Anorexia in one picture

Sometimes it is hard to capture in words exactly how I feel.
You know the saying ‘a picture says a thousand words’? Well I couldn’t agree more.

After a particularly upsetting day yesterday, I decided to let my feelings out not through self destructive behaviours, not through words, but through taking photos.

I’m going to put a trigger warning here because you can see my ‘spine’, although only because of the position I am in.

This, to me, symbolises anorexia.

The bare back turned away, vulnerable. Caught in a corner with nowhere to turn. No-one and nothing but anorexia. The hunched position, the fear and desperation. That is anorexia.

Anorexia is not this glamorised thing you see on ‘pro-ana’ sites or Tumblr. It is a life threatening and devastating illness. I’ve been in recovery for two years now, and still in some respects I am deep within its grasp. It is hard to let go, hard to do normal things and go about everyday life.

I wish more people understood and accepted that recovery from mental illnesses are not easy. I always feel pressure on me to recover and stop needing therapy. One of my biggest fears is not being able to connect with people, so when people don’t understand me it sends me into panic. Yet so few people do understand me. How can I expect others to understand me when I don’t understand myself?

I am trying, and I will not stop trying until I am through this illness.
For a few blissful months I was weight restored, doing well and hardly thinking about food. I was exercising sensibly, and for enjoyment. Now that frame of mind seems unreachable. But if I have done it once I can and will do it again. That is what I keep telling myself.

Stop saying tomorrow and start saying now. That is what I need to do. I need to get my life back.

Thanks for reading.

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The blade’s lullaby [original poem]

MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING.

I wrote this last week when I was feeling the most depressed I’ve felt in a long time. Looking back on it is quite shocking, it is a very very dark piece of poetry.

I was in two minds about posting it because I’m worried it is just triggering and unhelpful and doesn’t need to be shared, but at the same time I feel like this sums up why I self harm sometimes? I feel like I have to, it’s not something I want to do but more of a need, like something terrible will happen if I don’t and that I deserve the pain.

Please let me know if you find this triggering or think it’s unhelpful/ best left off the internet and I’ll take it down.

Hush now darling, don’t you cry
The blade will sing you a lullaby
Let your sorrows melt away
Feel the pain in a different way
Drag that blade across your skin
Let lose the blood that lies within
Release the evil, feel the pain
Make up for weight you have gained
Again and again, swift and fast
Grab a bandage, the pain won’t last
Dry your tears, don’t you cry
It’s either this or you will die
Pills and rail tracks, heights and blades
This is your punishment, your fate is made
You cannot rest, or have peace from me
I am inside you, don’t you see?
Use your arm as a canvas to fill
Paint in stark red, and notice that still
With each new cut and bruise you make
All I do is take, take, take
Yet still here you are, listening to me
I am inside you, don’t you see?
You cannot beat me, I will win
I feel your sorrows as a grin
The whispered, haunted hymns of praise
The prayer which only you can raise
Be sure of this, my fellow friend
This is a war that will not end.
Not today, tomorrow, or next week
Your life is the ultimate prize I seek.
So while you fight and I grow strong
Remember you’re the girl who does not belong.
I will bring you peace of mind
Dull your senses, make you blind
Blind to the pain, don’t you see?
With me your spirit will at last be free.
If you decide you want to go,
I’ll help you get there, don’t you know?
I am the devil within your soul
And I’ll only stop if you reach my goal
Lose weight, cut, punish yourself
And maybe I’ll go someplace else
But for now here I am, trapped in you
A force once week, that suddenly grew.
A force so strong, you can’t outsmart
In fact it overtook your heart.

Also please don’t read this and worry about me, I was feeling in a very black place when I wrote it but touch wood things are going a bit better this week.

I’d be really interested to hear anyone’s feedback on this, positive or negative, so do please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading.

The ‘anorexic’ girl [original poem]

Don’t call me that,
The harsh judgement in your tone.
Don’t use it as an excuse,
Oh she can’t help it, she’s anorexic.

Don’t separate me from everyone else,
Isolate me due to our differences,
Don’t stop and stare and whisper,
‘She’s anorexic

Don’t give me names,
Don’t stare me down,
Don’t treat me any different.
I’m just like you.

Don’t snigger as I mull over meals,
Each bite painful.
Don’t tease me when I’m down,
Don’t judge before you know me,
‘The anorexic girl’

Don’t call me selfish,
Attention-seeking, sad,
We all have struggles,
Mine are just expressed differently.

Stare instead into my hollow eyes,
The girl scared to exist,
See that I want love and support,
Like any other.

See my open arms ready to give,
See the hope in my eyes,
The smile trying to escape,
Help me be me.

Anorexia, now that is an illness.
But there is a girl,
And there is her illness,
They are not bound together.
There is no anorexic girl.

We can never be prepared for some things

Today I found out that a boy’s (who goes to my boyfriends school) parents were murdered last night.

