Sunday, 19 December 2010


The head never shuts up. And everyday I think a little something and write it down, add a bit, think a bit.

I hate Christmas. No, I don't hate it, I dread it. I find it the most depressing time of year. Empty and terribly depressing. Me and my Mum, pretending to be happy. A depressing meal. Disgusting 'treats'. Food at the centre of everything. Stuck in this sad house choking back the tears. Every year since I was 11 years old, it's been empty and unbearable.
And this year, I'm running away. I'm leaving for Egypt tomorrow morning for a week. I'm sick of the cold and the emptiness. The most wonderful thing about travel is that you can become so far removed from your life back home that it's almost as if it doesn't exist. It's the most liberating feeling.
I don't have to do Christmas. I don't have to do it! I don't have to curl up alone, stuffing my fat bulimic face, wishing there was something stimulating on the TV to distract me.
I cannot put into words how relieved I am to be running away from Christmas.

Anyway, my point is, I felt compelled to post before I went away, although I have not been able to write to all the people I want to and need to... argh! Anyway, as I was saying. I have all this stuff which I jotted down and needs posting, so this post is a bit of a blotch of stuff I just need to put down before I go away and have not had time to make coherent and flowing....

The lovely Cally C commented on my last post how eating disorders are like abusive relationships. Now, there are a lot of songs with a lot of quotable lyrics, but these lyrics really seemed worth putting down in writing. It's exactly what I'd say to Ana/Mia.
Love The Way You Lie Part II - Rihanna ft Eminem

On the first page of our story,
The future seemed so bright,
Then this thing turned out so evil,
I don't know why I'm still surprised.
Even angels have their wicked schemes
And you take that to new extremes,
But you'll always be my hero
Even though you've lost your mind.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,
But that's all right because I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry,
But that's all right because I love the way you lie.

Now there's gravel in our voices,
Glass is shattered from the fight.
In this tug of war, you'll always win,
Even when I'm right.
'Cause you feed me fables from your hand.
With violent words and empty threats.
And it's sick that all these battles.
Are what keeps me satisfied.

...So maybe I'm a masochist
I try to run but I don't wanna ever leave...

And some notes on my decision to leave the City and its monetary rewards and move to another part of the country to work in a boarding school - I still don't know if I made the right decision:
Sylvia Plath in her journals states, "I am still young. Even twenty-three and a half is not too late to live anew".
If she says it, it must be true. I must force myself to believe it because so much of my current despair comes from being twenty-three, from my belief that my life is over now, because I have failed to make it, and will never make it, and will only grow older and fatter... because at twenty-three I am finished.
I am still young.

One of my favourite parts in the journals are in the section entitled "Notes on Interviews with RB: Friday, December 12th". These notes reflect a lot of my own thoughts on mothers, men and writing. I could bore you with quotes from the whole thing, but here are the keys ones for now:
On choosing writing as a profession:
"We can't now and maybe never will earn a living by our writing... Weren't the mothers and businessmen right after all? Shouldn't we have avoided these disquieting questions and taken steady jobs and secured a good future for our kiddies? Not unless we want to be bitter all our lives. Not unless we want to feel wistfully: What a writer I might have been, if only....
What do [society] seem to want? Concern with a steady job that earns money, cars, good school, TV, iceboxes and dishwashers and security First. With us these things are nice enough, but they come second. Yet we are scared. We do need money to eat and have a place to live and children, and writing may never and doesn't now give us enough. Society sticks its so-there tongue out at us."

I was bought up in a household where everything was 'too expensive', where my mother bent over backwards to save pennies on her weekly shopping, where I never asked for any presents unless they were 'educational', where I wasn't allowed new clothes unless I desperately needed them and they were massively reduced in the sale.
Needless to say, my financial independence was the best thing that ever happened to me. And the biggest thing I regret in taking the job at the boarding school is losing that. I will have to pinch and save again.

I'm afraid, just so afraid. Afraid of being poor, afraid of never getting better, afraid of loneliness, afraid of sadness, afraid of failure, afraid of sickness, afraid of living, afraid of the world outside, afraid, afraid, afraid,
because every decision I make always seems to be the wrong one - always makes my life worse.
Everything always comes back to this: FEAR

When I was a teenager, I thought after leaving school everything in my life would come together, because I had suffered so much so early on. I've had my share of sadness, I thought, it's gonna be all uphill from here... and I cannot believe, I genuinely, cannot believe that aged 23, every year, it has become progressively worse.
The sickest time of my life aged 20 - unable to leave my bed, unable to leave my room, unable to stop crying, unable to stop self-harming and vomiting. I never, never imagined I'd go through that again, let alone go through worse.
And here I am - worse. Haven't seen anyone I know other than my Mum since the beginning of November. Too afraid. Too fat. Too afraid.

But there's nothing wrong with the world, or other people. There's something wrong with me. I accept that.
...So maybe I'm a masochist

I try to run but I don't wanna ever leave...

There's something very wrong with me.

And I'm very afraid.

I have to believe that I am running away to find happiness. I have to believe that it will be ok. I have to believe that I'm not a failure just because I don't work in the City anymore. I have to believe that it's ok to still be working out what I want to be at the age of 23. I have to believe, STILL, I have to keep believing that I will get better and I will never experience sadness like this again.

And in the words of dear Betty Suarez as she turns down a New York fashion column in the final series of Ugly Betty: "I know it was the right thing to do, but it's still scary... I mean, maybe I was on the wrong path, but at least it was a path."

I can't help but wonder, if I wasn't ill, would I be working in the investment bank, strutting around in new Louboutins I bought with my own money? Or would I still have made this choice and left it all behind... because it was the right choice for me?

Sending you all lots of extra love over Christmas,
for I really love you all so much x x x x

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Old habits...

Anonymous said...

stop binge eating stop throwing up stop taking laxatives and you'll be fine. eat a bit and starve the rest of the time. if you can't starve eat a little bit of fruit or veg. if you carry on like this, if you lose alex, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.
get it together. 14 June 2010 13:18

I never forgot this comment - so I went back to search for it. I never forgot it because even at the time, I knew it was so true, and I wasn't strong enough - am not strong enough - to end the binge and purge cycle.
Sometimes I get these pro-ana comments which are harsh but true. I like them.
I noticed how many comments I have that I've never been able to respond to properly - and I apologise, because I haven't had the time to show how every single one has been read and taken into my heart. I'm going to catch up and write back this next week.
When I was at my most disciplined I was wonderfully thin.
In the beginning of my second year of uni, I ate a small bowl of porridge in the morning, hit the gym for 800 calories, ate noodles and veg for lunch and snacked on fruit for dinner. I'll never forget when I went back to Jon's for the first time. He ran his hands down my naked torso and he said wow.
I used to be able to do that.
Men used to want me and be intimidated by me. I used to feel sexy and powerful. I used to be out of their league.
I'm in a league of my own now - alone. I should join over-eaters anonymous for company.
Even if I go back to being thin, I'll never get that life back. I'm 23 now, not 18. I'm taking a job in a girls boarding school not a thriving testosterone filled city. I'll have no chance to kiss a guy or sleep with a guy for a year at least. That's just the life I've chosen now in this job.
I crave.
I crave my old life back.
I want to take all these cravings away - not by giving in to them - but by just erasing them. I don't want to crave these things. But I can't seem to shake the things that have given me my highs over the years - they're like drugs.
I took a little dose on Tuesday. Burnt 800 calories in the gym on an empty stomach. Just like the old days. High, high as a kite I flew, couldn't even bear the thought of eating...
came home and shut the door. No pretty dress, no party, no fit guy to target.
I needed a high dammit, I needed to do it again and again, I needed to fly... but there's no motivation, for the first time in my life.
And I chose that - I took away all the motivation so that I could get better. Cold turkey.
I miss those days. When I dedicated day upon day to the gym, dragging my aching legs up the stairs, starving and drained of everything, feeling my body glowing, feeling my muscles tighter and toned. I can't explain that euphoria and I am craving it so badly. I used to lie to my Mum - saying I was going to the library and go to the gym instead. I loved it dammit. I always did it with a picture of a guy in my mind - or a date of a party. There was always an end goal.
Without those goals I am nothing and I let myself be nothing.
It's almost as if living was just too hard in the end, and I had to kill myself in one way or another. So I chose this: I killed off my friends, my love interests and my social life, I killed off my name in the public sphere in the hope that it would kill off whatever was feeding my eating disorder and kill off the monster itself. Instead, it has fed the monster I hated most of all - the one that eats and binges and does not care.
I've lost my train of thought. My arms are bleeding.
I just sat on my bed as my Mum trashed my room. Screaming
You're a waste. You're a failure. Sitting on your big fat arse 24 hours a day in that corner. You're not sick you're lazy. You eat everything. You're a failure. You don't have an eating disorder. You don't have depression. YOU'RE JUST LAZY. FAILURE. Wanting to be 'pretty'! You'll never be pretty!
trashed my room.
When I was younger I used to cry in front of her.
Now I never.
When she slams the door in my face then I break. I cry, shaking, cutting, chasing pills with alcohol stashed in my cupboard.
I just went downstairs to take all the pills I could find.
And I stopped after a few. Because i want to live, I believe it will get better, I believe I will get out, I believe I will be happy, I believe I can get out, I believe, I have to believe... I've been believing for the last ten years. It will come, it will come, it will come, you'll get out, you'll get better, year after year, from childhood into adulthood...
There you go. The post, live as it happened.
This picture would be perfect if I was deadly stick thin. then it would be like some beautiful, tortured tragedy.
Actually, I'm fat. And listening to a video of me and Alex laughing in the Malvern hills. Crying still while the wounds on my arms sting.

My combats have dust on them.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Packing up the dreams and moving on

I taught myself to hate food when I was 15.
No - that's not entirely true. I didn't teach myself anything, I just learnt it... somehow, I learnt to hate food.

I was asked in an interview last week: What makes you angry?
I made up some "excellent interview answer" bullshit with a fake smile on my face. But the truth is, food makes me angry.
I have to move seats on the train when someone in my view is eating a McDonalds out of a brown paper bag. I have to put on my earphones to block out the greasy crunching of crisps from the person sat behind me. The rustling of foil packets or the stench of fried foods makes ME feel gross. I feel so angry and disgusted it makes me want to scream.

