Saturday, June 19, 2010

alone=All One

'I am all one,' we say, triumphant and desperate. The All One condemns us to being no more than a weed in the wall at the same time as it allows us to be the most powerful of sovereigns. For being alone is not only the worst we can experience; it is also the inevitable moment of some of our greatest experiences. In the solitude of our selves we learn something that is otherwise unavailable to us-how to become who we are. This is no small accomplishment. "

Loneliness As A Way of Life

I, like probably most people, think of loneliness as the worst possible hell. To be completely alone, either physically or emotionally. Yet I also struggle with being around other people, maybe because of that emotional loneliness, at always feeling so separate from others, hands pressed against the glass surrounding me, desperate to connect and know that I'm okay, acceptable. Sometimes even just to know I exist, because all my life I have felt transparent, like a shadow, or a shell of a person. I don't feel real. So much of my life has been spent alone and in my head that I don't feel like an actual human being.

At this time in my life I am less alone than I have ever been. I have someone in my life who loves me, all of me, no matter what. Yet it's so hard to combat that deep loneliness and emptiness.

My goal in life is to turn this loneliness into contentment, into being peaceful within myself. I think that is the ultimate definition of happiness; not needing anything external.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

too old to need a father

All my pretend fathers are other people's fathers, discarded or outgrown. Good-intentioned and under-appreciated. With them I can finally be a golden child, over-looking short-comings and listening to long stories and minute details of their lives. I am eager to deny faults and bask in the glow of the smallest recognition, like a hopeful pet, desperate to be noticed and loved and doted upon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the shoes are for dancing not running away

photo:eleanor hardwick

"She has finally discovered the brutality is not inside of her however, there are many roses, there are altars there are stories."

i don't know which direction i am running in. some days all i want is out of this misery, other days i bury myself in it. no one wants to hurt, but how to escape it when it feels deserved and almost safe? i am scared of accepting good things in my life because good feels wrong. what would it mean to give up punishing myself, hating myself? to discover that maybe i'm not inherently wrong and broken? i don't know why that feels so sickening to think about. maybe because it would mean facing everything else, things i can't change or fix, letting it all in and letting it go.

photo: chrissie white

"Sometimes you fall, spinning through space, grasping for the things that keep you on this earth. Sometimes you catch them. They can be the hands of the people you love. They can be your pets- pups with funny names, cats with ferocious old souls. The thing that keeps you here can be your art. It can be things you have collected and invested with a certain sense of meaning. A flowered, buckled treasure chest of secrets. Shoes that make you taller and, therefore, closer to the heavens. A suit that belonged to your fairy godmother. A dress that makes you feel a little like the Goddess herself.
Sometimes you keep falling; you don't catch anything. Sometimes you fall, spinning through space, grasping for the things that keep you here. Sometimes you catch them. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes they catch you."

-francesca lia block

Monday, June 7, 2010


"I see no end to being lost. You can spend your entire life simply falling in that direction. It isn't a station you reach but just the general state of going down. Once you make it back, if you make it back, you will stand before your long-lost friends but in some essential way they will no longer know you."

-nick flynn, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

I got to Partial pretty early this morning, so I sat outside by the wall overlooking the train tracks, with my coffee, trying to warm up beneath the early morning sun.

Going to the hospital campus makes me dizzy. I lose a sense of time, the past blurring into the present. There is the medical office building, where my pediatrician was as a child. the long connecting bridge where my mother carried me when I was too sick and weak to walk. the hallway where i choked back tears, angry and betrayed, dates for more tests scheduled in my mother's purse.

Across the driveway is the hospital where I was admitted for inpatient eating disorder treatment. summer, winter, spring all blending into one. the apartment buildings of the residential program further down the drive; I walk in each day and the walls spin. I see Michele's scarf turning the corner, catch a glimpse of my 85lb body in the lobby mirror, then look again and it's the me of today, alone, lost.

This is where it started and where I've ended up. This is where I became sick as a child, where I've come as an adult because I've kept myself sick. I am going around in circles looking for something.

I meet with Lauren, my case manager. She smiles at me with her white teeth and keeps saying how proud she is of me, and that after this week I can step down to IOP. That I'm doing so well. But it doesn't feel good at all, there is no pride. Instead there is that old fear that doing well means I no longer matter, and worse, will dissolve into nonexistence, while those who are more sick, more important, will overshadow me as I fade away. Every other time I have left treatment I was not ready. I ran, and they warned against it, they told me I'd be back. I was angry and scared, but I was safe. I wasn't being let go of. There was comfort in the string tightening as I pushed away, a person, a team at the other end, my name in a file, telling me I am here, I need.

In expressive therapy we go around the room, say who we are when we're in our illness. I am the one..."I am the one who needs to be sick to know I exist." There is my sickness, but nothing underneath.