Who I Pretend To Be

Dear Self at 15,

Tomorrow something is going to happen that is going to change your life forever. What I want you to know is that you will be raped and your boyfriend will be the rapist. You will find yourself unable to scream because you are so shocked and confused and because you really liked this guy, and you had worked so hard to get him to notice you. Because of that, you will not be able to tell anyone about it for years. I also want you to know that you are still a valuable, important girl. Just because someone hurts you does not mean you are bad and horrible now. So, stop treating yourself bad! You need to understand about this stuff so that you can work through it, but you will succeed eventually!

Tomorrow, you will be frightened and things will happen to your body that you cannot understand. Be proud that you cannot put yourself in a place where what was done to you makes sense. You did NOT cause this. You COULD NOT cause this. Your dreams and girlish imagination could not predict this. Your mind had no knowledge of the path this day would take. Do not be ashamed that you do not understand why this happened. Also, do not believe the vile and ugly things you will begin to tell yourself. These are not true.

When you are being raped, you will try everything you can to stop it but it won't work. That doesn't mean you failed or did something bad, so don't spend the next decade blaming yourself- you tried! And just because it was rape doesn't mean you aren't good enough for anyone after that. You are!

Tomorrow, your body will be harmed, your mind will be attacked, and your spirit will mourn. But, you will not die, you will not lose your mind to this and your spirit will sustain you. You must not let the events of tomorrow scar your vision for the future. You have a beautiful gift and you must hang on to it. That gift is your compassion. You are a young girl now, and you have a timid spirit because you have been taught that your heart and your thoughts do not matter. But they do. You will make a contribution to this world and you will be a woman who can and should prize her womanhood and her success, however, this will be a challenge for you.

Tomorrow, you will begin the lies. Lies to cover the truth that you cannot fathom. You will keep this secret for years and blame yourself for keeping it a secret, but you need to forgive yourself. Keeping the secret was not a failure you caused, it was a form of survival that you needed to do. I wish I could say you'll get through it ok. The truth is, you won't. You'll start hating yourself and your body. You will do horrible things to punish yourself. You will continue the lies about the extremes you will go to and the reasons for your actions.

This one instance may not feel like much right now, but it is. Please don't downplay its significance because you will only internalize destructive habits and then, years later, you'll be unable to figure out why these habits are still a part of your life. And then, you will have to spend years trying to undo the damage you have done to yourself. I know it is hard to love yourself, but please let someone love you. Find the strength to look for a person that can help you, that will love you in both your greatest and most destructive moments.

You're a girl, a 15 year old girl. You can't understand the evil in the world yet. Being innocent and naïve is not a crime. Being unsuspecting is not a crime. It doesn't make you stupid- rather, it makes you pure. That's a lovely and good thing. You'll think that all is lost- your innocence, your purity, your virginity. You'll consider yourself dirty and unworthy but you're not. Please watch the language you use to talk about yourself. Try to stop using dark, catastrophic words to describe yourself such as dirty, unlovable, broken and wounded for life, etc. In truth, you are none of those things- you are hurt.

For a long time you are going to flatten your emotions about tomorrow's rape. You did not ask for this pain. You do not deserve this pain. But, its still there so please don't push your emotions away. I know you feel that tears betray you, but if you can, just let them come this time. You will talk about what happened in a flat 'matter of fact' way because you will think that is how a rape victim should sound. You will say to yourself "I should be over this; crying is weakness; if I show emotions then that doesn't show that I am strong." Try to show connection between your thoughts and feelings. It is possible to transform your emotions from the suffocating, flooding despair you might feel at first to a sadness that reflects the hurt you will have suffered which doesn't overcome you, drown you or terrify you. By crying for your trauma, you can begin to accept it as a real loss, and not merely something disgusting done to you. Grieving will be a sign of change for you because it will mean that you are starting to see yourself as a worthy person who was wronged. You will see that you are a hurt person, not a bad person, and that you were hurt by someone who never saw your worth. You will also grieve the lost time when you could not see your own worth, and buried it in the obsessive/perfectionistic lifestyle you turned to after the rape.

By grieving, you will recognize that as you have grown up the world has honored fewer and fewer of your gifts and has offered you less and less choice about who you will be. As a younger girl, many parts of you could be praised and respected. But as you develop physically and emotionally, the attributes that the world will seek from you will be 'pretty, cute and sweet' and very little else. And the rape will compound this diminishment of who you are allowed to be by stealing away your very sense of power and security in the world.

Tomorrow, you will not have a choice about the rape, but you will have a choice about how you recover from the trauma. There are some pieces of you that you will never get back. You will have to accept that they are gone. And for years and years you will feel hopeless because of that, as if the core of you was stolen and you will have to live out your days like a hollow person with no heart inside. But what you will learn to realize is that you don't need those old pieces to re-grow. Those were pieces of a person you will no longer be. They will be pieces of a hurt and broken you, and let 'em go. You will be growing into something new. I hope you realize this sooner rather than later. You do not have to do this alone. You are lovable and you are loved, no matter what you do. You have the strength to do this. Your life is worth it.


Once there was a girl who was introduced to Ed as a teenager.  She immediately became infatuated, and quickly became obsessed to the point of dependency.  Ed taught her many things, most importantly, that she could eat, or binge to the point of being physically ill, and then she could simply rid herself of everything over a toilet bowl.  This went on for many years, until, one day, she simply got tired of Ed.  So, she worked very hard and diligently trying to kick him to the curb.  Although she was somewhat successful in giving Ed the boot, what she quickly realized was that Ed was very much like an addiction.  You see, she found that although she believed he was no longer a constant presence in her day to day life, Ed had what a drug addict calls a "shelf life."  Simply put, even though she thought he was gone, the physical effects of Ed remained with the girl.  Gradually, due to the years of vomiting and restricting, which essentially removed most of the calcium and enamel from her teeth, the girl began to lose her teeth and fracture the ones that remained.  Yesterday, she underwent the first of many surgical procedures that hopefully, will save and rebuild her gums and teeth.  This procedure took about 3 hours, and due to complications that arose during the procedure, it was necessary for the doctor to remove part of her gums.  When she went home, she once again found herself in that familiar position of hanging over a toilet bowl and puking uncontrollably.  Only this time, she wasn't trying to puke or wanting to puke.  As a matter of fact, she did everything in her power to stop it, but, the effects of the drugs and Novocain forced her to spend about an hour hanging over a toilet bowl.  She spent the rest of the day in a great deal of pain, cautiously making her way back and forth between the bathroom and her bed.  This morning, when she woke up frantically reaching for pain meds to stop the throbbing pain in her mouth, she once again made her way to the bathroom.  In the mirror, she found an image that included several facial bruises and a black eye (due to the surgery).  I wish I could conclude this story with "the end," but unfortunately its not the end. 
I know that I will never, ever make myself puke again.  Ironically, I'm pretty sure that I will at times still find myself in a situation where I am once again hanging over a toilet bowl due to another medical procedure.  I also know that I am doing everything I possibly can to make sure Ed doesn't have a room in my house anymore, including nourishing my body well and staying on a meal plan.  Speaking of meal plans, mine is somewhat more challenging now than I once thought it was.  You see, along with the actual dental procedures, it is now necessary for me to remain on a "soft" and semi-liquid diet for the next several days.  I can't tell you how I would embrace bread, crackers, fruits, vegies and protein that doesn't have to be run through a blender so that I can at least benefit from the nutrition they provide. The moral of the story?  ED is not a day to day illness.  The repercussions can last a lifetime, and often do.  Trust me.
Anonymous 46 year old  ED patient
March 5, 2008

She's a marionette tied to the strings of its grasp
There in the audience are the elements of her life.
With each move a constant "Booo" from the crowd
Her eyes start to tear with this continuous strife.
On the stage are exercise equipment, a scale, and more
These are the props it could ever desire.
The string connected to her head is held firm
"Can you stop destroying her," she hears the crowd inquire.
Every night he places her naked body in front of her mirror
The majority of the mornings he lifts her body onto the scale.
It favors her more when she's ghostly grey
It cherishes her more when she's emaciated and frail.
When the number becomes lower on the scale
It'll raise her arms to cheer.
It'll reserve a smile on her face
When auxiliary bones appear.
She wishes for the freedom from its demanding handle
When will she find the scissors to cut its strings.
She's tried countless times to fly free from its hold
Why was this last time no different? She almost had her wings.

Overcoming Fear:
1. I was afraid of the dark until I realized the only difference was 
the absence of light.
2. I was afraid of change until I realized it's really just a new 
3. I was afraid of growing up until I realized it's just as fun being 
an adult.
4. I was afraid of leaving home until I realized my family will 
always be there for me.
5. I was afraid to let go until I realized holding on is not working 
for me.
6. I was afraid to accept help until I realized I'm not expected to 
do everything on my own.
7. I was afraid of failure until I realized it brings great lessons 
and more courage.
8. I was afraid of myself until I realized I can change my attitudes 
and behaviors.
9. I was afraid of being alone until I realized I can truly only 
depend on myself.
10. I was afraid of misfortune until I realized it is just a test of 
my faith/values.
11. I was afraid to say no until I realized saying yes can jeopardize 
my morals.
12. I was afraid of silence until I realized it is a gift from the 
Higher Power.
13. I was afraid of losing "people" until I realized they are brought 
into my life for predetermined time and purpose.
14. I was afraid of rejection until I realized it is often 
constructive criticism.
15. I was afraid to recover until I realized I am more afraid of the 
other option.