But do you know what is really the grossest thing ever? This is the highest figure on the scales I have ever seen in my entire life.
I'm a lump. I'm a thing.

When I lost Alex I let go of everything I had been fighting for. I let all my demons take over. I became everything I loathed. I am everything I hated and despised. I am fat and greasy.
And I Did This.

I had a relationship with a Mr Perfect - top boarding school, flawless grades, star pupil, Senior Prefect, top university, champion cadet, strong athlete and the unequivocal "really nice guy".
And then there was me - an unstable liar, body and mind stuck together with a cheap glue.
I'm not sad that we broke up - I'm sad that I let my dreams and imagination get carried away. He wasn't my ideal man - perfection has no depth or emotion, perfection is plastic. Perfect people are plastic people. Alex was plastic-hearted through and through. He felt nothing, while I felt everything.
I put him into a mould labeled "The Man Who Loves Me" and didn't question if he fitted or not. I convinced myself that it was perfectly alright for me to be crying myself sick on my bedroom floor, unable to lift the phone to hear a caring, loving voice comforting me at the other end. He felt nothing, while I felt everything.

It was four weeks ago when I walked out of my job in the City. I have done nothing productive in this time - I cannot lie - except make my way through all the DVD box sets of Gossip Girl. When I looked at the online prospectus of Yale I was confused - why was everyone in the pictures plain and unattractive? Oh... yes, that's right, I was watching fantasy in Gossip Girl, it is not reality. In the real world, there are very, very few beautiful people. I looked around me today on the bus and train and high street - and I genuinely did not see one person who could be cast on Gossip Girl.

A few posts back, an old blogger, Daisy, made the connection for me. I have always read books or watched film and embedded myself in one fantastical world or another. While my feet stand on the cold, hard land of reality, my head has always been spinning up in the clouds of my imagination. I have never accepted the world in which my feet stood, only the one I dream of standing in.
So like now, I dream that the land of Gossip Girl exists, and I too could prance around beautiful men like a gazelle in designer dresses.
And I have to force myself to accept that my imagination is just that - however vivid and alive it may be, it is not real, it is my imagination. I will not survive if I keep trying to live in it and live up to it.
Do you know, I have spent my whole life trying to be something I am not. and never will be

The fact that I am still talking about Alex and am still haunted by him three months after I last saw or spoke to him goes to show how unable I have been to move on. If I took the job in the investment bank, I'd still be here, living the same life, with the same emptiness, and months later I would still be writing the same old shit. So, I have to get out of London and burn all my bridges. This has been the worst period of my life, and I want to erase every single memory of it.

For whatever I have said about Alex, there's really only one way that I can sum it up. These are my final words on him:
When I was with him, I was happy. Happy in a way I had wished for for so long and happy in a way that I never genuinely believed I deserved. When I was with him I was happy.

He will never know that. He will never know any of what I have written in this blog. Just like every other guy that came before, he will never know.

So I'm uprooting my life and I'm saving it. I'm going to go to work in a boarding school where I will get three meals a day set down in front of me, where I will be around decent, cheerful people, where I will have no temptations to go off the rails, where I will have nobody to put on a show for. I'm getting out of the place that promises dreams and never delivers. I'm getting out of the lifestyle that has ground me down into nothing. Yes, I am running away, but I'm running away to somewhere that promises a healthy and grounded way of life - I'm going back to school - to learn how to be a genuine, honest, loving, decent human being again.

Thank you for the comments and advice on the last post, I am truly grateful.
I would also like to point you in the direction of a new blogger on the scene who I think is very special:


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Acting Lessons

So, as I mentioned in the previous post, last Friday, I went back to my university city for the big reunion dinner that evening. As is protocol now, fasting, laxatives, exercise preceded. This could not shift the scales from the undeniable fact that I was 5 kg fatter than when I went to this reunion dinner this time last year. Yes. Fucking Yes.

I had my appointment with my psychologist in the morning before I got on the train. She helped me get through it. She is amazing. It's good to write down and map out all my irrationalities.
I didn't crumble that evening - I went, I held my head up high, and I still looked nice. I did it.

The immeasurable waste. It's always a waste isn't it, this stupid quest of mine. It's never made me happy. All the money and the hours of aching muscles and the nights of hunger and vomit... I do it for something grand, something wonderful, something I deserve... something I can't put my finger on, perhaps because it's not really there...

This was my first big performance on the public stage since Alex left and I fell apart. Tonight I was going to be a glittering diva again. I spent £50 on a new dress. £88 on new shoes. £75 on getting my hair styled. £10 on lashes and makeup. £60 on a hotel room so I could get ready in private. £40 on trains. £10 on taxis. £30 on dinner. £10 on drinks. £10 on binge food.
All that for... for what? So I could turn up at an event with people I used to know and new people and look beautiful. That's it.  I chatted and laughed loudly with old friends, did the polite rounds of old acquaintances, happy, quirky, vibrant Ophelia, danced a little, ranted, drank, screamed in joy, had a cigarette... and felt unequivocally empty - because I did all this, I spent all that money, I put in all that effort, took all those laxatives, forbid all that food... for something, for sparks, for fireworks, for love, for passion, for SOMETHING...
I spent pretty much the entire evening talking about 'my ex-boyfriend' and how 'i hate men'. All I kept thinking was that I wanted Alex to see how wonderful a show I had put on, and how beautiful I looked on the public stage again after hair and makeup and costume had done their work. His ghost stood over me, completely.

I left on my own in a taxi at 5am without saying goodbye to anyone. I silently undressed in my hotel room, slipped under the cold sheets and ate a cheese and pickle sandwich.
That university and that life of drinking and flirting was who I was - and is not who I am now. I am past all the charades.
I was supposed to be staying for the Saturday night as well to see some other uni friends who couldn't come on the Friday - but I'd had enough. My skin was tired and so was my soul.
And so I gave my body shitloads of food - as is habit and protocol after every big, draining performance.

I seemed to have a lot more to say about the whole situation when I was thinking about this post last weekend - but now, a week later, that's all I have to write. I found out yesterday that one of my friends pulled two guys that weekend - both of whom have girlfriends. So I politely told her off. There are enough cold-hearted cheats and assholes in this world without us helping them along. Women should all be on the same side.

I'm struggling to get over this infatuation I have in thinking that men are the enemy. I've been reading lots of feminist literature and theory, trying to get at some understanding of the link between femininity and madness. I feel like so much of what is wrong with me stems from that - from being a woman - and from being utterly unable to cope with the demands of being such.
At the core of my illness lies this simple fact - I want to be a perfect woman with all the fairytale ideals that come with it. I want to be beautiful, I want to be thin, I want to be glamorous, I want the beautiful dress and beautiful shoes, I want the charming prince, I want to be loved, I want to be adored, I want to be kind and lovely, I want to be dainty and demure, I want to be intelligent and witty, I want to be well-spoken and well-educated, I want to be charming and individual. And everything I have done to try to fit the damn plastic mould has made me mad. And not even mad for myself, but mad for society, for men, for the everyone else to see I am well moulded.

The story of Kate Middleton's engagement to Prince William has been interesting to me in a way. She (or her parents) have been social climbers. To look at her and hear her speak, you'd think she could quite easily have come from an Aristocratic background because she is well-dressed in a quintessentially English manner, has a posh voice and comes across in a very elegant and sophisticated way. That's how you get by in this world - you carve yourself out into what you need to be - you force yourself into a certain mould that's gonna get you places.
I taught myself to speak with a well-spoken English accent, I chose my fashion tastes to reflect my femininity and elegance, I taught myself the way to act and come across in a corporate, polished manner so that I could become an asset to a team in an Investment Bank.
I am a daughter of a single immigrant mother on basic wage in South London - but people who meet me think I went to an excellent private school, come from a well-off family and have always been confident and charming and happy. Because I moulded myself that way. And because of that moulding I can get a job in an Investment Bank, and I can have friends with huge trust funds and I can be the girlfriend of a wealthy ex-boarding school boy who attends black tie dinners.
It's not who I am, but who I have moulded and presented myself as being, which has brought me everything I got.

I have to sign the contract for the job at the Investment Bank on Monday or I lose it.
I went for an interview for an assistant position at a Boarding School in the countryside on Thursday and got the job - of course. Great if I want to continue with my 'ideal' career into teaching. But I don't know. The countryside is beautiful. I will have so much spare time for long walks and runs, I can wear whatever clothes I feel comfortable in and plain makeup... but I'm afraid I'll get bored, I'm afraid I will still crave the city and the stage and bright lights too much... and it will be too late for me to return once I have cut these ties, I know.
And where, where would I ever meet a man to love me if I'm hidden in the countryside...

I feel like, I have this great opportunity to be "successful" in the eyes of others. I mean - I care so much (too much) about what people think of me. Telling people I work as an assistant in a boarding school says to them that I am weak, unambitious and couldn't get a better job OR to tell people that I work in the city, I deal with big people, work on big deals and make loads of money says to them that I am smart, driven and successful. When I went back to see my old uni friends I was shocked at how many graduates were shop assistants/unemployed/working in a call centre... they would kill for the opportunity I have.

If I turn down the Investment Bank and go to the boarding school, I will have to be a teacher. It's a big career move and you cant go back. I'd be on half the wage as well. But I might be happy. And I'm sure I said, the pursuit of happiness is everything. Fuck the social standards and the social hierarcy.
...But casting all that aside means casting aside the mould of social perfection I have been striving for all my life... a mould which I know gets you 'places'... and which I believe will earn you 'love'.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


I do not burden myself on other people.
I do not pick up my phone when I am crying my eyes out. I do not seek comfort. I do not ask for kindness.
I cry on my own. I have done for years. Even when I was in a relationship, I never bothered him with it.

And yet I lean on you. I come here to cry. I come here to find a shoulder. Because here, I can.

I'm a wreck. I'm so petrified.
I remember once, I must have been about 14, I was at school sitting, chatting to a friend during lunch, and she raised her arm suddenly and I flinched. I instinctively jerked away from her and raised my arm to cover my face.
"Woah. Ophelia. Why did you flinch?"
I laughed nervously. "I, er, I don't know, I, er, thought you were going to hit me."
I don't flinch now. Strange, I still censor.

