poem

you smoke wheat

in your tiny bedroom

sipping on diet schweppes

next to me passing me the zoot

considering the ensure

reading verse

skimming books

source of inspiration

never quite gets an inning

i am feeling – i am feeling

but it’s only images of a good day

tainted with truncation

and small lies

our dry eyes meet but i don’t feel the heat

i am accustomed to

there goes continuum in double

rainbows in the rancid air

hung low it splits the ceiling

into its strangled fist

i cannot let you down

only mist

deters me from the needle in the hay

i stub the cigarette and lay

myself down at your holy feet

let me beat you

i plead

and you turn your cold shoulders

into the window, down the street ur hanging by a flashlight

watching me

until we are in different

time zones

 

|Eaten| 2019

swimming in the heath

Yesterday R and I went for a swim in the Heath.

Muddy hills roll out their greens and yellows, reaking of summer. High heat, heavy air. Stringy, ethereal clouds tangle into a makeshift veil around a tall, smoking sun, providing little solace as we duck into a tunnelled alley to skip the heat. My trainers pounce happily on the soft rocky dirt, as hard rays of light smash through the hairy treetops. I get distracted by their gold-ness, their brightness and tesselate movement. I pretend to trap them under my feet. Slices of plant sustenance. Tree food, pure energy.

We reach the pond. The water is still, slickly green, completely opaque. There’s something sinister and scary about the water – without current there is no flow. ponds are loners and introverts. springs chatter, rivers whistle and talk. Ponds sulk, sap, rot and darken. The little bank is crowded, I panic about having nowhere to sit. The grass looks like weeds and nettles, poisonous and coarse. R asks if I want to get in the water, I complain, mumble and waste time. I think about monsters, amphibian creatures lurking beneath my feet, slipping between my toes. Is it there? Did you feel that? People are huddling by the water next to me, buzzing with conversation. We’re watching a string of ducks cut across the pond, their paddling feet sunk soundlessly into viridian jelly. Will it be cold? Will it taste like dead fish? Will it pierce my feet with abandoned glass if I let them stretch? I walk up on the wooden parapet and stare at the little lake, a puddle of unknown unknowns. R is hovering on the edge like a seagull scoping its lunch, excited to hit its element. I catch his eye and feel suddenly childlike, excited and silly. Ready? JUMP.

24-06-18 north london

snip / snap

Attempts to get better on my own rebound with haunting, overpowering, dissociative episodes of guilt and irreality.

Sometimes i think about how easy it would be to reach out, tug and pull life out of my windpipe.

I think about it and it pinches my tearducts as fleeting moments of sober reflection tell me that it will be a waste and a shame and it would be traumatic for people near me, some of whom i’m sure will continue being outraged at just how fucking selfish i am/was.

yet at the same time it’s comforting

Knowing that I really don’t have to deal with any of this if I don’t want to, and nobody can make me live.

And how i could punish the person who cut me off because she couldn’t be arsed anymore.

But then those thoughts lose their gratifying immediacy too.

I feel ashamed as a I flick through the thoughts like catalogued snaps on instagram, bringing back memories of my childhood, of happiness and hope.

I feel ugly, tired, hopeless and destroyed and like there is nothing here for me.

But then I think about my lovely plants, their nursing family huddled on my tiny window sill in my tiny room.

The thought makes me warm and I instantly feel embarrassed. So childish and sentimental.

I think maybe this isn’t the end, but just the beginning.

What if things could be better, what if this moment in my life doesn’t have to just be hospitals, debt, isolation.

I have a good degree, I have work experience in my industry and great feedback.

I have a partner who seems to really love me.

I have friends and comrades, even if I have frozen them out recently some of them still seem to care.

Two days until I go to the clinic.

Quora

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Rudolf Nureyev. 1938-1993.

It was a long and unhappy process. 

From the age of 16 until well into my 20s, I ‘fought’ hunger head on. I would restrict as low as I could go, sometimes going for days on nothing but water, juice, coffee and diet coke. I turned my passion for long distance running into a private, tortured ritual. I thought I could out-starve, out-run, out-drug my hunger for good, if only I tried more, pushed harder, felt more pain. My formative years, the entire timeline of what I consider my adolescence is shot through with memories of alienated starvation, surrounded by plentitude, choice and advertising.

I starved, binged and purged my way through final exams at school, three years at art college, and then two years of my English degree. I became a drug addict, a liar and a thief. I also became deeply traumatised and unhappy. The inability to switch off not just the need to eat but also the desire for food, community and joy became a source of shame and horror, like some sort of monstrosity i constantly tried – and failed – to hide from others. It cracked my self-esteem and fractured my personality. For a decade, I got lost in a sort of cognitive time-warp, obsessed with when it all went wrong – the moment I stopped being the good restrictive anorexic and became a bulimic or binge/purge AN subtype mess. I was hospitalised, I got into debt, I lost friends and pushed away everyone who tried to love me or ‘make me fat’. I tried to end it after a month long binge cycle once, on the morning of my nineteenth birthday. It never occurred to me that to beat hunger, eating was necessary.

***

In my final year of University and the few years that followed, I went through a period of partial remission. I graduated, I found real friends, I learned new skills and achieved independence. I am deeply in love with my best friend, an achievement that flies in the face of all the abuse I subjected myself to, all the lies I told myself every day about my essential malice, narcissism and greed.

Today, I restrict only. According to clinical guidelines, I have anorexia nervosa, restrictive subtype, moderate severity. I have my ‘bodycheck’ blog, where I post pictures of my bones that I struggle to process with my hazed, dissociated, dysmorphia-inflected eyes. I found a way to enter a hostile cease-fire with hunger, eating just enough to keep it from making me completely crazy. For over ten years, I fantasized about this moment, the ability to clasp my hands around my thighs and have the fingers meet. To see that number on the scale. To look at a plate of food and say, ‘fuck it’. I am also terrified of what this might mean. I am starting to think my life might end just as it is beginning, just as the tables have turned. It takes more willpower to eat than to reject eating, to want to wake up than wish I die in my sleep. I hope I can recover, but I don’t know how. I hope your life won’t repeat my story. It all really is too short. Eat.

 

Free space

I woke up at 5am today because I went to bed early because I was done eating for the day.

I failed to collect my Effexor/Venla prescription so now I’m coming off SNRIs and can barely get out of bed, except to eat some variation of vegetables cooked w water and drenched in hot sauce (I’ve cut back on carbs and sodium because lmao I have actual edema in my hands and it needs to get gone). Also I was kind of politely a dick to my friend who is trying to help me get better cos she sent a few messages reminding me I need to pick up the script and i was literally hashtag triggered, like it made me so angry I started crying wtaf lol. I got this notebook today where i’m trying to like write down my triggers so as I’m sitting up w spinal pain, crying cos my mate was being nice to me and refusing to look for work – despite having made like a tenth of my rent this month so far – and i’m crying into this book trying to like bullet point wtf is up but like i can’t do it, can’t be concise, got no fucking idea why I feel this way. It’s not just the withdrawal, it’s also definitely the eating disorder cos I’m cranky af and I spend more time googling cauliflower rice calories than thinking about anything else in my life rn. I feel completely deranged, so when I finally go to the eating disorder clinic in a few months’ time I should fit right in w all the sad desperate women crawling down corridors in black leggings, angry that their family won’t let them die.

 

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