Excuses mask fear.

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 ❤️

My purpose.

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!*

New year doesn’t equal a new me.

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

Xox

Letter to a stranger.

In Kati Morton’s video on Friday, the journal topic was to think about what you’d tell a stranger about life. So, here’s my letter:
Dear stranger,
I hear you’re new and looking for some advice. I want to tell you to treasure every second of time you spend with the people you love. You never know when people will no longer be in your life. Make the effort to maintain friendships; these are the people who will make you laugh no matter how low you feel.
I want you to know that life isn’t always easy, but appreciating the good times will make the hard parts seem less difficult.
Don’t waste your time living in the past (although reminiscing about happy memories is allowed!). Take each moment as it comes, and try not to set expectations of your future.
Work hard, have confidence, treat yourself with kindness.
Strive not to be perfect, but to be caring and happy.
Your body does not define you. Your thoughts do not define you. Be individual, and most of all, make your wellbeing and happiness a priority.
Good luck!
Xx

“I’ve shoved a toothbrush down my throat too, I know what it’s like”

My response to this was silence. How on earth do you reply to such a blatantly untrue statement? While I agree that regularly making yourself throw up is unhealthy, that on its own does not qualify as an eating disorder. If ed’s were a response to one triggering situation in one’s life, then the disorder would stop when the situation was over.

An eating disorder is a way of coping with, suppressing, expressing struggle, or even a cry for help when no words seem to do the job. It is not a phase, and although people recover, that is different to a disorder just stopping. No eating disorder fixes itself. 

Later on in the same conversation, the person who made the bold statement in the title started talking about a friend who was really ill, and said to me “no, like, she was much worse than you.” May I just point out (again) that ed’s are MENTAL illnesses with physical consequences. Just because she may be lighter than me or have medical complications that I don’t have right at this very moment in time, it doesn’t mean I am any less sick. I just wanted to literally cry and scream and try to articulate just how overwhelming it is to be completely consumed by thoughts about my body, food, exercise and self criticism 24 hours a day.

I know I have said what I’m about to say before, but I want to say it again:

Society has bred itself to be exceptionally poised to idealise the thin and judge the fat. Many people do not know where a lean body becomes a medically underweight body. 

At 19 years old, I have grown up a lot in the last few years. I have also spent that time being eating disordered and the more time passes, the more I realise that the last time I had a half decent attitude to food (can’t remember feeling good about my body) was around age 14/15. Even then, I had some hints of being over cautious about how much I ate and did go through many phases of calorie counting. As a result of all that I don’t know what my adult mindset is like without an eating disorder. I’ve never been in that place, and I’m scared of what it’d be like.

I remember reading somewhere that anorexics wanted to stay physically and mentally children, and part of me does want that. It is simpler like that; yet at the same time I love being independent and following my own ambitions…. conflicted, as always.

I was afraid of going back to bulimia, but I think I’ve stopped it. I should feel bad that I’m comforted by keeping anorexia…

I feel like I should be cross that I’m so happy about my bulimia worries not coming true. I know that is a good thing, but to me it was sorta like I went back to bingeing, laxatives, purging OR I let that one day stay in the past and continue losing. Surely my aim should be the healthy middle between the two?! Having a restrictive eating disorder shouldn’t be the right outcome of anything…

Sometimes I long for that calm, easy middle ground; instead I’m relieved to be staying disordered…. well, in some ways. I hate that I love it & I hate it for being the only way I can hope to love myself right now. I hate myself for being unable to apply the rational thoughts I have to my own behaviour. I am not stupid, yet I do things that badly contradict my intelligence. Crazy huh..

Being angry and anxious

I would usually say that I’m not an angry person- at least not at others. I basically never get cross at people, or shout, or show anything at all when I am furious on the inside. I think that all my anger ends up being aimed at myself… like today.

Somebody said a couple of things that just drove me mental this afternoon. They were needless comments, both of which linked to my ed/ self esteem and made me feel like crap. As a result I sat alone in my room and panicked.

It is times like these when I just hate the world. I want to be locked in a room until everything is gone & I end up harming myself or throwing my stuff around. Even though what was said wasn’t actually my doing, I took it out on myself by throwing my phone (which somehow didn’t break!)

At the moment I am just annoyed that I can identify the thoughts that are my illness, but seem unable to do anything about them! I feel as though I am destined to be stuck in a life where I’m regularly totally unstable and hating everything. 

All I can do is to attempt to be calm and together as every new challenge arises.