to me 24-7, mesmerizing my thought behavior, and making me no longer understand my own feelings, let alone trust them. I had no self worth. It soon began hiding you from my family, friends, and everyone that loved and cared for me. I stopped going out with my mom to shop so I could sit alone with you and eat everything I thought I cared and needed. Then you made me feel guilty about my actions and that I would feel fat if I did not throw up everything I ate. Then you made me feel euphoric; a false sense of accomplishment, and happiness of my action. You continued to haunt my world for seven years, making me think there was nothing wrong with it, hiding any issues or feelings I had – making me numb.

You sat, progressing to the point I would cry every time I threw up. And I still could not stop. You had become my world, my compulsion, my daily routine. Even through a rehab and several months of outpatient therapy, I continued to listen to you. You had made me feel awful about myself, I only was feeding you when I would hear people say how great I looked, and believing you were the answer and if I gave you up, I would never get those comments in order to feel good about myself.

You started slowly at destroying my body. Merely acid reflux I would tell myself, no big deal. Rapid heart rate while throwing up – oh well – it would stop after I was done. Gum loss – well I was young and would stop soon enough. Cavities – those are to be blamed on my loss of sealants – not you.

But recently I started getting scared. A burning pressure in my stomach would not go away. The acid reflux was a 24-7 pain. My body was not functioning and was no longer having normal cycles. I stopped eating thinking this would get me away from you. But you were actually driving your disease deeper and deeper.

I no longer want to hear or listen to you. I now hear my rational side. I listen to my body. You may lurk in the shadows but I refuse to follow you into the darkness. You will grab hold of me – I will fight for my life and feel no matter what. For I am worth it, I deserve better, and will learn to love myself, knowing you are deceitful and full of hate and destruction.

~ Me

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Responses

  1. Wow, SO powerful!! I can relate. Did you feel empowered after you wrote this? Well done. You really “stuck it” to ED 🙂

    • I felt angry and pissed off 🙂 I was so sick of the ambivalence. I had been through IOP, IP, and residential and I was still struggling. I definitely needed to address it and yell and scream. I had been yelling and screaming at everyone in my life, I had forgotten to yell where its warranted. Thank YOU for sharing you can relate!

  2. This is amazing and thank you SO much for sharing this intimate letter to your ed. This is so real, and I feel honored that you have shared this!! You are an amazing, strong, empowered woman I really look up to you. I’m inspired by your daily voice and strength and I admire that you touch so many people. You are a pillar of strength and I’m honored to be able to share in your recovery. HUGS. ❤

    • Wow your words just made me teary! I really feel honored to be in the community of you wonderful Recovery Warriors. I am constantly amazed at the strength and courage you all have to share your voice and honesty. Thank you so much for your words. Humbles me!

  3. As a new reader, I’m very thankful that you’ve brought this letter back up to share with us. I have always thought there was great power in personifying the eating disorder; in some ways it makes it easier to step away from it, both mentally and in terms of behaviors. This reminds me of Jenni Schaefer’s Declaration of Independence from her eating disorder.

  4. This is so true and I can relate to everything you say in this letter to your ED. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  5. Hi Kendra! I’m really glad you re-published this, too. I really like the idea of writing a letter because it helps to release all the pent-up emotions.

    While I’ve never had an eating disorder (disordered eating, though, yes), it seems like it’s empowering to get angry with the “disease” because it gives you the energy and desire to fight.

    I think this will inspire readers to write their own letter and also to view their ED as destructive and manipulative and give them some ammunition for recovery. It’s a really great post, like always! 🙂

  6. This was very insightful and I can totally relate. My ED is even speaking to me as I write this.


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