I've blocked out pretty much all of my past. I've blocked out my childhood because it was so happy, and I've blocked out my teenage years because they were so dreadful. Looking back, when I was 13-18, I was living through a worse hell than I am now - aside from the fact that I didn't have a ridiculous eating disorder, I was completely... dead. The hatred I had for myself was unbelievable. I had to get dressed in the dark. I never looked at my naked body. I would only take baths not showers because I couldn't bare standing up so exposed. I wouldn't wear t-shirts - I had to wear a jumper so you couldn't make out the outline of my breasts. Look at the pictures of me when I was 14. I was so sick. Sicker than I am now. Believe it or not, I can accept my body more now. When I was with Alex, he almost made me begin to love it. But the idea of suicide never became a serious contemplation for me in those days. And I can't remember much of what it was like. Maybe I am more sick now. The experiences in childhood are so different to adulthood. I'm 23 now. No one can help me and no one should help me. It's a different loneliness. I think I am more frightened now.

I have to go back to my university city on Friday, and the university Club to see all my old friends, the close girlfriends I love, girls who loved me... And I am so consumed with fear, because I am so fat, and I really, really don't think I can do it - because I've lost her, I've lost the girl who was brave enough and hungry enough to laugh. I don't want to go - but I miss them, I want to see them... I don't know why I want to hide.

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to bloom."
make it true

I did a stupid thing today. I met a friend from the Club, and I went there to meet him.
I had a new costume, but the mask was beyond repair. That's when I realised it was gone, the sparkling pretty girl mask was gone. 'I don't think it's a mask; I think it's just one side of you.' I loved that mark. I mean mask.
I wish I hadn't gone back there. The memories, the smell, the staircase, the clothes. I looked at the spot where I had laid out the tables for my ball back in December, I stood at the entrance where I walked into D and charmed him to come out one evening, I looked at the board where Alex was. Alex. The friends I made and lost in a year. Alex.
It's been two months since I saw him and not a day - not a single fucking day - has he left my mind. I want him out of my head. I want him OUT OF MY HEAD. I want someone to flush out my mind of all the decaying memories.

I'm haunted, day and night. Every night i want to pick up the phone and tell him how much im dying i want to just send a message but hes gone hes gone i know where he is but hes gone
And I don't even care! This isn't even about him anymore.
What is it? WHAT IS ALL OF THIS ABOUT? WHY? just WHY. why cant it just stop
I don't want to feel anything anymore.

I cry now from despair. I want to curl up in a ball with someone's arms around me. "I want to be held in someone's arms"
I have pushed away so many friends.
I have isolated myself.
And all that remains to comfort me are memories and ghosts

I want to hide and I want to run - but neither will give me an escape... and yet, living - "blossoming/blooming" - it hurts as much.

record. going round and round...

"and all that consumes me is fear. Just fear"

I have structured scribbles in my notebook for a different post. And this is all I can give you today.

Monday, 8 November 2010

People who want to live but don't know how

I was reading a random article about bulimia online. It was the comments on the article that struck me. There are so many of us - so many people addicted to dying.
I'm supposed to be keeping a food diary for my therapy. I can't list how much I've eaten and thrown up, four, five times a day in the last week. Huge piles of food in and out, over and over. I'm doing it because I want to die, it's becoming quite conscious now.
Below are the comments on the article I read. The article is not important, it's the list of nameless people living this hell, saying words I understand too well. So many. Nameless. We are all nameless. The nameless stories of people living through hell, knowing the damage, knowing the danger, and hopelessly praying that it will all get better. We're like broken records all droning the same nameless story... so many, so, so many...
too many.
How can this be stopped. How the hell can this be fixed? No one deserves this. I can't even say what I want to say - but can you feel it? This shouldn't BE. And I want it to stop. I don't want this to exist. I don't want this many people suffering. How and why is this such a fucking silent death conviction? How can we save them?
This is too much.

Dec 31, 2008 9:28 AMGuest : I have been Bulimic for going on a year now. I halted last summer and thought I had quit...but stress overcame myself, my whole life...and it all started over again. I tell myself everyday I can over come this sickness...but really, I think it's gone past me being able to help myself. I want so badly to stop, but I don't know how...Its began to make me feel better about myself when I do it...but then I get so tired and weak and have no motivation to do family and my friends and myself all suffer from this. And I hate it.

Jan 16, 2009 5:05 PMGuest : I have been bulimic for 5 years now. I hate what Im doing to myself and my friends. I seeked help from this bitter illness when my dad took his life. Now I feel I am losing mine. I have lost my sole. I have tryed everything ranging from gp visits to an eating disorders unit to hypnotherapy and nothing helped!

I am weak, unhappy and have started throwing up blood now. I'm scared!

Jan 20, 2009 9:20 PMGuest : ive had bulimia and anorexia for the past 3 years.
im only 15, and its the worst thing ever.
i know im gonna die if i dont stop but i cant and im so scared, i throw up between 40-80 times a day and its getting worse.
i dont know what im going to do with myself

Mar 15, 2009 12:37 AMGuest : I have been bulemic for nearly ten years. Unbelievable to me when counting the years. I started in college but I remember making myself throw up so I didn't have to go to school when I was in kindergarten. I felt powerful and in control. How could it have lasted for so long? I thought it would just go away. Has it? My hunger for perfection lingers on. My throat hurts todays. I say it's just a cold and deep down inside me I have convinced myself that it's true. I am irritable somedays and other days I feel completely normal. I have two small girls-4 and 19 months. I always told myself that I would never throw-up in front of my girls. I am not perfect, I failed one time and I can hear her words carved into my brain. She said," Mommy, why did you let your throw-up out?" I can't let her see me again. I HATE the liar inside of me. I want so much to be committed to recovery but it is so difficult...I don't want to leave my girls. I know if I don't, I won't be there for them when they need me the most, years from now. Yet, I hide.

Mar 19, 2009 12:04 PMGuest : I have been bulimic for five yrs, lost my partner as he could not take my selfish erratic behaviour anymore! I desperatly want to stop i can't hold down a relationship i am behavin promiscuous i get far too drunk when i go out! Its like i am trying to destroy my life, its as if i do things on purpose to give me a purpose to hate myself! Every morning i wake up i think today is the day i will stop, i will eat healthily but by the the night i have binged at least three times and just feel a failure! I've been the doctors for help but they do not have the resources! I feel selfish even going the doctors because i am doing it to myself, i put my fingers down my throat, i eat the food that makes me feel fat, i am the one that slyly hides food and does things five yrs ago would never imagined myself doing! I just wish it would go forever and sometimes i feel the only time i will be free from it is the day i die!

Apr 15, 2009 3:51 PMGuest : My body is a prison, food is the enemy. When I'm throwing up, I loathe food, I depsise it. When I'm around family, happy and enjoying life(as much as the disease allows for it), food is my friend. I can control this, I think. I don't have a problem, I repeat. NO. I am an intelligent, career-driven mother. I can stop this. NO. I can't stop this and I hate myself for it. I really hate myself---how pathetic is that? I constantly feel tired, sick and constantly worry about my health. I am lucky to be healthy naturally and I am doing this to myself. I am making myself sick.
I WANT to stop, I DESIRE to stop. I simply cant do it on my own.
I called for help recently, I am going to try. I am still scared to tell my family, so the secrets will continue. I will seek therapy in private and the chains wont fully be broken. I wish I could be honest with myself and others. I am tired of lying. I am tired of hating myself. And I am tired of being this type of mother to my child. I want to LIVE.

Apr 19, 2009 2:32 PMGuest : I can't stop this monster. I have been bulimic for 7 long years. As stated above I feel 100 and I am only 24. I have lost so much because of my disease. I have dropped out of universities and colleges 5 times due to my bulimia, lost all of my friends from isolation, hurt loved ones, stole, and lied more than I can keep up with. I have been to 2 inpatient centers, an out patient center, therapists, psychologists, and "bulimia studies." Piled up huge medical bills, but I still can't stop. I hate bulimia, I gain weight because I binge so much. I feel like a prisoner in my own body. I am drained and empty. I don't know how to live anymore, but I want to.

Jun 10, 2009 10:58 AMGuest : I sit and waste the day with food.Eat,get sick,eat to feel better.Get sick.Go food. Feel worse.I feel like I live in my own universe.14 yrs into it and you think I might know more.No teeth.scars on my knuckles.size 00 to 3.waiting and wanting for something to help. S O S

Feb 4, 2010 11:08 AMGuest : i have been bullimic for 3 years. and recently ive sought help. im not too sure whether i'll be able to get better, and part of me doesnt want to. i throw up between 10 and 30 times a day and i have no control with food whatsoever. its a horrible illness and im scared that if i dont get better then i will die. but there is hope.. and theres hope for you all x

Feb 4, 2010 3:53 PMGuest : today i will acknowledge my demon...i used to weight 255 pounds and i lost weight and got down to 144. i did this with diet pills and bulemia...and now the weight is gone and i cant regain balance. i dont want to do this to myself. i can barely make myself get through one day without throwing up...and what's worse...i'm about to be a nurse

Mar 24, 2010 10:04 PMGuest : i dont really know how i started i have 2 years now that i vomit my food. i binge soo much i wait a while and vomit. i over abuse laxatives the stress of this is killing me everyday i seek help but im embarrased and afraid of my family what they might think im 17 now almost 18 started at 16 i seek help

Apr 12, 2010 4:28 AMGuest : Ive had bulimia for nearly 10 years, im in total denial over it!My behaviour is so erratic because of it,i shut myself off from people because i believe they dont like me!I've lost some good friends due to my behaviour and now i feel so lonely!The worst part is that now it has started to affect my job,I hate going to work because half the time i have cold sores on my face from all the self induced vomiting!I eat when i dont want to and then feel the immense urge to make myself sick!Only people who have this disorder can understand what a prison it is!!It has affected me so badly the last time i can actually remember being happy was before i had this problem!I cant stand losing more people that i love so i am going to ave to try and get some help!

