Protest (Or, How To Survive Anorexia)

survive anorexia - image of female sitting on the ground in front of a wall, looking to the side, on the wall behind her a large graffiti rose

Protest (Or, How To Survive Anorexia)

When the dietitian calls you non-compliant

you’ll want to protest.

Silently, of course,

because Anorexia has taught you

to sit down and shut up;

don’t disrupt,

don’t draw attention,

don’t ask for what you need.

You need nothing.

You deserve nothing.

You are nothing.

Protest (Or, How To Survive Anorexia)

When the doctor looks you over

From head to toe and says,

“You don’t look like you have an eating disorder,”

you’ll want to protest.

You’ll want to steam at the top of your boiling kettle lungs,

but you won’t,

because maybe she’s right…

maybe you’re not really sick.

Maybe you really are fine.

See, even the doctor thinks so.

And when she rolls her eyes at your request for labs,

Anorexia will say,

“See what a burden you are?”

And you’ll be too tired to protest.

Your brain will hold onto that –

use that against you.

“See what a burden you are?”

“See what a burden you are?”

“See what a burden you are?”

Protest (Or, How To Survive Anorexia)

Your therapist will say,

“No wonder you’re exhausted.

No wonder this is hard.

No wonder…”

And you will breathe again.

You will feel seen –

even if the light only peeks around

the darkest corner of the deepest, emptiest

cavern of your soul,

you will feel seen,

and you’ll know:

Compassion can still find you here.

Anorexia will feel scared.

She’ll show her teeth and dig in her claws

and it will hurt –

it hurts to be ripped to shreds

from the inside.

But inside you’ll know:

Compassion can still find her here.

When you’ve seen your new dietitian 3 times

and the word “compliance” has not once

left her lips,

you’ll feel a sense of relief

you didn’t know you needed.

Anorexia will brace herself

for what’s coming –

what always comes.

She’ll be ready to protest,

to dig in her claws

and hold on with every ounce of strength

she’s gathered over the last 20 years.

Protest (Or, How To Survive Anorexia)

She’s strong…

But you are stronger.

And compassion will still find you here.

Compassion can always find you here.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Leah Goldman

    This is beautiful and SO powerful and very relatable right now, as I’ve been in recovery for 2 years and have been on an amazing streak for like 6 months and now ED is just coming back into my head as a presence and telling me all those false messages…
    It’s important to remember what can come in and protect us and that we still deserve.
    Thank you for sharing.

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