I forgive her

I forgive her

She was selfish in her suicidality
She was frustratingly reckless
She fought with me ruthlessly
And her parents tirelessly

She was exhausting and exhausted
Undone, promiscuous, troubled and angry
She was self-destructive and destructive to others
She was also hilarious and childish and lovely occasionally

She burnt a lot of bridges
Bloodied clothes and sheets and carpets
She was so sad sometimes that she knocked everyone to pieces

She was dealing with a lot
And she was a lot to deal with
She got sick and then she got better
Because she was naive sometimes unfortunately

She was a dreamer
Romanticised blue skies, beaches and flowers
She was also beautiful
And painfully rageful and stroppy

She was manic and constantly over-excited
She felt she was a burden to others
And was a nightmare to live with
She was loved by almost everyone, but struggled to give it

But I remind myself that I was young
And I still learning, and I was tired
I was finding my feet
And I really did try my hardest

She was all of these things
But she was entirely and unapologetically me
And so I forgive her

By Emma Catherine


A Caged Bird

A Caged Bird

There are things I will never miss about anorexia.
I will not miss
Staring in the mirror
While the shower steamed up the corners of the glass
Watching my naked body
Like a caged bird
While my eyes began to sting
As I fought to keep them open
Out of fear that
Should I shut my eyes,
I would open them
And be twice the size as before.
I do not miss the freezing showers
Chapped fingers tentatively turning the dial to cold
As I carried out my latest new trick to poison my body.
I remember the droplets shooting off my cheeks
Quicker than I could count calories
As my teeth chattered
From the icy water cascading down my malnourished body.
Blue hands and lips were a reasonable price to pay for skinny.
I don’t miss standing on the golden sacred scales
And hitting rock bottom
Only to realise it was just a balcony
In a 100 story block of flats
That I had yet to fall down.
I don’t miss the feeling of frightening bliss
When every mouthful
Was the most wonderful relief for my tummy
And the most vivid nightmare for my mind.
Sometimes I miss starving myself
But I don’t miss starving my family
Of love
As much as I believed I was soaring when I was starving
I was simply flying a descending plane with my eyes shut
Steering myself towards the ground
With the people I love as the passengers
Sacrificing myself ceremoniously
And bringing the rest of the world down as collateral damage.
Most of all
I do not miss hindsight
I do not miss the perfect irony
Of shrinking myself small enough to hide
From all of the things I was painfully afraid of
When really I was igniting the dead wood of my life
Into a rageful roar of flames
That almost killed me while I was trying to quench the heat.
Although I am warm now, rosy, happier,
The little fires still sizzle in the ashes
Of anorexia.

By Emma Catherine




They’ll push you out of bed in the morning
Eyes stuck shut with sticky treacle
Head rolling on the ground
With a neck that’s too sleepy to hold it up
They’ll walk you,
With your matchstick legs,
To the tomb you’ve died in many times
Rip the sheets off your warm skin
And tuck you in to old ones
Change the pillows so it smells like a greenhouse
Hear them when they tell you you’re better
That you’re well enough to steady your own shaking hands
Listen when they say you’re fixed enough
To draw your curtains without tying a noose.
Hide the stains of blood that poured from your neck
Bleach the matress if you need to.
Pretend you feel safe on your own at night
Let them plunge you into darkness when they turn off the light
As they say a prayer for you
A ‘goodnight’ to hope you survive
They say
You need to sleep in your own bed now
You know you’re not a child anymore sweetie,
Don’t you?

something we called love

something we called love

we had a mutual loneliness and called it love

a magic kind of desire spun from the cobwebs on our lips

we thought

as long as we have each other we are not alone.


we clung to each others corpses like driftwood in the middle of the ocean

a shipwreck and its sailors, if you like.

is it love if its built from broken hearts?

is it safety if it’s built on top of quicksand?


I loved you like the last girl alive

but I hated myself more

and so, how can I be loved if I don’t let you soothe any part of me?

what were we if we pretend we were not a dying wish

holding each other so tightly in our arms

to keep ourselves together

to stop the shaking.


what can I say about our loneliness

sharp enough to make us weep

and tough enough to tie us up in knots?

it was something we called love

and it kept us alive.


The Beach

The Beach

You’ve been down to this beach before,

I know the ocean looks beautiful from here,

It’s so silky and blue and

You feel like you could dive right in,

But don’t forget how cold it is

how lonely it is the further you float towards the setting sun,

Remember how blissful it feels to dip your toes in

and then how strong the tide is that pulls you away from what you know,

Before you know it you can’t feel your feet on the seabed anymore,

I’m telling you

There are things in those waters you can’t see from the shore

The bite off you’re flesh, nibble at your bones

Remember the heartbreak when your legs can’t kick against the tides

and all you can see is your home fading further and further away from your eyes

the ocean currents unforgiving

even more than the first time,

So please

don’t dissolve in those salty seas again,

wrap yourself up in a towel and sit with the warm sand between your toes.

watch the tides draw out and pool into the ocean

knowing you are dry and safe and warm on the beach

and may the sound of the waves breaking in front of you

be a reminder of the life you saved for yourself tonight.