Goodbye 2012!

Monday, 31 December 2012

I don't even know how I'd describe this year. It is home to, without a doubt, the worst days of my life and as a result, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. For this alone, it is one reason why 2012 will be completely unforgettable. 
However, would I change this year? No way. When I look back, I have overcome so much. I performed on stage with nothing but coffee in my system, battled through my A-Levels and got into University. Moved away from home, managing to transfer my job. I've met the most AMAZING people who provide me with so much support and love - some of who I am beyond excited to meet next year.
But, the most important part is that 2012 marks the beginning of a new life for me, a life on the road to recovery. I am learning to rediscover myself, learn who I am. And, I am closing the year with the achievement of attaining my goal weight - something I thought impossible. The prospect is also very scary but I just want to be proud for now.

I have goals for 2013, but none of those include major changes on my part. I have to continue what I'm doing now, and slowly but surely I'll get to a stage in which I am happy and content. If anything, my aim is to be kind to myself and 'say yes'. An eating disorder rids you of so many social events and opportunities because food is always there. I don't want to miss out any more, I have to live.
A few events in which I am looking forward to are going to London in March and my first holiday alone with my best friend, to the Costa del sol. I also want to travel and see other people I have met online. 
So, as this year comes to an end I am somewhat conflicted as to how I feel about it. I guess I can just round it off with saying it's been a truly life changing year.

Happy New Year to you all! Make it a good one!
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Blogmas day 24: Christmas Eve

Monday, 24 December 2012

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I could focus on the negatives that the last 24 hours has brought to me. The fear and anxiety that was flooded back surrounding food. The constant feeling of suffocation, and not being able to breathe.
But, I'm not going to. Because despite that, I know I have the most amazing support. At 1am, I had someone to turn to. Then, this morning I saw an amazing friend of mine for a festive costa. Finally, I saw my best friend this afternoon, watched Toy Story 3 and eating Terry's chocolate orange. Without these people, I'd be a mess and I love them more than they'll ever know. I have all the support I need, and I know that they'd be there for me whenever I needed them.
This is what Christmas is about. Not food or presents. It's about family, friendship and warmth. It's about creating memories that you will treasure forever with your loved ones. It's not about getting upset when there's nothing you can eat in the house (and yes, I'll do that but not tomorrow). I have spent my day catching up with the people I love most - and it's been the best Christmas Eve for a looong time.

I shall be at home tomorrow, with my family. I am very anxious about it, but refuse to have another eating disordered Christmas. I shall be off to see my Dad on boxing day after work, and again, I will enjoy it. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas tomorrow. It's your day, so spend it as you wish! Enjoy yourself, be kind to yourself, and lastly, treat yourself. After all, it only happens once a year! 

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Blogmas day 23: Home!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

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Well, I'm homeeee! Not sure I wanna be though haha ;-) It's just not 'my' home any more - it's just a house full of memories to me. I have unpacked and enjoyed a looooong soak in a bath! (We don't have a nice one at Uni so I don't use it). It's nice to see my brother and the feel Christmassy for once. The tree is up, along with stockings and decorations. I have a TV and working internet, which is a honour when you're a student haha. 
I am quite unnerved though. I go straight to the cupboards and fridge and see hardly anything I will eat. It's not a case of there'll be something I can eat as a substitute. It's either 'safe' food or nothing.. and if it's the latter, then I lose weight. Although, I've had a long day so I'll cross that bridge tomorrow.
I was really cheered up when I looked under my tree though! I've finally got my parcel from Amy - which remains unopened - and the DVD's I ordered have arrived, so I can watch those! I also had a lovely surprise from Josie, and I'm sorry for opening this in advance, I thought it was just a card. It was a lovely pink bracelet :-) 
This is one thing I love about Christmas - the thought that can go into it. That's what I love the most!
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Blogmas day 22: Netflix

Saturday, 22 December 2012

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I have nothing to say haha-sorry! All I have done for the past day is work and watch films because everyone has gone home :-( Although, I've gotten used to being alone now. It's some what.. peaceful?
My best friend has given me her netflix login details and I've spent the hours alone watching films. I've watched 

  • The Santa Claus
  • Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs
  • Chicken Run
  • The Princess Diaries 2
  • Did you hear about the Morgans
  • Niko 2
I clearly have no life! Anyway, if you have any films suggestions, they are MORE than welcome! I hope you are living it up like I currently am ;)
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Blogmas day 21: Room Decorations

Friday, 21 December 2012

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I'm actually stuck at uni until Sunday night, which is getting a little lonely as of today because everyone else is gone! So, I decorated my room with some tinsel and I have my robin from work. Christmas feels so weird this year, it's like I've had no lead up because there's been no music or tv (which has all of the films!). I think when I go back on Sunday, I'll dish my presents out of Monday and then BAM it's Christmas day. Weirrrrd!
I've also put all of my cards on my wall, which is another attempt to feel some what festive! And, before my best friend from my course left, she gave me her fairy lights! :-)
They are on the top of my book shelf and I loooooove them!

