It has been fourteen years, almost to the day, that we first met. I’d seen you around before then- on TV, on the streets, at school: did you see me too? I remember the very first day we were properly introduced. It was a school day and in my rush, I had no time for my usual breakfast. When break-time rolled around, you appeared: “you don’t need a snack”, you said, “see how long you can go”.
From that moment on, we were inseparable. You were with me wherever I went, and at the time, I was thankful. You told me that my fears about school, friends, all the normal thing a 12 year old worries about, didn’t matter. You would make things okay again. I, naively, believed you. It wasn’t long before people started interfering- friends, family, teachers, doctors, “Ignore them,” you said. “They don’t understand”. I remember stopping going to my friend’s houses after school. I didn’t have time anymore. I stopped playing hockey because I was too tired. I stopped playing my harp because I was too distracted by your seductive whispering of rules I needed to obey. I remember one night, lying on the kitchen floor at my mom’s feet- crying and begging her to HELP me. I was so hungry, so tired, in so much pain. Suddenly you seemed more threatening than friendly, and I was scared. I remember crawling up the stairs to bed that night with you whispering soothing words to me: “It’s okay… I'm going to things better for you”.
The years that followed are a blur of one hospital to another. I never really went back to school. I vaguely remember people’s faces, seeing their lips moving. I remember just wishing you would GO AWAY. I remember running into your arms when I was locked up in hospital, with you showing me how to trick the nurses, fake my way out.
I gave up everything for you. My friends, my passions, my interests- most people my age are married, working, having fun. I can’t remember the last time I ate my own birthday cake, went a day where your voice wasn’t whispering in my head.
I remember how much louder your voice got when I tried to fight you- how angry you got. How the more I disobeyed you, the more you tormented me. “You are WRONG,” you said. “This isn’t the WAY- you are making things worse”. I remember not being able to see any way out of the walls you had built around me, and walking into the ER begging for help. I remember you and I went for a little walk that evening? Do you remember too? Do you remember telling me that I would NEVER break free from you, that you would NEVER leave me? I will never forget how the thought of a lifetime under your reign was enough for me to hide on a side-street and swallowed enough painkillers to kill a horse.
I listened as you told me I would never be able to go to college, never be able to hold down a job, but that it didn’t matter because at least I would be thin. I listened as you told me that no matter what, you would always be there for me.
Now it’s your turn to listen to me.
For fourteen years, it’s been “You And I” against what felt like, the world. For fourteen years you have cast shadows over every aspect of my existence. Everything from my clothes to my fridge has your signature all over them. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have cut me out of their lives, jobs I’ve had to leave, classes I’ve had to drop, hospitals I’ve been in.
When I felt overwhelmed with work or school- you were there. But don’t you see? You didn’t help. Losing weight wasn’t the magical answer you said it would be: it made everything worse. I’ve spent more of our relationship locked up in psychiatric units than I have being happy like you promised me. Being thin didn’t make me popular, successful, important. Losing weight might have been something I was “good” at, but you know what? It’s not so special. It’s a scientific fact that if you eat less you lose weight: it doesn’t make me a better person.
So why am I writing to you now? Because I’ve listened to you for long enough. Over half of my life has been shared with you and it’s time to cut my losses and move on- you have nothing to offer me anymore except more of the same crisis’, hospitals, therapy, isolation, despair and drama that the last fourteen years have been filled with.
I wanted so badly to be accepted and loved, and when you offered that, I JUMPED at the chance. Believe me, nobody is sorrier than I am that I didn’t find acceptance and love- I’m still looking for that, but I know now that it will never come from you. The time ha.s come for us to part our ways. My answers aren't in your hands
Yours, with regret,
ten months old.
4 weeks ago