Apr 13, 2010 10:09 PMGuest : I have been bulimic on and off for- it seems INSANE to type- 23 years! Every time that I "recover", I think "there's no way I'll ever do that again." But here I am again. And again. I feel so trapped by this war with my body and food. I careen between anorexia and bulimia. One causes the other and I never seem able to just eat normally. I went to DBT day treatment for TWO years straight to get my self-injurious behaviors under control. It allowed me to finally finish undergraduate school and start my master's degree. I'm now an intern doing acupuncture and oriental medicine- helping other people heal. Meanwhile, I'm destroying myself. It makes me hate myself so much. I wish that I would die soon because I can't take this misery any more.

Apr 17, 2010 1:49 PMGuest : iv been bulimic 4 11 years. i was 1st diagnosed at 13 with bulimia with anorexic thinking,iv been hospitalised 4 times, my muscles in my face have collapsed, heart palpitations kidneys are damaged. i so want to overcome this illness but if im truthful i dont ever see a day where i wont have my head down the toilet. i know i will die of this illness and i know it will be in the next 3 years if i dont stop. but this hasnt stopped me from doin it. everyday is a struggle and a battle. bulimia has destryed my life. i spend 30 pound a day on food. i got in so much debt iv had to declare myself bankrupt .

Jul 9, 2010 2:39 AMGuest : I'm 19 years old and I've been bulimic for nearly 6 years. I've been hospitalized twice and visited every kind of therapist imaginable, from family social worker to psychologist. I have countless self-help books stacked in my room right now...
Yet, I still purge about 7-10 times a day. 7-10 times a day for six years. I don't want to even think about how many times I've vomited in my lifetime.
I've wasted money. Time. Energy. I've lost friends, frustrated my family, scared away boyfriends.
I see that this disease is tearing apart my life (not to mention my teeth and intestines) but no matter how hard I try, I always wind up stuck over the toilet.
I don't have any energy anymore...All I want to do is sleep...I used to run 10 miles a day for the shear joy of it, and now I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I think my life may be ending soon, and the most pathetic part is, I don't have enough hope left in me to fight for it. Good luck to all of you who are battling this like I am... I think I'm going to lose pretty soon.

Sep 8, 2010 10:46 AMGuest : I have had this for 33 years. I am a man and I am not thin now and I think it is because of it. If anything I am overweight today even though I purge everything I take in. I think the fact that I am overweight now & still purging everything drives me to continue and not seek help. My thought process is ... if I am overweight now & I am purging everything I take in, imagine how big I would get if I were to stop. I hear people say this can lead to death. I don't believe that because I have been doing it for over 33 years now and I am still alive and kicking.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Some really powerful posts.

I think it's good to broaden our vision of the world and our understanding. I have got to get out of my head and into other peoples, because this head is suffocating me - and I want to write and feel and understand more than what is contained within it's distorted and confining walls.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


On Thursday I gave the keys back to the house in London I was supposed to be living in with my two friends.
That door is shut now. It killed me to do it.
It was great to go there on Thursday, and be with friends, to laugh, to forget about the pain. To be the girl I used to be. To laugh. And it killed me because I had to walk away from it and come back to this room in this house I hate. That door is shut.

I got the job offer from the Investment Bank. But I can't take it - sorry - I won't take it - because I won't live this nightmare anymore. Living in this house, trapped, and working a job, trapped. dead. trapped.

It's as I said in my last post - It was two choices - live or die - take the new job and move out or stay here and rot. And when I came back home my Mum saw that I wasn't kidding. I'd shut the last door that led out of here and back to life. And I resigned myself to suicide. I told her so, frankly, as I had warned her the day before she made me do it.
She got scared - scared now by the blankness in my eyes - and she told me I could move out now. 
I had to laugh. OF COURSE. Of course I can now, now that it's too late.
I told her it was too late. Decision made. Door closed. Another girl has moved into the room with my friends. Congratulations, you got what you wanted now, a daughter who doesn't live.

I went to my first appointment on Friday morning with the NHS psychologist. Session 1. Charts. The cycle. Snotty nose and tissue after tissue after tissue.
She's nice though. I know she will look after me.
But she wants to weigh me at every weekly session. So she can force me to maintain.
"I won't ever force you to do anything you don't want to in these sessions, of course."
A somewhat pointless statement in my opinion - for it would be pointless for me to go to therapy and refuse to do what I'm supposed to.
And yet, to be weighed once a week - and to have her... to have her stop me from losing weight.
I really don't think I can do it.

Decision today: I'm taking the job at the Investment Bank, Canary Wharf, and I'm going to move out, I'm just going to have to move out to somewhere else. I HAVE TO LIVE.... because now, I am just sitting in this house EATING and growing FATTER than my wildest dreams.
disgusting, slob, fat running through my veins, fat for blood,
This is not the way my story is going to end dammit, this not not what I dreamed of and what I've been killing myself for. I will not let the memory of Alex or my Mum or this depression destroy the dream.

I am still the girl that wrote this

Sometime at the end of August, I saw this face staring at me amongst the rows of usual fashion magazines:

This is the face of 'Buela', an enchanted doll. It's not very often when something captivates me so completely, but this cover, the whole cover had me spellbound. I stood there staring.
Ms Perfect
The Mannequin
I had to have it. She was perfect, even just as a 2D picture, perfect. That's it, that's her.

I knew it was going to be a post - but I just wasn't in the right mindset - until now.
So here she is. The girl that made me stop and stare. Give her dark brunette hair, and dark brown eyes, and that's me - that is a perfect me.

Of course it's ironic. The most beautiful cover I've ever seen is a doll. Of course. It wasn't a real woman. (God, don't you just hate that term "real woman"). My ideal was drawn and crafted and painted. Of course I cannot do that to myself - no living person can. God the irony, that I can only find a doll so perfect and beautiful, out of all the stunning models gracing the other magazine covers, I desire to be the fucking doll...

Here is the text next to the full page picture of Buela in the magazine:
"Sublime. That's how the French would describe it: the highest level of beauty, so giddyingly unreal it transcends the usual realm of the senses. There's no exact translation, and 'gorgeous' isn't quite as mysterious, but you get the idea. The divine beauty embodied by the women here is on a scale that's simply too epic for words."

I've sat here, stuffed my fat face and let my mammoth body balloon.
Next time Alex sees me, he's gonna think my arms and legs and cheekbones have been carved from finest porcelain.
Because I am Ophelia and I will win this battle.
No question.
No fucking question -
I starve.

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Survey from a 'College Student'

I have been asked nicely via email to post this on my blog. Hoping that maybe some understanding of eating disorders will be bought to the 'outside' world as a result of this survey, I have obliged to post this request. I must reiterate this has nothing to do with me I am just doing it because, well, because I'm bloody nice and I hope it helps I suppose.
She has asked for your responses to be given in the comment box as normal...

Hello. My name is Sheila and I am a college student working on a research project. My study focuses on girls and women who consider themselves to be pro-anorexic. I hope to better understand the users of online, pro-anorexia websites. If you are willing to participate, I would like to ask some questions about what this website means to you. I am not here to judge or make assumptions, but to simply gather information on a group that many know little about. All participation will be anonymous. Please use screen names that do not identify you in any way. If you are willing to participate, please post a reply to the following questions. If not, thank you for just taking the time to read this.


1.) How did you first come to join this website and what keeps you participating in it?

2.) Do you consider others on this website to be your friends? What kinds of support do they give you?

3.) How does your family support -- or not support, --you?

4.) Are you closer to your friends who are online or to those who are offline? Why?

5.) Do you see a difference between anorexics, “anas,” and “rexies”? What term do you use to refer to yourself?

I guess I'll put my answers as comment number 1...

Friday, 29 October 2010


I want the pain to stop. I just want the pain to stop. These last few months have been unbearable - the hardest period of my life. And the only option is to bear it.

Anonymous said...

...Perhaps that's why we love the violence. We're not really alive in the real world. I often fantasize about the ex-boyfriend strangling me, this time for real, until everything stops. The terrifying thing is, when I allow reality and fantasy to mingle, I forget which is which and I forget to be scared. It's exhilarating. I know I'm meant to have given up blogging but I still read all your posts...

I hate it when I can't reach back to Anonymous' - even just a name, a fake name to identify you apart.

But that might be it, I never really looked at it that way. I forget which is which... reality and fantasy - who I am and who I fantasise being. I read too much, I think too much and I don't live enough.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I love having an eating disorder.
I must do.
Else why would I do it. You don't do something you don't want to.

I didn't want to do my job. I quit.
It's easy...

If I take the job at the Investment Bank, I'm moving out, I'm going 'back on the crazy, fit men and alcohol'.
If I turn the job down, I'm staying here with my Mum, and reading books.

I choose to live. Or I choose to stop living.
I told my Mum my choices. So after shouting at me for wasting money on rent she has stopped speaking to me and pretends I don't exist.
(Yes. This is what I deal with.)

If it wasn't for my Mum I'd have jumped. I live so that she doesn't have to bear anymore loss or suffering in her life. But she kills me in another way.
I never write much about her. I won't now.

I want to live, you know. I want it back.
I opened up my cupboard and ran my hands through my vast collection of beautiful dresses and clothes. Stacks of shoes, dainty accessories, shelves of cosmetics – all from a lost era. I don't need them any more - not now I've stopped living.  I wear the same patterns of shirt and skirt and shoes to work. I scrape my hair back. I wear glasses and foundation. No contact lenses, no careful make up, no changing hairstyles, no pretty dresses.

All the ‘props’ are not needed anymore – for I have no man in the audience. I got down off the stage, I stripped away the costume, the mask, because I had nobody to act for - nobody to watch me.

Isn’t that dreadful – I can only be bothered to live for a man.
After Alex left my life I made a conscious effort to get away from the world around me to try and find a source of happiness inside myself - and it isn’t there. And that's why I want to live again.
Well, I was more alive than I am now.
a source of happiness... alcohol. men. clubs. dresses.

