off the 11th floor

I don’t even know where to begin with this, I’ve been so painfully numb and emotionally switched-off the past 2 days. I’ve been mentally going over this suicide plan, over and over- I started planning this 2 weeks ago when I was still in the hospital before I was discharged. I’ve been planning and planning and planning, researching on ways to die and wondering about where/how I want to do it and making plans and writing lists. I’ve been writing about how much I’m struggling, how much pain I am in everyday, about how exhausting it is. I’ve also been hovering on the edge of ‘to do it, or not to do it?‘, I’ve been trying my darnedest to help myself and to ask for help. I posted online about how I’ve been struggling, I told my closest friends about how I feel, I told both my doctors I was still suicidal, I told them I was doing badly, I told them I don’t know if I can stay safe. I desperately, desperately wanted to just be warded. I wanted help, I wanted people to see just how much I was struggling and how much pain and agony I’m in and just extend a hand. But nobody did.

People say they’re there for me and that they care and I don’t doubt that at all, cognitively I know I am cared for. But I cannot try to reach out for help and support anymore, not when it’s so exhausting and unrewarding, and at some point I just shut down and I close up completely. I stop talking completely, trust so easily broken. I’ve never ever been able to ask for support properly- I don’t know how to, and my therapist is right because the only way I know how to express something, usually pain, is through my actions. But I have come further than I have in the past, because when I was 14 all I could do was self harm and try to kill myself- at least now I’m trying so desperately to tell people that I’m struggling, even if I cannot convey how I truly feel or how I just really need help and support. And it just hurts because it feels like nobody has been listening, and nobody has been reaching out. I’m stuck in a deep pit, a pit deeper and darker than I have ever been in and scarier and more lonely than anyone can imagine. I am trying to reach out but my outstretched arms can barely be seen. People are standing at the edge offering a casual hand but for the life of me, I cannot reach them. They cannot see me flailing and I cannot reach them and I just needed someone to throw me a rope, a lifeline. I just needed someone to really look down that pit for once and see me. And it’s nobody’s fault because I know the pit is so dark they can hardly see or imagine the depths of it, or know how badly I need them.

I just needed people. I selfishly needed friends to text me and call me and reach out and reassure me when I constantly feel so painfully abandoned, I selfishly needed them to love me and tell me they’re not going to leave when I’m falling apart and feeling too broken to be worthy. I needed them to reach out and ask, because my brain doesn’t allow me too reach out for fear of being a burden and believing that everyone now hates me. I selfishly needed doctors to validate me and acknowledge my struggle and tell me that I am sick and tell me I need help- to ward me or suggest forms of treatment or reassure me, instead of telling me ‘you need to help myself too’ or ‘you can go to the A&E if you really need to’ or ‘try to take it one step at a time’ because my brain doesn’t allow me to acknowledge I am valid unless a medical professional gives me a diagnosis or says so. I needed people to say that they believed me, I needed people to say that ‘I promise your struggle is valid, you are very sick and you need help and you are not making this up‘, I needed people to say ‘I see how hard you are fighting to survive and it is not your fault for struggling and I don’t blame you‘, I needed people to say ‘I won’t get angry at you for being not-okay, and I’m not going to abandon you, I want to help you‘, I needed people to say ‘I know it’s so immensely difficult and painful and I know you didn’t choose this and I know are trying your very best‘, I needed people to say ‘you deserve help, you are not-okay and it’s okay to break down and let go, you deserve to be helped and to you deserve to help yourself. let us support you‘. I needed people to ask, I needed people to see me. I really just needed people to see me and see my pain. 

I know I desperately wanted help because I cannot fight anymore, that 0.5% of me cannot hold the other 99.5% of me that wants to die back forever. I also told my therapist 2 days ago about how I’m really thinking through the suicide this time round, and how I’m giving myself time to think, how I’m still weighing the pros and cons, asking myself if I really want to die. Because this time, there is no going back. This time, there is no overdose, no hospitals, no chance of saving me or turning back after I choose to step off. This time, it will be the final time. So I really, really, really had to think through it carefully. Yesterday, I finally decided that I’m going to kill myself. I decided on it during a session with Dr Cecilia, and like it has always been, my parents were the trigger- they were the final straw and they strengthened my resolve to do it.

It’s nothing new, honestly, it’s like this every single time. They were talking about all the ‘issues’ that they notice, my mum brought up stupid things like me not going out for dinner or not wanting to talk to her, and my dad got pissed off and said therapy was useless because he felt like nobody was being honest, so he said he was going to be frank. He said that he feels awful, he’s scared to talk to me or say anything because even the smallest words or most innocent and everyday phrases can ‘trigger’ me, he said he’s walking on eggshells and doesn’t know what to say or do. He insinuated that it’s my fault for acting this way, and they said that they’re being really supportive and doing everything they can to help but I’m the one shutting them out. I’m the one being rude and getting angry over small things and I’m the one pushing them away and putting this huge barrier between us. And he said things aren’t going to get better because I’m putting up this barrier, and things aren’t going to get better because we can’t even talk, because I don’t want to. It’s my fault. And then the guilt trip starts again, he said ‘If this is about the past then yes, I’ve already admitted that in the past I wasn’t good at parenting, we didn’t have any parenting tools (books, parenting courses/advice, psychology) to help us so we didn’t know that what we did was wrong. after I realized it a few years ago, I already felt very apologetic and I didn’t mean it anyway, and vowed never to do it again. I already changed and I am not like that anymore, I am not perfect but I’m trying hard. Nothing like this ever happened with my two other kids. I tried to make it up to Ericia, I sent her to school in the morning for 4 years because that is all I could do. What more does she want me to do? If she really wants us to stay away from her then fine, I can do that, it’s easy. But we want to help her and we are already doing everything, we pay for her things, we fetch her to the train station in the morning, we give her what she wants.’  They’re saying that family therapy isn’t going to help because I’m not going to talk and I’m the one who’s putting up this barrier and choosing to do all of this.

