i hope you’ve learnt nothing

I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing.

I hope, the next time you love, you love with all the reckless abandon that you did almost 4 years ago now.
I hope it doesn’t harden you.
I hope you remain soft, and open.
May your heart remain supple.
I hope it doesn’t diminish your capacity to trust another person with your dearest secrets and darkest memories.
I hope the old clichés don’t play out – once bitten, twice shy.
I hope you remain bold in the face of love.
And still grab it with both hands, fiercely.
And fearlessly.
I hope you have learnt how to love someone deeply, and to accept a sincere love in return.
I hope you have learnt love is worth putting everything you have on the line for.
I hope you allow yourself to be loved again, even at the risk of it all not paying off again.
Because time spent wholeheartedly loving someone is time well spent, and not to be regretted.

I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing at all.

sad girl chronicles pt. 1

It seems all I do these days is write about how sad I am. So I may as well chronicle it for your entertainment.

We’d promised each other a lot of things over the years.
That we’d never leave.
That we’d always support each other.
That we’d always love each other.
That we’d always be adventure buddies.

I didn’t realise that these promises were conditional.
Conditional on my mental health remaining stable.
Conditional on me not becoming unwell.
Conditional on me not deviating from the adventurous, confident girl you fell in love with.

Well, I’m sorry I changed.
I’m sorry my mental health deteriorated.

But my promises were never conditional.
I loved you unconditionally.
And I still do.

Can anyone really ever promise anyone anything anyway?
Does it all amount to empty words and broken hearts in the end?
It seems that way.

I guess I’m just in disbelief that you can say “forever” one night, and the next morning break my heart. Forever.

Maybe some “forevers” do count.
But none of the ones I counted on.

the night we met

I wrote this several months back. Back when we were still together.

Take me back to the night we met.

We met a long time before that night.
But that night, I felt, was the first time
we properly saw each other.
Up until then, we’d kept it largely
platonic, sometimes suggestive, but
never too far. Nothing that would get you
into trouble.

But that night was different.
We both caught each other off-guard.
We didn’t have a screen, or snapchat filter,
or school email, or professional duties to hide
behind.

We were unfiltered.
Apparently you’d seen me first.
But I saw you when I came downstairs, you
were at the bar.
It was instinctive.
I went straight over to you without
hesitation and we hugged. Which I think
caught us both off-guard.

We were both wearing plaid shirts, and
we both made a comment that we had
coordinated outfits.
Then your friends came over and made the
same comment.

It was easy.
I was magnetically drawn to you, and it
was so clear and obvious.

I wish I could’ve stayed talking to you at
the bar all evening. But I had friends to
get back to, and so did you.

But we bumped into each other again that
night at the Wetherspoons. My eyes kept
trying to find you all evening.

You were like an island in the middle of
a shipwreck. I felt I was constantly
swimming against the tide, fighting to
keep my head above water.

But with you, I could breathe easy. It was
effortless.

So, I’m sorry that it hasn’t stayed that
way. You told me tonight that you miss
me. I’m right here, but I’m not. I’m not the
same anymore. For the first 6 month of us
being together, I didn’t think about my
past once. I was so happy. So content.

So, I thank you for that.

But slowly, it crept back in.
And I’m furious that something that
happened so long ago, is tearing apart
something so wonderful. It makes me
hate myself, for not being able to deal
with it and move on.

I wish none of it had ever happened.
But I can’t change that now.
No amount of wishing will ever undo.
What he did.
What I didn’t do.
What neither of us did.
And everything inbetween.

I had all and then most of you, some, and now none of you. Take me back to the night we met.”
– Lord Huron

I never thought I’d write those words about you.

a rant about weight loss

TW: weight loss (with numbers), disordered eating, body image

I’ve lost weight. Not healthily. Not intentionally. But as a by-product of extreme anxiety and stress-induced IBS. I haven’t had an appetite. I was gagging every time I tried to eat. And when I did eat eventually, I’d only eat about half of the food on my plate before feeling sick again. And I’d have an upset stomach up to 6 or 7 times a day. It was unhealthy. (I’m using past tense because I am now back in the UK and my appetite and metabolism seem to have returned to normal.) I would get head rushes just standing up. I’d feel weak and unsteady. I’d had to stop running because I didn’t have the physical energy.

I have lost a stone and a half in about 5 months. This bothers me. For numerous reasons:
a) People feel the need to comment on it
b) People automatically assume it’s 1) intentional and 2) a positive thing
c) Do I like it, secretly?

a) People feel the need to comment on it.
I’ve had several people openly make comments about my body in a public space where my colleagues or acquaintances are within earshot. It is not okay to openly make comments about a person’s body size, shape or anything else. It draws attention to the recipient, usually unwanted, and also draws the attention of everyone else in the room to start scrutinising your body and making their own silent judgments. Or that’s what it feels like.
I had a (male) colleague say “Wow, have you lost a lot of weight? You look like you have!” in front of a staff room of other colleagues. Now, I get it, he thought it was a compliment. He’d assumed I’d been intentionally trying to lose weight and therefore had been successful and wanted to express some backwards and unsolicited form of congratulations. BUT THAT IS NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE. No-one should ever think it appropriate to make comments about perceived weight loss to another person, especially in a public setting. You don’t know what that person is going through. You don’t know whether they’re ill or not. You don’t know if they have a history of disordered eating and distorted body image *raises hand*. If you don’t know for absolute sure, you don’t comment. I wanted to respond with something cutting like “Yeah, I’m actually trying this new weight-loss program called “my life is being rapidly overtaken by anxiety” paired with a complementary program of irritable bowel syndrome. You should try it – if I recommend a friend you can get a 10% discount”. But, embarrassingly, I just said “Thanks” and I hate myself for it.
That particular comment made me very self-conscious. I thought – did he think I needed to lose weight before? Was I perceived as being overweight before? Should I strive to maintain my new body shape, or worse continue to shrink it?
I also had a (now very recent ex) boyfriend, in an intimate moment, say he could actually feel it on my body, the weight I’d lost. (Although, to be fair to him, he was upset by it because he knew how ill I’d been.)

