Sermon

Last night, I went to sleep feeling like my life were beads of a rosary I no longer knew how to pray over and the night before last before last before last, you took my body like a priest takes the body of Christ during a twelve o’clock mass he forgets the sermon to.

You were never something holy.

Flesh turns to smoke, smoke turns to wine, wine turns to 808’s and I’m still trying to figure out why I thought saying your name would sound like some sort of confession my god could absolve.

This morning, I felt crucified.

But I guess this is not about how you left me bound by a crown of thorns or how you painted me in swatches of cerulean and cheap purple I’m still learning how to cover up or how pain and pane sound like saving graces when I’m drunk.

This is about how it’s 11:11 in the morning and I wish I remembered how to spill without crumbling.

This is about how I no longer know how to make “I’m still hurting” sound like hymns you want to sift your toes through or how to light my cigarettes like signal flares instead of like matchsticks to lighter fluid.

This morning, I stood over the toilet bowl wishing fingers into arms, arms into bodies, bodies into embraces; wishing that my ribs would emerge from my chest like the branches of my favorite tree but this is not supposed to sound like a metaphor.
This morning, I woke up christened in the oceans of apologies you made me feel like I was obligated to say but this is not supposed to be poetry.
Like oil spill to body of water, what you did to me was not something I could skim off and call myself a hero for.

I woke up to a medicine cabinet of pills lined up like piano keys and I don’t remember how to cry without weeping.
I wonder if Jesus knew God was going to save him.
I wonder if Hemmingway raised the handgun like a holy hand to a sinner.
This is not supposed to be poetry.

None of this is.

I said no.

I said no.

Oh god, I said no.

And I hope, one day, your confessional is not as painful as the Amens I cried out after I realized that holy doesn’t always mean whole.

Advertisements

Max

“Former Stanford Swimmer to be Charged With Rape”
“Every 107 Seconds, Another American is Sexually Assaulted”
“Acton Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 9 Year Old Boy”
“98% of Rapists Will Never Spend a Day in Jail”

“Rape Victim Who Set Herself Ablaze Dies”

Yesterday, I was drunk and today, I was told that my case is no longer open. Roughly three times a week, I still return to the parts of my mind you so easily took a sledgehammer to, stretching out my body over roads like a chalk outline of a crime scene while the slow blue buzz from too many beers and too little sleep tag-teams my neurons making it a little bit harder to peel myself from the asphalt.

I can’t always tell the difference between high beams and holy light.

I think about you all the time.

On nights I carry my body to bed instead of hurdling it over a bridge, on nights I tuck myself in and sing lullabies to myself even when my voice is hoarse from screaming “My God, why!” to the night skies; on nights I light candles like signal flares instead of like matchsticks to gasoline trails, I wonder if you think of me, too.

I wonder if you even know my name.

I wonder if you know that the third time I broke my arm, it was because I tripped on a crack in a sidewalk or that I won the spelling bee in eighth grade or that even after nineteen years of fall leaves showing me how to fall apart, it’s still hard for me to turn pain into art.

I wonder if you know how hard it is to want to stay alive.

Some mornings, I wake up swinging. I crack knuckles in the same way you cracked all solid ground and I wonder if you know how hard it is to want to stay alive.

Yesterday, I was drunk and today, I was told that you won and, one day, I hope you know what it feels like to understand that a shape cannot exist without a shift.

Statistics

statistics

Today is a bad day and I think I write better when I’m drunk.

Last year was more like turning off my phone so I didn’t have to sit up waiting for the call that was probably never coming. Every morning was exhaustion and disappointment and heavy eyes until I turned it all off. I couldn’t feel sad about loneliness if loneliness was a choice.

And I chose it.

Everyday, I chose it – keeping my own hands empty so that no one could ever tell me how unholdable they were. Keeping my feet ungrounded so that no one could ever tell me how flighty I was.

This is not a triumph story.

This year, I hate that I have to write so much about violence.

My name is

Baby

as you lean out of your car and spit at my feet. It lands in a puddle in front of me and I am thirteen in a suburban neighborhood on the way home from school and I run with my backpack banging like the echo of your words against my back like you are chasing me all the way home.

My name is

Sweetie

and I am fifteen in the city with my friends for the first time and we get a little lost and you follow us for a full block.

You name us.