And the same thoughts run through my head like always: it’s my fault and i’m choosing to do this and it’s my fault for struggling and feeling this way. it’s my fault for pushing them away and it’s my fault because i’m the one who’s pushing them away and i’m the one who’s refusing to communicate and i’m the one who’s rude and obnoxious and angry 24/7. it’s true, it is my fault. it is my fault and i am the problem. they’re already doing so much, it’s my fault for being a burden and being ungrateful and being a brat. i brought up inpatient to my mum casually a few days ago, saying how ‘the next time i’m warded….’ and she was like, ‘don’t you even dare’. they don’t want me to be warded. they just want me to be fine. they want me to be happy and to be close to them. it’s all my fault because i’m the burden in this family. in the session last week, they brought up how they have to give me more attention compared to my sisters and how my sisters said it was unfair. you see, the problem isn’t something that can be solved, i am the problem and i have always been the problem, in all the soon-to-be 19 years, i am the problem. i am the one who caused all the problems in this family. i’m not even sick and it’s all my fault for making a mountain out of a molehill. and that’s how they’ve always treated me all my life, like i’m a ticking time bomb because i’m crazy and my emotions are out of control and it’s my fault and all my emotions are wrong and everything i feel or say or do is an exaggeration and overreaction.

I felt it all coming up to the surface during the session, and I swallowed it. I couldn’t let myself break, my brain had to protect itself and the only thing that can numb this amount of pain is death. So that’s when I decided I was going to die, that’s when I knew for sure. Even being in the same room as them reinforces and magnifies every single negative thought screaming in my head. In order to avoid the pain, my brain went on lockdown-mode and completely shut everything out and then I felt so much better. I felt so much calmer, I felt like I was in control. I walked down with my parents back to the carpark and I was laughing to myself. I wasn’t hurting, and I knew it wasn’t real but my god, did it feel good to not be hurting. Even as a kid, every time my parents are triggering my escape is self harm or suicide or planning ways to starve and hurt myself or rebel and engage in risky behavior because that’s the only way I am in control. Recently over the past few months, my brain has adopted the coping skill of vividly imagining my own death/burial every time my parents are being.. my parents, because that is my only way of coping and my own way of escape. So I decided to die, and that was a beautiful escape for me.

I sat on the car ride back talking to my best friend, I was honest with her. I told her I was going to die and there was nothing she could do. I told her why. She was devastated, but I was so calm and detached and sure of myself. My brain wouldn’t budge at all, I felt completely dissociated in a way, because the logical 0.05% part of me had no control over my brain at all. It really felt like my brain was just protecting itself, because if I felt the pain it would absolutely break me and rip me apart and leave me in pieces, my brain was protecting itself because it knows better than to break down or show emotion in front of my parents, that’s a death wish right there. My brain shut down because the sheer amount of pain is unimaginable. I told her how I know logically I don’t actually want to die, but there is no way out either. I told her how hard I’ve been fighting and asking for help and I told her this was out of my control now. I told her I cannot promise anything, or that I can stay alive. I scared her with all the details of my funeral, I told her how I wanted it to be fun. I told her that I didn’t matter, I told her she would be okay and people would be okay. I told her not to worry, I told her I was so sorry for putting her through all of this. In the moments of vulnerability I did manage, I told her how I am not choosing any of this. I think I wanted to hear that it wasn’t my fault for struggling and that she understood how hard I was trying. I told her how desperately I wanted help and how I’m not choosing to go through this either and I’m not choosing to want to die and I’m not choosing to purposely torture everyone around me. It hurts me to hurt them and I would much rather just be normal. I told her how I didn’t want to do this but life just really really really hurts too much. I told her I tried so hard to survive.

She understood, I know she did. She tried to convince me that there are other ways, that this wasn’t a solution, that I’ve survived this for so long and I can continue to do so, but none of it was going in. The only things she said that really stood out to me, was how she said that nobody will ever understand my pain. That getting validation is important, but I need to understand that nobody, not even her (and she knows everything), will truly understand the magnitude of what I have been through. She said she knows that the suicide attempt could barely convey 10% of the pain I was going through. She said that I absolutely suck at conveying to the doctors how much I really struggle. She said that she would be here with me and that she wouldn’t leave me and I trust that. I think it was only after the overdose and breakdowns on the 5th Feb, when I was 100% vulnerable and she saw me at my most raw and broken state and still stayed, that was the first time when I truly trusted that she wouldn’t leave. She said that she knows I’m trying and it’s not my fault and she said it’s okay to be honest with her and it’s okay to not be okay. She said that I needed the ward. And I trust her.

I told her how she could be everything and still wouldn’t be enough, and how I’m so sorry for that. She helps me so so much, but she isn’t enough to save me and her love isn’t enough to fill that hole inside. Nobody can save me. She understood that too. I cannot wrap my head around the idea that I would have any importance at all. I thought about this all night. I felt like I could just leave, just fade away and fall like the autumn leaves, quietly leaving. I mean, logically, maybe people would be sad for a while because dead people are never fun, but I don’t see how they would truly be affected. I have faith in my best friend and faith in my sisters, that they will be okay after my death, they will pick themselves up and get over it. But I really, really don’t matter. I really don’t. Everybody else has important people in their lives. I don’t matter and I stand by that. The only thing that managed to change my opinion was late at night when I was still suicidal and I asked her to write me a eulogy. I’ve been trying to plan it out, to picture my death and my funeral and what it’s all going to be like. I really really wanted to know what my best friend would say. And what she wrote was heartbreaking, and it touched me, it really really did. I gave me hope that maybe I matter- though my brain did shut it out quickly enough after that.

