To the Eating Disorder That Told Me Lies

Six years. I’ve had you for six years, and you’ve convinced me you’ll be with me forever, that I’ll need you forever.

You told me you were a friend, a best friend, and I believed you. The thing is, you weren’t a friend. You were never a friend.

You were toxic, and you were dangerous. You gave me what I thought I wanted, and in return, you ripped away the little sanity I had left.

You are the reason for the countless hours in the emergency room, where the blue curtains and beige walls became all too familiar to me.

You are the reason for the disgust I still feel whenever I glance at my reflection in the mirror.

You made me believe I wasn’t good enough, until I was nothing.

Nothing. Eat nothing. Drink nothing. Be nothing.  

“Everyone will love you when you’re thin enough to be nothing.”

You convinced me I wouldn’t survive without you, that no one would love me if I didn’t have you.

“You need me.”

“I’m the only one who understands you.”

These are the things you’d whisper in my ear just loud enough for me to fall back into your patterns.

You’d show me pictures of who I was when I relied on you, and you’d tell me that was the only way people will love me. That was the only way I’d love myself.

This is my third time trying to leave you, and it’s hurting me.

It’s hurting me because I loved you. I loved how I felt when you had complete control over me, when I had complete control over myself.

You’ve made me who I am today, but you do not define me.

I am stronger than this, stronger than you, and it took me six years to realize what I should have known my entire life: Either I kill you, my eating disorder, or you kill me.

This post originally appeared on Unwritten.

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.

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