Poetry: Unraveling The Stigma

this post might just hurt the most.
unraveling the truth from the perception
is causing me quite a bit of misconception
and even more fear of the repercussions.

i can no longer deny my dna,
it came up just the other day.
knowing the oddity,
when i recognized the new pattern,
my new habits of living;
things i felt were so positive,
with my new found fire and passion.

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

Hiding Visible Scars: Why I’m Glad Someone Asked Me The Difficult Questions

I first experienced loss my senior year of high school. While family members had passed away in my childhood, this was the first time I was able to fully process what had happened. My former stepbrother, the son of my mom’s ex-fiancé, died suddenly from a seizure. While he and I had continued to be friendly when we saw each other after our parents’ split, the discomfort between our families resulted in ours not being able to attend the wake or funeral.

Article dear hope

A Look Back at Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Hey all,

First off I have to give a huge shout out to our writer Danny for putting this week together.

He did an amazing job gathering stories, poems, and research to present to everyone about the battles, struggles, and  ultimate strength found in those who are fighting an Eating Disorder.

And a special thanks to all our contributors this week. You make our community so strong, and I am eternally grateful.

Here’s what people had to say on Dear Hope this week:

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Poetry: Nervosa by Evan

Nervosa
by Evan 

Look at me, we are dual TV screens,
Look at me, the new me,
It’s been years…. a few years.
Sometimes people lose touch, break tree branches,
Bark turns into pieces- it’s slow.
Careful now, don’t touch,
Side step the crackling leaves.
I’ve lost touch, some things are obsessive,
Behavior can border on nervous,

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

“A Journal On The Imperfections of Perfection” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 18

For today’s piece, we have a  submission from Kelly Sorge about her struggles with an eating disorder. This one really hit us hard, and we think you’ll enjoy it thoroughly. 

Fall 2011

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It didn’t start the way you normally hear about these things starting. I was never bullied about my weight. No one ever called me “fat”, and I actually always considered myself skinny growing up. It happened completely out of the blue one day when this demon awoke inside me and decided to make me think that I wasn’t good enough. Little did I know that this demon would follow me and take over the next three years of my life.

Coping: This Is Who We Are dear hope

Poetry: “Doubt: Sarah’s Poem”

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.

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

Poetry: The Fine Print

Today, our fourth installment of Eating Disorder Awareness Week is two poems. The first, posted below, is from Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann, who submitted a poem titled ‘The Deadly Promise” to Dear Hope in the past. ‘The Fine Print’ picks up where the previous poem left off.

You lied to me.
I fell for your twisted game.

I signed your contract.
Bond to you, for years.

I traded in my friends,
my joy, and my youth
to keep our deadly promise.

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

“An Empty Home & An Empty Stomach: My Lifelong Struggle With Eating Disorders” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 17

Next up this week is Celeste’s candid self reflection on her struggles with an eating disorder, and how she’s been able to grow and flourish.

My earliest memory of clear dissatisfaction with my body was when I was six years old, pressing my body against the horizontal wood slabs of my bed frame, examining the skin of my stomach poking between the gaps.

By 10 years old, I was methodically tightening my family’s belt collection over my entire torso, desperately wishing the leather would squish my body smaller.

“You are fat, disgusting, weird, ugly, worthless, less than.”

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week: An Introduction

The next week will be a very special week for Dear Hope; this week, we will see a featured piece every day relating to a topic: eating disorders. Allow me to explain where the idea originated.

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Last fall, I came across a great organization titled Active Minds. Over a decade ago, a wonderful woman named Alison Malmon began this organization after losing her brother, Brian, to suicide. The conversation on mental health needs to become commonplace, thought Alison. Of course, this is not a quote, but rather one of the driving ideologies behind Active Minds. Its purpose, in abbreviated form, is to embed chapters into college campuses, bring together passionate students with the common goal of raising mental health awareness, decrease stigma, and create more accepting, welcoming environments among a demographic where mental illness is rampant.