*By Meredith
  January 31, 2008

We think we have it
We think we’re strong
Losing bit by bit
But we’re all wrong
That number on the scale
Has the power over our mood
We will never feel thin enough
All we think about is food
We’re scared of losing it
It’s not for attention
Not even really to stay fit
Ed will never win
Why do we think we have it?
When we’re not even living
We cannot quit this fight
Even when we stop believing
Even through the pain
There’s a life worth living for
We can stand through the rain
We will stand up and soar

I’ll Be Okay
By Krista
I know you may not think I’m pretty
I know you may not think I’m smart
But if you want to see real beauty
You’ll have to look inside my heart
‘Cause when I think of all I’ve done
Of all the battles that I’ve won
It makes me strong, it makes me proud
It makes me want to sing out loud
And I know it’s not over yet
So many chapters still unread
But when the rough times come I bet
I’ll be okay
I can’t believe the time I’ve wasted
The days, the months, the years that passed me by
But I believe this happened for a reason
I learned so much, and now I get another try
‘Cause when I think of all I’ve done
Of all the battles that I’ve won
It makes me strong, it makes me proud
It makes me want to sing out loud
And I know it’s not over yet
So many chapters still unread
But when the rough times come I bet
I’ll be okay

ME, On the Uniqueness of MY Body
There are many things about myself that I have always been happy with. My hair, my finger nails, my toes, and my nose. At least I never completely hated my body. Although, looking back I did spend a lot of time playing with my hair, painting my nails, powdering my nose. I guess I was okay with these things because they were easy to change. I think I even had a few moments when I loved my body. My happiest moment with my body was the time I stepped on the scale and it said the lowest it ever had. Oh YEAH! That felt great. I remember feeling beautiful, powerful, ecstatic. I was doing it! However, ED never let these moments last for long. I was never good enough, so I pushed harder. 
I was doing it alright. Destroying my body more and more everyday. From the time I was 14 I made it my goal to be the best at everything I chose to do. My motto was "I may not be good at a lot of things, but the things I am good at, I am awesome at." This included school, student council and all the other clubs I held office in. Oh… let's not forget, losing weight. I was also good at lying, manipulating and faking "it." "IT" being happiness. At some point, I even fooled myself into thinking that I was truly happy with my life and that I would live with Ed forever.
Then one day a little angel came into my life….
I now strive to be the best at recovery and fighting off ED. I have got him by the balls and he is about to take a real hard hit. I am almost there! So this brings me to where I am now… stuck with writing about the uniqueness of my body… this is going to be a toughie…
My body is certainly unique. I can't deny that. My toes are uniquely in a perfect diagonal line and are not of any odd shapes (but, my baby toe can dance). My legs are nice and long which always makes me feel good. My thighs are thick, but Greg likes it, and I am starting to accept it. I like that my stomach can easily be sculpted if I try (haha… maybe someday). My arms are extremely long, my long sleeves are usually rolled up because they are too short for me. My neck is pretty long too, and on it sits my HUGE head (thank goodness my hair covers it).
When I think about it like that, my body isn't so bad. All I have to do is accept it (I'm on my way) and make it my own healthy piece of work. I can't imagine how wonderful it will feel to truly love my body for what it is when ED is gone. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it's just my body and I, all alone, without ED.  For so long I could not imagine an ED free life, at times I didn't even want one. Now it is in reach… thanks to that angel.
Thank you Susie for believing in me when I couldn't believe in myself and for being there for me when I needed you the most. I will always carry your love and support with me. You inspire me to inspire myself and to really make this life my own. 
You never deserved what I have done,
I promised to change, but wasn't that strong.
I hurt you physically and mentally,
Breaking your heart more everyday.
I see things in you I never saw before,
I don't want to let him come between us anymore.
Bare with me, I will be stronger and treat you right,
It was easy to stop loving ED, but it is so hard to start loving you.

Dear ED:
This will be the last time I write to you because I'm moving on. I'm closing this chapter in my life and if I continue to acknowledge you, a new, exciting chapter will never begin.
This is my farewell, ED ...
My elders have always told me that breakups happen and while you feel your heart may never heal, it does in time. There's even an old song that says, "Breakin' up is hard to do." I've never discounted the fact that losing someone or something you love is challenging. I've been there before and I know the feeling that tears will never dry. I've felt the physical ache of the heart. I've had sleepless nights and days where I could only walk around like a zombie thinking of what I had lost and how I would never be the same again. But every winter, no matter how dark and bitter cold, always turns into spring.
ED, you've been with me through all the winters of my life. You've held my hand through the heartaches and tears. You've wrapped blankets of warmth around me when winds were blistering. Everything would be okay because I would always have you. You were everything I wasn't and you promised me you would never leave. You came, stayed, made yourself at home. I loved you, but now ...
While you may have been my comfort, my strength, you were secretly tearing me apart and tearing me down. You didn't really care how hurt I felt, you just wanted to weasel your way in and make a good impression so I would surrender to you. And surrender I did. For thirteen years, I gave myself to you. I let you make all my decisions. I let you become my dictator and you couldn't have been happier. All the while, I was dying from the inside out. You were killing me and you knew it, but your only concern was making yourself look good, "If more people can see me through Meredith, more people will want to have me." You're crazy and selfish ED. Think about it, what did people tell me when Amy died because of you? "Meredith, you see what happened to Amy, please, we don't want that to be you." No one likes what they see when they look at a person who is controlled by you. No one envies those who are ill and if they do envy us, they are ill themselves. Bones are not art ED, they are not meant to be viewed by an audience and appreciated.
You transformed me from a young girl with endless energy and only happiness to be felt inside her heart into a girl confused, messed up and angry. I never had a chance to know anything else. You grabbed ahold when I was most vulnerable and you fed like a leech on the fact that I was naive. You pulled the leash and I followed along. But nothing was ever good enough for you. I lost, you pushed, I lost some more, you pushed some more, I stopped losing, you pushed even harder, I plateaued and you just kept right on pushing.  My body couldn't go any lower, yet you expected me to keep starving and purging. It was the only thing that would keep you happy and if I failed, you would only make things worse for me. I loved you ED, like I never loved anyone or anything else in my life. I never wanted to let go. I only wanted to be with you and to love you and to have you tell me how successful I was when I starved. I needed someone to be proud of me and that someone was you.
On the flip side, I was never truly good enough for you. You led me into bathroom after bathroom where I purged away the bad and you slapped my hand when I wanted one more bite. You taught me several tricks to get rid of food because if I didn't get rid of it, I would be fat and being fat meant I was a failure. While you whispered "I love you" in one ear, you whispered, "You're unworthy" in the other. You were Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You were night and day. You were love and hate. You were everything and nothing.
I can't change where I have been and what I have done, but I've been offered a second chance and I'm going to take it. I get so sad thinking of where we have been together and the times that will be left behind. But while I'm sad to say goodbye, I'm happy to say hello to a better life. To be honest, ED, the whole situation was sad. You were my God. I respected you and spent all of my days wanting to live a life that would be pleasing to you and a life that would be FOR you. You're not a God, ED. You're a disease (which, by the way, is defined as, "a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant"). That's it. You're nothing more than a disorder of function. God, on the other hand, is defined as "the creator and ruler of the universe and the source of all moral authority."
So, pack your bags because this is the end of you and me. It's tough I know, but it's the only thing that makes sense now. We've run our course together. We've laughed, cried, and loved. Now, it's time to say goodbye forever and please ED, don't waste your time trying come back because I won't be here waiting. This is it. It's all over ...
The End

One Last Goodbye
He’s leaving
for good this time
and I don’t cry,
I know it’s for the best.
He calls my name,
waves and tries to run back,
but I turn and walk the other way.
It’s too hard, life with him.
I can’t breathe.
I can’t take a step without wondering
if he'll be disappointed.
He’s no good.
Just someone else in my way
and he lies
when I am trying to find truth.
I’m locking the door.
Shutting out the lights
and if he comes knocking,
I won’t hear
because I’m flying away
with these wings
and never looking back.

She goes down
plunging again
into the place she's climbing out of.
Devil on her shoulder.
Voices in her head
bring her back,
pull her out,
or push her further down.
She holds her breath and tries,
remembering time spent
in leather chairs
on plastic mattresses,
needles and early mornings.
Hands above her head
she grabs anything solid.
She cannot go out,
she cannot go down,
not like this forever.

