Ed (my eating disorder) and I have been together for so long now, I can hardly remember a day when he has not been in my life. Through thick and thin, good and bad, Ed has stuck with me, and always been a faithful companion. When I moved across the country and didn’t know anyone, Ed helped me cope with the stress and loneliness of starting over. When I dated two boys who controlled me and broke my heart, Ed was there, helping me through it and telling me that if I only stuck with him, things would be okay I didn’t need anything else or anyone else. I had Ed.
But after all that time, I have come to realize that Ed has far outstayed his welcome. He never really helped me like he said he was going to, and he was more controlling and hurtful than any other boy I could ever date. So now, its time to get rid of Ed, to break up with him once and for all, and to get him out of my life.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Don’t negotiate
We all know that Ed is an absolute master with words. He can take the strongest of resolve, and suddenly have you crumbling again under his empty promises. So don’t even give him the time or opportunity to try to play his mind games with you. Kick him to the curb, and leave. Get out, don’t look back.
2. Seek support
Although when you are in the grips of a damaging relationship with Ed it may seem like he is all you have, once you leave him you will realize that there are countless people in your life who love you, are worried about you, and having been sitting in the wings waiting for this day to come. These are the people that you need to quickly seek out. Breaking up with Ed is going to be hard. Really hard, and you are going to be very tempted to quit your resolve and go back to him. These people will help. Your friends, your family, will listen to your feelings and your fears and hold you when you cry. They can distract you and support you. They will be the rock that gets you through it.
3. Figure out who you are without Ed in your life
Chances are, if you are anything like me, your relationship with Ed was pretty intense and all consuming. You probably didn’t have time to work on any passions, cultivate any hobbies, or do anything of the sort. You might not even know where to begin. This is your next step. You can’t simply be sitting around all day, thinking about how much you miss Ed. So, how to start? Think of things you liked to do before Ed was in your life. Did you like to paint, like to sing, like to roller bad, like to go to concerts, like to write poetry? Make an effort to do these things again. Even better, try new things that you never would have considered doing before! Just keep yourself busy, and try to develop what you love to do! (Your friends and family can help here too!)
4. Cry if you need to
Breaking up with Ed was by far the hardest (and best!) thing I have ever had to do. It forced me to look at myself and the world in a whole new way. It challenged to actually feel things again, to figure out what my values are and what I believe, and to fight harder than I have ever fought for anything. And boy, did I cry. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Its not easy, no expects you to have it all together. Breaking down is absolutely not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is a sign that you are so strong. Stronger than you have ever been. Ed would never let you ask for help. The fact that you allow yourself to now means that you are breaking free of him.
5. Don’t get upset with yourself for going back to him
Everyone slips up. When I was dating one of my boyfriends, I went back to him 6 times before I could finally end it once and for all. Don’t hate yourself if you find yourself letting Ed back into your life. He is very persistent, and there will be times when you even think you want him to come back to stay. This is okay. Its understandable, even expected. Don’t focus on the fact of failing, focus on the strength you will have when you kick him to the curb again, and the lesson you can learn about why you let him back.
5. Keep going
It’s going to be hard. And Ed is absolutely not going to give up without a fight. You may have to kick him out three, five, ten, twenty, or even more times before he is finally gone for good. But don’t you dare quit. Because I promise you one day, he will be gone. When it really comes down to it, Ed is weak and manipulate and cruel, and you are so strong. Strong enough to see past his bullshit, and his lies, and his manipulation. If you keep fighting, someday you will realize your own strength, and you will not let him back in. Keep going, you’ll get there.
I believe in you.