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My Divorce Letter to My Eating Disorder

By Mary Pat Nally

Dear Eating Disorder:

It has been a tough couple weeks. I am tired, exhausted actually. I feel as though my strength is gone. I have been thinking about how long we have been together. When I think about it, I get frustrated, angry, discouraged and empty.

I met you when I was in the sixth grade. You wanted to be my friend when no one else would. You helped me with math and spelling. Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating. You said #1 Don’t trust anyone because they will end up hurting or leaving me. #2 Don’t tell anyone anything because they really don’t care anyway. #3 Feelings are to be kept to myself.

You have saved me from conflict, kept me focus, helped me become independent and you kept me safe. You also kept me from forming relationships, you controlled me, you told me that the numbers on the scale was all that mattered. You were mean to me and you allowed others to be mean to me too. I was not strong enough to tell them to stop.

You taught me to hate my body, to despise everything about it. You said my hair was too curly, my shoulders were too broad, my breasts were too big, my thighs were too fat, my stomach needed to be cut out, and my calves were just huge. You convinced me that no man would ever find me attractive and that the world would be better off if I were invisible.

I appreciate you taking care of me when I needed you. I don’t need you anymore. I have been running from you for the past 12 years and wherever I go there you are, ready, willing and waiting. I have gone as far away as Alaska to try to get rid of you. I jumped out of a plane 5 thousand feet in the air, Climbed 30 ft in the air and walked along a cable, both things I did trying to get rid of you.

I loved to serve others, then you got all clingy and told me that unless I served others they wouldn’t want me around. Some days you even tried to get me to stay in bed and not go to work. That didn’t work because you were sending me mixed messages. On one hand you told me to stay in bed and on the other hand you told me that I had to be the perfect teacher. You didn’t care that it was my first year. You told me to get up at 4:30am to work on my lesson plans, you let my kids walk all over me. For 9 years of my life you had me running away from myself. You told me that I didn’t need God and sometimes I actually believed you.

When I started teaching you tried to tell me that God didn’t matter, that sleep was more important. I have God on my side at church. I ignored you. I put my heart into my singing. I also started to form relationships with others and stayed in one place for a year. You hated that! You wanted me all to yourself.

I wasn’t strong enough to keep you away. My confidence was shot and I was afraid of people. You told me I looked like a kid and that adults were never going to accept me. You said that men would never find me attractive. You made me afraid of myself, never comfortable in my own skin. You told me I was short, fat and ugly and I believed you. You should be ashamed of yourself, ruining my life like that. I am putting in for a divorce and taking you to court. You are being sued for personality theft, personal damages, and I am getting sole custody of myself. You have no visitation rights - If you try to visit I will be ready. I might not be strong now, the people around me help me to become strong. They love me, they believe in me, they value my presence on this earth.


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