He was in the house, and heard something in the night. I don’t know exactly what happened, but essentially he called the police and tried to save his parents, but it was too late. He had to hide while this murderer was in his house. He has to watch his parents die.

Apart from the obvious terrible pain and terror of this, what is so awful is that the day before, he was probably messing around with his mates, stressing over homework and whether he was going to get invited to the next party… All such small things. And before he knows it, none of that matters anymore. His parents are gone. He’s alone.

I wonder what the last thing he said to his parents were. I wonder when he last told them he loved them.

Now I know it must seem silly, how affected I’m getting when I don’t even know this person, but it is just such a shock. I may not know him personally, but my boyfriend knows him and is in the same year as him in school, it’s just like having someone in my year’s parents be killed.

It happened in Fetchem, a lovely little village in Surrey. No one was expecting it.

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I guess it’s just made me realise that we never know what’s going to happen in life.

I already tell my parents I love them every day and hug and kiss them, purely because I’m scared that one day they’re not going to be here and I’ll be thinking back to the time I was with them with sadness and regret.
I don’t want that; no one does.
I am so scared of my parents dying or leaving me.
Whenever my parents drive somewhere, especially at night or if it’s far away, I wonder if they’ll be safe.
I don’t know what I’d do without them.
My therapists come and go, as do most friends and people in your life. But my parents, they’re different. They love me unconditionally, they have to, that’s who they are as parents; caring and loving, even if sometimes it might not always show in the way you want.

I know this post is rambling and doesn’t have a particular point yet. I guess I am simply just so shaken up by this murder, and I can’t help but think about if it were me, if one day my parents were there and the next day they were gone.
And the truth is, I can’t imagine it. Because I know that if they went, I’d go too.

This boy was so incredibly brave to call the police and try to save them. He was right to hide and keep himself safe, I just hope and pray with al my heart that he sees it that way too.

I did terribly in my psychology timed essay today, I cried in my physics lesson because I’m thick and don’t understand any of it. I’m bloated, I have a terrible body image, I despise both my appearance and who I am. I felt tired and wary and down.
I wish I could say that now this has happened, I see that it’s all irrelevant. That would make sense, right? That looking at the bigger picture, at least I have a loving family and I am safe. But all I can think of is how we never know what’s going to happen next, and that makes me want to do well even more. Imagine if today was the last day I lived? I haven’t done enough. I’ve struggled with school work, not done enough homework, cried in font of a teacher.. And yes, to some extent ‘so what?’. But I also feel like I owe it to this brave boy to man up and get on with life, not be the emotional wreck I am.

I have no reason to feel like this, to feel so hopeless and depressed.
Man. Up.
But I can’t.

I need to see this in a logical frame of mind.
We need to be greatful for what we have every day, no matter how small or irrelevant it may be, no matter how much you may take it for granted.

I am thankful for my loving parents, my wonderful family and amazing friends. I am thankful for the roof over my head and the amazing opportunities I have.

I am thankful, yet I am scared and lost.

Is it possible to be both so greatful or what you have and yet so dissatisfied with yourself and your performance?

I am just so lost.

I only hope I can be found again.

My prayers are with the family and friends of the Kettyle family.

News articles:
BBC
The Mirror
Get Surrey

Thanks for reading.

What you’ll never know [original poem]

I’m feeling really down tonight so decided to express it in some poetry. I haven’t checked it and gone back to improve it; I know it isn’t a beautiful piece of writing but I have to share it. These thoughts are consuming me and I am a hollow shell, a carrier of my depression. At least writing poetry, I can feel. That even through this pain, I can still be connected to myself. I am still human.

***

Do you know how it feels
To be constantly checking the time as you wash
Not wanting to stay too long behind the bathroom’s locked door.

Afraid of your mothers knock,
Her nervous voice as she asks if you’re ok.
She thinks you’re cutting.
Dragging that razor blade across your skin
Again and again.

You’ve stopped that. For now.
But the pain will never stop for her.
You open the door, wearing short sleeved pyjamas so she can see
You’re ok.
Her relief she tries to hide
Plastered on her expression like a newspaper headline.

You go off to bed, but through the night she stands and listens at your door
Checking, again and again, that the silent, choked tears aren’t falling.

At breakfast as you sit picking at your cereal,
She sits watching, pretending to be interested in her own food,
But all the time scared of the demons that are hiding in you
Out of her control.

At school you’re confident.
At least that’s how you appear.
The smile and laughter does the trick,
The silly games and jokes,
Why would anyone guess that it was all an act?

Your mother goes to work.
But all the time thinking, ‘I wonder how she’s getting on today’
Never knowing what the answer will be.

The breakdowns have no countdown,
Nor time limit or reason,
They come on all of a sudden,
Consuming you and taking your mother with you in a cloud of doubt and fear.

But you keep going.
You plaster on that smile,
Do your homework.
Be a good girl.

Who would ever guess all this was going on in your head?
This is why it will never get better.
No one knows you.
And no one ever will.