“you are going to watch me fall”
i screamed
“you are going to let this happen?”
“really?”

he always told me he wouldn’t tolerate anger
there would be no yelling ever

i could feel the crushing blow of a story untold

“look at me”
“talk to me”
i pleaded

i have never begged before
but i begged that night

minutes later, i was speeding down the highway
at 2:30am in western massachusetts, i was the only car for miles

i remember pulling into a gas station
walking in calmly
and trying to act “normal”

my heart was pounding
as i reached for a diet coke i noticed my hands were shaking

i took a sip and tried to breathe
i scanned the room
surrounding by shinny packages of sweet nothings
i had been here before a thousand times
i knew i had no chance

back in my car
the seat next to me filled with food
pints of ice cream, cupcakes, chips, candy bars and such
it was going to be a long, sleepless night…

this was the only way i knew to ease the pain
at least temporarily

here’s the thing:
our challenges with food oftentimes has little to do with food itself
so yes, my eating disorder was about out of control eating sometimes
starving myself other times
but it was really pointing elsewhere
whatever issues we face with food can be intimately connected
to how we deal with pain, with suffering, with heartbreak, with abuse, with the wounds of childhood, our hopes, our dreams
and so much more
i know now that our eating challenges (or any challenges we face) are speaking to us on a deeper level
and they have important messages for us about who we are and how we are living life

so i want to scream when i hear people talk about binge eating or bulimia as a willpower problem
i want to say mean spirited things
and say shame on you

there has been a lot of conversation about fat shaming lately
people making light of eating issues
and over-simplifying in oh so insulting ways

i am not having it
not at all
everything has a beautifully exquisite reason
let’s not short change our humanity

and let us share our stories of truth, struggle and triumph
so that those still stuck
still fighting
don’t have to do this alone

❤️ emily joy rosen

get emily's poetry collection (for free)

a beautiful, downloadable, keepsake e-book featuring a selection of emily's best-loved poems

your poetry book is on its way!