help me

i look at her
chubby limbs,
sunshine smile
and wonder
my child,
how did you survive?

i want to scream
how did you survive,
when i’m falling apart.


the body remembers
yet i refuse to believe
inching a step closer to
waging war
on this vessel that
reminds me
betrays me
confuses me

yet this is home
and it doesn’t feel right to
dismiss, invalidate,
wage another war
not after it’s been through
so much.
no more destruction,
not from me.

the body remembers
my mind doesn’t make sense
of the pain, the nausea
the shameful arousal
the confusion, fear
complete dissociation
but i sit with it.

you have been here with me.
i will be here with you,
now.


what they don’t tell you
about hidden memories
is that you will try and try
to find hidden pieces
until one day
the puzzle pieces fit
and you wish you never knew.

and what they don’t tell you
is that gut punching moment
of realization
the feeling of dread
in your bones
the constant trembling
of your heart
and you wish you never knew.


i just wrote three poems in minutes, wow. i’m at work and i’m trying to be sane but my mind is reeling. make it go away. make it go away. it feels like i’m losing my mind. everything hurts.

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You belong to you

I sink into this unwavering heartbeat and look around home, remnants of a battlefield. A home doesn’t always feel like one, nobody really knows what lies behind polished facades- the boxes that carry secrets, cracks in the floor and walls that bear witness to destruction. Chest locked up, gasping for breath as lips attempt to mouth unspeakable words//thoughts//things. How do you begin to explain the devastation of this home? These horrors on your skin.

It was never your choice yet you’ve ripped this place apart with your own bare hands, try to burn it to ashes because what else do you do with the pain you carry? Where do you put it? Where do you put the shame, rage, grief, terror? The deep reservoir of hatred for this home, the desperation to deny it’s existence. To deny the sickening feeling of disgust that comes with being in this body. This home that’s betrayed and abandoned you.

This home that forces you to remember.

You watch, as you dissolve into emptiness, everything stops working, nothing makes sense. Your eyes stop working/time stops moving/the world isn’t spinning/night and day is the same/the mirror reflects nothingness and nothing is real, nothing is real, nothing is real. not even yourself. especially not yourself. Nobody seems to notice how you stopped existing. Nobody seems to hear your anguished screams. Nobody seems to understand how nothing is chronological, you just live in these moments of blurry images and sounds and terror. These moments that end up replaying themselves, haunting your days.

I know.

I know what it’s like to want to keep your eyes shut tight. To Run. Run from the wolves, run from this home. Sometimes it’s almost comfortable to stay in familiar pain, as if pain is all you deserve. Shame lives in your bones and all the places that will never see light. I know. I see the boxes you never want to open, I see the scars from battles fought, I see the dark corners you cannot revisit. I know how it feels to be robbed, to have strangers intrude and try to burn this place down. I know how it hurts to not be able to hold the fort and protect this home the way it needed. I know how it feels like your fault.

It is not your fault.

You never asked for this. It is not your fault because how dare they do this to you. How dare they. This is your home and you have the anger and ferocity of a Mother, woman turned wolf. Be angry, for your sacredness was never theirs to steal. Let your fire burn, for it will fuel change. This is your home and you have the grief of a Daughter. Be sad, for it was never meant to happen. Be sad, and let your tears wash away the anguish and destruction you have suffered. This is your home and you have the love of a Grandmother. Be gentle, for it is your temple. Be gentle and let the love and compassion you carry, create space to heal. Let your strength be the matriarch that holds the fort.

So open one box, then two, and keep doing it. Some days, we clear out stacks of boxes and some days we can’t bear to look at what we keep inside. It’s okay to take the time you need. It’s not easy I know, I know. But I promise you, this home is worth it. You are worth it. You are worth the love, healing, time, space. One day flowers will bloom in the spaces that once carried fearful heartbeats. One day the cracks of your soul will read bravery and the strength of overcoming. One day, this unbearable heaviness will lift and one day, you will wrap your arms around you and feel safe. You will heal.

