Dear the struggling friend

Dear friend,

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
Xoxo xox

Maybe some of you guys have a friend who might also need to hear this. Feel free to repost or share if you do!

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Sometimes I need listeners.

It is a well known fact that complete recovery from a mental illness requires motivation and action which only the sufferer can give. Lots of people struggle; lots of those people won’t get better.
I was diagnosed with OCD not long ago. If I could wake up free of it tomorrow, I wouldn’t hesitate.
Ditto my depression.
Ditto panic attacks.
But my eating disorder is…. Special. It’s special in the sense that it feels like it is my own, unique possession. I have known that voice in my mind for a very long time. I have also had my weight be a symbol of my worth and happiness since as young as 8 years old.
Having an eating disorder makes you feel like you are doing something. It fills your mind, your time, your dreams. You want to be recovered and have a new and wonderful life, but not until you have “succeeded” at sickness.
It’s confusing, painful, and tiring.
Every day I listen to endless self critical thoughts while constantly checking whether or not each body part is getting smaller. I like everything that normal people hate: feeling my bones, not having big boobs, only having a small amount covering my skeleton.
My obsession with controlling my life and my happiness using food and my body is a constant source of emotional pain, but I have some incredible friends in my life.
I know there are a handful of kind, loving people who will always be there for me, no exceptions. I might FEEL alone, but I am cared for. I am lucky to have the best friends in the world to simply listen. They can’t fix me when I’m not sure about recovery, but they are there. Always with kind words, or even something to make me laugh. I hope I give them the love they are always offering to me.

My shine on nominations

ImageThese people have all written posts that have given me a feeling of support. They are all blogs that have given me “food for thought” about ed issues, and reminded me that there is always someone out there who understands.

Thank you 🙂

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/48546188/   this sick foundation

http://eatingdisorderstuff.wordpress.com/   eating disorder stuff

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/44127180/  dear bee

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/23067123/  writing and recovering

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/43740934/  you make me feel sick

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/33899264/  grey eyed athena

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/29967988/ set yourself on fire

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/44121004/  growing into peace

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/42477402/  war in my brain

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/49027099/  lets talk about ed baby

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/46401620/ diary of a 20 something

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/46260751/  eating anonymous

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/30105323/  from anorexia to bulimia and beyond

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/42038945/  life is a train get on board

http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/40744352/ fighting to live life

In response to all your kind words… :)

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to write comments on my posts- especially in the last couple of weeks. A lot of uncertainty in my general life has led me to feel a need to take even more control over my eating disoder. In some ways this is good because it has made me think long and hard about recovery; it has also made me realise that whatever the outcome of my upcoming therapy appointment, it will be a long wait (as usual) until anything drastic changes to what I’m currently having therapy-wise.

I have reached the conclusion that if you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse in some way. Every day that I allow my disorder to continue I’m making it a little more engrained in my behaviour and thinking. But the thing is I know I am not ready to change everything- maybe I never will be, but I hope to build the courage to jump in anyway! While I work relentlessly to be able to do x,y,z that my ed stops me doing now, I am counteracting that with creating stricter exercise and food plans.

After all the supportive comments I have made a decision:

I am not going to try too hard to do anything in either a positive or negative direction. If I try to recover in an unstructured way I will end up in a horrific bulimic phase like I did when my therapy stopped in the past. On the other hand, I don’t want to encourage myself to get sicker. If that happens anyway, then it will be a more gradual thing, which is more manageable (in my head.) If I am really honest with myself, things have been going on a gradual downer for a very, very long time, and as this  is unlikely to change, so I don’t need to pressure myself more than I already do in order to be sick enough to get treatment.

When the assessment for ed specific help comes around I will simply go in and be open about what has happened. Plus, I know how long the wait is for this kind of thing so I’m likely to be worse than I presently am by that point anyway.

I do believe I have the determination and self awareness to overcome my illness. I do believe that I can one day reach a place in my life where I can wake up and not be dominated by negativity about my body and food. I do believe that getting to that will be incredibly difficult, but when the chance to have more intense therapy than I presently have comes I will be able to do it. I believe that nobody can do this alone and so I will not expect that of myself- I will do what I can to be as positive as possible until the wait is over.

My blog is about being truthful and as nice as it would be for me to post all about how much I want to recover and how I’m going to wake up tomorrow and fight it, that would be a lie. For once I am proud of my ability to be both realistic and have a sense of optmism: I can’t fix it this second, but when I have access to the help required I can and will get better.

Friendship :)

“Friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life.”

Being home for the holidays means that I have finally had the chance to see my closest friends in the flesh again! Facebook, skype etc are brilliant, but nothing beats them actually being there 🙂

I am lucky enough to have some of the most amazing friends. Having moved into a student household, I now know that quite a lot of other people my age do not have the same bonds with people back home as I do. There are about 15 people who have all been a shoulder to cry on throughout this whole ed, anxiety, depressed mess, and I will always be so grateful to every single one of them.

Out of those, there are some who have been particularly incredible at being there for me. These are people who I could and have phoned in the early hours, who have calmed me in a panic attack over the phone, or who have provided me with an unexpected way of letting things out. The people who have literally spent hours listening to me in a hysterical state, or while analysing my own thoughts, or while having an ed vs me argument out loud, are the most fantastic people in the world.

As well as being amazing listeners and some of the most calm and supportive friends in the world, these are also people who are absolutely hilarious! I have known some of them longer than others, but I have bucketfuls of memories with all of them- some going back to childhood. The amount of words that can’t be said without bringing on the giggles and all the random stories of crazy things that have happened are thoughts I treasure every single day.

Since I began to use food as a coping mechanism and focus all my worry and self doubt onto my body there have been many days when I have woken up feeling like a waste of space. I often feel hopeless, too emotional to do anything, anxious, angry or utterly confused…

the friendships I have are sometimes the only reason worth getting up in the morning. ❤