Recovery – a poem for #EDAW2014

She’d fought and won.
That’s what they said,
But what they couldn’t know,
Was that each and every meal time,
Dealt another blow,
To a thin veneer she’d painted on,
In the hope that she could pass,
For someone who was coping,
With no more need to fast.
You couldn’t tell by looking,
That she had a problem now,
She’d gained some weight,
And forced a smile
And made them all so proud.
They thought she’d got it beaten,
And so how could she say,
That even though her clothes fit
That the hurt was here to stay?

Recovery - a poem for #EDAW2014

This week is eating disorders awareness week so I’m writing a series of poems about eating disorders. Today’s poem considers recovery from an eating disorder and is a reminder to friends, family and clinicians that just because someone is physically better and is working hard at their recovery, does not mean that their inner demons are beaten. For many people, the early period of recovery (and weight gain for those with anorexia) is one of the hardest periods of all to manage. But help and support tends to drop away as soon as the physical danger of starvation is no longer an issue.
Visit Beat for eating disorders information and support.

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13 Responses to Recovery – a poem for #EDAW2014

  1. If any if these problems are in any way like alcoholism, and we have sort of discussed this, then from personal experience, recovery is an ongoing journey that never stops. Support is always needed, sometimes more than others, but just knowing that support is available whenever needed makes the journey a more comfortable one. Xx

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    • PookyH says:

      Yes, I think it is just like this for many people – certainly for me. I have an excellent support network. I hope not to need it but complacency is a bad thing…

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  2. Great poem Pooky and you hit on an issue many of us not affected by an eating disorder, that there may be an outward improvement but so often the inner pain lives on. You have written this so well. I know that the lady who was the subject of my play still has issues with eating and she is now in her 40’s. She told me she gets her family their dinner each night serves it up and so often then thinks what am I going to eat. Thankfully she is doing ok now days as a personal trainer, and yes still into body shape. I have an eating disorder – eating too much!!!!

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    • PookyH says:

      It’s not uncommon for these issues to continue, in some form, for many, many years sadly. My work centres around trying to ensure the problem is recognised, and recovery supported, fast as early intervention is the best way to secure a full and lasting recovery.

      Your student was lucky to have you x

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  3. I know someone who many years on can still be triggered. She’s an amazing woman.
    This is a wonderful, powerful poem, Pooky. The last four lines are particularly powerful.
    Tricia xx

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  4. Brenda says:

    Great poem. So true that so often recovery is just about the appearance of recovery to make the rest of us relax, when there is no cure for the inside pain. I wish there were a cure for that pain.

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  5. wbdeejay says:

    The sufferer’s hurt is so palpable in this. A great poem and particularly touching read.
    I was going to say you are so clever (which you are!). But more than that it’s really your deep understanding of these issues that equips you to put it so simply, clearly and strongly. x

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