the other day
i came across a picture
of who i used to be

and the caption read:
“tbt wish i had this body still
the feeling of being near death
is so alluring
and comforting to me,
it feels right.
like dying is my only purpose”

i remember this
i remember being her

and i remember getting
comments, suggestions and advice
like the ones i saw her receive

well intentioned for sure
(some loving even, fearful definitely)
but useful? i don’t think so
(at least not from what i have seen in my practice
at least not from what i remember
living this way, feeling these words)

so let me offer this…
(from someone who has been on the inside)
if we’re arguing with someone
infatuated with dying
about the importance of being healthy
can you see how we might be missing the target?

if we think force-feeding is healing
can you see how we might be not be addressing
what’s really going on?
if we think locking bathroom doors
and 24 hour supervision is the solution,
can you see how that might not lead to recovery?

this is not to bash sincere attempts to help
this is not even me saying i know what to do
all the time for all people in all cases

but this is a plea…
if you know someone who is suffering
with a disordered relationship with food
to not simplify this down
to a food or behavioral issue
it’s almost always something more
something deeper
something tender

we always have
a beautifully exquisite reason
for doing what we do

it makes perfect sense to me
that so many people
want to check out of life
as they know it

because for so many
it is really incredibly hard

and before you go saying
that this is just how i choose to see it
and come at me
with your well articulated positivity

let me say this
i am all for personal responsibility
and i think pity is a slippery slope
that often leads to
being trapped in story

but let’s not act
like there is no reason
for someone to want
to kill themselves

i have heard stories
that only prove to me
time and time again
how incredibly resilient
the human spirit is
to endure such pain
and still pump blood through
to still allow breath in

perhaps instead of getting preachy
and problem solving
we get curious
we cultivate compassion
and we ask the real questions

the ones
that dance on tongue tips
and never cross lips

❤️ emily joy rosen

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