Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas and Eating Disorders

"He called it a freedom. A freedom you can allow yourself. Or not."
- Velvet Goldmine

Christmas and eating disorders are a match made in Hell. Regardless of whether you're starving yourself, eating everything and throwing it up or just eating everything in sight and hating yourself because of it.

Christmas when I was 14-16 were spent refusing treats and chocolates, only getting a fleeting happiness when I could fit into a pair of size eight jeans. Between Christmas and New Year 2003 I tried to kill myself. Christmas at 17 was one of those trying to be normal, putting a brave face on, trying to recover times. Christmas at 18 and I was on 'release' from an eating disorder unit after the worst bout of anorexia I've suffered from, anxiety etched on my parents faces, constant panic, torn between wanting to throw myself into the festive spirit and absolute terror of being out of that safe and controlled enviroment. I knew that if I gained weight whilst I was away I would have no one but myself to blame and that was absolutley unthinkable back then. Christmas at 19 and the years of starvation had caught up with me and I couldn't stop eating everything in sight, boxes of chocolates and biscuits littered around the house didn't help and my weight soared and soared. I spent most of the day on my own, my parents went out for dinner and I stayed behind, the thought of a meal out still paralysed me with fear. Christmas at 20 and I was back 'in recovery' after a pretty bad relapse, shouting at everybody not to buy me food or clothes and Christmas last year I was sick again, planning how I could bp and get away with it, throwin up my Christmas dinner in my sisters bathroom and spending far too much time checking the scales for the slightest change.

That's eight Christmases completely taken over by thoughts of food and weight, Christmases stolen by fear. Eight years of my life lost in the blink of an eye, Fuzzy memories, distorted photos, guilt, shame, anger, denial, terror and rage. I'm twenty two years old for fucksake and nearly half of my life has been consumed by calories and fat and mirrors and scales and a square inch of fabric sewn in the back of my jeans. Well, fuck that!

You have to built your life back out of this trainwreck and it hurts, fuck does it hurt, to have no idea who the Hell you are anymore because it feels like your only identity is being the thin one, the sick one, the 'special one'. Well, let me tell you something, I know who I am again outside of those bullshit lies. This Christmas I can say that I'm at university studying something I truly love instead of saying I don't work or I've been ill or blushing furiously and running away to eat and puke all of my nieces and nephews selection boxes. I am a young, incredibly passionate women who has bigger things to think about, bigger things to talk about than losing weight.

It's not eay being a trainwreck; parts of you are exposed and vulnerable and things get in the cracks that you don't always know how to deal with and it's terribly difficult walking around with a smile on your face trying to be BETTER and HAPPY and SORTED but y'know what else do you do? Sit around and cry about it, feeding on the nostalgia herorin of how good it felt when you weighed 100lbs, how good it felt when you were so hungry you couldn't even feel it, how good it felt when you were dying!? Because that's the alternative and from where I'm standing it doesn't seem all that appealing. Nothing is as bad as you remember it and nothing is ever good enough so why play the fucking game?

Why not have the strength and the energy to go out and drink all night and walk home without your shoes on. Or to queue outside on a freezing pavement all day and then stand up all night with three thousand bodies pressing against you whilst watching the songs that changed your life come alive in front of your eyes. Whatever it is that makes you happy, truly happy, isn't going to be found on the nutritional infomation of a packet of crackers or at the bottom of a toilet.

I guess I'm writing this to say that it is possible, that you can start to build a bridge between you and the ED and you and the rest of your life and that you can start crossing it. It's hard and it hurts and it all goes terribly wrong sometimes and you forget why you're putting yourself through this Hell, why you're bothering to fight day after day when it's always there, creeping round your neck, whispering in your ear, all the temptation and nostalgia and sheer preassure of life stacking up on you.

I never thought that I would be able to sit here and say that striving to be a better person, a healthier person, is more important to me than striving to be a skinny person, a sick person. But this year, after all the years of misery and failure and unfulfilment, I think I'm ready to say it and mean it.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

My first Placebo gig - Manchester Apollo 3/3/04

"If Placebo was a drug, they would no doubt be pure heroin - dangerous, mysterious and totally addictive."
- Brian Molko

It’s finally here, the day I’ve been beside myself waiting for. Weeks and weeks of anticipation and excitement all boil down to the two and a half hour car journey ahead of me. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been this excited in my life; I’ve certainly never wanted anything as badly as I want this. I was devastated when my first attempt to get tickets failed; it took all my powers of persuasion to get my Dad to agree to drive up to Manchester. I’ve only ever been to one gig before and that was only just before Christmas. I don’t know what to expect as we all pile in my Dad’s trusty old Volvo and trundle up the M6 but I know it’s going to be brilliant.
I know it’s going to be the best night of my life. The journey is excruciatingly, painfully slow. Right up until I was seven we used to get the coach to Spain every year, a whole twenty two hours on a coach, but even that can’t prepare me for this agonising, hundred mile trip.
We finally arrive, about an hour before doors open; it takes ages to find somewhere to park. Everything either is either an abandoned factory or warehouse outlet or looks like a squat or drug den, I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere look quite so much as a relic of industry. We finally manage to leave the car somewhere – my Dad constantly muttering to himself that the windows are going to get smashed – and make our way to the Apollo.

