Eating Disorders Poems

Published: February 2020

Poems About Having An Eating Disorder

We are all bombarded with messages about how we should look and how much we should weigh. Many people struggle with eating disorder tendencies. For some people, they binge and purge. Others significantly restrict their consumption of food and over-exercise. It’s all in pursuit of the “perfect” body. What can begin as a desire to be healthier can quickly turn into a paralyzing obsession. It feels as though the number on the scale is never good enough. The figure seen in the mirror is severely distorted in the mind of someone with an eating disorder. As with any other mental illness, it’s important to seek help from professionals who are trained to bring healing and restoration.

Every year, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is held during the last week in February. It's a time to raise awareness about these disorders and offer resources and support to those who are facing these struggles. If you would like to know more about eating disorders, use a screening tool for yourself or a loved one, or find out how to get the necessary help, check out National Eating Disorders Association.

11 Poems About Having An Eating Disorder

  1. 1. Finding A Voice

    • By Emily E. Williams
    • Published: May 2020

    This poem is about my experience with an eating disorder from when it took over my mind to when I recovered -- this was six years, from when I was 12 to 18. The poem is a raw depiction of some of the struggles that I had emotionally, in particular the scared child that I was, being controlled by the much stronger voice of my eating disorder. Being unable to talk about and express what was happening and how I felt was one of the worst things about it, so I have tried to express that through my poem.

    in Mental Illness Poems

    Recovery From An Eating Disorder

    I scream, yet I am not heard.
    I try to talk, but my mouth won't open.
    I am not myself anymore,
    but I can tell that to no one.

    It talks through my mouth
    And always shouts and screams.
    It tells me I'm not good enough
    and stamps on all my dreams.

    It tears me from my loved ones
    and rips their hearts in two,
    for they think that I'm dying,
    but it says that that's not true.

    They say I'm in denial,
    but it says there's nothing wrong,
    I'm so confused and lost.
    I feel like I don't belong.

    It's a part of me now.
    I know I'm never alone,
    for it's always there with me,
    even when I'm on my own.

    But life doesn't feel worth living,
    and I just want to cry.
    I want to be myself again,
    But it's too difficult to try.

    I let it control me now,
    as it has stuck to me.
    Although it lies to everyone,
    I know I can never be free.

    But as the months go by,
    I know that I'm growing weak,
    and at the rate I'm going,
    my future is looking bleak.

    My friends talk to me,
    and I just want to reply,
    but it tells them that I'm okay,
    and I know that it's a lie.

    I start to think that maybe
    everyone might have been right,
    but it tells me that they're lying,
    and I am filled with fright.

    I don't want to die,
    but I'm terrified I might.
    No one else can save me.
    It's me who has to fight.

    But I still cannot talk,
    as it controls my mind,
    so I just keep on lying,
    leaving my friends behind.

    I cannot fight the voice,
    for it's far too strong,
    I don't know who I am without it.
    It's been in my head for too long.

    I'm trapped in my own head,
    but I know I must resist,
    for if I keep believing it,
    I will not to exist.

    No doctor is lying to me,
    no loved one wants me to die,
    but it is controlling me
    and making me constantly lie.

    I know the truth
    somewhere inside of me,
    and all I can do now
    is resist that voice daily.

    It's tough to fight the voice
    every single day.
    But I know it's best for me.
    I want to be okay.

    The road is long and winding,
    and the battle is uphill,
    but recovery is the only way out,
    as eating disorders can kill.

    I am myself again now,
    after many years,
    and while it is still present,
    I do not listen to its jeers.

    My life is for me to live,
    not to just survive.
    Beating my eating disorder
    was the only way to thrive.

    Recovery is possible.
    You can fight the voice.
    You can regain control.
    Recovery is your choice.

    More On This Poem

  2. 2. Restriction

    • By Lorena
    • Published: September 2018

    The story behind my poem called "Restriction" is my journey as a teenager who struggles with an eating disorder. I'm currently in recovery and know how many other boys and girls out there go through this thinking that they're alone. I want them to know that they are never alone. And I also want everybody to know that we are our harshest judges. What we see in the mirror and cry about, most other people don't even notice. You all are perfect. Don't change!

    in Teen Mental Illness Poems

    The Mindset Of A Person With An Eating Disorder

    When I was fifteen I starved myself,
    hoping I could then accept myself,
    but with all the weight I dropped,
    the burning self-hate never stopped.

    Restricting, crying, jumping-jacks,
    searching for starvation hacks.
    The number would drop day by day,
    but in the mirror the fat would stay.

