There’s less than a handful of close friends and lovers that have seen me whole, naked and fully scarred. I keep my distance from people, less so since losing partner to cancer in 2008, arms’ length only. I have lived a life less ordinary. The older I get, the more I crave simplicity and the easier it becomes to accept all of the things about myself that I cannot change. It’s too late for me now, I have hundreds and thousands of cells of scar tissue all over my body, most of which, are self-inflicted. I lead a scarred life. There are limitations to living, behind closed doors I am free. To the naked eye you’d never guess the horrors that I have felt. At this point in time I am in love and the one things that holds my heart together is that I still believe in love. Love conquers all.
Disorders and psychoses are real conversation killers. When I was anorexic and bulimic there was nobody to tell. When I first cut myself, I kept it all very quiet. I kept very quiet about it all for seven years. The scars, are unbearable at the best of times. I regret each and every single scar in equal bitter measures.
The irony of my existence is that I see the look in people’s eyes when they weigh all of my tattoos, bright, heavy. A pretty girl, so trashed. The tattoos, they all hide something, scars, heartbreak.
I read all of the books about eating disorders, everything. I read all of the books about self-harm. When my partner died the tender loving arms of literature held me close, tucked the stray hairs out of my eyes and rocked me safe, gently, still.
Good books are like hands that we hold in our hearts, never letting go. Some might say that books are like heroes and we all need rescuing from time to time. They reach out and take us away from the lives that we lead, like a long weekend.
Self harm is like a labyrinth. ‘The Bardo Retreat’ is a map of how I made it out. I survived.
‘Bar means in between. Do means an island or a mark. The concept of bardo is based upon the period between sanity and insanity, between death and birth. The past situation has just occurred and the future situation has not yet manifested itself so there is a gap between the two: This is basically the bardo experience.’ (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
“If I don’t write to empty my mind,
I go mad.”
“The end is our starting line” (Meredith Grey)