As I see the sea of people huddled around it I know that I have found the place that is truly my world. There are a lot Placebo shirts, some positively vintage and some that look they were only brought that day. It would be hard to say what the average hair colour was; pink, blue, green, jet black, bleached blonde, name any shade and someone here will have it. Every generation is represented, I hear snatches of French and German, we are a truly international gathering. There is a very strong smell of weed which faintly annoys me; it’s such a cliché that the alternative are into drugs and I hate the idea that we’ve submitted ourselves as a stereotype.

It feels like coming home to a place you’ve been to a million times before. These people are my people, we (rather obviously) like the same music but Placebo is so much more than that. It transcends the definition of a band. It is more like a religion, although more tolerant and accepting than any that conventionally exist. In the words of the lead singer it is a convention of outcasts. A gathering of people brought together through music but with so much more in common that their favourite band.
The weather is unforgivingly cold, it’s barely turned March and there’s no hint that spring is on the way, and yet more than anything I want to stay outside in the bitter chill with these people. I want to talk to them, be around them and soak up every last drop of atmosphere. The effect is perhaps ruined, or reinforced, by my Dad’s assessment of the crowd, “This looks like a bunch of freaks!” I smile to myself not in the least bit offended. Yes, it is a bunch of freaks, but it’s a bunch of freaks that I belong too. I have never in my life had such a feeling of belonging. I haven’t shared as much as two words with any of these people and yet I feel totally accepted by all of them.

As my parents don’t quite share my enthusiasm for me fellow fans and my passion to want to freeze myself to death in the name of fellowship, I’m quickly lead to a pub round the corner. It smells horrendously of stale beer and sweat, I’m not a fan of pubs at the best of times and right now I want to be OUT THERE savouring the moment. I spend my time staring at the walls, covered in old Access All Areas passes and signed photographs, I wonder how many bands have drank in here, I wonder if the band I’ve come to see have been in here during the day I start to melt with excitement all over again. I AM GOING TO SEE PLACEBO!!!!!

I drink my drink in about a second and wait impatiently for it to turn seven. Two old men come over to my Mum and me and try to chat her up and she laughs that it’s been a long time since anybody did that. However, I’m not taken by the idea of drunken men leering over us and convince my parents that it’s time to leave. They say that they’ll be in McDonalds, the only source of civilisation (us freaks aside) that’s remotely close to the venue, tell me to take care and enjoy myself and they’ll see me later.

Enjoy myself, I think; I want to commit every last chord they play into memory. I’m going to get stupidly over-emotional and cry in front of three thousand strangers. I’m going to see the very reason why I’ve been breathing for the last three months stand on a stage in front of me. But enjoy it, I’ll try.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.

"Random thoughts for Valentine's Day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies. To make people feel like crap."
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is one of the most important films in my life; I am completely crushed by it. It feels so much like a reflection of myself, the way I am and the way I love. It simultaenlusly breaks and strengthens my heart. I really want to do a load of quotes for it but as this blog is already mainly quotes I'll leave it! I've been stupid and weak today and I hate myself for it. Why is it so easy to loathe yourself? Why are there so many things that you can do wrong? I really do love Leicester. There's a lot of interesting hippy/goth/alternative shops around once you find 'em! And it's not as busy and pushy as most big cities tend to be. Right now I'm trying to get through my workload. I'm wrestling with strict form poetry - I really cannot get across how much I loathe it! Since when did poetry and emotion and having something to say become all about rules? Well, apparantly, a few hundred years ago when some idiot decided to make it that way! I've had a bash at a terza rima and a sonnet, neither of which are any good. I'm also struggling to make a start on my Writing Identity pieces, I have to write about two first experiances which I'm finding really difficult. I used to have a really good memory but post-ED it's crap and very, very fuzzy around the edges. I can't really remember any firsts vividly except those that I'd rather forget. Studying writing is so much different than just punching out poems however and whenever you feel like it and I'm not used to it.

Oscar Wilde quotes

"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information."
- Oscar Wilde

"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction."

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."

"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."

"Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to."

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."

"I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability."

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess."

"No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly."

"Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both."

"Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals."

"The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you."

"The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast."

"There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up."

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

"A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her."

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."

"America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."

"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

"Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing."

"At twilight, nature is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets."

"Biography lends to death a new terror."

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter."

"Genius is born--not paid."

"I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones."

"I am not young enough to know everything."

"I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability."

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again."

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you."

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures."

"It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is fatal."

"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace."

"Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event."

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."

"Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's nerves - which is the same thing nowadays."

"One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation."

"One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards."

"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious."

"Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow."

"The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for."

"The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself."

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

"There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing."

"To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity."

"We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities."

"We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow."

"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong."

"Why was I born with such contemporaries?"

"Wisdom comes with winters."

"One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar."

"The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated."

"The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived."

"I don't play accurately-any one can play accurately- but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."

"Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons."

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes."

"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."

"I can resist anything except temptation."

"My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people's."

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."

"Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality."

"What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

"Vile deeds like poison weeds bloom well in prison air, it is only what is good in man, that wastes and withers there."

"To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture."

"But what is the difference between literature and journalism?

... Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all."

"The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."

"One is tempted to define man as a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason."

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple."

"A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies."

"I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex."

"I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible."

"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world."

"Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes."

"The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is not emotional."

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself."

"To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable."

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written."

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Chuck Palahniuk quotes

"If I can't be beautiful I want to be invisible."
- Chuck Palahniuk

"We'll never be as young as we are tonight."

"Truth was, if you didn't chew her food, then her food chewed you."

"My life may be little and boring, but at least its mine--not some assembly line, secondhanded, hand-me-down life."

"The future you have tomorrow won't be the future you had yesterday."

"What would Marilyn Monroe be doing if she were alive right now? Clawing at the lid of her coffin."

"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

"If you could be God's worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?"

"This is why I loved the support groups so much. If people thought you were dying, they gave you their full attention. If this might be the last time they saw you, they really saw you… People listened instead of just waiting for their turn to speak. And when they spoke, they weren’t telling you a story. When the two of you talked, you were building something, and afterward you were both different than before."

"A minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection."

"Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken."

"Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers failed, what does that tell you about God?"

"Look up at the stars and you're gone. Not your luggage. Nothing matters. Not your bad breath. The windows are dark outside and the horns are blaring around you. The headlights are flashing high and low and high in your face, and you will never have to work again. You will never have to get another haircut."

"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

"I want to have your abortion."

"I just don't want to die without a few scars."

"You know that saying about how you always kill the one you love? It works both ways."

"If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person?"

"You just had a near life experience."

"I've met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, "Why?" Why did I cause so much pain? Didn't I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness? Can't I see how we're all manifestations of love? I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God's got this all wrong. We are not special. We are not crap or trash, either. We just are. We just are, and what happens just happens. And God says, "No, that's not right." Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything."

"I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now. This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead."

"When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?"

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known."

"When we don't know who to hate, we hate ourselves."

"Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct."

"Beauty is power like money is power like a gun is power."

"Your heart is my pinata."

"Given the choice between grabbing a strange tongue and watching a monster poop into a giant snail shell, the face retreats and slams the door behind it."

"The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person."

"There are worst things you can do to the people you love than kill them. No matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close."

"As soon as we become boring we die. Never ever become boring."

"And married people always think love is the answer."

"The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open."

"This is the biggest mistake I could think would save me. I wanted to give up the idea I had any control. Shake things up. To be saved by chaos. To see if I could cope, I wanted to force myself to grow again. To explode my comfort zone."

"Today is the kind of day where the sun only comes up to humilate you."

"Reality means you live until you die...the real truth is nobody wants reality."

"The only difference between martyrdom and suicide really is press coverage."

"It's only in drugs or death that we experience anything new and death is just too controling."

"Everybody thinks their whole life should be at least as much fun as masturbation."

"What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized yet."

"Since change is constant, you wonder if people crave death because it is the only way they can really get anything finished.~"

"The only thing I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet that someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground."

"Right now, me getting killed would be redundant."

"The cultures that don't castrate you to make you a slave, they castrate your mind. They make sex so filthy and evil and dangerous that no matter how good you know it would feel to have sexual relations, you won't."

"The joke is, we all have the same punch line."

"Nothing is ever as good as you can imagine it."

"Just keep asking yourself: 'What would Jesus NOT do?'"

"Art never comes from happiness."

"'We don't live in the real world anymore,' she said. 'We live in a world of symbols.'"

"Until you find something to fight for, you settle for something to fight against."

"I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a hot-gushing, butt-cramping, gut-hosing orgasm."

"Without access to true chaos, we'll never have true peace. Unless everything can get worse, it won't get any better."