Night-time came and the exhaustion and pain set in, and the exhilaration and excitement of planning my own death and the things I wanted to do in the week leading up to my death wore off. The same exhaustion set in, and I realised I couldn’t wait a week. I realised I didn’t want to do any of those things, I was in so much pain I wanted to die. It was excruciating. I was so angry at myself, angry at myself for promising my best friend I would be safe this week and angry at myself for promising my therapist I wouldn’t die in between sessions. I can’t forget her face when she looked me in the eye and said she would be heartbroken if she found out that I had died. I just can’t do that to her. I was angry at myself and I was angry at the both of them, angry that I couldn’t die because I was so desperate to end it. I was angry that they both found my weakness- promises, especially to the ones I love. I never break promises. I just wanted to die and it hurt. It just hurt and hurt and hurt. The good part, was that I finally decided on where I was going to jump- my childhood home, block 123. It made sense because that was the only place I ever had happy memories in. I didn’t want to jump from my grandparents’ flat because I didn’t want to taint that place. But I still wanted to be near them, so my childhood home was a perfect choice and I was really happy I finally decided on that.

I texted a few of my friends to reply to their messages as well, I had left a group chat with my friends and they were worried. At that point I really really didn’t want to talk anymore, my brain had already shut-off and given up on trying to be open. I left instagram and I left the group chat… I thought I would leave inconspicuously actually, I thought nobody would notice. I wanted to leave for so many reasons as well- to protect them from me and my bullshit, so that I wouldn’t hurt them, I wanted to stop burdening them. I left because I know I didn’t matter, I left because I know they would be much better off without me. I left because I kept getting intrusive memories of all my friends in high school who left me after they saw how broken I was. I left because I know I am too broken to be loved or be a worthy friend. I left because I know I couldn’t be selfish anymore. And like I said, I didn’t matter. I wanted to slowly fade away. But I ended up telling one of them the truth anyway, I have such a soft spot for her, much like my best friend and therapist. They mean the world to me. I wanted to push her away too, I wanted to push the entire world away, but I don’t think I can really ever push her away because the truth is I care so much, so so so much. Actually, I care so much about all of them. They are some of the closest and most important friends, and I just didn’t want to hurt them again. And perhaps, I didn’t want to be hurt either. I was scared and so alone and tired.

Today (21st feb) wasn’t much better and I was just as suicidal, though still surprisingly calm and detached. I haven’t shed a single tear so far, I’ve been feeling okay apart from the strong drive to want to kill myself. I did however, spend a lot of time with my grandparents, and that was so painful. I was avoiding them because I knew I couldn’t face them. I saw them today and I realized what I would be doing to them if I died. I realized, I have faith in everyone else, that they will be okay after I die, but I don’t know if my grandparents will be. My heart broke into a million pieces. I want so badly, for them to forget about my existence, to somehow wipe their memories. I still want to die. I can’t bear the thought of hurting them like this but I still want to die. I think a part of me is slowly realizing that I cannot die, because of my family and friends. As much as I want to, I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I called for help today, I called to make an appointment to see my therapist tomorrow. I said I’m giving it one last shot, I’m giving help one last shot. I said I will try, though I don’t want to, I will listen to my friends for once. I talked to maranda in the afternoon (we met up and went to a dog cafe) and I talked to eunice a little bit more today and I’ve just missed her so much, and of course I talked to my best friend a lot. And they all want me to get help. I want to try for the sake of my best friend and for the sake of getting better with eunice and for the sake of not giving up on maranda. But I am so tired.

It’s 5.10am and I still want to die. Honestly, I didn’t even see the point in writing any of this. I did go to the place where I was planning to die. I went there today, I took the lift up and I stood there for a bit, looking down. I took mental notes (bring a chair/something to help you step up because there isn’t a proper ledge) and tried to figure out where exactly I wanted to do it. I imagined myself jumping and falling. I was worried because the 11th floor is the highest but I’m scared it’s not high enough, it didn’t feel very high at all. I looked at the spot where my body would fall. I made more mental notes, to fall in between the two trees so that I will land on the concrete. I pictured my body sliding off the roof awning onto the ground with a thud. I went downstairs and tried to picture a dead body. The truth is, I can see myself jumping, but I cannot picture anything after that. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like after I died. And more truths: all of this really terrifies me, it terrifies me how I’m driven to this extent, it terrifies me how much I pain I am in that I truly want to die, it terrifies me how my brain is bent on doing this and how I cannot keep up the fight. Having to live sounds excruciating. Dying is easier but a part of me knows I cannot die, that this somehow isn’t right, that I can’t do this to people.

But I don’t know what to do anymore, I truly don’t. I don’t even want to see my therapist tomorrow. I’m exhausted and in pain, so much pain. I’m so lost.


how would you feel if i died?

i’ve been round this block so many times, it’s hard to fight it anymore. i don’t want to live. i don’t know for sure if i truly want to die, but i know i don’t want to live and i know don’t want to survive this. i don’t see a way out. nobody truly cares.

and you might call bullshit on that, you might argue and give me a list of people who care. but in these moments, i don’t see it, i can’t see it. in these moments, there is nobody there. call it selfish, but it truly feels like nobody cares enough. and maybe it’s true, nobody will ever care enough to make me feel like maybe i am worth something. sometimes it feels like i am screaming for help and nobody cares enough to answer. today my psychologist told me how my screams for help are perceived as barely muffled whispers in desperation for validation and rescue, how my own constant invalidation of my problems and emotions translate into cries for help that hardly seem like cries at all.

i see it on a cognitive level, she’s probably right. but i am also screaming my lungs out when i barely have the capacity to yell in the first place. i am screaming my lungs out and desperately trying to stay afloat and even if all my cries are drowned, this is all i can do. i am screaming and nobody hears me and more i scream the more exhausted i get. the more i am left alone and unheard and abandoned, the more i want to die and the harder it is to scream at all. it is excruciating. imagine having to not just fight to stay afloat, but having to scream for help every day when your biggest fear is the act of screaming in itself. imagine the constant fear and panic, imagine the pain, every time you scream and nobody reaches out, you are submerged deeper and deeper.

