After another very difficult winter, I took a few months away from the internet. I’ve missed posting and have lots of topics and thoughts to share with you.
In my time away, I thought a lot about the purpose my Eating Disorder (ED) has served in my life. This well is deep-deep-deep, but I’ve managed to identify a few main themes for starters. Then I wrote a letter to ED recognizing that his presence has been important to me in these struggles, but that I am ready to let him go and deal with the feelings in a more healthy and productive way.
I’ve been trying to break up with ED for years, but I never acknowledged the reasons why I brought him into my life in the first place (partly because I didn’t really know and partly shame about needing him or having any needs at all). Without identifying my true needs and finding other ways to fill them, I kept going back to this abusive relationship, because I ended up feeling lost, empty and alone without ED. I’ll just share the letter with you today and will expound on each of the themes more throughout the week.
Thank you for filling the parents sized hole in my heart when that’s what I needed to survive. I’m glad you were there to meet my needs in the best way you knew how to, but I’m going to take it from here.
You lived and thrived within me when I felt lonely, but I don’t need you to keep me company anymore. I don’t need you to fill that vacancy, because now, when I feel lonely, I can inhabit myself.
You protected me from the feelings I feared. You kept me from drowning in what I imagined would be an overwhelming tidal wave of emotions, but I’m not afraid anymore. I have a life boat of tools now. If the dam does break and the wave does come (which it probably won’t), I’ll be wet, but I’ll be safe.
I also don’t need you to make me big anymore. If I feel small, or unseen/unheard, or insignificant, I can use my voice, my assertiveness, to make myself visible. I don’t have to be big to be mighty.
You are no longer the only friend I trust not to abandon me. There has always been love for me in the world, I just didn’t know how to receive it. I didn’t believe that love was really meant for me, because you made me believe that I could only be loved for this better-than-me persona I was pretending to be. You told me my true self would never be worthy of that love.
Well, I don’t believe your lies anymore. I don’t have to believe that I am not enough, that who *I AM* is not good enough, that I am not worthy. I don’t have to believe that there will never be enough, especially not love; LOVE is not a limited resource, it multiplies. What I want and need is not “too much”! My needs are valid, reasonable and important.
Now, I don’t expect you to shut right up, because I don’t want to listen to your lies anymore. But that’s OK, because even though you mean to lie, to keep your hold on me, you leave breadcrumbs to the truth and I know how to follow them home. I’m sure I will run into you again occasionally. I may even fall back into the hole again, but I don’t have to stay down there anymore… I know how to get out. I have the tools within me to build a ladder.
So thanks again for your years of commitment and dedication. I’m sure you really DO love me and didn’t even mean to be abusive, but I’m done carrying your heavy ass around with me. I need all my strength to carry myself and to move on with my life. It’s over. We’re done, ED.