"Maybe we don't go to hell for the things we do, maybe we go to hell for the things we don't do."

"There are no ghosts. When you die, you're dead. There's no afterlife. People who claim they can see ghosts are just looking for attention. People who believe in reincarnation are just postponing their lives."

"We are all haunted and haunting."

"The only biodeversity we're going to have left is Coke versus Pepsi."

"After long enough, everyone in the world will become your enemy."

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything."

"Just for the record, the weather today is bitter with occasional fits of jealous rage."

"Your handwriting, the way you walk. Which pattern you chose. It's all giving you away."

"Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary."

"Leonardo's Mona Lisa is just a thousand smears of paint. Michelangelo's David is just a million hits with a hammer. We're all of us a million bits put together the right way."

"A couple drinks. A couple aspirin. Repeat."

"Just for the record, she still loves you. She wouldn't bother to torture you if she didn't."

"We have no scar to show from happiness. We learn so little from peace."

"You can't unfuck a kid. Once you fuck a kid, you can't get that genie back in the bottle."

"It's been fourteen weeks since I had that head cold and you still have not kissed me."

"If you don't work, you don't sleep. Day and night, you're half awake, bored."

"You can spend your whole life building a wall of facts between you and anything real."

"If you love something set it free...but don't be surprised when it comes back with herpes."

"This is just what human beings do--turn objects into people, people into objects."

"If death meant leaving the stage long enough just to change costumes and become a new character, would you speed up? Or slow down?"

"That's the American Dream: to make your life into something you can sell."

"Some stories, you use up. Others use you up."

Francesca Lia Block quotes

"I wish I wasn't a girl who needed so much but a little free creature that slept in deserts and ran on clouds and lived on lilies."
- Francesca Lia Block

"Flowers look like cigarette cherries."

"It seemed to her like she could become an artist there, like the people in books, who did not have pools or Astrosurf or rose bushes or smog or houses the colour and texture of guacamole, but had coffee and books on every corner and museums and theater and poetry reading in basements and streets where almost every shop sold wonderful black shoes with soles that were hard to wear out."

"She was no longer a slow dreamer watching the flowers grow. She was a warrior now. Warriors need something to fight for, though, besides their lives, because otherwise their lives will not be worth it."

“It's not that I literally think I'm a fearie. It's just that I feel so different from most people. And this idea of a race living underground in caverns, spending all their days dancing and playing the fiddle and eating flowers and reciting poetry and sharing their dreams, that to me sounds much more real than the way people live in this world, hating and fighting and wanting and hurting."

"We waltzed on the dancefloor with the ghosts of dead stars."

"She wished she had a little yellow house of her own, with a flower box full of real flowers and herbs – pansies and rosemary – and a sweet lover who would swing dance with her in the evenings and cook pasta and read poetry aloud."

"I dreamed you were standing in this dark place and you touched these dead flowers and they lit up like they were electric or something. Electric lilies. Lighting up the Valley."

"Any love that is love is right."

"A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate when you haven’t eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs."

"Why was fabulousness important? The world was a scary, sad place and adornment was one of the only ways she knew to make herself and the people around her forget their troubles. That was why she had opened her store almost five years ago. Everyone who entered the little square white house with miniature Corinthian columns, cherub statues, and French windows seemed to leave carrying armloads of newly handmade and well spruced-up recycled vintage clothing, humming sixties girl-group songs, seventies glam and punk, eighties New Wave one-hit wonders, or nineties grunge, doing silly dances, and not caring what anyone thought. Weetzie loved the old dresses she found and sold, because they had their own secret histories. She always wondered where, when, and how they had been worn. What they had seen. Old dresses were like old ladies."

"Do you know when they say soulmates? Everybody uses it in personal ads. “Soul mate wanted.” It doesn’t mean too much now. But soulmates – think about it. When your soul – whatever that is anyway – something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape – when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to – even if you can’t be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans. A soul’s wedding must be too beautiful to even look at. It must be blinding. It must be like all the weddings in the world – gondolas with canopies of doves, champagne glasses shattering, wings of veils, drums beating, flutes and trumpets, showers of roses. And after that happens you know – that’s it. This is it."

"What happens to the rest of something when you smash its heart?"

"No matter where I am, I am always loving you."

"And then I cried a flood of tears as if I really were a mermaid who had absorbed too much sea into herself. The tears spilled like a balm, like a potion, like a charm. In them swam a little girl whose father was dying without ever having seen her. In them swam a girl whose mother’s magic – the only thing the girl envied more than anything else in the world, the thing that had made her invisible, the most precious thing –might be dying too. In them swam a green-haired girl who had never been touched by the boy to whom she was so devoted that she would have lived with him forever in a shack by the sea or a ruined sand castle even if he never made love to her. My tears were for me, but they were also for him. They were to wash away the thing that had frightened him so much so long ago. The wound inside his thigh. My tears poured out of me and he drank them down his throat. He drank them in gulps deep into himself, swallowing sorrow. “Someday,” he said, “when we are ready, I will give you back your tears.”"