Losing Self (A poem to ED)
I used myself.
I used you.
To find meaning.
To find solidity
and I found darkness.
I closed my eyes
to ignore life or any memory of it
and began a journey,
but only in my mind,
to light, to the water
that promises peace
or to that place that is perfection.
I used myself.
You used me,
to find meaning
and you will find darkness.
Why is there a longing in your stomach
And an aching in your heart to be with others who suffer?
We some how find comfort in the world of eating disorders; the sadness, the anger, the pain, the hospital (or the idea of it)
The longing and craving in our body to be there with others like us.
To be around people who know our story way too well,
To connect with them deeply, mentally, emotionally, physically even.
But in the end would it really be 'satisfying' even?
For that is all fake. We would love to dream and pretend we could stay with each other like that forever
But that is not the real world.
The longing is like a hole and it can not be filled by that
Or no--
The longing is actually to 'fill the hole' (whether we are aware of it or not)
Will that ever go away?
Will the longing ever cease?
Or even when it does,
Will it ever stop lingering, the ideas, the thoughts, the fantasies, when reminded of it?
I believe that it will.
I believe that one day that hole will be filled.
And I believe the only way the hole will be filled is by you.
August 8, 2007

Infinite Battle
Snow is ice that melts on my cheek
It clings as it freezes to my body.
Transparent confidant,
My beautiful baptism, come cleanse me from my
I want Evil's food. Devil's Food I don't want
My goal, my passion is
Filled with hopelessness. Ignore
Food. All the showers
Come to me.
Silent falls soothe my anxiety and
The clean aroma rejuvenates my determination.
Liquid air, you are as sweet as Chocolate that I can
Not eat.
Thunderstorms soil the town
Even though they cleanse me, for
Me-water is my source of-
Happiness. But the Mirror is my enemy and it
Shatters every move I take to
Mend my indistinguishable distress
Es necessario que tener aqua siempre*
I will take up space.
*It's necessary to always have water.
Christine R
Written: Fall 2003
Submitted: July 30, 2007

i can't get back into this.
i need to pull myself out of a relapse even though i'm already in it.
this makes me want to cry.
but i don't want to stop.
my medical doctor wants me to meet a dietician again.
that's not something i see myself doing.
this feels too "empowering" i guess.
my therapist wants me to write an essay describing the "control" i feel with my ed/what the "control" does for me.
it's so paradoxical though because i don't feel control.
what is control anymore?
although i realized that without my ed i'd feel even more guilty/out of control/vulnerable.
i'm just tired of this.
a realization today of how easy it is to continue on the path of relapse dawned upon me.
right now, i'm too hopeless.
i don't feel invincible anymore.
the physical effects have been catching up to me; i notice them everyday now.
i know i'm strong enough to pull myself out, but will i?
my insight that i've gained is too great to ever become victim to this yet again... and again, for the millionth time it seems.
some days i feel this will kill me.
how sad that makes me i cannot describe but this is something at which i succeed at best.
that's mentally so sick but it's the truth.
i pray to God every night that i'll wake up in the morning;
however, that comes across as completely silly, as i stare into the mirror.
some days i pray for the exact opposite.
the days in which i pray for the exact opposite are when i fail to meet my own expectations, or rather ed's.
can i get myself out of this? i'm sure i could.
but will i be good at that? not as good as being [in] it. i think that's what keeps me going for the "success" i achieve with this.
but then i'm not sick either.
not to the point that i'd need to be to believe myself worthy of feeding my own body.
when i get there i'll know.
-ashton 6/4/07

Roarin' and Soarin'!
Susie told me that
Recovery is a whole new FUN world.
I didn't believe her, I thought-
"What kind of psychosis has overtaken that girl???"
I strongly disagreed
Anytime she would say
"Kristi, if you trust me and let me help you,
There will come a time that you don't care how much you weigh."
Yeah right! Ed had been with me for years,
No one was going to bring him down.
He just gets stronger every time someone tries
To eliminate my frown.
But the day came when I was ready to change and trust!
110% I trusted
Susie, followed her rules and used her tools.
Guess what… Ed spontaneously combusted!!!
Ed is still there of course, (in a burnt out kind of way) he will always linger.
But I have the power to laugh in his face
When he tells me I'm fat and a nobody-
Because I'm LOVING the new curves I have on my waist!
I have the power to fight back now
The rain is no longer pouring-
I'm flying high over that beautiful rainbow
Susie was right all along,
All it took was for me to trust her with ALL my heart and soul-
And look how I got rewarded,
I'm happy, complete, and finally whole!!!
I'm Roarin' (loud and clear!) and Soarin'!!!

Love, Ed
You're so fat and that you'll no longer dismiss.
I beg of you, don't go out publicly like this.
Over is the mind game called Life Vs. Ed Tetris.
You're mine now; too long you've hit and completely missed.
It's unfathomable what you need to lose in weight.
How pointless are you? You just ate.
Tomorrow we start a clean, new slate.
Only me and you; let's show them we're great.
I can make more absent the presence of your thighs.
All you have to do is starve and exercise.
Recognize the accomplishments that will arise
Out of our perfect compromise.
I can take away the flab on your arms as well,
Also your stomach; you look pregnant as hell.
You don't want to lose me so don't rebel
Because to turn to I always have a growing clientele.
You should be out running now. Don't you see?
Your stomach isn't even growling, you worthless fatty.
I'll vanish away your chubby debris.
Then you'll appear as great as if on a marquee.
Get skinny enough where you need to be tube fed.
You can't honestly admit I've ever misled.
Become light as a feather lying on a bed.
Go get your ass in gear. Love, Ed.


May 16, 2007
Recovery is a fantasy
Something that is of my desire
But my candle is blown out
It is no longer lit with fire.
Recovery is joyous laughter
It is filled with giggles and a smile
Because I accept who I am
Yes I am worthwhile.
Recovery is loving myself
Both from the inside and out
It is taking risks and exploring life
Going out on a net, without a doubt
Recovery is taking one day at a time
To get in touch with my emotions
It is allowing myself to relax
And take a time out from all the commotions
Recovery is accepting me as I am
As my friends and family do
It is about being healthy again
It is not about him, her or you.
Recovery is a product
As well as a process
It is overcoming obstacles and
Untangling from all the mess
Recovery is…
Wait what is recovery
Is it something that I actually know
Or is it just another unsolved mystery
I act like I know this idea of recovery
Yes I can fantasize and dream
But I don't think I really know
What recovery really means
Is it the feeling I had
While on the Remuda ropes course
Is it going on the restaurant challenge
And eating cheese without remorse?
Was it crying through a meal
Looking my Twin in the eye
Encouraging her to fight the battle
Of eating until the plate was dry
Is it hyperventilating in that circle
During the Truth in Love
Letting out all my emotions
To my precious guiding doves?
Was it telling Rob
All my darkest fears
And then taking the chance
Of laying it all out there for my peers?
Was it trusting Amanda
Eating foods I have always refused
Is it that sense of freedom
That I used to happily abuse?
Are the things I have accomplished
And excelled in at Remuda Ranch
Just a glimpse of living life
Or is it an actual recovery branch?
I'm not sure what recovery is
It can be so many things
It is working with Susie
To get down to the hard core feelings
It can be saying no to self-destructive behavior-
Restricting, overexercising, cutting, drinking
It can be telling the truth
And really get to inner self thinking
Recovery for me is different than recovered
Recovery is a process
One in which works with therapy
And together they can produce a life of happiness
Recovery is the effort to say no to the disease
To take the risk of being free
It is scary and troublesome at first
And it usually gets tougher for thee
Recovery is something I had started
During my stay in Arizona
But since I have been home
I resist and just grab a corona
To cope with an eating disorder such as anorexia
Recovery is a necessary medication
I need to accept that I don't know everything
And allow Niki and Susie be my education
I want recovery
And so now I will let my defenses down
Or so I will give a better effort
So I will wear a smile, not a frown
Recovery is a long process
Effort must be given on all three parts
It is working with my treatment team, not against them
I'm ready, lets restart

You may be thinking recovery, how?
But I say come and take my hand now.
I will walk with you side by side,
My promise to you, I will be here for the whole ride.
The ups and downs, the smiles and the tears,
And right there to ease your biggest of fears.
When times get tough and the world seems to darken in upon you,
Count on me to be there to bring brighter skies of blue.
Take this leap of faith, my dear friend,
For I am here with you to catch until til' the end.
I know it seems hard to have trust,
But to see a life without Ed you must.
No one will steer you wrong,
For all we want for you is a life that is healthy and long.
A life full of health, happiness, love, and freedom from Ed.
Freedom off this hellish path you have been led.
Your life is too precious, your future too bright,
To be deceived by someone who is far from right.
Your waiting is waiting with its arms wide open,
So its time to join everyone in having faith and in yourself start hopin'.
Have faith in yourself and all that you are,
For that belief will carry you far.
Far in your journey to overcome this evil demon once and for all,
Being closer to freedom and being proud standing so tall.
Freedom that you deserve just as much as anyone else dear,
For you are so special to many people far and near.
So it's time to tell Ed to fuck off, for that is not a sin.
Please just remember you are loved and always believed in.
Your strengths are beyond your belief,
And you deserve so much more than all this grief.
So my darling, take my hand and walk with me,
A life without Ed I will help you to achieve and see.
Have faith, trust, and just believe.
The time is now dawning for you to make Ed leave,
So start looking forward to all that is awaiting you,
And don't look back for you will see this journey through.
When times get hard and days seem bad just look inside your heart,
I am right there with you as we are never fully apart.

