“fly” – a poem

to learn is to

become.

a caterpillar did not know who it was

until it learned its strength

and became a butterfly.

learning does not diminish who you were before,

but takes you where you are now

and grows you to greater than you have ever been.

i am learning.

i am growing.

i am becoming a better me.

a stronger me.

a more radiant me.

i am sitting,

but now i am learning to crawl.

i am crawling,

but now i am learning to walk.

i am walking,

but now i am learning to run.

i’m still running

because soon i will

learn how to fly.

i’m not there yet,

and i don’t quite have my feet

off the ground,

but i will continue

to run

and to jump

until one day

i learn how to fly.

 

I wrote this poem during an Expressive Arts group in treatment. It’s not very good, but somehow writing it that day opened so many doors for me. It was like a breakthrough happened in my mind. It’s when I realized that freedom was a process, and it’s okay that I’m not there yet. I’m continually getting closer and closer everyday because I’m constantly learning who I am more and more.

 

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i’m not anorexic

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I know what you’re thinking.

Of course, you’re anorexic, Sarah Beth. That is what this whole blog is about. Your journey from your eating disorder, aka anorexia. You didn’t just go to treatment for nothing.

Wow, thanks for reading my mind!

But that’s not what I meant.

Yes, on all my medical forms that my entire treatment team have, there’s a diagnosis next to my name.

Anorexia.

But that’s the thing.

have anorexia, but I am not anorexic.

You’re probably wondering what the difference is. You probably think I’m a little crazy. But let me explain.

I really don’t like diagnoses. I know that they’re necessary for insurance reasons and whatnot, but I don’t want those labels coming off the papers that they’re written on. I don’t want to put those labels on myself. Those labels [anorexia, depression, anxiety, etc] are so negative and I don’t want to allow those negative words, thoughts, and feelings to be extended back to who I am as a person.

As a person, I am kind. I’m compassionate and strong. I like to laugh and I sing a little too loudly (Annie, anyone?). I love Jesus and I am just completely in awe of the fact that he loves a sinner like me. I hate cooking, but I try to do it anyways (and normally end up with a burnt mess). I don’t like driving with the windows down because it messes up my hair and the wind is too loud. I just turned nineteen, but I still love getting stuffed animals. And I’m recovery from an eating disorder.

My eating disorder does not define me. Yes, it has taken up so much of my life, but it is not who I am as a person. I will not always have the diagnosis of anorexia next to my name on my current medical records. One day it will be in my medical history and on that day I will rejoice.

So yes, I have a diagnosis. And I fully admit to having said diagnosis. But I am NOT my diagnosis.

I have anorexia, but anorexia does not have me.

So I’m not anorexic; I am Sarah Beth, a girl who is learning to make life without her anorexia.

There’s a difference.