‘Pressure’, a poem

I have been struggling lately. I always do this time of year. I don’t know why, but the Spring has always been a destabilizing force in my life. Perhaps its the timing, right after the holidays and in-between semesters. A lack of structure and routine. Perhaps its the lack of sunlight — some sort of seasonal depressive thing. I don’t know, but this has always been when I struggle most.

I began this blog on the first, and I instantly felt a lot of pressure. Pressure about what it would be. If it would be good enough. Pressure to manipulate the narrative of my life — to present as this recovered, positive force that can support others through my own victories.

Naturally, this immediately prevented me from writing. Because that is not the nature of recovery, and that is not who I am or where I am at. One of my most important values is Authenticity, something I am sure I will write about in the future ( I determined this through the use of Value Sort Cards, which are talked about on my resources page). And pretending to be something I’m not, of curating my image — that is the opposite of Authentic. That is so pre-recovery — so ED.

It is scary to be authentic and vulnerable publicly. To show your struggle to the world. Especially with an eating disorder, but really for anyone. In this day and age, everything is altered and manipulated to show our “best selves” — a version of ourselves so far from the actual human beings we are so as to project a true image of ‘perfection’. It is easy to present this facade when you can dictate every word and angle of your life being shown. But it isn’t real. It is a sickness of its own.

The reason? Because not being yourself, pretending to be perfect — its a trap.

Projecting a facade prevents you from ever being able to actually belong. Belonging only comes with vulnerability, authenticity — living as your true self. That is the only way you can find who you are and where you most intimately fit. Where, and who, your home is. By presenting perfection, you are disallowing yourself from the opportunity to ever find that. No wonder depression and anxiety rates are skyrocketing. No one is happy! And everyone thinks everyone else is happy, that its just them, that they are wrong and bad and broken. Its a toxic cycle that I don’t soon see being broken, sadly.

So we have to fight it ourselves. We had to be real and authentic and vulnerable, even when it is so scary and painful.

I have felt paralyzed by my fears of being imperfect. of being or sharing the wrong thing. Of people not liking what I post, or of my recovery being somehow wrong. And most importantly, that I am not doing as well as everyone believes.

But the truth is, I’m not. And keeping it bottled inside while pretending everything is alright is not helping. It is just adding to the pressure. And preventing me from being seen. Which keeps me from getting the support I need. And on and on the cycle goes.

This blog is not a how-to on being recovered. It is a documentation of my journey. And the struggle is the journey.


PRESSURE

I feel like I’m vibrating.
my skin stretches over a void
of nerves and frustration;
of uncertainty trapped
in an unstable casing.

I feel this stifled expression,
a silence infiltrating

every corner of my being
until I am silently waiting
until sleep will take over
so I can be in my dreams
the only place I exist

without wanting to scream.

I am bottled up
tight
feeling ready to explode
if I don’t find a way to vent soon I’ll implode

The cracks in this facade that I’ve created to convince
myself that i’m better,
that ED won’t win,
that we don’t have to worry,
that everything’s fine —
but the truth is I’m drowning.
this life is on borrowed time.

i’m lonely and broken
i’m lost without a care
of whether I’ve spoken
on this winding despair
because I seem to be improving
to all who look
,

“we don’t think of your struggle
when you’re doing so well.”
“you are so strong”
“come so far”
but I am alone,
in my deepest hell.

they can’t see my struggle
the bubbling
deep
and dark

it seeps through my pores
and out my open mouth
it silences my resolve
and keeps me from breathing

its drowning me
and no one can see it.

I scream a silent scream
but hear not a whisper.
my voice is choked back
my insides are dampened
my face is cleansed
of any need or weakness
of any cry for help

i will be your strength.
i will fight alone.
the darkness has consumed me.
but you will never know.