Olivia, please don't give up now,
For you I will not allow.
You are so much grater than the demon we call Ed,
And don't deserve all of the lies he has put in your head.
For when I look at you all I see is such beauty,
And for you to someday see that I am making my duty.
A young girl with such a future ahead of her,
And yet all she can see beyond Ed's jail is a blur.
I know your talents are far beyond measure,
And I want you to put them to into action with much pleasure.
Deep down you have dreams you want to achieve,
So it is time for you to kiss Ed goodbye and watch him leave.
Oh, and don't forget to slam the door in his face,
Because he has not deserved you, he is such a fucking disgrace!
I know that life without Ed does not seem possible and is frightening,
But I am here to bring the rainbow after the storm and lightening.
You can call on me morning or afternoon, day or night.
And I will come running to show you the light.
When you are scared do not be afraid to hold out your hand,
An ear, a hand, a hug I am more than willing to lend.
I promise to catch all of your falling tears,
And ease the biggest of your fears.
There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you,
This hard time I will help you through.
I only want what is best for you, you see,
As I know how detrimental Ed can be.
You deserve far better and a life of happiness,
With days full of love, laughter, and nothing but bliss.
So, know that for you I will always right here,
Do not be afraid, have no fear.
You will get through this, I truly believe with all my heart and soul,
So get ready to accomplish each and every one of your goals.
Have faith in yourself and all that you are and can do,
And remember tomorrow is a day that you can start new.
So come take this leap of faith with me,
And you will then be set free.
To soar to the highest of heights,
Higher than all the birds that take flight.
So come and spread your wings out,
And start moving on without a doubt.
March, 2007

Will I ever escape?
Back in town
for just one week.
I feel to the ground
so to speak.
I thought it'd be easy
no problem at all,
but when I got home
I started to bawl.
My thoughts had returned
my urges grew stronger,
I couldn't hold back
the restriction much longer.
I skipped dinner last night
but instead of shame,
All I could feel
was immediate gain.
I thrived on the feeling
and commended myself,
the least of my worries
was jeopardizing my health.
Even after Remuda
and 60 days free,
I can't seem to escape
Ed's tight grip on me.
The harder I fight
to stay on track,
the more it seems
I begin to slack.
Why can't I be normal
and have my life back-
why's it so hard
just to eat a damn snack?
Today's a new day
to be Ed's test,
so I'll give it my all
and hope for the best.
April 2007

Take Me Back
Alone, scared, frustrated, tired, sad, humiliated, ashamed, depressed
Who would have thought all these feelings I have suppressed
On the outside things apparently look great
Smiling, laughing, still gaining the fuckin' weight
Getting my life back on track, smooth sailin'
I had made up my mind, never failin'
First week went strong even without a therapist
Finished every meal and supplement, even had a sierra mist
Then slowly ED gained his strength back
Stole away all my hopes and dreams, motivation and determination into a sack
Cutting out the supplements came first
Gaining weight so I could be healthy was no longer a thirst
It was so easy to do
As one day of skipping quickly became two
Then ED demanded weight loss because of all the fat
And the meal plan soon when out the window not consuming this or that
ED taunts me every minute of the hour, day in and day out
He continually haunts me with laughter and shouts:
 "You are so fuckin' fat
 Nobody wants that
 You are nothing but a failure
 You actually believe you would sail away like a sailor?
 I can't believe you showed your body at formal
 Your body looked so abnormal
 Keep the sweats on, you moron.
 Why the hell did you just eat that
 Cheesecake is nothing but fat
 You lose, she ate less than you
 You fail, her weight is 122
 She never eats and yet she succeeds
 You suck at life because you meet unnecessary nutritional needs
 Take control, cook and prepare the food
 Serve others before yourself, don't be rude
 Give them more, they need it
 You may eat some, but you better not sit
 Never rest, you must always be on the go
 Avoid questions of concern, put on a show
 Be happy, talkative, force a sparkle in your eye
 Don't you dare let a tear fly
 Want the truth, look at the mirror
 Yes, my dear Christine, obesity is near
 Your stomach is out of control
 Nothing to see but roll upon roll
 Why don't you just fuckin' exercise
 Then maybe you'll lose a size
 At least you'll get strong
 So on the Boundary Waters you won't go wrong
 Eat the safer food
 Straighten your mood
 Avoid your friends
 Do not make amends
 Lie, cheat, sneak
 Aren't you tired of being a freak
 Follow me I'll show you how
 To make your life full of wow
 I'll be your guide, your mentor
 With me you will always soar…"
Just make it stop! I want ED to go away!
I can't make it out here, he always decides to stay
No one understands me or my thoughts
Friends aren't there for me even the ones I sought
Take me back, I want to go back
I'll gladly pack safe items into my knapsack
Book me a flight to Arizona-Remuda Ranch
There I will be supported with many branches
I yearn for all the therapy: Group, Equine, Nutrition and Art
Skills Group, Body Image, Nutrition: classes I want to restart
Amanda I trusted-she gave me my safety net
With her encouragement and knowledge, my weight goal I tried to have met
Getting over fears I made many strides with her
Ate cheese, peanut butter and yes even the ensure
Rob, my therapist who I at first did not like
He did not understand me or my psyche
However he worked miracles on me
And some days I even felt free
The supportive community I so do dearly miss
During rough days I got encouraging hugs and a kiss
Everyone there understands how tough it is
To live with a disease such as his
Take me back, I want to go back
To the calm and peaceful feeling of going riding on horseback
To the supportive community of doing meals and snack
Take me back, I want to go back
To the soothing warm weather, the bright starry skies
To the nurses such as Frieda and Sara who told me no lies
Take me back, I want to go back
To the easiness and comfortability of it all
To the pick me ups each time I fall
Take me back, I want to go back
To the Recreation nights and bible studies and actually living life
To the protection from abusive behaviors even including cutting with a knife
Take me back, I want to go back
To live with the girls, I have come to know and adore
To the safe haven where cruelties of the real world are ignored
Take me back, I want to go back
So I don't have to live in this world anymore
So I can live in peace and happiness galore
Take me back, I want to go back
I hate it here (Cincinnati) and there (Wittenberg)
Now I am in so much anguish and despair
Take me back, I want to go back
So I can be happy, have energy, and laugh again
Without having to worry about being no more than 110
Take me back, I want to go back
So I no longer am hourly attack
By ED, this damn bastard , a 100% Jack(ass).
April 24, 2007

Breathe, Blink, Be
When you wear two pairs of socks during the summer to keep you warm.
When you are afraid to wear your hair up because you might look too skinny.
When you don’t want to wear your hair down, fearing a lot of it will fall out.
When you end up wearing your hair down anyways because it keeps you at least a little bit warmer.
When you walk around a building so you won’t have to trudge and climb only 24 steps.
When collapsing up the stairs seems more acceptable than resting on the elevator.
When you go to take a deep breath, but can’t because the skin over your ribs has gotten too tight.
When restricting constitutes as a healthier day, as opposed to a day of purging.
When anyone sees it as an accomplishment and actually healthy to eat a candy bar.
When your main reason to not get out of bed in the morning is because it’s even colder outside your blankets.
When you are able to see your body as others see it, but still won’t allow yourself an extra calorie or two.
When the high point of your day is sleep, because it seems the only available escape to your own hell.
When your memory is so bad you can’t remember what you did yesterday, or even that day.
When your sight was perfect, but has deteriorated physically and metaphorically, from a lack of proper nutrition.
When you have all the answers accessible to you, but won’t permit yourself to dig them out of your mind.
What to do when these things happen:
Breathe, Blink, Be.

Stomach in,
Lift your chin.
Take a deep breath,
Move a little to the left.
Focus your eyes on the ceiling,
Instead of the hunger
You are feeling.
Start your day of exercise,
Don't stop until you can no longer
See the flab jiggle on your thighs.
Run faster, harder, longer!!!
Feel your resistance getting stronger.
Don't pay any attention to your
Aching muscles.
If you can't endure pain,
Then you are in a world of trouble!!!
If you feel like you might pass out,
And hit the floor,
Don't stop yet??? You need to do more!!!
As the sweat pours down your face,
Just remember, you are losing
Inches off your waist,
When you look at the clock,
Exhausted and hot,
Don't collapse yet.
You still need to do sit ups-
Five sets!!!
You are weak if you can't continue!!!
You don't want to gain weight, do you???!!!
Now isn't the time to weaken and cower!!!
Go until you can't breath,
When the feeling of nothingness
And failure leaves,
And you can smile with a feeling of success,
Because tomorrow,
You'll weigh a pound less!!!

I just ate.
Now I'm going to
Gain weight.
WHY did I do it???
Yuck!!! Food-
Why did I chew it???
I knew it
Would bug me like this,
I blew it!!!
I should just starve!!!
Eating is too hard-
Too many emotions
Come with it,
I'm not good at it
I should just quit.
My mind is sick
I wish I could fix it.
I wish I could just eat
And be well-
But I can't, not
In this anorexic hell.

Starvation Hostage
With five bites down, two more to go,
I can't erase the picture of my body
Beginning to grow.
Bigger arms, butt, breasts,
I'll be a mess!!
The bites halt into a final chew.
To finish this, with the result of gaining
A pound, I can't do.
The food goes into the garbage,
I stay in my chains, as the starvation hostage.

i Can't Explain
i don't want people
to rescue me from my hospital bed-
while being tube fed, ghostly white
nearly dead.
i don't want my family
to go through that again-
this is MY doings,
its NOT fair for them.
That is not the kind of negative attention i crave-
sure everyone likes to be rescued,
but the reasons i have for wanting negative attention
have always been misconstrued.
i'm just trying to get the pain out,
i starve so people can see
that something is wrong, i'm sad-
so depressed, so unhappy.
i couldn't ever speak my pain,
no one would have taken me seriously
because i was miss perfect, miss goody two shoes-
why in the world would i be unhappy???
(my pain has ALWAYS been minimzed,
so is it any wonder i try to to do the same
with my body size???!!!)
All my life, since i was little,
i wished for bad things to happen
so i could cry and yell and scream, show my pain
instead of fake smiling, fake laughing.
i can't explain the pain,
why i have so much inside-
i just know it's always been there,
part of me has died.
i can't explain the hurt,
how as a little girl i planned my funeral
and thought i was so unimportant
that guests would be minimal.
i can't explain why when i was in kindergarten
i wanted my teacher to hold me for hours-
while i felt like a nothing, a nobody,
a wilting, dying flower.
i can't explain the horror of being so young
fantasizing about being raped-
just so someone could hold me while i cried,
and make me feel safe.
Bones speak loud and clear
they shout despair-
the pain and sadness in me runs so deep,
but no one ever noticed it was there!!!
People notice now,
but still yet, no one has seen the depth
of my pain, i HARDLY have any bones showing.
My pain goes deeper than death.
(Emaciation is a perfect portrait of the pain i feel...
so horrifying, shocking, but oh so real.)
i just wanted someone to see...
The pain, the hurt... everything that has ALWAYS been wrong with me. 

