pillows flung against walls
books strewn on floors
angry fists on skin
anguished, silent screaming
none of this is right

tears spring again,
saltwater streams
that make their presence
whenever they so please
all the feelings bubble up

agony winds around beating hearts
ribcages fracture under pressure
shoulder blades once poised for flight
now jut awkwardly from lanky arms
not quite hers

none of this
quite hers
not her body, or her being
or her carefully constructed bubble
the pain finally seeps through

Tiny feet leave the seabed,
only to find cold depths
floatation devices gently removed,
only to submerge in panic
surrounded by nothingness

recovery is an ocean I cannot navigate.

I know not who I am, or who I might be. If all I have known has been a lie, what do I know? I cannot bear the unknown and yet here I am, these anxious feet paddling in empty ocean waters, weak arms failing to stay above water. I scream to myself, every day, as the tears threaten to fall again. This doesn’t feel good. Recovery feels awful but for the first time on the other side, I see my disorder for what it is and I hate it. It is hell. I hate it so, so much. I see my suffering and the surface of my pain and I want to look away. I don’t know how to face those demons. I cannot bear the fact that I have been in so much pain and yet this is how I have lived 19 years so I must have endured it somehow. I have finally stepped off the shore and yet recovery has left me to find myself drowning. I feel so lost. I am no longer in control, I no longer know what control is. If restriction is not better and food is not bad and thinner is not better that what do I live my life by? I am feeling so many things and I don’t have the psychoanalyzed explanations for how I feel because all I can say is- pain.


flower of the universe

Stood in front of a mirror
tugging and pinching flesh
fat, overweight, inadequate
the little girl in the reflection
looks up
sad eyes and lonely stance

I see her, and it hits me
When did she learn,
she was undeserving?
As if she could ever be
less than precious
As if her existence could ever
be replaced
As if her body would ever
mean anything but love

When did she learn
To take up less and less space
to say sorry for being
Sorry for how she feels
for who she is
To whittle the worth of her existence
Into mere numbers

God I want to give her the
Biggest, warmest embrace
Put her broken pieces back
and tell her she deserves
Every inch of space,
the space her huge heart holds
heart so full of love and compassion,
she is not ‘too much’.

Tell her she deserves the world,
she deserves to feel at home
in her skin,
she is good enough
Tell her she is worthy,
Tell her she is loved.

Tell her
I’m sorry you feel so alone
I promise, you are more than
The world has made you to be
and you deserve to carry
Compassion in your heart
Sunshine in your soul
the weight of your being
matters, and
I see you, I see you, I see you.

Tell her you are sorry,
Tell her they were wrong,
Tell her she is more than her pain.
Because she is light.
She is You.

flower of the universe, and child of mine

I see her- I see her and I want to reach out and warn her. I want to tell her she is so worthy, she doesn’t see it but she is so, so worthy. She feels so alone, she is in so much pain and my heart breaks for her, over and over. I want to tell her so, so badly, that she is not invisible. That I see her. That she matters, I want to scream into the mirror and shake her and tell her I see her, I see her pain, I see her loneliness, I see her and she is not alone and she matters. I want to tell her how she doesn’t have to destroy herself, how she will never feel better no matter how much she self destructs, I want to rip up that journal that she’s writing her diet plans in and tell her she deserves freedom, she is perfect as she is, I want to take away her magazines and tell her she doesn’t have to do those stupid ‘perfect abs’ or ‘get toned thighs’ workouts, I want to tell her to go and get some ice cream and be a kid.

I want to tell her to scream in her parents faces so that they see her pain. Scream in their faces instead of destroying herself and starving herself.

I want to tell her she will find her friends and the people who will be there for her, that she is worth more than her weight, that the attention she’s getting for losing weight is not real love, that she doesn’t need to be sick or lose weight to be seen because I see her. I see her. I want to hold her hand when she’s lonely in school, I want to hold her hand because she feels so incredibly scared and alone and out of place, I want to hold her hand when she walks home alone for the first time, I want to hold her hand in ballet class as they point out everything-wrong-about-her, I want to hold her hand as she’s crying in her room because she is never good enough, I want to hold her hand as she stands by that window wanting to jump because they’re yelling downstairs and tell her I am here. I am here for you. She has grown up so scared and alone and inadequate and invisible and I want so badly to be there for her. Nobody sees how much pain she is in but I see it, I see it, she is in so much pain she doesn’t know what to do.

I want to tell her how much she deserves a life with spontaneous pizza and dinner dates, she deserves to stand in the sun laughing with her melting ice cream, she deserves to tuck into a hearty meal with her family after a long day, she deserves to go to McDonald’s after school with her friends, she deserves to tuck into a plate of whatever-she-wants when she’s hungry, she deserves to enjoy popcorn and nachos at the cinema. She deserves to live, she deserves to eat, she deserves all the happiness in the world because this pain is not her fault. I want to scream at her and tell her she deserves every inch of space she takes up, that every feeling she has, has its rightful place and she is not crazy, she is not too much.