Violence. Violence keeps cropping up. I keep craving violence.
I don't want to commit suicide, I want to be killed, murdered.
I keep visioning someone plunging a knife between my ribs - in- out. I can hear the sound of it. The swift action. The crumble.
I want someone to beat me up until I'm bruised all over. Today I cut myself accidentally - it was more euphoric than self-harm.
I keep feeling two hands on my upper chest pinning me down. Yes, I want that. Hands sliding up towards my throat...harder.
They are always man's hands. Alex's hands... I want it to be Alex.

I've never had these thoughts or visions before. It's all linked to the dream about D last week, somehow. I don't know what it means.

I spoke to another idiot today who thinks I'm going to meet up with him for drinks when he's back in the country at Christmas. I have to sleep in a cold big double bed was his last message.
It's beyond stupid now. I reply out of politeness. And so they hunt. 

That's some brilliant stage show they must have been watching before

Saturday, 23 October 2010

"I'm an arty person, ok, I write overblown, purple, self-indulgent prose - so fucking what?" Angela Carter

I must start off first of all, I suppose, with a remark:
You will see now, in the top right hand corner, my little award.
I... well, I... it meant a lot.

I'm reading a fantastic book at the moment: The Golden Notebook by a wonderful British author called Doris Lessing. I had never heard of her until she was mentioned on a programme chronicling the great British authors on television recently - I made a list of all the ones which sounded interesting - this book was top of the list.

I had recently finished reading Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier - what a remarkable, all-consuming book. It became a necessity for me - I used it on my commutes to and from work, craving to just be taken away for those two hours a day, completely consumed in that world, that world of yearning. I could smell the fresh woodland of Manderley and the pure salt air of the sea... I could feel the chills of Mrs DeWinter - yes it was a book of feeling - wonderful feeling! It took me away from London, they grey, the dead.
And I used it to feel; for everything else around me had no feeling at all.

And when I finished that book I understood that I had turned to literature as a crutch again, to help me survive my mundane reality. "To me, books are like breathing," my English teacher had said to me when I returned to my old school. Yes, again, reading is breathing for me. But it has to be a magnificent book, it has to be full of words that fill my craving and quell my madness.

The Golden Notebook has come at the right time. I cannot recommend it highly enough for those of you who find life as a woman so painful. The book is a narrative chronicling the life of a woman called Anna - a narrative which is separated with entries from her four notebooks - one for her writing, one for politics, one for emotions and one for everyday life. It is a very large book and admittedly took a while to get into - I was afraid - I needed something to get lost in. But I didn't have to worry for long - once I was past the first few parts of the novel I was craving again. Admittedly I have skipped large sections on politics, publishing - things of little interest to me. But the narrative sections - the notebooks on her relationships and life - extraordinary - exactly what I thought and felt about myself and my relationships, feelings, needs and desires towards men, all written down in a questioning manner, trying to make sense of all the chaos. Chaos.

"What is terrible is that after every one of the phases of my life is finished, I am left with no more than some banal commonplace that everyone knows: in this case, that women's emotions are all still fitted for a kind of society that no longer exists. My deep emotions, my real ones, are to do with my relationship with a man. One man. But I don't live that kind of life, and I know few women who do. So what I feel is irrelevant and silly..."
Oh I could go on and on.

Yes, on a crude level, it is a book full of hatred for men - a hatred I share, of course, even more so now that I have read this book. But also, the hatred of oneself, as a woman, for being a woman, for wanting a man, for feeling the emotion of love for experiencing all the complex emotions that we do. An exploration of what the hell it means to be alive, to be a "boulder-pusher" as she calls it, the power of memory, the scars, humanity, society, life and suicide...
I see too much of myself in the main character, Anna, so naturally, how could I not love this book.

And of course, so many reviews of this book use that ignorant phrase: "self indulgent".
"the educated moneyed whining women in the book" wrote one reader on Amazon.
It angered me reading these reviews. Yes, it's about a woman who has enough money to live comfortably, and yes, she probably should just shut up and get on with her life and go to work and eat and sleep and breath and not think about her life... but fucking hell, she thinks and writes and tries to work out what is missing, tries to find what is happening in the world then what the hell is wrong with that?! If 99% of the population had to review this blog it would be the same: a self indulgent middle class white girl feeling sorry for herself. And that makes me so... no, not angry...but sad. Sad that people will despise me because I am not in poverty and I have "no reason to feel sorry for myself".
"Just get on with life." "Move on." It's what we are supposed to do isn't it - we are supposed to block out the sadness and pretend it never existed - doesn't exist. Why?

Self indulgent.

Anyway, back to the cold sanity:
It's the midst of Autumn here in London now. When I wake up in the morning it's dark again. Recently we've been blessed with an icy cold matched with bright, crisp sunshine.
"This is my favourite weather," I said to the boys on my desk at work. "It's pure. The air is fully of clarity. So pure and fresh and clean."

My job. Was it the eating disorder that broke me and ruined it for me? On second thoughts I don't think it was entirely. I wanted more. It wasn't the bulimia draining me and killing me - it was the job first. I hated it. I had to get out, there was no question. The hospital letter was the way out in the end - I couldn't go on after that. Maybe the bulimia saved me. Maybe I won't last a week.
Everyday I expect to collapse or to have a heart attack. It doesn't stop me...

Inspite of my sickness I had an interview yesterday at one of the biggest global Investment Banks. Why? You'd have thought the contempt and disgust I had built up in four months of working with them as clients was bad enough. Inside I was desperately craving for the countryside, for relaxed shoulders, for loose fitting clothing... what was driving me closer to the heart of this City of Money that I hated so much?
Men. Adrenaline.
I can't get rid of that longing. The other day as I was walking across London Bridge on my way to the station I passed a pack of city boys, up for it, on their way to the pub no doubt to drown alcohol. I felt a lurch towards them. I missed that. The game. The chase. The pack of wolves. It was a dreadful game I loved to play with myself, to get the attention, to be desired, it was a dreadful game because if I lost the consequences were devastating, and if I won, it meant nothing. I look back at all the times I 'won' this year. The dinner at my old Club, the Cocktail party at the new Club, the weekend away. I won. I was fucking beautiful and desired. And it meant nothing. And I understood that emptiness. I understand it now, still.
But I still crave it. "Winning".

I had a dream a few nights ago. I never remember my dreams; but this one, this one I can't forget...

I was in bed with D, in my bed, in my house. The door was shut. He was on top of me, heavy and hot, and reached out to my bedside table and pulled out a copy of King Lear. He opened it up at the most violent scene - the word 'violent' was important - he held it in one hand and read it aloud as he entered me. And I was conscious of Alex thoughout, thinking of him, comparing D to him. Alex was still there in my head, I wanted him, his softness.

I think now, of getting this new job, of walking into the externally glamorous Investment Bank, of being so incredibly externally glamorous myself, of making eyes at hungry young traders and starving myself for the kicks. I want to be beautiful and desired again. I want to get back out there. I want to be at the top of my game.

I want it.

Of course I want it. Why the hell do you think I've been so ill for so goddam long. Because I can't give it up. I can't stop wanting it. I can't change the way I feel about men. The need. A Streetcar Named Desire. If I can't be loved, I need to be desired.
I can see a terrible pattern now - a pattern that has been going on since I was about seventeen. Men. That's it - killing myself for one after another, for the burning sensation, for the craving. Nothing is worth it without a man to whom I can dedicate my life and suffering to.

This is not the blog of some wonderful, strong woman. Good God. This is the blog of a woman who hates herself so much, who thinks so little of herself, that she is nothing, NOTHING without the attention of a man. And the only way I ever learnt to gain or to understand a man's affection or attention was through the way I looked and through how close to his sexual ideal I could become.

And that's why I will never get married. Because he will leave me. And will break my heart. And I will know it will be because I am not physically perfect enough.

"She slowly, involuntarily, builds up a picture in her mind of a serene, calm, unjealous, unenivous, undemanding woman, full of resources of happiness inside herself, self-sufficient, yet always ready to give happiness when it is asked for... Slowly Ella understands that this is what she would like to be herself, this imagined woman is her own shadow, everything she is not. Because by now she knows and is frightened of her utter dependence on Paul. Every fibre of herself is woven with him, and she cannot imagine living without him."

"Or rather, I would begin an affair, just that, knowing exactly what would happen; I would begin a deliberately barren, limited relationship."

"And I thought, for years and years I've been wearing clothes I hated, just to please this creature."

The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ana and Mia won. again.

I'm quitting my job.

I don't know what I'm going to do from here.
I've pulled the plug on everything.
If there is a God I'd be dead now.

I will write something longer and more coherent soon. I just wanted to say - I quit my job.
I am an eating disorder and nothing else.

Edit: Thank you readers for reminding me: I am so much more than just an eating disorder.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

I need a knife - a big, clean, sleek one - to slice these great chunks off my body.

I have got to get out of here.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The week I grew up

I never imagined how I'd feel if that moment came, but I think, it didn't matter as much as I thought it would - because all this is the truth.
But would I change it if I could? Of course.
I feel like I'm nearing the time that all these blogs inevitably seem to face - permanent deletion - as if Ophelia had never written. It's going to come, I think, with my 'growing up'.

One day, I will look back on my life, and be able to point to this week as the week that I grew up.
I grew up the week I went back to school again.

As most readers will know, I hate my job and I despise The City. That's simple. The more complicated issue is how I survive from hereon...
I began to consider becoming a high school English teacher a few months back, and am now moving forwards with my application, potentially to start my training in September 2011. (Teaching being one of three courses of action I am currently pursuing - but I will not bore you with details). To be successful in any teacher training application, you must of course, have done some work experience.
So this week, I took some time off from work and I went back to my old school to 'observe' my old English teachers at work.

Even after my first day I felt like the great grey cloud had been lifted from my mind. I was somewhere good - with books and kids and people who thought and felt like me. I smiled. Hell I was still smiling when I got home.

In the staff briefing on Wednesday they announced one of the pupils had been hospitalised and put in care for her eating disorder.
She was 13 years old.
I felt sick. Ashamed. Sick and ashamed of myself - an adult - having written the things I have on this blog. Imagine, if she had searched online for advice, motivation, inspiration, thinspiration whatever you wanna call it. Imagine if she read anything of mine and it had spurred her on. Imagine. I could never forgive myself.

