Teen Poetry Collections

Conversations with My Eating Disorder

by a young woman, age 16

My life used to be controlled. 

[Eating Disorder] You don’t deserve to eat today – You’re fat.

[Me] You’re right. I don’t deserve to eat.

[ED] You feel better with me – more in control.

[Me] I wish that I knew a way to like myself more.

[ED] I’m right here…I’ll make you like yourself more. Just listen to what I say and you’ll feel much better.

[Me] I feel safe with you, like I’m protected by people who love me. But I realized that there’s more important things than just being with you. I have others who love me for who I am, not for what I look like on the outside.

[ED] You don’t deserve to eat – You’re fat.

[Me] That is what you think, but that’s not true. I do deserve to eat. I deserve to be in control of my own self.

[ED] You feel better with me – more in control.

[Me] Do you really think that? I don’t. I feel terrified. Is that what you mean when you say “feel better”?

[ED] Still you are fat – Go look in the mirror.

[Me] There goes your old tricks again. I’m not going to fall for that. You’re afraid of losing. You try to trigger my emotions by using mirrors. 

[ED] I’m not trying to trick you. I’m just showing you reality.

[Me] I know that’s what you show me, but I want to believe what the doctors and my family say, and that is definitely not that I am fat.

[ED] Do you see yourself living life happy in your body right now? You’re trying to fight me. I know that you are, but stop pretending. You can’t make it without me.

[Me] Sometimes I just want to listen to you, but then I end up either regretting it or wanting to do it again, which leads to further destruction. You tell me the same things over and over again. You tell me that if I don’t eat I’ll feel better, but when am I going to feel better? I haven’t got that happy feeling yet that you promised, and what about that confidence? I don’t see any. I despise my body more each day.

[ED] You despise it because you’re not doing good enough, you’re not restricting enough, you’re not exercising enough. That’s why you don’t feel confident…Because you’re not listening to everything I say. So give it a try. I promise you this time you will love your body to the fullest. 

[Me] You sure have a way to use your words. And yes, part of me, sometimes feels that I am going to fall for you. The thought of it’s probably putting a smile on your face. And sometimes I do fall, but I’ve had enough. From now on, and I know for awhile, you will always be in my head. I’m not gonna avoid you. I’m going to fight you. Listening to what you say is the same thing as losing. If I’m gonna fight you, I might as well win. And even if I don’t, I’m always going to keep on moving forward, with the support of my family and others who care for me. I have support. You don’t, ED. That’s why you rely on me. I want to live a life, and you’re keeping me from not doing it. I hate you, but then I love you.

[ED] See you can’t fully give up on me. You know you still need me. You said it yourself.

[Me] I just don’t want to avoid the truth. If I say I don’t love you, I’ll be totally faking it. Instead, I want to tell myself that I love you, but things aren’t working out between us. It’s time for a divorce ED.

[ED] You’ll regret the next bite you take. 

To this day, I still struggle with him in my head, but I feel stronger now that my conversations with him can be more productive. I have a voice now.