b) People automatically assume it’s 1) intentional and 2) a positive thing
I’ve had friends make comments that suggest I should be pleased with my weight-loss – despite me explaining to them the toxic causes of it. I even had my Dad say – when I told him I’d lost over 10kg – “Well, that’s not a bad thing!” Implying that I had weight that needed losing? Implying that it’s a good thing that I’m smaller now, and should be happy to be so?
I’ve had friends say “I wish I could drop a stone and a half that quickly”. No. No, you don’t. Not by the means I’ve lost the weight. I don’t want congratulations – when I confided in my friends about the weight loss I wanted support and sympathy. Not jealousy. I was terrified I’d keep losing the weight like I did when I was 14, that I’d become dangerously underweight again. I didn’t want a pat on the back.
And I know, women have just internalised all the messages we receive from the media about how our bodies should look, so can I really blame my friends for responding in the way they did?

c) Do I like it, secretly?
And finally, the hardest part of all – do I actually secretly like it? Am I secretly glad I’ve lost the weight, even if it was unintentional and achieved by very unpleasant means? Despite of my new found feminism, body positivity, health-at-every-size attitude, I can’t seem to shake that lingering shadow in the corner that whispers “Skinnier is better and you know it. Skinnier is sexier, and sexier is more power and control. And that’s what we crave, isn’t it?” It’s insidious. But it’s still there and I can’t overthrow it with all the bopo-insta in the world. There’s something hard-wired into me, that says I should always strive to be physically more attractive. I know why. But that’s not something to get into right now.

On a positive note, in the three days since my return to the UK, my appetite has returned, and my IBS appears to have abated *touch wood*. And the sensible, rational part of my brain knows that the healthy thing to want is for my weight to stabilise, or even increase.

Oh, sensible rational brain, please come through for me this time.

1000 more goodbyes

You’ve just left. After the most emotional night.

You just texted me saying “I’m breaking”. I am breaking too. Shattering into a million tiny pieces.

My heart hurts.

This evening, just before the rain came thundering down, you hugged me from behind as we looked out across the city. We could see the high-rise of the apartment complex you’re staying in. I asked which way your window faced. You said the other way. And we both sobbed.

I wish I could’ve just stayed there forever in your arms. Suspended in time. Just the two of us, Just how it should be. Just how it should always be.

But you had to leave. I’d made you tea. You said you’d leave after you finished your tea. Then the rains started. You said you’d go when the rains stopped.

I said I didn’t want you to finish your tea and I didn’t want the rains to ever stop.

But they did. And you left.
After another emotional goodbye. Where you told me it wasn’t my fault. Where you told me not to blame myself. Where you told me you’d always be proud of me. Where you said you’d be there for me if things got really bad and I wanted to hurt myself. Because you still love me. And you still care for me.

We kissed. Which we shouldn’t have. But I pressed my body into yours and I felt the earth fall away beneath me. No floor. No apartment. No Thailand.
Just us. Joined. One team. One unit. Together.

It physically hurt me to stop kissing you. To stop holding you. And to let you go.

We’ll see each other again. Probably, unfortunately, in work tomorrow. But it won’t be the same.

I hope we have another night like tonight. Even though it hurts. Another night where we bare all and cry into each other’s shoulders.

Where we say all the things we should’ve spent years saying.

I’ll part with you 1000 times more if it means 1000 more nights like this with you.

I am heartbroken.

a birthday card i’ll never send

(context: it was my ex’s birthday yesterday, and i still can’t forget the date, as much as I’d like to. This is the birthday card I’ll never send him. Writing it last night was beautifully cathartic, even if it still made me shake with rage.)

HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY
(I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL ♥)

Oh, there’s no need to be so rude, is there?
People know, you know?
Maybe you thought I’d told everyone immediately, but I had a lot of therapy to get through first.
(Just let me know how best you’d like to pay. I’d take PayPal.)

No, but people know now.

I only told two people at first.
No, three.
No, actually, four.
But people talk. And a rumour like that isn’t going to stay a secret.
Guess it’s not a rumour though is it?

I mean, I had to give a reason for having you removed from that group chat so quickly.
And yes, I could have lied but
I have no interest in protecting you anymore.
I don’t give a fuck about your reputation.
You deserve what you get.

I hope it plagues you everyday.
I hope you lose sleep over it.
I hope you’re terrified of bumping into our old college friends.
I hope you’re wracked with guilt.
I hope it’s a secret that’s destroying you from the inside out. The way it did me.

I hope your new girlfriend finds out.

Raise a glass to the birthday boy!
And many
many
happy
returns.

waiting

i wait.
because i’ve waited so many times before
stupidly
blindly
for a text, for you to come through the front door

you’re not like them, i know
but 8 years of being treated otherwise
obsolete
is hard to unlearn
harder to let go

years of
nights without texts
still,
mornings without texts
all the next day without texts
i guess i should’ve known this was a precursor
to my calling you “ex”

foolishly waiting like a puppy at the door
your absence
an abscess
i couldn’t ignore

i guess that’s because you’d lost all my trust
and i was right
these inklings
these nagging sensations in my gut
because two years ago i found out what i already knew
and i was just painting over rust

regardless of who it is
i still feel the same
i can’t sleep til they’re home
i won’t switch off that part of my brain
because i’ve lost this before
my sanity
and
this game.

how do you mend a trust universally broken?
i can’t say it out loud
“fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself”

best left unspoken.