And, for any of you that missed my top 10 tips, they are now on the Young Minds website

I am now off to watch Sex and the City 2, for the millionth time!
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Blogmas day 20: End of term!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

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I'm currently sitting in my room, watching endless amounts of films because this morning at 10am, the first semester officially finished! We had an exam this morning, and we already have the results (which is amazingly fast) but I got 96%, which for once in my life I'm actually going to allow myself to be proud of!
I can't believe how fast these few months have gone. I am completely different person: I am actually living again. 

I know I have a long way to go, but I never thought for a second I'd be in this position. I am doing really well on my course, I'm working practically part time hours and I've met the most amazing people (online and my every day life). 2 months ago, I feared being in hospital, right now. Moving away opened up so many opportunities to sink deeper into the realms of an eating disorder. More chances to hide away, more people to tell you've already eaten. 
But, there were more chances to begin recovery - and hopefully this the path I've taken and will remain on. No one knew me or my habits, which meant far less pressure. I have so much more confidence, life experience and general knowledge! And, I'm using my own problems to help others, which is one of the most rewarding things I can now do.
Coming to Uni has actually been these making of me
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Blogmas day 19: Another tag!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

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I literally have NOTHING to say today. I was supposed to be in at work 11:15-4:30.. I ended up doing 9-5:30. It's just depressing haha! Anyway, I've done another tag, so at least it's a little bit festive. Have a go too - I am nosey ;)

1. When do you start getting excited about Christmas?
I officially allow Christmas to begin on December 1st. However, because I work in a shop, Christmas hits me mid October! Which is waaaay too early.
2. Do you still have advent calendars?
Ha, I do (sort of). This year is the first one I've had for years :-)
3. What are your favourite Christmas Films?
I think I answered this last time, so Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. BUT since then, I've become obsessed with The Grinch. How cute is he as a baby? :')
4. Do you have any funny Christmas memories?
Umm, this is sad, but no I don't! :-( This year I'll get one!
5. Talk us through your typical Christmas Day?
So, this year I'm staying with my Mum. We get up at about 8ish and all open our presents together. Then we do nothing apart from mooch through our presents until Christmas dinner (actually pretty boring). In the afternoon, we'll probably play games, have family over etc! In my opinion, Christmas day can actually be quite dull. I much prefer the lead up and all the excitement that's generated!
6. What do you eat for Christmas Dinner?
Pretty much the same as everyone else? Roast turkey, veg, potatoes.. I think My step-dad usually does sprouts with bacon, leeks, stuffing, yorkshire puddings.. you name it, he's got it. I'm pretty sure he does beef as well haha
7. Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Not traditions as such, but it's very regimented in the morning. No one can open a thing without everyone being there!
8. Which are your favourite Christmas songs?
Ok - Britney Spears - Only wish this year
Mariah Carey - Santa Claus is coming to town
Band Aid - Feed the world
And the ones by Slade, Wizard.. actually, I love them all!
9. What is the best Christmas present you ever received?
For practical use - my laptop
Sentimentality- a blanket, as I'm always ice cold!
10.Real or fake christmas tree?
We have a fake one, but I don't have one at all at Uni! Sad or what?!
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Blogmas day 18: My top 10 tips!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

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I was asked to do this for a charity in November, but thought it would be useful to post it on here too :-) I wouldn't say it's just for people with mental illnesses, it can be adapted to suit anyone!

1. Have someone there that you trust, to talk to
One of the biggest mistakes people with mental illnesses make is bottling up negative emotions.  Personally, when I am really down, I can convince myself that no one cares and I’m just being a nuisance by asking for help. WRONG! You’d want someone to come to you if they had a problem, and your friends and family feel the exact same way about you. They want to be there for you and want to help you in any way possible, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone!

