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i have tortured people with my preciousness, my compulsive need for everything to be just so, as close to perfection as i could make it. i have never left much room for error… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

i have tortured people
with my preciousness
my compulsive need
for everything to be
just so
as close to perfection
as i could make it

i have never left myself
much room for error

i would stay up all night
just to get it right
as everything around me
and in me
broke down

it was sheer will
that had me running on fumes

you see
i was a woman
with willpower
that coveted thing
all dieters want
and fitness models
build careers on

i could make myself
eat no more than 600 calories
work out for 3 hours
and work 15 hours
a day
for years

but not anymore
it’s humbling
when the body starts rebelling
when the mind stops working
and when the shrieking of your soul
becomes so loud
you think you might be
losing it

it’s excruciating
to go from feeling so in control
to not being able to make sense
of anything

i used to think
it would never happen to me
i read stories of other people’s breaking
and think
not me

i have always despised the word
i have always hated when people say
“everything in moderation”

never quite understood
the desire to be moderate
seemed rather bleak and gray to me

till lately
my world is all sorts of shades of gray
and i am staying extremely moderate
and i must tell you
for a girl who has lived
mostly on the edges
it feels edgy
to hang out in-between

and i also must tell you
i am loving the way
it has softened me

i love how i can laugh
when things in the business break
knowing that freaking
will only cloud my ability
to make good decisions

i love how i can stop working out
after 23 minutes
just because i feel sleepy
and would rather lay in bed
and write poetry

i love how when i eat too much
i can feel the discomfort
and remember
the food will be gone
of its own accord
in a few hours
and how i can simply let it serve as a reminder
that i don’t feel good when i overeat
and not need to turn it into a reason
to hate myself
or exercise for hours
or purge
or starve myself the next day

i love how i can love
and not lose myself completely
it’s such progress for me
to see
i am no longer willing
to toss aside everything
once important to me
in an attempt to get someone
to love
who i am trying to be

i love how i sleep
through the night often now
and how when i hear messages
from my team
coming in early in the morning
i still make time for
showering, moisturizing,
writing and butter coffee
before answering anything
unless it is a true emergency

i love how i finally took the time
to put sappy music on my ipod
so when i am on an airplane
i can sit teary and nostalgic
till i reach my final destination
turning flying
into a time
for feeling and reflecting
instead of freaking
that the internet is slow
so many miles up in the air

i love the space
all this gray
has made for me to dream
because i no longer spend hours
each evening
beating myself up
for all the ways i am failing
to do things perfectly
i extract the lesson
i don’t allow myself to dwell
and i course correct
as needed

and i really love
that in many ways
not much has changed
in terms of the results
i have been able to produce
if anything,
things are better
business is still solid and good
my health is more stable than ever
friends and i became closer
i am more available
actually present
when i am being spoken to

oh, and i am more compassionate
while being clearer about my boundaries
something i was only aware of
when so triggered i would freak

basically, being in the gray
has been really good for me
and i am pretty sure
the people around me would agree
it has been better for them too

i am easing back into extremes
starting a few new projects lately
and i can feel the energy that comes with that
i can feel the perfectionist in me
and i am aware…
i still love things done excellently
i still have extremely high standards
i still want everything
to be the very best it can be

but i don’t let this be
all that matters to me

i remind myself daily
of what is most important to me
of what actually drove my need for perfection
for so many years
and that has made all the the difference
for me

so if you too find yourself
striving and driving
i say
let yourself
get gray
from time to time

even you
will thank you

❤️emily joy rosen

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