We are

Honey

and

Darling

and

Why the fuck won’t you talk to me.

My name is

Nice ass

and it’s two in the afternoon and I still feel my heart slam against my ribs because I am under the earth with weak lungs and even weaker fists and while you stumble down the steps with the crumbs of someone still in the corners of your mouth, swinging the beer bottle in your fist, my brother who is walking behind me shouts, “She’s seventeen, you dipshit!”.

I saw the error in humans that day.

My name is

Little lady.

My name is

Sugar baby.

My name is

Fuck you and fuck your friends.

My name is

Look me in the face!

My name is

Stop frowning.

My name is

Smile.

My name is

This is a compliment.

This is not a compliment.

It’s the beginning of November and I feel like I’ve been cold long before the leaves started falling.

My name takes nice words and turns them into bullet wounds.

My name is

Damn girl.

My name is

Drunk girl.

My name is

Just let me finish.

 

I did not give you permission to “fuck the shit outta me.”

 

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

 

My name is

I cannot breathe.

 

 

I am

Lock the door once,

Lock the door twice.

Leave the lights on.

 

Stop shaking.

 

I am

Is there someone downstairs?

There’s definitely someone downstairs.

Where the fuck did the phone go?!

 

There’s no one downstairs.

 

I am

tight-chested mornings.

I am

take a quick shower so that just in case someone breaks in, you have time to get prepared.

I am

don’t forget to look over your shoulder.

 

My name is

I still remember the way the carpet tasted pressed against the side of my face as you crushed me with your one hundred and ninety pounds of booze and daddy issues.

My name is

I can’t even get high anymore without thinking about the way you so easily emptied me without any intentions of ever filling me back up.

My name is

I scrubbed my hands twenty six times the next morning in an attempt you to rid you from beneath my fingernails but sometimes, I swear, I still taste shreds of you when I’m throwing up dinner.

 

Fuck you.

I did not ask for this.

 

Today is a bad day.

For Those Who Want to be Inspirational

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing. I remember spending hours after school hiding away rocks from my backyard I deemed too fragile for violent hands in cracks of Earth no one dared explore.

Half burnt candles,

Unraveling shoe laces,

Old prescription glasses that hardly even fit at the time of being prescribed; soda stained movie stubs, nights my mom took her time raking out yesterdays and weaving tomorrows into my hair-

my God, I wish I remembered to collect those too. I’d have entire dresser fulls if I could.

They say after heartbreak, a haircut is like a clean slate for every mistake one’s ever made but I remember in the fifth grade caulking my trust into the cracks of a criminal who had no intentions of ever being mended and,

my God, I’ve cut my hair four times every year since then.

Thirty six damn times now and some days it seems as if  I have no more hair left for cutting and even less soul to be erased.

I guess I’ve kind of always been afraid; hesitant. Even in photos of me when I was small and unworldly, I could see the resistance; almost like I could call it by my own name.

Almost like I was more of a semicolon and less of an exclamation point.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

Sometimes, I am morning black coffee. A carpenter, a preacher- a halfway house savior; breaker of dollar menu buns and boxed red wine seals.

I am not always stable.

Sometimes I am caught white-knuckled between the hands of my angry god gasping for air.

I am red-light running meter, pawn shops and barred windows; second-rate security system and neon district lights. I am fleeing.

Fleeting.

Freeing.

I am underground.

I will draw you into my nine-to-five traffic; oncoming, you jump in front of slow-moving cars. You are convinced you can paint streets, burst veins. Bumpers paint you purple, paint you blue,

Paint you black.

I will knock you down like recession.

I am plywood anchored windows; two-tap needle sans dope.

Some mornings, I feel like a menagerie of outcries. The acts of defiance published on my flesh will outnumber the words in every failed actor’s this-will-be-my-big-break manuscript.

Take time to read me.

Decode me.

Run hands across the braille that brands the back of my palms.

I am fragile.

Sometimes I find myself trembling for no real reason.

This does not make me less than.

With all that I am, I want to be a hurricane of unmatched force. I want to be a tidal wave hammering at the very epicenter of the earth. I’ve never been okay with being mediocre; with being a small breeze that pulls at hats and scarves and is more of an annoyance than anything else. I want to be a tornado.

A typhoon.

An earthquake.

I am made of blood and ashes and passion and I am not a force to be reckoned with.

