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jess
United States
destroy what destroys you

(terribly inactive but promises to respond to all notes and does really try her best to get to everything else)

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like a bow, bower, bounty,
i am bending at the break

there is nothing clean about this.
there is no precision, no half-point
there is no beginning, no end
just fragments:
my heart spilt on linoleum,
crumbling like plaster,
spent like a heavy sigh

i am heavy
just not in the typical sense
no, i am small.
regardless of what my eyes,
my hands, my numbers say
i am a small soul
in a vessel the size of an ocean.
i am lost, drifting 
from my head to my heart

smaller means silence
peace, the thrumming of my pulse
the only crescendo
no screaming, no tears 
my brain is quiet 
no matter how loudly
it all crashes around me
my brain is too hungry,
too hungry to hear, 
to hurt, to think

thinking never did me any good 
over speculation, existentialism
why am i alive?
smaller is not a reason:
a lifeline, a siren,
a phone call, a sos
along the curve of my chest.
smaller is sadness
carved into flesh
not superficial collagen,
no,
it is me shrinking
to show how small i feel inside.

i am still too small
i am not a big girl,
good girl.
i don't know how to do
my taxes, change my tires, 
clean my teeth, make my breakfast,
i don't know
when i got so small
when i grew in reverse.
maybe i never grew at all.

growing is progress.
but from growing
i have never gained anything at all
except a few more heartbeats,
more murmurs, more moments,
more second chances
but where is my first?

i feel senseless, 
not weightless, weighted
i am too heavy,
tethered let me go
let me go
senseless
wrote this two days before my mom's birthday, before my car accident in september. before i fucked my freedom and control up.

i miss my car. i miss the numbness. i miss purging and i miss being small even if it all came at the price of my car. even if i could have avoided the accident if i hadn't done nothing but purge for days before it. part of me doesn't care. i feel worse, now.
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recovery has always been more like a wish in my mind. beyond all the journal bravado, the big smiles for my therapists, it was always something i never considered i would have, but rather hold for brief periods throughout my life.

i tried my best to lie to everyone, to lie to myself that i really wanted it. and some days, i did. my most passionate, lively journals and pieces on here about recovery were me attempting to hold that motivation, just for more than a few days it hours, to pin it under glass. but, it never really stuck. i've never looked at recovery as a permanent state --i've always viewed my mental health to come and go like seasons at best, but it is so much more like weather: unpredictable, but nevertheless always changing. there are some places where its mild year-round. where there isn't a constant tug-of-war between sunshine and rainstorms; i just don't know how to get there. i'm still not there.

but i'm tired of growing and shrinking like the tide: of my body growing in-out-in-out faster than i can comprehend. i'm tired of numbers, of calculations, of obsessing over my physical self. but there's also the agony of growing. of seeing someone i don't recognize in the mirror. of someone inches bigger than i know i truly am, but cannot disconnect from myself.

i gained all the weight back in just over one month, gifted by my stagnant metabolism. i couldn't stand the way he held me anymore, like i would bruise at his touch, like the welts i left on myself were his own. goodbye had become please, no more. stay here; be here when i come back for you. i couldn't take how the stomach acid tasted in my mouth; it made me feel so dirty. it burned my knuckles until i was raw inside and out. i felt like another person in the mirror, but not smaller. 

i know what recovery feels like, i have glimpses, moments: it is driving, signing at the top of my lungs and for the first time in months, feeling unafraid; it is looking myself in the mirror, face slick with vomit, and saying: this is the only ugly piece of you, and you chose to let it out again. lock her up;  it is packing a late picnic lunch and sitting on the promenade with him and in a moment of passion, kissing him so hard everyone stares and grinning: fuck it, lets get ice cream. 

and i'm not there, now. i'm battling with this body, still. with grief so heavy i think it adds on all the pounds i see. but i'm making right choices. good choices. i'm undergoing medical monitoring through a pcp i trust and likely having an endoscopy to find out why food makes me so ill, anymore. i decided rather than to lose another friend, to listen --i went to see a counselor at my university for weekly sessions and am being weighed at the health center by a nurse that calls me nothing other than brave. 

i am still trying to lose weight, i won't deny that. i've regressed again; dinner is my only meal, but i eat it right. i keep it down, even though my body seems intent on rejecting it. i'm not purging anymore, my body brings up enough food on its own. if it stopped hurting so much, it would be easier. i just hope this has a name, a cure, a diagnosis other than age-old angst. 

