Grandmaster or Life?

Anorexia is a game I play
Each day;
A game which requires a lot of pieces.
It is chess.

I am thinking several moves ahead.
I am not a grandmaster yet,
But I know that I could be.
The promise is there.
I have played for many years,
Though I have rarely dedicated myself as I should.
A grandmaster dedicates themselves
Every day.
Chess is their first thought.
Every day.
How to move those pieces…

But I relinquish my pieces;
Willingly I share them
With my husband,
My friend,
And my therapist.
I hand the pieces over.
Help me play the game,
I say,
Passing them rooks and knights,
Removing them from my own hands,
Knowing as I do so that I can manipulate my allies
Into helping me to play the game,
I can let them teach me a new game.

A new game would be good
I say.
But I’m not sure.
They want me to learn a new game.
Need me to;
Chess is an old game.
It’s tiring to watch,
And they do not want to see me end
At checkmate.

I try to learn their game.
Their rules.
It is a less beautiful game
By far.
It is less complicated,
And it never seems to end.
It is not satisfying to play,
Though perhaps that is because
I am an amateur.
I will try,
But I will keep a spare set of chess pieces.
I can choose to play chess if I wish to
And each day,
I will take out those pieces,
And polish them,
And decide whether to place them on the board.

Or life?
I will decide,
Each and every day.

This entry was posted in anorexia, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, Recovery and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Grandmaster or Life?

  1. Yu/stan/kema says:

    Terrific poem. Well-written.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know anorexia is a daily struggle or game. I understand there must be days where checkmate must loom before you. But with help, love care you fight on another day. Great poem Pooky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PookyH says:

      Thank you. I’m finding my poetry to be a great therapeutic tool at the moment. I’m not sure why but there’s a certain freedom with poetry that I can’t find through talking or prose. They don’t make for great reading but the process of writing them is helping to provide some clarity, questions and relief at a really difficult time.

      How are you? X


      • I’m doing well.about to leave for Brisbane to spend the weekend with my eldest son and family.
        The girl I wrote my play Anna about at age 40 still says eating is a daily chore though now she does understand herself much better.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PookyH says:

        Enjoy Brisbane!

        For a decade I made positive decisions about food every day. Then I grew complacent and considered myself recovered. Now I’m here… so I think your ex pupil has the right idea…


  3. wbdeejay says:

    Pooky, so much depth and sharing here, I applaud you! I feel the struggle, the challenge, through your words. But I most love your final words on the game, each day deciding whether to place your pieces on the board. That is powerful. xx


    • PookyH says:

      Thank you – I find my poetry is helping me to think things through though I’m not sure how interesting it is for others to read. On the question of deciding whether to play, eating is terrifying – I’m working towards wait maintenance right now, if I continue to lose weight they’ll hospitalise me, and eventually i’ll be expected to gain some weight. The only way that I can even begin to entertain that idea right now is by knowing that I know how to play and if I don’t like it I can start again and end up back here. It’s a bit of a rock and a hard place kind of a situation right now though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wbdeejay says:

        I’m sorry the anorexia is presenting so strongly and creating that difficulty for you. It sounds incredibly challenging. I’m sure you’ve got people to help you and show you unconditional love, you know I do. Take care and I hope you get the hang of this new game and don’t need to fall back on the old pieces you know too well. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. bluecat28 says:

    Awesome poem! I love the analogy, it works perfectly. You have inspired me to go back to writing poetry myself. Best of luck to you in recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

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