Thank You For Running Away From Me & My Eating Disorder

woman freckles flower
Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

Dear You,

It’s been a while; almost 10 months since you got on that plane and never came back. Ten months since you told me you would return from Guatemala, just in time for Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday with me. To come back home. To work on our relationship, our partnership, our health, our future.

It’s been 10 months since you went silent, and never came back.

I wrote you an email six months ago. Not a clue if you got it, but I never heard back which doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t expect it, because I no longer have expectations. I’ve learned that expectations are for the birds.

The email I sent you was to apologise. I wanted to tell you how sorry I was that my eating disorder caused you so much pain. I wanted to apologise for the hardships you had to bear that my mental health put on you; and all of my dark, depressive spells you had to endure.

I wanted you to feel like it wasn’t your fault, but rather it was mine. That my mental illness caused your life to be so miserable. That I was the reason you left. And that I wasn’t healthy enough, good enough, sane enough, or happy enough.

But over the last six months, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown into this human being that I’ve been waiting to meet for so long. I’ve picked myself up when I’ve fallen instead of relying on you to do all the heavy lifting. But I also came to one incredibly important conclusion that I wanted to share with you today.

I want to say thank you.

Thank you for running away because of my eating disorder, my depression, and my mental illness. Thank you for abandoning me and leaving me to pick up the pieces on my own. And thank you for lying and manipulating me into believing that everything was my fault; that I wasn’t good enough, that I was the problem.

Thank you for making me have to fight on my own. Thank you for leaving me. For allowing me to become the best, strongest, healthiest, and happiest version of myself. Thank you for running away as a reiteration of the self-deprecating narrative I continued to tell myself for so long. Because now, now I have the ability, the knowledge, and the self love to tell my own story. One that has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me.

Today, I rewrite the narrative to be exactly what I want.

Today, I am in love with the most amazing man who complements me like a palate of primary colours. Beautiful on their own, only highlighting and accentuating the other when together. Today, I am in a healthy relationship where we support and lift the other up, instead of pushing and holding each other down. I can actually see and understand what it means to be in a healthy relationship because you were the epitome of unhealthy. I wouldn’t have been able to see that unless you quietly left me for South America, never to return.

Because you left me, you allowed me to experience the pain I needed to. You helped me be at the very bottom of the well so I could pull myself up all on my own. I was able to give myself the chance to overcome the most difficult, lonely, and isolating obstacles that made me nearly take my own life.

But because I fell and because you left, I now am happier than ever. For that, I will forever be grateful for learning some of my life’s most valuable and important lessons.

There is no ill will here. I am happy and healthy, and only hope that you are too.

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