2. Have distractions
Sometimes it can seem impossible to participate in the festivities. There is nothing you can do to bring yourself to face anything, so it’s important to have past times that you actually enjoy. I find reading a book a great distraction. It allows you to escape to another world and forget your own. Other things can include watching a film, going for a walk or writing. Writing down your thoughts can be extremely cathartic and a good way of purging negative emotion.

3. Don’t drink too much
I’m not saying don’t drink alcohol as it’s something most people do during the Christmas season. DO enjoy a drink if you wish to, but don’t overdo it. Alcohol ultimately leaves us feeling worse. Too much alcohol can add to depression, making us more irritable, tired and lethargic.

4. Eat well
Remember to nourish yourself! When we’re stressed or going through a rough patch, we often forget to look after ourselves. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg as energy levels will remain high and you’ll feel up to celebrating.

5. Move!
Exercise is a great way to boost your mood. One thing to really embrace is the weather during Christmas. It’s often cold and crisp, but when the sun is out, the scenery is so beautiful. Go out and enjoy it! Even walking will release endorphins which naturally make us feel better

6. Sleep
Simply not getting enough sleep can make you feel terrible and grouchy. Make sure you get enough sleep at night, even if it means going to bed earlier. For those that suffer with insomnia, try having a relaxing bath before going to bed as the decline in temperature after getting out, can make us feel sleepy. There are also plenty of herbal remedies out there and lavender underneath pillows can sometimes help. I always find a hot chocolate before bed works wonders!

7. Help someone else
Everyone gets a warm feeling inside when you know you’ve helped someone else out. From volunteering to just going to visit your Nan with a cake you’ve baked for her, will definitely make you feel better! Seeing the smile on their face, will instantly put a smile on yours too!

8. Get creative
It will sound clich├ęd but one thing I have learnt to do, is appreciate the small things in life. Things like homemade Christmas cards, poems, cakes and decorations definitely mean more to me than any expensive gadget. Making things for people allows you to enjoy Christmas and gives you something new to do. Who knows, you may discover a new talent!

9. Don’t feel pressured
This can be applied to many things, from depression to eating disorders. Remember that you are you own person and no one can force you to do anything that you don’t want to. Whether it’s eating/drinking or participating in something. It is your Christmas too, so you have to do what is best for you. No one will think any differently of you if you don’t do something.

10. Enjoy
Lastly, just enjoy yourself. Despite it being a difficult time of year, it does only happen once and when it’s gone, we can’t get it back. Christmas is a time of warmth, where family and friends come together to celebrate. YOU are part of a family and community. You deserve to be happy this Christmas.

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Blogmas day 17: Inspiration

Monday, 17 December 2012

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I haven't done much today, apart from a presentation which went very well! So this may be the shortest post ever. I have had a rough weekend in terms of psychological well-being, but this quotation was tweeted by a good friend of mine, and helped me a lot :-) So, here it is for you too, as it can be applied to many things!

'Sometimes we must choose between what is right and what is easy'
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Blogmas day 16: Ferris Wheel

Sunday, 16 December 2012

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I have been to shopping today - not for presents, but more to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy what the city has to offer during the festive season. Only this year, have I begun to love the different cities, and the different sights there are in this tiny island! Usually, I am satisfied with staying (and shopping) at my home town. I think I have grown to know it so well, that the I miss the little things.
Just walking around today, there are so many things that can go unnoticed. The different smells from each little stall - beer, doughnuts, burgers. Everyone has a memory/memories attached to those smells but we usually we're too busy to recognise and reflect. The carved wood, pottery, jewellery.. if we stopped and thought about how much time people spend on these things, then it makes them so much more beautiful, especially around Christmas time!
I got to see the City from above today because Emily and I went on a ferris wheel. There are quite a few 'fun fair' type things going on at the moment - one being a human size snow globe! The view was beautiful. Just seeing people enjoying and treating themselves, buying presents and experiencing what each stall had to offer, really did make me feel Christmassy.


