Posted by: cindy | July 9, 2008

Ed Took My Breath Away

Ed took my breath away four years ago.  He came with the mail. A dear friend sent me a photo of her three beautiful daughters dressed for their prom. Their gowns were gorgeous, each one a different color, all strapless and beaded. Mary, the middle daughter for the first time in her life, looked very different from her sisters.  Her complexion was pale and her once lean, athletic body now looked frail and boney.  I had seen Mary only ten months earlier, what caused this change?

I called my friend Carol, Mary’s Mom and she told me about Ed.  How Ed had developed a relationship with their daughter and stole her away from them.  For the next two hours we laughed and cried as Carol finally shared the secret she had been keeping from me.  She explained the behaviors, the fears and all the pain Ed has brought to their family.

Ed and Mary had a steady relationship for two years.  Everyone but Mary could see that Ed was dangerous for her by the changes taking place in her.  Eventually, through the help of a Physician who is a  friend, they held a family intervention. Out of deep love for Mary, her friends and family convinced her she needed professional help and to separate from Ed.  Mary entered a residential treatment center for eating disorders the next day. She stayed  there for 85 days. Mary later told me that going away for treatment was just what she needed. She needed to meet and talk with other women just like herself that also had a relationship with Ed. The other women she was in treatment with shared their stories of courage and strength as they separted themselves from Ed. It was hard work, a day at a time and even some days she took it minute by minute. 

After 85 days of residential treatment in Arizona, Mary returned home to Philadelphia looking like the beautiful and healthy woman we all remembered. As Mary’s family greeted her at the airport in baggage claim, she announced to her parents that she had divorced Ed. The family embraced in a group hug as they cried tears of joy to their daughter’s news.

Four years later beautiful Mary is married to Dan and they are enjoying their new baby daughter Lela. Mary will never forget Ed and  works each day to make sure he never returns to her life with the skills she learned in treatment.

Please share your personal stories of Ed, a personification for eating disorders. We will post all appropriate responses.

Thank you

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