my psychologist says the desperation in which i search for a lifeboat of validation and help is counter-productive. that no amount of lifeboats will ever teach me how to swim or how to actually come up for air to properly ask for help. she’s right. it will never be enough and i cannot rely on lifeboats forever. but what else can i do when i am drowning so quickly? what else can i do when my very own survival instincts turn against me, when survival has always meant swimming on your own but now all of a sudden survival is anything but swimming on your own. when all of a sudden swimming on your own is merely an illusion because you cannot do it on your own forever. and yet your brain is too scared to properly hold onto lifeboats but too anxious to stop screaming for help and too full of self-hatred to stop cutting the ropes of the boats. when lifeboats are not safe anymore and the water is not safe and lifeboats cannot hold you forever.

i cannot get to shore.

i cannot get to shore on my own but nobody is here.

how would people feel if i died?

i said in therapy today, i would inconvenience people because nobody likes to deal with dead girls. but i do not matter and everyone else’s life will go on. i truly believe i do not matter and i have no worth. i truly believe nobody would really care if i died. maybe once upon a time, they would, but look at me now. nobody wants to deal with a broken girl. nobody knows how to fix rag dolls have have been torn apart, stitch by stitch, nobody wants to see the ugliness inside. look at me now. now they all know the truth, now they all know the selfishness and brokenness and pain and unworthiness that lies beneath a cheerful, people-pleasing demeanor. nobody stays. i should have remembered, nobody stays. eventually they find out about the broken parts you hide, and eventually they leave. everyone has left.

i don’t think it would matter if i died. maybe a few people would be sad, but it’s nothing that can’t get over quickly. i don’t matter. my best friend still has her other friends, my family has each other, my friends in school all have people in their lives. they will be okay. my psychologist said today, she would be devastated if she found out i took my own life in between sessions. she said it would be the loss of someone with so much to offer the world. she said that this doesn’t last forever, that she’s worked with many suicidal people and nobody truly wants to die, they just want an out. she said that my family isn’t going to be a huge part of my life forever, that these are issues we can work out, but we can’t do anything if i’m dead. i want to believe her. but i don’t know how, and i don’t know if that is enough.

i want to believe her and i want to believe my best friend and i want to believe the people who have sent me messages telling me to keep going. i want to believe the people on the internet that say things change and the people who say they don’t want to die, nobody wants to die, how you realise it only when you’re actually dying. i want to believe the people who say that the real you is the version of you that is happiest. i want to believe there is an out. i want to believe there is recovery and there is respite somewhere. but my head is also constantly pounding, volume turned all the way up, the same old unworthy/unloved/inadequate/invalid/alone/abandoned/hopeless/nobody cares/burden. 

the same old pain that takes over your entire being, the same old pain that has left you begging for death over and over and over again. anything but this pain.

i am fighting to be alive even when i am desperate to die. i am fighting the hardest as i lay in bed paralyzed by the emotional pain that has turned into physical pain. i am fighting the hardest as i tell someone that i’m struggling, or as i send out desperate sos signals that say ‘i am not okay’ thinking that someone might see those messages and actually ask (and yes, that is the best i can do to ask for help). i am fighting the hardest as i wake up in the morning realising i am still alive and having to stomach the nauseating thought of having to live another day. i am fighting the hardest as this heart continues to beat and lungs continue to expand and neurons continue to fire despite my desperate attempts to cease this system.

somehow i am still fighting. i told my psychologist- I will try but i don’t know how much longer i can hold on. i cannot promise i will not go through with my plans. i can be safe today, and i can be safe tomorrow and maybe the day after. but i cannot see a future and i cannot see a light and the life-rafts around me either look like monsters or disintegrate upon touch. i don’t see how i’m supposed to help myself, or learn to swim. and yet, deep down i know that if i don’t die, i have to learn to swim eventually, that i cannot live like this. and yet, deep deep down i know there is some stupid part of me that will always fight to live because it’s so innately human.

and it hurts. it all just hurts.

i am tired. i want to say ‘help me’ but what is the point anymore? i am helpless. i deserve to be alone. i deserve to be abandoned. if anything, today and the past week has confirmed the fact that nobody is helping me. i’m alone. and i still want to die. i don’t think anyone would mind.

You are not who you once were

I know your heart’s beating out your chest again,

bone-china skeleton threatening to crack

tired lungs struggling to expand as they should.

I know you might always feel so


and scared

alone in the endless labyrinth of life

ghosts of your past waiting around every corner.

I know rain clouds gather beneath those heavy eyelids,

thunderstorms brew within the quintessence of the soul,

old wounds torn apart by saltwater, never really healing.

It know how much it all hurts

But darling,

remember you are not who you once were

you were thrown into the deep end,

and found a way to gasp for air.

disintegrated in the heat of the flames,

pulled yourself together

and walked through the fire

warrior in your very own might,

warrior in every right.

you have survived

over and over and over again.

claws for hands that will always hold onto the edge,

stubborn fragments of light that the darkest night cannot dissipate,

spirit & bravery etched into the heart of your being.

