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 ❤️
So it’s been a while since I wrote on here. I’ve had things in my head that I wanted to blog about, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I think it’s hard for me to openly admit that life isn’t perfect. I wanted my update to be this inspirational post full of successes, but that is unrealistic.
Instead, life has been changeable. Not perfect, but a journey. For the most part I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary, but that’s ok. Just spending time walking around a garden centre with my auntie and my mum is enough. I’m thankful for the time we’ve spent together so far this holiday.
Mental health wise things have been up and down, but that’s how it goes. It’s never going to be straightforward, but for the first time I think I’m ok with that.
I always set goals for myself when summer comes and I think I’m doing alright. Again, I haven’t done all the things I said I would exactly the amount of times I planned to, but I have done them. I wanted to enjoy being with the people I love, which I am. I wanted to keep up my fitness, which I am. I wanted to care for my injured foot, which I am.
I haven’t done everything perfectly, but I’m learning that that doesn’t mean I failed. I am working on things. Nothing happens overnight… And that’s absolutely ok.
Before I ever experienced mental illness, it was hard to believe that bad things happen for a reason. My struggles have changed that, and today I want to write about how that has happened.
When I got woken up last night by the noise downstairs,all my worries and stress came flooding into my mind and so the chance of sleep all but disappeared. As I lay awake in a panicked, depressed state, crying my eyes out and feeling like my whole existence is pointless, I remembered how much it sucked when I used to have panic attacks everyday. Obviously though, I woke up feeling like utter crap this morning. The deep sadness of depression took over and I couldn’t stop myself from hyperventilating with fear.
I literally had no idea what to do with myself. I felt like a waste of space that nobody cares about and that I couldn’t handle it.
We have this lady at college who deals with all the first aid, welfare, fitness etc, and she knows about my eating disorder, anxiety and therapy situation. Out of despair I found myself knocking on her door today, and I am unbelievably glad that I did, because after blurting out my frustration and sadness she suddenly said “but that’s brilliant.” (Yeah , I was confused at first too!) “You can’t remember what it feels like to have panic attacks like last night all the time, which means you don’t have them much, which in turn means you ARE getting better!”
I was in a far too negative place to even see that, but it is true, I can confidently say that I am in recovery for my anxiety and I am making progress. The best part was that she then asked about my eating habits separately, reminding me that (although they are connected) they are 2 different problems.
And so the silver lining to the horrendous night/day is this:
I can be proud that my anxiety is getting better WITHOUT the guilt of “giving up” my ed. I know I shouldn’t want to hold on to my ed, but I have finally managed to separate the two and be happy with myself for the achievements I make with the anxiety.
I’ve only had one panic attack in the last 8 weeks. My ed behaviour might be the same, but I’m proud of myself for identifying and harbouring the anxious thoughts a little.
That + sunshine + my two favourite classes = a good day.
I just read over some stuff I wrote about a year ago about how I was feeling. I can proudly say that although I still suffer from an extremely obsessive relationship with food, control and exercise, I am much better at keeping my anxiety at a lower level than I was.
I am still a very anxious person; I still get regular panic attacks, but these are no longer responsible for taking up 2 or more hours of every single day. It has been by no means easy to change, and I hope that when I recover from my eating disorder I will stop having them altogether.