Dear Edie: A Letter to My Eating Disorder

Sharing is caring!

My dearest Edie,

Here we are, at odds just after another holiday season. It’s been close to 15 years now that you’ve been with me. The last few years have been pretty rocky for us, because I’ve been trying to move on. There are some days that I don’t want to leave you behind, but I need to. Edie, I need to do this for me.

Every single time that I decide we aren’t good for each other, you convince me that I need you. You’re familiar. We’ve been through so much together. I know there have been gaps where we wouldn’t speak, but I needed to keep you quiet so I could live- so I could survive.

Since you’ve been back this last year, thing’s haven’t felt the same. I just don’t find comfort in you anymore. You’ve tried to completely take control again, and that’s not what I wanted. You were supposed to help me, not hurt me.

I thought you were the answer, because you helped me get what I wanted for many years. But I figured you out, and you just showed me a smokescreen. You hurt me, Edie.

You hurt me, and it made me hurt myself even more. I’m not alone anymore. I’m not scared anymore, and I’m at a place in my life where you’ll only bring me down. I want to live. I need to live, so we have to do this.

It’s time we end this, Edie.

In the most twisted way, you taught me that I have all of the power when I want something bad enough. This time, I want you to leave. Don’t think this is easy either, because tears are falling. I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but I will miss you.

Missing you or not, our connection destroys me. I can’t stay this fractured shell anymore. Honestly, I don’t want the same things. You just can’t give me what I want or need.

For years, you felt like the only genuine friend that I had, but you became cruel. You made me hate myself and my body. I felt like a failure every time a piece of food passed my lips. You made me feel paralyzed while I clutched the porcelain after every meal, because you wouldn’t let me move until it was all better. But better never came, did it?

I still shake and get cold sweats. There are days where I still find myself crying on the cold bathroom tiles, because all I want to do is what you taught me. You made me think that was the only way I could be happy or beautiful. You lied to me, Edie.

I can’t do this anymore.

We are done. I have a family, and they love me for me. It’s not like before. No one is putting me down. My family loves me, and for once, I love me. The best part of this journey is that I learned to love me without you. I can’t do this anymore.

Even if I never see myself that way that I wish I could, leaving you behind is the best step for me. You’ve always wanted me to be happy, so please let me go this time. I can’t love you anymore, Edie. It’ll kill me next time.

When I had no one to turn to and hated myself, you consumed me with this false sense of comfort and love. I appreciate that you tried, but you didn’t try to make me feel better like I convinced myself. You tried to devour all of my hopes and happiness.

It’s time. I need to do this, or I never will. We are done, and we are done for good. I don’t want or need you anymore. And for once, I’m not sorry, Edie.

Goodbyes are Hard

If you’ve never struggled with an ED, this letter may confuse you. Many people are surprised by the love and attachment that people feel towards their disorder. For many years and as sick as it sounds, I felt like it was the only interesting thing about me.

I felt like a loser, but at least I was a survivor. My dream has always been to help others, write, and speak about what I am passionate about. My ED made me feel like it was the only factor giving me leverage for people to listen and learn.

Without it, I felt like just a girl who grew up in a low class family who had a rocky past. I felt like a cliché whose story had been told a million times. Those negative feelings were my ED clouding my judgement and keeping me down.

Bigger than Bodies

Eating disorders have more power than just making someone hate their body. They consume you and belittle you day after day, but like an abusive relationship, they say sorry in their own ways. It’s incredibly toxic.

Being on this journey and sharing my story with all of you has also made leaving my ED behind a challenge. Without an active eating disorder, it felt like I couldn’t be who I really was. When I was trying to be “better,” I felt like a sham.

Honestly, I didn’t know who I was, even when I started this blog. I’ve always tried to be open and honest with you all, but there are some thoughts that just couldn’t be shared. Not only did I let my ED back into my life this past year, I wanted it back in my life.

Criticism

As a mom, I already face criticism and guilt for having anxiety and depression. Adding suicidal thoughts, emptiness, and an eating disorder to all of that felt like the cards were getting stacked too high. Connecting with many amazing souls in the blogging community and mental health community helped me in a way that I still can’t put into words.

I want to beat this damn eating disorder, and I now know that I can and will. This journey has also taught me to let go of the judgement and opinions of others. I was able to find my strength before it was too late, and that was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to write Eat the Damn Muffin.

Being a mom, writing, and helping others are the biggest reasons that I want to live. I want to live and help others who’ve struggled. This year of yo-yoing with what I want and who I am taught me so much about myself. I’m ready to move on from who I used to be.

Believe in Me

Time and time again, I felt like every relapse made me more of a failure. It made me feel like I failed as a mom and just as a human. I started purging in the ninth grade. At 14 years old, I was purging almost everything, and I became good at hiding it.

From 14 to 22, I would purge if I felt too full, if I ate a food I labeled as “bad,” or if something bad happened. I was in an extremely toxic relationship, and I purged any and every time things got bad or scary. The ins and outs of what happened in the relationship don’t matter anymore. That’s not who I am or where I am in my life, so it’s time for me to move on from scars of my past.

Honestly, I’ve dug my feet into the ground with my ED, but it is time to completely let go. For the last 6 years, I’ve been in “recovery.” However, I’ve relapsed more times than I can count. I’m just ready to be done. Tired but ready.

For once, I believe in me. I believe that I am completely and totally capable of loving myself wholly and getting better. Sure, I’ve come close and healed in bits and pieces, but now I’m ready to be wholly healed.

Thank You

Thank you for the support through all of this. Without this community, my book, and my family, I wouldn’t want the same things. I know my worth now, and I will continue to eat the damn muffin and love myself in the morning.

This won’t be easy, but nothing that is worth it ever is. I will continue to grow, thrive, and share my story, because I am more than my eating disorder. And I am beautiful.

-With Love,

Jenni

10 thoughts on “Dear Edie: A Letter to My Eating Disorder”

  1. I haven’t purged in close to a year. I do greatly miss my eating disorder daily. I want to do it again so badly but I am able to fight it. You are capable of loving yourself as you are without your eating disorder

    1. I can definitely sympathize with those urges. It’s been a challenge, but it’s also worth it.

  2. This was beautifully composed and really raw with regards to how twisted relationships with negative addictions and disorders can be. I felt everything you said. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I’m proud of you Jenni! To walk away from an eating disorder is one of the hardest things to do, I left mine 8 years ago after a 30 year relationship, and recently became ill (not ed related) but did lose weight from this and it did cross my mind about going back.

    We make everyday our best on our recovery journey, here if you need someone to talk to about it xx

  4. So wonderfully written and coming from so deep in within your soul. You are an inspiration. I was fortunate to never have an eating disorder, but had friends that did and I saw the struggle and it is painful.

Leave a Reply