Dear diary by Hemmie Martin
5th January 2015
I’ve learnt to smile when they enter my room, I’ve learnt to tip back the meds in my mouth, and I’ve learnt to eat when they present me with food. All this so I can hear them say that I’m doing well; my heart swells at those words as I know I’m managing to deceive them. I’m not well at all, dear diary, as well you know. But that’s our little secret.
6th January 2015
Lunch was vile today, but I smiled when they walked past my table, scooping the rice salad under a domed lettuce leaf; the perfect ruse. How stupid must they be if a fourteen-year-old girl can fool them? Ha.
The bloody psychologist loves the sound of her own frigging voice. She droned on about body image, social and peer pressure, and the need to love ourselves. I wanted to tell her we know all that, only she gets paid for spouting it out, and we get told we know jack-shit because we’re young. What they don’t get is that the youth rule the world; old people only rent a space, and we kick them out of when they get too mouthy. Fuck off now lady.
7th January 2015
It was visiting day today. Lucky me got a visit from my fat mum; she’s so gross. She told me, they say you’re doing well, and I laughed in her face. She gave me those puppy-dog eyes as though I beat her with the lead instead of taking her out for a walk.
She asked me what the food was like, and I told her it was like a five-star all-inclusive hotel. She smiled inanely. God I don’t want to be like her, in any way.
She bleated on about my school friends and what GCSE’s they were going to do in the future. I could tell she was disappointed at her lot. She can’t brag to the other mums about me, although she could brag I was the thinnest if she cared to. Ha.
8th January 2015
Since her visit yesterday, I’ve been a moody cow. I’ve forgotten why I should smile, take my meds, and eat. In fact, I threw my lunch across the dining room, and now I have to sit with the nurse later to discuss my feelings, as if that’s going to help. I’m going to keep my mouth shut; see how she copes with that.
1st February 2016
Hello diary, old friend. I’m sorry I stopped talking to you last year; I stopped talking to anyone for months. In fact, I became so ill, I was hospitalised as I was close to death; so close I could almost touch his gnarly face.
I thought I wanted to die, to free myself from this life that blackened my soul. I believed it so hard, I thought nothing would change my mind. Then I met her.
4th February 2016
Sorry about leaving you hanging yesterday, I was knackered. Where was I, oh yeah, Lizzie. I met her early last year in the eating disorder place before I went into hospital.
Lizzie’s a cool nurse, with dyed red hair, glasses, and a nose stud. I saw her as fat, but back then I thought anyone with plump cheeks rather than my sunken ones, was obese.
Anyway, she spent a lot of time listening to me, not judging or interrupting me, but listening, like a good friend would; I imagine, I’ve never had one. I could talk openly and freely, even swear if I wanted to. She didn’t get upset with me if I ranted at her, or sickly-sweet if I cried. She was just there, every week, just for me.
So now, a year later, I can’t feel my ribs or see my sharp cheekbones, I look almost normal. Almost. I still battle with my emotions and with certain foods, but Lizzie’s still around, and I attend a weekly therapy group she hooked me up with. There are some bitches there, but Lizzie said they’re everywhere, I just have to learn to cope with them, like she does.
You’ve been my constant companion, diary, but when times got tough, even you couldn’t help me. But Lizzie never gave up on me, even when I pushed her away. Maybe one day, I’ll be a mental health nurse like Lizzie. One day.
Hemmie Martin © 2016
Hemmie Martin spent most of her professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France, and currently lives in Essex with her husband. http://www.hemmiemartin.com
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