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Showing posts from 2012


Being thin and beautiful does not make you happy.

I rarely like to talk about other people I know in this blog, but I think this is a great case in point - an image of everything I do not want to be, and was so very nearly close to becoming...

Two Friday's ago I went to catch up with a girl I worked with in my old job, Millie. She has long spiderly legs and a beautiful face. In a nutshell, she is thin and beautiful. I wrote about her first day in the office here.

She can get any guy she wants, has men begging to take her out, dates a different guy every month, sometimes every week.
This first time I saw her again since leaving that job, and she had invited me to a dinner party with some posh public schoolboy bankers. I don't want to write so much about the evening (which was a real non-event in terms of men) but more about her. She is 29, only left university the year before, had been very lost in life, and is still very lost in life.

If God allowed me to name three people…

September and October in a sort of nutshell

I am fat.
And yet, I'm the same size that I've been for a year. I'm not fatter.
Shut up Ophelia.
I have actually really been fatter than this - and I survived it.
But I'm sure when I was fatter I was just as anxious and unhappy as I am now.

My unhappiness is not a function of my weight.

Oliver has disappeared off the face of the earth and while any boy would be likely to disappear off the face of the earth during his freshers at university, it left me feeling like a fat old woman.

I can physically feel the grip of my eating disorder again. I can feel her hands around my neck, the all-consuming presence of her face in my mind, conscious of my fat body at every moment, seeing all the rolls, the spread, that face.
The fear every morning when I have to get dressed, the fear of wearing trousers, a skirt, my bra digging into my back fat, my arms, my belly. Bend over and pinch the roll. It's not bigger...and yet it FEELS disgusting and out of control.
I b…

In bed

I started to cry as I forced another spoonful of cereal into my mouth.

I am too scared to stand on the scales. I am too scared to go to work tomorrow. I am too scared to go to my therapy session.
Oh God, I don't want to do it. I want to believe this is just the depression talking. I don't want to feel like this anymore. I don't want to... it is so frightening. The way I felt at the end of 2010, I swore I'd never feel it again... In my first post of 2012 I wrote that this would be the year. It's just another year of failure. My career thrown off the rails, my eating disorder back to its worst...Everything...I failed.

I can't start to comprehend how I did this.

How the fucking hell did this happen. I want to say it's not fair. But deep down I can only blame myself. I mean, it has to be me, it has to be me, what else is there, it must be me, evil and tainted and cursed.

I want to stop myself from sinking under, I know that I am a fighter, that I always fight …

"Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame"

I have neglected to talk about my eating disorder for a while.
In some ways I feel like I don't have an eating disorder anymore because it has become so normal it barely hurts. On average I am throwing up once a day - of course at weekends this can often be up to three or four times a day.
Being off work for two weeks between jobs was dreadful. While I had time to run between 6-20 miles a day, I also had time to eat and throw up several times a day.

There was a period - April to May - when things really started to settle down. I was throwing up once or twice a week, my weight was stable, I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner... but I was also going to bed at 9pm and getting up at 5am, studying and staying safe, never going out, never drinking, never getting on to the stage...

Weight wise I'm actually exactly the same. I have not lost or put on anything. But it all unravelled after I finished my exams, applied for the new position, got turned down, quit my job, begged for Theo..…

"Love, love, the low smokes roll / From me like Isadora's scarves..."

Perhaps I was never in love with Theo, perhaps I was in love with a character I had created from the pages of the novels I had read and dreamt of. Part Heathcliff, part Sebastian Flyte, part Hamlet perhaps (though it feels sacrilegious even comparing them). But the passion and the fire and the pain were just... wonderful. God damn if I ever can experience that again...

I wonder why I had loved Alex so much and clung on so desperately to him when it seems so glaringly obvious now that he could never have satisfied me? He is with a girl now, so perfect for him. I suppose, when I look at it from his point of view he had his fun, he ticked the box of going out with a wild one, then he went his way - the way he knew he always would. A lovely girl, plain, simple, safe, obviously lovely. Someone he can go on romantic walks in the countryside with, who will eat eggs and bacon and sausages with him in the morning.

But Theo would never have satisfied me either. Satisfied my yearning to be in t…

So maybe I'm a masochist

I went out with Oliver last night.

Wait, I'm starting the story too quickly. Let me take a step back.

On Monday I started my new position. I am an 'intern' at an energy fund. At the time it seemed like a good idea. But of course it wasn't. I sit in a tiny office, with a few other people, all doing their own thing, all talking in another language... Most of all, I miss the markets, I miss the macro, I miss reading the newspaper in the morning and being exited to see how the latest crisis in the eurozone is going to make my day ahead interesting.

Oh God, no one has ever broken my heart like the people who made the decision to turn down my application to move departments in my last job. How can it be that I work so hard and give so much and all I do is fail and fail and fail. How can they sleep at night knowing that they broke the heart of a girl who had been broken so much?

What am I going to do, what am I going to do. No, really, what am I going to do? Get another job …

When I am an old woman I will read these stories from my twenties and laugh

Thank you for the supportive comments, it has certainly been a tough few weeks.
A tough few weeks, handled without care on my part, but surprisingly, I have very little regret.

So I packed away the CFA study books, I handed in my notice, and I went back onto the diet that I never failed to fly me away to the outskirts of outerspace: Fit men and alcohol.

