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Reasons to Not Return: An Eating Disorder Recovery Poem

Today I’m sharing with you the beautiful words of one of my clients in recovery, Haven. I hope the feelings and emotions of her recovery poem flow through the screen as they did in her handwritten journal. Thank you so much for your wonderful art, Haven!

 

There are many reasons I want recovery

It’s not hard to see when you feel strong and in your power

 

It’s the trying times

The times where you can barely see the light of day

 

Or even more than that

Want to see it at all

 

Those are the times where your recovery is tested 

Through fire and ice 

 

Hurricanes and tsunami

Waves of feelings

 

Swirling around

Lifting you up

 

And throwing you down

Like you’re just another plastic can going in the recycling bin 

 

Ready to be reduced and reused 

As another element of society 

 

The underground 

Where no one goes

 

The dark

Cold

Empty

Sewer

Filled with rats and poison

 

Although the poison looks the way food looks

So it’s confusing 

 

Tricky

Mind-boggling 

 

You have to wait

Be patient 

To see what happens once the rat takes it

 

If he lives

Carry on

 

If he dies

Have a funeral

 

There’s really only two options 

Life is fragile 

 

With or without an eating disorder 

So which is it gonna be?

 

To carry on

Or die 

It’s a sad reality 

 

Or a hopeful one

It’s all about perception

 

Life gets messy 

And complex

In our minds 

 

Only in our minds though

We spin it around

 

Touch the ground 

Jump up and down 

 

To impress the clown

Of society 

 

Whomever that is 

If not just a whole entity 

 

So speak now

Act now

 

From peace

Not hate

 

Towards oneself or others 

For life is not meant to be lived through war

 

It’s meant to be lived through the eyes of a child

Beginner’s mind 

 

Always something new and interesting 

To explore

 

Don’t hesitate 

Or repress yourself 

 

And don’t drown in the whitewash

 

It’s merely the aftermath

Not even the climax 

 

If you can wait 

And be patient

 

You’ll see which rat gets the poison

And who survives 

 

Because there will always be survivors 

That you can depend on

 

As well as victims

Those are there too

 

But you can’t depend on them 

For they can’t even depend on themselves 

 

And one who can’t put one’s oxygen mask on first 

Is no use to the rest of us 

 

We have to be kind to ourselves

And then that will extend to kindness around the world

 

Trust that the answers live inside of you

In a tiny little box

 

In your heart 

In which your soul has the key

 

And your brain has the code

To remind your body that the soul will never forget the key

 

The brain just needs to be trained

It’s an excellent student 

 

Always keen

And ready to learn

 

Sometimes it just needs a break 

In which the heart can allow it time to recharge

 

Restore

Rebalance 

 

We have all of that

And more

 

Within us 

We are all free

 

Our memories are our branches 

Our emotions are the leaves 

 

Swaying in the wind

Our thoughts are the weather

 

Blowing wind

Or rain through the air

 

Giving us sunshine

Or thunderstorms 

 

But we are

The core of this beautiful magnificent tree 

 

And we are the deciders 

Of which fruit we grow.

-Haven Sadler

 

I so so so appreciate your words, Haven. I hope you and any other person fighting for recovery know that while some days may feel worse than others, you will feel so much better once you’re free of your eating disorder.

For more recovery poetry inspiration, you can find Haven on Instagram  @safehaven1017.

 

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