Alive

Today is my thirtieth birthday.

For more than half of my life I have been eating disordered.

I am alive.

I have never been a healthy adult weight.

I am alive.

I am grappling day in and out with a chronic, enduring and relentless illness.

I am alive.

I have sabotaged my body in too many ways to mention. I have starved myself to the bone

I am alive.

Inside I am black and blue, attacked with self-disgust and loathing.

I am alive.

Parts of me are faulty, others ruined beyond repair.

I am alive.

Now, I am riddled with scars and puncture wounds.

I am alive.

I don’t have children or significant other. I probably can’t have children of my own, physically.

I am alive.

In fact, I’ve never had a romantic relationship, and that brings me shame.

I am alive.

I don’t have a career in the city like X or a stable 9 to 5 job like Y.

I am alive.

I am not preparing to apply for my first mortgage or regular feeding a rising savings account.

I am alive.

I can’t say I’ve really made many people too proud.

I am alive.

I have survived, others have so sadly not. Whether sheer luck or the inability to let go, I made it this far.

These words come on the back of some good advice. A very wise woman and a dear friend talked some sense into me the other evening when I was feeling low about the upcoming big 3 0. She said: “Claire, for everything we’ve done to ourselves we shouldn’t be here.” I so easily could not be. She’s so right. It IS something to celebrate.

Looking back is futile and comparing is useless. This can be enough. My beating heart, my steady pulse. Shaky, claw-like fingers gripped around the edge of life. This life that is mine and that can be more in the years stretching on. I hope.

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You – sporadic poem written in 5 minutes

Yeah okay….random and written in haste but hell I will share bc why not? Opinions really, really appreciated but ofc this will need an edit or 900. Title to be re-considered.

You

Like a part of my brain that is bruised,

You loom constantly.

 

Don’t think I will ever forget,

The timid feet stretching forth,

Then blink of red squared digits.

A sink, or gasp of my breath.

Followed by trembling grey hands,

Walking over a cold keyboard,

The relief, the comfort,

Of disclosure, of understanding.

 

Yet as the death toll grew,

The outsiders lingered, then

Migrated. As you stood,

Suddenly famous for nothing,

You wished to be.

 

This chamber echoes, with

Scribbles left on the walls.

The ones you cannot find,

The ones you call, but

There is no answer.

The lost. The mourned.

 

Trying,

With every beat, breath, inch.

To keep on keeping on.

Valuing the small grasps,

Of sand, of progress,

Against that looming spot.

 

That blackness.

You refuse to give a name,

To give it space, but still it moves

Without warning, without any cause,

Aside from sabotage, oblivion.

It aims to smash your hinges,

Blow the inside out. Taking

All, everything you fought to preserve.

Hold on, keep holding on,

To the sides, don’t let go,

Trying, trying, always trying.

 

I’ll tell you a secret,

There’s no glamour, no shine here,

No easy way to feel better,

This outlet will burn you,

So hard you will scream,

A voice swallowed up by years,

Too many years.

You’ll be looking back,

Gutted, devastated, devoid,

As the young ones frolic

With that dark bruise,

As if it is a childhood toy,

A stuffed unicorn, or bear,

With one eye left open.

It’s a trap, a cat’s cradle,

A spiteful, trap of wicked trickery.

That only you will spin.

Untitled (for now)

I literally just wrote this. First poem in years. It’s something, I guess.

—————

This irritant of a thing,

Lagging on my lapels,

fresh faced and starry-eyed,

too eager, a suspect stranger

& she rushes up through me,

Sweeping like a tidal wave

Leaving me soaked,

with too much feeling.

 

I prefer to be dry, to the bone.

Skin cracked, stretched parchment

In a space that I can click into

Like a bottle top, tightly locked

Twisted sideways, a familiar

warm cocoon of numbness.

 

It’s quiet and I can move

With ease, an animal burrowing

Into its territorial habitat,

I shrivel down, into myself

There’s a subtle sting, and still,

She flaps and wails, rudely

Interrupting the peace,

Of a perfect delusion.

 

 

Poetry

Self-explanatory – all mostly from years (seriously like 5-10) ago, creative failure seems to have occurred since tbh.

 

Eyes Half Shut

Spinning on tiptoes,

like a broken ballerina,

spotlight dimmed

over an ashen face,

purity torched,

set ablaze with death.

A stench of gray, sickly sadness.

 

Soft curls and perfume,

fall loosly with fragile tears,

spilled mascara turning the blue to black.

Dreaming instead of dancing.

Clumsy feet poised with artificial elegance,

a body poker straight, glass sculptured tension,

Untouchable, until it shatters.

 

A loud multicoloured blur,

moves past like a thousand galloping horses,

in shades of green and red and purple,

glints of silver spectacles and golden jewels.

They’re watching, her tight lips, her half shut eyes,

the flutter of her lashes as she loses herself,

the only way to stop the shaking.

