Notebook Fragments: 2018-2022

Content warnings: Mental illness, suicidality, self-harm, disordered eating, addiction, death, sexual assault.

Notebook Fragments: 2018-2022

(after Ocean Vuong)

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Obsessively worrying about my Ukrainian photojournalist ex-boyfriend was not what I had planned for this year. I fear that he will Get Shot while trying to get The Shot.

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I’m scared that one day I’ll forget what I’ve always been so angry about—then my life will no longer have an explanation, and my character won’t have a reason for being the way it is/I am.

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Never Have I Ever… felt more powerful than when that creepy man in the gym maintained eye contact with me for a moment too long and flew off his treadmill.

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Why do I keep writing to raise awareness about BPD? Because too many people still hear the term ‘personality disorder’ and think it means I have multiple personalities. I mean, I do, just not in the way that they wrongly assume.

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Very cute of me writing my sad little poems by candlelight like I’m Emily fucking Dickinson because I can’t afford to turn the lights on.

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Every time someone calls it ‘Notes from *THE* Underground’, I imagine Dostoyevsky on the Piccadilly line during rush hour, trying to write embittered monologues in his little notebook while getting slowly crushed to death. I think he’d have loved it.

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Things That Make My Daily 5km Run Difficult:

Running past the fish and chip shop.
Running past the ocakbaşı.
Running past the pizza place.
Running past the patisserie.

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Pain, that parasite, depends on me to be its host; suffering is the needy child, and I am the parent who never says ‘no.’

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The Biggest Lesson I Learned at University:

Blindly squeezing your tiny body through the gaps in your cage and jumping to your death is a far better fate than getting eaten by your mother.

[This refers to my housemate’s baby hamsters, but it’s still a hard relate.]

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As a child in Poland, my family always called me Nerwusie. I just looked up the English definition:

NERWUSIE — shakes, hothead, disgrace, high-strung, a worrier, twitchy, nervous type, restless, jitters, slugger, annoying, neurotic, bundle of nerves, edgy, jitterbug.

Incredible that I was all of those things when I was only seven years old.

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Reminder: organise a small party to celebrate the 8th anniversary of having my bipolar diagnosis rescinded.

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I mistakenly sent a mag a poem they’d rejected before, just with a different title. They accepted it the second time – same poem, same editors, same mag, just a different title. I have cheated the system. I have won Poetry!

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Furious that I can never enjoy the sight of a murder of crows ever again. Every time I see a crow, I immediately think of Ted Hughes, and get SO angry. Ugh. Bastard.

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Alexa: How many calories are there in a sugar-coated 500mg ibuprofen tablet? And can you multiply that by 8? Then multiply that by 7, then again by 52??? I’m trying to see something.

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The Second Biggest Lesson I Learned at University:

Don’t ever make somebody your Everything. Because, when they suddenly decide one day that they don’t love you anymore, you’ll have Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.

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Reminder: book day off work to spend crying on the 8th anniversary of receiving my borderline personality disorder diagnosis.

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Aspiring to maintain the same level of writerly consistency/deliberate thoughtfulness as Dante ending all three books of the Divine Comedy with the word ‘stelle.’

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Is it strange that I have so many little packets and boxes of different humans’ cremated remains residing in my flat? They just sit quietly on their respective shelves, they don’t affect me at all. But now I’m wondering if they should?

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NEVER EVER LOOK UP YOUR OWN BOOK ON GOODREADS.

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When I tweet a Very Good Poem: 10 likes, 5 people unfollow me.
When I tweet a Not Very Good Selfie: 1000 likes, 50 people follow me.

Social media is fucking RIDICULOUS. Sick of it.

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From now on, I will always know how to spell haemorrhage.

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Spent this morning reliving the embarrassment of walking past Her Majesty The Queen while wearing a COMME DES FUCKDOWN slogan t-shirt, men’s boxer shorts and flip-flops. Did a silly little curtsey as well, hungover as fuck. Mortified.

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I am the type of tired that cannot be cured with sleep. I wear this exhaustion like a skin—I can’t imagine ever shedding it.

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Today at the office I told [redacted] that I’m ‘the type of tired that cannot be cured with sleep’ and he suggested that I take iron tablets. Like, no, MY SOUL is tired because of trauma/grief /capitalism/Tories/men in general. I’m not anaemic, you absolute bellend.

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When people come round to my flat, they look at the claret stains on the walls/ceilings/floors and find themselves privately playing the game, Is That Blood or Hair Dye? I keep my sleeves down to add to the mystery.

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Laughing remembering that deal I made with myself: “As soon as that plant dies, I’m leaving him.” The plant is still fucking thriving.

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Forever baffled by the number of “writers” who constantly moan about “hating writing.” Like, okay, so don’t fucking write then? If you hate it so much, simply don’t do it. Nothing bad will happen if you stop doing a hobby that you profess to loathe, that makes you miserable—in fact, your life will improve if you spend your time doing something that brings you joy, something that you love. It really is that simple.

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H, if you hate [drugs]/[smoking]/[binge eating] so much, simply don’t do it. Hahahaha.

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I have to die before my cat does.

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Why I Don’t Gamble:

1) That time when I put £5 each way on Cornish Cowboy. Dad always bet on that horse, so I bet on it on his behalf, as he would’ve done were he still here. And it DIED. Cornish Cowboy died. Broke its leg during the race and was promptly shot. Guiltguiltguilt.

2) I do not have the money to gamble with in the first place.

3) I have enough addictions as it is.

4) Winning doesn’t suit me.

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These twisted tangerine sunrises would mean so much more to me if you weren’t standing beside me with your arm around my neck telling me how much it means to you to watch the sun rise with me.

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I will never know what people see when they see me. However I am certain that if I met me for the first time and looked at my self with objective eyes, I’d still utterly repulse myself.

The number of days that I am too ugly to leave the house will soon outweigh the number of days that I feel my face is okay-looking enough to go outside. The temptation to disappear altogether…

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I’m scared that you don’t remember all the things about us that I do.

Or worse: you do remember, but you really don’t want to.

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Very frightening knowing that my brain could switch to psychosis at any given moment. What if it happens again??? I can’t go through that again. I can’t. I won’t. The next time will surely kill me. But when will The Next Time be? I’m so scared. I am terrified of my own brain. It is a horrible way to live—perpetually frightened of your own mind, of its propensity to murder you or, at the very least, destroy your life on a whim. I have learnt in recent years to treat my brain with the respect it deserves, to try to appease it, and yet I’m still (and always will be) at its mercy, begging it not to keep hurting me, to just give me one day off, please.

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I’m confused about consenting to sex when you’re in a relationship. I shouldn’t be confused, but I am. Because I said I didn’t want to. I said I really didn’t want to. But…

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Worried that I didn’t vomit up the Twix quickly enough. Fucksake. Idiot.

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I need to leave him I need to leave him I need to leave him I need to leave him I NEED to LEAVE HIM.

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It’s not that everything is wrong, it’s just that nothing is right. Nothing is right.

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Crying after reading an old poem of mine. It’s not a particularly sad one—actually, it’s quite fun and romantic—but I’m crying at the memory of it. The memory of us drunkenly cartwheeling down the silent corridor of another nameless hotel that summer, the summer of the Tottenham Riots. The memory of you standing at the bottom of that stairwell. The memory of you telling me to jump, telling me to trust you, telling me you’d catch me. And I did, and I did, and you did. The memory of you promising me you’d make me happy. And you did. The memory of you promising me you’d never let me go. But you did.

 


Originally published by Roi Fainéant Press here (October 2022).

 

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