Friday, 1 March 2013

The most important thing is not to think very much about oneself. To investigate candidly the charge; but not fussily, not very anxiously. On no account to retaliate by going to the other extreme -- thinking too much. Virginia Woolf.

It's been nearly two months since I returned from travelling. I am still unemployed - 35 job applications down, three interviews and a polite phone call.
"It was between you and the other candidate. You have a lovely manner, something very special, you will be snapped up very quickly."
But I haven't yet, have I?
"Thank you for this feedback. I really enjoyed the interview. Good bye."
The boy I lost my virginity to called me to ask what I was doing with my life. "Oh not much, just looking for a job. Yes, as a personal assistant. Oh no - it does actually have good prospects - I could even be an executive assistant in a couple of years time."
The boy who exploited me when I was depressed, bulimic, anorexic and borderline psychotic saw more potential in me then than I do now. So I sat on the bus and cried. I've always set myself the highest academic standards, won scholarships, seen anything less than an A* as a failure, attended the best university in the country, graduated with my head held high and filled with images of me striding somewhere. I've had an extended trial at a company and spent the last few days wrapping the boss's son's birthday presents, picked up face serums worth more than entire overdraft and made endless reservations in my beautifully modulated, well spoken voice ruthlessly pruned of any vestiges of my accent. Part of me loves this role - all I do is act - I don't have to think or engage I just smile and be charming and fulfil the accusation that gets thrown at me time after time. I am nothing but veneer and I don't have to pretend there's anything more but gloss.
I miss being anorexic - it's national eating disorders week or it was recently and on post secret I saw this - in the year I achieved my lowest weight I achieved more than in my consequent three years at university. In that year, my body was everything. Control was everything, my only thoughts were about the next meal and how to preserve the veneer.
This is my giving up on recovery. I have given up everything else - I will not give up this fundamental control. I have no idea whether I will have run out of my overdraft by next month or whether I will have finally found a job but I do know this and I promise myself this - I will weigh less, and I will have control over the veneer. The inside doesn't weigh anything, anyway.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Live fast, die young, be wild and have fun. Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. I am fucking crazy. But I am free. (Lana del Rey).

Perhaps this picture is cruel. I baked, ate and digested those cupcakes without guilt. Later that day, I sat in a cupboard and cried because that night I had told my boyfriend I was in love with him. Nothing and everything has changed. As I lay awake my tears running over his arms listening to his gentle snoring I remembered this blog and all the pain and the hunger and the sadness which fuelled everything I've written here. 
I don't starve anymore - I've forgotten what intentional hunger is, what guilt feels like, what it is to be obsessed with food, utterly, totally absorbed into my experience of that hunger. Ironically, my life is a lot more empty. There is nothing as all consuming as self-loathing. Stability is oddly, pleasingly hollow.
I went travelling again - I watched countless sunrises above exotic rooftops all the while clinging to the idea of the boy at home who loved me and waited for my return.
"What should I have said before I left and you told me you were falling in love with me was that I wasn't just falling in love with you, I am in love with you."
"I felt that way before you left. I don't feel that way anymore."
Said so kindly.
So that love I chase with such desperation and longing isn't here either. How do you ask someone for a predicted time frame in which they expect to fall in love with you? And how long do you wait? Or does one just disintegrate with the knowledge that you were once loved but that too just faded?
Disintegration, fading, dissolving, disappearing. My old words. Comfortable in their sense of self-annihilation. One thing I learned from reading these blogs is that every anorexic has to grow up or they die from malnutrition, osteoporosis, organ failure or any number of other self-imposed death sentences slowly and without dignity. My mum told me about a family friend who now weighs 29kg. Even in the old days that number would have been shocking. And still part of me is envious that she got so thin - her family was shocked when she told them how the other girls in her hospital ward (when she came off life support) interrogated her for tips. The doctor told her mum she would probably die. Maybe she'll recover and give inspirational talks at schools about she was cured and returned to sanity. Or maybe she'll linger in a sort of no-man's-land suspended somewhere between starvation and bingeing, obsessed but unable to disappear and that will be her life.
I'd take normality, sanity, peace any day. I was looking for a metaphor for anorexia the other day and finally settled on poison. The slow, lingering, incurable poison that won't kill but refuses to let you die, that you can't treat, you can't beat but you just steadily refuse to acknowledge, you suppress, you reject, you ignore and yet are unable to fix, to cure or to purge. This is how I describe my recovery, my recovery of sorts.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dear God please give me the strength to endure this woman -
I graduated a couple of weeks ago and now at home, an unemployed graduate, stuck in the house with my psychotic mother.
I want to sit and stare at the wall and starve until it's the only thing I feel.
Not this. Not this grey rage towards her and hopelessness. Absolute hopelessness.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Road