"The next night I went back to the sea dressed in 1950s silk travel scarves – Paris with the Eiffel tower and ladies in hats and pink poodles, Venice with bronze horses and gondoliers, New York in celestial blue and silver. I brought candles and lit the candles, all the candles, in a circle around the lifeguard stand and put a tape in my boom box. I came down the ramp with the sea lapping at my feet and the air like a scarf of warm silk and the stars like my tiara. And my angel was sitting there solemnly in the sand, sitting cross-legged like a buddha, with sand freckling his brown limbs and he watched me the way no boy had ever watched me before, with so much tenderness and also a tremendous sorrow, which was what my dances were about just as much, the sorrow of not being loved the way my womb, rocking emptily inside of me, insisted I be loved, the sorrow of never finding the thing I had been searching for."

"I wanted him to hold me, to take care of me. To make the pain dissolve away. I know that this was part of what had ruined everything but I wanted it once more anyway."

"...choose to believe in your own myth
your own glamour
your own spell
a young woman who does this
(even if she is just pretending)
has everything...."

"Nothing happened. And everything did. Your whole life you can be told something is wrong and so you believe it. Why should you question it? But then slowly seeds are planted inside of you, one by one, by a touch or a look or a day skateboarding in a park, and they start to burst out of old hulls shells and they start to sprout. And pretty soon there are so many of them. They are named Love and Trust and Kindness and Joy and Desire and Wonder and Spirit and Soulmate. They grow into a garden so dense and thick that it starts to invade your brain where the old things you were once told are dying."

"Pain can give you sight or make you blind."

"Think of your pain like a bunch of red roses, a beautiful thorn necklace. Everyone has one."

"Just like any woman,...we weave our stories out of our bodies. Some of us through our children, or our art; some do it just by living. It's all the same."

"Sometimes she has imagined what it would be like to fly, to live in the river, to run like a horse. She has dreamed of that freedom, that power, and fears the wildness in herself that wants to live as beasts live, moved purely by need and desire. She has felt torn between the heat of her limbs and the thoughts in her mind telling her to be careful and good and always calm. Don't scream or cry, don't run to him and throw yourself at his feet, pleading for him to take you in his arms, don't strip off your clothes and run naked to the water, wild with wanting."

"Our eyelashes brushed like they would weave together by themselves, turning us into one wild thing. I say, “I think I missed you before I met you even.”"

"We both believe in monsters. But all the ghosts and demons are you. And all the angels and genies are you. All the kings, queens, Buddhas, beautiful boys. Inside you. No one can take them away."

"Love is a dangerous angel."

"You must reach inside yourselves where I live like a story, not old, not young laughing at my own sorrow, weeping pearls at weddings, wielding a torch to melt sand into something clear and bright."

"What shall we do, all of us? All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?"

"Maybe I would become a mermaid... i would live in the swirling blue-green currents, doing exotic underwater dances for the fish, kissed by sea anemones, caressed by seaweed shawls. I would have a dolphin friend. He would have merry eyes and thick flesh of a god. My fingernails would be tiny shells and my skin would be like jade with light shining through it I would never have to come back up."

"Morning. Strawberry sky dusted with white winter powder sugar sun. And nobody to munch on it with."

"Sometimes you fall, spinning through space, grasping for the things that keep you on this earth. Sometimes you catch them. They can be the hands of the people you love. They can be your pets- pups with funny names, cats with ferocious old souls. The thing that keeps you here can be your art. It can be things you have collected and invested with a certain sense of meaning. A flowered, buckled treasure chest of secrets. Shoes that make you taller and, therefore, closer to the heavens. A suit that belonged to your fairy godmother. A dress that makes you feel a little like the Goddess herself. Sometimes you keep falling; you don't catch anything. Sometimes you fall, spinning through space, grasping for the things that keep you here. Sometimes you catch them. Sometimes you don't.
Sometimes they catch you."

"This was not a faerie tale. This was not the movies. This was life. It hurt more. It was excruciating. It was excruciatingly beautiful."

"The wishes might not come true the way you think they will, not everything will be perfect, but love will come because it always does, because why else would it exist and it will make everything hurt a little less. You just have to believe in yourself."