    I got scared of my reflection
    on my lookout for perfection.
    Everyone was scared for me.
    Couldn't understand what I would see
    when I saw my body grow
    in spite of what the scale would show.

    I would purge a slice of apple,
    trying to fight my silent battle.
    All I felt was sharp despair.
    When I ran, I gasped for air.
    Everyone was telling lies,
    seeing me through real eyes.

    A vicious cycle owned my mind,
    telling lies that made me blind.

    More On This Poem

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  4. 3. Now You've Recovered

    • By Charles A Cino
    • Published: November 2016

    I have written a poem about recovery from mental illness. It touches upon the fact that someone who has recovered is now living a brand new life, and they must answer the question, "Now that you've recovered, what will you do?"

    in Mental Illness Poems

    Inspiring Poem On Starting Life After Mental Illness

    When you recover, what will you do?
    When you recover, will you still be you?
    Will you be stronger, will you be new,
    When you recover from what you've been through?

    Can life get better than it was before?
    Will you realize your dreams and improve your score?
    Will people still remember your name,
    Or will they forget you because they're ashamed?

    Life in recovery may not be the same.
    The rules may have changed in this brand new game.
    You can pick up the pieces and make a new start,
    And courage and hope keep you from falling apart.

    The world all around you seems different and changed.
    Things that once were now seem out of range,
    But you can recapture your life and fulfill
    The dreams that were lost when you took ill.

    The journey to wellness takes time and is long,
    And those that get well are exceptionally strong.
    For depression can kill, but you have survived.
    Your goal to recover has kept you alive.

    Now you're recovered, what will you do?
    You suffered and conquered and saw it through.
    Back from the black and abyss of despair,
    It is time to move on; it is time to care.

    More On This Poem

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  5. 4. Master Of Disguise

    • By Lkglauren
    • Published: May 2016

    I have been struggling with depression, self-harm, anxiety, and eating disorders, so I turned to writing poetry to help me. This poem is about disguising my problems while wanting someone to notice/care.

    in Depression Poems by Teens

    Poem About Hiding Depression And Eating Disorders

    She is skillful at deceiving.
    No one even has a clue.
    Her pretty words are weaving
    Throughout the souls of me and you,
    But in the late parts of the evening,
    When her mind is way past due,
    The skin of hers starts bleeding
    And her act becomes askew.
    Her eyes are actually pleading,
    Saying her words aren't always true,
    And her heart is really needing
    Life to begin anew.
    So if at night you see her sneaking,
    Hold her till the morning's hue,
    Because her heart is barely beating,
    And she doesn't know if she'll make it through.

    More On This Poem

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    I understand how you feel. It's really sad when people don't notice. Sometimes, I need a hug, but there's no one to give me the hug, so, I hug myself and tell myself it's going to be...

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  7. 5. Eyes Shut To The Obvious

    • By Mona K
    • Published: August 2015

    I wrote this at a time when food restriction had taken over my life, and although I am not anorexic, I feel that it accurately describes the obsession and destruction that comes with anorexia.

    in Teen Mental Illness Poems

    Poem About The Obsession And Destruction Of Anorexia

    It's what I think about every minute of the day,
    In the car, during physics; "It's dangerous," they say.
    In the morning, at school, in the bathroom, in bed,
    "You'll fail. You're a failure," is all my mind said.
    Nothing else matters. No one needs to know.
    The truth lags behind, justifications echo.
    To the one who knows the truth, I can only lie.
    Avoiding my problems seems only benign.
    To those who love me most, I appear the same.
    No control seen, no force to be tamed.
    They know nothing, eyes shut to the obvious.
    In a crowd, I'm alone, just as my body is.
    No one understands. I have created my own hell.
    Suffering malnutrition, I am breaking. Ring the bells.
    My body looks no different, I observe it night and day.
    I wish the mirror could read what the scale has to say.
    I am anorexic, if you're going by the book.
    But I can tell no one, not with the way I look.
    I am still fat, and I'm afraid I will always be.
    I am alone. I just want someone to see.

    More On This Poem

  8. 6. My Not-Addiction

    • By Sydney W.
    • Published: February 2014

    For a really long time, 2 years ago, I felt like no matter what I did, it was never good enough. Those girls still made fun of me. To cope with that, I stopped eating. I wanted to be thin enough, pretty enough, perfect enough. But I realized I was only hurting myself. It was never a full-blown addiction, but it still hurt like one. Anorexia was never something I thought I'd have to deal with, but I overcame it, and I hope all girls realize that the control, although nice to have, isn't worth it.

    in Teen Mental Illness Poems

    Overcoming Anorexia

    It's not an addiction,
    Really it's not.
    But that mirror,
    It's a source of affliction.

