“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
- Brené Brown

 

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Letters to ED

April 14, 2008

Dear ED,
Paradox.  That's what characterizes our relationship.  You have put me through hell, yet I continue to stick by your side and long for your presence in my life.  I have essentially spent my entire life hating myself and, therefore, looking for a way to resolve the self-hatred and self-doubt.  You became my solution, or so I thought.

You have been with me during the lowest points of my life, encouraging me to self-destruct even further.  I spent my college years miserable and isolated, studying non-stop except to engage in ED behaviors.  I graduated from college with few to no friends, a dead-end job, and you still tagging along.  I have given up social outings because of self-consciousness or food issues.  I have become distanced from once close family members that provided me with positive support.  You not only destroyed my social life, which was somewhat lacking in the first place, but you also have destroyed my body and my spirit.  My bones are that of a 75-year-old woman.  I've lost all sense of hunger and fullness, and I continue to manipulate the meal plan because of the fears you place in my head.  I do feel fortunate that you have not left me with any lasting, irreversible effects, but it scares me that I tend to minimize what you have done to me.  I have always appeared to others as having it all together and being a stable, independent, healthy, and strong individual.  Maybe that's why it was so easy for you to weasel your way into my life.  My double life was too much to handle.  I was exhausted from playing the role of the "perfect" girl.  Yet, the paradox is that you have encouraged perfectionism during our journey and have fought "tooth and nail" for me to achieve such unrealistic goals.  

Even now, after seven years of awareness of your destructive, manipulative nature, I spend my days obsessing about you-what to eat or not eat, how to burn off the calories, whether to give into my urges to binge and purge.  Even though I know that you only reinforce my negative self-image, I still can't seem to let you go.  My desire to be thin, beautiful, and perfect is overwhelming and all-consuming.  I buy into your sales pitch that external beauty provides happiness, even though I've seen it not work.  I guess a part of me wants to believe the lie because I know I have the capability of controlling my weight and achieving my "ED goals." 

The problem with you, ED, is that I can also see past your glamorous nature, which reveals your dark side-the negative, destructive, painful side.  I don't want you to control me anymore.  I want to be free from the obsessions and the false hope that you can make me happy, beautiful, and perfect.  I want to accept myself as I am and strive for health-mind, body, and soul.  I'm not sure that I've ever achieved such wellness.  For a long time, I have felt hopeless and unsure that I could ever rid myself of you.  With a new perspective and the support of Dr. Susie and Niki, I'm starting to believe that I could survive, and maybe even soar, without you.  The thought of such a life scares me more than I can express, but I have seen others overcome your wicked ways, and that gives me hope that I can too.  Your days are numbered, ED.  This paradoxical relationship no longer serves me, and I'm ready to replace it with harmony. 

Goodbye ED.


Dear Ed,

We've been through a lot.  You've been by my side for as long as I can remember.  You are the only one in the world that actually knows everything about me.  You were the only one there through so many of hard times, and you are the absolute ONLY one that has NEVER left me.  You always convinced me I was right, and you told me what I wanted to hear.  I love you.

I hate you Ed.  You've completely destroyed me.  Because of you, I've learned to despise myself.  You've ruined basically every one of my relationships.  You have almost taken away my entire life.

I would love to ditch you.  I'd be thrilled to never hear your voice again.  I'd finally be able to be to the real me.

But you still have a tight grip over me and my messed up life.  Truth is, I'm too scared to leave you, too scared to lose someone else, too scared of people seeing the real me.

You're a bitch.  Love you.


ED,
 
Susie asked, “Why are you so afraid?” and I, with my bloodshot eyes couldn’t tell her, “Because…” I didn’t know why it was I feared everything around me. I feared my own shadow, yet for some reason, when the sun came out, I continued to look down. Now, instead of looking down, I am looking toward the sun envisioning myself soaring!
 
I never thought the day would come when I could say I am finally letting go of you. You have stolen so much from me and I am ready to get it all back. You cannot own me. I will not be a pawn in your game any longer. My wings, they are growing ED…a little more every minute. Why? Because I deserve beauty! I deserve strength! I deserve freedom!
 
Letting go is certainly not easy. In fact, it may be the single most challenging thing I have tried doing in my entire life. Yet, I have a peace about it because I know you are not my master and that I am making the right choice. It may hurt like hell now. It may be confusing and horrifying but it will be worth every second of it!!! The pain of letting go is better than the pain of holding on!
 
So as I embark on this journey toward real healing, may you remember that you are not as tough as you think you are. You are not high and mighty. You are weak and powerless. You are nothing more than a voice in my head telling me I am not good enough the way I am. I have news for you ED, God makes no mistakes and when he created me, he created me GOOD ENOUGH!!!
 
Goodbye ED! Toodles! Sianora! Au Revoir! Kiss my ‘recovering’ BUTT!


Dear ED,

You've been a part of my life for so long, in many ways I don't know where I end and you begin.  You are so entrenched in my psyche and so twisted and wrapped around every fiber in my brain and all of the flesh in my body.  You've been with me long before the trendy "ED" euphemism became a reference for you.  Reading the term "Mia" recently, I like that better, as I don't see you as a man, but the very worst of what a woman can be to another woman - critical, biting, hateful, judgmental, gossipy and cruel.

I also see you as the cartoon characters the devil and the angel sitting on each one of my stooped shoulders (you've worn me down).  You are tricky - whether tempting me with evil or rewarding me for good - the behavior you always urge me to engage in is the same - destruction.  Bingeing.  Purging. (I hate those terms, too).

You are a series of contradictions; extremes; highs and lows; blacks and whites; all or nothings.  Perfection is the standard, which is never attainable.  The result is feeling a really deep sense of failure, always.  With you - a slip equals a slide into oblivion.  One mistake equals another wasted day.

You are a chameleon.  You are wine, you are vodka, you are cigarettes, you are men, and you are food.  Living with you is like playing a non-stop carnival game of whack-a-mole.  Lights flashing, noises, I can't control the moles.  They're everywhere and they always elude me.  Chasing them drains my energy; zaps my soul.

You are deceitful; you taunt me and trick me.  You offer me excuses and distractions, and tell me it will be okay.  Just this one time.  It will be better tomorrow.  It will be better then; after that…  Next time will be different.

You are my best friend, my only friend.  Yet you are my worst enemy.  You are hateful and constantly judge me.  You convince me that it is necessary to judge others.  That it will make me feel better.  That taking from them will mean more for me.  Making me think I'm better than others - and then hating myself because I know I'm not.  You are in my head always criticizing.  Always criticizing and always talking me down.  Nothing is ever right - there is always something better.  A choice I did not make is the right one; the better one.  I have missed out.

I eat to silence you.  To silence the emotions and to stop the pain.  You soothe me and nurture me, but you don't.  You are temporary, fleeting.  A fix.  A nasty, dirty habit no different than a back alley addict on heroin. 

You have robbed me of thirty FUCKING years.  Time is gone - wasted.  Relationships are lost; ruined; never were; still aren't.  Talent and promise of a future have been squandered.  The biggest and most painful irony is that you have not let me enjoy one morsel of food I have ever put into my mouth.  And that you control my mind, my every thought - are you are all I know.

