What Anorexia Feels Like

I wrote this poem on Monday January 21, 2008 “sometime after 9:00 am,” my journal specifies. If you didn’t read two posts ago, I’ll update you a bit about the journals. Recently I got a hold of each of the journals I’ve kept since 2007, which of course share very vivid and distinct memories of what led to my hospitalization, the aftermath, and my relapse. This poem was actually written before I was first involuntarily hospitalized, and it depicts what living what anorexia felt like to me. Trapped, stuck, on auto-pilot, black and white, isolating, and empty. Near the end, I give a short glimpse at what I expect recovery may feel like, if I allowed myself at the time to reach it. Working title, nine years later.

Also, happy 101st post on honeyhearted!

Time is constant, as the hands never chase one another around the clock,
Coffee is never completely done brewing and butter never churned,
The last page of a book is never read and lost souls are never found,
The fire never burns to ashes while the trees continue to grow,
The wake of dawn is hard to perceive for the sun never fails to stay asleep,
The days are unchanging,
As we’ve grown comfortable with every shade of gray.
And yet, I dream of something more,
My body is like a tree craving for change,
My hands are itching for something to grasp onto,
My legs are becoming numb as they fail to travel for adventure,
Secrets thrive in my heart and my mind is a puzzle waiting to be put together.
I dream of something more as I walk, my feet chasing after one another,
And as I stare at the skyscrapers aligned like soldiers next to one another, poised with perfect posture
And with tears of stagnant raindrops on their windows,
I find a man working on the first floor.
He is a lawyer whose arguments are never proven, yet never at fault,
His striped tie hung like a noose around his neck never comes loose,
His glasses never fail to read the words living across the computer screen,
Yet do not succeed to see anything beyond the isolated walls of his prison.
I head towards the train station, and pass a woman on the stilts of her heels while juggling her checkbook
And breathing money instead of fire,
And then I pass a rectangular red brick house whose chimney exhales a breath of smoke
While its shutters open and close with a creak, trying to speak.
A family of four sits at the dinner table of an ocean’s length, under a ceiling of a mountain’s height,
The forks, spoons, and knives have gone at war, clanking at one another with the loudest of roars.
It echoes against the walls and is the only sound to be heard,
And for once in my life, I’ve realized that silence is louder than words.
I arrive at the train station, board and sit pensively as my mind surrenders to its thoughts,
An old woman sits in the back whose silver hair is turning white
And whose ashen face is now drained completely of color,
A green cloak sulks over her slump shoulders
And bifocals enlarge her wrinkle’s depiction of life’s stories framing her blank eyes.
I am trying to escape and the conductor warns me not to leave:
You can never return, and the world beyond this point is very unknown.
I disregard his caution as the train comes to a halt,
My right foot urges my left one forward,
As hesitation is the only footprint I leave behind.
There is a tree whose roots are firmly planted while wind whispers at my ears,
Its hands pluck leaves from the fingertips of branches,
Painting their colors across the sky,
I listen in on their foreign words that somehow make sense
And watch the clouds blanket the sun
As the birds sing a lullaby of sound,
To my right is a rain shower whose tears are none of sadness,
And to the left is a snowstorm whose flakes are none of gloom,
They turn my cheeks a rosy pink
And my eyes glisten as I stared,
I run through lush grass as the flower petals tickle at my feet
And I realize the beauty in the world because my eyes are now allowing me to see.



Nicole works as a life and wellness coach through Nicole Leigh Coaching (www.nicolenessLPC.com) Nicole strives to empower women with similar struggles to redefine and re-identify themselves, separate from their eating disorder. Through her work, she empowers women to use balance in every aspect of life to maintain lifelong recovery. When Nicole isn't blogging or counseling, she loves spending her time traveling, eating burgers, and surrounding herself with positive people.