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Blogmas day 15: Anniversary

Saturday, 15 December 2012

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4 years ago today, I was told the news that my Stepfather has sadly passed away. It really was one of the hardest days of my life, and I cried for about a week. Usually, I find this day very difficult, but today has been some what different. 
Admittedly, I've been a work and therefore distracted but I'm now beginning to think that although he's not here any more, he's at peace. My Step dad fought kidney failure for years, had dialysis every other day, and in the end his life really was dominated by his illness. I didn't actually get to say goodbye to him, because by this point he had moved out, and that kills me. If I had one wish, it would be to see him one last time, and tell him I love him. However, I know he spent the last part of his life in a much happier place. He had 4 beautiful children, and in these past 4 years, he has become a Grandad to 3 gorgeous children. He would be so proud of them all :-)
I'm not going to write much more, because the more I think, the more it gets to me. But, he is definitely one reason in which I have to recover. I have to make him proud.
I still love him so much 
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Blogmas day 14: Feeling

Friday, 14 December 2012

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Today, I did something I have done for as long time. I actually laughed - a proper hysterical laugh. Now, this may sound absolutely ridiculous, but to me it means my body is beginning to (slowly but surely) recover.
When your body is so starved, you lose the inability to feel. It takes energy to feel, and when your body is in starvation mode it has to use any energy on simple things, such as living. Feeling is something that isn't a priority and it a way, it's as if you're numb. I didn't cry for 2 years, laughter was rare and smiling was an effort. In a way, it's possible to convince yourself that this is good. Why would you want to feel pain? You've cut yourself off from everything so you must be doing things right. 

However, it's also scary. I feel like I'm beginning to lose a part of me that's been with me for so long. Who am I without that? It's sound stupid, but I don't know how to be anyone else. 
Ever since going home and seeing my psychologist, I feel incredibly 'disordered'. Going home isn't something I enjoy, the reminders are too great. I haven't stopped recovering as such, but everything is an effort. Eating is more anxiety provoking - it's not something I want to do. Yes, I'll keep going and get to my goal weight (hopefully), but then what? I'm not recovered. I still can't eat freely. I still can't go for lunch without looking at the menu or ordering something 'safe'. I can't see that changing when I'm a little heavier?
It just makes me question whether going it alone is the best option. I don't know how I'm supposed to deal with specific emotions.
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Blogmas day 13: Reflection + A House!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

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So, yesterday was actually a crazy day! I received phone calls all day about getting a house next year, with 5 other girls. We've been looking for a while, and beginning to feel very stressed because we live in a small town, meaning houses are going like hot cakes! I got back to Uni at 4:30pm yesterday, and met my friend Emily, giving me 20 minutes to get a deposit sorted.. and we did it! We have a house for next year! I'm actually incredibly excited to be living in my own house next year, although I don't feel at 18 that I am remotely old enough to be doing this. 
I haven't really met the girls I'm living with, I only know my best friend here - Emily. The other 4 are on her course. In some respects, it's a little daunting, on the other hand, I'm really pleased about it. It means that at some points, I'll have the house all to myself. They will be in the same seminars/lectures and I'll have a completely different timetable. It may sound like I'm isolating myself but I like my own space, it allows me to breathe.
Although it sounds like a hectic day, all of the travelling allowed me to think. I had to drop a book off at my eating disorders clinic at home, yesterday morning. While I was there, I spoke to my psychologist who asked me how I was. I had already emailed her saying I would be coming in, and she'd asked me how I was doing. My reply stated that I'd put some weight on, and even though I'm nearing my goal weight, I am struggling to see how I'm actually better - the same anxiety towards food is there, so how would I ever manage to maintain?
When she saw me, she asked how I was again and just said 'Make sure you get the help you need and put yourself first.' Isn't that why I was there? 
I was a little annoyed but then began to realise, I'm doing this with or without her help anyway. Along with reading a fantastic blog from an amazing girl named Tanya, and a few texts from loved ones, and over an hour with someone I care about dearly, I am now beginning to think that the best treatment is the support from people you love. Prescribe me my friends for an hour and I'm much happier afterwards.. and ultimately, that's all that matters, right? 
The people who care about you, won't let you fall. You just have to trust them
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Blogmas day 11: Clothes Show Live!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

So, today I went to the Clothes Show! Got up at 7am (which is flippin' early for me!) and me and my Mum were there by 9am. We had platinum tickets so had a free goody bag and were right at the front, for the catwalk show. I really did love it - I mean, hot men in underwear.. who wouldn't?! But, I was actually taken aback by how thin some of the models were! Some were thinner than me, and it saddens me that this is what people are now aspiring too (I know it's not news as such, I've just never seen a model in real life!).
I took some photos on my phone - sorry the quality is terrible!