July 24, 2007


Dear ED-
Oh where to start... you've been there for me through it all: 8 mile runs, minimal calorie intake, training on my "off days", throwing up whatever I did manage to eat, lying to the people who cared about me the most, turning away from my friends, stealing laxatives, and drunk & alcohol abuse. The list goes on and on - I'm sure more will come to mind as I continue to recognize all that you've done for me.
Starting less than a year ago you snuck your way into my life by just helping me lose a couple pounds... or at least that's what I thought. In the beginning I assumed you were just normal thoughts in my head that everyone had - apparently not. You quickly formed your own identity within me and before I knew it you were controlling every aspect of my life. It's funny... all my life I'd been "the stubborn girl". The girl who stuck to her morals and never let anyone tell her what to do. The girl who would go out of her way, only to prove that you were wrong and she was right. But when I welcomed you into my life, suddenly that strong, independent, happy girl wasted away. I no longer knew who she was. In place of her strength you gave me just what I wanted - a thinner body. Well, there were a few strings attached. You also forced me into a lifestyle of hurt and pain, filled with denial, anger, insecurity and weakness. I had subconsciously allowed you to brainwash me. Before I knew it I completely hated myself & the only thing I was able to appreciate in my life was you. Little did I know that you were behind the scenes the entire time, laughing at me more and more with every new, deadly habit that I fell into. By the time I realized your deceitful, manipulative ways it was too late. I couldn't control you anymore. The one thing that I had sworn I had authority over had completely engulfed my thoughts, actions, and constant preoccupations.
Ok - So back to everything you've done & been there for me through. I must have forgotten to mention all the times you were with me, or should I say CAUSED me, to be in and out of doctors appointments and emergency rooms. I'll never forget the day I was diagnosed with Mitrovalve Prolapse. You told me I was weak and to quit bitching about everything... that I should suck it up and fight through it. After all, that's what athletes do... right?
As that strong, smart, intelligent girl faded out of my life more and more - I clung to you tighter and tighter, thriving on your every word. I put myself in more dangerous positions and situations than I can even begin to count, but I was never afraid. I knew you'd be there to catch me when I started to fall. Well, before I realized that you were the one pushing & shoving me all along, purposely making me slip.
Anyways, I'm gonna cut the shit now and get a few things off my chest. I fucking hate you! You stole my life... my senior year, my stability, my health, and my common sense. When I look back at the things that I did because of you, I wonder how I didn't unintentionally end up killing myself or someone else. Let me remind of a few past memories in case I'm confusing you - drinking & driving every weekend, sneaking out to party or exercise every night, running miles on end at 2 in the morning... in 0 degree weather with snow on the ground, and last - the one I can't seem to forget: The day you made me give one of my best friends a new idea... another death trap. A pill - but not just any pill, one that you promoted. Without thinking twice about it I let her in on one of my self-destructive ways, and the worst part of all... she was as mentally and physically weak as me. You had intruded into her life too. Expecting a friendship, she had trusted me - something I didn't deserve. I gave her an extra alley to death; in case the ones she already had weren't working fast enough. I'll never forgive myself for that and I hope she knows how sorry I am.
To top everything off, you had such a firm grip on me that in order to have a chance at breaking free I had to go to an in-patient facility. At the time, when I found out I had to go, I hated everything so much & wanted to hold onto you forever. But now, a week after getting back home, I realize how much you had taken from me and how lucky I was to be given a chance to start over. Not a day goes by that I don't thank god for Susie and all that she's done to help me get my life back. Without her I'd be dead... but not buried alone - you'd be laying right there next to me, smiling... telling me how great I did. After all, the best anorexic is a dead one, right? So let me say this once & for all - I hate you more than anyone could even begin to understand and I want nothing more than for you to stay out of my life once & for all. It's time for me to regain all that I've lost... without your help!
 
-Ashley
April 2007


Dear ED,  

I am sitting here, late evening, listening to the sound of thunder outside my window. You are sitting here with me reminding me of your existence. I haven't addressed you in over three years because perhaps I thought you already got my message. You seemed to step away and give me the space I needed, but you were just re-energizing. You wanted to implant it in my head that you were not really going anywhere.

So, here we are in mid-April 2007…twelve years into our relationship and you still haven't changed. You continue to cause damage that may not be repairable. For what? Why are you still here when you know I will never be good enough for you?

I was developing into a young lady with slight curves and nubby breasts. I was active, muscular, and for the most part "normal." Then, you introduced yourself in the midst of my adolescence. You told me how I was doing things wrong and how you could help me improve my life. Do you remember? Do you recall sharing your secrets? I welcomed you, a new friend, but once you were here, you no longer wanted to be a friend. Instead, you forced me into a straight-jacket and the hell began. Suddenly I couldn't eat, sleep, or breathe on my own. I couldn't move unless you lifted me up, put my feet on the floor and pushed me. I was blind and thought I could trust you, but you turned against me. I was yours and you were laughing.

Everyone around me commented. I became misunderstood and crazy. The interventions, the therapy sessions, the nine days in the hospital…these things were a joke to you.

I guess I can't fully blame you, however, since I allowed you to dictate my life. I knew you weren't good for me and I didn't do anything to stop you. When I did try to confront you, you tightened the chains on the straight-jacket. You told me I was finally succeeding at something and that no one could ever take you away from me. You transformed my mind, my thoughts and my appearance. I wondered if maybe you were just trying to be a friend.

ED, you are foolish to wish death upon me when ultimately I am the decision-maker. You can hate me and you can hate the Higher Power, but you can't control me any longer. You can't kill me because I will kill you first. Try and I will fight you. You will have no feeling and it will be your heart that breaks. I am aware of your presence and your purpose. I know your intentions. My curves have disappeared and you think you are winning this game. There can only be one winner and you will be pissed when I am walking away with the trophy-LIFE!

You are a liar, a thief, and no longer a comfort. I will not let myself cry when you go. Suffer eternally because you are the one who deserves it.

Sincerely,
Meredith


Dear ED,

For almost two years now, you’ve stuck by my side. Although you seemed like such a great friend, I had to keep you secret. You were the one thing in my life that no one knew about or tried to control, but now you have taken total control over my life. Nothing I do is good enough for you. I lose 40 pounds and it is still not enough. No matter how many sit-ups I do, my stomach is not flat enough. I look into the mirror and you laugh at me, call me fat and tell me not to eat all day or else I’ll gain five pounds. You’re constantly there telling me to lose weight. If I’m thinking about eating something, you’ll remind me that if I’m strong and resist it, I’ll be a size 0 in no time. You push me to keep running when I’m too tired to run any more. Even though I keep losing sizes, it’s still not small enough. When will I be good enough, ED?

Many of the people around me are starting to notice. They can see me getting thinner, paler, and more distant. I’m almost like a ghost floating by and so consumed in my own little world of calories and weight and exercise that you have trapped me in. But that’s what you want. I’ve listening to you for a while now. I can remember back to dance class in elementary school when I thought I looked too fat in my costume. About two years ago, you started to take more of a role in my life. Even though I like acting and theatre, I can’t try out for any plays because I’m afraid of everyone staring at me and my fat. So many things are passing me by and I shrug it off because you keep telling me that this plan will make me perfect eventually.

I want to become one of those thin, ghost-like beauties that I see walk down the runway. I love fashion and as I watch these beautiful models show off their slim bodies, you tell me that I don’t deserve to wear that designer clothing until I’m skinny like the models. They’re so perfect, my ideal perception of perfection. rI’m getting closer to my goal weight yet I’m drifting further apart from everything else. All of my friends can go out and have a good time, but I’m forced to put all of my energy into making myself into the image I so desperately want to see in the mirror.

It’s not fair that you haunt me every single day of my life. Why must you make me hate myself and believe that I’m so huge and disgusting? I can’t even go out to eat with friends without you creating a game out of it and you love setting the rules. I can’t eat more than anyone at the table and I’m forbidden to take the first bite. I must eat less than the skinniest person. Often, you allow me to eat whatever I want as long as I purge it afterward. All of this purging has started to damage my teeth and I can hardly get up without feeling dizzy. I endure all of this because I want perfection. You tell me that I will be thin and have control. Control of my life, my weight and control of all of those bad comments people used to make to me when I was an overweight child.

You are my friend and my enemy. I know I need to break away from you but you’re my life and I don’t want to give it up. The cycle of bingeing, purging and restricting has been embedded into my mind over the years by you. I love it yet I hate it. I don’t want to give you up, but I don’t want to give up my life either, so it’s you, ED, that will have to go.

Love,

Alex


Dear ED,

I am not sure what you are to me, a friend or a foe. It depends on what day it is on whether I am gung-ho and on the recovery train or your best friend and not letting go. Sometimes I wonder why I got cursed with you. But then sometimes I am glad that I got to be with you because I was able to get to do all the things that I did do. I mean, man you helped me accomplish a lot. I don’t really know what to tell you. I wish that I could tell you to f**k off and to get away, because that’s what I feel what I should be saying now. I feel that I need to live up to the expectations of my recovery team and recover on time, or else I’ll be put back in a crazy hospital. So what happens then, I lie and tell them I’m great—but I can no longer lie. I can no longer have that evil- or somewhat gratefully deceitful part of you- or I will lose my therapist. If I lose her. I don’t know what I’ll do.

My parents tell me I will be f**ked. I know I’m f**ked already. I don’t think she knows how far engrained I am in with you yet. I really don’t think she knows how big of a problem I have yet because I really have let her into my f**ked up little life. But back to the f**king honesty. So I have to be honest; I hate honesty. So I don’t really know what to write in this letter. Well I guess I do know what I want to write at the bottom of my heart vs. what I should write because it would be recovery savvy. I really want to write this recovery savvy f**king s**t and get out of this therapy s**t as soon as possible. Get on with my life…seriously. Go back to school. Graduate then go to grad school. Get a job. Have friends and a family. Have fun.

But I’m stuck in this crazy place, this crazy place where I am so god d**n depressed, and to be quite honest, I see no f**king light. Instead of seeing visions of sugarplums dancing in my head - its visions of donuts and the next time I can sneak out to binge and purge. I know I am a rager, I am a huge rager. I am not going to deny that at any expense. You help me get rid of those f**king bottled up emotions when I purge and it feels so good. I just don’t know what to say to you right now. I need your f**king bulimic rager out of control side because you can control my emotions like no others. You make me feel loved, deserved, and hopeful. You fill my void. You make me feel whole. But then again, I am not stupid, I know that when I purge it only gets rid of 60-80% of the s**t I have eaten, which is s**t that I should have never eaten in the first place.