Famous Last Words
If tonight, i breathe my last breath,
(which i fear i might),
because my heart has nothing left,
please do not shed any tears.
i don't deserve any, for i have only
caused misery while i was here.
Think of all the pleasant things you can do,
as you carry on,
not having to deal with any more of my
senseless wrongs.
You'll be free
of having to put up with me.
i'm so afraid to die,
but i know once i do,
i'll be in Heaven, where i can fly.
Fear will no longer control
the depths of my heart and soul.
My last thought will be of the people
i love most holding me tight,
(that's what i've always wanted)
then i can drift safely to that tunnel of light.
So, if i shall die before i awake,
know that i'm okay, because in Heaven,
my heart can't break. 

Angry and irritable
I'm so ignitable
A smidgen of a flame
Can start a fire in me so chaotic
So insane
So psychotic
It's not even worth trying to tame
It's already maimed
Me in a way I can't describe
You wouldn't believe the anger
The raging fireball I have inside
This thing, grotesque thing I call a body
It awes me
The physical strength I am overcome with
When I am controlled by this
Madness, this anger
I am a complete stranger
To my own mind
Sanity can't be defined
Rage, anger and hurt all combine
Becomes fury
Then intertwines
Into a culprit so out of control, that does not even flinch
At the damage it's inflicted…
It's left me exhausted, wounded, and scarred
Ravenously twisted

The Window
My body is a window
through which the world can see
just how very little
I happen to think of me
The world can see each cookie
each fast food meal and cake
they don't feel the hatred
that I simply cannot shake
When your drug of choice is food
you have no place to hide
the evidence is bulging
beneath your chin and at your sides
Its ok to laugh at me
to point and shake your head
you think that I'm just lazy
but I'm very sad instead
I don't know when I learned it
I haven't found its cause
It's the way I deal with
all my underlying flaws
I don't know I'm beautiful
I don't know that I'm smart
I only know I'm less than you
and I let it break my heart
When you're looking at the window
and you see someone who's fat
Don't think that they are worthless
There's a person under that

"Part of me is fighting this,
part of me is gone..."
Those words are a line from
one of my favorite songs.
I could have written those words,
i can very much relate
to this all too familiar
ambivalent state.
It's how i feel about anorexia-
sometimes i just want to give up and say bye-
then other times i want to cry out to anyone who will hear me,
"Please don't let me die..."
I've moved forward
in a lot of ways,
but i can't deny that i'm still trapped
in this anorexic maze.
i call it a maze,
because that is the best word that describes
all of the misleading directions it takes me,
all of it's devastating lies.
And only in the moments of
rock bottom despair do i see
how anorexia has really
damaged everyone i care about...and...me.
i get so mad, so frustrated
that i lose all sight,
i crumble under all the stress,
and look at trying to recover as a senseless plight.
So...while i may look willing
and even "happy" while i'm digging my own grave-
don't let anorexia fool you too,
i want to live...i'm Dying to be saved!!!

Hard Core Evidence
i look at the food crumbs.
Portrayal of the disgusting
person i've become.
Bits and pieces of food,
lingering, laughing, at the pounds
that i won't lose.
i smirk back at them,
and convince myself that one day
i'll be as small as them,
one day i'll be thin.
Then i fetch my razor blade.
Looking at the food crumbs, (my pile of shame)
i am suddenly unafraid.
The blade feels comforting, cool and smooth.
If not the pounds, this horrible feeling
it will help me lose-
as the blood runs,
finally being free from the darkness,
my isolated dungeon.
i cut over and over until i see a red river,
and i feel satisfied.
My skin, my demons are open, bare to
the world, red and wide,
all my hurt, all my pain
is collected in the puddle of bloodstain.
i look at the razor,
my friend, my comfort for when i have
failed at getting thinner.
Then i cast my tranced eyes
to the smallest things in the world,
but which can provoke in me the biggest cries-
The food crumbs on my plate.
Evidence of failure, failure that i
gave in and ate.
i laugh at my shame.
It's what i do when i'm in pain.
Then, i hide my razor in it's secret place,
just like i hide everything i won't let
myself feel, by the smile i glue on my face.

A good chance for advancement or progress.
I chose this word and I thought a long time about what opportunity meant to me.  While lying in bed, driving my car, or getting ready for the day, I tried to grasp some insight into what this tricky word meant to my mind.  I haven't fully gained any brilliant wisdom about it, but I can tell you a little about my thinking.
Opportunity is what we wake up to everyday - the chance to leave ED.  The ability to walk away from our current situation and live a life of freedom.  To no longer experience the pain, loneliness, or control that he puts into our minds at every waking moment.  To desert the emptiness that each one of us suffers from and cries about when no one is around except him.  But we don't except this opportunity. 
Opportunity is eating a delicious meal while ignoring his evil remarks.  The chance to feel like a normal human being and not suffer from the consequences of it.  To enjoy sitting with your family without fearing every damn bite that goes into your mouth.  To never worry again about the fat content or calories in a serving size.  What joy that opportunity would bring.           
Opportunity is getting dressed and going out, never thinking twice about how you look.  To accept invitations to parties, gatherings, or grill outs and never allowing ED to stop you.  To looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, "I'm beautiful."  To never letting him break you down, make you cry, and be alone all night long.  How I plead for this opportunity everyday. 
I don't know all there is to know about opportunity.  But I do know that people say "Opportunity will come knocking on your door.  You just have to listen for it".  If this is the case, my ears are wide open for my opportunity.
Shannon    5-23-06

Is taking the time to decide what I need in life, as well as what I want, and committing to making it happen. It is a renunciation of the past, of regrets and failures, in favor of a focus on the future. It is hope, positive energy, a reemergence of a spirit that has been blocked out and stomped on by negative thoughts and damaging people. It is taking chances and looking ahead. It is changing the way my mind works, so that instead of worrying about who I should be by now, I focus on who I am presently, and who I have the capacity to be in the future. 

Code Blue
Hunger is moving in.
Now the starving begins-
going endless hours without food,
sticking with the "all or nothing" attitude.
Saying, "no thank you" to generous offers to eat,
the dinner table now holds an empty seat.
Stomach begging for just one bite-
to resist, your mind constantly fights.
The concerned looks coming your way,
but you reassure them that you are okay-
"Lost weight??? No.  i'm the same weight i've always been."
(Yeah right, you know the truth, because to you, eating is a sin.)
Lying and saying you already ate
(this tends to cause you many debates.)
Clutching the wall because you are too dizzy to stand,
trying to warm your freezing hands.
You are white and as pale as a ghost,
yet for breakfast you refuse to eat anything but a piece of toast.
You purge the little bit of food you ate before,
constant vomiting is making your throat raw and sore.
Your hair falls out, your period stops.
Obsessive rituals control your thoughts.
You hate looking in the mirror at what you see,
hoping how one day, the thinnest you will be!!!
Doctors have now put you in the hospital,
for fear of your life.
You're so disgusted, you just want to cut all
the fat off with a butcher sharp knife.
Machines are hooked up to every part
of your withering body,
"i'm fat, i'm fat!!!"  you yell.
"Can't you see???!!!"
Everyone cries when they come to visit you,
but you don't understand why they do.
You are angry with everyone who wants you to gain weight,
your heart trying so hard to defeat the self hate.
In the middle of the night, you awake,
unable to breathe.
"Help me!!!  Help me!!! i can't breathe!!!" -
you beg and plead,
reaching for something,
anything to get air.
WHY is this happening???
This is not fair!!!
Your mother, stricken and terrified, runs to help you,
but the doctors make her leave (to help, she is not able to.)
You whisper to your mom through sobs and tears,
"I'm sorry mom... I love you."  Then it happens-
Code Blue. 

Devotion to attack
my heart, my mind, and soul
to make up for what i lack-
scratching my skin,
letting them flow free
(my demons within)-
bracing myself for another failure,
as i stand as nothing
but a freak of nature.

I'm a burden, an annoyance-
and ignorant being,
ashamed for my unemployment
and letting my fears be the one steering
me wherever i go.
i feel every word i speak
comes out the wrong way, too fast or too slow,
which makes everyone's stomach weak.
i feel some want to cover their ears
when words come out of my mouth-
or shoot me with sharp spears
when my tears come rolling out.
i feel everything i do or say
is burdening someone, unnerving
them in some way.
i also feel i am hurting
people just by being alive,
by walking on this earth.
Most of the time, i just want to dive
into the deepest hole... i feel i am of no worth.