And as the cloud began to lift, as I sat with the school kids and talked about Shakespeare and Orwell so easily and naturally, it became easier for me to accept who I was. I was born a plain, sweet girl, with a gift and love of literature. I'd spent years rejecting who I was, trying to force myself into moulds into which I wasn't meant to fit. You don't have to be beautiful, glamorous or thin to be an English teacher - most of them have had children - the qualities needed are ones I already have.
This week I tried to fit myself into a mould already made for me. And it was so... liberating. To fit in my skin, to speak my own words, with genuine passion, to smile a real smile from real joy, to stand confidently in a place I belonged, knowing I wasn't a fraud.

And I was safe and at peace, coming home from school, visiting the library, immersing myself in literature, under a blanket of comforting words.
I didn't have to be anything I wasn't.

I grew up. I stopped being a girl. I stopped caring about all the things that had plagued me these last few months and years.
I have to be older now. I have to be the one that is grounded and steady. I have to be the one saying sensible and responsible things. If I want to teach I have to be the adult, the one with the right answers.
I have to give up the dream. Because I don't fit into that goddam dream. Maybe sometimes I looked the part but I was so unhappy and bleeding black inside.

In the end I wasn't even doing it for me. It was a guy, or perhaps guys in general. And what did it give me? Pain - fucking PAIN. Heartache and tears, a feeling of worthlessness and emptiness. Still never being enough. Used and trodden on, forgotten and discarded, drained of all the goodness and love that used to fill my heart.
So I'm done. I stopped clinging on to those old, tired childhood dreams. I'm not fitting into any plastic mould for any man's ideal plastic woman.
You know, it wasn't the fact that Alex broke up with me that was so traumatic. What killed me is that he showed no emotion. He never loved me - that much is obvious in the aftermath - he was incapable of such an emotion. He knew how sick I was - no I never exposed him to the vomiting and the blood and the manic depressive breakdowns - but he knew I was so fucking sick. But when he got bored, when he wanted a girl who looked a bit more perfect he just cut me off with a phone call and not another thought. Without realising it, I had been killing myself, not to win his emotional love but to fulfil his physical ideal - and in the end I couldn't do either.
He said, emotionless, when I met him on his return to London, "You weren't on facebook for a few days afterwards and I thought you might have [committed suicide]."
I looked at him stunned.
He knew. He knew exactly how fragile I was and how close. He knew exactly what he did to me, he knew the hell I cried, he knew. And I never received one message, nothing, no checking even ONCE to see if I was ok. Fucking hell. Fucking hell. What the fuck was wrong with me to give someone like that so much of my love.
A few days before I got involved with Alex I wrote I could not let another guy into my life:
"If he were to leave me or betray me, it would kill me. I know I could never take that pain of heartbreak."
It's true, I never believed I was strong enough to take more pain.
But I took it - and I'm still alive.
I'm the fucking strongest person that little boy will ever come across in his life. I'm a fighter. Yeah, I cried myself to sleep for weeks, I couldn't hold my head up high. But I didn't fucking do it. I didn't die.
Oh Alex pushed me over that edge alright - but it wasn't a crossing into madness and suicide - he pushed me over the border into adulthood.

There's a 13 year old girl from my school in a hospital.
Maybe I helped put her there.
Or maybe I can become a strong woman and a strong role model to girls who spiralled like I did.

This was me:
and when I become a teacher, a wise adult, I hope I will be able to save whoever that girl is now.

A word perfect description: the rest of the world was living in colour....I always felt once, twice removed from people....I became incredibly good at adopting a mask....I became a master of projecting this image...I can't stand to live in my skin....and yet no one can see it... couldn't for the life of me keep my eyes open...the impact at the bottom never being violent enough...
With awareness comes a taking of responsibility. Wanting to die and kill myself was just so simple. It's the not wanting - it's the deciding that actually I want to live and give this my best shot. That is so much more difficult.

You know something? I didn't cry today.
But don't think I'm better yet. I threw up everyday, twice, three times a day this week. Just because...
because I'm fat and that's what I do

I'm twenty-three years old now. Remember when I started writing here, I was twenty-one. I was ashamed at the age and the waste and the lack of time left to change. Jesus Christ I'm twenty-three now. The last boat left so long ago without me. The best years are gone. The waste will live with me forever.
All the pretty pictures from my last four years as a student - I will always have to look back at each one and remember only how sick I was, how I tortured myself for days before, and how I binged and cried myself sick when the camera turned away.

I am at the top of the NHS waiting list now. Last Friday I sat down and told my boss. "It all makes sense now", he said. I don't care what he meant by that.
But I'm going back in to treatment. And God help me, after 'starting treatment' countless times, I will stick at this. This psychiatrist is not going to let me walk away. She is not going to let me forget. She called and chased me endlessly until I found the courage to make an appointment and tell my boss I needed the time off work. She is not going to let me rot. And God help me, I am going to stick at this until it's done. I want to be truly beautiful and pure again.

Ophelia is not a tragic heroine.
I am just a heroine. An almighty heroine.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time...

I don't understand the human instinct to survive.
I don't know why I run across the road before the bus hits me... when I wish it would hit me.
I don't know why I refuse to give in when I have witnessed over and over again that my dreams will never come true.
There are people with worse lives than me.
One of my mum's friends - consumed by cancer, knowing the time is so short and will only be full of pain.
A colleague at work - married and divorced after a hellish marriage of one year - 30 years old.
A friend of a friend - told by her husband that he just doesn't love her anymore - her financial support and life, all gone.
When you have children, dependents, I believe it is different. I would never kill myself if I knew there were people in the world who needed me. But I, like the people above, have nothing. No children, now no lover, perhaps no future.
I have no reason to bear my pain. And yet others with perhaps even less reason can still bear it. I look at my colleague at work and feel ashamed. For if it had been me, married, committed, in love, put through hell and divorced... no, I could never be so strong and brave as her. She is incredibly successful and brilliant at her job. She does not spend days crying underneath her duvet in a locked bedroom.

Time heals; I cry less now than I did. I nearly went a whole day without crying this week... just two tears brimmed at the corners of my eyes before I wiped them away.
I saw Alex two weeks ago. He was back in London so I made him meet me and talk to me. I hadn't seen him since our weekend away in The Cotswolds.
I don't really know what to write here. I should probably record every word , so I never forget, but I don't want to. My heart is drained, he is just a boy, there is nothing there. He feels nothing; he is hollow and empty - happy.
Perhaps I just can't take the tears.
My eyes well up again.
Why put myself through the pain and cry and cry as I write everything. Just leave it, it is nothing anyway.

I've been asked if I want to "meet up" by six guys since news spread that I was single. It makes me... sad.
I'm back to being a piece of meat.
Some more serious than others perhaps but still seeing me as a body, an object, a purely visual, sexual thing. I went on one date... because he was an Officer in the Marines. I thought it would make Alex jealous if he found out. It just made me sad. And I ate pasta, cheese and chocolate and drank cocktails. Fat and sugar. But at least he paid... that's more like it.
I had to turn down another dinner date... I thought he was being nice, a good friend, cheering me up when he asked me to join him on a day out with some friends. I was sad when I realised he wasn't trying to be a good friend at all; he just wanted to get in my knickers. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and asked, "Would you like to go to dinner sometime?" I said yes. How could I say anything else? I have put it off since then. That was over a month ago. He keeps asking.
And another, I don't know why, why do they do this?  sent endless messages and finally... "shall we meet up one evening next week." I haven't replied. I know it's rude. But. I just don't need this.
The others are just whores by nature, so I don't take them seriously. But I think they think I'd sleep with them. Men always seem to think that. I talk to them and am friendly and chatty. I don't understand why this makes them decide to hunt me like a frightened animal.

I don't get how people can be so shallow with their feelings - even women these days. I went out for lunch with some girls at work the day after my date with the Marine, and they didn't understand why I hated it. They encouraged me to go on as many dates as possible, meet as many men as I could, get as many nights out paid for me as possible.
"But I can't do it," I said. "I'm either single or I'm in a relationship. I can't do dating, I can't do all the shit, all the messing, all the playing of games. It's all or nothing." In other words, I know if I can love someone or not. I knew I would love Alex from the night we sat at that bus stop at 3am one Monday in March. I will die for someone I love, but I will not suffer a single bruise for anyone who I feel anything less for.
These guys are interested in a fucking image. not me. and I am not interested.
That's the mistake I made with Alex. He was in love with an image, a schoolboy crush. He didn't even know me. His heart is empty, incapable of feeling - and so, he could never feel me.

When I'm alone, no one can hurt me. I had learnt that lesson already. I had affirmed it a thousand times in this blog. Alex proved that I never learn.
He moves on, unblemished, immovable, facing a whole, wonderful world at his feet. I lie trodden; rotten and wasted - for he wasted me and I wasted for him.

"He wore me like a silken knot,
He changed me like a glove;
So now I moan, an unclean thing,
Who might have been a dove...
Even so I sit and howl in dust,
You sit in gold and sing:
Now which of us has tenderer heart?
You had the stronger wing."

I wish I could say I didn't really love him. But I did - I loved him far too much. I loved him for being the one good thing in my life, my one piece of hope, my one ray of sunshine. And now I hate him, for giving me that hope, giving me glimpses of happiness, giving me something to believe in, giving me a future to face. I hate him because those things were untrue. It was a terrible dream.

I turned to my eating disorder long ago to make me beautiful and desired. I forgot about love. I am desired, but I am not, never was, and never will be loved. Who could ever love someone so sick?

I'm not just sick, I'm disgusting, vile and putrid. It starts to show now, in my lifeless skin and dry hair. The one red knuckle on my right hand, the hideous scratches on my arm that bulge purple in the cold. The teeth that mean I never smile.

I am so ugly when I smile.