You belong to you, only you.

It’s okay to exist as you are

It’s almost mid-September and it feels like the month is flying by yet I have ‘accomplished’ nothing. The past couple days have been really low, with the depression kicking in, the awful moods, the trauma symptoms. I just feel so guilty and anxious about being so unproductive, and it’s a feeling I always get during the holidays but this time it’s amplified because I no longer have the ED. With the ED, there is always a goal & a target- as long as I hit it, then I don’t feel so awful about myself and it doesn’t feel like I’ve done nothing. I’m so anxious to do things, to be productive, to ‘achieve’ something- even if that means setting goals in recovery. That was an original plan of mine, the whole ‘I’m going to take huge steps in recovery this holiday, and be recovered by the end of the year’- and I’m quickly realising how that’s not going to work.

Perfectionism goes against the whole point of recovery. Recovery is a process, it’s messy, it’s painful. It’s learning how to be, how to have compassion for myself instead of control.

Dr Kelly has said several times that recovery is going to be really really hard, that healing is going to be really painful because the illnesses I struggle with aren’t easy to deal with and the things I’ve been through are huge traumas and it’s okay that it is hard. I’ve always brushed it off, thinking I can just move on.. it’s never really hit me until recently. It’s so hard to accept pain and accept that it’s difficult and painful, and to accept feelings, but that’s so essential in recovery itself. To acknowledge pain and feel feelings before I can feel better. To validate my feelings, my struggle, to sit down and look at it instead of pushing it away. That’s something I’ve been working on for the most part, trying to accept feelings, trying to stay with them, trying to acknowledge pain. And as I dip my toes into this journey I already know that if I dive in, it’s going to be a long process. It’s not something I can control- feelings, recovery. To surrender is letting go of that control and accepting the process and journey. I can push myself to aim for more in recovery every step of the way but can’t slap a deadline on recovery.

I’m finding it so exceptionally difficult to practice surrender & acceptance. It does trigger a lot of anxiety, on existing, which is why I feel so antsy about time passing and the constant need to be productive. I know it ultimately comes from the belief of unworthiness, and the inability to be with myself. It feels like if I’m not productive, if I’m wasting time- then I’m an awful human being who doesn’t deserve to live. I’m not good enough. Dr Kelly is right, this perfectionism and the rigid rules extends to everything in my life. I know it’s also driven by the need to dissociate on a lower level, to distract from myself and my emotions.

I also know the way to decrease this anxiety is to sit through it, to do what makes me uncomfortable.

That means to sit with myself, to allow myself to exist without having to do anything, to accept myself unconditionally and tell myself that I deserve to live and exist and eat. To drill in the knowledge that I don’t have to hit any standard to be worthy. That I don’t have to be anything, I am okay as I am. And like what my friend told me, I am not ‘doing nothing’- I am feeling feelings (which she said was a big thing for me), I am allowing myself to rest (which is also another accomplishment for me), I am getting through the day, I am taking care of myself in ways I can. Like Dian says I am doing the best I can to cope. I’m not ‘doing nothing’ with my life just because it doesn’t match up to the ‘unrelenting standards’ in my head. I have to be more compassionate with myself.

I am doing the best I can and it is okay to do nothing. It is okay to just exist. It is okay to rest. It is okay to have fun.

I was doing more reading on trauma recovery and self-compassion really is the key to healing. It’s always going to be a work in progress but it is okay because I’m on the right path. I just have to remind myself again and again, recovery is about unconditional acceptance, it is learning how to be soft, to feel unconditionally, to be mindful and present. To be instead of do. To embrace and surrender instead of control. To trust myself. I feel like so many of those things will come with self-compassion. It’s hard. It’s painful, the most painful part of recovery. I didn’t know just how huge this hole inside is, and just how deep this wound is, but it hurts more than I imagined to exist. Looking back I can understand why, all those years, I knew that if I didn’t use the ED to torture myself I would despise myself so much I would kill myself. That anger comes from shame and pain, like I now know. And I don’t think I could have dealt with these heavy emotions back then, I can barely deal with them now. But I am more prepared than I used to be and I can do it slowly. That’s what people keep reminding me, what i keep forgetting. Healing isn’t a race. I can take breaks, I can take it slow, I can just exist if I want. Existing is painful, existing with these emotions. But I have to let them exist, I have to look at them slowly. I want to because I know that is the way out, the key to freeing myself from the cage of this awful awful shame and pain.