However, some days, I am hide and seek.

I want to be kind and gentle even when I lose things I wish would stay. I want to be strong and the right kind of violent even when I need help rebuilding. I want to be innocent and pure no matter whose dirty hands I’ve held.

However, some days, I am bulletins with tear-away numbers.

Dialed payphones and spare change.

Warped paper and hot glue.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

But I suppose that’s okay. Because we don’t make impacts based on how triumphant our lives are but,

rather,

how triumphant our journeys were.

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing.

 

A Letter To The Things in Which I Am Learning to Love

To my stomach, an anomaly of soft curves made from proudly eaten cupcakes and pizza,

To my feet, calloused with midnight adventures and every tree that I have ever climbed while trying to prove to my brothers that girls are strong too,

To my hair made of tangled forests and wild vines- the dominant trait from the blood of my ancestors comprised of beasts and lion-hearted girls- I hold my head high to balance this crown.

My hands can’t fix everything no matter how badly my soul wishes they would, my eyes are wide and naïve searching for a god- a beauty that scratches deeper and realer than any manicured hand ever could- and my skin is rough and weathered and tethered but it is made of earth and young civilizations so I will not apologize.

To my body, I will apologize for betraying you because American Apparel only makes size extra small and I thought that was better, I will apologize for making you believe that freedom comes only in the form of beauty that is silken and bears a straight nose, I will apologize for starving you and abusing you and shredding you into galaxies on nights it felt too dark and too lonely to be alive, however,

I will no longer apologize for

Owning you.

To my body, my body that no longer offers ribs in the sunlight but, instead, offers strength in all lights, you are not just my body;

You are potential.

Let’s grow old together,

My friend.

Selfies in a leather bodysuit after pizza. Yolo?

 

30 Day Recovery Challenge!

Hey everyone! So I usually don’t do posts like these so this is kind of awkies but on this blog’s Facebook page, I will be doing a cool 30 Day Recovery Challenge. Although it mostly focuses on recovery, look for ways you can apply it to your life. I would love for every single one of you to participate alongside with me and help spread the word about the mental illness or addiction you are personally struggling with.

To participate, simply like the page and either send me your posts or post them directly to the wall.

Click here and see what it’s all about!

I hope to see you soon!

Creature Fear

A while back, a very sweet and dear friend of mine, Laura, gave me an eating disorder workbook during a time in my life when I had really been struggling with my disorder. Since being back in Illinois, I really haven’t had much time to look at it or, rather, to make time to look at it. However, for some reason, the other day, I had decided to give it a shot.

As I skimmed its pages filled with charts and tips and self reflection exercises, I came across a single question that I not only think one must ask themselves when pursuing recovery but, also, a question I think a lot of skeptics ponder when approaching this situation.

What is your eating disorder like for you?

It took a while for me to fully comprehend the question. I analyzed its letters and syllables searching for an alterior motive but, I found none. It was a simple question.

What is your eating disorder like for you?

I guess I could have answered this question a few different ways. Perhaps I could’ve created a pie chart illustrating the different parts of my day, perhaps I could have made a list of

  • Bullet
  • Points

somewhat depicting the pros and cons of my disorder, or perhaps I could’ve answered the question by simply stating, “Shitty.”, because it truly is. But the fact of the matter is, as much as I would have liked to have answered this question with socially frowned upon profanity, the truth of it is, my eating disorder is far more complicated than that.

My eating disorder is tiring; more than tiring.

T-I-R-I-N-G

Six letters of a word that could never do my eating disorder justice.

My eating disorder is sleeping past noon, past one and two, past the stiff knees, heavy arms, and the thick white morning air just so I can buy myself a few extra hunger-free seconds.

Minutes.

Hours.

As my body screams for me to get up and to welcome the new day, my mind tells me otherwise; to fight against all unwavering laws of nature. To wait until the hunger passes.

My eating disorder is walking back and forth, up and down, tapping feet and fingers, knocking together knees and hearts

“…and lunge.”

because the seven extra calories I consumed in the homemade cookie I took a bite of earlier will kill me. And don’t you dare try to argue this with me. They will fester like toxic sludge in every impurity of my being, clinging like disease to healthy red blood cells, until everything I’ve worked so hard for is lost and I am nothing but just that.

Toxic sludge.