So my uni course has a mandatory creative writing paper. And I can't write about sex or starvation. They say write about what you know, but I'm not sure anyone would believe the things I know. I really want to win but I'm not sure where to start either.
My childhood? The people who left me? The anger, hatred and desire for revenge that's always there, every day, every night, in every person I meet the suspicion that they too will leave. I can't write about that - bare my soul on the page for some marker to shred to pieces and award me a 2:2 for some cliched story about a traumatic childhood. Didn't we all have one?
And reading back this blog, all I can see is some pathetic, drunken girl wandering from man to man looking for some form of self-transcendence and then running away sober in the morning desperate to purge myself of the filth, and the sadness. I've drifted so far. The year I began this blog I was so focused, 800 calories a day or less. That was all that mattered. Now I'm in recovery, I sometimes go to the gym, I occasionally add up the calories in everything I eat but then I don't stress. I go to sleep at night because I don't have hunger cramps and I'm on track to graduate this year. I think when I decided to get better, I had to lose part of me. It was the exchange - life for creativity. A fair exchange. I don't write any more. I don't take photos. I don't explore or dream. I gave up on the dream of being a model. I gave up on being an actress. Gave up on being a journalist. Gave up on going into broadcasting. Gave up on being 50kg.
It's my finals in a few months. There is no way I'm going to sacrifice the chance of getting a first to be thin. I nearly gave up going to university to achieve that - and then I realised I'd be stuck at home with my mum for the next ten years or worse, be in a hospital with people thinner than me making me feel like even more of a failure. So I know that it was worth it. I really do.
I just wish I could still write. And dream a bit, too.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

"You're a cunt. You know that?"
"Yeah I guess. I wish I felt bad about that. I don't. I'm glad I fucked him. I hope it really fucks things up between them. Teach him a lesson, or something."
"You're a bit a psychopath when it comes to sex Daisy."
"I didn't realise there was another way to have sex. It wouldn't be any fun otherwise if someone didn't get hurt. Or at least the possibility was there."

I fucked my childhood sweetheart's cousin in his swimming pool. I decided to fuck CS's cousin the week before when CS came round to our holiday house for a barbecue. My sister's friend was there - the minute CS walked in she transformed completely. Hair flicking, eyes fluttering, suddenly interesting, talkative. I've always despised this friend of my sister's. 16 years old and she's already been suspended several times from school for anorexia, drinking, smoking and suspected drug taking. It gives me grim satisfaction to say she isn't even that thin. A bit like looking into a mirror of the past. CS responded to her flirting. I was disgusted. I've always seen CS as my territory - my first crush, my first kiss, my first dance - everything I hold to be innocent and good about my sexuality. The night progressed, more and more alcohol consumed, we're upstairs playing drinking games, it's dawn, it's only me, CS and sister's friend left. CS and I climb onto the roof to watch the sunrise. His arms are around my waist, I think finally, we're alone and this will happen. And then she climbs up the side. Inserts herself between us. Looks up at him with that searching look, longing for approval, knowing she's already won it. I resist the urge to push her over the side. CS checks his watch, he has to be at work in a couple of hours, he leaves. I try to go to bed but the urge is too strong. I storm upstairs to where sister's friend is getting into bed.
"HOES BEFORE BROS, CUNT. BACK THE HELL OFF." I scream and rage for a while, revelling in my revulsion at this girl, aware I'm completely submerged in the deep end of crazy, completely oblivious to the overwhelming sense of the crazy. She looks destroyed and slinks off to bed after grovelling for a bit.
A week later, CS introduces me to his cousin. We immediately hit it off. We go out clubbing, the night draws to an end, he invites me back to his. He suggests we go swimming. I strip. We fuck in the pool. In the morning, we fuck. His mother is delighted to see me - turns out her and my mum are best friends and I've just never met her son before. 'He's such a gentleman giving up his bed for you when you couldn't get home last night' she gushes. I nod.
CS warned me about his cousin. Womanizer, fucks around, massive dick, the usual.
And I'm not ..?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hope - Recovery

