I confess

The drugs just aren’t doing it for me,
chemical sleep has lost its appeal
and I confess, I considered tonight
that it might be easier just not to feel.

To slip away, to take a bow,
Admit defeat and fall from my grace
and would you miss me, would you notice;
how long would it take to forget my face?

You forgot me once, you can do it again,
after all, this is only a release
breaking free from the prison we built together
in the hope, of maybe, one night of peace.

I confess, this is serious,
and if I had the strength I would leave tonight
I wish I was brave, that I wouldn’t miss you
that this time I could really give up the fight.

An empty bottle in front of me,
and pills I know I’ll never take
just further proof of my personal failings
evidence of the depression I could never shake.

Another scar to my collection,
a canvas I paint to remind me of you
to prove this reality was never a nightmare
but a waking hell, which I’m still going through.

I confess, it would be so easy,
Just a slip of the hand, just one step too far
but I’m not brave, I feel too afraid
to let myself go, to reopen these scars.

Yet I fantasise of how easy it would be,
for you to live your life without me there
I confess I think of setting you free
sometimes it’s the only way that ever seems fair.

If I left today, would you notice?
Would you realise, I did this for you?
If I slipped away past an exit sign,
would you see it as failure, or something I needed to do?

I try to remember every word you ever said,
the times you loved me, the times you were sweet
I confess, I want to forget
to make this easier for me to leave.

But how can I go when you hold me like that;
when you whisper so quietly only I can hear?
I confess, you keep me from dying,
from collapsing under the weight of my fears.


“Suicide” is a word I don’t like typing. It’s such a final solution, and the word itself makes me feel uncomfortable about the actions I’ve taken in the past. I may occasionally mention my flirts with causing my own death, but I try not to go into much detail because, in truth, I’m ashamed.

I’m ashamed to know I even tried, mostly over such trivial things. New colleges and threats of break-ups. Arguments with my mother. They seem such petty reasons but back then I couldn’t judge whether an incident was serious or minor, and everything felt like a horrific attack on everything I am. The panic and psychosis (for there was psychosis; hallucinations and imagined conversations) drove me into a ball of fear and confusion and, somehow, I decided that suicide was the only logical answer to a world of horror. 

Last week, a man lay down on the train tracks between my house and Z’s, and killed himself. I heard the sirens and saw sketchy details appear on Facebook, but I still can’t let myself accept that somebody was in so much torment that they felt the only way to solve it was to climb over the barriers as traffic waited at the crossing, and wait for the train to hit; somebody just a couple of roads away from where I was sitting was going through something most people never – thankfully – have to experience.

I find myself wondering what he was like; why he felt he had to take that step, and do something so damn final. I wish I’d had the chance to know him, somehow.

Sick to my stomach

Sinking to the depths again
the ones you never quite reach
heart in my hands and head on the floor
wishing I was anyone but me.

Falling for my weakness again
and welcoming it like a friend
crushing my heart between my fingers
– that heart you tried to mend.

Sad, tired eyes searching for you
but my hands can’t seem to grip
aching head and swollen fingers
and the shame because I slipped.

sick in my skin and dead to the world
it’s cold on the bathroom floor
smash all the mirrors and hide the pieces
I don’t want them anymore.

(c) 2006


Bulimia, unlike many of the things I’ve experienced, is strangely easy to write about. The reason for this is most likely because when I think of myself as being “bulimic”, it’s like stepping into somebody else and watching myself from the outside; almost like a movie. It isn’t real. Even after fifteen years of binging and purging, something inside me still refuses to accept that I could possibly have an eating disorder. 

ED’s happen to other people, you see. Not me. I simply… have a little trouble with food. Since I first made myself sick at eleven years old it’s all been a sort of blur to me. I know it happened, but it may as well be somebody else’s story because I can’t ever quite accept it’s not all a big lie I concocted to get attention. 

“I’m Fine”

This lack of control is killing me,
your eyes are open but you can’t see,
the pain I bury, the shame I hide,
the secret anger I keep inside.
Sometimes I speak but you can’t hear,
my words are stunted, censored by fear,
I choose it all so carefully,
I want you to know, but I’m afraid you’ll see.

My weakness and all I’ve become,
my desperation and all that I’ve done,
the holes I’ve dug and the walls I build,
I hide my feelings beneath blankets of guilt.
I can’t explain why I keep it inside,
when you know it happens, why do I lie?
You know the reality, you’ve seen the truth,
yet I do my best to keep this from you.

I slide down further, I lose my grip,
you reached out for me but I let myself slip,
and why do I do this, why do I fall?
I never meant for any of this, any of this at all.

This loss of power, it’s destroying me,
it’s chipping away at who I used to be,
I wash my hands, I tidy this away,
sweep it under the carpet because I’ll never say,
that I’m losing control, that I can’t seem to stand,
on my own, without your hands,
to pull me up out of this hell I made,
the monster I created that day.

I try to control us, but it’s killing me,
my eyes are open but I’ll never see,
past the bathroom and the kitchen light,
I reach out to you, but you’re not here tonight.
My disgrace, it’s tearing my skin,
it’s ripping at everything I’ve ever been,
a crutch I made, a path I chose,
I have no control, and I know it shows.

