Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Diets.

Everyone she knows
[Or at least it seems that way]
Is on
a
diet.
 
It seems to be
all
they
talk
about.
 
Oh, are you on Atkins? I've gone Paleo. She's high carb. He's on the shakes. She's on the diet where you don't eat at all until you feel like you're about to pass out, then you eat a cube of cheese.
 
Diets.
Diets.
Diets.
 
When she hears it
Or sees it
She feels
like
she should be
on a diet
too.
 
She should.
She should.
She should.
 
So she starts
looking for
things
to
cut.
 
Her head says, Yourself.
 
She tries to ignore that.
Tries.
Fails.
But tries.
 
So then she wonders,
What's the difference
between them
and
me?
How come they
can diet
and I
can't?
 
She doesn't know how to diet.
She never has.
Never could.

She fails by breakfast.
Grapefruit is disgusting, by the way.
And she doesn't eat eggs.
She doesn't eat tuna.
Or chicken breasts.
Or fish.
Or anything that you eat on a diet at all.
 
Her dietician
[ha]
Says,
You don't eat enough carbs.
Which is ludicrous
because
all she eats
are
carbs.
 
Cue the thought, Is butter a carb?
No, brain.
No.
 
She eats bananas
carbs
Apples
carbs
Strawberries
carbs
Bread
carbs
Muesli
carbs
Cookies
carbs
Wraps
carbs
Vegetables
carbs
And endless endless endless
bowls
of
pump
kin
soup.
 
Carbs.
Carbs.
Carbs.
 
She is not on a diet
She does not limit her carbs
She does not live on broccoli and lettuce and pickles and diet coke
[She's a coke zero girl, after all]
But maybe
Maybe
Maybe
She should.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Mornings.

Mornings.

There are so many
silly
rules
inside
your
head.

It starts in the morning.
Open your eyes.
Open them.
Blink three times.
One.
Two.
Three.

Check your phone, but only some.
Only some.
Only some.

And not if it's before 8:30am.
Do not touch
your phone
before
eight
thirty
a
m.

Check your body for signs of disappearance.
HipBonesCollarBonesRibCageChestBones.

Make sure
they are all
there.

Get out of bed
slowly
butnottooslownottooslownottooslow
left foot
right foot
one
at a
time.

Shoes on.
Gown on.
Stumble stumble stumble to the back door and let the dogs outside.

They need to pee, you know.

Go into the bathroom.
Check
yourself.
Are you still there
Are you more
or less
than
you
were
yest
ter
day?

Look at the scale.
Look at it.
Look.
Look.
Look.

There are four, you know.
Judge.
Jury.
Executioner.
Purgatory.

Purgatory.
Purgatory.
Purgatory.

Rid your body of excess.
Blow your nose and clean your ears.
Wash your hands
But
Do Not
let
any
other
part
of you
touch
the
water.

Do not.
Do not.
Do not.

It might
soak
into
your skin
and
make
you
heavier.

Strip down to your underwear.
No bra
but
cover
your chest
because
it is
disgusting
And
you hate it.
Hate it.
Hate it.
Hate it.

Right arm
over
your left
and
never
the other
way
round.

Breathe out
a l l
the air
inside
your lungs
and tap
the centre
of
the first
scale.

HoldYourBreathDon'tHoldYourBreathHoldYourBreathDon'tHoldItDon'tHoldItDon'tHoldItBreathe.

Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe.

Oxygen has a weight, you know.
It does.
It does.
It does.

Step onto the scale.
Watch
the number
fall.

Fall.
Fall.
Fall.

It has to fall
enough.
It has to.
It has to.

Check that the scale is Not Lying.
Judge.
Jury.
Executioner.
Purgatory.

Purgatory.
Purgatory.
Purgatory.

It better not be lying.
It better
be
less.

Put the number into your phone.
App number one
Two
Three
Four
and
Five.

Five apps. Just to be sure.

To be sure, to be sure.
Just like the Irish.

Clothes on.
Teeth brushed.
Hair not brushed because you'll go bald, but fixed with your fingers until it's okay.

It's okay.
It's okay.
It's okay.

Into the kitchen.
Open the curtains.
Check for evidence of rule-breaking-night-eating-weakness-weakness-weakness.

Turn on the kettle.
Make your bed.
Put
away
your
pyjamas.

Drink some water.
It's okay, now.
Drink.
Drink.
Drink.

Wash your hands a lot of times.
Then wash them more.
Just to be
safe.

Take a yoghurt from the fridge.
There should be 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12.
Never more.
Never less.

Yoghurt should be eaten with a plastic teaspoon.
Never metal.
Never a tablespoon.
Never anything but white.
Never.
Never.
Never.

Weigh a banana or maybe some strawberries or an apple. Weigh out your muesli.

Bite your tongue and hold your breath until it's done or a stray grain may make its way into your mouth and then what will become of you?