"I will be thin and pure like a glass cup. Empty. Pure as light. Music. I move my hands over my body - my shoulders, my collarbone, my rib cage, my hip bones like part of an animal skull, my small thighs. In the mirror my face is pale and my eyes look bruised. My hair is pale and thin and the light comes through. I could be a lot younger than seventeen. I could be a child still, untouched."

"But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing, not running away."

"The most Beautiful people are the ones that don't look like one race or even one sex."
"Pulling heads off Barbies, sticking them on the TV antenna and ruining the reception. But that's how witch babies are."

"Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth."

"Magic can be found in stolen moments."

"You are in my blood. I can't help it. We can't be anywhere except together"

This girl's got nothing and she wears her heart on her wrist

"Lori is the perfect example of how you can't tell someone walking down the street has bulimia. She doesn't look like she has any problem at all, and that is what most look like"
- Laurel Guccione

So, university;

On the one hand it's amazing and fantastic and completely awesome. I feel like I've made friends and although insecurity and paranoia often get the better of me, I think I'm managing to get myself a half decent social life. I really, really miss my friends back home but it's not as if we ever met up more than every couple of months anyway so it's not really all that different. Bring on Christmas! I've joined some societies, drama and poi, me drama! I know! I'm also enjoying my course, well 3/4's of it, I have a module on 'Poetry and Society' for Eng Lit and the lecturer is so dull it's unbearable. I can barely keep awake let alone take in what he's saying! I also get Tuesday's and Wednesday's off which is fab!

Some things are not so great though, I've relapsed into bulimia and have really got myself into a mess very quickly. I’ve spent A LOT of my student loan on binge food, I've been throwing up mutiple times a day and taking a lot of laxatives. I'm worried that I'm not going to have enough money to live on or even for the second rent instalment I need to pay. I’m getting sick of having to clean my own bathroom already and puking just makes it a million times worse! I've spoken to my mum about it and she's looking after my bank cards for me so I have less access to cash and I've emailed my social worker who's going to see me on Wednesday. I might also look into getting uni counselling or going to the GP's over there to see what kind of services they offer. You'd think that I would have lost weight but for fucks sake I've gained! I am officially, technically, overweight and simply disgusting. Why am I such a fucking greedy fool! I honestly thought that once I got to uni I would be okay, I thought that I wouldn’t have the money to binge and that I'd just be eating pasta and soup all the time but no! It can never be fucking simple can it! I am so sick of this lose weight, gain twice as much routine (otherwise knows as an eating disorder) I've been stuck in ever since I was fourteen fucking years old. It really does your head in! FUCK YOU ED!

Other than the obvious stress of moving and starting uni, part of the trigger was that I found out that my Mum went into hospital for an operation and THEY DIDN'T FUCKING TELL ME UNTILL SHE CAME OUT! I’m so angry. I understand why they did it, I really do, because I was moving out and starting uni and under 'a lot of stress' and they thought that I'd start self harming and OD'ing again but it doesn't matter, it hasn't really made all that much difference to my mental health because now I am completely PARANOID that they are keeping things from me. Since I've been here (at uni) I have had really bad bouts of paranoia, I guess it's being in a new, strange place with new, strange people. I can get past it most of the time but it's still incredibly frustrating to be thinking all wrong about everything. Ever since my anxiety got better, I've been increasingly more paranoid, where's the sense in that! I wonder if it may be a drink related thing so I'm trying to not drink so much to see if that helps. If it doesn't then I guess I need to go and get my medication reviewed. :/

I'm having a bit of a 'moment' right now. I hate how my brain is wired. A couple of months back I was in a real mess, self harming reeally badly, needing stitches severel times a week, overdosing on my meds. It was the anniversary of my rape which is never a pleasent time of year but for some reason this year it was worse than ever. I ended up spending three weeks in a crisis house and I really didn't think that I'd make it to uni and yet, here I am. Well technically I'm at home right now but whatever! The urges to SI have eased over the weeks and all but faded except for the odd occasion that sometimes I deal with healthily and sometimes I don't and mess up. That's only happened twice in about two months though which compared to before is fucking unbelivable. But for some reason I find myself missing that life I led for so long and feeling all nostaligic about it. It's the same with anorexia and being at a low weight. I miss the control I at least felt I had back then. I miss the size jeans I used to wear. I miss the routine and safety of being in hospital. I miss the feeling of accomplishment I got from going days without food. I miss the dizzy spells and the blackouts and - If I'm honest - the concern. It was never about attention but I felt so worthless that knowing that people cared meant something and it's hard to reassure yourself of that when there's nothing wrong. It was HELL. Being that ill with either self injury or an eating disorder is complete Hell and yet here I sit, years or months down the line, bloody missing it! Why does my brain have to work like that? Is it the BPD in me, craving chaos and destruction? Am I just bad? I know that it's because sickness is FAMILLIAR and SAFE and COMFORTING and this new life I'm leading is UNCERTAIN and SCARY and DIFFERENT but I still feel really guilty, really bad, for feeling the way I do.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Mayra Hornbacher quotes

