Body in a bottle

It’s been a long time since i’ve updated this.

I went through a kind of dark patch and I don’t really remember it. Everything kind of lost meaning.. I got stuck in a limbo between illness and recovery, stubbornly hovering around the same weight that I was first diagnosed at as a child. I think that number is important to me because I associate it with a kind of purity. Being the good anorexic: low-restriction, orthorexia, 2-4-6-8 (mostly without the 8). No animal products of any kind, no processed food, no cooking except steaming, no seconds of the 1 cup non dairy milk, no milk in the oat meal, no sugar, no salt, no sweets, no booze, no energy drinks, no drugs, no smoking, no gum, no nothing.

Everything was ‘cheating’ and everything was toxic and evil and evidence of my laziness and weak will. I was impulsive and secretive and volatile and dissociated. Now, I am all these things but I have developed new traits: I am controlling, highly-strung, obsessed with order, symmetry and hygiene. I am mean and sarcastic and hyper-critical. Nothing is ever good enough, everything is not worth the effort. I wish I was someone else, I wish I could abandon this shell. I want to ditch this body, and with it the anorexic cage that holds my mind hostage. I want to crawl out and into someone else’s shell, make home in their softer body and warmer personality. Someone who sees the world for what it is, not the caricature of their anxieties, perceived failures and fears. I wish I could package my soul into a brown envelope and give it to a bird to take far, far away from here, into a different country, a different life. I wish I could survive like a message in a bottle slipping from the dying hands of a castaway. I want somebody to find me, to rescue me, to tell me I don’t have to fight it all alone because we are going somewhere with clean water, with fresh sheets, with ale and people and bread and work to do and a place to fit in, to contribute, to be.

***

But nobody can save me and I keep clutching onto those that are trying to help with the frenzied force of a drowning man fighting for life and pulling you down with me. Down, down into the breathless gut of the earth. Life crushed into slabs of stone with tectonic indifference.

***

SOCRATES: And if they can get hold of this person who takes it in hand to free them from their chains and to lead them up, and if they could kill him, will they not actually kill him?

GLAUCON: They certainly will.

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.

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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trust exercise 1

I find it hard, and have always found it hard to read people. I know this because I am told that I’m flirting, I try too hard, come on too close or too strong. Or maybe I won’t remember your face and name, again and again.

Sometimes – that thickness, numbness – it works.  If I feel like I should tell someone something urgent, like when I have a secret and everyone is drinking and I need to tell you,  I can just pull you aside when I want to talk. I don’t feel anxious about the telling, all I know is that I want to talk, that it is you I want to talk to, that I want this right now.

But sometimes it kinda fucks me up. Sometimes I trust someone, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. I trust with my proximity. My feelings, my body. My secrets.

My feelings, most of the time, are strong and singular. If I feel something, I have trouble stepping back. I fight for it even when I shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s stupid. Sometimes it’s not.

Sometimes, I think scenario A is going on, but then I realise it’s been B all along, figure it out when I’m in too deep. I think you are my friend, but maybe you are not and you are trying to fuck – me – up – and I just let you and don’t say anything or do anything to stop it until it gets too close.

I have trouble saying no when something like that happens. I don’t know whether I am comfortable with something. If I have ‘mixed’ feelings, they all tend to be strong. Pulling me in lots of directions. I freeze, I shut up, paralysed.

It’s like shopping for food when anorexic. I stand in front of things and I don’t know how I feel, I don’t know what I want. I look at boxes of the same thing, reading the back although I know what the label will say already. I walk away with nothing, paralysed. When simple, strong feelings clash, I can’t tell them apart anymore.

When anorexic, food to me is animated. It has a kind of force field.  You could say it’s a ‘mental’ force field, for lack of a better word. Mental makes it sounds like there’s something not quite real about it, ‘airy-fairy’ as some philosophers like to put it. And yet all the same, it pulls me, it pushes. It has a power over me in the sense that it is manipulating me and I don’t even know it. I just feel the effects. Delayed, when it is too late.

Maybe an eating disorder is just a deeply unequal relation to food, where food controls you & you get more and more rigid, developing rules to protect yourself from its control. I fear food because I don’t know what it will do to me. I struggle to ‘predict’ its actions, I struggle to predict what it will ‘decide’ to do to me so  I try to make up for that in other ways, by setting more rules, by learning more facts.  I’m not obsessed, just Taking A Special Interest. I know that we – food and I, you and I – are already connecting, connected somehow but I just can’t see it. A radical machinic panpsychism is desire that works fastest at zero ‘theory of mind’.

People can be like food. I want to touch them, but I can’t. I want them so much but I can’t cos I’m scared to be played like a pack of cards so I chew and spit, but still, they cling onto my teeth, my nails, my fingers. They try to play me by biting my ears, by trying to kiss me first thing in the morning, or was it already last thing at night. Or was it instead a secret they told me that I took a bite of and spat out but I can still feel it in me, playing hop-scotch with me, churning me in the stomach, reading me like a book.