It’s like a boatload of high caloric foods. I don’t need anything over 20 calories. On to my next point. I am very disappointed in you ED, why do I not have an anorexic bone in my body at the current moment? I need one? Or like a million? God I AM SO F**KING FAT, FAT TO THE INFINITH power. I need and deserve to starve and get so skinny that my hair falls out and all my bones show. I don’t need these boobs. I don’t need all this f**king fat on my body. I am so disgusted with myself and with you for letting me get this way. And if I go to a treatment center they will only keep this s**t up. BOO. This is s**t yo. I don’t need it. I just need to be super skinny. That will make me happy. I WAS happy when I was a size 0. And I will be happy when I am a size 0 again. I didn’t have any medical complications from it, and I won’t. My body is meant to be like that. Trust me. I’m the f**king one who has to live in it, so wouldn’t I know?? Yes, yes, I do believe, thank you ED, I really don’t know else to tell you. Stop letting me out of control bulimic. I can’t gain any more weight. Then if I binge and don’t purge (although the treatment team thinks it’s so great) I feel like I’m a compulsive over eater which pisses me off more. Just let me be thin again. I will be happy—then it will all be good.

Part 2

Okay, after being in denial, what ED would like to call minor self destruction- but in reality any self destruction is self destruction, there is no minor, it just is what it is. This is because of my failed attempt at my planned major binge/purge/alcohol thing. Depression and memory just had me forget about parts of my plan before I went back home. To my depressive state where I slept a bit more. Then I finally broke the silence with Ashton and broke down crying. I know I am freaking out about thanksgiving and that’s why I am doing so bad. Most of my family doesn’t even know that I have an eating disorder, let alone how to react or treat someone that does. After having some good quality talking time with her about this, and then some more introspection—I decided that it was time to have dinner and then rewrite the letter to ED. (I mean, DUH I have to be healthy).


Dear ED,

You are one huge f**k. I don’t want you to control me anymore. You make me think that I am worthless and cannot do anything. You have manipulated me so much and made me lie and do all these horrible things for so long. I don’t know why I listen to you or ever have listened my entire life. Well I guess it’s because it’s the only thing that I have ever known, that’s why. But today is different. Today I was honest with A. We have our own little halfway house going and you are not welcome, so hang yourself at the door. Seriously. I have never been able to be honest with people. But I am opening up and telling my secrets. My secrets that you have told me to keep hidden for so long. It’s really better when I tell them, you know. But how would you know, you only know how things are done your way—the way in the darkness. I’m just sick of you and you’re god d**n bull s**t. I’m sick of you telling me that your way is better because I know intellectually that it is not. Your way is not healthy. Your way will not make me happy. Your way will only kill me. Your way is the road to hell. But why in the world would I follow it? You are just like the devil so manipulating, making it sound so delightful and wonderful. But you aren’t. YOU SUCK ED.

You are no more than a f**king piece of trash. I never thought that I would admit this in writing but here I go: ALL of your “coping” strategies that you provide me with just make me feel like s**t. So then I have to resort to something else since I had to use one of your god d**n coping mechanisms. You are not worth what you have gotten of my life. You are not worth any of it. You are not even worth a second of it. I want you to know that I have plans out there, ED. The plans are much bigger than just focusing on food all day; they are having a life-friends-career-family-fun-making a difference. Not being a bulimic b**ch like I am currently. So I would like to say goodbye. This is not a sad or bitter sweet good bye. This is a happy farewell. As I am happy to see you go. Don’t let the door kick you in the a** on the way out.


Dear ED,

I feel weird writing to you right now, almost as though I were writing to a friend I haven’t kept in touch with or an ex-boyfriend. I don’t know where we stand or what to say to you. I really don’t even want to waste my energy on you, and just want you to know I’m writing this for my good and not to give you my time. For so long you consumed me, you were what kept me going and the evil that whispered lies in my ear. Even though you were bad and I knew you were, somehow I wanted you to work out in my life; I wanted the lies to be true. What lies you may ask? The lies that are on my unhealthy poster, that beauty is being thin, that the lower numbers on the scale meant I was successful, that not eating meant I had self-control. You lied by telling me that people would like me more if I were skinnier and that everyone around me thought I was fat. I wanted to be good at something, wanted worth and value, but all I got was misery.

So now where do we stand ED? Most of the time I am truly living life now, and it feels great. I don’t need you and I feel confident about who I am both inside and out. What really makes me mad is that you seem to know when I am weak. You know when I’m having low self-esteem or feel lonely and that’s when you creep back in. Just tonight I felt bad for eating a meal that was less than 400 calories because you convinced me that I had eaten too much. The good news is that I no longer completely believe you. I might fight with you in my head but it doesn’t take me long to recognize your lies. The other thing you still try to do is make me feel bad about loosing my image as the “girl who is too skinny.” Although I should be happy about that, a part of me is a bit sad, I no longer stand out, and am now just “normal.” Shouldn’t that make me happy? The fact that I’m a little disappointed about my weight gain, even ashamed at times, tells me you are still creeping around. What I want from you is to get out of my life and stay out. I truly don’t need you and the thought of you disgusts me. You’re wasting your time hanging around me because I deserve better than you and don’t want to be your friend. That’s all for now.

Erin


Listen up ED,
The tables are turning,
Grab a marker to take notes
This is a permanent lesson you'll be learning.

You are no longer in charge,
Your voice will not be heard
I won't obey your commands
Nor fear your every word.

I will ignore all that you say,
All that you make me feel
Because you are an illusion, you are fake-
I'm the one who is real!

Go ahead, laugh all you want,
You think I'll buckle,
But I'll get the last chuckle,
You've burst mine one too many times,
Now I'm bursting your bubble!

Your bubble of insanity, deceit,
Distortion and death!
My body and mind are two beautiful temples
That you won't ever again molest.

It's time for you funeral
Time for Kristi to be released
Go to hell ED, you ugly Beast!
You don't deserve to
Rest in Peace!

Kristi


Dear ED,

You, the one who criticizes me over everything I do; the one who calls me such nasty names; who tells me how fat, stupid, ugly I am; the one who tells me how horrible of a mother I am; who crouches over me like a forever lasting shadow; who sneaks up on me when I am alone; who shows me just how disgusting and fat I really am; who lies to me over and over again; who makes me neglect my own true feelings; who makes me forget about myself and all the pain that I have; who makes me sad when I am somewhat happy; who disappoints me when I am proud; who eats at me like a cancerous sore; who makes my beautiful daughter scared and sad; who makes my family frustrated and mad; who makes me feel worthless, hopeless, not worth anything! I hate you ED, with all of my heart. You have done nothing but DESTROY my life! YOU are worthless! I'll hate you for the rest of my life.

Now, I am switching the control! I am going to be happy and healthy and take care of my wonderful daughter. I am going to ignore you, block you out of my mind and memory forever!! I am taking back MY LIFE ED, you piece of s**t! You are scum on the bottom of my shoe!!!

So, now you are going to be alone forever and feel the pain and hurt that I have been in for so long. But you, ED, will feel it forever and you are going to die from it and be all alone for the rest of your life. And, I will smile and crouch over you because you are nothing!

The ideals which will light my way and time after time give me new courage to face life cheerfully, will be kindness, beauty and truth.

Nicole


Dear ED,

There is no logical explanation for our relationship. I despise you with all the hate and loathing that I contain. You have stolen my friends, my family, my emotions, my health and my life. You have murdered me. You made a promise and broke it. You lied to me. You convinced me that everything in the world was one way and I found that it wasn't that way at all. You led me down a path of deception and destruction and you crushed me. Then you abandoned me leaving me cold, alone, terrified, and lost.

While I hate you for all of this, you have been all that I have had. You've been my closest friend and companion. When we were close, I loved you. I thought we'd be together forever and I loved that thought. You picked me up when I was down; comforted me when I was hurting, and loved me when no one else did. I couldn't imagine life without you. I know that we are over. Our friendship has to end. For so long you seemed to complete me. Even my friends met you and didn't say anything. No words of comfort, warning, or concern. They let you kill me and I know it's your fault. You still attract me and I miss you with every passing day, but each day it's easier. Slowly I tear your fingers from my throat and slowly I can breath again. I don't need you now and I will never need you again. I did need you then, but that time is over. I am in control of me, not you. You are strong and the fight is hard, but I've seen what you can do and the damage you have done and I will not let you do that to me.