So every time the same saltwater storms threaten to pull you under,


you are a patchwork quilt of brash emotions and endless empathy

ray of sunshine that’s found it’s way to illuminate the prison walls

you are growing your own garden with seeds of compassion

born with the gift of unconditional love,

reborn through the ashes of the the flames.

it’s okay that you feel

sad and unloved,

same nightmares return to haunt your dreams

it’s okay that sometimes you can’t see the light,

and it’s okay to be terrified.

just remember,

you have walked through the storms

with an endless reservoir of courage

crystallising an understanding of the human condition

beauty through the cracks of brokenness and vulnerability.

you are not alone anymore,

and being scared simply means you get to do something really brave,

so don’t stay within the walls of the cages you were put into.

you are not who you once were,

be brave.


writing this at 5am in the hospital bed, waking up to tears and fears threatening to resurface as another flashback looms in the distance and bad memories leave an earthquake or a sour taste in my mouth and quiet pain in me. I am tired, I am always tired, I have been sad and scared and alone and tired all my life. catalog of painful moments that bleed into days and years. little girl abandoned and left behind and unloved and unworthy of anything at all. find solace from the relentless aching and backlog of years of unresolved pain.

how can there be so much shame in who you innately are and what you innately need? who drove this little girl to self destruction and taught her to hate herself? who taught her to deprive herself of food and nourishment and love, who taught her to shrink herself and starve her feelings?

I am trying so hard to keep going. So as I write this at 5am in the hospital bed, I remind myself I am not the same girl who was scared of her Mother at 5, or the girl who was terrified of her Father at 9, or the girl who was made fun of at 10, or the girl who wanted to kill herself at 11 because they wouldn’t stop screaming, or the girl who was left to hide alone in the toilet at 13, or the girl who tried to kill herself at 14 and 15, or even the girl who was adamant against recovery at 17.

I am not the same girl huddled up alone terrified of her parents, or the same girl carrying the weight of everything alone, or the same girl struggling to find a place in this world, or the same girl who tried to tear herself apart and was driven to sadness and self destruction for all these years.

The same pain and fears and thoughts threaten to drown me and take me back. But I am not who I once was. If we can survive pain, surely we can survive growth? If we can live with an unbearable self hatred for all those years, surely we can learn to love ourselves? If we can turn into warriors, surely we can find a way out of this?

-For little Ericia, and little Eunice


The irony of your safe haven

is found in the walls that keep away the very people and things you need

towers that shut the pain out while it festers into poison within

iron bars that numb the feelings away, it’s intensity burning you into disintegration when it resurfaces

Each brick sealed in concrete

safe haven turned into prison,

and prison turned into home.

You make do,

build a home with all that you have

walls to keep the pain away

anything for an escape

And now they say,

Restricting food is restricting life

Numbing pain is numbing joy

Somehow the war outside has turned into a war within

doors sealed shut as they try to break in,

clouds of whispering voices that blur your vision and mar your judgements,

each window slams right before you reach out

you’re exhausted but running is all you know, so you keep running

you can no longer stop, the wheel out of your control

prison bars presenting an illusion of safety and comfort, a facade of truths

The outside world is not safe, my dear, but neither is your safe haven.


Try as they might, they can never break these four walls, so please stop trying to tear me down. The key will always remain within, patiently waiting for the clock to strike. The time will be right, so let me let you in. Let me open this door and let me stay here for a while. Let me be.

Perhaps this is the pain of tearing apart everything you’ve ever known, the pain of being in the rubble of your destruction. I’ve told people- sometimes you need to break. Sometimes you need to let everything fall apart so you can rebuild. Sometimes you need to give up everything that’s kept you safe because it hurts you. Because walls build upon towers of false truths and false security and imposed aloneness. Numbers and weights and bodies and loneliness is easier than pain and feelings. Self-destruction so all the other pain hurts less. What are we running from? Perhaps we all have to face these demons at some point. Let them tear you apart. Let it hurt. Let the walls stay down and put your trust into the hands of those who care. Let it hurt. Comb through the rubble, walk through it one step at a time. Retreat into prison because it still feels like home. That’s okay. Stay for a bit. It’s been home for years, it’s a safe haven, a place away from the fears- honour that. Stay for a bit, but not for long. The irony of your safe haven is how it’s turned on you, keeping away everything that saves you and leaving self-destruction and brand new monsters. The war is inside now. It’s going to hurt. Let it hurt.

I’ve cried though the night but the sun is rising and I see the orange and purple skies outside the bars of these windows. Maybe we can rebuild.


As the floods tear apart the dam

I cling onto my best friend and cry

Curl into a ball and rock from side to side

Stare into doctors and therapists’ eyes and tell them I am so very very sad

Whimpering and kicking in my sleep as my roommates watch another nightmare unfold

Hum myself a lullaby to feel safe enough to close my eyes and sleep a bit

Too much pain to carry

The walls have been reduced to a pile of rubble

everything I’ve built, defeated

They try to break this down

Incinerate the rubble

But walls are constructed for a reason

An almost-19 years in the making

Every brick of pain keeps them up

Everyone that left

Mom. And Dad.

They look in and see these 4 walls- prison, they say

Look closer and you’ll see safety that comes with home and a numbness from all the pain in the world

Too much pain to carry

And nobody to trust

The heart keeps score, every scar a different story

And some wounds never heal

How many times do they want to tear me apart?

They don’t get

The pain of being left alone

The pain of being scared alone

The pain of never ever trusting anyone

The pain of carrying the weight of the world alone

And the worst is the searing sharp pain that comes with human connection

The ripple through the heart as it tugs you away and reminds you of old wounds

Pain that’s fuelled years of starving and binging and purging and cutting and running away

Running and running and running

They say the war is over

But the soldier never forgets

Every brick they tear apart, another shot to the heart

So please don’t make me talk

About feelings and memories

And anything at all

Please don’t let me trust

The floodgates have broken

This brain scampers to rebuild its defences

Close yourself off

Stop eating

Shut everyone out

Tear yourself apart so no one else can

Opening up is getting hurt

Trusting is being played a fool

And the heart never forgets old wounds

I hear her inside, the little girl crying to not be left alone again, the little girl crying because nothing in this world has ever felt safe. Because protectors turned into monsters and guardians turned their backs. Please stay with her.