Put the box away before it's too late.
Away.
Away.
Away.

The kettle has boiled.

Make your tea.
Green.
Two bags.
In a travel mug.
You're not going anywhere.
But
The travel mug
is
safe.

Safe.
Safe.
Safe.

YouAreNotSafeYouAreNotSafeYouAreNotYouAreNotNotNot.

Take your tea
and
yoghurt
and
fruit
and
muesli
and
put them
on
the coffee table
by
your
couch.

Then

Take a bottle of water
and
A bottle of sparking water
and
A can of coke zero
And
A bottle of flavour drops
to
the table
too.

Wash you hands and weigh yourself weigh yourself weigh yourself just to know your starting number for when you're clothed and wearing weights wearing weights wearing weights.

It's been over a year, now.
Ankle weights every day.
Two on each leg.
Always.
You want three but then they can't hide inside your shoes.

Back into the living room.

Sit.
Breathe.
Sit.

Take a picture of your food.
Because you have to
You have to
You have to

If you don't how will you know that you didn't actually eat everything everything everything you own?

Log the food and their calories into your app app app apps.

While you're there,
Check your pulse.
Sleeping heart rates above 39 will not be tolerated.

39 is the new black, didn't you know?
40 is an abomination.
Only 30 is safe.
Only.
Only.
Only.

Drink half the flat water
Then
Add the flavour
to the sparking water

Sip
Sip
Sip.

Unpeel
the
banana.

Zip
Zip
Zip.

Eat the banana
and
Drink the water
and
Don't go too fast
or
Too slow
and
Don't move
or
Speak
or
Touch
Touch
Touch
Anything
At
All.

[Except the banana. And the water. Of course.]

Weigh the empty skin.

Starting weight - skin weight = banana weight = adjust your calories and feel a little better.

Wrap the skin in old newspaper and throw it in the bin outside.

Wash
Wash
Wash
your hands.

Weigh
Weigh
Weigh
yourself.

Return to your living room.
Your tea isn't cold, don't worry.
It's in the travel mug.
It's fine.
It's fine.
It's fine.

Open
the yoghurt.

Slowly
Slowly
Slowly.

Do not spill it you're going to spill it if you spill it you can't eat it you can't you can't you can't.

Lick the yoghurt off the lid.
One.
Two.
Three.

Dip
a grain
of muesli
into
the yoghurt
using
the plastic
spoon.

One grain. Maybe 5. Never more than 6.

Eat.

Repeat
until
the yoghurt
and muesli
are gone.

Wash the spoon
and
the tiny tub
you used
for
the muesli.

Throw away the yoghurt container and ignore the voice in your head that screams, KEEP IT KEEP IT KEEP IT.

Wash
Wash
Wash
your hands.

Weigh
Weigh
Weigh
yourself.

Return to the couch.
You may check your phone, now.
Drink your tea
and your coke
and then
it's time
to run
on
the
treadmill
until
it's time
for lunch.

Good morning.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A play ~

ACT ONE

The curtains rise. A girl sits in the waiting room of her therapist's office. Her name is T. She is wearing clothes that are several sizes too big for her but the fabric is still pressing against her and reminding her that she is fat fat fat. She is crying already but she doesn't know why.

Her therapist enters. His name is M.

M: Hey, T. Please come through.

She rises. Unsteady. She doesn't look at him or wait for him as she stumbles her way into his office. She grabs a handful of tissues before she sits down. Her eyes continue to leak.

He enters the room. Closes the door. She can feel his eyes on her. She grips the scarf she is using like a shield against her chest and says nothing.

M: Hey. Hey now. What's wrong.

T: Searches for her voice. Fails to find it.

M: What's happened?

T: Error 404: Voice Not Found. Tears, however, have been located. The source of the eye leak is unknown.

M: T?

T: Curls over and pretends she doesn't exist.

T, internally: Just make words happen just make words happen oh my God just make words happen.

This continues for several minutes until finally...

T, barely a whisper: I don't think I can speak today.

M: I can see that. How long have you been this anxious for? When last did you sleep? When last did you eat?

T: I don't
I don't
I don't
know

M: Okay. It's okay.

Silence.

M: Do you know why you're so anxious?

T: Leaks harder. Claws the skin off her arms to make the leaking stop. Her arms start to bleed. It helps, a little.

T: I am...I think I am...I am angry.

M: Why are you angry?

Silence. She reaches for more tissues. Her hair shield is wet and gross and plastered to her salt water covered face.

T: I am angry at me.

M waits. She knows this dance. She has to fill the silence.

T: I am angry at myself. I am angry that I texted you last week. I am angry that I went to see my dietician anyway after all that. I am angry at my weight. I am too big and fat and ugly and disgusting to be out in public. I feel...I feel...

Her voice disappears again.

M: You saw your dietician? I didn't think you would.

T: Nods.

M: How did it go?