Brian


Dear ED,

Master in disguise. This is exactly who you are. My master that I have grown to obey at every crack of your whip. The disguise of who I am, the real Elizabeth; the one whom I can faintly recognize in my shadow as I trudge through this living hell I followed you to.

I hate you, hate you with every ounce of what weight is left on me, and every brittle bone in my body. Silly me left the door wide open for you to just stroll into my life with your hat turned backwards and your shades on thinking you were hot stuff. That was my first mistake; giving you the time of day, and eventually putting my life in your hands.

I felt like you were a vampire as you slowly began sucking away my life. You began with my brain; slowly knowing at that and turning around my thoughts. Then you ventured into my heart, slowly depleting it. All the while, you, my master, were diminishing me of everything, the very essence of my life. I really liked you at first because you came into my life and gave me a sense of control. This feeling was great, I felt powerful and on top of the world. Ironically; the whole time you have reigned over me, my life has just been spinning in a faster whirlwind as you have imprisoned me with your wrath. You provided me with what I thought were security, friendship, guidance, kind words, and love. Yet, every one of these things were false. Your deceptive ways took me by storm and became the center of my life. Like everything was going my way. I could not eat, and still feel great. Wow I once thought, this is great and everyone tells me I look good. I'm not going to lie, I liked the comments people made, about my weight. I thought everything was just going great. In the meantime my insides were being twisted up like in a knot. Like a knot on a pair of shorts, which just keeps getting bigger as you try to tie them over and over again, a knot that eventually gets so big it is almost impossible to undo.

Impossible until now. Impossible becomes possible when the right help comes along. Just like the knot, it is going to take lots of work, hard work. Work that I sometimes don't feel like doing, but in the end is worth it. We are going to fight. Wars that will constantly be raging inside, but I am going to fight with all my heart. I will treat my body with kindness, something you know nothing off. Something I ditched before because I didn't know what I was doing by following you. I no longer want you in my life, and as I look down the road where the only "light at the end of the tunnel" I can see is the faint glimmer of the candle of hope my loved ones have set out I see a brighter future ahead. A future that belongs to me, and my dreams. Dreams that seem attainable only in living with ED. Nowhere in the book of my life were you; ED, supposed to come along. Obviously, you made an appearance, the audience booed you offstage. Now, the show is over and the audience has voted, this was not a five-star performance.

I long to take the driver's seat to my life over again. It will be a rough and bumpy road, but I know that I can do this. Twists and turns, hills and bumps may come my way; but I will use the skills and lessons I have learned to navigate through them and you. I only want to be free; to one day remove this mask that I imagine I cannot live without, yet know it is not one I can freely live within. I want to tear down the steal bars you have cast up to imprison me. To break away the chains binding me down. And to run, run as fast as I can with the wind at my back and laugh; laugh like I used to. Laugh with a little more spring in my step, spring with a radiant smile gleaming across my face, smile with a happy heart, and LIVE HAPPY.

Regretfully yours for now,
Elizabeth


Dear ED,

First of all I'm very annoyed that I am writing this letter to you. Not at Dr. Susie for having me do it, but I'm annoyed that you are even in my life at all and I have to deal with you. I wish I could just blink my eyes and have you out of my life entirely, but I realize that in order for you to be out of my life for good, I have to deal with you and not just ignore you.  Honestly though, I'm the one who chose to listen to you for so long and so I'm really the one to blame that my life is the way it is. I'm reminded of an abusive marriage which is what it's felt like having you in my life, I know that in order for a person to fight for what they want out of the marriage (house, kids, etc.).

Unfortunately for you, you're not going to come out of this "divorce" with much pain. I'm taking back my life and you no longer have permission to rule it. Praise God that in the car on the way to Applebee's last night I didn't listen to you. I consciously told you that you were not welcomed to come in with me last night, nor to ruin my night, and you didn't. I'm realizing more and more that I DO have a choice in whether to listen to you or not and the more I chose not to, the easier it is not to the next time. I'm learning to to retrain my mind which is so thrilling to me and feels so good.

My next step is to get rid of you in stressful times. When I am at school and things seem out of control or I just don't want to be there, my natural inclination is to start to think about food, worry about whether I will get hungry before I eat again, if I'm able to slip off to get a cup of coffee to control my hunger, etc. Well… this is the next area I'm taking back. When things are stressful I want to give it to the Lord and pray and not give it to you. I also declare back my sleeping through the night, without you interfering. I know you are not going to let go of these things easily, but trust me, you are wasting your time, because I will be victorious. You've destroyed too many lives and you will not destroy mine. I do regret the time I've wasted on you, but what's in the past is in the past. Right now I'm looking forward to my future, to getting healthy, and to enjoying life.

Goodbye ED. You don't deserve to know this, but honestly it's really hard to say goodbye. I've been proud to have you in my life for some odd reason. And, now things are a little lonely. I hate dealing with this. I hate that I've listened to you. I hate that people I care about have been worried about me. I'm scared to let go but I know that if I do hang on to you that I will die in more ways than one and cannot truly "live" with you in my life. I need to be proud of who I AM, and love myself, instead of thinking my identity is you. I'm scared of gaining too much weight without you or being out of control, but I'll just have to deal with those things when and if they ever come up. I can't live my life in fear of those things, nor the fear that you've placed in my life for the past two years. So therefore, I have to say goodbye for now and goodbye forever.

Erin


Dear ED,

I have known you most of my adult life and, although at times our relationship has been more intimate than others, I know that you've never been more than a thought away. It used to make me angry, even enraged that you were always so close, a constant presence in my life. But these days I actually find comfort in your existence, in knowing that you're near. I know now that I will never, ever be alone. You will be my side until the very end, and I know our days are numbered, ED. I can feel it in my heart.

I'm not afraid anymore, maybe a little sad, but not afraid. Don't misunderstand me, ED. I will battle you until the end, mostly out of obligation to my children and my family, because you and I both know those battles are futile. You will always be the victor, somehow. But, I will still wear every bruise, every lost pound, every skipped meal as a battle scar. I will continue to write to you. I'm going to compile these letters in a journal for my kids to read one day. Although they may not be able to forgive, my hope is that they will at least find comfort and understanding in knowing that you and I had nothing to do with them. There was never anything they could have said or done to rip you from my life.

It's funny how I used to panic and fret whenever you were taking up too much space and to much time. Now, I see you all the time. When I look in the mirror, I no longer see myself. Only you. think some days I even hear your voice. And, you want to know something really funny, ED? You don't scare me anymore. Maybe that's because I know your days are numbered.

I'll write soon, ED.

M


Dear ED,

You need to leave me alone starting RIGHT NOW! I'm so done with you. You've had your fun, you've played your game and your time is up. You seemed pretty cool at first. You told me you'd be my friend. And then you slowly turned against me. You took over my life. You started snatching away everything and everyone that was important to me. You made me your slave. You made me a completely different girl. You took away so many opportunities, so many fun times. You ruined my high school years. You ruined my body. You literally rotted my brain, my heart and my bones.

Before I met you I was happy, full of life, laughter and fun. I had so many friends. I loved school. I loved each day. I loved life. But then you came along and wrecked it all. I've wasted SO MUCH time on you!! There is not ONE day in the past four years that you have left me alone. You're there at every corner, just waiting to make trouble. If you don't stop following me around, I'm not going to just allow you to continue your evil scheme. As a matter of fact, starting RIGHT NOW, if you speak one more word to me, I'm going to slap you in the face and do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you say. I'm so serious ED. There is just no room for you in my life now. I'M MOVING ON and guess what...You're NOT COMING WITH ME!!

G


Dear ED,

You are such a stupid Mother F**ker, I hate you! You have screwed with my mind so much. I cannot believe that I would ever listen to such an idiot. I know the things you're capable of doing to people and I listened to you anyway. After all the dumb shit you've convinced me to do and I think I am pretty much left with a crappy self esteem and a weird obsession with food. I feel like you've ruined my life. As mad as I am at you though, there is something about you that I love and never want to leave me. You seem to be my major coping mechanism for pretty much everything that goes on in my life. I know that you are bad and wrong but I just can't bring myself to ever completely give you up for good. I actually don't even like the thought of it. I know it's what I need and that there is nothing positive about my relationship with you but I just don't want to commit to never throwing up or bingeing again. It just seems too hard, it's way easier to keep you on the back burner for when I really need you.

Ultimately though, I know you don't really care about what happens to me. It's the logical part of me that often keeps me from taking this too far - not you. You'd probably just let me either eat or puke until I die. You're just such an as**ole. I know that now, I usually just choose to ignore that part though. So why don't you do me a favor and leave me alone so I can get on with my life? I am so sick of you constantly talking to me and telling me what to do, what to eat and what to care about. So thanks for being available all the time - but get the f**k out of my life!!!

