Haven for the living Princess and the Pea



A founder of hsphaven, Zoe hopes to create a space for HSP writers to come together and share their diverse passions and expertise through writing. This has been an important outlet for Zoe over the years; she fondly recalls writing stories as a child at recess and lunchtime and sharing them with her classmates. Some of Zoe’s areas of interest include mental health, healing and self-development. She has a background in psychology/social science. In her spare time Zoe enjoys being in Nature, op shopping, vegan food, music, and art and craft.


Today I went to a hoarding and clutter support group. I don’t know when my hoarding started. I guess I’ve always liked “collecting” things, but this has got out of hand. I mainly hoard clothing. I now own two chests of drawers which I can barely close. I have a large wardrobe which is also stuffed with clothes. The rail is all bent and about to snap under the weight of so many clothes hanging off it. There are bags and piles of clothes sitting in my room. While some people in the support group managed to have a garage sale, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point. I just filled garbage bags and large plastic containers with some of the clothes and moved them under the house. Now my problem festers away under the house for only the rodent baiter to see. I also store some of the clothes at my dad’s house (one of the good things about my parents separating!). Continue reading “Hoarding”

I am not made for this world

I just woke up after finally having slept the night. It is the morning, which is unusual for me; I usually sleep until at least 2pm providing nothing wakes me. While I got enough sleep, I have the whole day ahead of me and nothing meaningful to fill it with. My depression does not like this one bit. Suddenly everything comes crashing down on me. It is like that moment Elizabeth Wurtzel talks about in Prozac Nation, where one day you realise that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live. I want to cry. I hear the low rumble of the cars outside as they accelerate round the round about and go up the hill. Such is my life, going round and round, getting nowhere. I don’t even have the basics, such as sleep and a home. No where feels like home. Wherever I go, my senses are assaulted. The world intrudes through my walls. Yesterday I left my dad’s house where I was being woken at 10am by the neighbour. The neighbour is always in his yard hammering, working, making noise. The worst part is that I can’t complain because it is during the day. But when you can’t sleep at night, only during the day, it is torture. As a person with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, 10am is like the middle of the night for me. I had taken some sleeping pills at daybreak and finally got to sleep, only to be woken two hours later. I dragged myself and my doona into another room but it was just as loud. Not even earplugs could block out the noise. I felt invaded and like there was no escape. I wanted to kill myself. I called my case worker and left a message on his answering phone but he didn’t call back. He never did. Finally I heaved my exhausted self into the car and drove to my mum’s place.

I don’t know where to start untangling the mess my life has become. But it would certainly help to have a home, a sanctuary away from people, noise and pollution. A place I can call my own. I have been everywhere the past few months as I search for some respite: on a farm, at my dad’s house, at my mum’s house, in hospital. My suitcase sits on the floor of my dad’s house untouched. I’m too depressed to unpack it. It may as well stay packed as I will probably use it again soon anyway.

People are not safe, especially mental health workers

Winter has set in, and it’s like this whole world has grown colder and colder. I’ve been having a rift with my psychologist. While once I would write her many emails a week, I no longer confide in her. I have few other ways of coping though. Badminton used to give me a break from everything. I enjoyed seeing my team each week, but then I was not allowed to play as I was not vaccinated. I was replaced by someone else, which was incredibly painful and triggering for me, and my team continued without me. The vaccine mandate has lifted now and I assumed I would be able to play again next season. But last weekend I got a text from the old lady who organises badminton asking me if I wanted to play full time next season IF a space becomes available. I was already primed to bite, and I did bite. Continue reading “People are not safe, especially mental health workers”

