Dear ED

July 19, 2008
By Anonymous

Dear ED,
Today the heat warms the glass that holds us captive
Like animals trapped in a zoo cage.
I am locked up for my safety, security, and physical well being,
But I hear you banging against the padlocked doors.
I know you are lurking around outside
Patiently waiting for my return.
It didn’t have to come to a 24-hour monitored-care system.
I spend my days in a single room with stark white walls,
Carefully examining the amateur graffiti from previous inmates.
Ritualistically, I get woken up at 6:15 a.m.
Put on the required attire and get my vitals taken.
I pick up a book I’ve read 3 full times,
And begin to read it again.
I glance up only to see the same tree
Out of the same window
At the exact same angle, except one more leaf has adapted the autumn glow.
The day I am free,
I will see this tree from a different angle.
I will breathe its fresh air and look up at the empty window I once occupied.
I will feel the sun’s rays beating down on my dry skin and pale face.
Do you remember how I used to be?
You need to protect me from that disaster.
Keep that ghastly image from entering my thoughts.
Don’t worry its not that bad here:
We have a window and a TV.
I have enough room in the hallway for 10 paces.
The tile, the chairs, the carpet, the tables perfectly match.
They are all white.
And on Saturday, I can hear the loud music from the floor below us.
Do you remember staying awake all night
Thinking about the crimes we would commit the next day?
Planning every single move.
As a team, we rarely made mistakes,
But I was caught red-handed.
Now, I am imprisoned.
I am a teenage girl with an eating disorder.

The author's comments:
This piece details the daily life of an eating disorder patient in a behavioral health center. It shows her relationship with her eating disorder (ED) and with the outside world.

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