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!*
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!
Since returning to England and finding my way in a new city, I’ve had a register at a new doctor in order to get my meds. I’ve now had 2 appointments with the same GP, and she has given me lots of info on mental health help in my area, taken time to ask me questions, and prescribed my medication. However, today she asked to weigh me. I’m so paralysed by this fear that I couldn’t even speak. I was trying to but sentences weren’t actually coming out of my mouth. She let me tell her why I can’t, and she didn’t force it on me, but it really brought up some pretty crappy memories to be honest.
I leave for my new contract in 9 days, and the GP asked me today if I thought I am well enough to go. Obviously I said yes, because what’s the point in giving up an opportunity and sitting about at home? As my departure gets nearer I’m finding silly little nerves popping up, so to settle my mind I’m gonna make a little list:
Positives about the new job:
- Chance to see a lovely place
- I will be dancing 4 nights a week
- Having my own space, and being out of my parents way!
- Earning a decent wage
- Fewer daytime hours than previously
- Near the beach!
- Being near some of my friends from before (hopefully!)
Nerves/negatives about the new job:
- Worry of people not liking me
- Worry of the choreography being too hard/easy for me
- Worry that the uniform will make me look fat (yes. That has been a real thought in my head.)
- Being away from home, and the natural moments of missing my favourite people from time to time
These are probably my main pros and cons, and let’s face it the positives list is a much better read 😂 I just need to focus on all the excitement things that could happen instead of worrying it will all go wrong #anxietystruggs
As I’m not yet old enough or rich enough to have my own home, I have lived in student houses and am now looking at job prospects where you live in shared accommodation, rather than a more “normal” job where you would be living in your own flat/ renting a place. All this has got me thinking about which of my possessions make me feel at home wherever I am.
My fairy lights: the soft glow makes me feel relaxed and I will always picture them in the first place they were ever put in my bedroom!
My iPad: part of my routine when I arrive home at the end of the day is to use my iPad to listen or watch something I enjoy. Having choice over what I watch makes me feel like it’s my space and my time to unwind.
Teddies: my teddies all have a story about why they are special. I like feeling surround by those happy memories.
Lavender oil: crazy as it sounds, I’m so attached to different scents. Lavender in particular is one I love. Anyone else ever feel like a smell transports them to somewhere in their mind?
My colouring book: because I’m a big kid who likes making pretty stuff.
Cosy pyjamas: nothing makes me feel at home more than the ability to wear my comfy pjs the second I’m through the door. Pyjamas are essentially my house clothes. Lol at me.
Cards and photos: I love getting post, and I have a ribbon with tiny pegs that display my cards and photos. I have put up a selection of these in every room I’ve lived in.
Bedtime privacy: feeling at home means the wifi connects automatically and I can lay in bed typing a blog, watching a video and/or listening to a podcast. I also love being alone for a short time before bed. This gives me time to be selfish for a bit and do whatever I want.
What do you like to have around you?
I hate being tired. I hate that I bailed on a friend today because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Does my body really look small enough for me to get this exhaustion?
I find myself making excuses for my tiredness a lot, when my eating must have a part in it. I’m not sure why I still excuse myself even with people that know about my disorder; perhaps I’m trying to convince myself I’m fine…
Sometimes I don’t even trust that I’m truly exhausted- like I will wonder if I’m just lazy, or if the people around me just have a lot more energy than average. These days, I doubt everything.