Dear Eating Disorder – My enemy

I am drained by your unrelenting, destructive presence.

You have robbed me of such a huge part of my life. Milestones and achievements I should have enjoyed have been destroyed by you.

You have been there, all day, every day since I was 16. Making me believe I’m worthless, shameful, disgusting unless I’m thin. But it’s never enough. It’s never good enough. Pounds became stones but I’m still not thin enough, not good enough, and I realise now that I never will be.

You set me up to fail at everything. I can’t win. I fail at recovery, I also fail at anorexia – every single time I eat, every time it turns into a binge, every time the scales creep up – I’m failing, every second of every day. It is exhausting beyond comprehension.

You’ve robbed me of my last years of school, university, graduation, relationships, holidays, my wedding, but worst of all you’ve destroyed my pregnancies and early years of motherhood. Enough now. My babies deserve better than this. I should have embraced pregnancy, cherished how the body that you’ve been so intent on destroying managed, against all odds, to create and nourish my two healthy children. Instead you forced my focus onto staying thin, maintaining my weight, losing weight, fighting against the inevitable gain as my babies developed and my body grew.

I tried so hard to shut you out. Knew that you would put my babies at risk. You forced your way in. Made me lie to everyone. I have never been so ashamed of myself as I was during my pregnancies.

When I lost two babies, you convinced me that it was my fault – I was to blame. My selfishness, my desire to be as thin as possible killed the babies I so desperately longed for. And when I finally did manage to conceive and carry my second daughter, you didn’t let me relax for a single second. I was so damaged by your voice, your presence. I was convinced I’d lose her too. And despite this, how much I hated myself for the potential damage I could do to my precious baby, you had me vomiting in the bathroom of the delivery room with my tiny newborn, the baby I’d come close to losing just hours before, asleep next door.

I’ve missed so much of their childhood. These two perfect, loving little girls. I’ve been there, but never without you, and the way in which you infiltrate my whole life, every thought I have, has caused me to miss out on enjoying my babies, watching them grow.

I’m tired. I’ve had enough. Every time my heart starts to palpitate, every time I feel weak, shakey, faint, I wonder if you’ve pushed me too far, If I’ll go to bed and not wake up.

There are times when you’ve made me resent my choice to become a mother, resent the two little people I love the most in this world, who give me those moments where I actually feel happy, who make my heart swell with pride, because if they weren’t around I wouldn’t have to keep fighting, I could give in and let you win. I hate you for that.

I’m exhausted. You’ve won. You’ve drained me of everything. I feel like I have no fight left in me, and yet I have to keep going because there is no other option.

The worst thing is, I can blame you as much as I like, but your force has become so powerful and so all-consuming that the blame doesn’t lie with you, not really. It’s me, it’s all me, you’ve become who I am. I hate myself. I’ve destroyed everything.

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