What is my struggle?

This post isn’t about diagnoses. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what is underneath all my behaviours. Why did I develop mental health issues?
I believe that I struggle to form boundaries with people in my life. If I become attached, then I want people’s care and conversation as much as possible, but I never know where the line is. I put myself last in order to do things for other people, as I struggle to say no to people.
I am also not terribly affected by social trends. While that means I have my own opinions about life, it does mean I have no problem ignoring social occasions if I don’t feel like it. Isolating becomes easy if you don’t feel the need to be “cool” or do something because “everyone else is”.
I also hate negative emotions. They are overwhelming and disabling for me. I can’t articulate my feelings at the times when it would be most beneficial, so everything is stuck in my mind.
I am a perfectionist. I set high standards for myself and never feel satisfied. I am very good at comparing myself against others- always coming out worse off, but very bad at praising my own work.
And finally: I am exceptional at only thinking in extremes. I have never really experienced the middle ground. I don’t remember life before my struggle, so all that’s left is my beliefs about success and failure. There’s no grey between the two….

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Thursday tips: Anxiety

Nobody is probably going to read this, but I’ve thought about having a day each week to devote a post to positive content. I want to spread useful info, and be able to use my blog to express things I’ve personally learned along my journey.

So. Anxiety.
Anxiety sucks. It really makes you feel useless. You can’t escape, you can’t control it, you feel something that most people don’t feel anything about.
Whatever your anxiety focuses on, I’ve learned that it builds up quietly. Recognise yourself overthinking, perhaps feel a bit flustered, or whatever the signs are for you.

When anxiety strikes I do one of these:
1. Breathe in for 3, out for 4 (or anything with a longer exhale than inhale)
2. Write down every anxious thought and throw the paper away
3. Think of a calm place. Imagine the details. Describe the colours of things in your mind. Count how many trees (insert your own) there are.

Anxiety is adrenaline; it feels so intense, but the reality is calm. Know that anxiety physiologically WILL pass. The body naturally lowers anxiety levels.

Xx

Thank you for reading my blog.

I just wanted to say how grateful I am for this website. To think that even one person reads my posts makes me feel less alone with my struggles.
I also hope that my blog allows other people like me to realise that other people are just like you, and that recovery is achievable.
I feel a connection to people I’ve never met, and a strong desire to support anyone who takes the time to read my posts. I love getting comments, and I hope that people find comfort in writing and reading blogs.. I know I do!
I struggle so much to identify and articulate my feelings aloud, so this is of massive importance to me.
Thank you for following me 🙂
Xx anadancer

Dieting doesn’t mean you “know how I feel”

I know being on a diet can make you obsess over food, or develop lethargy from under eating, but the person in my life who diets think that they understand everything about eating disorders.
Knowing about calories doesn’t mean you know how it feels to eat when you have an eating disorder.

Your taste buds are soaring as the piece of food hits your tongue. Everything tastes different after restriction in my eating disorder. My body craves food in a way that makes it feel like a drug.
But the moment of flavour and enjoyment passes. It’s like you can feel the weight and fat crawling all over you. It’s too much. You can’t think about anything but making it all ok. You have to do something. Thoughts race.
Purge. Exercise. Restrict more. Anything. Now.
It’s the adrenaline that fear brings which makes you almost lose touch with reality. Soon, everyday is about this avoidance of food, the moment of eating and then immediate regret.
That’s not like a diet.

Lasting words.

We all have those memories of specific things people said in the past. For me, the easiest ones to access are all the bad ones. In under ten seconds I could easily rattle off a list of condemning, spiteful things I’ve been told by others. To turn it around, tonight I am posting all those painful ones alongside some of my best memories.

HURTFUL:
1. You are selfish
2. You are greedy
3. You are fat
4. She did better than you
5. You’ve messed up
6. If you don’t want to get fat then why don’t you stop eating?!
7. You are fucking thin. I can’t watch this anymore
8. C***

WONDERFUL
1. You blew me away
2. You are hilarious
3. You’re so clever
4. I’m proud of you tonight
5. I can’t wait to see you
6. I love you
7. I love teaching you
8. I don’t know what I would do without you

Letter to a stranger.

In Kati Morton’s video on Friday, the journal topic was to think about what you’d tell a stranger about life. So, here’s my letter:
Dear stranger,
I hear you’re new and looking for some advice. I want to tell you to treasure every second of time you spend with the people you love. You never know when people will no longer be in your life. Make the effort to maintain friendships; these are the people who will make you laugh no matter how low you feel.
I want you to know that life isn’t always easy, but appreciating the good times will make the hard parts seem less difficult.
Don’t waste your time living in the past (although reminiscing about happy memories is allowed!). Take each moment as it comes, and try not to set expectations of your future.
Work hard, have confidence, treat yourself with kindness.
Strive not to be perfect, but to be caring and happy.
Your body does not define you. Your thoughts do not define you. Be individual, and most of all, make your wellbeing and happiness a priority.
Good luck!
Xx