I want to scream that she is sensitive and loving and compassionate and creative and she is perfect as she is.

She feels everything so intensely and she doesn’t know how to cope with that yet, but I want to tell her to not be scared, because these feelings are okay. She deserves the space and validation she desperately needs. She is so precious. I want to tell her she deserves to exist, she deserves to exist and she never ever has to apologise for being on this earth again. I’m so angry she was made to feel like she was never meant to be here, that I’m so angry she was made to feel like her existence was a mistake, that I’m so angry she was left alone when she was in so much pain. I want to tell her to eat, to feel, to live. Eat whatever she wants because her body deserves food and nourishment. Eat because her body is not wrong and she is not wrong. She is good enough. She is good enough. She is good enough.

I want her to know the the ferocity in which she feels pain is also the ferocity in which she loves. I want to tell her that she holds so much love in her for everyone and everything, but don’t forget to save some for herself. She deserves happiness, and a life. She was never, ever undeserving of life and I’m so sorry she has lived her entire life feeling that she was not meant to be here. I want to tell her she deserves more than the pain she’s going to put herself through over the next 9 years, I want to tell her she doesn’t have to destroy herself. I wish she saw just how precious she was, but I know she is doing the best she can and I know she is so, so lost. I want her to know that it’s going to be a long and painful road and she’s going to feel so alone through it all but she is not. I want to hold her hand through it all and tell her I see you, I am sorry you are in so much pain. I want her to know this not her fault, I want her to know none of this was her fault. I want her to know there is still light because she is pure, pure light. I want to tell her that someday she will see just how precious she is, someday she will see that she was never undeserving, someday she will feel okay in her skin again and someday existing won’t be so painful again. Someday she will realize her existence matters because she matters because her feelings matter.

I see her.

And she is me.I deserve everything she deserves. I want to get better for her. I finally did it. It took such a long time but I finally see her and I want to give her such a big hug and never let go. She is in more pain than any little girl should ever have to deal with. I finally see her. I struggled so hard to find her, for so long, but she is still here. Her essence. She is a warm hug from an old friend, she is pouring rain and sunsets and night skies, she is the brightest sunshine and cheeky grins, she is innocence and wonder and stardust, she is the strength of hurricanes and softness of morning dew, she is made of pure light and love and compassion. Little girl with a big heart and sensitive soul and too much pain. I want to protect her.  I understand why she did what she had to do, I know she did her best, but she doesn’t have to destroy herself anymore because I see her pain. I see it. I want to tell her it’s okay to be in pain, I want to tell her to scream at the world, I want to tell her to cry, to cry it all out because I will be here for her and feelings will not break her.She is the strongest and bravest and most loving little girl I have ever met and I will protect her ferociously. Do not tell her she doesn’t deserve to be, not when she deserves the world.

“They hear you when you cry
This love is far and wide
When you smile the stars align
Flower of the universe
And child of mine”

a gentle hope

3rd June, 10.21am

We just had breakfast and I’m so full. I had granola, yogurt, some toast with cream cheese and jam, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. I’m currently sitting on our balcony (again) and staring at the ocean. I love it so much, I could get lost in this view.

Endless powdery skies
Ocean waters
in rich turquoises,
sea greens,
calming blues
Gentle breezes sweep
Creating soft ripples
A quiet lull of waves

Open my heart
to the soothing sound
The endless waters,
fresh ocean breeze

The endless horizon looms
The unknown stretches beyond
and I am filled with wonder,
not fear
I carry the ocean in me
Carrying stormy nights
and peaceful mornings
A gentle magnificence,
power in it’s undercurrents

I remind myself
It’s a big, wonderful world
and I will be okay

your space

a self-proclaimed war
starving away abuse,
purging icky feelings,
shrinking away years of pain.
Needing to be so small nobody can touch you again
Needing to be so small because all they ever taught you
Was to be less. And less. Take up less space.
Inherent belief that you are not worthy of space
Not worthy of being

So you try to get smaller and smaller
as if that would
make it right
The problem was never you,
but everything that told you
You were less than
Undeserving. Unloved.

