A Time Capsule

For every year of mental illness I have endured

 

2009

Each scrap of food left on my plate

Turning into nearly entire meals

I am sure they have decomposed by now

2010

The bones starting to poke through

Her aggressive hands

The toxic words forced down my throat telling me I am nothing more than her friendship dictated

2011

The first drops of blood staining my bathtub

Dozens of razors, knives, and scissors representing an addiction and all the stark white scars they left behind

Frozen veins from each time she buried my heart further into the ground

Dozens of bruises carefully crafted by her hands

Every skipped meal my body would wish it had years later

2012

The hospital bracelet

Mapped out plans of my funeral, thought out in black ink in what I thought would be the last remnants of my life

Weeks of therapist visits and psychiatrist appointments

All the anxiety attacks induced by the slightest mistake

Every pill I tried with failure

2013

Each hallucination from bugs under my skin to phantom voices and sights

Fears of human touch and living

Hundreds of scars making a home of my skin

All the pills ingested to keep my head close to above water

A year’s worth of cigarettes

2014

Lost love and gained love

His gentle words turning violent yet tinged with roses

Each positive coping skill trying to overthrow the negative trying to still kill me

Intrusive thoughts whispering sweet nothings about how I won’t amount to anything

A year’s worth of cigarettes and additional scars

More pills

2015

The first joint I smoked

Scars and cigarettes engraved on my body

A love so volatile I thought I would drown in his poison eventually dying out

Learning to be alone and to be ok with it

Thoughts of death and self hatred

Trying to love myself the way I should be

A high school diploma

2016

Thoughts of death intermittent but acceptance of the day

Pills, scars, cigarettes

Another love blossoming and wilting

Anxiety attacks over nothing in particular

2017

Wishes of happiness but acceptance that happiness is a passing emotion rather than a permanent state of mind

Another year of pills, scars, and cigarettes

His words still haunting my dreams, waking up sweating, checking for his blood on my hands knowing he’s still alive somewhere

Flinching at hands on my face and arms

A constant state of being on my toes ready for fight or flight

Five

Five good things that have happened to me, 5 years and a day after the hospitalization date that kept me from committing suicide

1.) Relearning to laugh

By the time I reached my breaking point, I could not muster so much as a smile

Teaching myself to laugh again at even the smallest of things was a hurdle

Now I laugh loud enough, often enough for people to recognize it as me from opposite ends of halls

Laughing at minor inconveniences was one leap I made, knowing it would soon come easier

Yet I acknowledge that there are hard days I cannot let the tiniest of giggles out

2.) Falling in and out of love many times

Teaching myself that a lover doesn’t define you, but how fully you loved

How fully you loved someone who didn’t deserve you, someone who didn’t love you back

Giving too much of myself to the wrong ones

Giving away pieces of my love to people who needed it the most

Recognizing rock bottom in other people, giving them the shoulder when I knew I would have needed one

3.) Learning I was permitted to take up space

Knowing when people were trying to minimize my shine because they were uncomfortable with it

Using my stubborn voice to never back down

Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I cannot posses the personality traits assigned masculine

Fiery, stubborn, loud mouth throwing sarcastic daggers that I have learned to embrace

4.) Realizing it’s alright to have emotions if they aren’t used to hurt someone else

Crying when I really need to, allowing myself to be angry when need be

I am not a robot and emotions are never as black and white as they seem

5.) Loving myself again, even if milestones are reached slower than someone else

My relationship with food is always tinged with the way my bones felt jutting out of my skin when I thought I didn’t need it

Days where I can look at food and not see the calories, fat content, sugar, etc. are days I count as good days

Days where I don’t calculate how much exercise I have to do with the extra food I take in are also good days

I have been allowed to accept the personality traits handed down to me, even if they are not seen in the brightest of light

Learning to accept myself at face value is a permission I am eagerly awaiting, but until then it is the baby steps that count the most

Another Starvation Poem

It has been 7 years since I first began betraying my own body

I was never officially sick but my bones poked through my skin

I lost 40 pounds in 2 years but the doctors were only afraid for a moment

Last year my physician told me to see an eating disorder specialist but that same week my therapist said I didn’t meet the criteria anymore

I tango with that old feeling starvation gave me

As if I am actually succeeding at something – as if I am making my mother proud by not weighing as much as the next girl

I do not have the words to define what was yet wasn’t

Back then I wasn’t much more than skin and bone tangled with a sadness that cannot be cured

I just call it the disorder now – I knew it was anorexia but doctors are skeptics

My physician knew I was afraid of food but my therapist knew they wouldn’t give me a second thought at the psychiatric ward because I wasn’t small enough to fit in their box

6 years ago I was 2 pounds away from the help I so desperately needed

I have so many female friends who have suffered been in the grip of food and the fear of but most were never given the treatment

When you see how many of us are sick you begin to wonder when people will realize it’s not an isolated issue, but maybe an issue with what we are taught to look like

Food and I still have a strained relationship, we are reconciling after a bitter divorce

Some days I still wish to return to starvation’s grip