I spent a bit of cash too, as ya do! I got a goody bag from Cosmo/Company, Barry M and Rimmel, and then a t-shirt with Banksy artwork on it, and I got a jacket from Paul's Boutique.. from £120 to £35! I couldn't resist ;)
Got all of this for £15 :-)
Finished the day with a KFC. This is going to sound like nothing but it's the first takeaway I've had for months so I am proud!
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Blogmas day 10: Home

Monday, 10 December 2012

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I've arrived home for the clothes shoooow! Going tomorrow and I can't wait. I have had a really nice day though. I had a mooch around Primark and bought some new gloves and fox footsies :-) Then I got the train, read 100 pages on my e-reader, saw my Nan who treated me to her signature coffee and Baileys, and met up with one of my most amazing friends for dinner.
The tree is up in my house so it actually feels festive for once! I have working internet and a TV! However, it is bloody freezing as my mum rations the heating.. at Uni we have unlimited heating!
It hasn't really been that exciting today so I shall just show you some pictures which sum up the day :-)

My Nan's signature drink!

The Christmas tree!

The cute fox footsies :-)
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Blogmas Day 9: Support

Sunday, 9 December 2012

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One thing I think that is vitally important around this time of year, is having a good support network. Having friends, family or people you trust around, and actually talking to them! This really was emphasized to me last night, when I felt like absolute rubbish haha! A few months ago, I'd have bottled it up but you really do benefit from just talking to someone.
Christmas is an extremely enjoyable time of year, but for those with mental health problems, it can be really difficult. Actually, it can be difficult for anyone! I know before I developed an eating disorder, I always missed family members who couldn't be there - who have passed away. And, if you're like me and come from a broken home, then you're forced to pick who you actually spend Christmas with! 

This year, my biggest problem will be food, and I know this. BUT, I aim to talk to someone if I am struggling. Last night, Amy stayed up, despite being violently ill, just talking to me and that made me feel SOOO much better! (Side note: We are also going to see Matilda the musical next year too, which I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT!)
I used to think it was selfish to burden someone, but you'd want them to do the same to you, right? Christmas is the time of 'good will' and all of that jazz.. so if you need someone, now should be the best time - use it!
Talking to someone has to be my top tip for surviving the festive season. Not an easy thing to do, but I guarantee you'll feel better afterwards!
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Blogmas day 8: My Dad's Christmas Present

Saturday, 8 December 2012

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I have mentioned my Dad before briefly, but for those of you who don't know, he suffers with OCD and has for about 20 years. He is very good at managing it usually, but this year one of his brothers (who is his usual form of support) has become very ill. This has meant he has had no one who really understands. He won't turn to me, because he feels guilty for burdening his daughter, and selfish as it may be, I don't force him to tell me anything if it will make him feel worse.
SO, this year I want to make his Christmas extra special and think I may succeed! He is a huge Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) fan and hasn't missed a league game in 10 years. He's been a season ticket holder, taken me to games.. even got my Nan to climb 100's of steps, bless her! Going to see them play, despite how rubbish they are, is something that really keeps him going.
Because of this, I recently wrote to Wolves, explaining the situation and to see if they could help me in anyway possible to make his year. They have been so good and actually sent me a personally signed Wolves Pennant!!

I know he's going to love it and actually can't wait to see his face!
Are you surprising anyone this Christmas? 
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Blogmas day 7: Short trip home

Friday, 7 December 2012

On Tuesday, I'm off to the Clothes Show live! I actually can't wait! Due to all of the end of term assignments, we have Monday off, which means I am going home on Monday morning, and seeing my Nan and friend Monday evening, and then going on Tuesday. 
As much as I am looking forward to it, I'm also dreading it. I'm going home to people I've not seen - I've changed, physically and mentally. And of course, they will have changed too. I don't trust my own perception of my body, but I think I look bigger, and I'm no good at being judged. I'm no good at listening to comments about my weight, even when they are intended in a good way.
I really don't want to, but I really think I will cut back on how much I eat when I return, simply because I don't want people to comment. Which makes me think about when I return home for Christmas. This short trip is only 2-3 days, but Christmas is 4 weeks. That is more than enough time to completely undo all of the hard work I've put into gaining weight and eating. 
I want to eat what I've been eating, but my family haven't seen me eat treats for about 2 years. They won't be able to not say something about that, which I know will put me off.
I think you can tell that I've gained weight too and to be honest, I don't really like it. It's like I'm losing a huge part of who I am. I tried to explain to someone what it's like, and they said a normal person would see it like 'a footballer breaking his leg and then never being able to play again'. What do they do? 
It's like I'm lost in this middle ground, not wanting to be ill nor well. Just because I intend on being a healthy weight doesn't necessarily mean I'll be okay? 
However, I'm hoping that seeing friends and doing something I've been looking forward to for 4 months will override any concern about food! And the same with Christmas.. I hope the festivities are distracting :)
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Blogmas day 6: Outfit

