girl on fire

creativity, radical self-care, feminism, recovery.

Month: May, 2014

Others May Idle In A Retrogressive Groove

Words are not coming at the great speed they used to, and I don’t like it. 
Write about what you know, they say.
All I really know at the moment is writer’s block. Nobody’s written anything new and original about writer’s block in, oh, a couple of centuries maybe? But that’s okay. Tonight it is enough to tap at the keyboard and see something, anything, appear on the screen. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It doesn’t even have to be finished. I just need to make something. I need something to show you all that I am here, that I still exist. No editing, no backspacing – well, okay, a little bit of backspacing – but no compulsive filtering this time. Just me, here, tapa-tapa-tapping. 

Pennies have been dropping all around me in the last twenty-four hours. That I really am doing okay – nowhere near as bad as I think. I have not been neglecting as many things as I think. I am really good at saying “I am not working or growing or moving or learning”. But let me tell you something: pain is growth. Pain is learning. I’ve had periods in my life where I felt spiritually and emotionally invincible and I learnt jack shit. I learn when my back is against the ropes and I have no other options but changing and growing and adapting. Keeping still is not an option. But here’s what is an option: keeping it in the now. Staying present. Being aware that this call in work that feels eternal will not last forever. Understanding that fear moves through my brain like storm clouds speeding across the night sky: in a few hours, nobody would ever guess what had occurred. It’s okay to be in pain: pain spurs me into action. If I am unhappy I must accept it or change it, and I am not too great at acceptance. So I change. 

Today in work I took my feet out of my shoes and pressed my bare soles to the wet grass outside and thought yes – I am with this earth and of this earth and in this beautiful ‘now’ place.

Tonight I put my hand on my friend’s shoulder and willed all the heat and love and energy in my body to pass through my palm straight to her heart. 

I don’t have to filter anymore, I can be real and raw and show up here, because realness and rawness are engaging and beautiful and scary in a way that makes me want to chase that feeling. So here I am: I am not a ‘great blog post’ machine and I never will be, but just for now, just right here tonight, it’s okay just to give my unfiltered thoughts. I can go back to expecting too much of myself anytime I like but tonight I am happy to be me. 

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A Little Snippet

I used to get so drunk I could not feel anything: I did not even feel the glass cutting my feet when I took my shoes off in clubs. To a girl who has always felt like she wears her nerve endings outside her skin, that’s really something. I drank so much that I could wear dresses made mostly of zips and underwires and bare my shoulders to December air and never feel the tightness or the cold. I did funny things, sexy things, stupid things, shameful things, but I never felt any different. I never felt anything. I laughed and shed tears and shouted and kissed and sang but it was all the same to me. The mornings, dear God, in the mornings I felt everything, but the nights? They were mine. Making friends didn’t feel like anything; neither did losing them. All I felt was thirst. Get another round in, make mine a double, I used to want to drink enough to wipe the slate clean. I called it ‘clearing out the cobwebs’, though how that many cobwebs could build up in two days since my clear out remains a mystery to me. I experimented for a while with the best way to get to that clean serene state. The softly-softly approach of large glasses of wine just to cushion myself from harm, then suddenly the third bottle smacking me headlong into oblivion. I remember the gassy sicky feeling of trying to only drink beer because I wanted to be good, and feeling too aware of the fullness of my belly and shouting ohfuckit and buying shots. Spirits were the express route. Playing bartender and pouring the drinks for the girls coming round, swigging out of the bottle in the kitchen with my back turned and lighting a cigarette to cover my vodka breath, all the while making sure my glass held twice as much as theirs. Never overthinking it, just doing it. Days were for thinking, nights were for drinking.