I was supposed to be moving out, living in a house with two guys from the Club - two mutual friends of mine and Alex. So I'd be nearer him, spend time with him at weekends. I've paid the deposit and the first month rent now. But I'm still in the house of my mother. She forbids me to go. And I might agree.
I dreamt of keeping up my social masquerade. A wardrobe full of beautiful dresses, parading around the dance floor in expensive heels, dancing with guys, knowing they wanted me but couldn't have me.
Putting on a great big, glamorous show.
But the pain. That's the cause of all the pain. When I'm looking in the mirror and feel too fat and ugly to put on the show. When I've drank juice and eaten laxatives for a week so I look good for one evening. When I get rejected. When I'm not admired. When I see him, Alex, with another girl. I drink, and drink, I cry and I cry, and I eat and eat and am sick sick. Sick until I'm screaming into the bottom of the toilet bowl.

So I think I should stay. Safe in a dull house in a dull life. With no one, just my books and my bed. No nothing. No men, no shows, no need for beauty. No make up, no need to starve. Maybe I'll be safe here. Maybe I'll get better. Maybe I'll stop craving the bright lights and buzz of desire.
Maybe I'll forget.

Do I stay or do I go. Which dream do I chase? Which path will make me happy?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

"I have experienced love, sorrow, madness and if I cannot make these experiences meaningful, no new experience will help me"

"I have experienced love, sorrow, madness and if I cannot make these experiences meaningful, no new experience will help me."

Sylvia Plath.
I wrote about her before - several times. The first time I wrote when I was 19 I think - after reading 'The Bell Jar' - after realising that I didn't want to wear it anymore, like her... I didn't want a life like hers... not for all her genius.

Maybe she could have stepped away; maybe she couldn't. Maybe it was her destiny to feel and write and suffer, all so intensely.
Maybe I can step away; maybe I can't. Do I believe in destiny or do I believe in choice?

There is no author whose work I have ever identified with more closely - except maybe Tennessee Williams. And this makes me sad. Sad, because I don't want to be like Sylvia Plath.

I don't.
I'm sure I don't...

So why don't I just step away?

Please, come on, step away... I must have a choice, because I swear, I never chose sadness, I would never choose sadness...

I didn't choose to feel, I didn't choose to write. Did I?
What am I trying to achieve by feeling and writing, so much, so intensely?

When I am sad I read a lot. I reach towards my passion for literature, the burning in the mind and heart, the burning in the eyes, because it hurts so much. No, I crave it, I crave poetry, all poetry, epic and contemporary; all literature, modern and Renaissance. It makes me feel sane - it places my mind in a safety where it's not reeling or crazy, but among reeling words and ideas and questionings that it can feed off, and feel safe - like I'm not alone.

I started to consider my mantra last weekend as I dove into Sense and Sensibility and the BBC archive of British Novelists 'In their own words'. I fell in love with Sense and Sensibility during my darkest time. (I forget this time was never charted in this blog... but that is the time when I was 20, and I lost Jon and discovered bulimia). I clung to literature, in the hope it would relieve the pain. I don't know why.

I want to write a masterpiece before I die.
There. Now I cannot line up the pills on the kitchen table, and scrutinise them, under the bright light as I pop them into my mouth, over and over.
I have to write a masterpiece first.
But of what?
Always, I think, I have been acutely aware of my identity as a woman and what it means to be a woman. The common themes - men, love, eating, disorder, weight, looks, beauty, fitting in, being loved, giving love, losing love. But then, am I a typical woman, struggling with identity in the 21st century? No, I don't think I can speak for my generation. My generation are not sick.

But this is my drive now. To write - to really write - something of consequence, of structure, of meaning. For I have all but wasted my life, so may it at least have been in the pursuit of something... some understanding, some vision, some something, written on neatly bound paper.

Why do it?
it cuts me free
it looks so pure
a fever of 103
Clean blood.
like the mist
like my lips you used to kiss
like my face
like my heart
like the bind around my wrist.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Hardest Post...

This is the hardest post I have ever had to write. I apologise if it's sporadic and raw. This is everything from the last two months. When I went away with Alex for a weekend on the 16th July and when we went away for the second time on the 13th August. How things became incredible. How things fell apart.

The writing in red is what I have written today - my input now - the writing in black is what I wrote on the date stated.

Written on 19th July 2010
The dream is not a dream.
It exists.
I tasted it. I lived it.
The happiness of my childhood is not dead. It lives around me – in other children, in other families.

I walked hand-in-hand with Alex through the gardens of Chatsworth House, listening to the laughter of children, watching old couples sitting on the wall eating huge cones of soft white ice cream. Seeing families all around me. Joy, happiness, laughter, innocence, contentment, fulfilment.
I was right all along.
I knew it. I knew it!
I had known all along what happiness was. I am blessed with such appreciation of true happiness because it was deprived of me so early on. But I never forgot what happiness was – and I never stopped believing that I would find it again.
I was right all along; happiness is family; it’s sharing your life with someone else; it’s bringing someone else joy; it’s being alive and loved.

People are such wonderful creatures – full of curiosity, full of wonder, full of passion and emotion, capable of creating such genius – whether it be in art, science, technology – we are the inventor race.
When did this stop being the norm? How did so many intelligent people become so lost? How did they override their genetic programming so easily? How has the desire to love and give life and joy become so pointless for so many? The greatest minds of this country are lured into Investment Banks and finance for the rewards of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. Great minds living to make money – not beauty, not art, not creation.
I won’t do it.
I won’t fall into the trap – the lure of riches.
I am intelligent – but it doesn’t mean that I have to be ‘successful’ and ‘rich’ and sad.
People may say I’m wasting my talents, earning half the amount I could or should with my academic background – but I don’t care.

I want to do a job that leaves me emotionally and creatively fulfilled. I want a career where I will be able to spend time with my children, where I will wake up with passion and enthusiasm; a job where I can inspire and make a difference.
I may be able to afford fewer holidays and fewer dresses, but I will be infinitely happier; or rather, I will be happy. For there is only one route and one type of happiness. You cannot be ‘happier’. You can only be happy or unhappy.

So yes, I let myself be lured by the seductiveness of ‘success’, the promise of the big city. But it’s as the book says – you have to define your meaning of life, otherwise you will be eternally depressed and unfulfilled. Now I do not mean to say that the City is unfulfilling – for I have met, and indeed work closely with, men and women who would be depressed if they lived any part of their life outside of it. For some, the dedication of their life and soul to greed and money is necessary for their happiness. Nothing could make them more depressed than not being rich.
“I couldn’t take a job for anything less than £60,000. I have a wife and two kids.” The average wage in Britain is a third of that. Cock.

This weekend (16th – 18th July 2010) Alex and I went to the Peak District.
As we sat at dinner on Saturday evening and listened to the adorable giggling of a small boy being humoured by his parents in the same charming manner that both our parents used when we were young, I was moved. I wanted it. And again, at Chatsworth House, seeing the joy on children’s faces as they toddled around the maze holding on to Daddy’s hand – just seeing families – sharing the fun and joy and pleasures of just that – being a family and sharing their time together.

I had that life once before.
I have never forgotten it. I never will.
And I am truly dismayed that I let myself lose sight of it.

This was the fattest I had been since we got together. Truly fat.
But it was such a relief to see him, to feel his warm body again, to breathe him in again.

We escaped so far away that weekend – not just in terms of distance – but spiritually as well. We left the mundane harshness of our boring reality and cleansed our minds and hearts. We just escaped to each other.
When we checked into our little room at the base of the Peak District, it was like we were home; free and at peace.
I don’t know how you put perfection into words, but that was it, right there, in that tiny spot in the middle of nowhere.
We made love countless times.
When we first arrived, it was so good to just have him close. I just took the time to run my fingers through his fine hair and trace the outline of his features with my fingertips, feeling the gentle touch of his soft lips on mine at long last. It made my blood warm to feel the toned muscle of his arms and the perfect arch of his back. I bought a pink babydoll lingerie set...

Things moved on to another level. I think, for the first time we were both comfortable in our relationship. We didn’t need anything else, just each other. I’ve never felt so close to anyone before; and I don’t think I ever will. We were both so comfortable, so much so that there was an unspoken commitment, an unspoken acknowledgement that this was right, this was perfect - this was what we wanted our future to look like. There were subtle hints in the slight changes of our body vibrations that we wanted to spend the rest of our future together.

I can’t write anymore about this weekend.

I can’t believe I was so happy. What happened; what happened? Why, why don’t I deserve happiness? Why can’t I keep it?

For I would rather never have tasted it.
It is NOT better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Much rather, it is safer to never know, so you can never miss it.
I wish, wish I had never met him, I’d be so much less sad...

Written on 8th August 2010

Having an eating disorder ruins your life.
Or rather, having an eating disorder means that there is another voice in your head, another character, which keeps trying to ruin your life. The stronger voice and the bolder personality - always trying to destroy everything – from your body, to your relationships, to your career.
In these very early stages of my recovery, I am able to distinguish the evil voice from my true self. When it starts to tell me to stick my fingers down my throat or cut my ties with Alex, I know it’s not me, it’s not my voice. Sometimes I cover my ears and block it out. But it is still early stages. And everything is so hard.

I went to my cousin’s wedding this weekend. He married the girl he’s been with for the last 10 years – since they were about 18/19. I was jealous. They’re so perfect together – so happy. She’s plain, she’s simple, and he loves her, has always loved her, will always love her.
I have a lifetime of demons to defeat before I can walk down the aisle. I don’t know if I will make it. I don’t know that any man could wait that long for me at the end, knowing that what was walking to meet him was a rotting corpse of something once beautiful, once young and alive.
I have so many demons to defeat.

I can’t picture what my marriage will be like. I can’t picture being thin enough. I can’t picture being in a hundred photographs.

It’s like there are two sides of me:
- the sensible, healthy, grounded spirit that I was born with
and the diseased, tortured and destructive demon that grew stronger with every look in the mirror.

And every ounce of my energy goes into this battle between the two. When I neglect my true spirit, the demon simply grows stronger. So, like now, I eat, and I grow fat, and I binge and I throw up. And the voice tells me to leave Alex, the voice tells me to quit my job, the voice tells me I’m so ugly that I must hide away.
And it’s so loud.
I put my hands over my ears, but the voice is coming from inside.
I’m sick and I’m not even good at it.
I have nothing to show for all the times I have thrown up. I have no bones, only fat. I have no life, only fear.

