Monthly Archives: May 2015

DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES

“This is a diary.

Sometimes we hold hands with our diaries everywhere we go, we tease the hair away from their eyes and tuck these strands behind imagined ears. We blow our diaries kisses. We hush their pretty peachy mouths with our fingertips with a ‘Sssssssshhh’. We hide them beneath mattresses because they are filled with our deepest darkest secrets. Sometimes we tie them to rocks and throw them into  wishing wells like bad pennies. Sometimes we rip out their pages, and surreptitiously post these out to sea in small bottles. We set fire to the torn out pieces of scrawl and scribble. Diaries, all that thinking written down loud, are an unbearable burden.  Diaries are all that we leave behind, a collection of our wildest moments, emotions pressed and sealed into secret, hidden tomes. Diaries are all that we leave out of conversation in entire lifetimes, lost, forgotten and locked.  Diaries are a lot like bricks and consciousness is a lot like a window.

This is a brick through a window.

Make a wish.”

Excerpt from ‘The Bardo Retreat’ by Rose Lois Presley

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bardo-Retreat-Rose-Lois-Presley-ebook/dp/B00O4LJQ4C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433088094&sr=8-1&keywords=the+bardo+retreat+rose+lois+presley

This book will be free for five days from Thursday 4th June, my birthday. Another year free and clear of self-harm. ALthough there were three instances of a strong hunger to harm, I am grateful and thankful for a year of relative freedom from self-mutilation. The scars still raise and holler in the heat, they feel awkward and uncomfortable if they sneak free of my long sleeves, scared, shy, grotesque and sorry.

In equal bitter measures I miss smoking and I miss marmite on toast. I miss Lindt dark chocolate and Pistachio bars, thick velvety strong black coffees and the thrill of nicotine replacement devices. Smoke free, wheat free, chocolate free and coffee free I roll forward, around, up and down, around and around on a painted pony, on the carousel of life, into my 33rd year.

Last week the Elvis and Priscilla tattoo was finished. This hides my last ever a&e self-harm episode.

Although there are moments when I lose myself and feel the urge to self-harm, I resist. I can pull myself out of that rabbit hole, over and over and over again. And then, the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get back it back.

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TIGER EYES

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A year ago I made a thoughtless decision and I started taking Yasmin birth control. I had not thought that my experience with this tiny little pill would be so negative. I also had a car accident, in August 2014 and I was also diagnosed with anaemia  in December 2014. I had accelerated my car into a wall after my brain and feet momentarily stopped talking. And a wheat intolerance, that had often manifested as bulimia, now anaemia, had finally overwhelmed me. I was tired beyond reason; anaemia had moved in. My wellbeing in the past year has been poor.

Running outdoors and exercise were my release. Running and exercise had replaced my destructive and dangerous self-harm habit. And both of these pursuits grew harder the longer my year-long Yasmin sentence went on I struggled to get back into road and trail running after I accidentally smashed my car into a wall last year. I ran 12k on Good Friday and this floored me for a good two weeks.

Since the car crash my knees are clapped out, kaput almost. Wheat has been gone for about six months now. Now just thinking about something wheaty makes my mind barf. I also quit coffee and dark chocolate. The latter, will always have a special place in my heart and I do sometimes indulge with varying degrees of stomach hurt.

“My body, the hand grenade.” (Courtney Love)

I had followed the advice of my nutritionist to a ‘t’. Everything I had been doing for the past four months was good, beneficial and healthy. And yet, I still felt like gutter gunge. All of the moves I had made this year did not yield the prescribed desired effect. What a waste. What a shame. What a woe.

I am now two weeks clean from Yasmin.Ovulating for the first time in twelve months felt like a sunshine thunderbolt that pierced right through my dark, grey clouds. And I felt la petit-mort, depressed, the day after. I have felt this way ever since. I hope that my first period is less harrowing. I want my body back. The most alarming ill effect of Yasmin, that has magically and mysteriously instantly ended, was post-evening-meal heavy sleepy fog. I could literally be drooling all over my chins (I gained half a stone in weight) because I was unbearably, uncomfortably tired after an evening meal. I, was terrible.

I have been seeing an Osteopath, every six weeks or so, since the car accident and I hope that one day soon my knees will start acting their age. I have increased the variety of weights in my home gym, keeping an array of simple circuit exercise routines to hand. I hope that I can strengthen my legs so that I can run wild, run outdoors and run free before this Summer ends. I love exercise. I love to sweat. I love letting go and feeling the sweet release of expended energy. I love trying to master new moves, new techniques, like Turkish get-ups with a kettle bell bigger than one of my butt cheeks. I am fit but I feel like my body got chewed up and ravaged by the pill.

