“The Switch in My Brain” – Explaining My Eating Disorder Through Poetry

There is a switch inside me,
Deep in the back of my brain.
I like to keep it “off”

Otherwise, I go insane.

Every once in a while,
Something comes along.
It makes the switch flip.
Everything starts going wrong.

Most of the time, I can turn it “off” right away,

But sometimes it gets stuck.

It can stay “on” for days or weeks,
While my life becomes muck.

The worst is when it flickers,
Tricking me into thinking I’m fine.
Then all of a sudden, it switches “on” again,
And I’m back on the battle line.

I’m not myself when the switch flips.

I become noticeably changed.
I do things that a normal person wouldn’t do.
I become deranged.

When it is “on,” I lose all control.

My mind becomes foggy and dazed.

I’m a danger to my own wellbeing.
I become reckless and careless and crazed.

I am tormented. I am tortured.
I know what I’m doing isn’t right.
But until the switch turns “off,”

I continue to lose the fight.

I just wish the switch could stay permanently “off.”

I just wish there wasn’t a switch in my brain.

I just wish the switch didn’t exist at all.

I just wish I wasn’t insane.

Image: @helenaperezgarcia

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  1. says: Jo

    Oh my gosh, I LIVE this poem. I resonate so strongly with the content, is like you’ve written about my experience! Thank you for sharing this poem and allowing me to feel less alone in my journey. ☺️

  2. says: Julie

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Lauren. I always use the phrase “flipping the switch” to describe my relapses with anorexia. It’s such a bizarre thing, and while I am terribly sorry you understand the pain, I’m also glad I’m not alone. ❤️

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