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What the Mirror Always Says⁠—a Poem About Eating Disorders and Mental Health

Lena Kovadlo is a writer for various content-sharing websites. She's an author of 12 books and helps other authors publish theirs.


Eating Disorders and Mental Health

Many people, especially teenagers, are faced with eating disorders and mental health issues. They constantly look at themselves in the mirror and think they are fat, or not thin enough. They think of themselves as being ugly and a freak. In turn, they develop unhealthy eating habits, eating very little, or not eating at all.

When others tell them they are too thin, they do not agree. When others ask them if they had eaten anything, they lie and say they did. When given food, they manage to hide it or throw it away. Food becomes their enemy.

Through it all they continue to look at themselves in the mirror and their outlook about themselves remains the same. They still believe they are fat or not thin enough. They still think of themselves as ugly and a freak.

All this can have severe consequences. They may force themselves to throw up, even when hardly eating. Or they may eat huge amounts of food at once and them make themselves vomit. This may result in them getting really sick and maybe even lead to death. Also, they may engage in activities⁠ that inflict pain⁠—wrist cutting being one of them. On top of that they reject help from others and get angry when others try to intervene. Worse yet, they may even attempt and commit suicide.

Below you will find a poem that I wrote about eating disorders and mental health.

What the Mirror Always Says

Alone with a giant mirror,
Staring at her reflection,
She sees the truth others deny…

Her belly protrudes from her t-shirt
Like a ripened watermelon.
Her legs are heavy,
Making her skinny jeans rip at the seams.
Fat is hanging every which way,
From her legs, her arms, her face, her stomach,
From every inch of her undesired silhouette.

Nothing fits her deformed body.
Nothing feels right against her skin.
She wants to tear off her clothes
But it will only reveal what she yearns to hide.

She stands there frozen,
Staring at her reflection...
A loud voice escaping from the mirror,
“You’re a FAT, ugly freak!
No food must enter your body!
I will not let you live until you’ve lost it all!”

Tears spill from her face,
And she fills with rage,
Vowing never to let food in.
But even with her mouth shut,
Every time she looks at her reflection in the mirror,
All she hears is “you're a FAT, ugly freak!”
Even when her clothes sag like a rag,
And her jeans fall to the floor,
Even when there is nothing left of her but bones,
Even when she’s lost it all,
She is still a FAT, ugly freak, and always will be.
That’s what the mirror always says.

Written November 8, 2011

© 2011 Lena Kovadlo


Regis Auffray on December 03, 2018:

This is a very meaningful poem that expresses a sad truth in our "modern" society. I empathize with those who have eating issues. We do not all have the same metabolism. Thank you for sharing.

Jane Perinacci on December 03, 2018:

Your words describe exactly what a person with this disorder sees in the mirror. I've heard it. 'Not good results. This is a great poem that brings about conscience awareness. It needs to be brought to the fore.

Lena Kovadlo (author) from Staten Island, NY on October 03, 2012:

Regis - Thanks for your feeback. I could have simply just published the poem without any text to back it up but I felt that it was important to include the text with the poem. The issue is too important.

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Lena Kovadlo (author) from Staten Island, NY on October 03, 2012:

Thank you for your feedback Nicola. One of the things that writers should do is bring awareness to important issues in today's society...just like musicians and singers do.

Nicola ward on April 20, 2012:

I can relate to this unfortunately, thank you for bringing awareness about this awful issue which is all too common these days.

rauffray from BC, Canada on January 13, 2012:

Thank you for writing about such an apt and timely (sadly all too prevalent) situation in our society, Lena. Your poem serves to emphasize your theme. Well done!

Lena Kovadlo (author) from Staten Island, NY on November 20, 2011:

Deborah - I am glad that the poem resonates with you and that you connect with it. Thank you so much for your feedback.

Gina - Thank you for your feedback.

Gina on November 19, 2011:

I agree with a lot of what Alur said. This poem gives a view of what people with this disease go through.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on November 19, 2011:

Lena.. thank you for writing this poem.. I have been there..there was a time in my life.. that I refused to eat.. because I wanted to be thin like the other girls.. I wanted what they had.. ..I went months without eating and I got very sick,... I could feel every word you put to paper.. Yes very well thought out... Love how you put it together.. Love the poem..

Lena Kovadlo (author) from Staten Island, NY on November 18, 2011:

ALUR - Thank you for your feedback on my hub. I really appreciate it! Gave some great insight.

ALUR from USA on November 18, 2011:

well thought out and written on both poem and summary.

Whether it's eating disorders or a state of loss in general we tend to tell ourselves stories. If the story becomes real in our minds it takes its own prowess and devours. I've witnessed such things in my own life. It's a journey to unfold the self hate.

Feel free to visit my hubs and enjoy.

Also, I've released a short story collection on called "Taboo Nation"

Would love your insight as a writer:)

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