Thursday, 6 December 2012

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Not actually doing anything today, other than lectures, seminars, presentation work - end of the semester so all the assignments are due! I'm going home on Monday for the Clothes show live on Tuesday, so I'm trying to submit all work before Monday morning! (which would be easy if I had working internet!)
Anyway, I'll just show you a picture of my Christmas jumper, which I've been raving about. Sorry it's not very interesting :-(

If anyone has any ideas or wants any posts, let me know. I plan on doing a few regarding eating/mental health 
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Blogmas day 5: Uni Christmas Market

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Firstly, I'm sorry for not being able to post this until now. Our internet is completely down and I'm doing this from the library! Yesterday's post is this one, and then I'll post today's later :-)
I don't have actually much going on today but did go to a Christmas market that we being held in the Uni hall! I was a little disappointed with it to be honest, it wasn't that Christmassy and there were only a few stalls. 
There were really cute ideas for presents though, like chocolate bouquet's, candles, cupcakes, books etc! I did pick up a few things, but I'm keeping them haha 

Cupcake candle
Christmas tree soap - smells of Strawberry and Champagne!
The cupcake candle actually smells of old people but it looks nice! Can't actually light it until I go home though, as it's 'fire hazard' apparently!
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Blogmas day 3: Christmas tag

Monday, 3 December 2012

Today is a day of lectures and seminars, so I won't bore you with stuff on eye witness testimony! I'll bore you all with the Christmas tag instead haha!
1.What's your favourite Christmas movie? 
So, it's not really a Christmassy movie, but it's ALWAYS on tv, so I'm going with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I've only just realised how ironic this is!). Either version is fine ;) I also love The Grinch, but I've not seen it in ageeees! May need to watch it!
2. What's your favourite Christmas colour?
Definitely red!
3. Do you like to stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas?
Usually I dress up, but this year I'm not really. I've bought my brother and I, matching Christmas jumpers! He promised me he'd wear it on Christmas day - I can honestly say this is one of the things I'm looking forward to most!
4. If you could only buy one person a present this year who would it be?
A very special friend of mine, who has always been there for me :)
5. Do you open your present Christmas eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning. Kinda defeats the point if you do it on Christmas eve?
6. Have you ever built a ginger bread house?
Nope :( I fear I'm missing out!
7. What do you like to do on your Christmas break?
Work.. sale shop.. need I say more? ;)
8. Any Christmas wishes?
I'd love to have an eating disorder free day!
9. Favourite Christmas smell?
Cinnamon or Christmas pudding! I love raisins and Christmas pudding is basically that ha!
10. Favourite Christmas meal or treat?
Mince pies! 
11.Which holiday do you celebrate?
 12.What are you doing for the holiday's this year?
Well, I'm working at the store near Uni on the 23rd, so don't come home until the 24th! Then, I'm spending Christmas day with my Mum, working boxing day, and going to my Dad's boxing day evening. God, that's complicated!
13. What's your favourite holiday drink?
My nan sometimes puts Bailey's in coffee around Christmas - usually to warm me and her up haha! It's soooo nice :)
14. Candy cane or Gingerbread men?
I'm not a fan of either really, but Gingerbread men are cuter :)
15. What's your favourite holiday/Christmas song?
Ooooh god, too many! I love the old ones, like Slade, Wizard.. also love Band aid's. But, I love the newer ones too :( Mariah Carey and Kylie Minogue! Yeah, I can't answer this. I love them all :) OH and Fairytale of New York!
16. What's the weirdest gift you've ever received?
Someone gave me their old keyboard once. I think it was supposed to be 'sentimental' but it looked like it had just been in their loft for years..
17. Have you ever made a snowman?
I have :)
18. What is your favorite winter fragrance?
I don't have one. I will wear anything by Marc Jacobs - currently have Dot on the go!
19. What is at the top of your list this Christmas?
I'm actually having a new coat :) I have gone through 3, because each time I've found one and told my Mum, it's gone out of stock before she decides to buy it! BUT, I think that was a blessing in disguise because the one I've found is perfect! This one to be precise ;)
20. What is most important to you about the holidays?
Giving presents. I actually think I'm selfish about it though - I like giving because I feel great when they are happy. Is it selfish to make someone happy so you can be happy? Not sure!

