Dear Eating Disorder, You Don't Control Me Anymore
I’ve finally accepted I can’t wish you away. I can’t pretend you don’t exist. I can’t ignore our history. And I can’t deny you’ll never leave me completely.
But I can finally tell you that you no longer control me.
It hasn’t been easy. I didn’t get here alone. I almost gave up, but what matters is I didn’t.
I’ve conquered the worst of your wrath. I’ve dealt with the depression you brought me. I’ve stacked my arsenal with coping mechanisms to resist you. I’ve gotten to a healthier place.
And yet, there is still the constant fear of falling back into your hands. Of losing myself. Of feeling completely helpless. Of succumbing to the voices in my head telling me I’m weak.
But knowing I’ve survived your storm before is my secret weapon and you can’t take that power away from me.
I’m officially kicking you out of the driver’s seat. From now on, here’s how it’s going to be:
I will press snooze on my gym alarm and go back to sleep, because a low energy workout isn’t worth being tired all day. I will take a day off from working out, without being paranoid it will be the end of my fitness journey. I will try a new program or routine because I want to challenge myself, not because I’m desperate for a quick fix.
I will say yes to dinner with the friend I never see, without worrying. I will have a drink with the girls, without obsessing over sugar content. I will eat food I’ve been craving, without chastising myself for hours afterwards.
I will look in the mirror and be grateful for the strength and resilience I see, even if it doesn’t look like the picture I’ve concocted in my head. I will buy clothes that fit and make me feel beautiful, even if it means throwing away half my closet. I will fool around with someone new without feeling self-conscious, because if they weren’t attracted to me, they wouldn’t be in my bed.
From now on, I refuse to suffocate under your restrictions, your limits and your judgment.
I am choosing my freedom. I am choosing to live my life.
I am not naïve. I know I will slip up. I know I will have bad days. But I won’t go back to being your servant. Because contrary to what you instilled in me, I have finally realized my own strength.
The one in control
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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Thinkstock photo via Archv.