You cannot grow on a diet. You cannot grow while, at the same time, wanting to be small. You cannot grow upwards and beyond without allowing yourself to grow outwards.

Six years ago. A pudgy, rosy faced girl. Me, twelve years old. I had matured quickly, my mother would say. I was all curves, hips and breasts by the time I was ten. I bled first when I was eleven. I was a woman now, my mother said. A woman, now.

You cannot feel the sea air or sand on your toes or silk on your back or cigarette smoke…


Wanting is a burning. A yearning, somewhere between your ribs and spine. For me, I want to want to get better. That is the most difficult part of recovery, in my eyes. Once you want to get better, you can begin to do so. It is the push, the labour of forcing positivity and work from you that is hard, but it is the wanting of the beginning of that, that is even more difficult.

I do not want to get better. That may sound as if I am sitting contently in the unhappiness. As if I am allowing myself…


I am cleaning out my room and I come across a box. There is a thin layer of dust veiling the contents from me. I blow, scattering it everywhere, and open the lid. Inside is a batman mask, a journal, a painting and an assortment of other seemingly meaningless objects. Junk, as my mother would say. I root through it, carefully pulling out every item and examining it, running my fingers over them, and smiling. The batman mask I had gotten in a happy meal on my first date with a girl, when I was fifteen, nearly three years ago…


I sit in the back of class, hands slack, eyes wide. I am not high. I wish I was high. No, I am just disassociating.

Have you ever felt your heartbeat in your fingertips? I pick up a pen, fumble, drop it. No one looks at me. I wonder: am I really here? I hope I am. If I was not, where could I be? On the grass, outside the window. Not far away. I do not want to have to take a bus. I do not like public transport. No, I would lie in the grass, feel the blades…

Isobel Tiernan

A young writer from the middle of nowhere in Ireland. Poetry lover, Irish speaker and Guiness drinker.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store