    Not long ago,
    I could look in that mirror
    And see nothing wrong at all,
    But now I've got nothing to show.

    The pressure to be perfect,
    It tears away at my body.
    At first it looked like nothing,
    But it had a side effect.

    I wanted to be one of them,
    One of those girls everyone envied.
    But the price to pay was my body,
    Not a small pretty diamond gem.

    It was never enough,
    No matter what I did.
    The skipped meals
    Turned my image rough.

    But will it ever be worth it?
    I stare and ask myself.
    My image in the mirror,
    Kept begging just to quit.

    It became a nightly thing,
    Standing on that scale.
    And I was pleased to see
    That the pounds kept dropping.

    My hair was starting to thin.
    My bones began to show.
    Everything was different.
    The desire was starting to win.

    The pain I was putting myself through,
    The constant suffering,
    Everything was just a blur,
    But nobody ever knew.

    I don't starve anymore,
    But I could if I tried.
    It was a part of my life,
    Now just a closed door.

    It's not an addiction,
    Really, it's not.
    But that mirror,
    It's a source of affliction.

    More On This Poem

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    I have also struggled with my eating, and I loved the way you depicted anorexia through your imagery. I loved your stanzas about the scales and the mirror. With an eating disorder, no matter...

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  9. 7. Rising From The Sink

    • By Beth Chorley
    • Published: February 2014

    For 3 years, I have suffered through a mind and body destroying battle with bulimia. The poem exhibits my feelings of desperation and loneliness that struggling through an eating disorder can bring upon a person. I express the lack of restraint I have felt, up until my eventual rise from the depths of self-hatred to my elated 17-year-old self. Sometimes we need to lose the battles in order to win the war.

    in Inspirational Poems by Teens

    Poem About Battle With Bulimia

    Crippling waves of anxiety smash against the sides of the boat.
    Broken pieces of the sailing structure fall away into the boundless space of the sea.
    The current is rough, and I realize I have chosen a destructive path.
    I look around at my deck. It is empty and I stand aboard unaided,
    which means I must face the tide alone.

    Trying to steer the ship into prosperous waters proves to be a task, and
    the fatal path has begun to take a grasp on my mind.
    My body trembles with unease, and the great force of the waves throw me across the deck.
    There is no one to help me and no one to save me.
    Do people want to see me fail, or they just not care?
    There must be a reason for my loneliness aboard the vessel.

    Infected with self-hatred and no idea how to steer my ship away,
    I see no choice but to expel my sustenance.
    Drooping my head overboard, I look down at the desolateness of the ocean.
    The ship has left my control, and it begins to lose restraint.
    At this point, I do not care; I do not know how to lead it into calm waters.
    I close my eyes and begin to purge
    over the side of the boat, and the vessel speeds into the storm.

    With one hand, I grip the sides of the boat; I do not want to fall in.
    Although it is unsteady, my ship feels safer than the openness of the vast ocean.
    With the other, I forcefully retch to abolish the goodness from myself,
    hopeful that it will teach me to navigate my boat into buoyant tides.

    I should be animated with panic, yet this is nothing new.
    The supreme waves begin to rip apart the boat, and I am knocked from my feet,
    left cast down on the floor.
    I know I want to get up and prevent the destruction, but my stomach throbs,
    my watered eyes are blurred, and my mind tells me to stay knocked down.
    Disturbingly, the reckless waves and frantic storms have become my reality.
    And then I feel the ship begin to descend into the great mouth of the sea.

    As the water fills up the deck and the waves smash down onto my person,
    I rise from the hard, wooden ground of the deck.
    I sprint down the sinking ship, with the edge of the boat in my sight.
    And I fall many times along the way.
    However, once again I rise with the open water in sight.
    Taking a leap of faith, I dive into the sea.

    The fresh water feels beautiful on my damaged skin.
    As I open my eyes in the ocean, I see no wreckage or sign of the destruction of my boat.
    Swimming up the surface, I feel the beaming sun on my body, and I enjoy the warmth and comfort it gives me.
    I turn onto my back among the calm waves and shut my eyes,
    but I can still see the bright sun above me in the sky.

    I have cracked, but I will not be broken.
    I do not fear falling because I do not fear living.
    The deeper I sink, the higher I rise.

