Recovery is a field. 

Some days recovery is a field. And a yellow weed is growing in a beautiful ploom in the centre. 

It takes your energy and all of your strength to pull the weed (as beautiful and wild as it seems) out of the ground. But when you turn around there are hundreds of new weeds, some of them yellow, some of them green and blue and purple and crimson, sprouting up from the earth. 

Then you realise you need a helping hand to get rid of the weeds. You enlist family, friends, therapists and doctors to help you clear your field. It feels good to have a helping hand. 

From time to time weeds pop up here and there but now you have a team to help you pluck them away and help the earth beneath you heal. As seasons change and sun shines the condition of the field changes and varies but it always remains your field. 

And soon you see flowers blooming on the grass in vibrant colours and shades. A fiesta of energy and life. 

Other days recovery is a battlefield. 

Why we fall in love with our illnesses

~We often find that, although we hate our mental illnesses with a passion, there are moments when we can feel in love and deeply attached to our illness. I have experienced this with my eating disorder and self harm, and to some extent depression too. This can make recovery from these issues particularly challenging~

“I feel like I belong in my illness.” It is where I’m meant to be. The real world is too hard to cope with and I am left with my poor mental health and unhealthy coping mechanisms that I can just sink into and soothe myself, escaping from the world around me. Sometimes relapse can feel like coming home.

“My illness is the only interesting thing about me”. Often we feel as if we were chosen to be sick. It sounds bizarre but sometimes we can feel special for having an illness. And once we are deep into it, it is so all-consuming that we don’t have anything else going on in our lives to love. And we may have distanced our loved ones so much that we are isolated and alone with our illness. It feels as if it is the only thing we can rely on.

“No one will care when I’m better” Being sick often means lots of appointments and much intrusive therapy and social care. The attention, although sometimes unwanted, reinforces the idea that being sick means we are more loved. This is not true, but when our perception is poor, it can feel like it.

“My illness is my friend”. Mainly applies to eating disorders but I feel this when everything thing in my life seems to be going wrong and my ED is the only thing I have. It is a constant. It feels loyal when everyone around me is not. But it’s fake. It’s a lie designed by the illness to make me fall in deeper and trust it. And it’s not true at all because, even though you may be unable to see it, it is not your friend and you have plenty of people who love you and care about you in the world. Your illness is not one of them.

Wallpaper- a poem on mental illness

I wear my hurt on my body like wallpaper
Florals, textures and stripes
Inked and stuck down on skin.

Patterns I wonder if they are out of date
Trimmed and unfitting the wallpaper covers me
(It’s hard to breathe under a mask)

Eyes judging my beautiful tiger stripes
Cover your childrens eyes
Hope that one day they become humans instead of plasterboard.

 

~Emma

Manic. 

I feel like I am falling in love, over and over again, every minute. I am submerged beneath waves of happiness that I can quite literally feel flowing over my body. I am perspiring and shaking. And although I am in blissful beautiful Euphoria, it’s agonising, painful, uncomfortable and frightening. 

Being at such extremes of mood means feeling out of control and spiralling. I’m not sure I’m in control of my limbs or speech. Things come as bursts or explosions rather than flows of water in streams. These rushes of speech can have consequences but when your manic: actions have no consequences. 

Time to stay up till 4 in the morning, I guess. 

Gender: Yellow Flower (a poem on gender)

Yellow :

The colour of my wallpaper as a child

Ambiguity specific to non conformity

The colour my parents chose for me

Months before Emma was the name that rolled out of mouths when they saw me

What a beautiful name for such a sweet little girl

You start to feel confused when you relate to the word ‘flower’ more than ‘girl’

And so comfortable in a dress

Yet so alien in ‘please select your gender and quickly’.

How can such a beautiful girl

turn out with hips shaped like the curve of the earth

and question marks in her eyes.

A yellow flower who can be grown in gardens

and bloom in the springtime.

For now I wrap myself in a cocoon of yellow wallpaper

And it seems to fit so perfectly

for a flower who’s edges are a little too

blurred.