layla curled her hair when she was sad

today i read out a poem about a dear friend’s struggle with an eating disorder at the feminist x writers collab open mic, which raised money for SEED, a charity dedicated to providing the necessary support and guidance for people who suffer from eating disorders.

it was very humbling to watch my friend fight and overcome her pain. her bravery is inspiring, raw and real.  my writing doesn’t do her story justice, but i hope it will help inspire others and it will shed light on how real eating disorders are and how heartbreaking it is that they can be dismissed so lightly.
to my friend: i’m so grateful you are in my life. all my love and light to you. you shine ✨



layla curled her hair when she was sad


layla curled her hair when she was sad

and picked at her food with clumsy fingers

“one more bite”

i used to urge,

and she would shake her head with a smile.


layla counted the calories in her food when she was sad.

“i think i’ve lost weight again”, she would say,

looking at her feet.

i counted how many crisps she’d had in my head

as she pushed her food with her fork.


layla wrote poems when was sad.

when she read me a poem she wrote about food,

i tried not to break in front of her.

i wished she could see how kind,


and brave she was.

i wished she craved to fill herself

with the gentleness she carried for others.


layla cried when she was sad

and i held her tightly.

“why do i treat myself so horribly”

she whispered in my hair.


when layla was told that she would end up in hospital

if she lost any more weight

she vowed to be as kind to herself

as she was to others.


she struggled for four months

to fight her mind and her belly

and she cried and hurt

as i stared helplessly.

but when she picked herself up

she held her head high,

like a warrior.


today layla curls her hair when she feels grateful

and she sends me photos of clean plates.

she tells me she feels hunger with bright eyes

“i’ve never felt hungry before.

now i crave hot-boiled potatoes.”


“i felt full

because i fed my brain the wrong things.”

she tells me softly

as pride floods my heart.


reading out at the feminist x writers open mic

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