On the first weekend after quitting my job I went on a weekend trip to Brighton with two of the girls I worked with. We kicked back and enjoyed the scene, miles away from the commercial towers of London, just sea and wind and no ties to hold us down. After doing a round of the little town, we made our way to a club called 'The Honey Club' along the front of the beach, my friends and I standing the queue with a bunch of men on a stag do, me feeling decidely dejected by the severe lack of male talent on offer. In fact, I had not met one guy who had even slightly raised one of my eyebrows in interest.

Until he walked p…

...burning up under the glare of the bright lights of the City of London

I was thinking about this post for a while - maybe I'd make it my last post - it would be strong and victorious - if I could do it, you can do it.

Things haven't gone to plan

His name was Harry. He had huge blue eyes and a cheeky grin. I insisted on giving him my number as we left the city bar across the road from where I worked. I called Theo 21 times as I sat in the taxi with Harry. He didn't pick up. The next day Harry and I continued to exchange banter and he asked me to go for a drink the following Thursday. I could even stay over "if I wanted".

I was excited about getting Theo out of my system. I wanted to get drunk with Harry and laugh and smile and feel beautiful. I went to get my hair done at lunchtime and drank juice all day so I looked perfect.

We were going to meet at 6.30 after work. At 4.30 he texted. Just been given loads of work to finish at the office. Had to cancel - "let's rearrange for next week".

He never contacted me again.

Make or break

It has been a while.
I've been shut up indoors studying for my CFA Level 1 exam which I took on Saturday. I don't think I passed, but... well, that is that.
When I went to my Doctor a few weeks ago to ask for more pills, he said it was so sad that I spent my weekends in bed. At my age, I should be out enjoying life.
Oh. I feel like I have regressed so much. The darkness hanging over me, my heart smothered by the black clouds. Just like the old days, the old days from years, months, weeks ago.

The exam was the culmination of everything I had worked for and had dreams and nightmares about since January.

I took two weeks off work before the exam and made the terrible mistake of studying with Theo, day in, day out in the British Library.
I shouldn't have done it.
We had long lunches and tea breaks, talking like the good friends we are. And when the sun blessed us with scorching weather last week, we had a picnic in Regents Park, ate ice cream, walked through the beautiful…

Letting go

"I can't let go of Theo because he's the first guy I've ever met who really sees who I am inside. He doesn't just look at me like all the other guys have done before, he understands who I am, what I've been through and what makes me beautiful. That's why I can't walk away from him."

"I know how you feel," my friend said to me over a cocktail, "I've been there, it's so hard to let them go."

The next day she came into work and sat down at her desk opposite mine.
"You know Ophelia, I had a revelation last night, it just came to me..."
"You know these men that we can't let go of because we think they really understand us? We're wrong - they don't. Because if they really did know us, they wouldn't treat us the way they do."

I stood, letting her words sink in slowly.
"You're so right... If Theo really knew me, really understood my pain, he'd wrap me up in cot…

I would love you so much...

“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.”
The Journals of Sylvia Plath

This blog is called 'A Head Full of Beauty' for a reason. When I started this blog I was already writing voraciously, spilling my emotions out in the strongest form of expression I had mastered. Literature and poetry had always been able to move me and help me feel the beauty in the world and in the human race. For me, beauty is not about aesthetics, it is not about what we see with our eyes but what we feel with our hearts. We feel beauty, it is an emotion, it is a movement in our soul, it is something transcendental. Beauty can be sad, it can be happy, it can be tortured, it can be innocent, it can be fresh, it can be ancient...

While I hated everything about my physical self, I thanked God everyday for the beauty he put in my head…

"Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears"

I'm putting myself back on anti-depressants (Fluoxetine).

I watched The Iron Lady last night and there were about two 10 minute intervals in which I did not cry. Throughout the rest of the film I just sobbed manically, tears dripping off my cheeks.

I'm raw these days. It's like there's no flesh on me, just touch me and you go straight to the nerve. Everything hurts and everything makes me cry.
I sobbed all the way through The Iron Lady because it reminded me of my own mother - or how she will be in a few years. The film perfectly depicted the heartbreak of losing a husband - God knows I have no idea what it feels like, and yet I cry my eyes out for my Mum - am sitting here crying my eyes out for her now.

And that was it really. The old, deep-seated inability to deal with death and loss and grief. My mother who lost a husband and has only known pain and heartache since, who is getting more and more fragile and frail by the day. And what can I do except give her a ki…

I only know how to fight

Sorry for making the blog private for a few weeks. I wanted to be isolated from the piercing eye of the internet for a while...

It's been a long time since I've sat down and written a proper update - and for those of you who read regularly, I apologise, sometimes it's very easy to forget that people will miss you when you disappear. Thank you to those who have emailed and reminded me to come back, those words have been key in helping me. Thank you to anonymous for the beautiful dance clip on youtube, to NC for the kind words of support regarding the CFA, I will definitely need kind words as crunch time approaches! Thank you to Alice, Loulou, and everyone who commented on the last post with your support. Sometimes I think I should keep your wise words with me all night.

I suppose I should continue the story where I left off - with Theo.
Wow, so much has happened since then. Here's the condensed version:
Theo had lost his phone, genuinely, hence why he hadn't contac…