Like Dr Kelly said last week, it’s going to be a rocky journey but I can do it. I just need to keep going home to myself, to keep being kind to myself, to see my inner child instead of shunning her. One step at a time. It’s okay that it’s hard. It’s okay to be in pain. It’s okay to be broken. I’m safe here, I have a safe space in myself. I am building a safe space in myself and here I am allowed to be and allowed to feel.

unspeakable

eyes shut tight

chest locked up

gasping for breath

lips attempt to mouth

unspeakable

words//thoughts//things

how do you begin

to explain the devastation

of this home

horrors on my skin

innate knowing//repetition of

‘it’s my fault’

even heavier than pain

is shame

shame I carry in my bones

in painful corners

that never see light

I walk this world carrying

more than I knew existed

more than I can bear


I just feel like I was born with it. I don’t know what it’s like to exist without shame for existing. Shame for who I am. Shame that only grows. Shame for the things I have done and seen and thought and experienced. Shame that only multiplies upon itself. Again. And again. A cycle I cannot escape, when shame demands lack of worth, when unworthiness demands destruction that reflects pain, when destruction & betrayal of my soul causes more shame. I deserve everything bad. Shame from pain and pain from shame. I am seeing it for the first time, this shame, I told someone for the first time today. What happened in April tipped the shame-jar over the edge as it comes right back, knocking, demanding to be seen. It hurts more than anything. I don’t think I can bear it.

I do not deserve this existence. Getting hurt again would be less painful because I deserve pain. I want to be hurt over and over and over again until I forget how much it all hurt in the first place. I want to run and scream and jump off a cliff. This awful impulsivity, this pain & energy within me that expands until it explodes, that demands action and attention.

Yet I have to try. I do not want to. Every part of me is yelling at me to give up. I do not deserve anything more than pain. It hurts. It hurts enough to make me want to hurt myself in those awful ways again. It hurts enough to make me tell my friends how much it hurts and how scared I am of myself because I am so close to doing something impulsive. Maybe I would be better off trying to kill myself. At least I would be safe alone. It hurts enough to entertain the idea of death. It hurts. Yet there is a healthy voice inside me that I have started to cultivate in recovery, the sheer amount of effort I have put into reconnecting with my inner child, into acceptance, into listening to my wise mind and intuition, into trying to feel feelings. It is small but it is there.

Maybe, just maybe I should try to take care of myself and breathe and sit through these awful emotions. I do not feel deserving of it, not in the slightest, but I already know that in recovery I cannot change how I feel, only how I react to my feelings. I cannot feel deserving of caring for myself but I can still do it. I don’t know. I am tired. I do not know what to listen to. This is like the ED, just worse. It is worse than ‘you’re a bad person if you eat’ because it simply says ‘you’re a bad person’. I miss the ED. It kept this voice away for me, this voice of shame. It helped me. If I listen to it, it will keep the shame away. I would also never be alone or abandoned if I had it around.

I have to hang in there. I have to take care of myself. Or at least survive this. It hurts. Breathe.

Why does getting better feel so bad?

I’m annoyed at my brain. I’ve worked hard to get better and yet now all the flashbacks are coming back and I don’t want to deal it feels awful and I can’t sleep.


