Being an emotional eater can be an isolating, lonely, shameful experience. We feel adrift. We feel we’re doing something terribly wrong and no one else could possible understand. So, our “out of control” eating behavior must be hidden from others…sometimes even from ourselves.
Over the years, as the problem seemingly takes on a life of its own, it’s more than just our eating we hide. We hide who we are; our wants and needs, our dreams, our talents and gifts…
That was the case with one of my coaching clients, Marilyn McIntosh, a gifted poet. Professionally, she was helping others achieve their writing dreams, but she was not sharing her own words with the world.
It is my great honor to share Marilyn’s beautiful poem, “Toward the Shore”, along with her reasons for writing and sharing it openly with us…
As much as I have hidden being an emotional eater from the world, I have hidden my love of poetry and writing, as well…
What I have discovered in the few short weeks we have been working together is that there is freedom in becoming visible. And so, in a moment of feeling present with that gift, words emerged and marked the page with my gratitude.
You asked if you could share the poem and I would be honoured for you to do so. I often wondered what it would take for me to come out of the poet closet. Sharing with other emotional eaters who are also making their way to shore seems like the right time.
Toward the Shore
I woke with the me I have always been
The me I don’t recognize much as I age
And yet in that waking there was an awareness of another me – distant, dream filled
Food and emotions have long wrapped me in a tidal motion of desire and regret, desire and regret.
Lights on, lights off, desire and regret.
In this drowning I glimpsed the outline of a life preserver – close enough to grasp
Along with the current, arms wrapped securely around this doughnut shaped saviour
I follow the guidance of a voice
Through the pull back
Toward the shore
This voice, this human voice beckons me forward
A voice who has lived the drowning.
A voice who chooses to stand to sight others home.
Toward the shore
I follow the guidance of a voice.
I’m Ellen Shuman and I LOVE what I get to do with and for people who struggle with emotional and binge eating! I am the founder of A Weigh Out Life Coaching & Members’ Circle, Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), a Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. Have a recovery question? Contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-321-4242.