two weeks ago my therapist decided it was time for me to write this. I had been dreading this letter, even though I could feel it coming. I knew I had to do it and every part of me didn't want to do it. I never write things I don't mean. I used to... and I don't anymore. old Chloe did that, this Chloe doesn't. so, I knew the stakes were high. I knew I had to believe every word. I had to live my goodbye. some days, I am going to fuck up. some days, I'm going to need this letter written on my arm. and some days, I'm going to be the woman who wrote this letter. I didn't want to share this because it makes it real. it makes it final. because I didn't want to share it, I knew it was the right thing to do. so here it is, my goodbye to my closest friend, my lover, my protector, my world, my death and my life. it's time I start a completely new life, without you, without us. I'm so sorry, and I'm not sorry at all. the is the end and the scary-as-hell beginning.
my dear friend,
I wish I could write you a nasty breakup letter. I wish I could despise you and wish we never met. Some days, I do hate you and want nothing to do with you. And then I look back on my life and realize how many days and years you pulled me through. Without you, I don’t want to know what could have happened. And now, we have come to this… if I keep you around any longer, I don’t want to know what could happen either.
You are familiar. You are safe. You are exciting. You are predictable. You are medicine. You are toxic. You are a refuge. You are invincible… until you are not. Until you almost killed me. Until you made my teeth brittle and my bones waste away. Don’t worry, I will never forget you. You have left permanent scars all over my body. Even still, I am ready to say goodbye. This one final goodbye.
Our relationship is not one that I can afford to hold on to any longer. You made me believe that I would have nothing without you. Like a bitter, vindictive ex-boyfriend, you are going to send me letters and melodies and beg me to come back. I finally believe I don’t need you. I have to believe I don’t need you, because I have nothing left to lose.
When I was sixteen I had no idea what a relationship with you cost. At first, you were nurturing and comforting. And you deceived me. Yes, I could have said no much sooner. But, really… could I? You wouldn’t let me say no to you. No was not an answer. Ever. And now I have found the power to say that one word I could never say, “No.”
No, you will no longer rule my life. No, you cannot make me run myself into the ground. No, you will not keep me away from my relationships. No, you cannot distance me from my family. No, you do not empower me. No, you do not make me stronger. No, you do not give me control. No, you can no longer make me believe lies. No, you will not, can not EVER take my life. No, you cannot write my story, ever, ever again.
Before we part forever, I want to honor our relationship, as crazy as it sounds. (Yeah, I am crazy.) You saw me through some of the darkest days of my life. You set my mind as ease when millions of voices were screaming around me. You escorted me through panic attacks, heartbreaks and despair. You comforted me when I couldn’t turn to anything or anyone else. You were the magic spark that kept me alive and functioning. But just alive, not living. Though you gave me so much, you also took nearly everything I had.
I cannot rewind time and tell you to “fuck off”. I have tried a thousand times in my dreams. But that is exactly what you want me to do… dwell on regret and shame, so that I will keep thinking about you. And as hard as it is to move forward... completely raw and bare and terrified, I am moving forward without you. With only the memory of you. I will honor you because you both tore me down and made me the strong-as-hell shitshow I am today. And I think I can take it from here.
I know I can take it from here. I have other people to help carry me through. I have the hope of real relationships without you. People who love me, though imperfectly, and people who want me to live. You are not the companion I need anymore. You are not the only one I can depend on. Yes, other people will disappoint me in ways you never did. Yet, connection will bring me back to life. I will live. Because I can live without you.
So this is goodbye, for good. For ever. Now, I am off to be a wife, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a healer, a writer, a seeker, a storyteller, a traveler, a human being and yes… a shitshow. I release you. I release me.
Goodbye, forever my old friend,
my eating disorder,