I’ve realised lately that sometimes I’d rather not try, than fail. Making an excuse is easier than opening myself up to one of my big fears: failure, letting myself down, not being good enough.
An example of this is therapy. I’ve been told many times before that it’s important to try and negate what my eating disorder tells me, and to develop healthy responses. However, my feeling has always been
I can’t do the healthy thing, so I will be no good at this. What’s the point trying?
The point of trying (I learned today in my therapy session), is that it happens in steps. First of all, I need to create the brain space and give some time of day to those healthy, alternative thoughts. If I could act on them 24/7 then I wouldn’t have an eating disorder! (This was a light bulb moment 😂).
I need to get good at not being good at things. I need to be able to try, and feel ok when I can’t be perfect. Thinking about it, my eating disorder is what wants me to remain fearful of failing. That’s another way it can keep me stuck.
I hope the process of therapyI’ve just started with help me unstick ❤️
I’m currently reading the Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) big book and workbook. I’ve done my step 1 work, and have started on step 2, in which I need to find a purpose or power bigger than myself to keep my focus and give me strength. For some this might be God, but I’m not religious. There are several suggestions and explanations, though nothing has struck me as the one just yet!
Fate and the idea of the universe rewarding hard work are some ideas I’ve thought of. My purpose needs to be more than to be a performer (I think), as it needs to be something to remind me that I’m a tiny part of the world when I’m sucked into spiralling thoughts, and to motivate me to be my best.
It’s not recommended to use being a good daughter/Mum/girlfriend etc, so I need to do some thinking about myself. What makes me feel truly connected to the world? What can be stronger than my fears day in, day out?
🤔 *any experience with this is welcome!*
For some reason that I’m unsure of, tonight feels lonely. I’m not alone, but I feel that way with all the thoughts in my mind.
My routine is becoming more organised. I now have certain dance classes and support groups I attend. Lists, as always, are my friend. I write down my weekly plans, as well as silly to do’s and enjoy crossing them off.
Aside from food thoughts tonight, my brain is circling on unanswerable questions.
If I get the benefit, how much will it be?
If I don’t get it, when and where could I realistically work (health and time wise) as a temporary measure in order to pay for the classes etc that I need to keep doing so I’m still working towards getting another job in the industry?
Am I doing the right thing by signing up to try something new in January? What if my strength lets me down?
What if I don’t get better?
What if I fail? At getting better, in my career, in life?
Does anyone have any answers? People at the back? Anyone?! No… well, just me on my own then. Seriously speaking, I know I can’t answer these questions right now. Nobody can! I’d just like to know what’s coming and whether I can handle it, but life just isn’t like that.
As usual, I’ve had the desire to write but not enough to say/motivation to do it umpteen times. At last, I’m actually posting.
The past year has shown me that I am very adaptable. I’ve moved countries twice, and returned in the middle to a new family home in a new city (that I’d never seen). Those kind of big changes are always going to have some challenges, but I was able to ride out the initial discomfort and prove to myself I could do it. Patience with myself isn’t something I find easy. In fact, I’m one of the least patient people I know.
The problem with having a problem with patience, is that in life we are always waiting for something. Be it a job, a partner, Christmas, or the arrival of a parcel, it could be easy to constantly feel impatient about something.
My current feeling of discomfort and lack of patience is tangible. I’m awaiting to hear back from an audition, while also waiting to hear back from my therapist about whether I need more intensive treatment. A great combination, huh? I don’t know yet how I feel. My tiredness from my last contract plus years of ED tiredness means a next job seems daunting. Am I in a place right now where I can do it? Would a rejection be a blessing in disguise? Deep down do I want more intensive treatment? You don’t know? Me either 😂
My point is, I can mull it over a thousand times, but until I’m presented with all the choices it’s just my impatience and anxiety wasting my energy. I need to make a promise to myself to enjoy being at home, adapting back to family life, and do proactive things (however small).
As somebody who knows all too well how painful it is to hate yourself, I want to remind you that you are loved. What you see in the mirror or on the scales bears no reflection to the beautiful person the rest of us know. Like me, you are getting sucked in to viewing the world through a lens that focuses on thin vs fat as a decider of happiness. That lens is a liar. It blurs the other things in your life, until years have passed and you haven’t enjoyed the things you should have. Don’t let that be you, you deserve so much more.
Whatever your mind tells you, one more time (be it one more restrictive day, one more pound lost, one more laxative/sit up/purge) will never satisfy you. The feelings won’t go away by the methods that caused them.
As my friend, I hold you very highly in my life, and your happiness is important to me. In fact, seeing you succeed fills me with so much joy that it can make my own difficulties that little bit quieter.
You are deserving of love- the love you have in your life already, and the love you should be giving yourself. Body confidence and security is a challenge for many people, partly because lots of things around us are photoshopped or posed, and most people would only post their best bits on social media. It’s human nature to experience self doubt, as we all feel a little lost in life at times. However, you are beautiful and talented just as you are.
If health is your goal, your body will gain strength and vitality with you; if a diet is the focus, it won’t ever happen in the way you desire it. Of course, I’m not at the end of the journey either. In fact, right now isn’t so easy for me either. But that’s ok.