Tiny white pills, slowly killing me,
but I close my eyes, refuse to see,
empty bottles hidden and your photo on my wall,
nothing can save me… nobody at all.
This lack of control was always killing me,
what I loved was always the enemy,
letters unwritten and diaries burned,
pills, bottles, bathrooms – lessons I never learned.
Words I wrote never got to you,
feelings I’ve hidden, but it’s nothing new,
it’s nothing you haven’t heard before,
just another night on the bathroom floor.
This lack of control, you speak to me,
I want to confess, I want you to see,
but I fall silent, consumed by the shame,
just two words:
‘I’m fine’
…as I fall apart again.

(c) 2008

One step away from crazy

I haven’t felt up to doing much today. A sewing project was abandoned – I was making a Russian Doll keyring but became too frustrated when I constantly dropped the needle and lost control of the thread – and I’m feeling too spaced-out to watch the usual few episodes of House or read. Sleep is an appealing prospect, but I’ve come so far in sorting out my sleeping patterns and I don’t want to ruin it now. So I spent some time reading Nicole’s blog, and came across a post called “I freaked out on the Starbucks girl“.

“what the f*ck!” i screamed.  jamming on my gas pedal, driving in reverse, i returned to the window.

me: “excuse me, but i tasted SUGAR in my beverage.”

barista: “yes, it’s an iced coffee.”

me: “i’m sorry, i don’t understand your response.”

she repeated the original response.

me: “if a person orders a BLACK iced coffee, then what does that mean?”

barista: “it means without cream.”

me: “is sugar black?”

barista: “no, it’s white.”

me: “then how does this drink reflect my order of BLACK?”

barista: “well, it’s just syrup.”

at this point, i’m freaking out in my head.  *i drank syrup?!  it’s not even pure cane sugar?!  i need to vomit.  oh my god.  no, wait, i don’t do that anymore.*

It struck a painful chord with me. Both anorexia and bulimia turned me into a horrible person, and in some respects I think that’s the most cruel aspect of an eating disorder. Lack of essential nutrients, anxiety and the pure terror of calories you hadn’t factored into your day can flip a switch which, for want of a better term, let’s call the Crazy Trigger.

Even though I consider myself to be treading the fine line between ED and being okay, I still have that Crazy Trigger, and I despise it. I hate it because it brings a feeling of total loss of control. I hate it because it drives people away, because who would believe that somebody can freak out over a few grains of sugar or a tiny bit of butter? I do. Sometimes I do, even though I’m no longer as bad as I used to be.

When my anorexia was at its height (at the age of thirteen), I turned into a total monster. I went from a quiet, shy, timid girl, to a raging monster with no self-control or shame. I’d scream at innocent bystanders holding sandwiches (why should they get to eat and not get fat?) and threaten violence against the poor food sample lady in Tesco, convinced she was part of some bizarre conspiracy to make me gain weight. Although I no longer abuse innocent people in the street, I still shout at my mother sometimes if she makes a comment like, “have you eaten anything today?” or, “that pie needs eating before it goes out of date”. The Crazy Trigger slips into the front of my mind, unnoticed and sneaky, and starts pushing everybody away with threats and curses. It’s a part of myself I truly despise, and although I’ve beaten it somewhat into submission, sometimes I just seem unable to control myself at all. And that scares me more than anything.

Today, my mother asked if I was going to eat anything. A simple question, an entirely innocent one… yet it set off a chain of events in my head.

If I eat… will she judge me? Will other people judge me? Am I just faking this fear? If I don’t eat, she’ll think I’m crazy and lock me away again. Oh god, what do I do? Do I eat? Maybe just a sandwich? That’ll be okay. Why am I worrying about this? I’m fat anyway.

Sometimes I suspect that no matter how much I feel okay with myself, I’ll always be one step away from crazy.

A Dilemma

  Let me start off by saying that, as shameful as it sounds, I don’t have many friends. Oh, I have acquaintances, I have people I can nod at and maybe chat to a little, but real friends, I can count on one hand. It’s been this way all my life; as a solitary person who likes her own space, I don’t tend to do the things which build friendships for my age group. I don’t go out drinking (I go to the pub, but that’s an entirely different social scene), I don’t drop everything to go to a party, I don’t work, I don’t study, and I left school at thirteen, leaving all friendships behind.

Regardless of this, I’ve always  been able to have at least one ‘friend’, someone I can spend time with, go shopping with, have coffee with. Of course, I also have my boyfriend, so I’m not alone.

Because I live at home with my mother, who can be quite strict and judgemental (without always meaning to be), I’m not afforded the same opportunities as others when it comes to socialising. She watches me like a hawk, and at the slightest hint of my fibromyalgia flaring up or my anxiety getting worse, she crowds around me and drops hints about how I should rest, take it easy, stay in bed, have some time to myself… and because I no longer wish to fall out with her over such trivial things, I usually go along with it. It’s easier than turning a simple request to go out into a balls-out argument with tears and shouting. I hate that, I can’t take it, so I just accept defeat and stay in my bedroom, watching the rest of the world carry on without me. Oh, I know I should be stronger and more assertive, but I simply don’t have the strength to be that way any more.