Feel free to do this tag too! I actually love reading other people's responses, so let me know if you do it so I can be nosey ;)
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Blogmas day 2: Christmas Wrapping!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

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This year, as I'm a student now, I've had to seriously budget when I buy Christmas presents! But, I'm actually done!! So, I spent the whole of today wrapping them all.
I love how nice presents can look, with a colour scheme, ribbons, bows etc. Sometimes it can make a present look better than it actually is! However, it takes sooooo long!
This year I've gone for a purple, black and silver scheme, and if I may say so, it looks very pretty ;-)

The two bags contain presents for a good friend of mine and my Dad. The rest are uni friends and family - 12 people in all. I've also written all of my cards and found stamps, addresses etc! 3 hours of my life I'll never get back haha! Productive day though :-)
Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Are you this decorative?
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Blogmas day 1: Advent Calendar

Saturday, 1 December 2012

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So, as promised I am hopefully going to be blogging everyday until the 25th December! My life can actually be pretty boring but I am going to mix it up a bit with what I'm up to, tags, thoughts etc
However, as well as today being the 1st Decemeber and therefore it's officially the Christmas season, it's also the first time in 3 years that I've had an advent calendar! 2 years ago, I had a grape every morning as a way of counting down until Christmas day(that actually makes me laugh now!). I've gone for the good ol' Cadbury's milk chocolate advent calendar, if you were wondering - definitely a nice treat to wake up to in the morning. I actually wanted a white chocolate one, but couldn't fine one :( However, I did get Santa shape today, which was cute :') Just out of interest, does everyone who has a Cadbury's advent calendar get the same shape each day? Let me know if you had this too!

I am working today but last night the lights were switched on and there was a fair so hopefully it will still be there today and the atmosphere will be in full swing!
Have a great day!

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Forever disordered?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Monday is officially the worst day of the week for me (and most people haha!). Mine isn't so much the whole getting up after the weekend, because I don't start until 1pm ;) For me, it's the day I have to weigh myself.
As I'm not receiving any treatment, it's my responsibility to 'monitor' my own weight - which means most of the time, I let some silly numbers ruin my entire day. I'm sort of stuck in the middle. I don't like losing weight because I know that's reeaaaally bad right now, but I also don't like gaining weight - who does? So, before I've even begun, I'm fighting a battle I'll never win!

I am gaining weight, which I know is great, but sometimes I've put more on than I've expected or been prepared for. My actual body hasn't changed so why I let it upset me, I will never know and by Tuesday I'm usually fine again, which makes me think that gaining the weight isn't the problem. Which leads me on to wondering what will happen when I reach this healthy goal weight?
Right now, 

  • I count everything that I eat. 
  • I won't eat certain foods despite loving them.
  • Struggle to eat out without seeing the menu first.
The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. When I reach a healthy weight, surely I will still do those things. I will still have a disordered mind, just with a healthier body? I know I shouldn't even be thinking about it but feel extremely sorry for myself on Monday when I thought that maybe I'll be living with this forever and it's just something I'll have to manage, and not actually cure. 
Anyway, I've not reached that point yet, so there is no point in worrying about something that's not happened!  
Ending on a happier note, I phoned my manager at my old store today and I can have my job back over Christmas :-) My supervisor was so excited, bless him! I must admit, I'm looking forward to working with my friends again!
I've also had my fringe cut. I went to the hairdressers last week for my 'side fringe' to be trimmed. She messed it up BIG TIME, so I asked my flat mate to cut it into a full fringe (even though she's never cut hair before). I am soooo impressed!

