Looking for eating disorder support in your area? Visit HelpFinder

Anorexia, meet my husband

Dear Anorexia,

I’d like to introduce you to my husband. The man that has stood by my side against you. Enduring all the evils that come with loving someone with an eating disorder.

He watched as I became entwined deeper in your grip. He watched as his fiancée fell apart in a quest to disappear. He watched as he started losing the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He watched as his best friend, soulmate and ultimate love of his life started to vanish in front of him, physically and mentally.

But you see, he didn’t just watch. He came to meet you. He came into my unwell mind’s world. A world that he didn’t understand, that often he couldn’t fathom at all. But he came in, and he has shown you his strength. He didn’t walk away; instead he let himself get sucked in so that he could fight with me. He fought you when I couldn’t.

It is a fight of trial and error for him. Sometimes he doesn’t know what to say or do, sometimes he says or does things that feed straight into you. I imagine you dance with glee as you twist his words into a meaning beyond its origins. But sometimes, he knows exactly what to say or do; these “sometimes” moments have, with practice, become more frequent. We are both learning where the chinks in your armour lie. We use this knowledge to fight together. Battle after battle we are starting to win this war.

With my mind entrenched by you, you made me believe he would be better off without me. That if I didn’t exist he would be happier. But anorexia, I think you lied. If it were true, why has he fought you alongside me all this time? Why did he work so hard and give up so much to help me get rid of you? He didn’t walk away, he stayed by my side. He married me. He married me in the midst of the ups and downs of trying to recover. Despite the arguments, the exhausted days (weeks and months), the loneliness, the fear, the hurt and the pain he has endured with you around, he has never given up on me. He chose to stay, and has loved me through it all. Even when I couldn’t believe it.

I know it is up to me to destroy you. His fight alone would never win this war.  But with him, even on the hardest days, I do not face you alone. No matter how weak and worthless I feel with you in my mind, I will always know that I have his love, his support, and his strength to fight. With this knowledge I have hope. And hope is stronger than fear.

I am introducing him to you, but really I think you know him well. He is your worst enemy and my greatest ally.

Yours, not forever,