A Journey from Victim to Survivor…to Living Freely

Break-Up Song

on August 13, 2016

I’m four years into eating disorder recovery for anorexia/EDNOS.  I’ve experienced the fear, the tears, the new friendships with fellow warriors who “get it”, the shaking, the sadness, the joy, the happiness, the mindfulness, the ability to breathe, honesty and authenticity…I’ve written positive affirmations and decorated my mirror with them so that someday I’d believe those words…I’ve made pro/con lists about ED and recovery…I’ve written a letter to Ed telling him to fuck off and get out of my life.  I’ve reread my own words and thought “She seems wise”, even as the tears stream down my face as I attempt to get a bite of food into my body.  I’ve completed behavior chains to figure out the seconds when I went from “okay” to “losing my fucking mind”.  I’ve emailed my psychologist hundreds (thousands?) of times.  I’ve texted fellow warriors for support.  I blog my innermost feelings. I’ve let friends into the lonely, deadly world of Ed and the most genuine parts of me.  I’ve learned, as much as I hate it, that it’s about progress, not perfection…and that recovery is not a straight line…no, it contains the highest highs and the lowest lows…times where I cannot imagine going back to Ed and those where I think I cannot live without him.

I think in lyrics…and last week, I listened to a song I’d heard before…except life experiences and perspective are always shifting and listening to it had me responding with tears…in my heart, mind and soul, I knew these were the words I needed…these are the lyrics I can hold onto.  It was this line “I learned to live half a life, but now you want me one more time…” in Christina Perri’s ‘Jar of Hearts’ that demolished a piece that abusive Ed has kept in his hands…the truth of that line dug deep into all of me…and, as I messaged my best friend and listened on repeat, lyric after lyric brought me to my knees…”Who do you think you are, running ’round leaving scars”…”But I have grown to strong…to ever fall back in your arms.”  Yes…yes…I have…I’m stronger now…I don’t need this abusive lover who seeks only what he needs while killing me slowly…convincing me I cannot do this without him.  I refuse to live half a life…I will not be a ghost of myself.

I have proved that “I”–“ME”–can exist, live and thrive without Ed.  I am not the eating disorder and the eating disorder is not me.  Healing and choosing recovery bring with them a vast array of everything.  And, apparently, I needed a break-up song.  It’s been added to my “Be Brave. Be Strong. Be Mighty.” playlist.  It’s what I listen to as I take bites, as I work toward meal plan, as I meet meal plan, as I have get to 11 “spot on” days.  It’s what I listen to when Ed sneaks in to tell me the food is too much, that I need to use behaviors and not skills, that I need to be all or nothing, that I should by a scale, that I should be better by now and since I’m not-I’m a failure…So, I say—“You don’t get to get me back…Who do you think you are????”. Fuck you, Ed!


Ed=ED=eating disorder–often, those of us who live in this world use “Ed” to begin to break apart the eating disorder from ourselves(like a healthy inner voice vs a toxic one)…it feels like a different entity and always amazes me that the shit Ed tells me is the same shit he tells my warrior friends.  I have, many times, heard a warrior say something in group that I know is false–because I look at her and see strength, courage, beauty–yet, it’s the same thing Ed is telling me–and I believe him.  Likening Ed to an abusive lover has given me a starting place to kick him to the curb…in ways that are different than “Hey, all I need is a compassionate inner voice and I’m good to go! That’s easy!!”  None of this fight is easy…however, I can say, with all the honesty in my heart, it is possible and you do not have to do it alone.  We can fight together.  We can do this!


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