For those of you who have heard me speak or read my past blog entries, you know that when I speak of Ed, I’m not talking about a physical human being I know. I am definitely, though, talking about someone I know all too well: my eating disorder. When I spell his initials, it is of course – Ed. He’s not just special to me, although he most definitely makes me feel that I am his most special prize. He’s known by millions around the world – intimately, lovingingly, longingly, mysteriously known.
I wish I would have never met Ed. I wish his cunning, seductive ways never entered into my life. Many times I ask myself why I ever let such a cruel, heartbreaking, soul crushing individual in. Someone who has taken and destroyed so much of my soul. Someone who has stolen precious moments with cherished people that I will never get back. Yet I believe it is all for a purpose and for a reason. Sometimes I struggle to put a finger on exactly what that purpose or reason is, but alas, here I am.
Sometimes I think it’s for the parents of kids going through eating disorders. The kids whose lives Ed has invaded. Parents who now find themselves alienated from the children they once knew so well. And not only alienated but turned against. I write, I speak, I talk, and I counsel so those parents hold out hope that their kid may have a chance at a life. That this hopeless despair won’t last forever. That they can talk to someone who has been in their child’s shoes, someone that believed dying was the better option than gaining half a pound.
I write for the individuals who have no clue who this monster – that they allowed in their life – is. Those who bought into the lies of Ed. Who listened when he told them it would be easy and lovely and so much better if they obeyed his ways. I want those people to know that they are not crazy and it is not them, it’s someone who they met. They gave that person – Ed – too much, but now they can unfriend. They can separate themselves. They can have a better, freer life.
I do it for my daughters. I hope with all that is within me that my girls never meet Ed, but chances are they will know about him. I want them to have the facts and know the repercussions of letting him in. I want them to learn from me all about this horrible creature who takes so much and gives nothing in return. I want them to get the word out to their generation to be strong, proud women who are capable and knowledgeable and who blaze trails of empowerment for themselves and those around them.
And lastly, but most certainly not in the least, I do it for myself. I do it because I know that I am worth the fight against Ed, that although I know him I don’t have to let him control me. I fight against him daily because I know that there is a better, free-er, lovelier path in life than listening to and obeying his lies. There are most certainly days of weakness, fatigue, frailty when I am caught off guard that Ed can bring me down, although with each conscious choice I make to disagree and disobey Ed I gain ground . As much as I try to safeguard my house against his presence and seal every crack, there are days where he finds the hairline fracture in my solid structure and he gets in. He gets into my head, into my body, and into my heart… and so, I fight on. I recognize when Ed is in my life and I rebuild, reseal and restore.
I won’t stop fighting. I won’t stop getting the message out there about who Ed is and I will forever more work to give families and those struggling with eating disorders hope for a better, more vibrant future and prove to the world he can be beat.