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A Goodbye Letter To My Anorexia

A response to my conversation with Anorexia.

Anorexia. You are the deadly disease plaguing my life, making me truly believe I need you in order to be safe and secure. You are loud and commanding, persistent, a bully. You have held me hostage, screaming that I need you to survive, daring me not to tell anyone that I do not in fact want to be trapped here with you. You have made me feel safe in times I could not find safety elsewhere, and you have been my greatest danger when I had safe havens all around me.

You have lied to me many times, telling me I am not sick enough and eating is dangerous. But Ana, what is sick enough? You won’t explain yourself. You only scream.

Comforted is not the right word to describe you, but you numbed my emotions when everything felt like it was too much. You kept me from constantly feeling overwhelmed and helped to keep me safe in the sense of my emotions being quietened. With no energy to respond to anything, you helped me in your own way.

Ana, you are right, I am strong. Not because I spent many years listening to you, but because I dare to question you. The only part of me that does want to stay with you is the me that is worried of relapse, worried I am not capable of recovery. Worried that you are right and you will kill me. But I can recover, and I will recover, and on the off chance you beat me, I will go down fighting. You promised me listening to you was going to put me in control of my life, and for some time that felt very true. But now you’re only hurting me. You have taken over all my control and you won’t give it back without this fight. I hate to fight, but I will fight to not live with you all my life.

We are not one and the same; we are in fact very different beings in many ways. You lie to get your way. You are loud. You apparently enjoy screaming. These things are not my forte. Ana, you have been with me through a great deal, so thank you for sticking with me. But now you only cause harm, and I have so many other protectors that you are no longer needed.

I do not need you to be proud of me—I can be proud of me. Thank you for trying, Ana, but you can go now.