A Promise
A promise is something you don't intend to break.  I want to promise to be healthy and divorce myself from Ed, but it would be a lie.  I didn't promise to be faithful to my husband and plan to cheat.  I feel so powerless to food and temptations.  There are days when Im powerful, but they still feel so few and far between.  I can't promise right now, b/c Im not a liar.  I know I'll cheat.  I'm not a liar, I'm not a quitter... why do I quit on myself every time?
Succeed with
Everything but me

Authentic Beauty
I am sad
I am sadder than you'll ever know
I am sad
Sad for the years I have already lost because of you
I am sad
Sad for the physical destruction that has already begun to decay
Sad for what I cannot take back
The suffocating ashes of isolation
The emptiness
 Not just with friends and painted laughter
 Not just with family and barricaded hugs
 But OF me.
 I am the emptiness,
created from emptiness,
a bare soul
You had this way
This power of making me believe you were the only person who ACTUALLY cared
That you were the only one who could TRULY loved me.
What I needed more, even more than the support of a loved one,
was the support of myself.
I did not matter
I was invisible,
The child no one knew about.
I was a mistake, the mistake.
Even if the world did not want
Or still does not want me,
I WANT me.
But in order to be me,
There could be no you.
You were false dreams, expected failure.
I am a human being
I'm damn proud to be human,
Damn proud to say
"Hey world, look at me I'm not perfect!"
I'm human and beautiful in my darkest moments, my mistakes;
But most of all I am beautiful in my acceptance.
For it is in acknowledging my errors that
Unchain my wings
Give myself the Opportunity,
 the Courage,
 the Strength
to not just Fly, but
S      O     A      R
Simply, beauty is being me.
I am beauty,
I always will be beauty and that;
That is Beautiful.

Labored breathing
Disgustingly full
Painfully empty
I hear my name
The bathroom needs me
But I cannot go
Pink razor wants me
But I'm paralyzed
Once chest relaxes
Nausea passes
To no return
Where I will die
But not from a number
How can I die so many times
No edge
I was never alive so nothing can touch me save me hold me
No tears
No parachute
Just death
Ultimate death
Like the nothingness I already feel
The darkness in the sunlight
Where my heart stops feeling
Where I am Ed just Ed, dead evil Ed hanging off a cliff
On the edge but no edge
Because Ed grips my hand tightly
I will never fall
Never die
Even on the edge
For I am saved by my fallen angel
My Ed

Bloated Stomach
You betray me
Silent shame
Whispering your cries
Your fu%#ing shi#-filled screams
Oh fu&#ing die
Bitter stomach
Throw thee out the window
Puke thee into the garbage
And shut the damn lid
'Til another day calls
with that awkward ugh feeling
When I'd rather beat you than feed you
Poison YOU I dream
But as yet I do that
with the food I feed you
as you feed me with the shi#-fu%$ lies
Either way I die, you die
so we are dead in this body,
on our own island.
Do you see anyone else out there?

Outside the flowers are growing,
creeks calmly flowing.
Snow melting off trees,
that are budding with brand new leaves.
But i don't see...
Kids are out playing in the street,
with sandles,
instead of boots covering their feet.
But i don't see...
Daisy's are peeking up in the yard,
the night sky is so clear,
dotted with twinkling stars.
But i don't see...
Cats are rolling around outside,
chasing butterflies, jumping as
high as their legs will let them fly.
But i don't see...
All i see,
is the fat in me.

Lovely Bones
lovely bones
press against her
pale, cold skin.
two black eyes
show through all
the makeup.
her stomach
is loud,
calling out hunger.
she gets weaker
with every step,
losing balance.
he's so very happy
as her smile fades away.
she had listened
to his words,
harsh and demanding.
it still wasn't
good enough;
she would never
be good enough
for him.
she was
near death
once again.
her heart was
skipping beats;
he was smiling.
"you did okay,"
he told her
as she slowly
faded away
with nothing
left to show
except her lovely bones.

Young Girl
She gazes into the future,
Not knowing where it leads.
This world can be so trying,
So blind to all her needs.
A shadowy visage emerges
From the depths of a rocky abyss.
Inside she yearns for help,
Outside her expression is blank.
Why must she suffer so much?
The pain in her eyes is clear.
How will she cope? Where will she run?
Is it anger or sorrow or fear?
Such a young girl,
Such a fragile face,
Hidden behind a shield.
The girl is us.
We conceal what we feel,
We hold back, we hide, we drown.
With dark eyes that seem to question
The world that puts us down.
Drained of all vitality
Trapped in the forest of dread.
She looks at you, you look at her,
But the face cannot be read.
Look within yourself, young girl,
And not to the world outside.
Happiness will spring from within your soul,
Hope-it will not die.
Allow yourself the freedom
To laugh, to love, to live.
Spread your wings and fly,
Give life a try…
…And see all it has to give.

I stand
Here I stand,
With my own hand.
Here I stand,
As I am.
I stand.
Even when the world stares at my imperfection,
I stand.
Even when you call me fat time after time,
I stand.
Even when you comment on my food,
Churning the batter of my soul,
I stand.
Even when you say:
"You used to look so much better,"
Turning the wheels of chaos,
I stand.
Even when my own mother is my enemy,
I stand.
Even when my family is against me,
I stand.
Even when my twin brother is embarrassed by my weight,
I stand.
Even when my older brother spits fire off his hypocritical tongue,
I stand.
Even when my dad has no idea of all that I am,
I stand.
Even when first true family member, my dog, has died amongst my healing rain,
I stand.
Even when my best friend tells me I'd be happier if I just lost weight,
I stand.
I stand.
Even when medical professionals degrade me from the inside out,
Turn the Ed switch on,
I stand.
I stand because I am,
This spirit stronger than a dam.
I stand because I know I can;
I stand because I am,
Though I must believe, just to be.
Back before the thought of soaring ever sung its way into my ears,
Before my self-destruction began;
I thought I can…
But I did not stand for all that I am.
I thought I can…
Make it through one more day,
Even if I must cut myself;
Must binge;
Must vomit;
Must take a safe number of pills;
Must calorie count,
Until there is no room in this heart for attachment,
For betrayal,
For abandonment.
I can
Fu%$ myself as I am.
I can
Be destruction,
Disguised slow suicide,
Surviving each day.
I can be the person I know I am.
I can grow,
Grow into a self that has never known acceptance.
I can learn,
Learn what it means to live.
I can trust,
Trust that I am loved.
I can fight,
Fight the war that strips this body of love,
Knowing that my strength will prevail.
I stand because I'd rather be lonely than with you, Ed.
I stand because I've never stood before and wonder what it really means
To stand;
Stand as I am,
Because I know I can.
When everyone, even with the best intention, stands against you;
I stand.
I stand because I want to.
I stand because I'm all I've got left.
I stand through hell just to see life of the living,
The transforming,
The Empowering,
I stand because there is an end to you, Ed.
I will feel whole.
I will feel whole.
I will feel whole,
And I will be strong,
For you are forever wrong.
As I stand,
I stand for me:
Not for Ed;
Not for my doctors;
Not for my mom;
Not for my friends;
Certainly not for society;
Not even my psychologist.
Because I must stand,
Stand as I am.
I must live,
Live as I am.
With love these hands are healing,
Healing unto a friendship I never knew;
While these feet,
These lovers of self,
Of health, true wealth,
Stand as I am.
Because I believe,
I know I can;
And for that,
I stand.

Number Casualty
I wish you'd see,
I'm a human being.
I wish you'd see,
The tears I cry behind these walls.
I wish you'd see,
I'm just a child struggling to be.
I wish you'd see,
I'm more than obese.
I wish you'd see,
The scars you've marked upon me.
I'm human can't you see,
But not by the way you have treated me.
I wish you'd see,
I'm more than a number.
I'm more than lazy.
I'm more than unmotivated.
I'm more than a fu*&ing health risk.
Don't you see…
I'm even sicker now.
Don't you see,
All those years,
All those remarks
Burned my spirit,
Leaving me a demon of my ashes;
A hater of my inner child,
A hater of myself,
A hater of doctors.
I wish you'd see,
Hate is all that is left of me.
Hate and vomiting.
Hate and dieting.
Hate and exercising.
Hate and cutting.
Hate and overdosing.
That is all that remains.
And can't you see,
Can't you see the girl behind this scale.
Oh how I wish you would see,
How precious,
How vulnerable,
Each child is
From birth.
Life by the moment,
Not by the pound.
But you doctors….
All you see are the stats in me.
Not my feelings,
My struggles,
My tears,
My effort,
Just a number that is me.
A number deserves to starve.
A number deserves to disappear.
A number deserves to never breathe acceptance.
Because I am a number,
A number casualty,
And that's all I'll ever be.
Because don't you see,
You took the human life from me.

Saving You From My Wrath
I feel like throwing up.
I feel like dying.
I feel as though I have already wilted.
With a touch of gluttony.
Ashes are my light;
Blurred vision,
Pitch black,
Right where I belong.
Intangible hands.
Invisible heart.
Clear self-hate bloodying up my veins.
A pool of love some call
Turn your back.
Walk away
My friend,
For I have already shut that door
To hurting you,
By killing me;
And hiding the defeat I feel,
Before even trying
To meet this face of filth
With eyes that have already died.

