I still sometimes sneak food
at night

Okay, it’s not so much sneaking
as eating by myself in bed
in the dark
after 2 am

But because I starved myself
for so many years
it feels like I am breaking the rules
and the rebel in me
loves it

We have many different parts of us
personalities and personas
What happens when we are too much in one,
is the opposite will try and express itself
often in distorted and destructive ways

For example
If I’m always the “good girl”
it is likely I will act out as a “bad girl”
in extreme and often secretive ways

This can look like binging
on ice cream or chips

Sleeping around with people
you don’t much care for

Freaking out, and having a blowout reaction
to even the smallest thing

Taking short-cuts
with projects or tasks

Undermining people
in passive-aggressive ways

Drinking to excess
Cheating
And so on…

What happens is that if we contract too much
we will want to expand
And if the pressure to stay in one persona
is too intense,
the ways we will seek to expand
and feel free
will often not be the strategies
that are the most healthy ones

In many ways, I find in order to heal
we need to give all the parts
of ourselves more air time
We need to give all of us
more room to breathe
And we need to figure out
which is truly our more natural way
of being
forgetting about what we believe is best

I have often wished I had a softer personality
I have wished my voice was higher
my eyelashes longer
and my temperament more even

I have wished a million times
to be super petite and meek,
the kind of girl people just want to hold
and care for,
the kind of girl who people just cannot help
but adore

I imagine myself as her,
I am the softest of strawberry blondes,
with big hazel eyes and the pinkest of lips
My voice is tender and high
and I speak very little
but when I do, it’s to say
something complimentary

I know how to bat my lashes
and laugh easily
I am not fiercely ambitious
but rather content with the simpler things in life

I am divinely domestic,
I give hugs that feel like butterfly kisses
and I never even think to swear
and wouldn’t dare get angry
or raise my voice ever

I dress modestly
in patterned dresses that flow gracefully,
hitting just below my knee
I remember names and birthdays
and everyone cannot help but love me

But here is the truth –
I am brash and intense
I speak often without thinking much
and can be extremely piercing with my words
My voice is filled with emotion
and when I speak
I find it near impossible to hide what I am feeling

I dress sloppily
and just cannot muster the will
to change out of sweatpants most days

My hair is damaged from over processing
and it takes a lot for it to not look like
I just woke up after sweating
and sleeping awkwardly

I have made myself incredibly petite
but the truth is
when I eat, when I’m healthy
I am not super skinny

Thankfully, my eyes are big

But aside from that
I just don’t think I am the girl
I was trying to be

And the more I tried to be her
the more I acted out
behind closed doors

I couldn’t figure out why
in my early twenties,
why after dates where I daintily ate
dry grilled chicken and steamed broccoli
I would find myself on the drive home
binging on just about anything

Food was my way of acting out
for so many years

These days, it comes out in different ways

When I first stopped binging and purging
I would pace the house for hours at night
trying to move the energy differently

I would pick fights with my partner
binge watch useless tv
drink cheap wine till I forgot what I was doing
and distance myself from everyone
confirming my belief that no one
would ever love the real me

I was still trying to be so “good”
I wanted so badly for everyone to like me
I was coming out as some weird
muted version of me

And so people didn’t trust me
And they really didn’t get me

At the time,I was so hurt
But in retrospect, I understand it more
much more

And I didn’t start to really break free
until I started to let all my personalities
have air time

I had a friend say to me recently
your friends socially don’t see the side of you
that you express in your poetry

And I thought,
no
that’s not true
of the people I am closest to

But I have learned to go slower
with people I am only friendly with
Because while I can be all of me
with any of you,
that doesn’t mean I want to

Because it is also my responsibility to
show up in a way that is true for me
and being intimate with everyone in this way
socially and at parties
is not something
I have any interest in doing

I love to preserve my most tender self
for those who have grown with me
Depth is what is interesting to me
not more and more friends
that I only know superficially

We seems to be collecting people these days
So many at our disposal
So many at the tips of our fingers

And we might be forgetting
that swiping and clicking is not connecting

So if you find yourself
swinging from one extreme to another
let me challenge you
to look a little deeper
into the parts of you
that you’re not expressing regularly

Always a rebel,
try being gentle

Always a good girl,
try breaking your own rules

Always the responsible one,
try taking some unplanned time for you

Always unreliable,
try doing exactly what you said you would

Always put together,
try letting the upkeep go

Always a mess,
try putting on a beautiful dress
and adorning your body

These are just some of the ways
we can begin to heal

By integrating

Integration is key
Alignment is everything

And when you have that
when you feel in your body, heart and soul
that you are living congruently

I think you will be
pleasantly surprised
by how effortlessly
so many of your compulsions
slip away

Because they are simply placeholders
Just the universe’s way of saying
Hey!
Hey, you!
Something has to shift
and as always
it always starts
with you

❤️ emily joy rosen

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