historical purging and mental disfigurement

Circumstance and environment; history and disfigurement, they can change a lot.

What it means to forget to eat for an anorexic — with all that twisted circumstance and environment of solitude; all the historical purging and mental disfigurement… it means so much.

It’s not the physical rewards – one day will change nothing. It’s the mental voice that creeps in and gives you a beautiful embrace. Starts singing and skipping beside you; touches your cheek and whispers how easy was that?! This road is not hard and long; it is free and clear. Look how beautiful. How artistic. How clean, empowering, detoxifying, energizing and SEDUCTIVE it is … to forget.

Like an addict, so much like an addict, the offer is never for a limited time. The craving to fall stays with you, through every day and every night. Its there when you wake and when you fall asleep. Its there when you are stressed, happy, tired, excited, anxious, proud, ashamed … it’s there within and without. It lives on the lips of the ones you love and you search for it in strangers.

All it takes is one day. One moment. And your back there. That is the most frightening thing about addiction, mental illness, anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, anxiety …. You can work your whole life to heal – go to therapy, rehab, retreats, yoga classes, information evenings; talk to those you trust and those with whom there is a recognition. You can work through the hurt, make yourself cry so much there is nothing but wishes for grief left.

And yet.

One moment, and it all feels like it’s been violently ripped away. And you know what> you don’t weep. You don’t scream and feel failure. For that first moment, you feel … liberated. You sigh. You think, oh-thank-god. I can let go.

Taking hold again gets harder, every time. Every goddamned time. That’s when the anger comes and the painful, invisible tears and the screams. That’s when you hate yourself for not loving yourself and you want to hide, give up, turn back and let go for GOOD.

How the hell am i still here?


in need of a gentle, loving mind?

Unsprung Technik


highly reccommend checking out this blog and seeing what he has to offer in the future – wealth of knowledge in many fields.

Namaste all. ❤

“I am …” How the illness came to sit on my mat.

the magic word for peace

My first class, I had no idea what yoga was.

Something like Pilates? I was sure it was what very, very flexible people do. In tights. I wasn’t flexible ( and I didn’t wear tights) – and since the birth of my two children, had not even been able to access my abdominal muscles… and that was okay, because concave was okay. Either justifiably bellyful whilst pregnant …. or concave , the ‘rib-cave’ – a remarkably safe place to live… I didn’t think there was a middle road for me. The middle road meant frightening years locked up in a house, too tormented by self hatred to see the world. The middle road meant little-death.

The children … they meant little-life. They were enough – and will always be enough – for me to assemble a surface deep self that functioned – that came out of hiding. I may have…

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I, the Comfort Addict

Yesterday I signed up for my first 10 day Vipassana retreat in November. There is a wait-list for women’s spaces, but I do see this as a commitment to attending one – if not in November, then at the next opportune moment. The ‘code of conduct’ as such for the retreat is a lot stricter than the 5 day retreat I did last year at the Red Hat Temple – there are many things that I am going to struggle with. The most scary – no smoking or yoga for 10 days …

As I was filling out the form to sign up, I must have paused with my finger hovering over the ‘x’ button a dozen times. If I’m going to commit myself to 10 days straight meditation, I at least need yoga to help ease things through! And no smoking – how can I concentrate on the task if all I can think about is nicotine withdrawals. No way! And no writing? … okay, now this is just getting ridiculous. I am better off cultivating a stronger home practice at home, where I can be comfortable and supported by the familiar tropes of my life.

Ah. right there. I didn’t press the ‘x’ button, because in explaining to myself why I shouldn’t go, I revealed why I need to go.

I am a comfort addict.

I hide from my anxiety by holding fast to the familiar things that give me safety … escape from fear. Smoking for me is far more than just a habit – if it were, I would have quit long before I was paying $50 for 30g of tobacco! It is a functioning part of my complex system of anxiety management – I visualise it like someone hooked up to an ECG machine (I remember those things well) – each little wire tapping into a part of me that needs to be recorded and measured. In order to manage my anxiety – I got so damn good at locating the fear and strapping it down – one part got nicotine; another, starvation. The part that comes and goes got periodic wine-submersion. And the parts that were a little more fluid were treatable with yoga. I got so good at it – I am so good at it – that it took me most of my teenage and adult life thus far to figure out that I had anxiety at all. I had micro-managed it to the point of dissolution – but there was a cost. One I am still paying daily.

Such a complex system is destined to glitch. All these different wirings are set at precarious angles, ready to spasm if the environment changes. They thrive in homeostasis … it feels like ECT if I try and rewire the system. I pull back. I can’t bare the fear.

I am now at the point where I want some of that space and energy back. I am resisting the wiring and seeing how exhausting it all is. I want to let go … and I cannot move whilst pinned down by so many nails. I have to pick away at them one by one, and face the spasms of fear, rage and pain that come as a result. Some days it’s too hard – thus i cannot speak of this process in the past-tense. Yet.

I read an article that a friend shared yesterday about the life of Shinzen Young, titled “A Small Price to Pay for a Different Kind of Life”*, which talks about his journey to a monastic life. Something moved in me as I read it. Instead of torturing myself with the usual What are you so afraid of Sian?, I started to ask, What price can you put on your own freedom?

and , like is expressed in Shinzen Young’s piece, the choice became obvious. I will give all of it – I will pay the highest price for a Different Kind of Life. Perhaps not “One hundred days subtracted from my life” just yet … but 10 days? 10 days to try and break free from the hooks, and the wires and the damned strong convictions that keep me so stuck? A very, very small price to pay.

