Health Magazine

A Thank You Letter to My Eating Disorder

By Fitvsfiction @fit_vs_fiction

As part of my recovery from an insidious eating disorder, I was told to write it a letter. I thought it would be a kind of “Screw you” note, but instead it ended up as more of a thank you. I realized that my relationship with my ED wasn’t abusive as much as co-dependent. This letter represents one of the ways I broke free from it’s clutches and started to get my life back.

Dear E.D.,

Thank you. Thank you for showing up when my brother Billy was dying. When the pain was so deep and so strong I thought I might die too. Thank you for giving me something else to focus on besides his empty room and my empty heart. Thank you staying with me for years afterwards when life seemed so cruel and unfair and facing it was just too hard…you gave me somewhere to hide.

Thank you for tricking me into thinking you were gone so I could get married and for hiding when I was pregnant, so I could enjoy my children, and so my mom could die with a sense of peace, knowing that I would be okay.

And thanks for coming back when life got tough again; when the traumas hit fast and hard and I needed to escape…thanks for taking the blame when I lost myself and did things I will forever regret at your urging.

Thank you.

But now…you need to go.

I know it’s hard to take me seriously since I’ve tried to break up with you before, only to reach out to you each and every time things got tough…and I don’t blame you for wanting to stay; life was never boring when we were together, but you saw how much pain you were causing me and refused to leave. If you loved me, you’d have let me go years ago.

It’s taken me 20 years to see that with all that you’ve given me, you’ve taken so much more. I can’t begin to imagine how many people you’ve pushed out of my life and how many experiences I missed out on just because you wanted me all to yourself. You systematically knocked down my dreams like bowling pins, leaving me feeling scared and alone. No matter how many people told me they loved me, yours was the only voice I heard, telling me I wasn’t thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough; that I wasn’t a good enough person to merit a place in the world, especially after mom and Billy died. I didn’t deserve to be here taking up a spot that should have belonged to one of them.

I thought we were done in Vancouver when I was so sick and not expected to pull through. When the doctors thought I’d never get to hold Dylan again or watch him grow up and the son in my belly had been taken away without ever meeting his mommy. I swore I’d never waste another second of my time on you..but at the first sign of weakness you were back.

Well, I’m not weak anymore. I am strong and getting stronger by the minute. I don’t need you anymore…I’m ready to face my life and begin healing. I have the tools I need to block you out forever. I thought you took my pain away but you were just burying down deep where it could cause the most damage. I’m ready now to live my life without you. I am hoping that you will let me go without too much of a fight. You served your purpose and now it’s time to let me fly on my own.

This time, it really is goodbye.


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