I can call you Ana, after all, we’ve been best friends for 11 years now and best friends have nicknames for one another, right? Calling you Ana is second nature to me now. Ana and Emma, intertwined, almost inseparable…almost.
However, I don’t want to refer to you as Ana anymore, after all, best friends give each other nicknames and I am no longer prepared to refer to you as my best friend. I don’t need YOU as a best friend. I want a life without anorexia nervosa. And, maybe, I even deserve a life without my eating disorder. I want to distance myself from you. I need to detach myself from anorexia nervosa, free myself from you.
You’re not a best friend. You promised me the world and I believed you. You fed me your lies and I swallowed your secrets, excited at the prospect of a new life side by side with you. I put your worth above anyone else’s, above my own. I destroyed my body for a peace of mind I never got.
Anorexia nervosa, you are a liar.
You are a liar and a thief. You stole my teenage years. You stole my happiness. You stole my identity. You took so much but you gave nothing in return. You took my family away from me. You took my friends. You took my opinion and you took my voice. But, I want them back. I deserve to have them back.
You no longer make me happy. I’m not sure you ever truly did. It was all an illusion. But now, with the help of everyone around me, I see you for what you really are. You don’t want what’s best for me. You’re a bully. You’re a dictator. You want to control me. To control my life. You’re not looking out for me, and you don’t have my back. I use to love how close we were, I use to love your plans, your promises of a better life. You gave me a feeling of control when I felt like I had nothing, but now I realise I was never in control. It was always you. It was never me. Never Emma.
You are jealous, it was all of you and nothing else. I wasn’t allowed to love anything or anyone else. Even now, as I am distancing myself from you, you are screaming louder than ever. Fighting harder than ever because, you know and I know, that there is a glimmer of life beyond you, a chink of light in the black picture you draw around my life. You take advantage of me on the days when the flicker of hope has faded slightly. You thrive off that and you convince me that what we have is special, that what I am doing is wrong. But, as I am letting other people in, as I am gaining more confidence to battle against you, you are getting weaker. And some days I am able to imagine you hiding behind a shadow. A coward who is now scared of the life I am going to lead.
Maybe I will never be able to see what everyone around me does, but that’s okay because now I am learning to trust everyone around me. I am doing what you fear most and letting people into my world. I am letting people help me. So, yes, maybe I will always see the green chair as red but, that is okay because, my perception of that is no longer allowed to define me.
So listen Anorexia, I am going to do exactly what one of my most gorgeous and inspirational friends told me to do. I am going to get my shit together and get better. I AM better without you.