i binged
for the first time in forever
yet it was nothing like
the violent binges
from before

i ate an early dinner
and then when i got home
i got caught up in
some work stuff
and responding to people
on social media
before i worked out

by the time
i got off the treadmill
it was after midnight
and i was really hungry
i thought maybe
i’ll just go to bed
but then i thought
or i could eat
a ton
of cheese

oh no maybe
i am thirsty
i thought
drinking water fast
and then i realized
i was doing what i used to do
i was overriding my hunger
by over-drinking
to make myself feel more full literally
i was attempting to suppress
my urge to eat

and then
i thought
you know what
i am not going to do that
i am going to eat
until i don’t want to eat anymore
i am not going to keep trying
to suppress my desire
for more

i started with the coconut butter
a few huge spoonfuls
at least 800 calories, eek!
(i haven’t thought in calories for years)
and then i went for the
bonne bell cheeses
the ones wrapped in red wax
that are semi-soft
and reliably just good

and then
i went for
the kerrygold cheddar
aged forever
i took a big slice
and alternated cheeses
before adding in
pepper jack
moon cheese
the crunchy cheese
so good
so much cheese
i needed more
coconut butter
with just that hint of sweet

here is when i paused
i thought
the voice
of my old eating disorder
showed up
for the first time in a long time
and she was really freaked
she was starting to panic
about how much i was eating

but there
was this other
super loud voice
“enjoy yourself emily
keep eating
this is so yummy
and you can have as much as you want
you have had a really brutal time recently
and this is fun and tasty
and it is really making you happy
in this moment
yes, let yourself eat”

and sure i know
other things could make me happy
like the embrace of a loved one
or making love till dawn
but that is not here now
and this cheese
is really delighting me

and as soon as i rested there
i got thirsty instead of hungry
my body wanted water
and the urge to eat another few
hundred pieces of cheese
was gone

i got a little sad
for a moment
it felt bittersweet

you see
i was never kind
to the girl
who had an eating disorder
for 10 years
i beat her up daily
for an entire decade
berating her for her body
shoving fingers
and metal down her throat
shaming her always
i was self loathing
and so destructive

i wonder, now
if i had been a little softer
if things would have gotten easier

it wasn’t easy
i didn’t know
if i would make it
most days

so sometimes
it is just really nice to remember
how incredibly blessed i am
how much i have overcome
and how grateful i am
to be here now

i forgot that recently
and it was demoralizing
it is coming back
online now

i now know
what it is like
to lose faith
and be completely
by fear

and i am
a richer person
for that knowing

so tonight
i am going to eat
a little more cheese
and in the morning
when i wake
and remember i did this
i am not going to shame myself
for being weak
i am not going to punish myself
for eating so very many calories
so much more than i need

i am going to remember myself
trusting my appetite
letting myself do something
just because it was pleasurable

i am going to remember
that i didn’t let the voice
that is always trying
to choke me out
and starve me
just a little more

a poem

❤️ emily joy rosen

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