Today I am breaking up with my body image disorder (aka BID).
We have been together since I was eight years old. At the time, I didn't know that it was an inappropriate relationship. I was young and just did whatever it said, wanting so much to be liked. We continued on and off into my teens, 20s and 30s. Because there was so much going on during those years, I never considered the possibility of a long term relationship. But as I crested my 40s I realized that it has been the only relationship that has lasted. It's been there for me no matter what, through thick and thin (literally and figuratively.)
Now though, as I head towards 50 I want a life of my own-whatever that may be. I'm telling BID that our relationship is standing in the way of my happiness. It's not that there weren't good times, but the bad have always out-weighed the good and we really have to stop.
I know that it will be hard. Waking up alone in the morning, without BID's seductive commentary will seem like a wasteland. But I know that the void it will create in my brain can be filled with compassion in action and generosity towards others. I have so many plans and ideas, I just can't justify the energy to keep the relationship going. I want to enjoy food, not give in to what I now realize is the self-centered guilty pleasure of obsession. I want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cigarette for what they are, not for what they are covering up.
I know that I will slip. BID will entice me when I am weak. But just as I would tell any of my girlfriends if they gave in to the temptations of a controlling and abusive relationship, it does not mean we are back together.
Wish me luck.