i don't know that i'm going to ever really recover: this is my albatross, and i think like the scars on my arm, regardless of how much time passes, i will always carry it. but i need to start making more good choices, to be a better, more responsible person. i'm not leaving this earth with nothing but pages of sad words and a vomit stain, and that's all i am right now. i might not recover, but i can be better. i can do better. i want to be better, sometimes.
i am not a small, needy 
sepulture
waiting to be filled
i have all the bodies i need
here,

i am self-contained,
folding in on myself
realizing my chest is no home
for a heart because
i am a timepiece without a 
tick, the choir girl
who never sings,
proof you can fold paper
more than seven times

i am sitting here, 
fingers in my mouth, counting
all my chances, chips,
nights i have woken from 
dreams of pulling my teeth
from my gums;
weighing out the difference 
between
one more time and 
one last time 

i still smell like death, 
dirty bathrooms, 
nothing anyone would want to hold
i am not your little angel-girl
your butterfly baby,
i have purged myself of that,
purged until i am raw, 
new in loss, in death, 
i've peeled myself away
like the flesh of an apple, 
in one neat coil on the bedroom floor

i am closing in on myself
like a sigh,
like the wave kisses the shore
before it swallows it whole
and my little heart 
is beating so loud,
for a body too big, 
so big all its efforts
are echos, now
lacuna
i'm going to try and write more. going to try and let it out. this is ugly and flawed and incomplete but i am, too

i'm ruining my life again and i don't know why i started and i don't know how to stop but this, rather than purging lunch, was a start
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saturday marked two years self-harm free for me. 

somehow, the anniversaries are almost worse than any regular day. i feel some pride, but i'm also bombarded with memories of what it felt like. with how much i miss it. every time i touch a razor, a knife, a floral designer's blade at work i feel it itching under my skin. i feel like it will never go away, sometimes. i feel this insatiable need to hurt almost constantly, nagging me. 

today i took a scale into the changing room of a local department store, ripped it open, assembled it, and weighed myself. i am a number i have not seen in five years. a gray area that used to mean enough. that, years ago, used to mean i could stop. i have had double-beat-pause palpitations for the past week and a half nearly every day, if not twice a day. i am purging. i asked again, sober this time, no brandy on my breath, if it counts if i don't use my hands. and my boy simply held me and cried, begging me not to do it again. not to leave him. not to lose. 

i feel like i am losing. my father asked me to see a nutritionist, and after i laughed at the notion, to go back to outpatient therapy. i have all the options in the world now. i could fill a shopping cart with razor blades and bury them in every inch of my flesh. i could go back, buy that scale, and begin counting down, stop trying to work my way up. i could go to the hospital and beg them, twenty-five pounds from my lowest or not, to feed my brain and save my heart. 

but regardless of the now, the past seems so much more present. i keep thinking of numbers i cannot touch, places i cannot dare to let my fingers reach. i feel too big, like i'm trying on the wrong size clothing. my heart rattles around in this body, with too much empty space for it to fill. 

i'm trying to hold on. to own this. this is my accomplishment and regardless of my other failures, i have this. i never thought it would. if my heart were in this, i know i could have more. could be more. i want to be more but at the same time, i feel so small inside of myself. i can't seem to grow. 
she's alive, and so am i.

after one month in icu and another in rehab, my grandmother has been home one month as of the thirteenth. she's officially branded a medical marvel, bionic woman, subject of multiple senior theses. i, everyone, had honestly thought it was over. and now she is with me, planning next year's garden, adopting two four week old kittens, making blackberry honey cheesecake. everything is so normal it seems almost surreal. less than two months ago i was screaming my frustrations so loudly in the backyard the police were searching the woods. now, its all still in there, sediment and shit, and even though i know i should feel safe again, i don't.

i made a lot of mistakes in the time she was gone. i've done things i swore i never would again, unearthed parts of me i thought i'd never see again. i've lied too much. especially to myself.

you are not the granddaughter i left two months ago

its okay now; i'm home, you're home. you can eat now

if you have to go back to princeton i cannot and will not visit you. i've had enough to do with hospitals. i though you had, too

my father and grandmother made me promise to make doctor appointments tomorrow. i cannot stop getting sick. bending over opened something i had never intended to. i swore if my hands never touched my lips, it wouldn't hurt me. wouldn't count. would only be once. i'm the worst liar. 

i want it all so badly. the scale sitting in the tab next to this, the laxatives in the drawer downstairs, the razors in the bathroom. the car i'm about to buy, next semester's classes, this future, this person i'm trying to create. and i have to choose. soon.

