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.
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