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
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.
It has been a few days since I decided to put some of the yoga class I went to into my daily life.
It’s actually going well.
I have had some early mornings, and therefore done my 20-30 minute practice in the evening, but both times of day feel good for me. I like how I feel when I’m stretching with my eyes closed, alone, with quiet, meditative music in the background. Each day so far, I’ve been glad that I made the effort.
In my dance training during term time, it can be hard to stretch effectively after a long day, but the short routine I’ve been doing could definitely work in that scenario too.
In terms of mentality I have noticed something quite significant. I’ve noticed that I set a goal (to try doing some yoga each day this week) and I’m achieving it. My usual harsh mindset could have set me up to fail. My negative voice would have required me to do at least an hour, only in the morning, adding 5 minutes a day etc etc, and any small diversion from the plan would have meant I had ruined it.
So basically all this rambling would have been explained just as well by the quote alone 😂 I saw it today, and thought it was all too well timed for me to not write about!
Right now I’m writing this blog post about reducing obsessive compulsive behaviours because I’m doing it as we speak. I like repetitions and even numbers, that way I know I’m doing tasks correctly and being safe. My therapist asked me to see how I felt if I only checked once. No repetitions.
Anxious. That’s how I feel.
I suppose the theory behind exposure tasks is absolutely solid: the more you are in anxiety provoking scenarios the more of them you can tolerate. It seems so logically to simply wean off doing things that aren’t helpful to me, but let me tell you, it’s pretty damn hard when you actually do it.
So far these are how I have managed my discomfort:
1. Leave the room. Being physically distant from where you tried out the different behaviour means you are less tempted to go back and “even out” afterwards
2. Tell someone. Hearing from others that the fears are in your mind is a useful reassurance when you feel on edge
3. Accept anxiety. You’re uncomfortable, just like me right now! But that’s normal. Having feelings makes you human. Just let them be.
I’ve recently watched a short clip about the role of genetics and cognitions in eating disorders. It’s fascinated me, as I’ve always had very black or white, inflexible thought processes, so the idea that isn’t normal is strange.
It’s made me have a few questions for anyone with an eating disorder. Please comment your answers if you have time:
1. Before your disorder, were you a conscientious, high achieving child?
2. Would you say you are good at remembering details?
3. Do you get absorbed on a task, feeling unable to leave any errors?
4. Do you like being alone?/ prefer small groups to social occasions?
5. Is organisation important to you?
6. Does being hungry feel rewarding?
7. Is one mistake more important than the overall bigger picture?
8. Do you get absorbed by programmes or articles about eating disorders and mental illness?