How like the Boy who Lived; to know
the yearning for the unattainable.
Before my eyes I see it, feel it almost
but I cannot grasp at it, slips through my fingers
like the traitor water in the font that mocks,
Outstretched fingers to an object of defiance;
never shall it surrender,
a mutiny against the hands that pray for it.
Perhaps to drink may let me…
Yet would I
if I had the chance, take hold of what destroys?
Time and time again it screams,
but do I hear it now? I cannot tell.
Whispers tearing through the throat that
Voices of another life,
another time in which I might have heard them.
And hear them yes, I did, but now…
I cannot hear it anymore.
No more do the echoes of an idol
call to me.
O, Boy who Lived, how could you make him drink?
To know it hurt, a poison to the lips
of he who taught you all you knew,
who spoke to you the only
words that you held dear.
And yet I wish for it.
To drink perchance to know,
Know how to feel again.
To feel, perchance to live.
Do I live now?
How like the Boy who Lived; to know
As you may know, Christmas is a hard time for me. The last three or four of them I had to bail upstairs to escape my family even if just for a little while. It gets intense around them and I never quite feel welcome. Two years ago was the worst, I won’t drag you through the details again but that December through February were pretty fucking hard. I got over it eventually, just, but it sucked.
This year wasn’t so bad. I opened my presents without too much self-consciousness, ate my entire meal and then tried to enjoy the food-coma TV session. The latter became too much as expected, but this year instead of slipping upstairs to cut myself, I decided go get drunk on shots with my sister. We invented drinks, I learnt that I can layer Baileys on Creme de Menthe, and we actually had fun. Then I got emotional. Now, I’m not much of a drinker, so I don’t really know what kind of drunk I am. I usually get a little cuddly, then get self-depricating. This time however I let my December stress erupt in tears while my family watched Apollo 13 in the other room. I still don’t know if they heard me crying, but I was a mess.
Me and my sister talked for a good 30 to 40 minutes. It’s the most open I’ve been with her (voluntarily) in pretty much ever. I don’t want to say what we spoke about, but it was nice and helped put certain things into perspective. One thing I told her was that I still have anxiety and depression. She knew, of course, that I’d struggled. She accidentally saw one or two of my darker posts on here so she knew I cut and she knew I’ve struggled. But this time I chose to tell her myself. And now I’m telling you, just because it helps me to get it out in written text.
I’m struggling. Again for my own reasons I don’t want to talk about some of it, some things are too personal even for The Hell Butterfly. But I trust you and I like to write about it, regardless of whether you want to read it. I’m not happy in my job. I work in web support for 3 well known train companies here in England. I help people make bookings, process refunds, sometimes file complaints. It’s not a bad job and it pays enough, but I’m not learning and it’s stressful. People in the public are stupid, and rude, and sometimes even insulting. And when an angry Indian man who you’ve just denied a £100 refund to starts yelling and swearing at you down the phone, it’s hard to keep the anxiety from fucking up your job (yes that happened). I want to quit so bad, start a career in writing or editing or publishing, but I need the money and I’m trying to make a living in a dying industry. The conflict of what I want to do versus what is out there for someone like me is intense and it makes me uneasy.
I’m also finding it very hard to eat at the moment. I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about my food issues on here. I find it very hard to cook in front of people, and nearly impossible to eat in front of people I don’t really know or trust. It gets harder still when the depression and anxiety kicks in. I start over thinking, worrying about my weight and body shape, what people will think of me, and it spirals to where I tell myself I don’t deserve to eat. I care so much what other people think that I start to hate myself and feel disgusted with myself for even being hungry. I’ve had a long-standing chaotic relationship with food. I think it stemmed from a childhood incident involving Weetabix, my mum pouring it on my head, and being forced to go to school like that in my nightie. I don’t like to remember that. About 4 or 5 years ago I would make sure I didn’t eat more than around 500-600 calories a day. I kept a spreadsheet. If I ate over 1000 I punished myself in ways I imagine you can guess, knowing my personality. My point is, the last few weeks have been tough and with it has come more issues surrounding my ability to eat. Some days at work, if there are 4 or more people in the break room I can’t eat. There’s too many people and I panic. It means some days I wake up at 05.30 and don’t eat until 15.00, or eat at noon then don’t eat again that day.
I’ve recently come down with the illness everyone seems to be getting too. It feels like my voice box is trying to claw its way out of me through my ears. I feel nauseous a lot and that in turn affects my eating. Add the stress of my job and a recent (mildly terrifying) personal scare and we have a recipe for disaster. Yesterday I had a few cups of tea, some pasta at about 1pm, then only managed to stomach a half bowl of ice cream and a few sips of tea before bed. I was ill and in a very bad state of mind. It had been a hard day and a tough month in general. Finding the desire to put food in my mouth is a task in itself. I feel sick thinking about moving the fork to my mouth and chewing. It seems the only times I eat right these days is when my boyfriend’s dad invites me round for tea and cooks for me. I’m trying to fix that.
So basically this post is just me saying I’m struggling with food, my job, and my personal life. I’m hoping I can get back on track with writing as I’m finding it hard to know how to do even that but it does make me feel better to post on here, no matter the subject. Thank you all for sticking with me and Happy New Year everyone.