I am not an alcoholic but I thought I would share my source of strength with all of you. Above is my favourite photograph - I took it in the woods behind my garden a couple of years ago after a three day fast and thought I was hallucinating something as beautiful and as pure as a daisy. I sincerely wished I could be that daisy, that I could bloom into perfection for one day and then wither away satisfied. 

This is what keeps me from returning to that place -

The Promises ©1939 Alcoholics Anonymous

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. 
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realise that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

I find the twelfth sign of recovery the most inspiring and is what I remind myself of everyday I wake up:
We are restored to sanity, on a daily basis, by participating in the process of recovery.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

"I am so proud of you, like, when I look at you, I'm like 'God, Daisy has really changed, you seem so happy, so stable, so content. It's wonderful see."
"It's lovely that you think that... I really do feel so much better these days. God, I sound so bloody self-righteous these days. I must have changed!"
Joking around in the kitchen with my housemate I realise just how obvious last year's apathy and general disgust must have been to everyone. Giving up drinking seems to everyone like my latest attempt at reforming myself. In a sense it is. I'm sick of waking up with no memories and a rising sense of guilt. I'm also conscious in 25 days I will be in a bikini on a beach and I can't afford to be wasting calories on alcohol. That said for the first time in my life I'm restricting without counting calories, without purging and without obsessing over binges... too much. It's so fucking hard.

A year ago I slept with a complete stranger an hour after meeting him. We had great sex, although at one point during foreplay I text the American, who at the point I was also sleeping with. As he walked me to part of the way home I kept forgetting his name and when he asked me for his number, I answered: "why? so we can meet up and spoon some time?" and left him. He was in the bar last night. As he walked across the opposite side of the room, our eyes locked and I felt that pure libidinal rush I thought had simply dried up. He came over, we talked. I had a few drinks. I felt old Daisy resurface. I called him a cunt. I insulted him repeatedly. And as we flirted at the bar, people kept coming up to us, interrupting, girls obviously cockblocking, and it was only when a girl I'd been briefly chatting to came up to him and kissed him on the mouth, I realised.
"Is that your girlfriend? Well done, you've done better than I'd have expected"
So as his girlfriend and all her friends swarmed around the bar, he carried on flirting with me. And whilst I know she has a better body than me, I had the arrogance, the scorn that kept him there, leading me to a dark corner of the bar to evade the observation of their friends.
"How long have you been together?"
"Don't ask. Too long. Tomorrow is our anniversary."
Watching a man make the moral decision whether to cheat or not whilst his girlfriend is in the room is an extraordinary thing to watch.
"Daisy, are you propositioning me?"
"Perhaps, if I couldn't see your girlfriend"
I made my excuses, and left. I'd seen enough of the male ego. He offered to walk me to the gate. At the gate, he told me he wanted to walk me home, passing a club he sees his friends in the queue, and in full view of them, hugs me. As he turns to walk away, I tell him to enjoy his anniversary. He grimaces.
I go home and cry.