My eating disorder is sitting in my room watching The Biggest Loser, chain smoking the life out of my last few Newports hoping that the radio waves and Nicotine will be enough to fill me up; enough to say, “No thanks, I already ate.” Because although breakfast and lunch are the easiest of the three meals to skip, dinner is, by far, the hardest. I feel my stomach fold and reach and cave in on itself and although I know I should eat, I know that I can’t.

My eating disorder is quietly exercising in my room long after everyone has gone to sleep.

50 leg lifts.

50 more.

Crunches.

Butterflies.

Planks.

More.

More.

More.

While the house hums with sweet dreams and muffled snores, the voice in the back of my head the Bible had warned me about long before I even knew what sin was is screaming,

“You fucking fat ass!”

“You are a worthless piece of shit.”

“You will never be perfect.”

“Be perfect!”

“BE PERFECT!”

Although I want nothing more than a simple rest as my eyelids fall heavy with sleep and my joints, slowed with late night exhaustion, I know that I must feel my demons of the day weep alongside the sweat that falls from the outer edges of my hairline and into the carpet of my 4 by 4 room.

My eating disorder is seeing the disappointment in my friends’ eyes and at the very corners of their mouths when they ask, “Do you want to come to the mall with us?!”, because I tell them that I’m too tired for a day out. My eating disorder is hearing the dissipating enthusiasm in their voices when they ask, “Do you want to come to the mall with us?”, because they no longer hold expectations. My eating disorder is watching as my friends, one by one, come around less often and hearing nothing that resembles, “Do you want to come to the mall with us?”, or, “Hey, wanna hangout?”, because they aren’t the ones who fell for the calories. They aren’t the ones

cosumED.

My eating disorder is no longer being able to taste the binge food. The handfuls upon handfuls of pasta and pizza and chocolates and Flaming Hot Cheetos; the massive breakdowns when the hunger gets to be too much and hating myself for letting it get this far.

It’s the bathroom rituals. “Wash hands in hot water and soap. Rinse. Repeat. Take off ring. Wash hands again. Pull back hair. Purge.

Make everything come up.

Taste your memories. Taste your fears. Taste those greasy mistakes.”

I taste my damage.

“Put back on ring.”

My eating disorder is feeling lifeless clumps of the hair that my mom once twisted into big, shiny braids run down the back of my neck, weaving in and out of my shoulder blades and thoracic vertebrae, into the shallow water that pools at the very tips of my toes when I take my morning showers and knowing that I am very much so weathering just not quite sure what from; the starving or the purging?

My eating disorder is trying to cease the seemingly never-ending war between mind and body; my body is crumbling, begging for more while my mind degrades me for asking in the first place. For wanting what I cannot have.

It’s opening cabinets just to close them again because what’s inside is nothing safe. Although I was never particularly good in anatomy, I will dissect my meals until I know every part of its DNA. Although I was never particularly good in math, I will add, subtract, multiply and divide every calorie until I know every part of its formula.

It’s knowing that food can never make me feel whole yet still clinging to the idea that maybe, one day, it might because I know that somewhere along the way, I lost pieces of myself.

It’s counting down the days until Christmas not because I’m excited for its festivities but because I must be #skinny4xmas; I must be stronger by then.

It’s feeling my throat sting as I take drags from my menthol cigarettes because I forgot to cut my nails before I shoved my fingers down my throat the night before.

It’s convincing myself that I do not need food; that my stomach, instead, is applauding me for being invincible. For being brave.

It’s wanting to tell you more about what my eating disorder is like but neglecting to find the words to fit into sentences that fit into paragraphs that fit into the big picture of it all because I am still too embarrassed of everything that my eating disorder truly is.

I don’t want to tell you that I feel as if though I have lost control of everything I thought I had in life.

I don’t want to tell you that, if I could, I would’ve stopped myself from letting it get this far; that I would’ve asked for help.

I don’t want to tell you that I miss my dad.

I don’t want to tell you that most days, I feel hardly strong enough to fight for recovery.

I don’t want to tell you that I wake up already tired.

I don’t want to tell you that I would give anything not to feel.

And I definitely don’t want to tell you that even now, as I sit here typing this, I am hungry. I am tired and I am hungry but I will not eat until my legs can hardly hold me and my eyes can hardly focus because

this

is exactly

what my eating disorder is like for me.