Recovery is Possible!


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




Filled with rats and poison


Although the poison looks the way food looks

So it’s confusing 





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





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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