I’ve spoken before of my friend who has bipolar type 2. She’s a very full-on person, very in-your-face and demanding at times, but I love her to bits. She was there for me when I split up with J, she was the one person who knew the full story of what happened at that festival (including how he put his arm through a wall, when he was aiming for me). I’ve also been there for her.

Suddenly though, I can’t take it. It feels as though she’s demanding far too much of me, and I don’t know what to do. My mother suggests I should let the relationship between us fade away until she latches on to somebody else, but isn’t that cruel? My mother has a natural aversion to mental illness, I think her dream for me would be for me to become friends with somebody ‘normal’, but when you’re crazy, how do you meet normal people? And why would they put up with me? I make friends with the mentally ill because they’re like me, and because they understand in a way nobody else can.

In the past few weeks, she’s:

  • Turned up on my doorstep with no announcement, and insisted I go shopping with her. No problem there, apart from warning would be nice. I could’ve been having a bad day, after all.
  • Asked me to cut her hair, when I’ve already said no several times before. I gave up hairdressing due to the extreme pain it caused me, and she knows this.
  • Told me (today) that she’s bought a rabbit. Never mind that she’s in debt, she has nowhere to keep it. I used to work for an animal rescue, and to hear that she’s leaving it at her parent’s house, just like the kitten she ‘had’ to have then left for them to deal with, makes me feel uneasy. She hasn’t even neutered that cat, months after buying it (or rather, getting her boyfriend to buy it for her).
  • Asked to borrow money off me, when she has no way of paying it back.
  • Insisted I entertain her because she’s bored, on regular occasions.
  • Phoned me over and over, when she knows I’ve been ill, then waited for me to log into FB, and posting messages on my wall asking where I am.

I don’t know. I’m just ranting. It sounds so trivial written down, but when I’m trying to deal with fibro pain, anxiety, illness and just generally getting through the day, it mounts up into a big upset I can’t deal with. I feel like I can’t do anything without  her. I met S’s auntie and uncle two weeks ago in Manchester, and when I told her I was going, she seriously asked if she could come along. Well no, she said “take me”. It’s not the first time that’s happened, it’s quite regular that she’ll want to tag along. I have no problem with that at all, but sometimes it’s obvious (to me, at least) that certain situations are for me and me only. Meeting my boyfriend’s family is something for me to do. After all, I couldn’t expect his relatives to pay for her meal and drive her around, could I? I just would never ask to be included in that sort of situation, it’s manners.

I know I’m just offloading, and I’ll feel better about this tomorrow, but I do worry. If I let the friendship go because it’s causing me too much stress (which I can ill afford right now), I’m back to having no ‘real’ friends. Just S, and I can’t rely on him entirely, it’s not fair on him. I can’t meet potential friends, really, and keeping friendships is difficult when I can’t be relied on, when any day could mean I’m stuck in bed crying in pain, having to cancel plans and potentially having to stay away from pretty much everything for weeks on end. With the best will in the world, the average person doesn’t want to deal with someone so troubled, someone who can’t be relied on and who can go into deep depressions for no reason. I’m not like other people.

I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be battered down by demands either.

I don’t know what to do.

This always happens to me.

Nine Years

Nine years of sleep-starved nights
And a restless hunger, which I can’t shake
Nine years, which have lead to this weakness
And the filthy habit I can’t break

Nine years of bittersweet clarity
Of my body and mind detached
Of these empty promises I feed myself
Of this itch I cannot scratch

Nine years since I admitted defeat
And found a friend in abuse
A companion in a twisted world
A perfect lie, a perfect excuse

To be this empty person
To exist within a shell
To keep my feelings to myself
To perfect my private hell

Nine years of binging and purging
Of starvation to purity
Of the blade, the lighter, the uncried tears
Of the distorted images of me

And still you don’t see through this
You see the smile but not the pain
Which is thinly hidden behind these eyes
Along with the years of shame

Nine years of guilt surrounds me
As I pull my hair back off my face
Run the tap and kneel on the floor
And fall back into disgrace

Nine years have passed since the first time
Yet I may as well be back there
12 years old, purging my soul
On the floor, exposed, shaking, bare

Nakedness still frightens me
My body is still not my own
The skin on my hands doesn’t belong to me
In my chest, my heart is a stone

The images of myself betray me
The mirrors tell lies through the glass
I feel as though I am still that 12 year old girl
But in reality, nine years have passed.

21, on the bathroom floor
The smell of vomit hangs in the air
Fingers aching and throat sore
And the shame, because this time I care

Nine years ago, on the same floor
Kneeling down as though to pray
Tears in my eyes and acid on my teeth
With no idea what I’d started that day.

Nine years of doctors, of hospitals, of pills
Of weight charts and targets and scales
Nine years of blood pressure and laxatives and aching
All mean nothing now that I’ve failed

Nine years of endless nights
Of silent tears, abuse and heartache
Of bathroom lights and kitchen-spent nights
Of this filthy habit, I just can’t break.

(c)  2006.