 

there are words inside me and i can't get them out. i'd write them if i could, i'm sorry. 
recovery has always been more like a wish in my mind. beyond all the journal bravado, the big smiles for my therapists, it was always something i never considered i would have, but rather hold for brief periods throughout my life.

i tried my best to lie to everyone, to lie to myself that i really wanted it. and some days, i did. my most passionate, lively journals and pieces on here about recovery were me attempting to hold that motivation, just for more than a few days it hours, to pin it under glass. but, it never really stuck. i've never looked at recovery as a permanent state --i've always viewed my mental health to come and go like seasons at best, but it is so much more like weather: unpredictable, but nevertheless always changing. there are some places where its mild year-round. where there isn't a constant tug-of-war between sunshine and rainstorms; i just don't know how to get there. i'm still not there.

but i'm tired of growing and shrinking like the tide: of my body growing in-out-in-out faster than i can comprehend. i'm tired of numbers, of calculations, of obsessing over my physical self. but there's also the agony of growing. of seeing someone i don't recognize in the mirror. of someone inches bigger than i know i truly am, but cannot disconnect from myself.

i gained all the weight back in just over one month, gifted by my stagnant metabolism. i couldn't stand the way he held me anymore, like i would bruise at his touch, like the welts i left on myself were his own. goodbye had become please, no more. stay here; be here when i come back for you. i couldn't take how the stomach acid tasted in my mouth; it made me feel so dirty. it burned my knuckles until i was raw inside and out. i felt like another person in the mirror, but not smaller. 

i know what recovery feels like, i have glimpses, moments: it is driving, signing at the top of my lungs and for the first time in months, feeling unafraid; it is looking myself in the mirror, face slick with vomit, and saying: this is the only ugly piece of you, and you chose to let it out again. lock her up;  it is packing a late picnic lunch and sitting on the promenade with him and in a moment of passion, kissing him so hard everyone stares and grinning: fuck it, lets get ice cream. 

and i'm not there, now. i'm battling with this body, still. with grief so heavy i think it adds on all the pounds i see. but i'm making right choices. good choices. i'm undergoing medical monitoring through a pcp i trust and likely having an endoscopy to find out why food makes me so ill, anymore. i decided rather than to lose another friend, to listen --i went to see a counselor at my university for weekly sessions and am being weighed at the health center by a nurse that calls me nothing other than brave. 

i am still trying to lose weight, i won't deny that. i've regressed again; dinner is my only meal, but i eat it right. i keep it down, even though my body seems intent on rejecting it. i'm not purging anymore, my body brings up enough food on its own. if it stopped hurting so much, it would be easier. i just hope this has a name, a cure, a diagnosis other than age-old angst. 

i don't know that i'm going to ever really recover: this is my albatross, and i think like the scars on my arm, regardless of how much time passes, i will always carry it. but i need to start making more good choices, to be a better, more responsible person. i'm not leaving this earth with nothing but pages of sad words and a vomit stain, and that's all i am right now. i might not recover, but i can be better. i can do better. i want to be better, sometimes.

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:icontales-of-tao:
Tales-of-Tao Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Student General Artist
Hey, lovely, I've been missing you lately. I hope all is well. :heart:
Reply
:icondisabledaffections:
DisabledAffections Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
baby girl, I know today is gonna be tough for you.
you call me if you need to. I don't think you have my new number, I'll note you. I love you so much Jess. so much.
Reply
:icondisabledaffections:
DisabledAffections Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
happy Easter <3 I hope the Easter bunny left you lots of eggs!
Reply
:iconalloendreams:
AlloenDreams Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014
thank you sweetheart :heart: i did get a bit of candy and made a big dinner for my family --but, your package was the best part of my weekend. you are so, so incredible jessica. i needed that pick-me-up terribly; you always seem to know just when to surprise me with your kindness. 

i'm going to try and send something very soon, university has just kept me busy lately. 
Reply
:icondisabledaffections:
DisabledAffections Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm so glad I could cheer you up<3
you're the most deserving person I know, you deserve love and happiness all the time.

don't worry about  sending me anything, I can be patient.
I'm  really proud of you, I know school takes so much energy from a person, just hearing from you makes my day a little brighter.
you just keep taking care of yourself.
Reply
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