I used to be a King.
I stood in the center of the board, surrounded, protected – or so I thought.

Rather, I was controlled.
The Queen stood at my left, crowding me, possessing me
Existing to keep a mindful eye, moving swiftly to deter others from approaching me.

Existing in a world of numbers, a world of quantity, I remained stagnant on the patterned board.

I measured and I calculated.
My mind consisted of weights and calories, exercise and avoidance.

I was avoiding life.
Avoiding the full spectrum of colours that life can bring, the twists and turns, the tunnels and caves. Instead, I remained.
I stood in my square, the only colour in my life was ebony, the colour of my crown. The colour of my pain.

Soon, the Queen approached.
She was magnificent and seductive – offering me futures without pain, futures without fear.
I had only to eat from her tree of knowledge, to taste her empty promises to become entangled in her world.

My Queen, my Anorexia, took no mercy.
She promised me love and protection and instead met me with danger and sneers.

She took out my opponents, having me believe that she was truly my savior – only to then allow my supports to fall; when they inched closer, attempting to help me, she positioned their destruction, leading me to believe that they did not intend to truly help me.

I could barely move without her permission.
My life had become a game, my thoughts no longer my own.
I was trapped; cold and alone – surrounded by knights who wished to help, though they were powerless to her temper and tricks.

She controlled the game as I lost everything around me. People, love, hope.

Until I began to fight back. Until I began to move.
My motivation? Knowing I was not the only king on the board, knowing that the Queen was not my only option of protection. Determined to live a life without her.

I swayed. But I rebuilt.
I learned to chip away at the Anorexia, which had for so long chipped away at my soul.

I learned to rely on my rooks and knights, learned to trust my bishops, and have faith in the one overseeing the game.

My moments of anguish were replaced by passing moments of joy. And soon these moments turned into minutes.
My self-determination, my perseverance and my conviction were at times stabbed by the Queen’s sharp persistence. But with time and commitment I chose to escape.

I did not need a Queen to protect me, I had compassion and supports from those around me.
I had self-respect.

My world could not be in the hands of another, of a demonic voice who wished to see my fail.
Instead I chose a life of leaps and patterns, passion and memories.

I waltzed the board with my pawns, moving freely as I pleased.
Learning to appreciate the missteps, to take in stride the difficulties and losses.
Discovering my acceptance of myself and of the unknown – a life of wonder and gifts.
My life, a gift.

I live now in quality, embracing the joy in my heart and my future without Anorexia.

Long may I reign.