To Anorexia, My Old Captivating Master

Anorexia, my self-destruction coworker, my nemesis, my captivating master. Although it has been years since you dominated my life, there have been times I’ve stumbled across you again to find your allure hard to resist. You entice me into your trap, and I feel like the defeated child I was when we first met.

I find myself missing the times when I felt helpless and you made me feel strong and in control. I miss the sense of accomplishment you gave me and how proud you made me feel when I denied myself of nourishment. You were like the cool older kid I wanted to impress and my compliance was your weapon.

I miss you the most on bad days. I miss how when you were happy with me, you made me feel extraordinary. You made my problems appear trivial as long as I satisfied your demands. You promised to keep me safe and protect me from harm. You told me if I followed you, then I would be sheltered from struggle and pain.

What I did not know back then was you are all hammer, no nail. Your words were empty and your intentions fatal. The euphoria you guaranteed only led to misery. You took a vibrant little girl and placed her on death’s door. Darling anorexia, while you may always have a slight presence in my life, there are things I could never, ever miss about you.

I won’t miss how you made me feel utterly alone even though the amount of love and support around me was endless. I won’t miss your cruel remarks and how the more you beat me down, the more compliant I became. I was so desperate to please you, but no matter how hard I tried, it was never enough. I won’t miss how at only 10 years of age, you made me feel inadequate and unworthy. I won’t miss how when you were in my life, I lost the ability to think and act for myself. You told me what to do and how to do it, and if I didn’t obey, then you induced an unbearable guilt.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

You warped my reality and turned my carefree childhood into a somber place. You took my innocent dreams and tainted them with goals that revolved around emaciation. You took advantage of my naivety and stole the blissful simplicity of the world. Yet, you now no longer hold that power. I am older and I am stronger. The drive that was once used to obey is now used to defy you. The tables have turned now. So take your bow.

The temporary honor of appeasing you will never compare to the liberation that came from defeating you. I will continue to defy you today, tomorrow, always.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anorexia Nervosa

speech bubble on wood background

The Anorexic Voice Has an Answer for Everything

I don’t hear it as an actual voice in my head, and I don’t see it as a little devil on my shoulder. I don’t give it a name and I don’t give it all the attention it cries out for. I know it isn’t always right, but it’s always there. As with any illness, [...]
boat with three paddles sticking out

When an Athlete Develops an Eating Disorder

One of my fondest memories from college is of early morning rowing practice. In darkness and silence we ran three miles from campus to the boathouse. Besides the occasional car that drove by, the only sound was the steady strike of feet on the pavement. Teams of eight marched their boats to the dock and [...]
Young couple in love, hugging at sunset

How Anorexia Affected My Sex Life

For years I only had one lover: anorexia. Then I stared dating the man who is now my husband, and anorexia got in the way of our lives together. No matter how my husband pushed and prodded, anorexia fought harder. I knew all of the horrible statistics, all of the detrimental effects of this disease, [...]
Back to school - little girl with backpack going to school or daycare

The Kindergarten Lesson That Later Helped in My Eating Disorder Recovery

I can recall the days I walked to kindergarten with my father, arriving to school early as “the early bird always catches the worm.” I wore my oversized polo shirt, white tennis shoes which would soon turn gray with wear, and navy shorts bearing the name of the school I was attending. The alphabet lessons, simple addition, and minimal [...]