Poetry in ED Recovery

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Now, we all have our narratives for how girls become women. Sometimes, we even have narratives for how women revert back to girls. Other times, we believe some humans born with female genitalia never become women, given they identify as female. What’s your narrative for this?

Something really, really cool about eating disorders (if there is anything pleasant to be found) is that they use the body as the clear substrate. As the metaphor. This is eloquently expressed on the Opal: Food+Body Wisdom podcast – a wonderful resource for self-reflection, regardless of whether you’ve had an eating disorder, but particularly poignant for those of us who have. In the very first episode, one of its contributors talks about this cool thing: “you do have this specific, tangible part of a person’s life that is manifest in their relationship to food or exercise...to kind of work back from this really specific, tangible thing into these larger, more abstract, more metaphorical things about someone’s life and their psyche.”

So, as people with eating disorders, we create a kind of masochistic poetry; we use our body as metaphor for something that hurts. That’s why I think poetry is one of the most useful tools we have to discuss this disorder. And, finally, that’s why I’m writing to you.

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“To suggest that poetry is already what you create, albeit harming your body. Why not write it out instead?”

An excerpt below, in both Spanish and English:

La mujer como yema

Huelo la grasa 

que se está estallando

y el blanco – a su alrededor. 

Es la grasa que me hace mujer:

Tengo tatas, los senos –

estoy sana debido a la grasa.

Así pues, que me permitas comer la grasa,

la raíz de mí,

de la vie, porque

me permitirá llenarte,

rodearte,

estar a tu alrededor.

Oigo a la mujer,

que está gritando

y llorando

y sonriendo

y amando – a mi alrededor,

dentro de mí.

Es de la yema de la vida que puedo extender

y ser mujer


Woman as yolk

I smell the fat

that is exploding

and the white – around it.

It is fat that makes me a woman:

I have tatas, breasts –

I am healthy due to the fat.

So, let me eat the fat,

the root of me,

of la vie, because

it will allow me to fill you,

surround you,

be around you.

I hear the woman,

who is screaming

and crying

and smiling

and loving – around me,

inside of me.

It is from the yolk of life that I can spread

and be woman

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SARAH SIMON

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Sarah is a New Yorker at soul, living and teaching English between Ecuador and Uruguay. She published her first book, "Core Collection: Poems about Eating Disorders" with Adelaide Books in 2019.

IG: @ssimon8

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Core-Collection-Poems-Sarah-Simon/dp/1950437507  

 

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