When ed first showed up in my life, he seemed to have all of the answers.
He told me that he knew how to keep me small, like a child. Safe.
He told me he knew how to stop the monthly bleeding and cramps.
He told me that with him, I didn’t need a diet to keep me healthy.
And I was looking for answers, answers to questions I wasn’t willing to ask.
I was feeling emotions that were stronger than my heart could hold.
Ed told me he would keep my secrets and give me answers. Now I see that he was lying.
Ed didn’t have answers, he only had partial solutions.
Solutions that lasted, only if I followed his plan.
Eagerly, I signed up.
What I didn’t realize, when I held out my hand and allowed ed to pull me to my feet again, was that the plan he had was to erase what I had become.
I was a happy young girl, hungry for the world.
Hungry for purpose and meaning.
Ed told me hunger was weakness.
And I followed the rules set out for me, because it was so easy.
So easy to deny myself this thing that I wasn’t even sure I deserved anyway.
Over time, I learned that the best way to keep ed happy was to do exactly as he commanded.
This meant not eating foods I used to love.
Keeping to myself and staying quiet.
Not rocking the boat.
I quickly saw how much nicer and easier this made life.
I no longer felt as much, everything took on a dull sheen.
My emotions were gone, all except for fear and guilt, shame and deep darkness.
Eating food made me feel guilty.
Food was scary, and not allowed.
When I did eat, it was different than what it used to be.
Meals used to be fun, especially if it was pizza or birthday cake.
And then they turned into a nightmare.
When I ate, I felt.
Not as much as I used to, but some.
Mostly I felt negative emotions.
And sometimes, when I was doing well, I felt a spark of what used to be.
I felt loved, cared for, safe.
But only for a moment, and then I had to deal with what I had just done.
Which usually meant withholding food until ed said I could eat again.
I hid from food, like I hid from everything.
Dulling the pain and sadness I felt was a relief.
Little did I know that I might be free from so many hardships if I could only speak up.
Once I started talking back to ed, things got a little dicey.
He wasn’t as kind as he had once seemed.
Yes, he had done what he promised, but in the meantime, he had also changed me into something I couldn’t evolve back to.
I no longer knew who I was, what I wanted, or why I was living.
So I began to research and find out who ed really was.
I began to fight him, because he is a prison that can last lifetimes.
As I ate, I grew. And grew.
I grew shirt sizes and jean sizes, and I also grew on the inside.
My heart had been trampled on, and I could feel it healing, expanding and feeling.
And with that healing, came emotions I didn’t recognize anymore.
When I ate, I felt full and I wanted to hide. To scratch my skin and feel pain instead.
And yet I knew I must continue, because every bite I took was a middle finger to the permission slips ed rarely doled out.
When I hugged I felt loved, and for so long ed told me that wasn’t something I needed.
When I cried, I felt pain and sadness. So much that I cried more, to wash the feelings away.
When I took a bite of a fear food, I felt pride, courage, triumph, and shame.
Shame for allowing myself to get to this place. And too, shame for feeling satisfied.
When I feel sad, depressed, lost…I still must eat.
And because ed trained me well, I still feel negative emotions more than the positive.
When I am hurting or stressed, food is the last thing I go to.
Sometimes, I mindfully refuse food, as a punishment.
So I pause and look deeper.
I question my actions, and ed’s voice.
And I feel.
And it is because I am a highly emotional being.
It is because I learned to punish myself before I learned to love myself.
It is because I am still learning, and meandering along this path of recovery, and though the going can be slow at times, I still believe it’s worth it.
It is because I feel too much, and I am on a journey to find who I really am and how to use my emotions positively.
This is why I am still writing, thinking, and hoping: it is because even when I have stumbled and skinned my knees (again) I still see a light flickering at the end of the tunnel.