Dear Body, I Am Sorry: An Eating Disorder Recovery Poem

Dear Body,
I am sorry.
I am sorry
For too long
Making you the enemy
In a battle of destruction
I have been determined
To win.
I am sorry
For the hatred and pain
I have forced you to endure,
For the severed relationship
I have created
Over a lifetime
Of constantly shrinking
And growing,
Waxing and waning.
I am sorry.

Dear feet,
I am sorry
For the miles of torture
I have put you through,
Living off merely
Caffeine and fumes,
Trying to reconcile
My insides with
My outsides.
I am sorry
For all the moments
I should have stopped
And rested
And given up.
I am sorry
For all the moments
In which I did give up.
All the moments I walked away;
All the times I did not stand firm.
I am sorry.

Dear legs,
I am sorry
For the manner in
Which I have tried
To control you,
To force you
Into the size and design
I envisioned,
Rather than simply letting
You exist as you are.
I am sorry
For the lines
Carved into you,
All the moments of desperation
Where you met
The pain I needed to inflict.
I am sorry.

Dear stomach,
I am sorry
For all the moments
Where you have been
The enemy;
Where your mere existence
Has made me shudder.
I am sorry
For all the nights
You have gone hungry,
All the days you have
Lived in a state of
Starvation and malnourishment.
I am sorry
For all the times
I have pushed
You to your breaking point
Stuffing too much in
To a place
Limited in size.
I am sorry
For the war
I have waged
Against you.
I am sorry.

Dear hands,
I am sorry
For using you
As the vehicle of my abuse,
For allowing you
To be the source of
My destruction,
For moments where
I failed to distract you,
Allowing myself permission
To destroy
The vessel carrying my soul.
I am sorry
For stifling all the words
I should have wrote
And I am sorry for
Writing a lifetime of hurt
On a body
That did not know better.
I am sorry.

Dear voice,
I am sorry
For silencing
You far too often,
For invalidating
Everything you’ve had to say.
I am sorry
For using you
As the source
Of my lies
Allowing you to convince
Both myself and others
Of the baseline of my existence.
I am sorry
For all the
Thoughts I’ve left unsaid
All the times I ignored
Your presence.
I am sorry.

Dear body,
You are not the enemy.
You are not the reason
For destruction.
You are the source of my strength.
The place in which my soul resides.
You are the outward appearance
Of my refusal
To be defeated.
You are not meant to be
My battleground
But rather my parade.
I’m sorry it’s taken me
So long to get here.
I’m sorry there’s still so long to go.
I am sorry.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Getty image via VolodymyrKozin

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