O, why must I be Hamlet?
Two feet walking step by step
along a line that is paved with blood.
Poison in my heart, pierced.
To my left I see a family,
all smiling like they mean it, yet
plotting my demise.
I must deny you, sweet girl.
The right is all-destroying Darkness.
Though true, it’s right, but is it right?
Whether ‘tis nobler to agree,
or walk the endless walk of Time
and His cruel agony,
perhaps soft Sleep will tell. To sleep
perchance to dream. Dream forever.
O, Ophelia, why can I not choose like you?
Sleeping with the fish, warm in the riverbed,
I envy you.
To sleep the final sleep, it’s true,
may not have been your choice.
But you could make one.
The crazy girl that sung
and broke out in hysterics just because she could,
because your fate was sealed by foul lips
that uttered words like nails to your coffin.
You were so pretty. They thought it a waste.
You made the choice to take it, crushed
though you were by the weight of your rejection.
I could not, cannot, choose.
I walk the line once more, my dear Ophelia.
I do not, will not, drown.
My eternal Princess of the deep.
I am but Hamlet,
and I’ll never choose.
This is both my first blog post written and published on my new phone and my first post at all this month. I should be sitting here thinking about how this may look when I hit publish, if the format will come out okay, or if you my readers will accept my neglect of The Hell Butterfly. Instead, I have been thinking about how depression is like custard.
Depression is like custard. Your brain is like a swimming pool and the water it is filled with is your life. You have to learn to swim in it. As a child you cannot swim, but you have the in-built knowledge that means you already secretly know how. At first you wear the armbands of Mum and Dad. They keep you afloat until you learn to swim alone, and by then it is second nature.
Then one day you realise you’re getting tired. Your arms and legs don’t work so well anymore. Staying afloat is not so easy. You begin to drown. But then the water begins to drain, replaced from outside by a steady flow of custard. This thick, yellowy substance starts pouring down on top of you. This custard is depression. You know that you must get above it or you’ll be lost forever.
So instinct drives you to get out of the pool. The exertion that it took to lift yourself out with custard raining down on you has all but killed you and now fatigue makes you kneel, sit, lie down. You no longer have the energy to stand up. All you can do is watch the water get overwhelmed by custard. Watch your life be overwhelmed by depression. You are outside of yourself. You are there but you are disconnected from the chaos. The water is draining, draining and you can’t even get up off the floor.
And then the flow of custard stutters. The stream becomes a mere trickle, little bubbles of yellow goo growing and detaching to hit the surface every now and then. You can still see one patch of water in the far corner and you know that if you could just get to it you could turn on the pump and get the water back. You’re so tired, but this is the only way to make everything right again.
But you’re so comfortable down here. You can finally rest. You’ve been swimming so long you never knew how good it felt to just stay still. Be so quiet and so still … Maybe you don’t have to make it to the other side, you think. Maybe you can just stay here and enjoy resting until the pool has finished filling with custard. It will all be over then and you’ll never have to struggle again.
But you know you should get up. You know you have to get up. You must.
So you drag yourself up off the floor, arms shaking from fatigue. You prop one knee up, then the other, and you stand. You’ve been swimming for so long that you don’t think you remember how to walk. The complex act of swimming has replaced your knowledge of walking, the simple act of surviving. Now, with legs trembling in protest, trying desperately to hold your aching frame erect, you take a step towards the poolside. A breath and then you go.
Depression is like custard. You can walk on it so long as you keep moving. Steady steps, balancing your weight so evenly and so calmly. That is how you make it over alive. But when you stop walking, that’s when you begin to sink. Like quicksand the custard will claim your soles and down, down you’ll go. And the deeper you sink, the faster you fall. The deeper you sink, the harder it is to get out.
By standing still, you are doing nothing but falling. If you let yourself give in to the fatigue, give in to the desire to rest eternally, all that awaits you is certain death. But if you keep moving, you will make it, I assure you. You have to force yourself on, push your body and mind to the limit. You have to go on knowing if you make it you must start swimming again, must swim forever. But you must do it.
And you must do it remembering you have to learn to walk before you can swim.
from a voicebox unprepared.
Physical, the trepidation
of the sentence, piercing.
Trapped between the walls
that make them.
Broken letters lose their meaning.
Harsh are the shards
of a syntax born of Mutiny
A fist unclenching in
the throat of the destroyer.
They will not come.
Glass fragments of Soul’s window
those suicidal words of murder.
A knot entangled in
the fleshy chamber, lodged
somewhere behind the traitor tongue.
Intent betrayed to silence.
But for the throbbing ache
that stabs in spite,
all is unchanged.
He shall not bleed.
swirling torment over water;
destruction in a blink;
here one moment;
gone the next.
Never does it solve itself,
the grey skyline confliction.
Never will the dust settle
on this heavenly candyfloss annihilation.
Above the water,
where the shipwrecks sleep,
an ever-watching pair of eyes
awaits the fall.
Mind and iris.
Fuzzy edges of a feeling.
Sense nonsensical and
meticulous line of poison red.
Slice of rust.
Liquid pulsing into
flakes of coal-stained ruby.
forever etched now with those screams.
Oppression in a vaccuum.
All is lost.