Poetry as a form of experiential therapy has been used for number of years. Experiential therapies allow the individual to engage with their inner self, generally something which eating-disordered people find difficult to do.

Amy Sargeant's poem provides a soulful insight of living with anorexia and leads to the want of a healthy normal life again. 

When I was 21

You started talking to me

You told me I was worthless,

Fat, vile and ugly

I'd never met you before

You didn't even say hello

You told me to stop eating

And you wouldn't listen to 'no'

When I was 22

I believed everything you said

I let you take over my diet

And the thoughts inside my head

I stopped having my favourite treats

I lied to my family and friends

I ruined some family occasions

And I can never make amends

When I was 23

My rules were set in stone

Nothing new would pass my lips

And I'd prefer to eat alone

The scales were my obsession

I was on them several times a day

The number was never low enough

I just wanted to waste away

When I was 24

You and I came as a pair

We were doing damage to my body

But we really didn't care

"Get smaller, be thinner, weigh less"

You were like a record stuck on repeat

You scrutinsed my entire body 

From my cheeks right down to my feet

Now that I'm 25

I don't want to be your friend

I really don't like you very much, Ana

And I want your comments to end

I'm ready to move on from you

I want my life and spirit back

You've dominated enough of my time

Telling me I'm fat

There's more to life than weight and size

What the mirror says isn't always true

I'm letting myself get healthy again

And finally say goodbye to you.    

Sarah Howes is currently caring and supporting her teenage son through his battle with anorexia. 

You sneaked into our lives,

You didn't knock at our front door

Hasn't anybody told you trespassing is against the law

You arrived without any warning

And laid roots in my son's mind

How dare you get so comfortable 

Anorexia you are so unkind

You make him count every single calorie

And panic with every bite

Eating shouldn't be this tortuous

It is his basic human right

He should be eating to keep healthy

He should be eating to get well

Not feeling guilty and shameful

In this anorexic hell

I see him in the mirror,

Before hanging his head in shame

Then comes 100 squats before dinner

And afterwards the same

Food used to be a celebration

A declaration of our love

Now it is nothing but a punishment

Anorexia haven't you done enough?

Now let me tell you something

You evil, nasty thing

My son is stronger than Anorexia

With our love he is going to win!

So remove your ugly foundations

From my darling's tired head

Let him feel the joy of being 

A happy teenage boy instead.

Please visit our inspirational poet Benjamin David.


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