Updated: Aug 23, 2019


I exist in a world comprised of two choices:

Either black or white, plead the vicious voices.

Neat little boxes are labeled loved or despised,

My thoughts are quite polarized.

All I can see is black or white,

If I make a mistake, I lose the fight.

My world desperately lacks a middle ground,

But I know shades of gray are dying to be found.

Boxes are either “all good” or “all bad”,

If someone is laughing, they can’t also be sad,

People say an in-between exists,

But when I cry, the sadness persists.

How about that beautiful, smiling man and his wife?

Looking at them, I assume they must have the most perfect life. 

But, by viewing the world in solely black or white,

My experiences have become rather contrite.

My eating disorder thrives off of this pattern of thinking,

The minute I “splurge”, my world begins sinking. 

Foods and behaviors are either good or bad,

Carbs and relaxing make the vicious voice mad. 

If I break a food rule, I might as well give in,

Eating a piece of chocolate means I’m no longer thin. 

Exercising and skipping meals is also quite addictive,

If I don’t eat breakfast today, the next day must be even more restrictive.

Black and white thinking has made my world increasingly small,

The thoughts in my head are constantly in a brawl. 

I am sick of this world consisting of only two choices,

I yearn to quiet these manipulative voices.

Boxes don’t need to be little, neat or labeled

As a result, my pattern of thinking will be disabled. 

Recovery is comprised of life’s shades of gray,

It is time to throw my longing to be perfect away.


Emily is twenty years old in her Junior year of college who suffered with an eating disorder for nearly half of her life. After a lot of hard work and determination, she has finished treatment and can truly say that she is in a good place in recovery. Writing has been her escape through all of this. She feels that it has truly saved her. She hopes that her writing can allow others to feel less alone and to inspire others.

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