"There is, in fact, an incredible freedom in having nothing left to lose."
- Mayra Hornbacher

Photo by Mark Trockman / www.trockstock.com

I don't want to come across as a cliched 'recovered anorexic', endlessly quoting parts of 'Wasted'. There is much I don't like about the book, how hard she tries to prove how 'sick' she was and the idea of preaching recovery from a point much more towards sickness. But I think she is a brilliant writer and there are many, many quotes from her work that really, truly get and express what it feels like to have suffered from an eating disorder, and I find inspiration in her words to carry on fighting the good fight. It is a book that needed to be written and a story that needed to be told and to heard by as many people as possible.

"There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn't one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way."

"You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad."

"I wanted to kill the me underneath. That fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the motivation behind your behavior for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it. It will try very hard to avoid that realization; it will try, in a last-ditch effort to keep your remaining parts alive, to remake the rest of you. This is, I believe, different from the suicidal wish of those who are in so much pain that death feels like relief, different from the suicide I would later attempt, trying to escape that pain. This is a wish to murder yourself; the connotation of kill is too mild. This is a belief that you deserve slow torture, violent death."

"It is not a sudden leap from sick to well. It is a slow, strange meander from sick to mostly well. The misconception that eating disorders are a medical disease in the traditional sense is not helpful here. There is no 'cure'. A pill will not fix it, though it may help. Ditto therapy, ditto food, ditto endless support from family and friends. You fix it yourself. It is the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I found myself stronger for doing it. Much stronger."

"You begin to forget what it means to live. You forget things. You forget that you used to feel all right. You forget what it means to feel all right because you feel like shit all the time, and you can't remember what it was like before. People take the feeling of full for granted. They take for granted the feeling of steadiness, of hands that do not shake, heads that do not ache, throats not raw with bile and small rips of fingernails forced to haste to the gag spot. Stomachs that do not begin to wake up in the night, calves and thighs knotting in muscles that are beginning to eat away at themselves. they may or may not be awakened at night by their own inexplicable sobs."

"I began to measure things in absence instead of presence."

"And so I went through the looking glass, stepped into the netherworld, where up is down and food is greed, where convex mirrors cover the walls, where death is honor and flesh is weak. It is ever so easy to go. Harder to find your way back."

"As a rule, most of us never really believed we were any good in the first place."

"We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need."

"You wake up one morning and there it is, sitting in an old plaid bathrobe in your kitchen, unpleasant and unshaved. You look at it, heart sinking. Madness is a rotten guest."

"And when, after fifteen years of bingeing, barfing, starving, needles and tubes and terror and rage, and medical crises and personal failure and loss after loss - when, after all this, you are in your early twenties and staring down a vastly abbreviated life expectancy, and the eating disorder still takes up half your body, half your brain, with its invisible eroding force, when you have spent the majority of your life sick, when you do not yet know what it means to be 'well,' or 'normal,' when you doubt that those words even have meaning anymore, there are still no answers. You will die young, and you have no way to make sense of that fact. You have this: You are thin."

"My god! people say. You have so much self-control! And later: My god. You're so, so sick. When people say this, they turn their heads, you've won your little game. You have proven your thesis that no-body-loves-me-every-body-hates-me, guess-I'll-just-eat-worms. You get to sink back into your hospital bed, shrieking with righteous indignation. See? you get to say. I knew you'd give up on me. I knew you'd leave."

"Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The great question, at least for me, was: How do I decide I want to live?"

"But in some ways, the most significant choices one makes in life are done for reasons that are not all that dramatic, not earth-shaking at all; often enough, the choices we make are, for better or for worse, made by default."

"Hatred is so much closer to love than indifference."

"This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that "letting yourself go" could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes...There is, in the end, the letting go."

"This is the very boring part of eating disorders, the aftermath. When you eat and hate that you eat. And yet of course you must eat. You don’t really entertain the notion of going back. You, with some startling new level of clarity, realize that going back would be far worse than simply being as you are. This is obvious to anyone without an eating disorder. This is not always obvious to you."

"Something had been confirmed: I was worth giving a shit about; I was getting to be a successful sick person. Sick is when they say something. Of course, I had been sick for five years. But now, now maybe I was really sick. Maybe I wasgetting good at this, good enough to scare people. Maybe I would almost die, and balance just there, at the edge of the cliff, wavering while they gasped and clutched one another's arms, and win acclaim for my death-defying stunts. "

"I was used to sleeping with people because I endlessly found myself in identical situations where it was easier to just fuck them than to say no."

