I wrote this poem for my Dad just after I started my recovery to try and explain how anorexia gradually tore his daughter apart. I've not shared it with anyone other than him until now, but I hope it helps others see how falling into anorexia's trap feels, from the inside for a sufferer.
Help You See
By Sarah Robertson (October 2011)
I wish I could help you see, What's going on inside of me
I wish I could show you all, How my life began to fall
How these thoughts, That you can't see
Have always, Been inside of me
How I want to try, How I want to fight
How want to be me, And sleep at night
I wish I could show you more, Help you understand
Tell you how is feels, And let you hold my hand.
It's not your fault, You're not to blame
It was lots of things, That blew out my flame
You know I've been scared, Always panicked and afraid
These thoughts damaged me, And the foundations were laid
The pressure to be perfect, And to do my best
I’ve never felt good enough, Compared to the rest.
I should have of shut up, I could always pretend
I could be a better daughter, A better sister and friend
I've always hated myself, For always causing a scene
I just wanted to be normal, Wished for what could have been.
Terrified of food, Scared of getting ill
The same old fears, Haunt me still.
They add to the pain, And they fuel the fire
They are stopping me having, What I truly desire
I want to believe, What you say I am
I want to look in the mirror, And believe ‘I can’
You say I was perfect, And beautiful before
It wasn’t my perfect, And I wanted more.
I want to be the best, I wanted to be free
I wanted more from life, And wanted more from me.
I felt like I was failing, Not listening to the voice
That if I was able to hear, Then I had a choice
To listen to myself, That bit deep inside,
The desperate voice, That I tried to hide.
That voice has spent, Many a year
Telling me I’m useless, I tried not to hear.
Useless and fat, Set up to fail
Not pretty or talented, Too yellow, too pale.
I was tired and stressed, Too exhausted to fight,
It got to the point, I couldn’t stand the sight
The sight of my stomach, My sides and my face
I hated my body. I felt a disgrace
I thought that by listening, By following my head
That I’d be thinner, better. I’d be confident instead.
Instead of always comparing, And wanting much more,
That I’d be the better one. The one they adore.
I was sick of the guilt, The pain and the regret,
For being greedy and hungry, I wanted to forget.
Forget how I felt, And forget about the rest,
But it wasn’t enough, Because I wasn’t the best.
I should have been wary, Of the promises I made
This pain and agony, Was not a fair trade
I don’t understand, Where it went wrong
When I lost control, Or for how long.
How long ago it changed, From the voice I controlled
To this voice that consumes me. The one that's made me so cold
It was hard to accept, That I lost the reign,
I didn’t like, What I became
It took so much, To come and tell you about me
It was only the start. My step to be free
It’s not going to be easy, Or simple or quick
To fix my fears, Of control, fat and sick.
The only thing I can do now,
The only thing I can be
Is promise you I am trying,
I just wish you could see.