Category Archives: Self-harm

Advice and survival: In which I don’t have all the answers but I care about the questions.

Anyway, an infinitely valuable consequence of this is that people talk to me about the bad shit. Sometimes people get other people to talk to me – my mother and my friends operate some kind of referral system – and very occasionally it all gets a bit much and I have to hide under a rock for a while.

And sometimes, people ask me for advice. Continue reading

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Things they don’t tell you about recovery: i

Recognising your true hunger’ and ‘letting the feelings happen’ are all very well, but if ‘the feelings’ and/or ‘the hunger’ are a screaming, mind-numbing, grief-stricken, uncomprehending agony you get up with every morning and sleep with every night and which frightens most people away because that much open, articulate, desperate, hopeless unhappiness is very, very difficult even for others to ‘sit with’ or recognise or comprehend, then frankly you’ll do anything to keep it at bay for just one more minute. Even if it means losing your 23″ waist and slender thighs. Even if it means losing your hard-won, struggled-for ‘recovered’ status. Even if it means losing yourself. Continue reading

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**TRIGGER WARNING**Cutting through narrative cohesion: more on my blades, my skin and me

Actually cutting imposes the very opposite of narrative coherence, for me at least. It offers a physical immediacy by definition outside the often painful and limiting narratives of my life. And the scars as a physical language are outside narrative too – they just speak ‘pain’ without the need to consctruct or shape a coherent narrative the viewer can understand. There’s an extent to which pain-beyond-language is still in our culture considered greater or more genuine than pain articulated or shaped by verbalisation or narrative – it’s one of the ongoing traumas of my life. Continue reading

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Hunger, a Love Story.

I find it very easy to think of my ED experiences as an extended love affair with hunger; hunger and the rush that comes from mastering it. I’ve said this before: always there, even at my loneliest, ana was the … Continue reading

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cutting across the cultural gaze

I cut because it enables my body to say what *I* want it to say, not articulate the values my sexualised culture imposes on it. Continue reading

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‘..and besides, the wench is dead’: Getting Over It?

It’s easier when people hurt or reject me than find me attractive, tbh. Rejection, pain, inadequacy reinforce a familiar sense of self, and the one i feel i deserve. Unfortunately, perhaps?, the number of people by whom i feel genuinely recognised and who can thus genuiely hurt me is shrinking of late, so i can’t feel comfortable in feelings of irredeemable inadequacy and self-hate either. But loss has been the conditioning experience of my adulthood, and continues to be so. The pain that i can’t bear, that i eat sometimes to hide, is the only familiar and constant thing in a world where these days loss, potential and actual, is my *only* true emotional reality. And it’s paradoxical, because in eating to suppress that, i’ve lost the body that i feel, however contradictorily, truly reflects my sexual and emotional vulnerablity, the place where *I* live, that truly reflects myself. And so the cycle goes on. Continue reading

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‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’?

I’ve been skinny all my life. I still am, really, except to myself and other ED-girls, to whom the way my thighs almost touch and my belly isn’t quite parallel to the front of my hipbones is a measure of … Continue reading

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