 

She falters, with the twist of a weak ankle,

slippers sliding across a metalic stage,

frozen hands set hard against the floor.

Shot down with the shift from soft air

And then stares, into space, past their blank expressions.

She is not there.

Just a dressed up doll, in pieces,

with rose cheeks and sparkled skin.

Dreaming instead of living

 

Forget

oh god

my seams are

unraveling

stitches snapping

cloth uncoiled

gaping

crumbling

ringlet massacre

hands are tied

with coarse string

can’t pull the silk ribbons back

together

& decorate delicately with a bow

 

insides spilling

into a darkdeepdirty

puddle

by my feet

toes dipped in oil

a spirit escaping

holes punctured

as fabric splits

staples just won’t do

burning thread

shrinks less and less

 

please now

when skin has been reduced

to just gritted dust

sprinkles of a shameful past

scattered

shattered

sweep it away

brush bristles moving death aside

sing a song as you hustle

leave the remains ungrieved

fogotten.

 

Muddy Knees

Muddy knees grazed red with playground mischief.

Sand landscapes and magical make-believe.

Auburn strands twisted through branches.

Chalk and Crayola palm prints pressed against bark

 

We were foxes, and unicorns

and princesses.

Your left hand in mine, your right in hers.

Together, three as a whole.

We needed nobody else.

 

You were [are] both,

so beautiful.

 

I cried when you left,

even as your cheeks remained dry.

I watched while she learned,

and she danced, she loved, and she grew.

 

You were blue, and she was green,

and i was purple.

Dark purple, mottled shadow. Bruised.

One rotten apple misplaced between prize-winners.

 

& Now I wonder

how did I drop, so easily,

to the bottom of the ocean?

Did you see me trip?

A wayward step, subtle slip against the edge,

into silence.

 

My mother says,

that my hair is coloured,

with chestnut streaks and auburn lights,

but I know,

that it is just brown.

Plain. Ordinary. Nothing special

Ditch brown. Like the dirt on your shoe.

 

Untitled

Sharp silver charms strung along my bracelet,

barbed wire guarding fragile wrists.

A clench of metal chains.

Bubble wrapped, and breakable.

Surrounded by toxic fumes,

and still, I am unmoved.

 

Sight pinned against a star shot sky.

Hazy, doped up. Strung out,

on destruction,

deprivation,

starvation.

Skin scratched and punctured,

bullet wounds marking tainted flesh,

and i’m pressing the trigger.

 

Crimson hand prints against glass.

A mirror reflection smashed and shattered,

slashed porcelain, painted red.

Little cut crosses, a constant reminder,

of imperfection.

A hollow shell, gradually cracking.

Outside exterior peeling, melted plastic.

Hunger swallowing empty space.

 

Charged on a false high,

a lit energy fuse ready to blow.

Brush frail fingers over jutting bones,

counting ribs, by vacant ridges.

Striving for less,

leaner,

lighter,

lower red blinking numbers.

Eventually – Zero.

 

Resistance is my heroin.

A needle scratch to freeze the pain.

Sedating a sick mind,

soothing a defeated soul.

Mould spreading over a petri dish,

breeding self-deprecation.

Lost in curdled insanity.

 

Smothered by my safety blanket,

burning fibres that scorch and sting.

Yet, i cling with limp strength,

and sad eyes, that have seen too much.

Lying drowned beneath dying flowers.

Waiting, drifting, fading, falling.

Corners slowly folding in, picture dimming black.

 

It’s Going To Rain Today

It is going to rain today

buckets and spades are locked away in the closet

a silent air cut down with splashes, of blood, of water,

of fighting will. a halo snapped, broken in two

skeletons thrown across the floor in my wake

perceptions breed like a dabbling monster

i cannot hear it, i will not see it. Led blind and frightened.

Like a fragile old woman, a widow, once a wife.

Birds skim with malice across the water,

catching fish to rip and knaw, with their sharpened beaks

Crouched empty behind this dusty curtain, unable to move

paralysed, set deep in the dirt. Frozen, absent, gone.

watching the cold rain pour down.

 

Turning Leaves

Tip the milk away.

Your inch doesn’t match my pint.

Footfalls echo with bangs and blows.

Icicle follicles, tapping nails against hard floor.

No room in the chariot.

You’ll be on your way now.

 

Bare branches,

birds stung of nectared melody.

Crossed heart, sewn mouth.

Spectacles left stranded on the desk.

Offline, Off key, Off site.

Craving the fresh taste of new.

 

Suck it in, spit it out.

Burrow through the timely seed.

Float amongt the marsh.

Diamonds shine like dirt, ruby grey.

Clingfilm door tight.

Bottling distilled decay.

 

You won’t find me,

behind the gas, beneath the creases.

at the end of the packet of crisps.

Smudges upon the land.

Wandered out of sight,

vanished from your spot-checked view.

