While in treatment one of our assignments is to write a letter to Ed – our eating disorder. I found it so helpful because it was another way of separating myself from the eating disorder, and taking a step back to reevaluate. I wrote a couple throughout the time I spent at ERC and in IOP, and, although I try not to go back and look through too much of my journal from early in treatment, I thought it was interesting to compare them. The first was more me saying how I knew it was bad, but I didn’t want to give it up. This is one I wrote while I was in IOP. It was about the same time I had my slip up.
You came into my life when I was alone, hurt and insecure. I was so young and didn’t know any better. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started trusting you more and more. You made it so easy. You were a friend when I had none. No matter what I did I knew you would always come back. You helped me when I was down. You made me feel powerful and in control. I felt like I could do anything. You would lift me up and up but then slap me in the face when I least expected it. But it was my fault. I should’ve listened to you. I should’ve trusted you more. I shouldn’t have second guessed you. I waited for you to tell me what was ok and what wasn’t. Who I could be around and who would try to take you away from me. My every move depended on your approval. And that was ok. I felt safe and comforted.
But then you started taking more of my time. You were my every thought and my every breath. You took over me and wouldn’t let me out. You took my energy, my friends, my honesty and my life if I would’ve let you. You made me lie to those that I love because I was so afraid that they would try to take you away. I didn’t know how to live without you. I was yours. Your puppet – completely powerless.
When I realized I was done with your abuse you made me feel bad about myself for trusting you for so long. You made me feel like a failure and that I wasn’t strong enough. Like I should’ve known better, but was too stupid to figure it out. Well I’m done with you, and it’s time for you to understand that because right now you don’t seem to. I’m reminded of that when I walk by a mirror and you call me fat. Every time I go out to eat and you tell me I shouldn’t. Every time I’m dancing around my room for fun and you ruin it by telling me to dance longer because I need to burn more calories. Every time I go to the store and you remind me of the diet pills. You wait for me to be off my game, and then you’re ready to pounce. Enough is enough. I’ve played your games for too long, and too many times I’ve come back. This last week and a half you’ve dug your claws in deep trying to hang on, and I’ve let you. You’re reminding me of that comfort I felt, and I’ve almost decided multiple times to come back again. But I can’t and won’t. Not this time. I know what I want in life, and it isn’t you. I know who really loves me, and it isn’t you. You’ve done the damage and now it’s time for you to let me pick up the pieces on my own. Without you. You were a great friend when I needed it, but I don’t anymore. I know who I am and what I’m capable of, so stop trying to tell me otherwise.
The difference between when I wrote that letter and now is so apparent to me when I reread this! That doesn’t mean that the letter isn’t true! I’m just further along in my recovery! 🙂 More about that next week though!