Jamie


ED:

You are the voice in my head that incessantly, even as I write this, tells me I need to push things into my body in copious quantities and then search out any means possible to empty myself. The voice that tells me I am no one, nothing and convinces me that everyone is either better or worse than me, everyone must be compared and evaluated, and the basis for worth is looks. You are the constant craving for numbness, for a state of non-emotion in which I do not have to think about all of my flaws and everything I lack. My means of both self-punishment and self-comfort, of control and out-of-control destruction. The urge that makes me want to go far beyond the point of satiation, far even beyond uncomfortable fullness, to the point of being stuffed. Overfull. Pained.

I first met you when I was 12 years old. A socially withdrawn girl who had never really cared at all about how she looked, standing in front of a bedroom mirror, assessing. Ugly. Fat. No friends. There was something missing in me, something everyone else had.

It took me years to build up any semblance of courage in a social setting. I felt awkward, naïve, and self-conscious, and I relied on you for comfort. I gave you a face by seeking people who shared your same attributes: self-centered, narcissistic and destructive. One man especially embodied you, a man who I wrapped myself up in completely, who hurt me in ways I could never have imagined. He saw my flaws and compared me to others, spurring obsessions in my mind, along with intense feelings of anger, sadness, and regret. All I wanted was for him to make me feel validated, instead, he confirmed my worst fears about myself: I wasn't good enough.

You thrived in this environment, and I reached my lowest point. Looking back on my life, I remember years in terms of my appearance at the time. I determine my self-worth by what size I was, how good or bad I looked. It was never good enough. I promise myself that some day I'll be happy, but I don't have a clear picture in my mind of what happiness is exactly, or what it entails.

It has been 10 years since we first met. I keep waiting for something to happen, for something in me to change, for one of us to make a move. When will I be rid of you?

Alyssa


ED,

I had to go to the Emergency Room at Jewish Hospital today because I was having severe chest pains which happens often, but not this severe. As I was sitting in the waiting room trying to breathe because everytime I took a breath it hurt even worse, I began thinking, scared of mostly what the doctors will say that is wrong now, but thinking about how you have destroyed my life so far. When I finally got called back into a room, the nurse said to slip into a gown and lay in bed and she left the room. I slipped my sandles off and untucked my shirt and my barely fitable pants hit the floor. As I laid in the bed, the nurse came in and started to take my vital signs and draw blood. She took out a child-size blood pressure cuff, knowing well that the adult size would never fit. Ninety-nine over 86, low of course she then started to find a vein in my arm, which wasn't hard to do considering all my veins stuck out anyway. She took her band and wrapped it around the top of my arm as it began to cut my circulation off, my hand began cramping up, Stiff! She began drawing blood when my vein decided not to cooperate and push the needle out. "Yeah your potassium must be low and you're dehydrated", she said, then pushed it in again and out it came, complete agony for five mins!

About that time the doctor came in and introduced himself and asked my symptoms, "severe chest pains, trouble breathing, shortness of breath," I replied. "Ok we need to order an EKG stat and also a chest x-ray". Over the course of four to five hours they ran IV fluids, magnesium, chest x-ray and two EKG's plus another wonderful visit from the lab to stick me again to test my cardiac enzymes. After all was said and done the doctor returned to tell me over the course of time with my potassium going up and down, up and down, this time it was down so low they couldn't even read it and the EKGs showed a severe abnormality with my heart.

Basically causing irreversible damage to my heart that can not be replenished. But they can give me potassium to go home with and said that I had to and that I must see my doctor tomorrow, because I have to be put on heart medication. Twenty-one years old and put on heart medication. All because of YOU ED, yes you! You have tortured me, twisted my mind, made me think I wasn't good enough for anything or anyone, hurt my daughter, my family, made me miss out on so much in my life and now I'm THROUGH. This is the last straw ED, it is either me or you and we decided it's going to be me! For once in my life, it's me! The doctor told me straight up that if I don't do what I need to and take my medicine, I'm going to die, not later, NOW. I'm not going to let that happen, NOT NOW, NOT EVER! For once in my life I need to love me not you! You're not my friend, nor my family! Not my body and not my mind! I'm sick of your bulls**t and I'm sick to death, literally of you! As much as I am scared of you, I am scared more of dying and losing the love of my life, my daughter. She is my heart, that you have damaged.

You make me sick! You are disgusting, you are worth nothing, I hate you. But this is it ED go away and don't come back. This is not me joking or saying goodbye for now, or see you later, this is goodbye for good. Goodbye forever!

I love you but I don't. Don't call, don't write, don't stop by. I never want to see you again.

Goodbye ED!

Nicole


Dear ED,

You have taken away my life. You have killed my spirit. You are a destroyer, yet you helped me survive without killing myself. You are like the best friend that's really the enemy…an abusive lover, a deceitful stranger, a poisonous apple. You take advantage of me when I am weak, down and out. I had no one but you for so many years and when people started to become my friends I had to choose and I chose you because I couldn't live without you. And if my friends couldn't handle that, they couldn't handle me. They didn't love me unconditionally anyway. They made fun of us behind our backs...but you helped me more than they did. You were there when I was so depressed that bingeing and purging WAS the healthier decision.

YOU were the HEALTHY alternative to a bottle of pills, to the razor. So when I exposed you bare, us, raw in the flesh, I had no where to turn, not even my therapist understood us nor did she have the expertise in this area to pull us apart. No, we just got closer didn't we? We got very close. In fact you were everything. You were the reason I could keep everything in without yelling at people. After all we live to please people, to get compliments, to make sure everyone else was happy. Who cares about what we need? Everyone else always came first, because after all, I was fat and undeserving of any real love or support, except from you of course. That day in February when I had my physical, that was the day I KNEW we would become unmeshed...I was already friends with your sister, but you, you were even better. You let me eat and let me believe I could live without the guilt of my binges. You were the answer to my f**king pediatrician. It didn't matter that I had lost 110 pounds, actually 120, but I gained back 10, which was why my doctor degraded me right in front of my mother, right in front of his student while I was defenseless in a gown...and I took it. My mom watched. As alone as I felt, I was less alone with you by my side. You helped me by giving me the highs...even though I started having even more severe lows...I loved the highs...the feeling of being cleansed of those vicious poisonous feelings inside me that weren't valid anyway...look at me...I am fat.

Fat people don't have feelings and if they do, I'm the exception, I don't deserve to be validated. After all I am nothing. I have been treated according to a number my entire life, by teachers, parents, family friends, doctors, friends and even therapists to a certain extent. But ED, when any of THEM found out about US they wanted to tear you away and STILL treat me based on my weight, still treated me with conditional love.  You, ED, you were always there for me, when my friends abandoned me and abused me, when my father emotionally abused me, when everyone in my family would throw their tantrums and yell and yell and yell, when every bad thing in the world was my fault, you were there ED, YOU were there for me.

So to try and let go of you is a near impossible thought. I am starting to get stronger. I have finally found a couple professionals that care about the me on the inside. It's devastating, nonetheless, to try and actually deal with all these emotions from pretty much my entire life that I have been avoiding. I feel worthless at my core when I am with you and, although my self-esteem isn't high, it is better without you. You drain me, ED, even more than dealing with my feelings. I'm now paying for the consequences health wise too...and it's not fun at all. I'm 20 years old and good health was never something I took for granted because I never really had it. I am just happy that I can now use my body, that I am not chronically in pain, that my stomach doesn't hurt ALL the time, that I can actually go to the bathroom, and that some days, I even have enough energy to do something nice for myself and cook healthy meals. I have the energy to give to my friends, as well as myself. I'm starting to have the energy to find myself, to tap into the creator within, to touch taste even for a moment freedom.

Because one bite every now and then is just enough to keep my hope going, to keep that flame aglow so that I may continue fighting you, to find me, the real me, the me where you don't belong, where there is no room for you to exist. The me that loves herself, her body, and her life. Scary? Overwhelming? Yes...and the journey is truly a rollercoaster, but this way, I won't be carried off the rollercoaster in a coffin; instead I'll be able to disconnect the belt and walk away myself.

All my conditional love to you ED,

Jen


ED,

You have been my life, but only because you stole the past five years of my life away from me. You were my best friend. But only because you made me push away all those who were close to me. You were the only one who understood me, but only because I didn't even understand myself. You controlled my every move, but only because I was too weak to have the confidence in my own choices. You chewed me up and spit me out... while drilling it into my head that I was strong if I could chew my food up and then spit it out. ED...you are weaker than I ever thought I was, but I let you be stronger than I ever thought I could be.

