--Adolescent program parent
This letter was written by a client in one of our programs. It is published with her permission in hopes that it will inspire others to seek help and get treatment.
Dear ED,You’ve hurt me time after time, breaking my heart while convincing me that you were all I needed. You lied to me and convinced me to lie to my parents, friends, doctors and therapists. You’ve told me that I was succeeding, when really all I accomplished was sabotaging myself and my own life.You crept into my life. Two years ago, you told me to start eating salads for lunch to be healthy and lose a few pounds to be in better shape. I did, eagerly. I lost weight and continued to “eat healthily” but it wasn’t enough for you, it never was.
ED, you ruined my relationship with food. When I was younger, my mom used to brag that I’d eat anything and it was true. You changed that, causing me to feel anxious about certain foods and dictating rules about which foods were “good” and “bad” and how often I could eat them. You convinced me to punish myself when I broke your rules, and you even forbade me from eating my favorite fruit. You made me forget how to eat normally.You stole my passion and dedication for the sports I played and replaced it with your definition of exercise: mandatory but not fun. You persuaded me that it was ok to not eat before or after practices and that I didn’t need to eat an adequate amount of food in order to achieve my goals. You were wrong. Because of you, I never met those goals and never will be able to. Instead of enjoying time with my friends on a team, you made me exercise alone. And even though I felt dizzy and my chest hurt you wouldn’t let stop.But of course, you couldn’t stop with food and exercise. You are so greedy that you hurt my body, too. You made my hair fall out and caused my skin to appear pale. You made my brain fuzzy so that I couldn’t concentrate but worst of all, you damaged my heart. You are the reason I spent two miserable weeks in the hospital and you caused my body’s demise.You not only abused my body, but also changed my personality. You depleted me of my natural enthusiasm and optimism and caused me to isolate myself from my family and friends. You made me forfeit birthday parties, girls nights out, and even chance to travel because you didn’t want to me to eat certain foods and you told me I needed to exercise. You took away my sense of humor and instead made me sad and hopeless.The truth, ED, is that I do NOT believe your lies anymore. I am done with accepting your limits and I refuse to deny myself the right to enjoy foods that I like. I will engage in physical activity without it damaging my body. I want both my body and mind to heal, neither of which you will ever allow me to do. I claim the choice to living a healthy live and I chose to eradicate you from it.
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