Because you deserve the room
every inch your body was meant to take up,
More than the space between thighs
More then the curve of ribcages
You deserve the room,
of a vivid, messy, colorful soul
to feel every color of the rainbow,
ever expanding light

You deserve every inch of space you take up
Every ounce of your existence
your being, your body.
You deserve the room to wrap your arms
Around your home
And say
I am sorry for the war i branded on you.
I will love you unconditionally.
-you have the right to take up space.

then tell me why my body feels otherwise

awake with a pounding heart
body frozen
‘this isn’t right’
half asleep & yet hypervigilant
not safe.
use this vulnerability.

brain desperately searches
for hidden pieces of memory
grasp upon anything
detective yearning for new clues
a quiet room
closed door
a figure- who?

or maybe you’re making things up

thrash around the sheets
curl up into fetal position
different memories interfere
brows furrowed in frustration
ultimately drawing another blank
another dead end

you doubt yourself anyway

forget the explanation
there’s no way something could have happened

I am just broken parts, without my illnesses

Collapsed onto the floor once again
The crash that comes when I stop running
only safe space is huddled under blankets
tears fall & my heart hurts

I somehow feel like a child again
I am so tired and nobody is here
I am all alone again
I am so scared
Everyone is abandoning me
I swear I am trying
It’s all my fault

Without my illnesses
I am the blank spaces where childhood memories were meant to be
//it hurts, not remembering//
I am the broken parts left behind of angry parents, a noisy world and tired little girl
//it hurts, remembering//

I stay on the floor, paralysed
emotional pain extends itself into physical sensations of how it is all
too much
looking at my room makes my head spin
I retreat into the blanket, eyes shut tight
The world is too loud again
Even my quiet room isn’t safe
Even my own skin isn’t safe

Memories of his touch threaten
Memories of everything replay themselves on a reel
The world has always been so loud and unsafe
And without my illnesses
I am sad and tired and lost
Pain still raw
Broken parts on full display

-I am so sad I cannot get off the floor and this is what mental illness is like.

Every time I lay on the floor crying, I realize just how broken and tired I am. I remember all the other times I laid there, I remember being 10 or 12 or 14 or 16, unable to get up, unable to do anything but lay down feeling so painfully broken. It still hurts the same.

I can’t help but feel like my parents are ‘not that bad‘ because I cannot remember anything, because they keep telling the family therapists how much they care, how hard they’re trying to help me. Because they say they were good parents. Because my grandparents keep saying how they are wonderful parents, they tell me to just stop thinking about the past (as if I want to remember). and maybe it is all in my head, it is all my fault I am overreacting again. I have no memories, I just know pain and it hurts it hurts. I don’t remember anything. It is all my fault. I am making things up again I am overreacting again just like he used to say- I am delusional and oversensitive and my pain does not matter.

“I stop running and I crash. I remember why I was running so hard in the first place. I was running from this pain.”

I want to run again. But I cannot. Running is tiring and running hurts too. Everything hurts. It isn’t fair.

but the darkness still can’t hide your pain

Dark places now morph into an illusion of comfort
Retreating into quiet void decks and street corners in the thick of the night
Sink into my body, not quite real
Maybe if no one saw me, I could finally be safe enough to cry

As if, maybe if it was dark enough, I would disappear into the shadows
forget I exist
A quiet suggestion at self destruction
As if, maybe I would just get mugged or hit or murdered in the darkness
hurt me, then I wouldn’t have to deal with this pain

Close my eyes and feel myself break
tear stained cheeks in the moonlit glow
a quiet rocking, back and forth

-Let the darkness envelop me

the wound is the place where the light enters you

the sadness of flowing river streams & deep oceans,
broken as the shattered glass shards washed up ashore
the exhaustion of earth holding friction between continents,
as cracked crust split into faults lining tectonic plates,
their constant motion a fundamental instability.

but even as plates converge and collide
leaving destruction in earthquakes and volcanoes,
mountain ranges arise from the impact
and even as plates diverge in inevitable change
forming wide rift valleys and oceanic ridges,
warm mantle rises to heal it’s cracks and fill the gaps.

a heat in earth’s core that begets change,
an essential breaking but not brokenness
as new landforms come to arise from every fault line,
if our earth can grow and heal despite it all,
so can she
heat in the core of her being
powerful as the heat that moves the earth.

even the brightest flames are dampened by hurricanes
but she is the roar of unstoppable forest fires,
the softness of warm breezes on a sunny day,
the crashing waves concealing it’s depths,
the quiet strength of unwavering mountains.
and she is still here, despite it all

the weight of this pain was never hers to bear
as self-compassion grows from an embrace in her brokenness
the cacophony of her soul only hers to understand,
the rips in the fabric of her story only hers to mend.
she finds a quiet roar of courage leaving fear in the winter wind,
as spring rises to find wildflowers bloom between the cracks in her fault lines,
a gentle magnificence arising from the shifts in her soul
-a flame we can relight

Backstory to this poem:

