Still can’t find what keeps me here.

27/09/2013 at 23:26 (Anorexia, Personal) (, , , , , , , , , )

Never there. Never there. NEVER THERE.
So fucking empty. Who knows what’s real and what’s not, what’s past clawing back up the throat to sing the same barbed song again?

I want to help. I don’t see how I can, but I’ve been in that place, the black heart of the fire, the ice chamber, the cut-off zone where breath freezes in the lungs and no one hears you scream.

This girl is my sister’s partner’s little sister. She’s around the age I was when admitted to the inpatient unit, when the shit got real. The story is the same familiar routine, it makes me laugh and beg inside for something different, a change of scene, a shift in the script … Theatrical, creative, introvert, worrier, guilt-trip, frightened waif in the face of the world. Me, not me. Her, not her. Where do we start eating our own tails?

My older sister is going out of her mind with worry for this girl. As well she should; they all worry, but oh God they’re not afraid, as much as they should be. Terrified for her, when she goes out of the house for a powerwalk, after being made to eat three extra butterbeans on top of her fat-free tomato sauce. I know it so well, This path full of shattered glass, this clawing soul and dialed-down mind. That pain which can’t be articulated, except to wither the body down to a single point in time, when birth trauma is but one atom and you’re the next, into the grave.
It’s why my sister contacted me. Why she asks my advice, when I barely know how I’m still alive. Why I survived, and others didn’t. As I told her, it’s pot-luck. My body didn’t give out, when others did. Well, fuck me if fate doesn’t have a laugh coming on.

My head is so loud tonight. Not with old routines, not with that creeping daemon come to catch my eye and trap my mind again. Pity. Revulsion. Such deep-wading waters of sorrow, for another life taken by its foulness; for another child lost to her own darkness. For all we lost souls, wandering.

No one can save her but herself … and still, I hope to try. I hope to stop my own lamb screaming, if I can comfort hers.

And why the fuck should I care, why should I bother? Who wins in the end? The world gains one more human being back. Big deal. Too many of us as it is. I’m so tired of being here sometimes, it’s like staring into the blackest mirror and finding your eyes are the only reflection.

This pain is just too real.
In so little time, I have become a woman. In so many words and thoughts, I have learned love. Insofar as I know, I lost both in the space of a year. The lump in my chest grows larger, pains me more every day. I don’t know how much more I can take. Waiting lists are but one fact of life, with mosquito bites and politicians.
But I can’t not help, can’t turn my face away from the glaring fact that someone is, once again, tearing at my heart. Trying to gain my attention, when all I want to do most of the time, is disappear.

Why the fuck won’t the world let me go.
Because you’re not ready.
I was ready from the start.
You don’t know where beginnings end. I know you better than you think.
You don’t think; you feel, and steal away what I was owed.
You are owed, and owe the world nothing.
I am nothing.
You are nothing.
That makes us equal, at least.

So it goes. The song remains the same.

They need to fear it; they need to fear for her. Accept that she will die without intervention, that the chest pains won’t go away, that the food won’t magically disappear off her plate unless it’s into her hair, the flowerpot, the bin. Their family will tear itself apart with love and terror, and I see it all happening as a vainglorious parody of my life, ten years ago.

I can’t help as a professional. I can help as one from the other side.
That’s what this stupid thing called love is about, right. I’ve never met this girl, and I love her already, this tiny, frightened soul I know so well.

Daemons haven’t got shit on me. I will burn them.


  1. Nillu Nasser Stelter said,

    Rach, this post is so powerful it is hard to know what to say. You describe the pain of anorexia and helplessness so acutely that you give those unfamiliar with it a chance to understand in a way that no textbook or professionals could. I mentioned before that my aunt has had anorexia since she was 16. She is now nearly 50. You can be there for the sister, make her feel less alone, share your journey perhaps, but if she is not ready there is nothing you can do. So much pain. But I am so glad you are here. That you are still here and I can read your work and have your friendship. Selfish of me perhaps, but know, that you are valued. Night love x

    • celenagaia33 said,

      Not selfish; words like these are lifesavers. I’m sorry for this post, will probably end up deleting it when I’ve had time to laugh at myself. But it’s a dark place to be in right now, knowing what she’s in for, the distance she has to go. It’s so bullshit and unfair – and those words bite my face into a smile already 😉 Nothing was made to be fair.