    More On This Poem

  10. 8. The Lies She Told

    • By Mika Wright
    • Published: December 2013

    in Hurting Poems by Teens

    Poem About Hiding Your Depression

    When she smiles and laughs,
    It no longer sounds hollow,
    For she has learned
    To mask her sorrow.
    She's so uncertain
    Of why she is sad.
    Her life is fine now.
    Why does it hurt so bad?
    Tears won't fall.
    She forgot how to cry.
    Most of the time
    She just wants to die.
    She's obsessed with this concept
    That skinny is perfect.
    She pukes if she eats
    Just trying to feel worth it.
    She looks in the mirror
    And hates what she sees.
    She slices her skin
    Screaming, "I don't wanna be me!"
    But by tomorrow
    No one will know
    She'll smile and laugh.
    The scars won't show.
    They think she is better.
    They couldn't be more wrong.
    She plays the part well.
    They think she is strong.
    Now and again
    Someone sees past her mask.
    They study her face
    And quietly ask.
    She looks back smiling
    And she says, "I'm fine,"
    But the sad truth is
    She always lies.

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  11. 9. The Truth

    • By Caley House
    • Published: November 2013

    I have come up with this poem as I am in eating disorder recovery. This has given me the experience, and I really just needed to get my feeling out onto the page. But don't let that fool you; I also put a lot of work into it! Also, this was originally meant to be a read out lot poem.

    in Teen Mental Illness Poems

    Poem About Struggling With An Eating Disorder

    Slippery, sweet, syrupy words sticking in my brain
    A lie
    They won't go away no matter how much I try to send them back to where they came from
    A lie
    It's so hard to abstain from the succulent fruit of life
    A lie
    A black force telling me food was my enemy and they were my friend
    A lie
    They say that the home is where the heart is
    A lie
    But home for you it's where the torture continues
    A lie
    You're are worth nothing and the only way to prove yourself is to shrink and let the space around you grow
    A lie
    Until the space around you envelops you in its clear, perfect arms
    A lie
    But when society tells you you're nothing but wrong in those skinny, shiny books
    A lie
    Stick arms reach for sustenance the manipulator does not want
    A lie
    Extreme measures in which a "diet trick" went wrong
    A lie
    All this young girl wanted to do was belong
    A lie
    Trapped by her twenty four bared cage guarding a twisted, mangled heart
    A lie
    The slippery, sweet, syrupy voice tells her it's the only way
    A lie
    Two fingers are the best weapon and to use it always
    A lie
    Black, everything's black till you're put in the white tiled hallway
    A lie
    Because everything is a lie
    A lie was how it started
    A lie is how it continued
    The truth is how it ended

    More On This Poem

  12. 10. I Can't Eat It

    • By Amber
    • Published: April 2011

    Many people struggle with eating disorders. People need to know they can recover.

    in Mental Illness Poems

    Eating Disorder Poem

    The food is all around.
    I can't eat it.
    They are watching.
    They will call me a pig.
    They will call me fat.
    I refuse to eat,
    At least here.
    Too many people
    Watching,
    Staring.
    I need to be alone.
    Alone at last,
    I feast...
    Chips,
    Candy,
    Ice cream,
    and pop...
    something with lots of carbonation,
    it tasted good, but I need to do something.
    Run to the bathroom.
    Turn on the sink alone.
    Up it all comes.
    You wonder why I won't eat,
    I pick at my food,
    and why I have lost so much weight...
    yet I see me as
    FAT...
    A PIG.

    More On This Poem

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  13. 11. I'm Your Disease

    I have been battling an eating disorder for 20 years. I have been unable to tell anyone about it because it has been my friend. I am slowly being able to face this disease, and writing helps me to express how I feel and how much control it has over me. Now having daughters of my own, I want to set an honest example of body image, but I am unable to until I deal with this myself. I fought a drug addiction. Now I have to fight an eating addiction.

    in Addiction Poems

    Fighting An Eating Disorder

    Sucked like a vacuum, I held my fear,
    built up anger you want to hold near.

    Shaking and trembling is what I feel,
    purging my thoughts is how I heal.

    Feelings of emptiness that have no depth.
    Disappointment climbs the walls inside my chest.

    You've lied to me all these years,
    holding in the pain that has caused so many tears.

    You think you're strong, but I make you weak.
    I know the truth you're looking to seek.

    You thought you had control over me all these years.
    I'm your friend when you looked into your mirror.

    You think you can forget me and run and hide.
    I'm the only one who has stuck by your side.

    I've given you comfort and relief.
    Why now do you treat me like a thief.

    I've stolen from you your sense of pride,
    not letting you see that you are beautiful on the inside.

    I've come to steal your strength and health.
    Don't look to me to give you wealth.

    You've been fighting this battle all alone.
    Haven't you figured it out that you can't do this on your own?

    This has been our secret for so long.
    Do you have the courage to make you strong?

    I'm the monster you won't admit,
    afraid that now you'll have to commit.

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