This piece, our second installment of the night on creative works on eating disorders comes from Kate Chandler, titled “Doubt: Sarah’s Poem.”
I remember when we were younger
we would play outside your house
riding on your huge dog like a pony we would mount.
It’s funny, that dog used to mean the world to me
yet somehow I can no longer remember his name.
But I remember you,
I remember the gleam of your smile
as it would spread touching each end of your face,
almost infectious it passed on to others.
A subtle tint of pink lay on your cheeks
your eyes the same eyes I look into everyday in my own reflection.
It’s hard to watch someone fall apart,
breakaway every part of their being right before your eyes.
It’s more like frustrating-
to keep screaming, “Won’t you just stop this!”
words only falling on deaf ears.
You let your body fall apart
ounce by ounce you started to drift away,
every molecule that once made up your body slowly evaporated.
I watched through blind eyes,
As a bystander I saw none of your internal wounds.
Wounds so brutal you were willing to pay any price to fix them.
My own chest ripped open
my own heart finding no inspiration to beat.
You had battle wounds from every battle
where you partook in your own civil war.
Mind numbing insecurities used as cannon balls
and a sword made of doubt
that pierced your armor, the poison invading through the bloodstream
a trojan horse breaking you from the inside.
You fought an enemy who knew your every weakness,
an enemy that had inside moles all around.
Now you’re gone
took your own breath away at eighteen
when you had no fight left in your bones.
I reject the idea that you chose to leave-
chose to leave me
we were family.
Connected even from the grave
blood is blood even without your heart pumping,
the blood not circulating,
your blood still courses through my veins.
You were sick
sick with a terrible disease
Starting as a flicker just when you fumbled
with your pants that had become too tight to button.
Slowly it infested your thoughts
spread to every part of your brain
it even infected your eyes.
The disease cut off your vision morphing your image
fat rolling over your flesh
clinging to every bone.
the image was unacceptable
your body built up antibodies;
Like the white blood cells that fight off the common cold
but these antibodies were much stronger.
They stopped your food intake
causing nausea and induced vomiting
when so much as a cracker passed your starving lips.
You said would stop though once you met your goal, you made a promise
a pinky promise we made long ago
under the tree house that Uncle Joe built by the road.
But your expectations kept growing
into increasingly higher goals
standards that could never be met
at least not while breath still filled your lungs.
This disease is caution extremely contagious
planting itself so deep into society it is our very roots-
the very roots of you and me
An infestation of the mind.
I remember how I used that dog as a pillow,
how he would share turkey sandwiches with me.
His rough brown fur that I would stroke my fingers through;
but for the life of me I can not remember that dog’s name.
Thank you to Kate for submitting this amazing piece.
Always remember you are not alone.
You are loved.
This post is a part of our Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Find the other posts here:
An Introduction To Eating Disorder Week – What are Eating Disorders? – He Called Me the “T” Word” – An Empty Home & An Empty Stomach: My Lifelong Struggle With Eating Disorders – The Fine Print – Doubt: Sarah’s Poem – A Journal on the Imperfections of Perfection – Nervosa
Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email firstname.lastname@example.org