Is it only me?

I’ve kept all of my journals from when I had an eating disorder, and from time to time I’d like to include some of my old entries. When I was feeling especially low during my college years, I’d often write poems, most of which are rather depressing and emotional. In therapy, I’d learned to connect my difficult emotions to my eating disorder and try to figure out the deep reasons why I binged; so in most of my journal entries and poems about my eating disorder, I did just that – I wrote about the feelings and problems that I thought drove my binges.

The poem I’ve included below is different, and I think I was on to something without realizing it at the time.  In the first stanza and in every other stanza after that, I talk about my difficult emotions (some of which were actually a result of the binge eating itself); and in the stanzas between, I talk about my binge eating habit. I do this without connecting the habit to all the painful, emotional stuff. It’s as if I realized on some level even then that my binge eating was not truly driven by those difficult feelings – it was something I didn’t truly want to do, but I’d become hooked on and it had taken over, making my life much more painful than it needed to be.  I wrote this poem shortly after the tragedy of September 11, 2001.      

Is it only me?  

Is it only me who feels hopeless sometimes
Is it only me who can’t stand being here
Or do you want to bail out too
Can you also not stand being you?

Was there ever something you did
That had a hold on you?
That you kept doing over and over
Hell, and over again
Knowing it’s not right
And knowing it just might bring an end to you

Is it only me who can’t stop other people
From fading away
Is it only me who can’t stop the world from dying
Stop planes from dropping out of the sky
Or is it only me who’s trying?

Was there ever something you did
That you knew was wrong
But, for some reason
Some crazy reason that was beyond you
Kept you repeating the pattern
As if insanity was all you knew

Is it only me who can’t be perfect?
Can’t be it all
Can’t live up to what someone else wants
Can’t live up to what the world expects
Is it only me who always seems to fall?

And, was there ever something you did
You couldn’t let go of just for a day
Whether it was killing you or just scary
Am I the only one who keeps letting it stay?

It is only me who recognizes
That something is amiss
Something has gone wrong somewhere
And no one cares if it gets fixed
Is it only me who sees a big fault
In every step I take
Or is it only me who will make it all out to be bad
Maybe everything can be all right just the way it is

But, was there ever something you did
You know you didn’t want to do
Yet you couldn’t hold your desire
And, you’re mind kept telling you to
Or is it only me?
Is it only me?