Eating disorder, wanting to be taken care of, attachment to therapists

I don’t look forward to bedtime. I’ve been lying awake all night and have to take sleeping pills to get any sleep. I cannot hide in the dark. My dreams are confronting and disturbing, and emotions bubble to the surface. I am losing weight, and while this is what I wanted, it comes at a severe price physically. Last night I was thinking about all this and it was as though a tsunami hit me. A few tears even escaped my rein, which is rare for me. It did not do justice to the enormous emotions that clawed at my insides, unable to find expression. Even as I write this post I’m struggling to find the words to describe the distress I felt last night. I hated what I am doing to myself. I thought about all the consequences of this, such as getting hairy, organ damage, getting terribly sick if I get covid, and even death (though I’m not too worried about the latter as I’m not crash hot being here anyway). Some people are never the same even when their weight is restored. I want to stop, but I fear I’m in too deep. It feels good to step on the scales and see my weight go down, almost addictive. I have already lost a few kilos, and while I try to tell myself that my weight is good now, that it’s fine, that I am skinny enough, that I can fit into my favourite skirt again, this thing in me is greedy. It wants to lose more and more. It’s trying to prove a point. At the rate I’m going in two and half months I will be back down to my lowest weight ever, the weight that had everyone concerned. I even cringe when I look at photos of myself from back then. It feels like I’m watching a car crash in slow motion. I can see the impending doom, I know there’s going to be pain and suffering, but I’m stuck in the car. I feel like there’s not much I can do to stop it. This thing is a desperate, last-ditch attempt to deal with my situation which I feel I have absolutely no control over. Getting my weight down makes me feel like I can elicit some kind of change in my life. I feel both in control and out of control at the very same time. I feel possessed (and there is a great song here about how it feels to have an eating disorder constantly speaking to you). A part of me wants to make mental health workers worry. I want them to do something. I have suffered enough. It shouldn’t have to take an eating disorder for them to not let me walk out the door and suffer another week alone. I want to be put in hospital, but I also don’t want anyone to stop me. I will continue this even in hospital. I don’t want to be force fed. Honestly I don’t know what I want from people. I feel completely torn up right now. I wish I could enjoy my food again without feeling like a failure and like I have to make up for it with exercise and more restricting. Continue reading “Eating disorder, wanting to be taken care of, attachment to therapists”

Down the rabbit hole

I dug out a zine I made when I was in hospital in March 2019. I made it using some articles and stuff I had already printed, plus newspapers and brochures from the hospital, which I think was pretty creative. I cut them secretly on the floor of my room behind my bed with the nail scissors I had smuggled in, something which the hospital usually confiscates so you can’t hurt yourself with them. The doctor thought I was psychotic, but I don’t agree. I think in many ways I had a sharper view of reality. I was deeply troubled by the state of the world. I felt persecuted and violated by the world. I was obviously very depressed, but I also had a hell of a lot of creative energy and ideas which makes me think I was a bit manic at the time too. I believe they call it a “mixed episode”. It’s been a long time since I’ve made anything. I closed my Etsy shop as I didn’t care about my zines anymore. I was too depressed to print and post them, but today I feel a little brighter and I think I might re-open my shop again. The zines and memoirs I’ve written over the years are really good, if I’m allowed to say so myself. I might start with some electronic copies, which are much easier to deliver than print copies. I thought I’d share some of the pages of the zine I made in hospital in the midst of my madness. It is raw and messy but it is a glimpse into my mind. I hope it might be somewhat relatable and of comfort to someone out there. I’m sorry the pictures won’t enlarge, but I think you can get a closer look at them by pressing ctrl and + . Continue reading “Down the rabbit hole”

Eating disorders and the war between self-harm and self-care

I went for a walk with my dad last night and on the way back a possum ran in front of the car. It was badly injured. My dad and I were both shaken by the incident. I managed to get the possum in a blanket, put it in a box and we took it to a vet. But sadly the vet said it will most likely have to be euthanised. Continue reading “Eating disorders and the war between self-harm and self-care”


I dream about you again. I am a teenager and you gently stroke my hair back before leaving. You don’t care that it’s oily and unkept. You continue to love me even at my worst.

I am usually indifferent to touch. It means nothing to me. But when you touch me I feel emotion. I feel safety. I feel love. This is what touch is meant to feel like.

Please, don’t leave me in this world which assaults me, in one form or another, every day. Don’t tease me with love, don’t dangle in front of me something I can never have. I wish I died in my sleep last night with you by my side. I wish I never woke up. Dreaming is my escape from my monochrome life. I only wish I could bottle my dreams, take them back with me when I wake up, and re-experience them like watching a favourite DVD again and again.

Negligent mental health system

I was born with a soul that is way too sensitive for this cold, noisy and ugly world. I have always felt things deeply and differently than most people. I want to go home, to my true spiritual home. It is not here. I have suffered most of my life and I am tired. This is why I tried to kill myself Saturday evening. The dog next door wouldn’t stop barking and I felt like there was no escape. I was tired of suffering. Continue reading “Negligent mental health system”

Fine on the outside

I lie on my hospital bed with earplugs in my ears to soften the announcements that blast from the overly loud speaker in the ceiling. They are codes, mostly Code “Grey”. I feel a surge of envy every time a code is announced. Not, of course, for the distress and suffering of the person involved. What I envy is that their pain is visible and now they will be receiving all this attention. If there was one thing I miss about my time on marijuana was the way it lifted a lid in me and everything that I really felt came gushing out like a burst water main. That night, two people saw the real me. Continue reading “Fine on the outside”

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