"For a long time I believed the opposite of passion was death. I was wrong. Passion and death are implicit, one in the other. Past the border of a fiery life lies the netherworld. I can trace this road, which took me through places so hot the very air burned the lungs. I did not turn back. I pressed on, and eventually passed over the border, beyond which lies a place that is wordless and cold, so cold that it, like mercury, burns a freezing blue flame."

"I do not remember very many things from the inside out. I do not remember what it felt like to touch things, or how bathwater traveled over my skin. I did not like to be touched, but it was a strange dislike. I did not like to be touched because I craved it too much. I wanted to be held very tight so I would not break. Even now, when people lean down to touch me, or hug me, or put a hand on my shoulder, I hold my breath. I turn my face. I want to cry."

RIP Stephen Gately

"I got flowers and letters of support from Sir Elton John and the Spice Girls."
- Stephen Gately

I woke up on Sunday, checked my Facebook as usual and heard the news that Stephen Gately had died after a night out in Majorca. Just like Heath Ledger what seems like an age ago, he was young, too young, and his death a complete shock. It's always the ones you least suspect, right? This year has been a bad one for celebrity deaths although I can't honestly say that I've been personally affected or deeply shacked by one until now. I can't say that I was particularly shocked by the death of Micheal Jackson, suprised yes, but not shocked. Although I had no previous knowledge of the extent of his drug use when the facts came to light they didn't seem anything outlandish about them. He was a troubled soul, constantly chasing the dream with the aid of powerful anesthetics and copious amounts of pescription drugs. Was it really any suprise that his heart gave out? Nor can I say that I had ever been anymore than a casual listener of Jackson's songs. But Stephen Gately's death makes no sense, has no place in popstar infamy, his life a million miles away from the car crash that Jackson's was. I suppose the biggest difference in my reaction is the fact that I was a fan. Not just someone who didn't turn the radio off if a Boyzone song came on but someone who actively persued and participated in the franchise. Music is a huge part of my life, probably the biggest, the thing that I hold the most dear and that stirs a passion in me quite unlike anything else and Boyzone were the start of that. My first real love. My first band. Although I enjoyed their music, I was a little too young to fully appreciate Take That, although even now I can remember vividly crying my eyes out in a caravan in Skegness when Robbie Williams left. But Boyzone were the sound of my childhood. Their albums some of the first cassettes that I brought. Their singles some of the first I remember watching on Top of the Pops. Their posters the first to adorn my bedroom walls. Walls that would later be covered over with picture representatives of the various stages of an adolecense journey through to musical maturity, all traces of my musical past clumsily hidden from view. I can remember visiting my elder sister at university and singing 'Father and Son' with her room mates. I can remember how much I adored her and how all the songs on 'Said and Done' seemed to be about her. I can remember the dance to 'Love Me For A Reason' and, of course, being completely convinced that Ronan Keating would, somehow, some day, end up marrying me. But prehaps most intensely, I remember Stephen Gately coming out to the press.

I remember even then being confused as to why it was such a big deal. I'm not sure if I ever knew anyone before then that was gay but even as a young child I didn't seem to have the same reaction to the news as my friends. Of course, I was too young then to even be thinking of my own sexuality, let alone be curious about it, but even then I was unfazed by the idea of people loving people of the same sex. It would be several years until I heard of a band called Placebo, a gender blurring creature in a dress called Brian Molko and the immediate thought that I didn't care what he happened to be, boy or girl, I just fancied him. But I think a part of my acceptence of my own bisexuality stems from that day I heard about Stephen Gately 'fancying men' and really, not giving much of a damn about it. I have to be thankful of the fact that he was brave enough to be so honest in a largely hostile and intolerent world.

RIP Stephen, you had a beautiful voice, a brave spirit and will always be one fifth of a band that made some of the greatest pop songs of all time.


"She was no longer a slow dreamer watching the flowers grow. She was a warrior now. Warriors need something to fight for, though, besides their lives, because otherwise their lives will not be worth it."
- Francesca Lia Block

I have to keep a journal for my Creative Writing course and as much as I love notebooks and pens and stationary in generel, I find it near impossible to write neat enough to read back what I've written further down the line. I guess I will just have to keep the many beautiful, hardbacked notebooks I own empty for a little while longer... Ah well! Nothing nicer than an empty notebook! I'm also doing it as a blog because I don't yet have my own computer at uni and I find it safer to store things in cyber space than on hard drive space. I've kept a LiveJournal for nearly six years now so I'm used to the whole online journal thing and find it much easier to keep updated than the handwritten kind. Anyway, I shall come back and post a first 'entry' later, right now I want to enjoy being back at home for a bit.