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Ode to Normalcy: A Poem About Eating Disorder Recovery

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I have struggled with an eating disorder for 10 years now, while going through various forms of therapy from time to time. I have finally fully faced up to it and am on the waiting list for professional help. It has become so ingrained in my life and my identity that I guess in a way, it became “normal.” It was only when I wrote down in words the amount of energy, thought and activity I put into it every single day, that I realized how far from “normal” my daily life actually was. It is a tormenting disease, one that can literally eat away at your body, mind and soul. I wrote this poem to try and get across what it was like for me to live with an eating disorder every day. The mental exhaustion of living with a mental illness can be hard for others to grasp, and I hope this poem will help people understand a little better what life is like. People who struggle are not weak, nor are they failures. They are often fighting so hard with their inner demons. I know I sure am.

An Ode to Normalcy

To wake without thought
Of weight as your worth.
To rise without heed
To the fat on your bones.
To make without guilt
A breakfast for you.
To eat without lamenting
What each calorie amounts to.
To walk without monitoring
The milage each day.
To plan without considering
The exercise you must do.
To pass without hating
Those skinnier than you.
To look without judgment
At your face in the mirror.
To study without thinking
Of what you mustn’t eat.
To pick without hesitation
The thing you most want.
To sit without staring
At the fat of your thighs.
To dress without shame
Of your body’s size and shape.
To shower without hatred
Of what you look like.
To think freely without obsessing
Over food, exercise, weight.
To fantasize without dreaming
That you can be thinner.
To sleep without wishing
That you never wake up.
To value without attention
To the number on the scales.
To live without crying
About the space you occupy.
To exist without loathing
Your body and your face.
To love without limit
You, through and through.
To be all that you can be
and more than you thought.
Your life, a normality.
What a wonderful thought.

I do believe recovery is possible and it is a journey. A process worth the struggle. I just have to keep on fighting for my life.

Follow this journey on My Many Mental Musings.

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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Image via contributor.

Originally published: February 9, 2017
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