My eating disorder lives inside me. It’s my friend and my enemy. It’s my disorder and it is ME. I can’t separate myself, but I don’t want to live with it anymore, but I can’t imagine how I will survive without it. I want help, and even ask for it. At times I am right at the door to make the change that could save my life – give me life, I have no life, not really – I could have a chance. I walk away and the noise gets so loud. It’s my eating disorder breaking down every bit of possibility for something different. I wonder why. I know I am afraid. Afraid to let go of my eating disorder. What would my life be like without it? WHO would I be without it? How will I survive without it? The pain, the guilt, the shame – how can I tolerate feelings without it? This is the crux every time I get right to point of getting help. This time I am going to take a chance, it seems like a risk, but what I find is it is the first attempt at trust – a completely foreign act. I accept help. They tell me the expectation is NOT that I let go of my disorder just because I walk through the door, it is simply that I walk through the door rather than walk away. That is all I need to do in that moment and I do. What I find is that was the first step to relief. While I though my anxiety would climb it actually dropped. I let go of SOME control. I could breathe a bit. I was surrounded by people who understood the prison I have been trapped in in my mind. I can talk about what I think – when I feel like I am not going to make it, I can say it, when I feel like I want to restrict, or binge or my anxiety is high – the community understands, the staff understands and they give me tools to handle it. At the same time my feelings are coming up rather than being pushed down by my eating disorder and I am processing them and getting them out of my body – which enables ME to be in my body – rather than my eating disorder – I AM NOT MY EATING DISORDER! I am learning to love me and look at my eating disorder outside of me. Sure I can still hear it but I can respond, it does not control me. I am not afraid anymore. Possibilities seem reachable for the life I want for me.