I am so worn. worn from years of war and years of running and running and running as fast as I can. Alone.

somehow the war around me turned into the war inside me.

I am so worn. They tell me to stop running- you’re safe now. I’ll tell you a secret: all my life, I’ve longed for a safe place, stayed within these walls and longed for someone to trust. But the battle is within me and I am so worn. Trusting is painful and talking is painful and eating is painful. Just eat, they say. Just talk. They don’t see how it tears apart years and years of natural protective systems. They don’t see how my safe haven is all I have. How do you go against something your brain has literally constructed to save your life when the pain was too much to handle? I need to be alone. I don’t want to be alone.

This little girl is so scared. And I am so worn. Help.

Wandering in the Dark

It’s Friday, my 5th day in the hospital, and it simultaneously feels like both forever ago and just yesterday. Time has a funny way of working when you’re in the hospital, everything melds into each other and the days seem to pass in a flash. The pain changes everything. I haven’t been writing because my words have been choppy and incoherent, much like the way my mind has been. All that is visible is pain and numbness, and everything’s been such a blur, memories clouded by the foggy mist of sadness.

There are times where I write more coherently, recounting what has happened, and times where all I can do is say the same thing over and over, mentally going back into the emotional child-state. The brain has a funny way of protecting itself, dissociating one half from the other. Ever since the dam broke on Monday, I’ve been going in and out of that child state. Every time I’m vulnerable, physically tired or emotional, I slowly slip right back into it. Otherwise, everything is normal- everything is repressed and I am in control and feelings are blocked out in the back of my mind. I oscillate between the two states and I’m slowly getting used to it, though it still scares me how different I am in those states and how that is out of my control. I speak differently, write differently, think differently, act differently in both states. It seems like my ‘normal self’ has lost all ability to cope with emotions or vulnerability or needs, so my inner child takes over whenever that happens. Honestly, it’s confusing because my rational mind is totally okay and yet my child/emotional mind is in so much confusion and pain. It seems like it’s impossible for me to reconcile those parts of me because emotional suppression is so deeply ingrained, as well as acting as a self-defence measure, so my brain has to resort to turning me into a different person just so I can express my needs. I don’t quite know how to cope.

I can try to write but nothing beautiful is coming out. No nice words or eloquent poems- just exhaustion and pain. There are only so many words in the dictionary that can tell you about pain and none of them seem to ever describe and fully encompass how much this truly hurts. How much everything hurts. How it’s so difficult to have had to deal with these memories and flashbacks, to have had to deal with eating and not eating and my brain wanting to kill itself, to have had to deal with self-destruction and a vicious self-hatred, to have had to deal with pain and shame and inadequacy and fear. To deal with not just all the bad memories and icky feelings of the past, but the current state of mind where my brain operates on self-loathing and destruction and a constant ‘not sick enough’ and ‘not deserving’ and ‘you should die’ and how it shuts itself down, and deal with the struggle of having to try to eat and try to live and maybe recover and talking about things and just.. trying. It is all so much. And I know nobody who is ever in a psychiatric ward will ever have it easy, any mental illness is hell- but I genuinely feel like I have so much more on my plate than the girl next to me in bed 4 who’s dealing with depression and trauma or the girl opposite me in bed 3 who’s dealing with anorexia or the girl in bed 1 who’s dealing with bulimia. Having to deal with all of this at once, and having all of my issues so interconnected and dependent on one another makes it so difficult. And yet I don’t think I’m sick. If it’s anything I realised during this admission, it’s that I really, really don’t feel like I’m sick. So to claim that I’m having a hard time, it makes me feel like I’m overreacting. To ask to talk to the doctor makes me feel like I’m overreacting. To try to recover makes me feel like I’m overreacting. To need reassurance- that is the worst. But I do, I need constant reassurance and comfort. I need it so badly to survive this. Otherwise I have no reason to fight.

I am still exhausted. I look back at the past three weeks and all I see is pain. My social workers asked me if I still want to die. Yes, I still want to die. They asked again- if the painful memories didn’t exist, would you still want to die? And the answer is no. I told them, even if I had to continue dealing with my depression and ED, if the trauma symptoms never resurfaced, I would be okay. I would cope. I’ve been coping over the past 2.5 years and steadily getting better, very very very slowly. But I’ve been knocked over, and all my plans evaporated along with it. I no longer know what recovery from ED might look like, no longer want recovery, no longer try to do things like mindfulness and self-compassion. It’s hard, because the ED is so all-consuming in my everyday life but whenever I’m in the hospital or at a session, we never talk about it. I don’t know if it’s even an issue- it’s been so painful, the fact that nobody thinks I’m sick. The fact that everyone around me has been validating my worst fears, confirming with the voice inside that tells me I’m not sick. I believe that. Everyone thinks I’m not sick- my psychiatrists, my social workers, the nurses and patients in the ward, my friends and family. Even my psychologist who knows a lot about what I go through- she calls it ‘disordered eating’. I’m struggling because I am not sick but I will also never get better or feel better if I don’t deal with the ED since my entire life revolves around it. And yet, I’m not being helped. I just talked to the ward doctor about it after worrying the entire night and not wanting to open up. I finally decided to do it and then she said ‘well there are no plans to put you on protocol, let’s just take it one thing at a time. your blood test came back and everything is fine’. Perhaps I should just stop worrying about it, perhaps I’m really just not sick.

