Moments of safety and strength are where I live now.
Yet every day I miss you.
I can laugh, cry and smile now.
This is power.
I wouldn’t trade these abilities to feel your cold steel grip again.
Yet every day I miss you.
I pass a scale and feel your skeletal fingers beckon me closer.
I push with power to redirect my feet.
A whisper of your encouragement is detectable on a subtle summer breeze.
I push with power to focus on surrounding beauty.
A cold embrace tempts me to the treadmill.
I push with power to the table.
A fragile frame can detract from internal shame
In a cocoon, tightly enveloped in the threads of insanity
the voices of loved ones are muffled.
The road to death so loud that
I can’t hear their concerns; pleading, crying, screaming, begging.
Voices of reason distorted
By your invisible shell.
Yet now I have power.
And I push with power.
To live in this moment
And someday die of natural causes.
Go fuck yourself.

Hailey Coleman is an emerging Social Worker in Portland, Oregon currently acquiring her MSW degree. Hailey has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and years of experience in addictions work and working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Additionally, she has struggled with her own lifelong battle with Anorexia Nervosa, as well as Depression and Anxiety. This piece outlines her road to recovery, which is a constant fight to maintain despite having maintained a recovery-based lifestyle for several years. This piece is intended to illustrate the long-term nature of some mental illness experiences and the resiliency often overlooked in regards to eating disorders and other persistent mental illnesses.