      I’m going to help her in any capacity. Even if it’s just being on the other end of an email. No one in her immediate world has any idea what she’s going through. Someone has to give her time; and I’ll know what is her talking, not the anorexia. That I can coolly deflect, at this point in my life. If I help only one person escape this thing, I’ll have achieved something. And if I can’t, I won’t take it personally. These things are hard battles.

      Thanks so much for … just everything. I needed to hear this. Gute nacht, liebling xx

      • Nillu Nasser Stelter said,

        You are brave and brilliant. I think this post is so important. She doesn’t know it yet but she is lucky to have you. Gute Nacht, Süße. Schlaf gut x

      • celenagaia33 said,

        Danke schon, und du xx

  2. J. Edward Paul said,

    Your bravery and strength have inspired me from the beginning, Rachael. Hold tight to those things as you charge down a hallway in your mind filled with doors best kept locked. Perhaps you’ll have to peek inside a few, but you’re in a place to help someone and should let yourself feel joy because of it. Realize that forces wiser than us have given you the gift of understanding in this case. It’s a blessing for this girl. Maybe you help yourself in the process.

    • celenagaia33 said,

      I believe it. I don’t understand how or why, it’s a decade to the month since I went Inside myself. Why am I here now, facing down that old enemy from the other side of the field? But it’s not up for questioning anyway. I’ve no emotional attachment to this girl, except for her lifestyle/mindset running parallel to mine – especially in youth. I know what she faces and now, conversely, what her family are going through. They need to understand that this won’t be a quick-fix. They’re in it for the long haul or they’ll lose her. Heard it in my sister’s voice. Know it from experience. I’ll offer a new perspective, answer questions; in my own way, love and pity them from a careful distance.

      Thanks Jon. You continue to sustain me. I’m sorry I can’t be around more at present. This retreat won’t be permanent. Xx

  3. Jessica West said,

    Sometimes what we need the most is someone to need us. Reach out, and you may just save more than another human being. ❤

  4. celenagaia33 said,

    Here’s hoping, Jess. I won’t talk to her first hand; that’s too dangerous for us both and I can’t get emotionally attached. It makes the illness doubly difficult to fight when it’s breaking your heart, hearing the victim beg and cry. I’m exchanging emails with her parents, passing on signs to watch out for, physically and mentally. She’s already on the fall-down. If further atrophy kicks in, it won’t be a case of If but When. I’m going to push for an inpatient admittance. They’re already offering it, and waiting lists being what they are,tthat chance may not come again in time.

    Thanks for being there, always. I don’t look like reaching out but my soul screamed last night. I’m already ashamed of the outburst. Xx

  5. jabe842 said,

    Please don’t delete your post. Those words should be able to be read by anyone who needs them, as if they were etched in stone the way they will be etched into hearts. I know that if I was in trouble, I would want someone like you at my back. Good Luck and much love to you and her 🙂 x

    • celenagaia33 said,

      God damn, there’s something I needed to read today. Thank you, seriously. I find myself in constant flux of bravery and doubt, especially when dealing with this old friend / bitter enemy. It still has sharp claws, but I’m too wise to its ways … The only real trouble is the black sadness I feel, knowing another young life is on its way out unless her parents get their act together, and listen to the doctors and whatever advice I can give. All the while, my own internal demon (small as it is in comparison to hers now, I think) makes me feel equal to shit for even trying to help. But it’s a given that I will, because no one deserves to go through this. Her family need all the help they can get.

      Thank you, so bloody much xx

  6. A. B. Davis said,

    This is a beautiful and terrifying post. For the record, I do not think you should plan to take it down. It is obviously a large part of you and your experiences and what contributes to your writerly, suffering soul. Inspiring and devastating.

    • celenagaia33 said,

      That’s the kind of affirmation to keep my spirit alive. Thank you so much, more than I can say x

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