My therapist told me that it’s all coming back because I’m finally doing better. She said this: “it didn’t affect you a few months ago because you were doing everything you could to numb- you were drinking and starving and self harming. And while those aren’t helpful in the long run, they did serve to numb you temporarily. Your ED helped numb you all these years. It’s going to feel like crap now, especially as you start to eat more, your feelings are going to come back. The obsessive anxiety, the feelings of unworthiness, the bad memories. But it’s not your fault, we know most of your struggle is caused by a lot of trauma you went through, and the nature of your issues is that it’s very neurobiological and hard to cope with. But you are getting better even if it doesn’t feel like it.”

I’m trying to comfort myself with what she said, and the fact that I know why this is happening. I know this is progress. I know a huge part of getting better is stopping the self destructive behaviours and finally allowing myself to feel and then to work through emotions. But there is a lot of muck to work through and I don’t wanna. I can’t even acknowledge any of the shit that I’ve been though, every time my therapist brings up the trauma(s) I just freeze and laugh and smile.

But I have to try to start acknowledging that maybe pain does exist. I can’t keep running away and numbing myself because I want to get better. I know trauma memories sometimes come back when your brain feels like it’s safe enough to process. So maybe that means I am strong enough now to work though this now? who am I kidding. But what other choice do I have? I cannot numb. It just hurts and I have to let it hurt. I have to acknowledge pain. I have to acknowledge trauma. God that’s hard.

The memories and thoughts of the incident keep coming back and I don’t know if I can cope. I mean, I can, that’s what i have to keep telling myself- I am capable of coping with these feelings and sitting with these feelings, they are painful but they are not too much. I can accept that. But I’m scared. What if I can’t cope? What if it gets too overwhelming? I feel so awful as it is. I feel unsafe and scared and disgusting and I want it to go away. I want it all to go away. I’m also mad because I have so much shit to deal with. I have not just the ED and the feelings and anxiety triggered by that, but also the emotional flashbacks and trauma from attachment issues, and also the negative beliefs and bad memories from childhood, and now also the incident. God.

On letting myself feel.

Letting go. It’s something I realised in recovery, the necessity of letting go of control over emotions, to feel and accept unconditionally. Yet it’s been a hard journey, after years of suppressing emotions (and not even knowing it) I finally started realising, at the beginning of July how even in recovery I subconsciously try to avoid emotions in any way- but I need to just let myself feel the shitty emotions, before I can feel better. That recovery isn’t feeling better but allowing myself to feel, and for me that means feeling a lot of awful emotions.

I remember what Dr Kelly said once, “you need to let yourself feel broken before you can be less broken. it’s okay to feel broken and not have it all figured out, but instead we can ask ourselves why we might feel that way”.

She also keeps saying that coping doesn’t mean feeling better, it means becoming a better feeler- to cope better. I’ve been really trying to remind myself of that over and over and over. I’ve been working through the fear of feelings, the fear of being ‘unconditional’ and the fear of being ‘too much’ and I think I’ve made progress in that aspect especially through writing and art therapy. I feel like I’ve come to accept that I’m not ‘too much’ and come to terms with the idea of vulnerability. I think that’s something I like about myself, sensitivity, which makes it easier to accept.. but it’s still hard to implement. It’s hard to accept feelings when it comes so naturally to block them out. I’ve been feeling so many feelings over the past few weeks and I realise (and Dr Kelly pointed out) that I’m wracked with this constant helplessness, the feeling that I can’t cope and don’t know how to cope. But that’s not true.

Throughout August I’ve been so overwhelmed by so many feelings and not knowing what to do. At the end of August, as I was reflecting, I realised that I’m still holding onto the ED in some ways because I’m still scared of emotions, and I still struggle to accept them– I asked Dr Kelly how to cope with them and she literally asked me to accept them instead of trying to get rid of them. I didn’t realise I was still doing that. I suppose it’s still a process. I have to keep working on accepting them unconditionally- especially the intense or negative emotions. I feel like I always tell myself ‘yeah it’s okay to feel anything’ but I don’t truly apply it.

I have to start by taking small steps, to at least acknowledge pain, that there are hard things I’ve been through, that everything I’m going though is hard. That takes a lot of self compassion.