To be continued – the thoughts are still fresh and the path not walked on yet.



“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.” — Rumi.


This is potent, to me. I drink up the words – they speak to the part of me that so desires stillness, and love. And clarity.


… “even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense” … it sounds like the end – the end of suffering. Of wanting. Of painful desires and pleasurable ones too.

I want to feel that.

I … I …I  …. See, I am so far away. I am still waiting for the word that follows “I am …” I cannot yet leave it as I Am.


Where to from here?

just a glorified excuse … – a Reassessment 6 Years On

just a glorified excuse … – a Reassessment 6 Years On

JUNE 1, 2010 – the original post. 

 — I wrote this post 6 years ago, when I was sick. I had no children yet, and I hadn’t yet attempted to unpack the assumptions I had ruthlessly made about myself and about the function of ‘emptiness’. It’s a rather glorious thing now though – I can read this back, a passive observer, and see the wisdom so chocked by the fear and intimacy. This post is taking another look at the words I wrote back then … an attempt to re-create a glorious realization, if you like, in place of  a glorified excuse.

I have been recently reading a poetic yet ‘self help’ formed book called “A million little pieces” by James Frey.

He is a seriously fucked up addict – alcohol, crack, glue… he is mentally and physically ill and looking down the barrel of a life spent in jail or dead when he is taken to a rehabilitation clinic.

In it he talks about getting better from addiction through AA meetings and seeking a higher power, and he comments that they are never really recovered they have just filled the void of their addiction with a new one – strip away their meetings and their God and their Dogma and they are back where they started – addicts needing to fill themselves until they kill what is on the inside.

“though the people in (the testimonials) are no longer drinking and doing drugs, they’re still living with the obsession. Though they have achieved sobriety, their lives are based on avoidance, discussion and vilification of the chemicals they once needed and loved. Though they function as human beings, they function because of their Meetings and their Dogma and their God. Take away their Meetings and their Dogma and they have nothing. Take them away and they are back where they started. They have an addiction.” James Frey – A Million little Pieces 91-92

I so relate to this  – I think that my whole life I have had this huge gaping hole in me  – in my heart. and I have fought to fill it with everything since early childhood, running races, school – excellence excellence excellence, boys, booze – more more more, writing, drugs – forget forget forget … but nothing has filled the gap quite like anorexia….for a while.

Yet, at the same time – it has only ripped the hole further, made it into a gaping, gasping fucking black hole in my universe that now there is no hope of repair. and there is no way to fix it so I might as well stretch it – grab hold of the corners of it’s depth and rip violence until I am completely overwhelmed, and I become yet a hole in the universe that

people see through and people don’t touch and I don’t feel.

 — What happens when we discover so soon that there is no permanence – that the self is always going to remain illusive? I was so desperate then to un-see this. To grab onto something, not yet knowing that the transparency and the void that I was channeling were not nothingness or exclusive to ‘me’ – they were the truths that would one day set me free. Correction: Could one day set me free.

And if I was to go to some rehab  – be given food, and therapy and blood tests as my Dogma – and be made to get what they call on paper with all their glorified excuses, ‘better’ – the hole would still be there – menacing and resilient, and I would live my life searching in vein for something else to fill it, something else to quieten the reverberating echoes it creates inside my mind. crushing me.


I hear things in its emptiness, and sometimes the emptiness creates a false sense of purity and security. Be empty, be nil and fear not, as you feel not.

the most common misconception of human nature is that we can change and manipulate our minds and bodies so much so that we can be someone else.

 — I still love this line, and I think it is important. This ‘being someone else’ – making ourselves new, is not only so desperately sought in our society – its also taught to us from babes .. the American Dream, the capitalist success …. The family man … the feminist narrative … all of it teaches us that we need to be better. That we need to want more and that progress, PROGRESS, is what will drive life. The fuel of self.

No self man. No self.

Someone we admire. Just like ‘them’ or Just like ‘her’. In some ways, our biggest fall from Grace is in our constant dissatisfaction with ourselves and our obsession to present to the world these phony outward facades. So much so that we have lost trust in those around us, for who knows what face, what words, lurk beneath the surface smile. I could go on about this forever, not to mention the fallout that has followed seeing us hide among technology and materials, anywhere void of real human emotions and expectations ( Facebook, cell phones… alcohol…) in fear of what being open to the world and its truths may bring. Love is toned down, so that it becomes  mere obligation to one another  – gone are the days of Shakespearean romance and holistic need.

Reality – one day we will realize that we are the same person we were to start with. and all this time, all these years, we have wasted – searching with broken wings for something that was never to be. We will wallow in bitter regret, pining after our stolen youth and our wasted fervor – as the truth actualizes itself.

 — I was so close. re-edit : “one day we will realize that we are no one person. And all this time, all these years we were searching for one self to adhere to our souls, we have been enlightened all along – searching with a winged promise that all we need is right here. We will sigh with a little regret, after the illusion of stolen youth and wasted fervour – but the truth will actualize itself. And we’re free.”

If only we had accepted ourselves – and worked within the mold to carve a life  – then, maybe, it would have been worth living. Then maybe, the regrets would cease and the pain would live a little further from the heart. And this pungent odor of irony and mockery would not poison our current state

I have hollowed myself to match the galloping emptiness that haunts my every breath. I have stopped trying to be whole, and rather, embraced nothingness and in-completion.

 — Keep embracing Sian. It’s the secret. The wholeness will not nourish.

Does it work? Do I feel I have mastered the art of escape from the Human Tragedy?


 — No. NO. But I will. I will.