for years, I couldn’t even type that word
let alone say vomit out loud
I trawled endless forums
full of people like me
so terrified of the power of it
that they replaced the latter half of the word
with an asterisk.
like Voldemort
the bodily function that must not be named
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and still now,
fifteen years after I hid in the living room
behind the itchy green sofa
listening to you moan as
mother and sister heaved you up
out of a stinking pool of chemo-puke
the smell permeating through the wall,
I am still sitting and fucking shivering
at the mention of a stomach ache
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to let it steal
any more hours from my life
I don’t want to spend hours cycling
through every single thing I’ve touched in
the last forty-eight hours
I don’t want to lie awake with
poisonous adrenaline pumping through my blood
I don’t want to.
I don’t want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to lie awake
convincing myself that my
obsessive handwashing will save me
I don’t want to
explain to him why I stay up for hours
paralysed with fear
I don’t want to
explain to him that there have been times
I thought I’d rather die
than spend a minute with my head in a toilet
I don’t want to anymore
I don’t
fucking want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and I don’t want it



the sink is my
porcelain paradise
running water and
safe smells of soap
my porcelain paradise
my porcelain prison.

contamination lurks
all around it,
once-friendly taps and
plastic bottles
seek to ruin my
little ritual with their
looming possibilities of infection

an elbow to the door,
the faucet,
a towel to turn the water on,
little fingers to turn handles and
the indexes to scratch itches.
everything feels dirty
and wrong
no matter how rigidly
I stick to my
fucking stupid little ritual

I sit in my bed,
another prison of comfort
surrounded by my things
my things that were
so clean this morning
now besmirched and dirtied
by what I
fear so greatly

I am a lapdog prisoner
content to lock the door
of my own cell,
to bolt the windows
and suffer
even though
freedom would be so much

but so full of danger.
I should be done with it,
and cut my own hands off.


a poem to calm your anxious thoughts, some words to soothe your troubled mind. you have survived everything. you are still here. 

everything is lovely
don’t you worry,
don’t you worry.

I know you can
see the monsters,
my darling.

but I promise,
that they will not hurt us,
I promise you.

it’s not bloody wounds
that you see on
your sacred thighs,

it’s not acid
that you feel bubbling
in your throat.

I promise,
my darling,
that it will all turn to gold

if you can
just hang in long enough
to see it transform.

kindness is queen,
so treat your own heart
with sweet compassion.

the rest will follow,
the rest will follow.