I want my body back.

I hope that I return to me, soon. I can feel the familiar edge of self-harm creeping in. I also feel like giving up; the pill negated every positive change I had made.

When I first met the nutritionist she had figured that my liver was distressed. The pill hammered my liver every day and the knock on effects were terrible. I can’t explain this fully but I’ve read similar instances on the world wide web. I know that everybody had their own experience, that we all react differently. This afternoon I had conversation with a friend, she said that the women she knew that were on the pill had poor relationships as they had made poor relationship choices under the influence of prescribed contraceptive hormones. She believed that the pill had been a common factor when their relationships had fallen apart. Without the pill the type of man that she goes for is good, wholesome, healthy. She had experienced the opposite effect whenever she came off the pill. It’s interesting to think about. Time will tell how much of my problems, in the past twelve months, have been a direct result of my Yasmin habit. I am a sensitive soul. The years before I started the pill I was 100% healthy, happy, whole. I would ‘come on’ at the same time as the spring equinox.

My womb, the universe in microcosm.

My iron levels improved with diet changes but it has not yet fully recovered. I expect to see myself running at 5.30am again, without any mindful/physical tension, and for my body to return to me, to serve me and to fully reflect my abounding energy and hunger for sweet physical sweaty outdoor release.

“She was just a wish.” (Gypsy, Fleetwood Mac).

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Notes from a small island

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On Sundays we do walks. We go long, we go hard, we go far. In our house we do fresh air, we do physical activity, we do large hearty lungfuls of sea air, we climb big steep steps, we look out onto bays, with our hands at our hips like we’re Superheroes and we forget what’s on our minds for a small quiet time.

The first photo is my kiwi friend at the ice cream kiosk at Belvoir Bay, Herm. The rest of the photos are from the walk we took a few Sundays back, from Fermain Bay to Moulin Huet.

“The skin is the largest organ in the body. It protects us, holds us together, literally lets us know what we are feeling. The skin can be soft and vulnerable, highly sensitive, easy to break. Skin doesn’t matter to a surgeon. We’ll cut right through it. Go inside, find out the secrets underneath. It takes delicacy and sensitivity. … No matter how thick skinned we try to be, there’s millions of electrified nerve endings in there. Open and exposed and feeling way too much. Try as we might to keep from feeling pain, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. Sometimes that’s the only thing left, just feeling.” (Meredith Grey)

Summer is coming. And that means covering up all of the scar tissue. Winter is easy, Summer is hard. My current job, is begging me to wear loose, sheer, floaty, feminine, girly short and sleeveless dresses but that I cannot do. At least I have all of my tattoos as an excuse. At the moment the office heater chug chug chugs heat throughout the day and if I only wore my vest and pants it would still be armpit-dampening kinda hot. I hope that we have a chill sunny Summer.  I also hope that I can  appear like I am not weirdly overdressed for every day of the Summer. It is hard enough to dress appropriately in my spare time. Self-inflicted scars will not be tolerated whatever the skirt or sleeve length is, I fear, I know. The odd one or two however goes largely unnoticed. Every office needs a mad Sia, right?

I am trying to wear yellow more. I think that this is a powerful colour that assaults the eyeballs, like tiny balled fists that pummel gawking pupils screaming (in a lock, stock cockney accent) “faackin leave it out ‘ann look elsewhere ya c**t” A bright yellow floaty, girly, feminine dress could let me be in peace, perhaps. I don’t think I have yet mastered a good Summer wardrobe that keeps all of my scars and tattoos happily hidden. My scars flare in the heat, they feel tired and taught. I am yet to wear anything that is made out of the colour yellow. The self-harm survivor road is long.

“It’s a common belief that positive thinking leads to a happier, healthier life. As children, we’re told to smile and be cheerful and put on a happy face. As adults, we’re told to look on the bright side, to make lemonade, see glasses as half full. Sometimes reality can get in the way of our ability to act the happy part though. Your health can fail, boyfriends can cheat, friends can disappoint. It’s in these moments when you just want to get real, drop the act and be your true, scared, unhappy self. Ask most people what they want out of life and the answer’s simple: To be happy. Maybe it’s this expectation, the wanting to be happy, that keeps us from getting there. Maybe the more we try to will ourselves to states of bliss the more confused we get to the point where we don’t recognize ourselves. Instead we just keep smiling, trying like hell to be the happy people we wish we were. Until eventually, it hits us. It’s been there all along. Not in our dreams, our hopes but in the known, the comfortable, the familiar.” (Meredith Grey)

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