The Weight of Her Words: “Falling Awake”

I thought it would be appropriate to end this week’s series with a poem about recovery; about what it feels like to finally let go and venture out into the world without the protection of your eating disorder. At first, it is terrifying, to be sure. But as it gets easier and your world gets bigger, you begin to realize all the things you were missing- or never even noticed.




Falling Awake


Suddenly the world is wide open

I find I’m no longer confined


To the tiny hell I had constructed

The walls I’d been hiding behind


I’m moving into something unknown

This is so unfamiliar, this light


Compared to the darkness I’m used to

I was blind and now I have sight


I’m baffled by all of this beauty

The vibrance and movement out here


The feelings I’m feeling are frightening

In fact, all I’ve known is fear


But now my senses are stirring

With new and intriguing sensations


Sometimes if I let myself breathe

I touch in on momentous elation


After so long I’m finally here

Though of course, the change came with pain


It was worth it to finally find freedom

The losses don’t compare to the gains


It’s a little like falling awake

Coming out of a hypnotic sleep


There’s a chasm between dying and living

And I’m ready to take the leap



© Sarah Henderson 2010


About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

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