I wrote this during my time in treatment. It was at my dietician, Gretchen’s suggestion as I was struggling to let go, fearing what might happen if I completely severed ties with the skinny, over controlled person I had identified with for so long. I pull it out from time to time, when I feel myself slipping, as a reminder that although it would be so easy to run back to the behaviors that numb the hard stuff, I do not need them anymore. It helps me remember that anorexia is like a magnet, and will pull me in if I get too close.
Never in my wildest imagination thought I would share this. But then I remind myself why I started this blog. If this letter helps me, perhaps it might help someone else, regardless of their struggle. It is worth it to me.
September 14, 2018
Dear Skinny Me-
I miss you! I am feeling lost and scared without you. I want to see you sometimes, but I know we can never see each other again.
That being said, I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. I don’t know if I would have gotten through the difficult times in my life without you. The way you swooped in after I had cancer and protected me from my husband’s drinking and the secrets and lies surrounding it. When I felt out of control, you took control. You brought me relief from stress, gave me purpose when I felt empty, and you made me feel special when I felt like I was slipping through the cracks of life.
With you, I felt strong and in control. I felt like I had my shit together. At least I thought we had people believing that. We were a good team. Like some relationships, what starts helpful can become harmful, and that is what happened to us. The control and coping that you gave to me began to take their toll on me, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I allowed you to isolate me and keep me from connecting with others to keep our relationship secret. But I was lonely. I looked different, people staring at me with pity or curiosity like a circus sideshow.
Two years ago, when we started to part ways, I was so scared to let you go. Afraid of what life would be like without you. I have let you go little by little, sometimes asking you to come back.
When D started spiraling down a dark hole, I didn’t understand, I needed you to run with, to take control, but I resisted. The dark, cold holidays without my mom, I desperately wanted you to numb the pain by forcing me to work my body until I felt nothing but exhaustion. But I didn’t.
I love you for all you have done for me, I will never forget you, but it is time for me to do this without you. I have other things to help me now; breathing, yoga, connection to others, and body and mind strength. I have found compassion for myself. I will lean on these as I move forwards.
So goodbye Skinny Me. I will miss you so much. I love you.
Love, Healthy Me