Wednesday 23 June 2021


TW: Eating disorder, bulimia and binge eating 

Linda shares the first poem she ever wrote exploring her issues with food.

- Linda

I have struggled with food for as long as I can remember. As a child, I struggled with binge eating and when I started University, I developed bulimia non-purging. The hardest part of having an eating disorder is telling people. After I developed bulimia, I felt like I needed to. I did not want to be invited out to eat. I did not want to talk about food, dieting, weight and exercise. For many people, these are topics that you do not bat an eyelid about – therefore, asking people “please can we not talk about x” felt unreasonable. 

I struggled with explaining my eating disorder to other people. Many people found it hard to imagine me restricting or excessively exercising as I was always at a “healthy” or overweight BMI. People did not to grasp that my eating disorder is less about food and how I looked, but more about control and trauma. It is completely understandable – it is hard to picture something that you have not experienced. Still, I sometimes felt a bit misunderstood, weird and isolated.

One of the ways that I can explore my issues around food is through poetry. I seem to perfectly sum up how I feel where spoken words fail me. This is the first poem that I wrote about my issues around food. I wrote it at around the age of sixteen reflecting back on my childhood experience with binge eating.


I am obviously FINE!

Not a care in the world.

After all, I am smiling,

laughing hysterically, joking

and quite literally bouncing around,

putting on a good show for the crowd.


Act over, curtains closed

and in the darkness,

I wipe off my smile because secretly,

I am dying. In silence. Within.

My mind wages war persistently –

it demands ‘MORE, MORE, MORE!”

and like a servant, I oblige.

I reason – or rather more, I don’t –

that I can fill the deep dark hole

residing in me with food


But it’s no good; I never feel whole

because I’m perpetually starving! Craving

a self-acceptance, respect and unconditional love

that can never come from food

and that I can never muster enough of

You can visit Student Space to explore online resources, access direct support via text, phone, web chat or email and find the support available at your place of study

I am Linda. I am currently studying a MSc at the University of Warwick. I am also a sub-editor for Student Minds. 

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