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 ❤️
The phrase New Year, New Me implies that the ring of midnight magically transforms us via some kind of witchcraft. In my view, the equation is more like:
New Year + Self awareness + Hard work = New Me.
It isn’t so catchy, is it? In the past, I have thought about the year gone by/ my hopes for the coming one, but never made firm resolutions. (I do however like to make a mini bucket list for the year, such as shows I want to watch, or a place I’m keen to visit)
This year I want to hold myself more accountable and make goals. Perhaps I’ve been scared of failing at my resolutions, and so held back from making any in past years. I’m open to the idea that what I want could change in the course of the next 12 months, and that’s okay. For now though, here are my first proper resolutions:
- Pass my driving test
- Take therapy as it comes, and know that recovery is possible if I decide that’s what I want to fully commit to
- (Hopefully) become strong at aerial (if I like it after my first session next week!)
- Utilise the online 12 step meetings for eating disorders. Keep going even if I feel unsure about my own desire right now
- Do little things for myself more often- paint my nails more, do face masks, watch a favourite film…
- Do my best. Don’t let the possibility of failing stop me from trying all of these things.
Good wishes for the last day of 2017, and a happy new year when it arrives for you
This week I have attended 3 support groups (one for the first time!) and my first 12 step meeting in person. It was a very spontaneous plan, as a friend invited me to something I wouldn’t have gone to on my own. (I say it was my first, when I technically went to ABA once irl but I turned up and it was one, elderly man, and so I’m not sure it counted to be honest 😂)
Anyway, I’m glad I went. I was fortunate to be present for a very inspiring talk by a woman who has clearly reaped the rewards of committing to recovery. She was funny, insightful, and truthful. I felt privileged that she was my first experience, as I related to things she said, and I liked how she was able to find humour in things that have brought great darkness into her life in the past.
To see my friend be confident and honest in this setting also felt quite special. It was a pleasure to be welcomed into something that is now a big part of her life.
It also made me reflect on myself and on the last year or so. While I have learned lessons as a person and a professional in that time, I feel I have gained knowledge but not action in terms of my mental health. I am absolutely more self aware than I was at the beginning of my issues, and I am absolutely able to recognise some of the patterns and main things I find challenging, but fear has held me back from making consistent change. The fear of what is under the surface and of whether I am able to handle it is a very powerful force. But I see that people are doing it everyday.
I have goals for 2018 like passing my driving test (look out world), but my greatest commitment (and the reason I’m even at home right now) has to be ME. My emotional and physical health has to be a priority of mine. I am grateful that I have a loving family and friends who will always support me, but they can’t do it on my behalf.
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!
Good question, self. Why are you so blue?! And that’s the funny thing about depression: you can have a good life, but feel bad.
I’ve felt considerably more depressed in the past, but it’s a feature of my everyday at the minute nevertheless- and that’s annoying. Most mornings I wake up and I’m ok. Not happy or sad really. I will get a few things done (sometimes with a lot of procrastination and questioning whether I have the energy to do them first), and then this nothingy feeling comes over me. I get in a state where I feel almost empty and I want to cry or talk about it, but in the moment I don’t even have the energy to do either.
I have this imagined life in my mind where I’m able to get up with relative ease, begin the to do’s for the day, eat without too much thought or guilt, and also do the things that fulfil me most. There are occasional times when I feel like I’m a superhero and my whirlwind of getting anything and everything done happens all at once. I will be in a flow and feel really good about it. Unfortunately, I don’t often feel like I’m doing enough with myself. I don’t know if this is being worsened by the fact there are so many big life changes that are recent or upcoming at the moment, but it’s on my brain a lot!
Depression likes to sneak in there and make me think my best bet would be to lay in bed and hibernate.
I admit it, this is hard.
I graduated from a professional performing arts college in mid- July. I’m now attending auditions, trying to keep up my skills and working towards getting that golden first job. The worst thing is that you can’t control when that time is going to come, because sometimes you get cut in the first round because of how you look, or because of some reason that doesn’t relate to ability that you’ll never be told about. I could be too short for one thing, too tall for another- it’s luck of the draw (and sometimes there aren’t any clear guidelines so you have to turn up and find out if it’s for you or not!)
In some ways I like the responsibility of my own fitness and health and life in general, but equally, it’s a heavy load. It isn’t as easy to work on your split leaps as it is to keep up an academic skill leve, I don’t know, like a maths degree or something!
Right now I’m sat in a Starbucks feeling a bit crappy. They made my frappucino taste like shit and I just received an email from an audition to let me know I didn’t get the part. Although I don’t have huge confidence in my abilities, I do have huge passion. I know I really want a performing job; and I also know that patience is not my strong point. Perhaps something better is on the cards, but it’s difficult to feel positive when you have no idea what and when your path will head in a direction you’re aiming for.
I won’t ever get feedback to know why something didn’t go in my favour (which does make it feel less personal I suppose) but also leaves my mind free to wander! How invested I feel in each potential job varies according to how much warning and preparation there was for it. It’s easier to let it go when it hasn’t been on my mind beforehand for very long.
My mental illnesses take up a lot of brain space, and that can make it hard to figure out my identity & what kind of person I am without all of those struggles.
1. Close friendships are very important to me. I’m not interested in meeting heaps of new people, or socialising in large groups. But if I’m your friend I could discuss life with you for hours! Those one on one relationships are of great value to me, and I try to be thoughtful and loyal to the small group of people who matter to me.
2. I find it hard to admit I’m wrong. Most of the time I won’t make comments that I’m unsure about, but if I say something that’s incorrect then I HATE that I’m wrong. It’s imperfect, and I get cross at myself.
3. I like going for walks in the woods/ fields/ somewhere pretty. Quiet walks are soooo relaxing to me. (Especially if I’m staying with my parents and can take my dog!)
4. I am uncomfortable with conflict. I can’t deal with anger and find it best for my own sanity to walk away & have a calmer discussion at another time.
5. I’d always prefer to type a message to someone than speak face to face. I can be more honest and say things that are more thought out if it’s over messenger, and the time to construct what I want to say is important to me because it stops me stumbling and feeling embarrassed (which is how’d I’d feel if I had a conversation about a serious topic face to face)
6. I’m an animal lover. One day I will live in a house with lots of pets & give them so much love and attention. ❤️
7. Starbucks cookie dough frappucino is the best drink. I love it. I would have one everyday if I could. They rule. Ok you get my point. 😂
8. I’m not usually bothered about following trends or doing something because other people are. Unless I like something, I don’t wear it. It doesn’t matter to me if my style isn’t like other people’s, because it’s stupid to buy things you don’t like!
I reckon this blog post is long overdue as my current love for colouring is just getting bigger and bigger… Colouring is what all the cool kids do, and for those who don’t exactly feel cool when buying a colouring book then don’t worry as all savvy-publishers have craftily named their books ‘art therapy’, ‘calming […]