She said this back then, “this (recovery) is going to be really really hard for you and that’s how it is and the more we can accept that, the easier it is.” And she always reminds me that I rationalise emotions, that’s how I cope, so I have to make an effort to feel and acknowledge them, to sit with them. By being ‘black and white’ in recovery and ignoring small steps, by writing about feelings analytically (I feel the need to ‘wrap up’ everything I write to package it ‘nicely’), by being perfectionistic and having ‘unrelenting standards’ for myself- I can’t be unconditional. And I can’t recover or be unconditional in one aspect, I have to do it for all- food, life, emotions. Because part of my perfectionism is having that ‘facade’, that need to stay okay and put-together even with myself, I can’t usually allow myself to be a mess or be broken. We’ve been working on that perfectionism for so many years, that belief of unworthiness.

I’ve been feeling awful things this week, and she pointed out that this is how it’s going to be for a while for me and that’s okay. It’s okay. The only way to get through the anxiety is to sit with it.

I know. And that includes the anxiety that comes from breaking my rules, from being imperfect. I just have to let go of all control and let whatever feelings come, come. She says I struggle with anxiety, but I never thought I was a very anxious person..? But now I realise that I’m not anxious because of the rules I have and the ED- it buffers a lot of anxiety and fear that I have about everything else in life, and about myself. It buffers the belief of unworthiness. Now that I realise this I have to keep pushing to feel the anxiety and fear more and sit through it. Recovery isn’t passive. It’s actively having to fight to allow and embrace feelings unconditionally and it’s often to do what makes me uncomfortable.

I have to remember that, and do that. To sit with myself and let myself feel without having to ‘wrap it up’. To just accept and acknowledge that it’s hard. To validate my feelings. To let the feeling out in some way because otherwise I will end up using a negative Behavior. I said I was tired of trying to control everything- it is tiring. Very much so. Yet I seem to have an iron grip of control on everything anyway and I have to keep fighting to let go. I have to keep going back to myself and trying to be honest with myself. To look at myself and my wounds even though it hurts like hell. Dr Kelly said yesterday I have to be fair to myself and acknowledging that there have been big things that have happened in my life, and painful things, and things that weren’t fair. I’ve been in denial/dissociated about it all, like I told her in therapy yesterday. Perhaps that’s how to help me heal some of this dissociation? I connect with my body by doing yoga, nourishing it, listening to it (well, I’m trying to) and likewise I have to connect to my soul by listening to it, acknowledging it, giving it what it needs. It’s hard, but it’s going to be okay. I am supporting myself. It’s okay to be sad, to be in my body, to exist. I have to be compassionate with myself. My feelings and struggle is real.

She asked me why I’ve made the big decision to commit to recovery, behaviourally. I told her that despite how hopeless I feel, I must want to live really badly because why else would I have survived all that I’ve survived? Why else would I have kept going? I know, it doesn’t feel like me. None of what has happened in my life, actually feels like it happened to me. At best, I remember it like a movie, or I remember it through intrusive memories. I suppose that’s how dissociation works, none of my life feels like it actually happened to me. But it was me. It was me and I have to start acknowledging that.

So yes, all of that has happened to me, my life has been painful. Really really painful. I haven’t acknowledged any of it, much less processed it- but this is a step. And I just feel like I do deserve to live. That I have somehow fought to survive through all of this, that has to mean something, and I would be letting myself down if I didn’t. Well, my healthy self feels that way at least. I deserve to be okay. Dr Kelly said that I deserve to have real relationships, to have intimate relationships, to be okay/better- that it will be a rocky road but I can get there. I really do believe that she believes I deserve it. And I trust her, so so much.