I was looking at some quotes and art today, and I felt a familiar feeling I haven’t felt in a long time- this immense passion and soul that I have, this crazy dreamer in me that literally wants to do everything (and then I remember I’m depressed). That’s when I realized that underneath it all, the illnesses & pain that have consumed me for years- I am still me. I got a glimpse of me and I am terrified of the intensity in which I feel things and the ferociousness in my desire to live. I’ve been trying to start recovery again lately, and I can’t lie to myself- the more open I am to recovery, the more I see how much I want to get better which makes me more vulnerable to recovery. It’s a strange concept, feeling vulnerable to recovery and vulnerable to life, like they are bad things. (they are not)

I’ve always held on desperately to the ED, and there will always be a part of me that will never ever want to get better, that’s why I’d hidden it for so many years. There is a part of me that will protect my ED at all costs, I even had to protect myself from the idea of recovery. Those parts of me were so strong for a long time, until the past 6 months where I started talking and being open to the idea of recovery. Deep down I know I have always wanted to recover, but acknowledging that I want recovery would wreck havoc on the entire system, my ED was my only protective shield. So I stayed sick. But now that I’m finally allowing myself to get better and realizing just how much I want life, allowing myself to feel that way and want something that is so dangerous and foreign and out-of-reach is a huge risk. It’s much easier to hide behind the safety of the ED, without it, I feel exposed and vulnerable, my feelings are out there and intense and unpredictable, just like the real world. Everything is scary and messy and I have no control and I hate it. It’s easier to not want it, it’s easier to stay in this cage. I’m genuinely so scared of life, so scared of food and being normal, so scared of eating and feeding my body, so scared of having to feel real emotions and not be able to numb myself, so scared of being okay. My ED has been my protection for so long that even now, I can acknowledge that it hurts me more than it serves me (so I have to get better if I want to live) but I still struggle to allow myself to admit that I actually want to recover. I’m scared.

This poem is a reminder to myself that I might feel so broken and I might be at rock bottom but I truly am stronger than I think. It’s a reminder to be brave, to allow myself to heal. I’ve carried this belief all my life that ‘I am fundamentally wrong and broken‘ and this feeling of brokenness has only intensified over the years. In therapy, we’d brought up this idea of brokenness and how I put in so much effort into hiding from others how broken I really am (because my belief is that nobody will stay if they see how broken i am), but also how much I run from my own brokenness and pain. I self-destruct and numb and avoid and do anything I can to avoid feeling broken, to avoid this floodgate of pain that I know exists. So I grit my teeth and survive, for all these years I have told myself and everyone than I am okay, all while the pain and brokenness continues to chip away at me inside and I try to cope using ED and SH. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work, that’s why everything built up and exploded and that’s why I’m here. 

In recovery, I’ve been working on accepting that it’s okay to feel broken and awful and sad. We about how all these awful feelings are inevitable in recovery, how recovery doesn’t mean feeling better but coping better. In the poem, I just wanted to remind myself that it’s okay to be broken and that the most beautiful things can grow out of brokenness and pain just like the fault lines but first, I have to stop pretending to be okay or force myself to ‘get my shit together’. I have to let myself to feel broken and to not be okay before I can heal and actually feel better- my therapist said that too. It’s a process, and the landforms reminded me of that, because mountains and valleys don’t just pop out of fault lines- it takes a ridiculously long time for mother nature to create something beautiful out. It’s going to take some time for me too. 

Thinking about how the tectonic plates are constantly moving, it reminded me of change in life, how it’s never going to be 100% stable and I’ll never really have control and that’s okay, that’s part of life and something I have to learn how to cope with. There are going to be disasters that the movement of the plates cause, but there are also going to be new wonders- good things and bad things happen. When I say that ‘I am still here‘, it’s such a small sentence that means so much. I am still here, alive. Like my therapist so caringly said, I am doing a good job at coping because I am still here and I’ve survived so so much. I am still here, trying to get better instead of giving up. I am still here- the real me is somewhere deep inside despite how awfully disconnected I’ve been feeling over. Over the past 2 weeks, I’d completely shut down and it felt like I stopped existing completely. I described it as the light inside me that has gone out. This candle of hope and strength that I thought to be inextinguishable has finally burnt out and I am nothing. But it turns out- surprise, I am still here.

I ended off the poem with what I am trying to do in recovery- to practice self-compassion, to be okay with not being okay, to take control of my own healing, to find the courage inside of me to allow myself to get better. Just like how I have to break and feel broken before I can rebuild, I feel like the flame of the candle has held out for way too long, and perhaps I needed to let it die so I can relight. And in recovery, the wand is in my hands and I can relight the candle within me, this time hopefully brighter than before. (and yes, the wand is in my hands- I’m planning on getting a HP lumos wand tattoo for this reason- the light is in my hands now)