I still question why I am trying so hard to eat and get better when I don’t even want to. I suppose, because I know it’s the right thing to do? Because a part of me wants to get better? Also for the sake of Eunice and fighting together. But honestly, I don’t think I can do it without help. I don’t think I can not-restrict if I’m discharged. I don’t know what to do because I feel so uncertain, how do I fight for something I don’t even want, how do I fight for recovery from a problem that myself and everyone around me doesn’t believe exists? The thing is, I’ve been in many many states of partial recovery when it comes to ED in the past, this sort of ‘well I’m kinda trying but not really‘, especially post-discharge. I eat a few normal meals, try to celebrate ‘recovery wins’ but mentally everything is still awful and I don’t truly want to recover and I never work on it mentally or get help and I still think I’m fat so I go back to full blown restricting very quickly. I’ve cycled through that a few times and I don’t want that to happen this time. I either want to be working towards recovery or not at all. I’m sick of that halfway place. I think writing this, I realise I’ve been working towards recovery for a while now, with the exception of the past few weeks, I’ve been working towards recovery slowly. I remember, I once wrote that recovery and healing isn’t perfect, it’s a really really long journey and sometimes I stop but what matters is where I’m looking. Regardless of what I’m doing or thinking, if I’m still looking up, I’m still in the process of recovery.

I don’t know if I’m looking up right now though. I haven’t been seeing any light and I feel really lost. I feel really invalidated. I feel like I have too many problems to deal with and none at all, at the same time. But I do know, in my heart, certain things:

– There is a tiny tiny tiny part deep inside of me that will always want to get better from the ED, even if I don’t see it.

– I trust my friends, especially Eunice. I can trust her and that she wants the best for me.

– I need help. I will never be able to do this on own without support. I remember I wrote this once a few years ago “if I’m really sick, then I’m screwed because this ed voice in my head is relentless and will never allow me to be better” and it still rings very true. Right now, I can try to eat but once I get out of IP the ED will be back in full force and nobody is bothering.

– I don’t know how to, or even want to let go of the ED. I need it to cope and there are more pros than cons right now. So recovery will be really hard.

– I can’t be pushed to do things I don’t want to, I need to do things at my pace and I also need to build a solid foundation of emotional, cognitive and behavioural change. I need to change these core beliefs if I want to get better and I need to learn how to be kind with myself and I need to learn how to accept myself. I need to learn how to deal with emotions and how to express needs. I can’t just ‘try to get better for the sake of it’. I need to find it in me to make the change from the inside out.

– I need to start allowing myself to have needs, for God’s sake. (I feel undeserving) I need all the support from everyone around me and whenever I chose to do the whole ED-meal-plan-recovery thing, I need people to be firm (but not mean) and tell me that I need to eat. I need people to tell me that I need to eat and tell me to get help because my brain doesn’t let me do it otherwise. I need people to reassure me that I am sick, that I am not overreacting. I need people to reassure me that I am not undeserving of life and needs and emotions. I need people to accept my emotions as they are without trying to change them. I need people to acknowledge my struggles and acknowledge that I am fighting so so so hard, that I am struggling despite the ‘I’m okay’ front I constantly instinctively put up. I need reassurance that it’s okay to struggle and that no matter how much I mess up and struggle, I am not a disappointment. I need reassurance that I’m doing the right thing.

-I don’t know if this will be my last admission, or the admission that will make everything better. The trauma symptoms might have been the most pressing issue as of late, but the ED is the hardest to deal with or get rid of. And I’m starting to think it might take a long admission to work this out, or being monitored and put on ED treatment. I have a feeling things won’t be peachy when I discharge. But I also have a feeling that things are going to be okay in the end. working with Eunice on this together, this admission marks the start of our path to recovery, even if it’s going to be a long and bumpy one. And I know we can’t give up- and I know we are both warriors because we’ve survived so much. Surely we can survive recovery too.

Safe and Sound

There’s something about the calm before the storm

the way it feels before

you know everything is going to end

and the world before your eyes

will cease to be.


I remember tears streaming down your face,

when I said I’d never let you go

When all those shadows almost killed your light

I remember you said,

don’t leave me here alone

But all that’s dead and gone and passed, tonight

It’s quiet here.

This endless silence as I stand here alone in the midnight fields

wind in my hair

round orb of a full moon glowing faintly

crickets chirping softly as the mist thickens

It’s beautiful.

so peaceful,

I want to stay forever

A place where

Pain has no home

Where wildflowers grow through the cracks of the broken stones

children are never lost

And fairy dust is found in the quiet crevices instead of dusty bones

Where I sit on the dewy grass weaving dreams into the threads of a flower crown as the pixies gather up the shards of glass

There is solace is the gentle midnight air

Soft moonlit glow

As I look up into the vast canvas of twinkling stars

I am home

Where waves tickle the spaces between your toes

Instead of threatening to pull you under

And constellations marry to form adventure maps that take you home.

only the bravest dare enter

and This little girl

Is home

She curls up underneath a large willow tree

Bed of moss

strewn spiderwebs

wilted petals

Draw the stars a little closer to her heart

Little fingers clutching the magic spells

Say the words to make them disappear.

Here, there is no room for big bad people or the big scary world or things that leave her scared and alone

Here, fairies are always out to play and the stardust, an arm’s reach away

The last tear escapes,

sliding past a tear stained cheek

Falling onto a fresh willow leaf as it melts away

This little girl is weary

Much too weary from a battlefield she could never navigate

Much too weary from the weight of the world she could never carry

Her white dress weathered from the waves that have drowned her over and over

Tentacles of the creatures of the ocean threatening to keep her under

Holding tight in her arms the stolen treasure map to a childhood she never had

pirates relentlessly chasing the broken pieces of the sapphire heart she has left

Blistered feet worn and bleeding from the miles she’s had to run through the darkness of the woods

Ghosts of the past always close behind

So she curls up underneath the large willow tree

It’s so peaceful here

A place where pain has no home

Fairies stitching together a safety blanket made of dreams and wishes on a star and the magic of believing

The shadow monsters can’t get her here

Not anymore

Her tired little eyelids flutter as she struggles to succumb to slumber

Willow leaves spiralled around her

The gentle breeze whispers a quiet lullaby

She is weary

Let her sleep.

