1: The Cafe

Hi. My name is Liv. I am a mess, a writer, a singer, a mental health advocate, performance poet, a weirdo, a nerd, a human (sometimes). Welcome to the rubbish bin for my brain, I guess.

The cafe is warm, it smells of Christmas and I feel self-conscious of the darkness inside of me, like I may be asked to leave for being the emotional antithesis of festivity. But I don’t get asked to leave, so I eat my overpriced, dry turkey sandwich and let myself feel barren, acrid, shallow. And I start writing this. And I make my lip bleed, I used blue roll to sop it up. My therapist proposed I start this blog – and I promise I’ll try to steer away from sounding like Airsupply – as I shook my leg so fast that the fat could have spontaneously flung itself off of the bone. So I’m starting this. For me, for you, for her, for your uncle Robert? Who knows. So, me being a good student/patient (well, when I want to be), here we are.

I suppose this will be my public tracking of recovery. I’m unsure how I feel about that to be honest. It, admittedly, feels a little morose and self-congratulatory but I’m a writer who’s been told to write and so I write. I’m obsessively listening to ‘Heathers: The Musical’ soundtrack, it’s getting me through most obstacles at the mo. Like sobriety, ugh – sobriety. What a fucking word. Full of stuffing, full of baking beans and disappointments. I’m so glad that I’ve rediscovered my adoration for musical theatre, It was such a gargantuan part of my life as a preteen. I forgot how much happiness it brought me.

Speaking of the sneaky bastard that is sobriety – here’s a lovely, depressing poem to start your day off:

I was Walking with your Ghost:

Full, full. Churning, churning.
A thread of cotton caught in the washing machine, unravelling in silky,
arachnid repetition.
Full, full.
A tyre with too much air but not enough
Syrupy carbon into each silence. Yesterday you were
far away, today you itch at my elbows
and I feel empty without a spliff to
take the edge off,
without a balloon to make me cough,
without a sip, a toke, a line,
The Cranberries sang about salvation in
well; sobriety hates me.
It tickles me
at night and paints drips of sweat onto the crease of my eyebrows,
tossing and turning.
Full, full, empty
Oh, how sexy it is to be a dichotomy.
Lend me an emotion-ectomy,
send me the bill,
tell me where and when and I’ll let you drown.
How many millimetres away am I from
losing you?

So, I’m on my second week of dialectical behavioural therapy – something I have been waiting for for three years. I’ll be truthful, first week sucked. Hard. It was a sweet shop set alight with a blow torch, candy canes melting into sticky soup.
BUT, second week was a million miles better. As always I’ve given myself too much homework – all or nothing, eh? – (Also, I may now have a small square of blue roll stuck to my lip like I cut myself shaving. I must look hilarious).

I am trying. I am trying very bloody hard. But I’m heavy, I’m tired, I’m a best intention gone wrong. I’m a fly in your glass of merlot.
Seeing Christmas trees, the John Lewis ad, paper decs all around feels so surreal. When did November happen? Frost, snow, lonely fairy lights – It all feels like some tableaux painted before me.
I’ve never wanted Christmas less. It used to be my favourite time of year, now It’s this spiky, fearful thing. Full of food anxieties, triggers, socially acceptable alcoholism and tatty, dysfunctional families.

All I can taste is blood and the coppery, sickly red is in itself triggering. I am four months self-harm free, speaking of. And I have a body of patchwork scars I’d love to scrub off of my body with metal wool.

Anyway, I’m sat in a cafe feeling sorry for myself. Turn up the volume, unburden yourself, drink water like it’s gin, run your finger over your wrist and think about unzipping your skin.

Or…start a blog. Oh..wait.

Published by lvpape

I am a sleepy writer who loves to write poetry and short fiction. I also freelance as a music and medical journalist. I’m currently working on my first novel and it’s my baby. Besides writing I sing, play the uke, guitar and saxophone and love performing both my writing and singing. I am a major horror film buff and love reviewing them. “I exist as I am, that is enough” - Walt Whitman.

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