You gave me the power to be invincible because I became blind to every consequence I should have seen. You became the solution to every problem and turned into the only way I thought I could live. Soon enough, I didn’t know how to live without you. ED, this is your claim to fame. ED, you are the weakest link, yet somehow you cheat your way into making the confused think that they need you to survive. You caught me at my lowest time and took full advantage of me. I hate you ED! Better yet… I DESPISE YOU!! You took over my life, my thoughts, my feelings, my health, my youth, my pride, my relationships, abilities, desires, and my worth. You took everything from me, and left me with the only thing I never needed. You took it all from me, and stuck around so I thought I had to depend on you.

I was fooled by your lies, but I am smarter than you now. I hate that I gave you the control over me for so long, but your lies wont control me forever. Your lies hold no power over me any more. ED...screw you!J I could go on forever about how much you have wronged me. But you have already stolen too much time from me. And I take full pleasure in saying...YOU AREN'T WORTH IT ANYMORE!

Laura


Dear ED,

You are a stupid b**tard. I hate you for choosing me. Why? What was it about me, my upbringing, my psyche, that left an opening for you to squeeze your slimey self through? I wish I could kick you out, get a restraining order, do something! I wish I could say I'm never talking to you again, never willing to open the door, but you live inside of me. How do I get you out? I realize that because of you, all of my life I've done two things: overeat - gorge, binge self loathe, hide, cover up; and overacheive: work harder, be smarter, feel guiltier.

It's hilarious that if I or even my girlfriend were dating someone abusive, I'd be the strongest force in town. I even was in my support group with the girl who had an abusve boyfriend. You deserve better, I kept telling her. What a damn joke! Coming from me who doesn't even belive I deserve better than an out of breath, unhealthy life at 290 pounds! You know what I really hate? I hate that I've spent my life on the social fringe because of you. My appearance was so distorted, my self esteem so low, I never got up to dance, never played a sport because I was so hypersensitive about the way I looked. I don't remember ever feeling worthy or equal to anyone and it's your fault, ED. You have always made me feel like the fattest, weakest person I know. I hate you for it.

Nicole


Dear ED,

You came into my life and made it a living hell,
"Look at your fat and disgusting body" at me you would yell.
Every time meals came around,
You would help me to be nowhere to be found.
We became best friends; two peas in a pod,
As I began to worship you like some almighty God.
 

When it seemed all of my friends were turning their backs on me,
You constantly showed up making me think "never alone will I be."
I felt so in control when we were together,
Letting my weight dwindle down to light as a feather.
"I can do anything I want now," I often thought;
But there was one thing that I forgot.
 

How could I climb to the last rung on my ladder of dreams,
When all I had eaten in days were a few measly green beans?
The only support I had was from, you; ED-Mr. Evil himself.
As I was the one who abandoned my friends shoving them to the back of the shelf.
You backed me into a corner and chained me down,
Even laughing at my emaciated body as it floated in the hospital gown.
 

"You're still not skinny enough, those doctors are all crazy,"
You yelled "just get up off your butt and stop being so damn lazy!!"
I became obsessed with exercising as much as possible and eating the least calories I could,
The whole time hiding behind my sweatshirt and hood.
I started to go crazy inside,
As all I could do to everyone was lie.
 

When my darkest hour started to shine in upon me,
I felt something pulling on my arm, with no idea what it could be.
"I have nothing to lose but what's left on these already skin and bones" I came to realize,
But there you were; ED, screaming, "you can still go down another pants size!"
Yet, for once, I took a leap of faith on my own,
Stepping out of my safety and comfort zone.
 

Much to my surprise I landed in a world filled with all shades of yellows,
And was greeted by the voices of many familiar fellows.
I immediately found numerous familiar faces in the crowd,
And back into their loving arms, me they allowed.
So now I have joined forces against you; you dirty little b**tard!
And off of your hellish road I have diverged.
 

I no longer need your deceptive actions, words, and lies,
Nor will I be the one who cries.
I have united with some of your other so-called "friends,"
And our shattered lives we will start to mend.
Leaving you with the dust to kick up in your face,
ED you have done nothing but f**k with me, you are a disgrace!!
 

There is no room left in my future for you now,
Back into my life you, I will no longer allow.
My smiles are re-appearing and my laughs resounding all around,
As the old Elizabeth has now been found.
So this is our final goodbye and farewell,
As I close your door that led to living hell.
 

Leaving you only in memories of the past,
Joining forces with those friends who will last.
So f**k off, get out of my life, skedaddle, scram,
For you I no longer give a damn!!!
I'm now living my life for me; and only me,
Breaking away from these chains that once bound me to now run free.
 

I am finally marking this as the time to move on without any kind of doubt,
Because thanks to my friends in recovery and Rascal Flatts I am devoted to being "running when the sand runs out…"

Elizabeth


ED,

Get out.
I said GET OUT!
If I could banish you to the four corners of the earth it would still not be far enough away.
I want you gone. Destroyed. Non-existent.
I will show you the same f**king mercy you showed me.
NONE!
This is no 'Dear ED' letter.
I will not give you any kindness.
Or muddle around in the murky waters of what you did to help me get through the bad times. I don't have time for your S**T, because S**T is what it is. You did not help in any way.
I am taking back control of myself that I gave away and I will not falter.
You are BANISHED, never to be thought of again.
 

I don't even know you.
You are a thing.
You are something that is not to be feared.
You are something to be destroyed.
You have only done one thing and that is to sink your claws into me and suck out my power. You constantly drag my spirit from me and it is not to be born a moment longer.
Take your hands off of me.
Stop raping my mind.
Get out of my head.
If I find any part of you inside of me, it will be summarily destroyed until not even ashes remain of the foul creature you are.
Be gone.
And know that while you lived, you took up so much of my time, my energy, my joy, my thoughts, my life, and my sanity, that when you die, and you will die, I will think of you no longer.
 

Unsigned


Dear ED,

I hate you! You ruined my life. All I can think about is my body, weight and food. I cannot truly relax and have fun anymore because you control my thoughts.

You don't allow me to ever like anything about myself. It sucks! The only thoughts I have are negative and mean. They are always in my mind.

I want my life back. I want to be able to relax, like myself and not worry about my body. I want to be normal and be like my friends. I want to enjoy eating, but you ED, you do not allow me to do any of that. I FREAKING HATE YOU ED and as much as I want to be skinny, it isn't as important as living a happy life.

So, goodbye ED. I know it will be hard to say goodbye to you, but I am willing to work at it!

Saige


Dear ED,

Your words are harsh; they scream at me. I'm never doing it right. You turned my self-esteem meter all the way down to "everyone's staring," "you're not good enough," "you're too fat to wear that." My once self-loving mind has been put to sleep, and you have taken over, basically my life. Your words overpower every move I make - thinking how many more calories I'll burn if I tap my feet in class, convincing myself I'm not hungry when my stomach is growling. And it's not just me you've taken over. It's pretty crazy how you can be in so many heads at once, telling us all what to do, ruining our lives. You're like the murderer who can't be caught, can't be killed, can't even be seen. I wish I knew what satisfaction you got from this. The only answer that comes to mind is having so many people fall in love with you, obsess over you and do what you say.

We met about a year ago, the first summer I began to hate myself in a bathing suit. I used you as my outlet..I loved food too much, so you and I would just throw it all up, no big deal. You started to take lunch away from me, and as time continued, food became my enemy. It was all I could think about all the time, literally. I'm pathetic, and I have you to blame. I can barely remember what life was like before you and now I'm scared to let you go. You've done permanent damage to my mind and body, and you've convinced me that life without you is not the one for me. I hate the money my mom has to spend and the fun I've missed while hating myself. You've been by my side through everything, and a tiny part of me is thankful. The other part wants to say good-bye, make a new best friend, and feel what it's like to be normal again. I'm scared to believe I have to, and I don't believe I can. I want to be at the point where I want to try for ME, not for everyone else. I don't care if you kill me, but I know my friends and family do. I don't care if I become skin and bones, but the people around me will wonder. You're forcing me to be so selfish that I don't even care about the people who care about me. You f**ked me up, made life hell, but with you in my head that doesn't bother me. All I want is to be sicker, sicker, sick. F**k you ED, leave me alone. I love you ED, please don't go.

Love,
Meghan


Dear ED,

I am not really sure what to say to you. I have such mixed feelings about you. One, moment I am in love with and the next moment I hate you. GRR, you have me so confused. I think that I am ready to be without you and I take the step and go and see people. But really, I think you just set me up to come back. You are so confusing. So instead of going and being like a normal happy person hanging out with my friends, you make me go there and have a miserable time. You remind me of how much better you are than my other friends. How much you have been there more than my other friends...or so you tell me. You tell me that everyone in the room is better than me, skinnier than I am and smarter than I am. Everything about them is perfect and everything about me is so wrong. You make me depressed and make me feel like all I can do is turn to you. To come back and continue receiving the abuse that you already gave me throughout our relationship. I chill with you for awhile, and I'm okay with that. Then after awhile, I see what is happening and I black out and pass out. Something goes horribly wrong and I realize that I need to get back on track. So I try and do something good for myself once more and be healthy, but you are always there. You are like the stalker ex-boyfriend that would never leave me alone, the one who always wants me back and I always go back because I'm comfortable with you. I don't know life without you. Life is scary because it is so unknown. But you are so scary because you kill me and tons of other people psychologically and some even physically.

