White Cotton Peonies

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I recently wrote a post letting you guys know about the current illness that I’m battling. I was so nervous about making it public for fear of what people would think – I was convinced that everyone would think less of me (a pattern that I’m learning is a trait of the illness). I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support that I’ve received and I genuinely can’t express how grateful I am.

Journalling is something that we’re heavily encouraged to do to make sense of our thoughts and I guess you could consider this little space my online journal. I’m well aware that it won’t always make comfortable reading, but I hope that it will help shed light on the illness to those on the outside and provide some sort of comfort to those with struggles of their own to know that they’re not alone.

For now, I wanted to share with you a little letter that I wrote to ‘him’ (I’ve decided he must be a man, haha) to give you a little insight as to how exactly it’s affected my life. Grab a coffee and a comfy seat…

Dearest ED,

I’m not quite sure when you entered my life and through which door you appeared, but some how you got here. At first, you gave me everything that I wished for – feelings of greater confidence, control and power, the promise of becoming a better person and feeling more worthy of my life.

You became a crutch – a way of feeling better about myself when things went wrong, a way of staying strong, a shoulder that I could lean on with confidence that you would never leave.

For many years now, you have lived as my dirty little secret and our love affair continued… until that one day when our relationship became abusive. You control me – constantly telling me that I’m not good enough and that I don’t deserve love and happiness. You went from visiting occasionally to demanding every second of my time – tearing me away from everyone and everything that I love. Without realising, I somehow lost everything – you’ve left me with an empty shell that people expect to function.

You started enforcing rules on me – when I could eat, how much, where and when. Before long, you had inflicted such fear that I would rather risk death than see the scales move up. You take away the flavour of each bite and instead replace it with numbers, torturous numbers that will never leave me.

You gave me a beautiful castle in a magical land but when I stepped inside, slammed the door and took the key. The walls contain massive windows from which I stand and watch the world as life passes me by. The clock spins around out of control as I watch my life slip away. My friends visit, I tell them I’m fine, they know that I’m lying. Gradually the visits stop and it’s just you and me.

The one person that stands with me throughout is my Fiancé, the man I love but know that I don’t deserve. He tries desperately to unlock the door to the castle to save me but I step further and further away – not because I don’t love him, but because when I look into his eyes, all that I see is pain, pain that I know I’m causing.

Now I’m being told that our relationship must end and I desperately don’t want that to happen but know that it’s for the best. I want the weight to be lifted so that I can breath again – but with every attempt that I make, your grip becomes tighter, strangling me and stealing all of my oxygen.

I hate you and yet I love you. I feel more pain that I ever knew existed and so it’s time that we parted ways. I will face my fears, those numbers, your voice, and I will step into the arms of the man who truly loves me – every part of me. I will take the blind leap of faith to make the change and with every bite of food that I take, I’ll be wishing you goodbye.

I want to step out, out from the shadows and into the light where a future and promise await. This is my time and I will no longer let you steal this from me. I fully expect that you’ll pay the occasional visit, but sadly regret that I’ll have to firmly wish you well on your way. This is the time for me and my love to start our lives together… alone. Not because that’s what he wants me to do, but because that’s what I want – truly.

I love you and always will.

Mel xox

Melanie Kentish

Hi! My name's Mel and I'm a 30 something blogger living in Windsor, UK with my two ginger cats and a rather handsome husband. White Cotton Peonies is the place where you'll find my ramblings on health, fashion, beauty, food and my random adventures as a soon-to-be mum. Enjoy.


  1. Sean Murphy


    Good Girl Mel
    Right choice, right reasons and the way forward keep working at it I know it must be so tough but your tougher
    And can beat old ED!

    • Mel Kirk


      Thank you Sean! 🙂

  2. Karsten Rowe


    Hi Mel,

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, I’ve been following your work for a long time (not in a creepy way – I promise!). I remember your randommel.com blog, and funny videos, the work you did at Carsonified with two of my favourite designers Mike Kus and Elliot Jay Stocks and also remember when you moved to Aardman.

    I also suffer with an eating disorder, I’ve tried to seek help but 10 years in, I still struggle, I just don’t think anyone really understands how difficult it is. You are much stronger than I publicly talking about your problems. It’s inspiring and I truly hope we can both find a fix for our problems.

    The best of luck!

    • Mel Kirk


      Karsten, thank you so much for sharing your struggles with me and I hope that you too can battle your demons and together we’ll come out the other side. If you ever need to chat, I’m always here! Stay strong x

  3. Jonny


    Well done Mel!

    Screw Ed! He is rubbish and lies to you.

