Dear Eating Disorder,

Despite you making countless attempts to communicate with me, I know we don’t talk often. I know it's been four years since you took root in my body, soul and mind, but I wanted to say one last thing: thank you.

All those sleepless nights my stomach growled with hunger and I shivered helplessly in bed because five blankets still wasn't enough to keep me warm. All the days I dreaded waking up because I knew it would just be a battle with the demon inside my head: you. All the friends I lost, the bonds I broke and the self-hatred I developed so intensely.

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The meals I skipped, the calories I counted and the thoughts I had. The feeling of numbness that entered my body as I moved through day-to-day motions, the feeling of immense guilt whenever I would fight with those I love, the feeling of confusion and despair as I stared in the mirror and couldn't decipher who I was.

The days we talked for hours and you beat me down and I helped you. The thoughts you instilled in my brain and made me believe were true. The push you gave me to get sicker and sicker and more and more unhappy. The feeling you made me feel when I lost each pound.

But despite your strongest efforts, you lost the game to take my life.

You lost grasp of the soul you tried so hard to break into millions of pieces. I won. I won the day I was admitted to treatment and I swore to God I would do anything to get healthy. I won when I went through the hardest time of my life to get rid of you for good. I won when I ate foods I swore I never would, when I drank Ensure and Boost to supplement my 2300+ calorie diet. No matter how hard you try to get me to go back I will refuse.

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There are days when you speak so loudly inside my head, but I refuse to hear you out. There are times when you force me to look at pictures or read old journal diaries bringing me back to those days, those moments of darkness, and I won't listen.

The days when you tell me I am worthless now, at a higher weight and a happier state. The days when I have the urges to be in pain to make the voices end along with my life.

The words you use to try to convince me to want to go back. The words you use that makes the loneliness and isolation feel enticing. Those are the times I have to remember that I won. Those are the moments I have to close my eyes and realize the happiness I feel now. Those are the times you're trying so hard to reel me back in and I have to break the line. Those are the days I have to remember that you lost once and you will lose again. Those are the days I have to remember the strength I used to break you when your grip was so tight around me.

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When I left you behind–when you finally escaped my head, my body, my soul–I slowly regained everything you took from me. When you left me, I began to pick up the broken pieces of everything I left behind. I found the friendships I broke, I mended the family I teared apart but mostly I found myself. I found who I wanted to be, I found the love I needed for myself, I found the girl you tore down, beat up and tried to defeat. I found the girl you twisted and morphed into someone I couldn't even recognize.

However once you left, I was lost. I forgot how to think on my own, to make my own choices from day to day. Without the voice in my head telling me I was nothing, I didn't know who I was. Slowly, through the six treacherous months it took me to heal, through the stomach aches from binges, the force-feeding from doctors and family, the immense fear and confusion, I relearned how to live.

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I rediscovered the beauty in life, in living and in myself. You took everything from me, but through it, you gave me so much more. You gave me a fight to be passionate about. You gave me a chance to realize my talent in helping others you tried to take down. You gave us a chance to build an army of fighters.

With the hell you put me through, the pain, suffering and the doubt you injected into my veins, I want to thank you. Thank you for letting me realize my own strengths. Thank you for letting me see the power I hold and the courage I posses within.

You tried to kill me and I decided not to be a victim, but a survivor.

Goodbye eating disorder. Thank you for all you’ve done.

Yours truly,


If you're interested in reading more articles about eating disorders, Spoon University has many informative and enlightening articles about eating disorders such as this article by Nancy Chen or this article by Mallory Shanner along with a plethora of others. If you're seeking help with your own disease or even seeking information to help a loved one I urge you to visit the National Eating Disorder Awareness website or call the Information & Referral Helpline at (800) 931-2237.