It’s Over, ED: Bidding Farewell to an Eating Disorder

Woman walking along empty gravel road

**Content warning: Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

This blog was submitted anonymously by a woman in eating disorder recovery.

Listen, ED, I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t do the bingeing, the purging, the restricting. For eight years we had something, something intense and intimate. It once meant a lot to me, this thing we had, but people change and now we’re through.

Believe me when I say breaking up with you is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I really did love you. And hate you. For years your abusive arms were comforting; they were strong and familiar, and I couldn’t imagine life outside them. But I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I’m leaving you for good.

Looking back, I realize I was never good enough for you. When I lost five pounds you said, more. Ten, fifteen pounds, more. Remember when you whispered those sweet nothings in my ear? You said I’d feel better if I lost the weight. I’d be happy, I’d be beautiful, I’d be successful and special! ED, your empty promises ran down my cheeks. Your lies paled my skin and calloused my hands.

I deserve better, ED. I deserve a life free from food-related fear, guilt, and worry. A mind cleared from obsessions and compulsions, an ego spared from unrelenting self-criticism. I am not a number. I am a soul of love and a heart of dreams, a brain of ideas and veins of courage. I am arms and legs of energy, eyes and ears of clarity. I am health.

How will I go on without you? I’ll cope, ED. I’ll talk, I’ll journal. I’ll eat(!) and rest and learn and grow and dream and read and laugh and cry. I’ll feel and I’ll be. I’ll live.

Yeah, sure, I’ll miss you sometimes. But when I see you around, I’ll take a deep breath of freedom and celebrate my prison break. When I hear your voice in diet talk, I’ll change the subject. When I find your face in old pictures I’ll look away. When I bump into you at the grocery store, at the gym, at restaurants and at parties, I’ll reject you again and again. I am in control now.

Give me my space, ED, I’m moving on.

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