Post therapy thoughts // it gets worse before it gets better in recovery

It was a surprisingly good therapy session? She said she was really proud of me for eating more and making that push to commit to that, because it’s not easy. I brought up the intrusive memories that keep coming up, of what happened in April & also of my childhood, and I just said that it really really sucks to have all of this come up? She talked a lot today, she talked about how I have to be fair to myself, in that going through something like that is really traumatic and life changing, and I can’t expect it to not have an impact on me. She talked about society’s views on rape and how there is a lot of victim blaming, and I would have subconsciously internalised some of that but she said that it wasn’t my fault. she suggested that I will have to cope with it and process it at some point because it will come up, that nobody can force me to process it but that I deserve to. She said it was okay to feel awful and icky but I deserved to work through that as well, and I deserve to have actual intimate relationships and beyond that, enjoy sexual intimacy. I literally froze and sorta dissociated the entire time she was talking. It all feels too much to deal with and it’s so icky. I told her how recovery from the ED for me, is a lot about going home to yourself and reconnecting with yourself/your body, and learning how to nourish your body, so I’m doing that work and then all of a sudden I see my ‘home’ and realise it’s so icky and I hate being in it.

She also said that it’s a challenge emotionally as well, to reflect to my team how I’m doing? She asked me again ‘what do you mean by fine’- and for me, it means not dying. She says that to be fair, I’m coping okay and the best I can, but when I’m functional, I’m not utilising my support system much at all and saying that ‘I’m fine’ insinuates to everyone that… I’m actually fine, when I’m maybe not? And she said that just like with the ED, I have to break the cycle of stability + not seeking help -> crashing + seeking help when it comes to emotions. She was really spot on when she said that ‘a lot of your issues come from the belief of unworthiness, and when you’re more symptomatic, it seems to numb out some of that belief, but when you’re stable, you seem to have a much harder time coping with that belief and it impacts you a lot more.’

That’s pretty much been how it is, this whole awful set of beliefs that I have nothing to buffer or numb now. I just sobbed and sobbed as I told her how awful at all feels, how the memories of my parents keep coming back and it’s the same ones and it just makes me feel like I don’t deserve to exist. I told her the truth, how even just existing is so damn painful after trying to not exist for so many years. She also said that it‘s going to be really difficult, now that I’m not numbing as much emotions through self destructive behaviours/ED, before things get better there are going to be many painful feelings that will surface. She said that’s really hard, not knowing when these feelings will pass and right now it feels like it will never get better. But she also said that I’m so anxious to recover and get to that end goal, but I have to keep in mind the small steps aren’t irrelevant because they’re what gets me there, and I have to be kind and patient with myself as well. She said that I was doing a good job, and now that I’m more stable in recovery, I’m feeling worse but that’s okay, it’s part of it. She brought up that this is also why she thinks my ‘issues’ need more long term care, because they’re not something that can easily be solved and they need time and often age. She literally said ‘we couldn’t have had be having this conversation when you were fourteen’ and therapy work helps for sure but sometimes the brain isn’t mature enough to cope with these things.

I told her how I’m scared I’ll never get better. She asked me what my ‘definition’ of that was- and I said I wanted to feel okay, to feel safe, to not feel like I’m carrying around this huge emotional burden all the time. She said that she definitely believes that I can get there, that I have the capability and resources to, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride. She brought up how with anxious attachment, it comes in waves, and the fear will always come up around more intimate relationships but if I stick it through, the fear will eventually settle and I will be okay- she said she’s seen it, in many people in her private and professional life.