Written on 10th August 2010

When I woke up in the morning I could smell the rain; a smell like Autumn, like childhood tears and hollow afternoons.
Is it better to be depressed or numb?
No, I am not stuck underneath my duvet eating bowl after bowl of cereal – but – it’s not happiness... and I’m not cured. I have started to go one, two days a week without vomiting – but it’s not gone. None of the evil in me has been removed. I am still all black inside.
But I am scared – I’m scared that I am bipolar - I’m scared I’m like the guy I wrote about in my last post – flitting from one dream to another – believing it to be the answer – finding out it’s another illusion. What is the answer? Where is home?

Or perhaps, less dramatically, it is simply because I am only 22 – and like many others my age, I simply haven’t found my place in the world yet. Surely, for every dynamic, successful graduate in the country, there are five who have achieved nothing of consequence.
I am wiser now. I have seen so many different sides of the world. I have seen urban poverty in Inner London, I have seen exceptional wealth in the Investment Banks that grace the skylines of the same city. I have seen the slow, rural life of the English countryside and the simple way of life for my relatives in Asia. I have seen friends devote their lives to power and money and I have watched friends dedicate themselves to military service for Queen and country.
I am lucky to have this job. But I don’t want it - and will not regret walking away.

Written on 29th August 2010

And so I lost him.
It was only a matter of time.
I let him see the darkness.
I lost him.

I don’t kid myself; I’m very honest – brutally honest as my writing shows. I wrote about the distance between us, the way he couldn’t see and understand the world in the way that I do, the way he made me still feel so empty sometimes... and the way he wasn’t always enough for me.

But I never gave up.
I never gave up on him. I never gave up the hope that he was my dream, my happy ending.
I fought to block out the voices. I fought to block out the fear. And so, in the end, I blocked him out too.

Let's go back to Friday 13th August: This time we went away to the Cotswolds – Malvern Valley in the West of England – exactly four weeks after we spent a blissful weekend in the Peak District.

He hurt me.
He was always hurting me – worse than any man – in physical terms. He never knew the pain he caused me, and he never meant to cause it - but it doesn't change the fact that he was killing me.
My eating disorder was so out of control – out of control for him and playing directly into his hands. I just wanted to be thin – for him. That was it.
Nothing else and no one else began to matter. The girl who once had so much pride in the way she looked in front of everyone and anyone, even strangers on the train or bus, began wearing no makeup to work, hair scraped back, glasses and a non-descript plain skirt and blouse. I let myself be ugly, because without him, it didn’t matter.
For the first time in my life, the glamorous one wasn’t glamorous anymore – unless she had Alex to feed off from – because nothing else was feeding her.
I lost my self-respect I suppose. And I’m ashamed to say it. It wasn’t about me, it was about him. When he wasn’t around it didn’t matter how I looked. But for when I was seeing him, I spent hundreds of pounds on new clothes, sexy underwear, posh perfume and hair products. I spent hundreds of pounds on train tickets and hotel rooms for our trips away – for I was earning money – and he wasn’t. And I starved and I ran and I binged and I threw up, all for him.
Of course he never asked me to do this... he didn't have to. I just wanted to keep him and did everything I could to make sure he didn't have a reason to stop wanting me.

In the week leading up to our weekend in the Cotswolds, my diet consisted of expensive fresh juice, the occasional Nakd bar and lots and lots of laxatives. Oh yes, my tummy was flat when I met him on Friday, but by Saturday I was constipated and in immeasurable pain. Not to mention, of course, that my stomach swelled up to it’s full size.
But it was ok... I was with him... HE LOVED ME.

Oh God. How stupid do I feel as tears roll down my cheeks now writing that.

On Saturday I could deal with it. We went walking across the Malvern hills. We went for dinner in a magnificent restaurant. We came home and had incredible sex. And then everything went wrong.
Sunday morning.
The dark clouds.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go for a huge fried English breakfast. He went alone. He couldn’t forgive me.
I know it, but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t lie and fake smile my way out of this. You understand, don’t you? You understand what I’m writing about, when you just can’t put on the smile anymore...

We had sex and filmed it. We had sex on a log by a stream in a field.

It was sad. I was sad.
I felt so fucking sad.
And so I lost him.
I lost him.

I lost him because that day I couldn’t hide how sad I was anymore. I talked openly as we sat by the riverside eating icecream and I explained how sometimes it felt like I was bordering on bipolar. I told him, essentially, everything I said in my last post – that mediocre inbetween- that glum contentment – how I needed to live my life chasing dreams and happiness, sometimes soaring and indestructible, other times making myself bleed. I asked him if he thought most people were happy. He said yes. He said happiness meant not being sad. No. I shook my head. He argued that happiness could equal contentment, that it was ok for people to just be ‘content’. Not happy in terms of living on top of the world – but content.
“Like my mum," he said, "she doesn’t like her job, but she has everything she could want... she’s content.”
I looked at him in disbelief, how could you call such a dull life happy? “Fucking mediocre inbetween,” I replied. “I don’t want that life. I don’t want mundane. I always want more, I want perfection, I want complete fulfilment, I want everything, I want to be soaring every day I wake up. Why strive for anything less?”
“Then do you think you’ll ever be truly happy?”
“No. I know I won’t. I will always want more, I will always want perfection.”

He drove me to the train station and stood waiting for my train, hand in hand, as protocol.
“Don’t you think it’s funny how society determines so much of what we do?” he said solemnly.
“What do you mean?”
“Like us for example – our relationship – I mean, we wouldn’t be in a relationship if it wasn’t for society.” He paused. I stared ahead, my throat tight. “I mean, for a man to have sex with just one woman... that’s... boring. It’s only because of society....
But I AM glad I’m in a relationship with you...”
I said nothing. What could I say. In that single moment I watched everything come crumbling down around me. He didn’t want to be with me.
I had always felt guilty – guilty that he wasn’t allowed to cheat on me – like I was stopping him from having fun – from going out and getting with random whores. And I was right. It was what he wanted.

I waved at him sadly as the train pulled away sombrely. I tried to choke back the tears burning at the back of my throat.
He mouthed, “I love you.”

I tried to sleep.
It was painful.
I couldn’t help but cry all the way.
The girl crying silently on the train. That’s me. On the 07:35 to London Bridge every morning and the 19:00 back home. And that day; that Sunday evening in August, on the train from Malvern to London Paddington - the girl crying silently on the train.
Was I crying because of what he said? Or was it just everything again. Nothing again. Empty again. Without him.
Five hours later when I made it home, I faced the full consequences of my self-inflicted stomach abuse. My insides collapsed. And tears, uncontrollable now, so sad. Everything was so sad, and I couldn’t stop crying.

I had to take the next day off work. Everything.
It was a friend’s birthday – a mutual friend of mine and Alex from the Club. I was going for Alex, to see Alex. Damn him. He was all I lived for and all I was dying for.
When I arrived in Central London he told me he was with another friend for drinks first and he’d see me later on in the evening.
That’s when I knew it was over.
I bought a little notebook and I sat in a cafe at London Victoria station for nearly two hours. And I wrote:
16/08/2010 – London Victoria train station
Again, crossroads – deadends.
Another mistake, another wrong turn; another win for the demon inside me.
Will I ever make it?
Hard. So hard to when I don’t know where I want to make it to...
What am I really, now, without Alex?
He has affected every decision I have made since we met.
Who is he? Who is he REALLY?
No one – he is no one to me. Just someone I think I am in love with and who thinks he is in love with me. Someone I dream of an improbable future with.
Because he is just a boy that I met and spent time with. And he will only break my heart.
Always running.
Why do I spend my life always running?
Why is nothing ever enough?
Why can’t I hold on to anything good?

I went to the bar where the party was happening, but he still wasn’t there. I wasn’t going to see him. I cried all the way home. I cried myself to sleep... Again.

The following days were spent waiting for him to contact me and waiting for him to answer his phone. The next day I called repeatedly, over and over, intending to get it done, get it finished, get out. I wanted to spell it out for him that it was over. He didn’t love me anymore. He needed to set me free. He wouldn’t pick up the phone.
He texted me: “You came? That’s a shame. Well I’m in Yorkshire today and tomorrow so can’t really chat much but after that I can.” On Thursday I put my foot down: “If you just told me, it would make me less sad.”
I forced him to call me. Finally on Thursday afternoon he found the balls:
“I just don’t want to be in a relationship right now. Something’s changed. It just doesn’t feel like it used to. Sorry.”
I couldn’t speak. I knew it. I already knew he was going to say it so long ago.
“Are you still there?”
“Yes. Good. Thank you.”
“Ok.... Bye.”

I was inconsolable.
I left work in floods of tears.
I ripped open the flesh wounds I had been making on my arms since Monday.
I called a friend as I walked to London Bridge station. She comforted me.
And I called him again when I got on the train. “I want that video burned.” I tried to get him to speak sense to me. I tried to get him to explain. I knew the reasons, I KNEW THE FUCKING REASONS! Why wouldn’t he tell me. Why couldn’t he just say it. I want to sleep with other girls. I don’t love you. I never did and I never could. You’re too fat. You’re not pretty enough. YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH FOR ME.
Instead I got, “There’s nothing you could have done differently. I just don’t want to be in a relationship now. I thought I did, but I don’t.”
I lost my temper. I was the crying girl on the train; not so silent anymore.
“You should have known! I told you! I told you how frightened I was. I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT THIS.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I thought it would work.”
“I should have listened to my instincts shouldn’t I. I should have listened to my fear. I should have never let this happen.”

I had been killing myself and torturing myself that I might be perfect enough - that he would never want to leave me. I made myself bleed for nothing. Everything I had done meant nothing. All the hundreds and hundreds of pounds I had spent amounted to worthlessness. I couldn't keep him.
At the train station I bought pills. I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to reach out to all of you – feel some love and some strength.
I am sorry. This job left me no spare time to do anything. I had no time to write. I never meant to leave, and it killed me to be away.

It was Thursday 19th August - As you read that night: I bought pills. And the pain eased out of my body. And I went to sleep.

God, because he is so cruel, forced me to wake up again. And the temptation to try and beat him at his own game is still so strong. For what the hell am I living for? I’m barely eating. But what for? Who for? He's gone.
And it's as I told him, I’ll never be happy, I'll always want more.