She Couldn't Tell     2/23/05
One girl said she wanted ice cream
The second girl couldn't decide
The third girl wanted the chocolate bar
The fourth said, "No thank, I'm fine."
The first girl studied her complexion
The second girl looked at her figure
The third girl also started at the mirror
The fourth thought she's grown five times bigger.
The one girl wanted to go to the party
The second said, "Let's grab a bite."
The third girl invited the fourth girl
She replied, "Maybe later, but not tonight."
The fourth girl constantly worried
About how her friends would react
When they saw her changing for gym class next period
If they would notice the weight that she lacked.
Trying to hide her skeletal protrusions
And her friends trying to find out her scheme
She didn't lack the patience of the willpower
To be the girl in her dreams.
She stood up and became dizzy
Which reminded her of her power and control
Her daily intake was always decreasing
As she came closer and closer to her goal
"Put on some weight," people would tell her
"Just eat. It's not that hard."
She disagreed to the fullest extent
She knew she wouldn't stop if she did start.
Her three friends would always ask her,
"Look at yourself. Can't you see?"
She tried so desperately to see what the others saw
She couldn't recognize that girl as me.

This Grasp     7/9/06
"You look so much better," she says to me
"How are you? Are you doing fine?"
Just thank her and say what she wants to hear
Do not tell her what's on your mind.
My weight for now is restored
Which may not mean anything at all
I was happier until she gave me that comment
So again my weight will start to fall
Off to the gym I go
Extra calories will be burned
No longer will I enjoy the food I eat
And to my old ways I return.
I will not listen to what they tell me
I will not listen to their lies
Again I will listen to my own mind
As this grasp on my life multiplies.

Mirrors and Numbers     1/11/05
Is it not possible for only me to find the exactness in my flaws?
Only the mirror shows the verities of my being.
Only the numbers can prove all that is there.
What if all that everyone else sees is their own hopeful misconception?
It is solely I who can alter the truths that the mirror and the numbers reveal.
It is solely those who look at me and scowl that visualize me as being a gaunt and undernourished girl.
Solely those are the individuals who look negatively upon themselves and desire a perfect reflection.

That Feeling 2/22/05
Sitting adjacent to the bowl
Debating on what I should do
Looking at myself in the mirror
This feeling is all but new
Overcome with anxiety
Stricken with guilt, panic and fear
In my head I'm screaming so loudly
But you would never ever hear
I'd never dare to let anyone see
What I'm hiding below
Don't ask if anything is wrong
I will stubbornly reply with a "No"
Somehow I just lost control
Now I must pay
This feeling that I have
It needs to go away
This horrible feeling I have
One of such disgust
It needs to be rid of somehow
I have to and I must
Afterwards I feel so empty
Afterwards I feel so well
Really I'm just dying
In my own little hell

It takes much time to get where you are
You have to have patience to get very far
Who knows when I'll stop taking it to heart
When told my behaviors and I must part.
This makes me so disgusted
The bile coming up my throat
If this behavior continues
Someday too soon I'll croak.
Up it comes
Then down it goes
I am rid of my fullness
Rid of my woes.
Despite the relief it brings me
Despite this action I hate
With my knees on the ground, my face over the porcelain
It is me I try to regurgitate.

I Listened     12/23/05
And so I was told:
Make up an excuse before you close the door.
You wouldn't want to be caught on top of the guilt.
Be careful not to make a sound.
Some one might hear you.
Don't spend too much time in there.
They might get suspicious.
Be meticulous enough to leave it spotless,
Otherwise they will know what you were up to
Double check the water to make sure it's clear.
If it overflows it's better to lie and be embarrassed than to tell the truth and disappoint some one else besides yourself.
Wash your hands to not leave residue.
The smell is too much to handle.
Before opening the door wipe your eyes.
Red, puffy eyes make you look even less attractive:
And so I listened.

So Called Control    
All of my control is gone
I barely let it go. It quickly scurried away
I never wanted it to get the feeling
That it wasn't good enough to stay.
When I look down at myself I shudder
I can pinch way too much skin
Control, I need you. Please come back
Can't you see, the restricting must again begin?
I will hand myself over to you at once
Obviously now I need you more than ever
This fat, this chub must be rid of my body
Come back, I promise we can be together.
The two of us made some great accomplishments
Everyone wants what we had
Unfortunately, not everyone gets to meet you
Just come back. You were the best comrade.
I'll do whatever you want so you feel welcome
I'll greet you again with open arms
Next time we won't listen when others tell us to stop
I'll protect you so don't be alarmed.

This monster in my stomach needs to be tamed.
Too much complication is involved so don't ask me to explain.
Don't ask me why for no one is to blame.
I don't want your hugs or kisses. I don't want your shame.
I won't stop until I reach my ultimate aim.
I will continue to lose weight, or possibly maintain.
They don't only want me to stop. They want me to gain!
I know they don't understand, but they have to be insane!
While striving for control, I just ignore the pain.
Going too far is not enough and I will succeed at my game.
Most others usually want money or fame.
But this success is what I claim.

How I Feel At Times     7/1/05
Sometimes I want to die
Just please take my life
I stepped out of my safe haven
Now I'll just crawl back inside.
Everything must be my fault
I think my family is falling apart
I know it's because I'm not good enough
My IQ is higher, but I'm not smart.
They really don't listen or pay me much attention
I'm guessing that I hardly have worth
During these times I find it hard to believe
They cried tears of joy at my birth.
They don't try to understand the pain I feel
I want to just fade away in the breeze
It was so much better when I was just a kid
My biggest worries were the scrapes on my knees.
Sometimes when I talk she hardly listens
And I can no longer handle his invective
Maybe they want me to disappear
Or maybe I'm just too reflective.
The less there is of me, the less there is to loathe
So I shed away my being
Slowly I fade away into nothing
Then my problems I'll no longer be fleeing.


I Don't Have Bones Poking Through

I don't have bones poking through
I may not go to extreme lengths to
Hide my pain away from the world
But I sit here being fussy
Binge for up to weeks at a time
Then going through periods where I will purge after
This meal that meal then all the snacks
But I never get anywhere
I just put weight on
So many comments are made
I just have to take them
It makes me feel bad, guilty and wrong
I know I am weak not strong
Everyone thinks they can make fun
If I could I would run
But I can't
I'm subjected to hurt, rejected by most
So today I ate and apple and that’s it
I will not cave

Living In The Shadows
Living in my nightmare
In a world full of hate
Where we just lay in the dark
For death, we silently wait
We each have a story to tell
Full of anger, tragedy and despair
Living in this fucked up place
Which treats us so unfair
Stephanie was my best friend
In some ways she was just like me
Dealing with depression
That no one else could see
Her parents treated her like shit
She hid her screwed up life well
Everyone thought she was perfect
But she was living through hell
Her dad was an alcoholic
And her mom didn't even care
Despite her home life
For me, she was always there
Then she gave up
They found her the next day
She slit her wrists in bed
I watched them carry her body away
Then there’s Katie
Her parents died when she was five
Memories haunt her
Of when they were alive
She has nightmares every night
And cries almost every day
Cuts her fragile wrists
Pretending everything’s okay
Every single night
She wishes upon a star
Prays to god up above
To take her soul somewhere far
Jasmine has bulimia
She’s as beautiful as can be
But when she looks in the mirror
A overweight girl is all she sees
She makes herself sick
In desperate hope
That someone might help her
Because she really cant cope
Her parents have high expectations
And she has to live up to this part
As their perfect baby girl
But its tearing her apart
Matt’s dad died last year
A bullet to the chest
He witnessed it all
Saw his dad take his last breath
Now he’s in trouble
Almost every day
Getting into fights at school
And pushing everyone away
He’s lost and confused
And not sure what to do
Angry and messed up
Lost faith in god too
Jamie was raped
Her innocence stolen away
From her own flesh and blood
Her cousin, who came to stay
He held her down
No one heard her tortured screams
She kept trying to wake up
From what seemed like a dream
And now she’s pregnant
She cant handle the stress
She feels ashamed
And really depressed
She hates herself
And what she’s become
All because of what he did
He had his fun
You wonder now
Why my own story remains untold
Why I haven’t told you
About the horror that my life holds
I wont say a word
About what I live through each day
Because what good would it do
There’s nothing you can do
Nothing you can say
So I will live my live
With my cursed friends just like me
As we dwell here in the shadows
Desperate to be free
Longing for the sun
To chase our troubles away
To bathe us in light
But here in the shadows we’ll stay

Mirror Mind
I stand up tall
Look in the mirror,
Not knowing my condition
Is very severe.
My ribs show
and are easily seen,
Its just a stage
I’m only sixteen.
Slits and cuts
along my arms,
My own Decorations
from my self-harm.
Nobody can see them
I hide them in sleeves,
Nobody can know
About my sudden grief.
The blade I use
Is safely hidden
"I’m not suicidal,
You must be mistaken."
Ill feed everyone lies
Never telling the truth,
So nobody will know
about my troubled youth.
I don’t need another parent
or another therapist
The girl that needs help
She doesn’t exist.
Don’t tell me that,
I have so much to live for
Its my decision only
It is not yours
If I decide to die
Then don’t disagree.
Let me slit my wrist
And end this misery
Two quick cuts
forty seconds of pain
As I sit and watch
All my blood drain.

