Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Write Now

I've been dreaming about Alex again. This makes me angry. My dreams keep on suggesting I want him back.
I do not.
I wish I could turn off my dreams and not have to experience them.

I want to start today with a comment from Anonymous (gotta love them) which said "You say the same things over again."
Yes. Of course I do. It's called having an eating disorder. What better way to express the hell of this cycle in which it is impossible to escape than with prose that is itself on a cycle. RESTRICT - BINGE - PURGE - CRY - PROMISE TO GET BETTER - RESTRICT - BINGE - PURGE - CRY - PROMISE TO GET BETTER etc etc.
I have a message written on my cupboard wall which is still visible if you look closely. It says: This is THE LAST TIME signed by me and dated 11th August 2008. It refers to the last time I will throw up. I've said it everyday since.

"I hate that I can't get better," I told my therapist last week. "It's so frustrating. I've wanted it for so long, and now I have the support and I have all the resources I need and I can't do it. And I hate myself for it. Every time I fuck up, I know it's because I didn't try hard enough."
"How long have you had an eating disorder?" she asked in reply.
"Since I was 15 - for 8 years."
"And how many sessions have we had?"
"I dunno... like, 12?"
"11.... If you could get better on your own and without any trouble, you wouldn't be here. We've had 11 sessions, and you've had this disorder for years. It's going to take time."


I wrote a letter to my Dad today. It said:
Dear Dad,
I miss you.


Dear Dad, I miss you. There's so much more I need and want to say. But I can't write it, I can only say it to you, ask you, listen to you, discuss with you. Screw you for leaving. Screw you for putting me and my mother through all this pain. You got out easy but we stick it out. But I can't blame you, because I understand, I am your daughter, I have your blood, I have your sadness... I am one half of you.
They say shit like this can be genetic, if so, I know I got it from you.

It wasn't so long ago that all I wanted was to die. My Mum had to sit helplessly and listen to me crying myself sick half begging to let me die. I just don't want to live anymore! I've had enough! I'm sorry. I just want to die. No Mother should have to listen to that and I can't take it back.


Who'd have predicted that years ago? When I was a popular star pupil with a Mum and Dad that took me to the park on Sundays.
I went all wrong.

If I were to pinpoint the very worst month of my life it would be...November 2010. Couldn't leave the house, couldn't stop eating, couldn't stop throwing up, couldn't stop crying...

I am out of the very darkest times now. If someone were to threaten with me a gun I wouldn't be too bothered, but I can safely say that thanks to my new job I no longer want to kill myself. The fact that I am happy and safe in my new location and new job is a huge deal and it makes me pleased to say it.
But I'm only staying in this job until July - this always has been a temporary situation - it is not what I want to do for any longer than my contract. So what do I do afterwards? Every grad scheme I've applied to has rejected me and now I've run out of time...


For my whole life I have wanted to be a journalist and a writer. My whole life. That's why I chose the A levels and the degree that I did. On my personal statement for my undergraduate course in English Literature I wrote about how I wanted to write and all the projects that I was working on. Writing is all I've ever wanted to do. It's the only thing I've ever been remotely talented at. It's the only thing I love.
So... why did I leave uni and go to law school? Why have I not done any journalism work experience or a post grad course? Why?
Because I decided I was a failure. I wasn't good enough, I'd never make it, I'd never be published, I'm second rate, I'll never make it to the top. It's too much of a risky career, no stable income, no regular working hours, I'm not tough enough, I'm not good enough.

Low self-esteem and eating disorders go hand in hand - they feed each other. Only when you hate yourself enough can you convince yourself that you need to be punished and starved and purged. I perfected my eating disorder because I perfected my self-hatred. I think I'm a worthless piece of shit, so I never even tried to become a journalist or writer. I knew, or rather I decided, that I wasn't good enough to make it.

The only thing I could put effort into and the only thing I believed in was getting thin and being successful in the eyes of society. I wanted to be perfect and polished in a perfect and polished suit, not running around in flat shoes with scribbled notes chasing stories about cats stuck up trees for the local newspaper. But no, that's NOT true, I don't want the perfect and polished 9-5 in a grey office in the grey city - I've never been that person and when I had a taste of it I found myself going mad with boredom.
Sure, I don't want to work on the local paper my whole life, but I have to if I want to reach the dizzying heights of the BBC or The Times. And at least, AT LEAST, I'll be doing what I want to do even if my Mum and society think I'm a failure in the meantime.

I gave up on my dreams before I had even tried because all I knew was how to hate myself and all I believed was that I had to please others.

I want to write.


11 comments:

  1. Do what you love if you can. I tried, failed, and now I do what I must to pay the bills. I've made my peace with it but ONLY because I tried.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fuck anonymous, they can't relate. God, I thought I was the only one with a ridiculous cycle, but you're so right that's exactly what my cycle is like! God I hate it! Everyday I say I'm going to be strong & not binge or purge.. then 5 minutes later = fail. Well I hope things start to get easier for you, xo A

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do what you love and love what you do. I wish I had realized that earlier in my life too, but we're always obsessed with pleasing others. I'm glad you're finding purpose in you're life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're beautiful with words. Please keep going.

    ReplyDelete
  5. you are a beautiful writer, and you need to pursue it. i know how low self-esteem is, and i wish there were a magic high self-esteem pill, but alas, there is not. please keep going. we're all rooting for you. <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad you've gotten out of that darkness. You're a wonderful writer, so don't stop. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just want to repeat what everyone else said. Do what you love, because in the end, that's all that matters.
    You may feel judged by society now for not being in the grey office block like everyone else, but in 10 years time, when they (we!) are all burnt out and exhausted and bored, you'll be reaching the pinnacle of an exciting, stimulating career that you love.
    My therapist told me that I thought too much about the 'now' and blocked out thinking ahead. This is your chance to think ahead.

    I'm glad the job and the new location are going well for you. Even if times are difficult there, just remember where you were four months ago - you are so much stronger now.

    xxxxxxxxxx

    (The journalism MA at City is really good...and you could probably do it part time so you can work alongside it)

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's not too late to go after that dream. You're such a wonderful person and writer. I've been reading your blog for a long time and I've always loved your writing style.

    ~MLM

    ReplyDelete
  9. I came across this passage in a reading for English class and thought of you. "[H]uman feeling is like the mighty river that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty--it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it."

    Keep on fighting, living, and writing, especially if you know its importance to you. Choose what you love and that can't be the wrong decision. In the end, we all just want love and happiness. If you already know how you can make yourself that much happier, then put all your effort into it. What you're most scared of is usually the most worthwhile. Your beauty will resonate when you lead the life you want to live.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think you should write, your very talented at it. What do you have to lose by trying?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for sharing this.

    Every bit you wrote up there is how I feel about me and my choices (as in, writing was everything I ever desired to do or believed myself remotely talented at; yet because I don't think I'm good enough, tough enough, I never tried to pursue a career in journalism or related fields, instead opting to chase a career that would make me successful in the eyes of society, my parents et cetera, failing at it, hating myself for it, destroying myself over it, feeding my self-esteem issues, body issues, eating disordered behaviour in turn.).

    "I gave up on my dreams before I had even tried because all I knew was how to hate myself and all I believed was that I had to please others."

    That sentence struck painfully true with me.
    Thanks for expressing this (in simple and eloquent terms, too) because, well, it makes me feel less tragic and alone to hear someone else give voice to similar thoughts and experiences.

    ReplyDelete

Don't be anonymous, leave a name at least so I can identify you back :)