**Content warning: This is one person’s story. Everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
These poems were submitted anonymously by an Emily Program client.
I am so sorry. I almost don’t know where to begin. I have put you through so much. And I hate to say it, but I’m going to put you through more as I try to fight this. And I will fight this.
All you have ever done is try to support me.
To my belly, you smile with warmth when you’re nourished. But I’ve denied you that warmth countless times. I’ve damaged you and I’ve left you in pain. I know you’ll never be quite the same.
To my legs, you carry me everywhere I need to go. When I eat, I strengthen you. I’ve forced you into weakness time and time again. I’ve risked breaking you when you are what bears me up.
To my voice, you are so soft and beautiful. You speak kindness, you sing worship to my almighty God. I’ve silenced you and made you weak. I’ve risked losing your sweet sound.
To my heart, the very one that keeps me alive and breathing. I’ve slowed you down and I’ve sped you up. You just want to keep beating. I’ve risked tiring you out. I’ve risked harming your strong and powerful beat.
But your forgiveness is abundant. It is evident as you accept the love I am working so hard to give you. Little by little, you accept the warmth of food, belly. Little by little, you are growing strong, legs. Little by little, your ring is coming back, voice. And beat by beat, you relax and rest, heart.
I want to be your friend. I’m learning to appreciate you again, learning to fall back in love with you. I see how much you’ve done for me, how you would do anything to keep me upright. I no longer want to dwindle you. You are my home.
I smile warmly, snuggling my hot mug of coffee.
Most morning begin like this.
The caffeine streams through my veins,
before I even take a step out the door
jolting my foggy nurse brain awake.
I no longer measure my half n’ half with a teaspoon,
one little victory most will never notice…
the extra splash no longer sends me spiraling.
But some days I’m like that half n’ half,
I’m watered down.
Half of my soul longs for recovery,
the other half clings to numbers,
to my physique,
to the comfort of my destructive habits.
Today is one of those days
where I’m tired of fighting.
How easy would it be to slip right back in?
to drop another pound?
I shudder at the thought.
With another deep breath I look down at my mug.
I decide recovery’s worth it today,
so I pour in more half n’ half.
Do you know how many calories you burn laughing??
I do, and it’s not that impressive.
I remember seeing the number on Google with disappointment thinking,
“Is laughter even that worth it??”
As if laughter was a planned workout.
As if it wasn’t a grand grace God gave us.
Something so beautiful and formative in my life
I had reduced down to nothingness,
Because it wouldn’t burn up my afternoon snack.
That is what Ed does.
Why do I think this way?
I don’t want to, but I do.
And to be honest, I don’t know how to undo it.
But I promise I’m trying.
My dad and I watched “Impractical Jokers” last week,
laughing so loud my mom came down to check on us.
I could barely breathe because of the silliness.
There may have even been a snort or two…
And even if it didn’t burn a single calorie,
I loved every second of it.
Copyright © 2019 - Emily Program. All rights reserved.