Panic Attack
for the record...
my chest feels tight
i feel like i can't breathe
i want to scream and cry
but i'm not doing a thing
my body feels stiff
but at the same time weak
and i can't find comfort in anything
no song has helped me
only made me feel even worse
more tense and distressed
and my breath seems dispersed
i'm unable to find it
can't even find myself
i'm a complete and utter mess
numb with all feeling
tired with all energy
focused on thought
wanting to run away
from everything going on in my head
everything i'm feeling inside
if only i could breathe
if only i could sigh
i'm trying so hard to get everything out
but nothing is working, i'm stuck there's no doubt
i wish i knew how to make it stop
how to feel better,
wish i could take a deep breath and go on
but still i find no comfort in breathing
and still i cannot cry
and not a single song is helping me fill my eyes
nor has anything taken the weight off my chest
i want to sleep
need my thoughts to rest
but it seems impossible with these feelings at their best
i wish i could find how to make this all stop
but anything i think of is most illogical
unreasonable and harmful to myself and i know
that if any of it happened, i'd only have gone
back to where i was a few years ago
and never again do i want to be there
with feelings of such depression, emptiness and despair.
but then i realize i am emptier than ever
i am more lost than i remember
taking deep breaths to try and make it all go away
but here i am stuck
so i guess i have to stay
with myself until all of this is gone
searching on until i find what is truly wrong
even writing is of no assistance
so i am going to put myself at a distance
from everything i'm feeling
everything inside
everything that's happening
it was so stupid to hide
behind the facade that i put in front of me
all because none of these people needed to see
how i get and how i end up
i didn't need to or mean to scare any of them
so i'm letting go now of this keyboard
and i will try to close my eyes
try to breath and go on with my night
and hopefully sleep until i feel light
both in my eyes and in my heart
so here i go.. it's time to start.

Perfections Only Flaw

The essence of her beauty,
Macerating over time,
What awaits her in the future,
Could be simply sublime,

Her loving smile,
And helping hand,
Was always there when needed,
And always capable to understand,

She was never hateful,
And never held a grudge,
What happens, happens,
She was not the one to judge,

She always had faith in people,
And believed in them doing right,

If she could make it through the day,
They could make it through the night,

Until she gave up on herself,
And surrendered to their deceit,
One person couldn't change the world,
And try to make their damage discreet,

Her beauty became worthless,
To not only her but to all,
For now she had no one to catch her,
For the first time she would fall,

What she once treasured so much,
Was now no more then just a memory to recall,
The love she held close became hostility,
And she suddenly seemed so small,

So she stopped holding on,
From life she would kindly withdraw,
For the world crumbled down before her,
As she became 'perfections only flaw'

And I'm The One To Blame

I look in the mirror
And then I turn away so fast
Thinking about the past
Trying not to hate myself
Because our love didn't last

I look again
And then I start to cry
I'm not beautiful I say
I wish I would just die

It feels like no one wants me
And I'll never be in love
It feels like I'm just this ugly person
That no one wants to love

Every time I look in the mirror
I just look and cry
"I hate myself, I hate myself"
I'm the one that made him say goodbye

Once in my life
I thought I was beautiful
I guess when I was in your arms
I know it was when I was by your side
It was because you brought
Out my beauty in the inside

Why did you leave me
Now when I look in the mirror I see pain
Because for once in my life
Someone made me feel beautiful
Now he is gone
And I'm the one to blame

Anorexia Is Here To Stay

"Hello, my dearest child,
You have let the 'guilt' inside
My name would be "anorexia"
No, please don’t run and hide."

"I am here to help you
So you think you’re fat?
Well, if you listen to me
We can change all of that."

"Self-control is the answer
No eating day or night
Don’t go near that food
You don’t need a bite."

"Is your stomach growling?
I’m sorry but you can’t eat
Because you know if you do
You’ll feel real defeat."

"Don’t go near that kitchen!
I forbid you and if you do
Go even one step closer
I will punish you."

I walk a few steps closer
I have to have a bite
But I know that if I do
I will surely lose this fight.

Then the guilt will set in
And that’s where I always lose
Bulimia will now take over
My own body is what I abuse.

"Poor little child, you ate
You should feel like you committed a sin
Once you head to the bathroom
You won’t ever do it again."

"You’re going to be fatter!
Look at you a hundred and three
Dang, you look like an elephant
And you really disappoint me!"

Now looking in the mirror
My reflection makes me weak
I now see who I really am
After hearing bulimia speak.

"See what you look like, darling?
You’re the fattest girl alive
But in order to be beautiful
You can only eat enough to survive."

This is where bulimia leaves
And anorexia comes in to play
The whole routine starts over
For it is a brand new day.

"Hello, my dear it’s anorexia
I know you don’t want me to stay
But now that you let me inside
I can never go away."

"You can think you’ve gotten over me
Convince yourself that you’re free
But once anorexia becomes your friend
That’s the way it’ll always be."

Don't Give Up

In this world that surrounds us
We sometimes break down and fall
Those who stand above us
Can make us seem so small

We tremble under the weight
Of the problems that hold us down
And when we start to collapse
There seems to be no one around

We try to fight in this world
That always seems to fight back
Sometimes we’re not strong enough though
There are too many things we lack

We’ll hide away in corners
Put upon ourselves pain
But there’s no escape from this life
We all must suffer the same

But although we may struggle
And yes we all do fall
I’ll stand by your side
I’ll stay with you through it all

And if you start to tremble
Or even break down
I’m your shoulder to cry on
I’ll always be around

We all have our faults
Our up and are downs
We cant always smile all the time
Everyone has to frown

No, no ones perfect
And no one is the same
We’re in this world together
We all play the same game

If we stick together
No matter what is to come
With a little faith and hope
Anything can be done

We all get those bad times
Each and every one of us
But I promise it will get better
Just don’t you give up

But when you feel like you want too
Please just remember this
You can die at any time
But it takes a strong person to live

Have You Ever

Have you ever cried so hard,
That you couldn't breathe,
Have you ever had someone stab you in the back,
And laugh as they watch you bleed?
Have you ever loved someone so much, but they never understood?
Have you ever been abused for being bad,
When you were trying so hard to be good?
Have you ever cried a billion tears,
Asking God "Why?",
And do you know how it feels to fall asleep at night,
Wishing you would die?
Have you ever had a man take your innocence, and throw it out the door?
And you live each day in fear,
Wondering if he'll come back for more...
Have you ever had another girl threaten to take your life,
And you try not to show your fear,
But it hurts too bad to hide?
Have you ever been thrown against a wall, with a gun held to your head?
And those words whispered in your ear that say,
If you fight me you'll be dead...
Have you ever thought you could trust someone, but they just throw you around,
And you try so hard to hold back the tears, as you hit the ground?
Have you ever watched your sister lie in front of you,
And slowly fade away?
And you're just too young to understand, she won't be there the next day?
Have you ever watched your best friend get shot, outside your favorite store?
Have you ever overdosed on drugs,
Because you just couldn't take anymore?
Do you really know what it feels like,
To have your heart get burned?
Have you ever left your house,
Unsure if you'll return?
Have you ever looked to the stars at night,
And prayed for the pain to end?
Begging please just take it away,
And the next day you feel it again?
Have you ever been so far away,
From the only one you ever loved?
But she tells you just hold on,
And you love her too much, you just can't give up?
Have you ever told yourself to hold on,
Please don't fall apart?
Have you ever really listened,
To a young girl's broken heart?
Do you know how hard it is,
For me to face another day?
If you don't then tell me why,
Do you treat me this way?
Have you ever felt the pain I have,
Do you know how I feel?
Have you ever thought about your past,
And just wished it wasn't real?
Have you ever been face to face with rape,
And you can't pull away?
Do you know how it feels when you can't move,
You just let him have his way?
And you can't think, can't even breathe,
Don't even get a chance to fight,
And every time you think about that night,
All you want to do is cry...
Have you ever watched your mom,
Fall farther and farther away from your kiss?
And you wonder why it had to be her,
Why is life like this?
Have you ever screamed for help,
Wishing someone would hear?
But no one hears your cries,
No one sees your tears...
Have you ever been through,
All the things I have been through?
If you haven't then tell me why,
Do you treat me like you do...

The Anorexic Light Shines Through

And baby, it scares me sometimes
And it suffocates me too
when I am on the road to recovery
The anorexic light shines through

Something clicks inside me
It switches my views around
And I try to see the beauty

But only worthlessness is found

And now I am back to square one
Stuck and thanking Ana for saving me
And it’s lonely here and I am scared
Deep down I wish to be free

When will I be enough?
When will I snap out of this way of living
I worship and I live for you
But only heartache you are giving

You chose the perfect candidate
You knew I needed something to hold
You knew I would cling to your presence
Until my heart grew cold

And guess what, Ana?
You were right and in my eyes
You will be forever and always
But please listen to my cries

Because it scares me sometimes
Oh, and it suffocates me too
When I am on the road to recovery
The deathly anorexic light shines through

The Perfect Disgrace

Look at her,
The state she’s in,
She tries and tries,
But she just can’t win.

Look at those eyes,
Tired rings of black,
But when you stare,
She quickly turns her back.

See how many bangles,
I wonder what’s under there,
Maybe she just likes them,
Or scars to her pain to compare.

She is so tiny,
Defiantly too thin,
I bet you she starves herself,
And lets anorexia win.

Look at her face,
You know the smile is fake,
That heart that’s placed,
Is full of sadness and hate.

Listen to how quiet she is,
But I bet she screams at night,
Crying hysterically,
Holding her pillow tight.

Look at her now,
I bet she wishes she were gone,
And that she’s been living,
For far too long.

I bet she feels worthless,
So out of place,
She calls herself,
The perfect disgrace.





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