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a poem by Camilla Paloma

this is my body,

this is my home,

my place to be,

my house to roam.

but when it is changing,

where do i go?

do i dare to stay?

or do i forego,

the home that has held me

through all of my years,

the heart that has held

all my worries and fears,

the mind that has mended

when broken and weak,

has held me together

when weary and meek.

through all of the starving,

and making it thin,

despite all the harming,

it never gave in.

so do i desert it?

when i don’t like what i see?

do i deny

what it needs to be me?

how can i hate

a body of healing,

a body of protection,

a body of feeling?

after all these years,

i will finally allow,

my body to be loved,

and from here on i vow,

i will protect you

through all of our living,

i will give back the love,

you have always been giving.

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Often eating disorder recovery involves coming to terms with living in a new body. And this can create extreme conflict, when you finally accept that you need to let your body be where it wants to be. Recovery can never be found when we are still forcing our bodies to live in a place it was never meant to be. But this is one of the most underestimated challenges of recovery – just letting it be. Just ‘being’ is probably one of the things eating disorders hate most. I wrote this poem almost as a love letter to my body, because as I enter into this stage of recovery (where I try to let go of the need to be thin, and instead focus on letting my body live), it hit me one day how incredible it is that my body just bounces back and starts functioning totally normally again, as if nothing has happened. What?!? I’ve lost and gained and lost and gained weight for 8 years now, as well as using other methods of harming my body such as self-harm, substances and alcohol. And still it just forgives me. The body strikes me as the most forgiving thing we have. Even after I hurt it so much, it still just comes right back to me and lets me live happily and healthily. It is pretty incredible. Now I know I am lucky that my body hasn’t been impacted in a permanent way, as some people’s unfortunately have been. My story is not everyone’s story. But this poem is a story of love, compassion and forgiveness. Our bodies are incredible. I think it’s about time we start loving them as much as they love and fight for us.

Camilla is a 23 year old student living in London, who has started using art, poetry and writing to portray and express what it is like living with anorexia, among other mental health disorders. More of her content can be found on @tostaywild on Instagram.

Hand Drawing

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