Sunday, April 24, 2011

"But I want to sink back."

This week I'm going to share a poem I wrote about a year and a half ago, after a complete meal in response to which my whole being, it seemed, my body itself insisted "no! we are trained to reject this!"

I was terrified. I was being asked to change so much. I was being asked to face emotions. I was being asked to give up on the one thing I had focused on, the thing to fix .
I was being told I had to nourish what I spent every day trying to diminish, damage and destroy. I felt nothing but hate and loathing towards myself and especially my body, and I was being asked to nourish it? How could I reconcile that with the fact that the one thing I was surest of in the whole world was of my being a total, unforgivable, constitutional failure?

We've all heard about how eating disorders are about control. So is self-injury. So, frankly, is despair, I think. When life is chaotic and painful, giving up can be something to rely on.

In my personal life a great deal of elements are making me feel like my heart is breaking or broken. I am grateful to say that a lot has changed since I felt myself viscerally torn in two directions, wanting to accept change and hope and wanting to throw it back and run hard and fast away from it. A lot has changed since I wrote this poem. But in the midst of the painful things I am dealing with , I must report that there is, quietly, innocently, convincingly, a little part of me that seems to say "Sink back. You don't have to feel this."
It's amazing how unpowerful that voice is, to tell the truth. I hear it, or rather I think it, and I respond with "Oh no. Not you. I refuse to buy it." But I'm thinking it's really really important to almost magnify that voice, to really swivel around at it and say "Hey! I heard that. That's not an insignificant little thought. That is not something I'm just going to ignore as irrelevant - it is more than irrelevant." I'll refuse to engage with it. I'm not going to argue with it. But I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen, either.
It's got all kinds of little suggestions. The specifics don't matter - I am betting you have one too. So it doesn't matter what it's telling you... it's that it's telling you sink back.
The thought I am having is something like, "If I'm still in pain, if there's so much hell, if I'm having urges at all, maybe I've had about enough of this slogging through horror and I want to go back to what I was building before. Am I really going to give that up?"
It's not so fleshed out because I recognise it and yank it into the light and say hey! you! i know who you are, begone! But that's what it is.

And I guess my message is, I am glad that I am feeling pain right now. I feel heartbreak because my heart's been badly barraged. I want to feel that. I am learning so much, I have learned so much, since I demanded that I accept life rather than rejecting it, and it is the fantasy that I reject. And the more I've said "thanks but no thanks" to that thought inviting me back into the control seat of my own personal barge of the damned, the less powerful it is and the more I feel I really am getting to see the extent of what is revealed by accepting, rather than rejecting, whether we're talking about a meal, a helping hand, or life itself.
Possibility. It was the right choice then and it's the right choice now. I will feel, dammit. Even if that means facing the unknown.

I hope you like the poem. It helped to write, too ... I had so much going on, wrenching this poem out of myself was helpful. I recommend it - after meals, or any time.


I do not wish
to reject this.
there's too damn much for me to miss.

...Or maybe I do. maybe I'm through with trying
and failing and old thoughts prevailing -
careful angles, facing discomfort
concessions wrangled, and pacing, I've done far
too much to lose my touch!
to lose this,
a home, a world, a play, this girl, her world,
a girl, her world...

But I do not wish to reject this!
I miss the bliss
of something built
for some other purpose than staving off guilt.
staving by starving
saving by harming. no.
there's no girl here
but me and
a wish.

what of this?

Trying and failing, old thoughts prevailing.
trying and failing, old thoughts prevailing.
i think, maybe i want to just sink
into them, drink up
nothing but them. If
they're coming up when i am running from them,
if it's coming up when i am flying from them,
if it's coming up when i'm denying of them
well then,
Why can't i just deny? why
should I even try? let them come! why not, Why?
I mean,
it's clearly a lie
I made up, just to whine,
there's no problem with thoughts that I'm thinking,
they're fine!
You're fat.
And you're mine.

Who said that?

Wait, wait.... "mine" ?

For real? This is fine?
That's not over the line?
Am I really fine with that thought in my mind?

I'm a failure without it. I fail every time.
I won't give it up. It keeps me in line.
yet the
failing and trying
and failing again is my life
people crying because
I failed again, every time, every act,
you have failed, and you're fat.
'cause you're fat.
don't react. you're too much
take it back. everything is an act
there is never a time when i feel genuine
says the thought: 'cause you're mine
'cause you're mine
'cause you're mine.

and there's terror at everything, truth, lies in kind
there's terror at leaving the terror behind. there is terror of food
there is terror sometimes there's been terror at moving an inch
Terror's lying.

Look: behind what is said about
better off dead
in my head
behind that is the crying unsaid.
Look behind that: I'm trying. it's terror again.
but of what?
not of dying. I know that, so then
it's living, I guess.
Which i'm loathe to confess.
Yet with each choice I reject this life I love.. Unless...


To sustain; to retain, to remain and to fly
in the face of the pain that I
welcome except
when I'm faced with the lies.
I hate them, the lies.
Yes, I hate them, the lies, the way that
old refrain that keeps all this the same,
makes me
rely on the pain
comfortably insane
and a liar, for shame.

See? I try and I fail and the old thoughts prevail.
I try? And I fail? And the old thoughts....prevail.


to be ruled by possibility
to no longer be fooled by faded prophesy.
the weary old words that keep themselves true
and keep me from feeling connected to you.

the idea
of trying and failing
this black-and-white shit is toxic to my health.

it's all a continuum
and these pigeonholes
are the very same lies
that have been in control.

To still be unwell
to still feel like hell
does not negate hope
however hard to tell.

These notions are potions that poison the now.
What would it be like instead to allow?
Trying and failing is nonsense unless I am
clinging to just what's constricted my breath.

I feel like I'm shining a very dim beam
that is threatening my darkness, as thick as it seemed...

And I don't. I don't wish to reject this reveal.
There is too much to miss.
I'm embracing the real.

I do not wish to reject this.
there is far too much
for us all to miss.

P.S. Hold on. Hold on to yourself. This is gonna hurt like hell.

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