T, with the volume turned way down: I...I... I told him that I don't see why I should I continue to see him. I told him that I am wasting his time.

M: What did he say about that?

T: He said that it is his choice to make.

M: Laughs.

M: Does that sound familiar?

T: Yeah. I hate you both.

M: Laughs more.

M: What else did he say?

T: He said that I need a higher level of care. That I need to be in hospital or residential treatment and that he is taking steps to make that happen.

M: Did that freak you out?

T, Counting. Counting. Counting. Clawing. Clawing. Clawing: No. He's been saying that for a long time now. I don't think he can make it happen.

M: Silence. Then,

M: Do you think you need a higher level of care?

T: No. I'm fine.

M: You're not fine. You know my stance on things, yeah?

T: Nods.

M: I would love to see receive a higher level of care. I would love to see you get some more help, which isn't about punishing you or hurting you. It's about keeping you safe. We need to keep you safe. We need to get your weight back on track so we can work on the other things.

Counting. Counting. Counting.
Her hands are wet and dirty.
Dumb animal husbandry.

M: Was it as bad as you thought it would be, seeing him?

T: Yes.

M: Laughs.

M: What made you decide to go?

T: I spend so long being so afraid of it that I just wanted to get it over and done with.

M: What made it bad?

T: This is going to sound dumb but he looks at me a lot. I know that is his way of trying to gauge what I might weigh and how much weight I've lost since I refuse to get onto the scale, but I don't like it. And he touches me.

M: He touches you?

T: Yeah. Like my hands and shoulders. He says it's his way of gauging my level of edema and muscle wastage.

M: Does he ask your permission?

T: No.

M: And it freaks you out?

T: Yes.

Silence. The plumber inside her head has fixed her eyes and they are no longer leaking. He has built a dam.

M: Is there anything that I do that freaks you out?

T: Silence.

M: It's not going to offend me. It would help me to know so I know how better to help you.

T: Well. There is one thing. But I don't want to say it.

M: Come on.

T: I can't.

M: Please?

T: I wrote the thing you asked me to write last week. I wrote about it in there.

M: Did you bring it?

T: Yes.

M: Can I read it?

T: Removes phone from pocket. Unlocks it. Hands it over.

M: Thank you.

There are several minutes of silence. T tries to disappear into the chair. The dam behind her eyes breaks and floods the room. Her voice leaves the building.

M: Did this all just come spewing out?

His voice is too far away to reach her. She is gone, gone, gone.

M: This isn't a criticism -- what you've written is fantastic -- but did you realize that it changes part of the way through? You go from being the therapist to just disclosing.

She is gone, gone, gone.

More silence. The audience is uncomfortable. Sometimes M asks questions. Sometimes M swears under his breath. T cries. And cries. And cries.

M: You brought it back. Fantastic. You wrote that it wasn't the girl's fault. Which part of that is bullshit?

T: No words no words no words.

M: Can you name the emotion you're feeling right now?

T: No words no words no words my lips taste like salt salt salt. I am sticky.

There's a knock at the door. M gets up. Thanks the person on the other side. Sits down with a blue blue blue mug in his hand.

M: Do you want a coffee? Black no sugar?

T: No words no words no words but I can shake my head. I think. Maybe. Okay. I can.

M: How many calories?

T: 2.

M: Laughs. Falls silent. Watches T as she vibrates a hole in the floor with her endless shaking.

M: Can we do a grounding exercise?

T: Does as she is told. Her words come back. The dam is in pieces. The plumbers try to fix it but it is useless unless useless. Her eyes leak the entire time. So does her nose. It is disgusting.

M, later: Can you tell me what you're feeling?

T: Well my eyes won't stop leaking.

M: That's called crying.

More time passes. More time than is hers to use. More time than he should be spending on someone as worthless as her.

Her eyes continue to leak.

M, later again: Did she really say that to you?

T: Yes.

M: What a fucking bitch.

More time. More silence. More leaks. They are drowning, by now. Surely they must be drowning.

Her heart hurts.

M, much, much later: Have you had enough for today?

T: Nods. Rubs her bloody fingernails on a tear stained tissue. Keeps her hands under her ScarfBlanketShield so he doesn't see.

M: Hey listen. Did you know that this is one of the few times that you...I'm not going to call it crying because I quite like the term Leaky Eyes. Did you know this is one of the few times that you've had leaky eyes in here?

T, still leaking: Is that a good thing?

M: Yes, because it means that you're connected to what's happening. You're working through it. The last few sessions you've shown real progress in terms of starting to work through this stuff.

T: Is mute.

M: Is lovely.

T: Leaks more.

M: Is still lovely.

The curtains fall.

END OF ACT ONE.

ACT TWO. HOURS LATER.

The curtains rise.

T: Is still leaking.

T: Is on the the treadmill.

T: Has 197 calories inside her and has decided that's enough. That's enough now.

T: Needs a plumber.

The curtains fall.

END OF ACT TWO.