One last NEDAW original poem
I know I'm a few days late but I wanted to post this poem to end off Neda awareness week. I really hope this captures the frustration, competition, desperation, and misery that comes along with an ED. There is nothing fun about being ill with one and while weight should not be the focal point of an ED, this poem speaks on weight insecurities. For me, this is what having an ED feels like, this is what it feels like being the weight I am now and saying I "have an ED". EDs are not fun or something one does because they have or lack self control. They aren't something you try for a while then change your mind about. They are complex mental disorders and they wreak havoc and create/maintain chaos in our lives while promising to ease it. And many of us who have them know this, yet we are unable to stop... without help of some sort. If you find that you relate to any of these poems, please reach out and get help. Recovery is real and possible and sites like NEDA can help you get there. Do not give up and keep spreading awareness.
I feel second class here. Maybe if I stay with you long enough, I can earn my keep. Earn my stay. Maybe I will earn my pass that shows I'm a true member of this place; a land where statues are looked up to and citizenship is based on loss.
And no one cares about you if you don't belong.
And you only belong if you look like you belong.
Here, you can't just play the part but you have to look the part. Your right to remain here has to be written all over your body. It has to show up in the protrusion of bones and lack of space you take. But most importantly, it has to show in your frame. You must be fragile, you must be thin. You must be skinny. Skinny or bust. If you're not skinny, no one will care and no one will believe your citizenship. If you were truly born here, your birth records will show it. And if you come over from another land, you must prove you're no longer an illegal alien.
Nomads aren't welcome.
And if you truly wish to stay here, your death certificate will prove that.
Yes, this is a land where many think they will find happiness and rescue. They think they want to be here but they know not what demands await them. They don't know they're not the ones making the choice to come. The inhabitants who dwell here were sent here, they didn't choose it on their own. And so many of them seek to leave. But not until they prove they are worth the citizenship which they claim to hold.
This poem is really significant to me because I wrestle with feeling like I have to earn and surpass the diagnosis I was given. I have to prove I "deserve" to say I have an ED, not that I'm going around telling people. Even if I had never been diagnosed, I would still be just as obsessed with "looking the part". I honestly don't know if this diagnosis fuels this obsession on or if it lessens it but this poem is what it feels like. If this resonates with you, please feel free to comment and if you know someone who is struggling, encourage them to get help.