Just close your eyes,

the sun is going down

You’ll be alright,

no one can hurt you now

Come morning light,

You and I’ll be

safe and sound

Remember me

And if I die young, here’s what I want you to remember about me.

Remember my smile. I love people’s smiles, a genuine smile is my favourite thing to photograph, capturing a moment of raw happiness. My favourite smiles are of those around me- especially my family. I loved to laugh, I loved sarcastic humour, I loved bad puns. I could be really sassy if I wanted to.

Remember all the things I loved- and I loved a lot of things. I loved art, and dance, and painting and drawing and scrapbooking. I loved disney movies and dancing to oldies and time with the people I love. I loved sunsets and midnight walks and the early morning air. I loved life vicariously, I loved every little thing and I loved to remember those little things. Heck, remember that I hated tomatoes.

Remember there was nothing more I wanted to do than to help others and to spread joy. I wanted to make an impact on people, to help people when they feel alone, to help people when they’ve been through as much pain as I did. I wanted to bring light to those around me. My latest idea was to create motivational cards and stickers to cheer others up. I wanted to leave them at clinics and Hospitals, I wanted to do lots of volunteer work, I wanted to send happy messages to those who felt alone. I was the kind of person to give the neighbour cookies and smile at the auntie cleaning the floor and leave my nurses Christmas cards.

Remember I had dreams, so many dreams. I had realistic dreams of being a doctor to help others, and unrealistic dreams of becoming a Disney princess. I had dreams of changing the way we talk about mental health and dreams of running away and living in a French countryside alone. I had crazy dreams of being an an actor and doctor and activist and traveler and artist all at the same time. I had dreams of climbing mountains. Actual, physical mountains. I had dreams of meeting a tall, dark, handsome stranger in a cafe or a bookstore and falling in love at first sight. I had dreams of changing the world- or changing someone’s world.

Remember how much I loved life. I really did, remember I was never someone who would live half-heartedly. I was never capable of a mundane life, I was never capable of being like everyone else or staying in the same place forever. I loved life and I wanted to do everything, to go everywhere, I loved people and places. I loved travelling and exploring more than anything. I loved adventures and venturing into the unknown. I would have jumped off a plane skydiving or a cliff bungee jumping, just because. Live a little. Laugh a little.

Remember I was sensitive, I felt everything extremely- pain and love and joy. I felt it all, breathed in the soul of the earth around me, embracing everything. I was connected to everyone, everything around me in some way. I would feel someone’s pain as acutely as my own, feel someone’s suffering in every crevice of my bones. Sometimes the weight of all the suffering in the world got to me, and it’s always frustrated me how much suffering there was. Sometimes it was so much I had to block it out. But with pain, there too, was joy.

Remember I was a positive person. It’s hard to see that when I was so sad for so long but it’s true. I was a positive, hopeful, overly-idealistic person. I saw the world around me in rose tinted lenses and saw the best in people and situations. I marched forward with hope and strength. I wasn’t much of an extroverted person, but I was loud and strong in my own way. I was positive, and I was a fighter. I really fought.

Remember that I fought, and that I was brave. Remember I fought really really hard, for really really long. Remember that it took courage to live as long as I did. I was a really really really sad person, I was someone who had been in a disproportionate amount of pain almost her entire life. Remember I tried so hard to keep going, even though I was in so much pain. So much pain. Remember sometimes the pain is just too much to handle, remember mental illnesses are so real and so serious. So please don’t blame me if I ever give up.

Just go, and live the best life you can. Remember I love you, remember I always care. Remember to talk about mental health and break the stigma, remember to spread a little love and kindness to those around you, remember there is always help and you are never alone. Remember life can be so beautiful.

This is what I want to leave behind.

i was never meant for this life

safe memories are a lie

you deserve to die


my therapist asked me if any memories are particularly recurrent. what am i supposed to say? that every single time i’ve felt suicidal, it crosses my mind that he almost killed me multiple times? that the feeling of being hung over that balcony comes back to mind? and i wonder why he didn’t do it?

the thing is, he’s not wrong. he should have done it. it crosses my mind over and over again, he should have just let go. 17 floors down. a 6-7 year old would have died, for sure. and i would never have had to go through all of this pain. i deserve it. i deserve to die. i really, truly do.

it that what i’m supposed to say?

that i just wish i was dead. that the more i think of the memory, the more i’m convinced i’m undeserving of life. why didn’t he do it? the one question that’s been on my mind all these years. why didn’t he do it?

you know- i never stopped once to ask myself why he did it. never once questioned the fact that i am unworthy. the bigger question was always why not?

and as my mother physically slams the door downstairs right now after getting mad at me for something again, i remember why safe memories are not safe, why safe people are not safe. as my mother slams the door on me over and over and over again over the years. as my helper slammed the door on me. as my grandparents slammed the door on me.

nobody is safe. nothing is safe. and i walk over to my recovery journal to rip out the post it notes that say ‘safe memories‘.

if you were going to slam the door, you shouldn’t have stopped him from throwing me down. none of you should have stopped him. then i would be dead. and i deserve that. i really, really deserve that.

i can’t help thinking, over and over, that is what i deserve, that is what was meant to happen. that if i was a worthy person, he wouldn’t have done that. but he did. and that’s all i’m worth.

and i am so numb from binging and purging but there are still tears lining this face. and i am tired. i am tired. when i say i want to die, i truly mean it. i want to die.

reasons to stay alive:

  1. I have therapy on monday, and I don’t want to not go and disappear on my therapist. it would be nice to see her again.
  2. I don’t want the first time my mpa friends see me irl to be at my funeral
  3. Grandparents would be sad 
  4. I have to finish my group project, if I die there will be nobody to help my teammates finish the MOI research report

wow, i haven’t felt this unsafe from my own mind in a long, long, long time, probably in a year or two. i don’t know if i will be okay.