I also brought up how I realised on a day to day level, that I can’t have fun in the sense that everything I do, even hobbies, are guided by this harsh internal monologue. She said ‘You have a very rigid mindset of how you should live your life, and we have to break that rigid unrelenting standard. it’s kinda like the ED, we have to tap into that obsessional anxiety you have, and lean into it just a little bit more.’ And she suggested the way to tackle that is to actively break it. The main example I gave her was Netflix, how I struggle with choosing something because it has to be good and ‘worth it’ and I have to chose the perfect thing to watch or else it’s a waste of time and that terrifies me. She had such an evil smirk on her face when she suggested that we can try all sorts of things to break that anxiety and have fun with it- like wasting time on purpose, making something that has no point or meaning, doing nothing, reading trashy magazines or kids books. But for now she suggested watching something crap on Netflix and saying, ‘well this is crap and I’m wasting my time’ and then sitting with that anxiety. I physically shuddered, thinking about how awful it sounds and how much anxiety and discomfort it gives me. I feel enough guilt as it is, to watch a show without doing something at the same time. I thought the whole thing was stupid but she said that it actually wasn’t- that it’s understandable for me, why I would have this obsessional anxiety around everything in my life and the perfectionism, and that stems from trauma but it’s also very neurobiological.

I just left the session feeling like I got some load of my shoulders and I was so thankful for her empathy and guidance today, and her support. I’m so exhausted but I do feel better. Well, worse in many ways, now that everything has gone to shit, but I can cope with this. I am doing okay. I can cope with it. I will be okay. Breathe. I have to tools to cope with emotions. I deserve to nourish myself. I deserve to exist.

sometimes home doesn’t feel like one

sinking into

weary bones

I force myself

to sit; be

my body will

carry me through

it always has.

today in my journal I thanked my body for supporting me even on bad days. it is carrying me even though I hurt it by purging today. it has carried me despite all the pain & torture I put it through, it has carried me on my worst days.

it is always going to be here. I guess that’s why they call our bodies home.

intrusive memories keep coming, of the day a stranger broke into this home and I didn’t stop him because I didn’t want to acknowledge my existence. Because for so long it feels like that’s what I deserve. more memories flash by, of all the times I almost died by his hands.


I sink into these bones

and look around

Home

remnants of a battlefield

people come and gone

and I am merely

used

battered

worn

Recovery is homecoming

yet what is a home

that has never seen

warmth, safety

love?

a heart that keeps beating

through the wars I wage

I look around at

dusty corners

remnants of destruction

walls that see pain

carry shadows.

crack open the door,

unpack these boxes

forced to acknowledge

the only home I will

ever have

home that will carry me

it is not theirs to break

not theirs to use.

It exists. I exist.

so open the windows

and stay a while


When home is my body, my soul, war feels like what I deserve. I am sad. This week, the memories and pain keep returning, the deep reservoir of hatred for this home, the desperation I have to deny it’s existence. It’s feeling, it’s pain, it’s hunger. It’s brokenness. I do not want to stay. I want to leave, now. I want to dissociate, to self destruct, to do what I have done all these years to avoid existing. To starve and binge and purge in attempts to dissociate from home. It worked. Staying is making me sad. I am so very very sad. There is too much pain.

Yet I am here. This is home and it hurts. It doesn’t feel like home, nothing ever does. Still, I am grateful because it has never given up on me, this heart keeps beating and these legs keep going and this little body & soul carries all the weight of her big big pain. Recovery is Homecoming. Perhaps Homecoming is not beautiful, it is not a sunlit walk back to a cottage in the woods. It is unpacking these boxes and dusting the floors and looking through the remnants left. It is building a better home.

Staying home, staying in my body, means feeling. Letting myself feel. It is true once again, that the eating disorder urges and thoughts serve to protect me from seeing the sorry state of my home, from acknowledging its existence because it would be acknowledging pain. I dissociate by nature, on default so I have to choose come home to myself over and over and over again. I have to choose to stay. To work on this project. I know I don’t feel worthy, I don’t feel loved. I know I still feel like I deserved the pain caused by those who have violated this home and I deserve the destruction at my own hands. But recovery cannot depend on feelings. I have to try, to start somewhere. I have to build a home worth living in, it is mine after all. It deserves better. It hurts to exist, but it is here. And maybe that is the best thing I can do, to stay even though it hurts, even though it is worn and broken and abandoned. Not even to redecorate, but to accept it. Accept its existence.