All the love in the world
Maybe some of you guys have a friend who might also need to hear this. Feel free to repost or share if you do!
I often think about things over and over, sometimes ruminating so much that I achieve nothing useful.
The darkness of British weather is pretty depressing, and life is hectic right now, so for a change I am writing a post to brainstorm all the ways I can cope.
-extra classes after hours
-skype call friends
-have hot baths
-read a book
-make a new playlist
-watch a series from the beginning
-send cards to friends
-do my Christmas shopping!!!
If you’re struggling, maybe making a list might help you too
In therapy, I have recently been talking about how disordered behaviour of any kind is often a form of defense. Until I was spoken to and questioned, and I didn’t know that I was protecting myself from feeling like a failure, the worst person. Take my school years for example: I never had a detention or forgot my homework; in fact I wouldn’t have been able to handle being told off at all. Even when my whole class was being lectured about something or other, I always felt some level of guilt or upset about it (even though I would never have done anything wrong!)
How does this happen? How does the mind form thought processes that become so cemented, but are so abnormal? Who knows…. all I know is that this has been a problem for me since I was very young.
I have a friend who recently came out of the closet, and he always says that he would choose to be straight if he could, but he was born gay. He doesn’t believe that you can choose your sexuality- just like I believe you can be born with a high chance of developing mental illness. Regardless of the circumstances I was born in to, I’m pretty sure I would have ended up this way anyway. My personality makes me drive myself to be perfect, makes me punish and berate myself for mistakes, and makes me someone who will be treated badly to avoid conflict. I would never be somebody to voice other people’s wrong doings, I just suck it all in and translate it into some kind of personal flaw.
My bubble of ed behaviours, depressive and anxious thoughts/ actions feel safe and comfortable, and temporarily relieve whatever given emotion I feel compelled to numb, but really it is protecting me from being. I can’t think only of the present moment, and when I can do that, it is always a negative focus on a present error or imperfection. I simply don’t understand how the average person thinks and behaves, as from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep my mind is full of this little voice that shouts all these horrible things.
I am at a really tough place in my illness at the moment. I spend time (invountarily) thinking about self harm, calories, food, weight, my worth, my insecurity, my anxiety, and whether I’d be better off dead.
After beginning to think things like “why don’t I just walk into this road and die,” I got prescribed antidepressants. So far, nothing is particularly different, as they take a while to kick in.
In a CBT session today I had to talk about negative experiences I had when growing up. Of course, these included things like a period of having multiple panic attacks a day, or my lowest/ highest weights, when I first self harmed etc. The therapist said it sounded as though I wasn’t at my worst in some ways at the present moment.
I am more mature. When I panic now, I know what a panic attack is, as opposed to the early days in my anxiety when I had no clue what was happening to me. And in terms of my ed, everything is habitual. Sure, it is stressful. but those around me know me as the “me” I am WITH my ed, which makes me appear more normal that I actually am.
I am not better. I am in a horrendous mind frame. I am sick of wasting my life. I am so happy to be pursuing my dream career, but I am speechlessly unhappy with the way that my feeling and emotions are tainting that. I constantly think that I need to be in a mental unit. I can’t live my life like this.
Tonight I am home alone. All of my housemates have gone out, and so I am enjoying the bliss that is getting some time alone. I love working with other people. I love having people around, but there comes a point where I just want to be alone. They don’t really understand it but I don’t care, as this is simply the way I am. Having time to myself gives me a breather from some of the more annoying housemates, which, when you have quite a lot of problems of your own as it is, feels like a miracle! I try to be tolerant and patient with others, but it is not always easy to hold back from going crazy when you are struggling physically and emotionally and then get provoked by complete ignorance and selfishness. (Some of them are absolutely lovely people. but sadly not all of them!)
Anyways, my college week has been pretty good. Everyday I am grateful for being in a place where I get to do what I love all day. 🙂 It is only one week until the half term holiday though, and the looming thought of adjusting to being at home again for a few days is creeping up on me. My exercise addiction is really getting on top of me too. Any moment I am sitting makes me feel like a failure, and so i find myself constantly jiggling or getting up and doing anything I can think of to keep me on my feet!
Night for now…
To sum it up, today (and this week actually) has been quite a mixture! From receiving really exciting news, to feeling terrified about the coming week, to feeling in and out of control with food, it has all been going on this week!
At the moment, I just want everything to be steady whether that entails endless food/ exercise calculations or list making or whatever, all my little plans have to go PERFECTLY. When they don’t, I seem unable to hold myself together emotionally and some form of punishment follows.
Right now it is quarter past midnight and I am marching in place, where I will be for the next 4 hours.
On Monday I have a really busy schedule and so tomorrow just has to go to plan: I must reach the bottom of my to do list, I must do all my planned exercises exactly, and I must eat an acceptable number of calories (restriction-wise) in order to feel prepared for it. Reading this all back makes me realise that my mental calmness shouldn’t come from controlling my life like this, but it does and I can’t change that when I have some really important stuff going on at the moment.
I never find myself wishing life was easier; I always find myself wishing that I could have more control and be thinner, never feel like I have food in me, never run out of time to do things.