    Life is a bit like looking in a mirror and comparing it to a photo. What you see in a mirror is only what you see. The reflection is reversed, and the way you have done your hair for years looks different in photos, it’s brushed the other way and your face looks just somehow different. The rest of the world sees that person, not the one in the mirror.

    When I see you, I see a brave woman, a fantastic friend and the most compassionate and kind person. It’s all i’ve ever seen, and all I ever will, I don’t see this affair you are having with this Ed, who sits on your shoulder when you look in the mirror.

    I hope you start looking at the photo instead of the mirror. All those around you see such a wonderful person, and it’s time you started seeing that too.

    Love you!

    • Mel Kirk


      Jonny, you’re so awesome and I love you so much. Your continued love and support is more than I could ever wish for. I hope to be able to repay you one day x

  4. Whitney Pannell


    Mel, what an interesting perspective on your eating disorder. I truly hope you can break up with ED once and for all! And kick his butt to the curb and leave all his belongings along side him:)

    • Mel Kirk


      Thank you Whitney. I think I might burn his belongings 🙂

  5. Carla Gonen


    ED is a knob! He has been lying to you!
    You are stronger without him! Xxx

    • Mel Kirk


      He is. He’s a complete and utter knob! Hope to finally meet you soon beauty x

  6. JJ


    Sitting outside a coffee shop with tears openly falling down my face for many reasons.

    I’ve known your battle for a while now but until recently didn’t understand quite how serious it was. I have always admired you and in the years we’ve become friends have learned to understand just how powerful, strong, funny, inspiring, supportive and brilliant you are. The thought of you seeing something else when you look in the mirror hurts my heart…because everyone else looks at you in awe. I am so, so thankful for Rich coming into your life and it reminds me that everything happens for a reason, and let’s me know you’re going to be alright.

    You are incredible, Mel Kirk. As a friend, as a business woman, and as a human being. I will always be here for you, however far apart we might be. You showed me so much love in the darkest time of my life and I will always try to do the same for you. Through good and bad. I love you xx

    • Mel Kirk


      You’ve just made me blubber. My already swollen eyes can’t deal with this. I insist we go for facials together soon to rectify this situation. Love you pretty xx

  7. Chris


    well done! Your very brave x

    • Mel Kirk


      Thank you Chris x

  8. Ginnie


    Mel, we have only know each other virtually and have followed your blogs for a while. You are doing a wonderful thing sharing this with the world. I wish you all the best and hope you beat this very soon so that you can go on to enjoy your new life. Hugs x

  9. Catherine


    Mel, I have an unbelievable amount of respect for you, lady. You have always been such a massive inspiration, but now even more so. I never had any idea what ED was like, I’ve never experienced it and never known anyone else who has, but this has given me such an insight into how awful it is, and how much of a total DICK ED is!

    You can do this, everything you do you give it your all and inspire those around you, and I have no doubt that you’ll kick ED’s ass and show him who’s boss! Just take each day as it comes, and you’ll get there with the help of everyone around you.

    So much love!

    C x

  10. Antonia


    Hey Mel,
    Having only known you for a few months this is the first blog of yours that I have read! And I can honestly say I am hooked!
    As I told you back in July my mother suffered with eating disorders for the best part of her adult life. It was heartbreaking to watch as a young teenager. Reading your open and heartfelt letter to the controlling ED has given me insight into how my mother would have been feeling. After she passed away I suffered with an eating disorder but not for very long… I found other ways to be self destructive which I guess you can say were equally controlling.
    It’s been a hard struggle pushing through the self hatred, feeling of abandonment and loss of control but I’ve done it! The thoughts still haunt me when things go wrong or I feel down for whatever reason but I am stronger now and no longer rely on the controlling self destructive behaviour to get me through.

    You, Melanie Kentish, are a true inspiration. And I wish you all the happiness in the world… Your journey on the road to recovery will be difficult but I know you will kick ED’s butt and be the super strong, loving & determined woman you are!!

    Loads of Love

    • Mel Kirk


      You Antonia, are a little gem. Your strength and courage is a true inspiration to me and I’m so proud to call you my friend. They say that people come into your life for a reason and I’m so pleased that you came into mine. I hope to see you soon pretty xxx

  11. Serena


    Don’t even know how I came to your new blog and to this post tonight, but I am grateful I did. We kind of know each other through business and mutual acquaintances and I have always admired your entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm. As a fellow (and I’d like to say former, but…ED is a damn persistent ex) ED sufferer, I can only say you’ve already taken the most important steps to be free – and that you deserve all the love, happiness and success coming your way. So great to see pics of your awesome wedding and to know about the LCM. All the best to the three of you xx Serena

    • Melanie Kentish


      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Serena, it’s awesome to hear from you and your kind words are appreciated. Congrats on continuing to fight the battle, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger! xx

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