Laid under insanity.

Leaves slowly turning.

Your tune moving further from here.

 

Witchcraft

Creased, crumbled in this battered down house.

A witch lost of tricks, with space left where spirit lay.

Smashed and split windows, leaking musty dust.

Fingernails blunt and dirt-ridden, blood mingling with soil.

Tousled curls and bleary eyes, aside an empty grave,

Hands latched around this body that doesn’t want to be held.

 

Evidence feeding electric hatred.

Her palms are black, and theirs were red.

Static numbness nursing the unknown, the unseen.

Precious wounds hidden beneath magic marker.

A sparkling fury lights their past placid stare.

Puncturing sadness, a blue rim turned grey.

Frozen tracks marking a chalk white face.

Apologies, apologies, never spent, never felt.

 

Outlined with charcoal, easily smudged.

Surrounded by ghosts, chilled and harsh voices.

An icy breeze preserving lonlieness through winter.

Searching for cracks in a once white ceiling.

Silent calm burnt by smoke, torture and misery.

A broken heart indented with the flames that they threw.

 

Wishes

I wish I was a princess

with tamed curls and a dazzling smile

sat high upon a lush green hill

watching the world float and pass by.

 

I wish i could turn myself inside out

to show you that I’m bleeding

prick my finger on a spindle

so you can leave me sleeping

 

I wish I could sing like a maiden fair

soft melodies floating through a breeze

a sparkle, a glow, a beauty blushed coral

you won’t see me drop to my knees

 

i wish i was an elegant dancer

with poised toes moving, gliding, twirling

a head held high, arms raised to the sky

yet a sinking heart, crying and yearning,

 

I wish I didn’t have to dream

so much of a new beginning

Images of escape chase me and plead

a single drop to life devoid of meaning.

This snippet of hope is fading, dissolving

like a stone through the water

I’m distantly falling.

 

Silence

standing still

waiting

then – falling

in a split moment

a second transfixed

twisted and bound

tipped forward –

over the sterile edge of a knife

through sanity

rationality

through invisible arms

and veiled hope

 

first my head

second my heart

then the shallow surface

ruptured skin dashed with bruises and knicks

strands of auburn pulled from their roots

eyes shut down to shadow

screams calling through the grey

a poisoned pose

the strike

blow. &

slow advance

of giving in

 

winter

flooding seeping swimming

up aching veins

filling gaps with i c e

unsteady floorboards

struggling to hold heavy weight

throw needles against the wood

watch them shatter

a sharp edge into the air

/gasp/

breath pulled in so tight

a corset gathering

suffocating

stemming my voice

whispers turned to white

nails dented over a clogged throat

the last mouthful of life

swallowed down with

regret.

 

a fingertip caught on the needle

a drip

seeping

flooding

crimson dashes across the floor.

but no broken glass.

just

silence.

BREAKING NEWS: NOT ALL MENTALLY ILL ARE CRAZED MURDERERS!

(Posting old pieces just for reference/storage purposes.)

Monday’s disgusting front page article from The Sun Newspaper has been quite rightfully blasted from all corners. It’s scathing headline “1,200 KILLED BY MENTAL PATIENTS” is glaringly unsettling and sensationalist on first impact. The article that follows reads as damaging and woefully inaccurate. Social network users were responding to the tabloid in force last night, with many calling for a full apology from the paper.

A response penned collectively by charities Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness and Mind condemns The Sun piece as ‘disappointing’ and ‘damageable’. They state that it “will only fuel the stigma and prevent more people from seeking help and support when they need it.”

Information that The Sun article is based upon is twisted to suit a scaremongering, screaming agenda. Their headline, while based on the message that many people have been let down by mental health provision, is distorted into an attack and focuses on minority details. First of all there is no such thing as ‘mental patients’ but instead individuals that struggle with poor mental health – sorry to break your monstrous and unstable, axe-wielding image there Mr Murdoch. True figures reveal that the number of homicides carried out by those with mental health issues, including those experiencing psychosis has decreased.

The Sun also conveniently failed to mention that suffers are in fact ten times more likely to be victim’s, rather than perpetrators of crime and violence than anyone else. They are also a much larger risk to themselves through self-harm, neglect or suicidal intentions than they are to others. Mental illness can quite often be secretive and contained with many sufferers going about their lives without ever harming anybody else. With the right treatment many can go on to fully recover.

In spite of the reality, sadly the stigma against those suffering from mental illness is still rife. Research by YouGov revealed that people with mental health problems are regarded as the most discriminated-against group in Britain.

A petition has been started by Twitter user and psychology teacher Rhiannon Lockley at Change.org. Miss Lockley requests that The Sun “Recognise that they have acted unethically in misrepresenting information about the mentally ill in this harmful way, and to print a full correction to this effect.” while also asking them to “Make a donation to mental health charities to cover any profit made from this story and to apologise to those misrepresented.”