It all hurts, recovery is hard. But this is part of it, acceptance. When I slip in recovery it often means I forget to go home to myself. I forget to stay, to accept. Everything is easier when I do. At least I got here in the end. I still want to get better. And I will. I have to be kind to myself. I am doing the best I can and it is enough. I am enough. I will be okay.

rage

i used to think
i do not anger easily
yet i am coming to find
seething rage
knife in chest
tears that soak
blood stained sheets

pain turned rage,
rage turned inward,
always inward
and i am coming to find
i do not deserve
to be kind with me

anger that slips out in blood that runs down my skin and empty stomachs and tight fingers clutching blankets fists on walls screaming pain pain pain it hurts. it hurts and I don’t know what to do, I have tried stepping out of this skin a million times over, it hurts and I have etched hundreds of scars on me, and it hurts and I have run and run and nothing has worked

it all happens in a split second. insecurity means unsafe means pain means anger means relapse. it comes from not feeling safe. it comes from fear. from pain. from the deep hatred and need I have towards vulnerability. Nothing is as comforting as the soft whisper of ‘you don’t need anyone or anything’ nothing is as safe as a growling stomach and emptiness and focusing on numbers go down. I always go back down the rabbit hole. I am ok and then I am not. I am so angry and tired I could rip this girl apart. I want to destroy her. I want to not exist. I do not know how to stop this so I always end up here on the way back down the rabbit hole. I want to give up because I deserve nothing good.

Dian told me that whenever she hears about little-ericia, she seems like a girl who was so, so alone. Dian is right. She was so alone. Still is. Or at least that is how it feels. I remember the anger of that 10 year old. Remember we share the same anger. She is loved. She is. She deserves to be okay. She deserves to be happy. She deserves to be heard. She is not alone for I love her. Her pain is mine. Her anguish is mine.

I say I don’t know what to do but now I do. My healthy voice tells me to reach out. I have. I am trying to ask for what I need. My healthy voice says I am not alone. I don’t have to communicate via self destruction because I can actually communicate via words. The voice of my pain is screaming bloody murder. The unhealthy voice is handing over solutions of starvation and isolation. My healthy voice is but a mere whisper but it says that this pain is not mine, but little ericia’s, and I need to cope with her pain accordingly. She feels really unsafe and alone. I need to love her and give her what she needs. Yet how can I, when I am filled with so much self hatred?

What do I really want? I want to be okay. I want to be safe. I want to feel okay. My healthy voice knows the ED isn’t a permanent solution, though it is tempting. I will be okay if I keep pushing through the hard part of recovery. I will be safe if I can go home to myself. Giving into relapse is giving people and pain power over my life and how I feel. I don’t feel deserving but I know that little girl is. And I love her. She doesn’t have to destroy herself. I am here for her. She’s the one screaming because she’s in so much pain. I want to hold her tight.

My healthy voice, the big Sister says hey. You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay, I promise. I know it hurts, I know how everything seems to collapse in a split second and your entire world is in jeopardy but it is not, because you are stronger than you think. You can carry yourself. You are your home now. You do not need to destroy yourself to prove anything, you can just tell them instead. Why are you hurting yourself? What have you done to deserve this? Why does pain make you bad? It doesn’t. You get to choose the beliefs to listen to. You get to choose the voice to listen to. You get to choose if the past pain continues to hold you captive. That choice is on you. You do have a choice to relapse or keep pushing even though it’s hard. And I know it’s hard, I know it’s so hard. You are doing such a good job and I am so proud of you. I know you’re in so much pain. It’s going to be okay. I’m here for you. You are stronger than you think, you can cope with this. You can cope with these feelings. You don’t need to numb. You don’t need to run. It’s okay to feel these feelings, actually. It’s normal, you went through so much. What matters is how you choose to react. Is relapse really, really going to make things better? Is it really going to make you happy? Is it really safe? What truly feels safe? Empathy. Love. I have that, we can build a home founded on love. How nice would that be? Go home. Go home to yourself. The choice to listen to the healthy voice, or listen to pain, it’s up to you.