You were my medicine when life brought its afflictions. You consoled me through the ails of loneliness, sadness, worry, and a frequent offender: boredom. You were my go-to when waves of self-loathing rose like bile in my belly. Push it down. Eat away the pain. You were always here to distract, my special friend on this path of self-destruction.
I loved you. I leaned on you. I abused and neglected you. And in so doing, I struggled to become a healthy, emotionally stable, confident woman.
Anorexia broke our bonds when I let her venture in. She clung to me in my teen years, her tentacles unrelenting. She brought shame, torment, lies.
Binge. Purge. Binge. Purge.
Bones jutting, face sinking, hair thinning, body shivering, eyes sinking and swimming away.
Starvation feeds self-hatred.
But today I strive for balance. I remind myself that you are neither a friend nor an enemy. You are instead a necessity. I decide what to make of you, and whether you will be a drug, a weapon, a companion, a tool. Today, I choose to make you a part of the celebration of life. And as I journey along the ever-shifting ground, I remind myself that life is a matter of holding on and letting go. So I give, take, win, lose. I fall and I get up again. And most importantly, I practice the art of self-love.
Self-love is a matter of self-respect.
Consider this an apology, dear food. Call this a truce and a letter of intent.
A well-fed woman.
Rica Lewis is OTV’s Mindful Living Guru