I look at every other ED victim and I think to myself why do they have an ED, they don't deserve it. They are such amazing people who can contribute to society so much. Why do you do this to us? Why do you make people so ill but to the outside world they really don't understand you. They think that you are just a diet. I mean sure, I love throwing up. I am pissed when people say they can't be a bulimic because they hate to throw up and it's like well it's not my favorite thing to do either. Why do you appear to the world as we really aren't just sick and have celebrities say that there's an easy "cure" for this. That is more than f**king bulls**t. An ED is not just a lying and manipulative disorder, but so are you. You really need to straighten out with the world the hell that you put us through. This is not a choice. This is a true disease. Why do you let people think that it's all about the weight? This just causes people to treat us like crazies. It's like yes, I have an eating disorder, and I might even be bipolar, but that does not make me any bit less of a functioning person than anyone else. That does not mean that I have to be treated like I have to be in a straight jacket at all times and that I am completely mentally unstable. I am a capable human being, for Christ's sake.

With lots of frustration,

Kyle


Dear ED,

Life with you is truly a living HELL!!! You entered my body and mind eight long years ago and your power over me has grown to where I don't even know myself anymore. I have completely lost all self-worth because you have forced me to believe that I have no qualities worth liking. I despise you and wish for your death!

Over the years my mind has been twisted to accommodate you. I have listened and believed everything that you have ever told me. "You're thighs touch so you need to increase your workout...You ate too much so you need to purge...She's thinner than you so you need to starve yourself." But what has this ever f**king gotten me? I'll tell you what, misery, self-hatred, distorted images, embarrassment, fear and so many more ugly qualities. You always promised me happiness if I followed your way, but you have brought me nothing but grief and UNhappiness.

Along the way I always thought that maybe you would one day be right, that MAYBE I could be what you wanted me to be. But I have realized that no matter what I do, you will NEVER be satisfied. I WILL NEVER BE PERFECT!

You have led me to believe that it is okay to abuse my body. So I listened and I hurt my body day after day, just to please you. Just to be perfect. You caused ME to be the abuser ED - and my body withheld this every f**king day.

You have turned me into something that I would never want to be. Something that I would never accept from anyone else. I can no longer let my body be the object of your destruction. It and I have suffered for way too long. Your control needs to be taken, and it's time I take it from you. I hate you and everything you say to me. I hate the way you make me feel; and worse, I hate the way you make me behave. For the sake of my body, I want you out of my life. I know that you won't just leave, but I will continue to FIGHT everyday. So I'll say it now, because I'll mean it one day...Goodbye ED!

Unhappily yours,

Shannon


Dear ED,

Although you have become my daily companion never leaving my thoughts, actions and body, I truly hate you. I have let you take control of me and you are destroying my life. Because of you I have lost my goals, ambition, confidence and self-respect. Because of you I have become estranged from my friends and family. Because of you I have isolated myself from the whole world, other than my "abusive" boyfriend. Because of you I am not the person I used to be. I had potential and a fire inside of me until you got a hold of me. The scariest part is that because you have ruled my life for some many years the real me is becoming such a faint memory. I used to be on top of the world and nobody was going to stop me from doing everything I wanted to do, achieving all my goals. Who ever would have thought that feisty girl would have scrummed to something less than a person? I miss the me before you and so do all the people that love me. Because of you, I am no longer me, the person I used to be. This is not my life; it's not what it was before.

You are a drug, an addiction and nemesis. You are my worst enemy yet ever faithful by my side. I hate you and I wish you would just die. I've never hated someone before or said such harsh things. But you aren't a person, you don't have to exist. You are the devil. I created you and I will destroy you before you destroy me. Go to Hell, ED!

Unsigned


ED,

I don't know why you are so tempting and why you constantly call my name? I'm tired, ED; I'm tired of you. I'm tired of feeling like s**t. But I'm also tired of the sadness that you seem to assuage, yet create. Why do you pretend to be there when no one else is, when I am alone and crying? You are like a fake friend who watches me down on my knees and who can't stop kicking me, hurting me, even after the blood is gushing, tears rushing, soul beaten; you don't stop.

Why ED, why ED, do you thrive off my weaknesses? I hate you and I don't know what to say to you anymore except that I'm gonna beat you. I'm gonna win no matter how long it takes. You may have been my predominant first 20 years of life, but you aren't going to be around for the next 60 or more. And when I say you won't be around, it's not because you have killed me, or that I killed myself, neither physically nor psychologically. You will be gone, ED, and I will thrive. I will thrive on life without you, and you will be the one who dies from starvation, from electrolyte imbalance, from heart disease...you will die and I will live.

For the sake of me and the glimpses I've had without you, I will fight and I will die fighting and not quit trying or ever give you the chance to make me your next homicide victim. I will not be a f**king slave and sacrifice my soul or my body to you. The only "thing" I will be sacrificing is you for my freedom. So f**k off, I've got some living to do.

You don't deserve my name written anywhere near you, you despicable s**t.

Unsigned


Dear ED,

Listen up b**tard. You're not making me feel bad about turning 30. Big stinkin' deal! Do you know how much I've accomplished at 30? I have two beautiful sons. I've survived the loss of an infant daughter and used the pain from my loss to console other women in their time of need. People look at me and are impressed by my strength and compassion. I stood at the bedside of one of my very best friends and consoled her through the loss of her stillborn son. I held her still child in my arms, helped her plan his funeral, took pictures of her baby so that she could make a scrapbook for him. Do you have any idea how much courage that took? Every moment reminded me of Grace. I longed to go back to my hellacious night and hold her a second time, to scream at the orderly who put her tiny body in a plastic bag instead of in a blanket with dignity. I wanted to go back and dignify her place on this planet. I couldn't do that, but I did have the tenacity to be sure that Carrie and her son had all the things I didn't.

I am only 30 years old and I am enrolled in a doctoral program. In eight years, I have gone from a parochial school teacher, to a public school teacher, to a reading specialist, to now a doctoral student. I now train the teachers. I am ambitious and I am a leader. I refuse to let you take that from me. I am able to obtain professional success without sacrificing my family.

I am a good mother. My boys know that they are loved and precious. I laugh with them, play games with them, I am patient with them. I am raising confident, intelligent, young men. You know what else stupid? My son sees me as strong and powerful. So yes, he does notice my physical presence in comparison to his father's, but he sees it as strength. I refuse to allow you to twist that around into something negative. He will always know that God makes every living thing on this planet differently. Our differences are what make us precious and unique.

And another thing: don't mock my transformation into good health. I am realizing that I am worth care and love. It's not about going on a diet or changing from a "fat person." You are jealous because I am no longer allowing you to control my existence. I don't need you anymore. You better learn to deal with it brother. There are no words or thoughts that you can use to permeate my thinking. I'm done with you.

P.S. Twenty pounds is a big deal! It's not about the number, but about the decisions and care that were involved in getting me there. I don't care if it takes five years to get to an ideal weight. There is value in the process, not just the product.

Let's talk about the crap you're trying to force feed me in regards to Brandon. My husband has never given me any reason to believe that he has any interest in straying from this marriage based on my physical appearance. To the contrary, our intimate relationship has always been consistent, healthy, and dare I say, fun. Brandon has always been sweet and complimentary about my appearance at every stage of my life. When you try and whisper that crap in my ear about my marriage and Brandon being more interested in other women than me, I'm reminded of a Dr. Phil episode I saw a few years ago. There was some insecure woman whose husband was a professional athlete. She was consumed by the idea that he would be unfaithful while on the road. Dr. Phil says to her: "What if?" What if he decides to run off with some other woman? It would be terrible, it would suck, but you'd survive. You'd find a way to go on.

So, I say to you ED, what if? So what? I am an educated, professional, successful woman. If, God forbid, something happened to my marriage for any reason, I have the tools I need to survive and take care of my sons. In the meantime, I am going to be faithful to myself and my marriage. I will be a compassionate, equal partner with my husband and our marriage will succeed. I refuse to live my life in fear of anything, including what you and the rest of this world think of me.