I started a chapter at my school, and I have loved everything about it over the last year and a half. I have loved being shown the sides of people that would never have emerged had the conversation not been started. I have loved opening myself up emotionally to something that I have never felt fully comfortable with because such an omnipresent stigma exists.

Dear Hope loves to focus on these goals in many different ways, one of which is through personal narrative. Coping: This is Who We Are is such an incredible series because it gives us living, breathing proof that mental illness is so real that it feels tangible. It shows us the true stories behind our loved ones, our acquaintances, and strangers across the globe. There is so much that the surface does not show. And so, the many driving forces behind awareness and reducing stigma, such as Active Minds or Dear Hope, simply want to make what is under the surface come up and gasp an oxygenated breath of relief, free of any shame.

This week, February 21st-27th, is Active Minds’ National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The events occurring on campuses across the United States will range from speakers, to narratives, to panels, to screenings, and far into the realms of creative mental health education. As I organized for our week, I thought, why not include Dear Hope?

So, we gathered narratives, poems, and other creative pieces to showcase those who have identified with struggling with some sort of eating disorder. Some are anonymous, some are identified. Some are narratives, while others are creative pieces. Regardless of the format or identity, we wanted to dedicate an entire week to showcase stories of struggle, self-doubt, and healing within this specific area of mental health. Every area of struggle deserves its highlight, and we at Dear Hope  want to spread the message that no matter what you experience, you should never feel marginalized or alone.

This is our test run; we only have room to grow. Four pieces: four stories of mountains and valleys with all of the details beautifully scribed to evoke emotions of empathy and compassion is just a start. 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States alone identify with struggling with an eating disorder, with many more unreported. Let these narratives be a seed to relate to, to expand upon, and to spread the message that you truly are beautiful and good enough just the way you are. Even though eating disorders go far beyond a conscious dislike for one’s self-image or diet, encouragement such as this is an abbreviation of “I validate your struggle, but want to encourage you that the person you are is one of a kind, and thus, amazing.”

So, if these pieces speak to you in any way, spread them. We want to hear narratives of more women who have struggled with the concepts of skinny, societal expectations, and self-image. We want to hear stories of those who have suffered from bulimia and other binging/purging experiences. We want to hear from men who have struggled with a category of mental illness that is constantly pounded with the societal hammer of masculine expectations to have muscles and be tough. We want to hear your stories of using food as a coping mechanism and overeating. The list goes on.

To wrap things up, my point is that while these four profound, insightful, and wonderful stories have infinite potential for impact and empathy, they are only a snippet of the experience behind food, body image, and mental health. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a few impactful steps that leave permanent prints in the ground, in this case at least.

Tomorrow you will see some background information on eating disorders. What are they? How do you know when restricting, overeating, or looking in the mirror becomes unhealthy? This information is vital in understanding the symptoms that serve as a baseline, in some way or another, to these stories.  The following four days, we will share these stories with you. As always, feel free to always ask questions, provide support, give feedback, or build upon anything that is discussed this week.

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Remember, you are not alone.

And you are loved.

-DK


This post is a part of our Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Find the other posts here:

An Introduction To Eating Disorder WeekWhat 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


Source(s): https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders

Note: If you want to read more about Active Minds or Alison, please follow this link: http://www.activeminds.org/index.php . I’ve naturally abbreviated all of the wonderful work that they do, so if you’re interested, I encourage you all to check it out 🙂

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Artwork: “Life Pain” by Donna Shell

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“I am a 29 year old average Australian Psychology student who has ADD, depression, anxiety and Binge Eating Disorder. I am no artist, but I can dream. I have found an outlet in creating – be it by computer, words, or images.

This image is a visualization of the intense emotional pain that is currently trying to burst out of me all at once. I call it life pain, as it is the accumulated pain and hurt from the span of my life.”

This piece was submitted by the talented Donna Shell. You can find her on WordPress, Deviantart, and Instagram. Find more art submitted to Dear Hope here.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF


Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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