Sayonara,
Nicole


Dear Ed,

Over the past six years, we have become best of friends. You slowly crept into my life and made promises to me that I couldn’t refuse. At first we only were together a few times a week, but little by little we became closer. Then before I knew it you never left me alone. You were always with me no matter what I did or what I thought. You wanted me all to yourself and made me push everyone else that I loved and cared about away. You made me think you were the most important thing in the world and I let everything else slip away. Soon it was only me and you and that was exactly the way you wanted it. I have never truly wanted to let you go until now. You disgust me. You have stolen away my high school years, years that I will never be able to get back. Because of you, I hate the holidays and being around other people. Not to mention all the money you have cost me and the time I’ve spent obsessing about you. I hate you and all your f**ked up ways. You have made me lie to people I care about the most. And with each lie I told, the closer we got until my head went under water and I was in too deep to get myself out. Thank god the family and friends I abandon still cared enough about me to save me. They put me in the hospital and faced you face to face. It was ugly and you are horrible disease. We have battled together for a long time, but now its time to say goodbye and get out of my life for good. I have too much to live for and there is no room for you in my life anymore. I hope you burn in hell and are never able to enter anyone else’s life. And if you do, I will be there to help them exactly the way Dr. Susie has helped me. Good bye for ever!

Never again yours,
Chelsa
January 16, 2007


Congratulations, ED.

Congratulations, Ed
You've got me up late at night
It's about you which I write.
Consumed again by you and your high
Happy I got away with today's lies.

Congratulations, Ed
I love looking down at my knobby knees while running
You tell me, "There's farther to go, but they're beautifully stunning."
Today, for the first time ever since we've been together
I lied and told my parents I was going to the store.
Instead, we drove in the completely opposite direction
So we could go to the track to run more and more.

Congratulations, Ed
Also, today for the first time, we were a team
I wasn't too tired for once so I gave into our dream.
I ran since I hadn't in a few weeks and it was hard
But thanks to you, the second time was a piece of cake.
It's easy when you're there telling me I can always go farther.
I don't get support like that from anyone else.
They wonder why I stand up for you
Trust me; I already know they're idiots.

Congratulations, Ed
Today, after an argument with my mom and sister
I would have taken a few shots of rum
But there are too many calories in it and we both know
I don't need those.

Congratulations, Ed
I would have cut myself today
But thanks to you I ran away.
And thanks to you I always seem strong
Crying is weak and it's flat out wrong.

Congratulations, Ed
My anxiety is back
I can't have fat on my body, it's bodily plaque.
To always burn and tap my legs - never to rest
But it's a sacrifice we can make - we'll be the best.

Congratulations, Ed
The term "I love you to death" is ever so real
Everyone else can fuck off. You help me deal.
So let's clap for everyone showing us you'll always stay by my side
And let's just hope our body joins us for the ride.

-Ashton


Dear ED

I don't know what to say to you. I don't understand you.  Before I left for Remuda you had control over every thought in my head and I followed your every command. You sent me into a downward spiral of restricting, binging, drinking and trying to puke everything I consumed.  You convinced me that laxatives and diet pills were a great way to compensate for slips (slips meaning that I allowed myself to eat).  You stole friends from me and ruined family relationships. You caused physical damage to my body including severe dehydration resulting in never ceasing dizzy spells.  You were a financial burden, a time consuming manipulator, and a liar. You gave me rewards and small success but never gave me complete happiness…you just kept me latched on so you could continually use me and abuse me for your pure enjoyment. ED, you are a fucking bastard and because of you I had to leave the life I loved to face you head on.

So I fucking go to Remuda and you go into hiding. What the hell!? I was pissed. I was there and you were chicken shit to tag along with me. Funny how you refused to stay latched on to me when I was strong enough to fight you with a supportive community and a kick ass inpatient team. During my stay I learned a lot about myself and other skills and life lessons to continue to take you head on. Slowly but surely you came back into my life but not until the last couple weeks of my treatment. Your laughter in that dressing room with my mother when she called me big still haunts me to this day. You attacked me right away as soon as I left the safety grounds of the ranch. You coward. You can only get to me at my weakest moments…why don't you try your lies and manipulation when I am armed and ready to fight?

Well of course you are smart and that is why you destroy so many lives. Because you did not bother me inside those walls of Remuda Ranch and you are now fully in my mind and I am going crazy.  I can't get you out of my life and sometimes I think I want you out of my life as much as I still want you in my life. You kept me on track and did not let me get out of control. You gave me success and I miss that. You helped me feel good about myself when other shit went wrong in my life. You help suppress all the crap that is in my life and concentrate on things that I can control like my food intake, exercise time, alcohol consumption and weight.

I don't know ED. I am so fucking confused and I just want to go back to inpatient so you can't haunt me anymore. There I am safe because you won't pass the gate to Remuda Ranch. I don't trust you, and yet I don't trust myself without you. I still believe your words even though I know the awful consequences you cost me. I want you in my life and I want you out all at the same time. I thought I wanted recovery and now I am second guessing myself and it is scaring me shitless. I wrote a 5 page long commitment letter thinking that would keep me on track but apparently that has gone down the drain because it has not even been two weeks and I am already slipping.  So what's the point? I don't see it anymore…because all I can see is you. I hate you ED, go away, but don't go too far away, yes go away I want my life back, but what life do I want back? You are so fucking confusing…just leave me alone for a while so I can think.

Christine
April 10, 2007


Dear Ed,

 

I don't even know where to begin.

Well you've been the only friend to stay with me these past years. You're the only one who truly loved me and didn't leave me. Whenever I felt alone, you were there by my side to comfort me. If I had a bad day, you were there. You are my best friend. Even though you have pulled me away from food, friends, and family, we all know it was for the best.  It’s taken a while for us to become so close, but now I can't imagine life without you. ED you understand me. You know who I am. You have the same thoughts and feelings as I do. You are the only person who accepts me. You give me total control. I love it. I love being able to control my life with your guidance. 

 

As much as I love you,  I get frustrated with you a lot. And I know we fight, and get mad at each other, but in the end I always come back to you. I know we will always be together. But it’s just that, well since you're my best friend, and basically my only friend, sometimes I get confused. Do you think sometimes you could just tell me I'm doing well? It’s so hard to constantly hear that I'm not good enough, and well I know I'm not, but its harder hearing it from someone else. And I know you get mad when I gain weight, or when I eat. But sometimes when my mom is around I have to. And I'm trying! I'm sorry I disappoint you so often, but I really am trying. Even when we have our many disagreements, we work through them, and end up side by side in the end.

 

ED, there’s a problem we need to discuss everyone is trying to get me to leave you. Everyone is telling me that you're killing me. But the thing is, most of the time you're keeping me alive. I don't know how to make them see how awesome you really are. I guess no one can understand unless they have lived with you. I have a whole team of support trying to get me to leave you. I pretend to live without you, but everyone knows I go back to you. Even though I adore you, sometimes I'm scared of living with you. You make me do crazy things that I regret. Even though I want to satisfy you, I don't feel like I need to go to extreme measures and risk my life for you. You've always told me not to be a failure. And that I can't give up. But I'm so torn. Either I'm failing you, or I'm failing all the people around me. Either way, I'll hate myself for it. If I give up on you, who will I have for support? But I can't stay with you, when everyone’s telling me not to, at least not forever. ED I don't know what to do. Just don't leave me please; I need you now more than ever.

 

 

ED the only way I can stay with you if you leave everyone else alone. You help me, and we're good together. But you hurt all these other girls, and it kills me to see the pain they go through with you each day. I'm willing to go through that pain with you. But so many people are trying to get rid of you. ED, just leave them alone. You are bothering so many people. You're a fucking bastard. Stay out of all the people’s live that have never done anything wrong. All the gorgeous, smart, athletic, bright people you are killing disgusts me. Don't hurt them. You always tell me what to do, and now I'm telling you. I chose this to be my life, but it doesn't have to be theirs. I will stay with you if you just leave everyone else alone.

Goodbye for now ED,
I will talk to you soon.

OLIVIA
April 19, 2007


Dear ED,
Good morning to my beautiful husband,my lovely children and of course my highest power ED.  It has been over a decade to which I have woke up with you and went to bed with you ED.  Let me start out by saying you make me sick.  Also just to let you know I am beating you one day at a time. HA HA!!  For years you have been my soulmate but guess what? I am my soulmate now.  I will no longer be needy or defeated by you.  You liar!! You do not help me, you are killing me!!!

I will rid myself of this terrible,tense,trapped feeling that you have brought to my life everyday.  I have been used by you in the following ways...You made me feel accepted, confident, beautiful, capable and valuable.  Only now do I realize you made me feel this only when I was am with you.  I am kicking you out of my life and learning to be all those characteristics myself.  It is work, but I am handling it just fine without you.  I hat you.  In reality you make me feel ashamed, bad, confused, scared, foolish, guilty,insecure,victimized and down right violated.  I hate you.  Good bye forever!

Shelli
April 24, 2007