Hope you are all well!
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Doing too much?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

So, I'm doing a full time degree, working my days off, and now I'm chucking in 8-12 hours of rehearsals for a Christmas show I'm going to be in, in 3 weeks. In between all of that, I'm actually being a 'normal' human.. fitting in assignments, christmas shopping, food shopping, laundry.. I AM KNACKERED.
A few weeks ago, I auditioned for the University musical society, expecting nothing. I haven't performed properly since May because it's just too tiring for me. I love singing and it's a huge shame when I think about it, that an eating disorder took away my biggest passion in life. However, I actually got in!
But, now I'm doubting whether I should actually be doing it.. yet. We only have 3 weeks to put a show together. That's no time at all! I went to rehearsal last night, after an 8 hour shift at work and I could have fallen asleep standing up. I came back wanting to go to bed, to find I couldn't sleep! One thing I do love about Uni, is that there is ALWAYS something going on. Despite being really annoyed that I was kept up, it's slightly amusing - a drunk girl smashed her best mate's flat window?! I swear that kinda thing only happens at Uni. 
Anyway, it just makes me wonder whether I should be taking things more slowly? Everything is going right for once, and sure, I was overwhelmed and really grateful to have been given a place in the show, but I don't want to let them down. 
I also don't want my degree to suffer because I'm too tired to write a lab report!
I'm actually going to try and get some sleep tonight - if someone keeps me awake, I'll be smashing their window in, myself ;)
On a lighter note, I'm getting really excited for December! I've bought a Christmas jumper already (but won't wear it until the 1st haha!). Also, I think I'm going to try and participate in blogmas. 25 days of my run up to Christmas - what do you think? :)
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The perks of having an illness!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

So, I guess the title of this post is a little confusing, and some of you may be sat there thinking 'what the hell?'. However, there are definitely some things that I actually thank my illness for.
The main thing is actually the online community. I am overwhelmed with the amount of support there is on here and twitter. Sometimes, during a depressive episode I can convince myself no one cares and I'm not worthy etc but I've found that coming online and talking to people I've met is the best pick me up - especially two people in particular!
Firstly, and I've mentioned her before is a girl named Amy. She is the most amazing girl I've had the pleasure to talk to, and without Anorexia, I'd never have had this opportunity.  She also suffers from mental health problems but uses those to help and support others. She has recently set up a new youtube channel to go along with her blog, addressing mental health issues and they are really inspiring. I'd love it if you had a look at both of those as you'd benefit from her advice, whether you have a mental illness or not :) Without this girl, I know I'd be far worse off.
Another quick mention, is Josie who also keeps a great fashion/health blog (check her out too!). She has cystic fibrosis but refuses to let it get her down and I find that truly amazing! It's really fascinating to actually learn about how intense and detailed it is! And in a strange way, we have a lot in common as we both have to gain weight. I've only recently really spoken to her properly, but she is so kind and genuine!
She is the reason for this post actually. Last night we got talking about Christmas, and being ill really does make you appreciate the small things in life. If someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas, the ONE and only thing I'd truly ask for, is to have a day free from counting calories and thinking about how much weight I've lost/gained.
A few years ago, I'd have wanted the latest gadget, perfume, clothes. Now, I honestly don't care. If someone buys me a piece of chewing gum, I'd be MUCH happier because they know I turn to that if I'm feeling rubbish! 

I have 'grown up' so much since being diagnosed with this. I really do prefer the small things in life now, and when you look, it's actually a much more positive way of experiencing life :)

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BOND launch event

Monday, 12 November 2012

So, tonight I attended my first event as a VIK for YoungmindsUK, in Liverpool. The event was the launch of BOND which is a project for early intervention mental health services in schools. It aims to bring people together - voluntary organisations, doctors, schools, counsellors etc as the sooner intervention occurs, the better. BOND aims to identify what is already out there, such as CAMHs, and will try and improve the services already out there using workshops, coaching sessions and learning groups. The more people know about mental health, the less stigma there will be and the more people will know how to help sufferers.
Tonight, I went along as a VIK and firstly met two lovely girls - Jo and Lisa. Initially, this is why I went along. I have never really met anyone with a mental illness and I've always thought that helping and supporting people is vital. It was really good to hear about their experiences with Youngminds and why they got involved.
The 3 of us were there representing Youngminds, and had a idea's tree in which politicians and psychologists (basically, important people!) wrote down what they thought could be improved within the education sector and why this project is important. There was lots of wine flowing, speeches made, and many other charities, such as Barnado's, there supporting the launch.
Liverpool is the 2nd area to undergo this launch, as there are 5 pilot areas - Cambridgeshire, Staffordshire and South West London will be the other 3.
Ultimately, I think this is a fantastic project. The stigma regarding mental needs to be reduced. The more we know about it, the less people will suffer because they will ask for help. And the sooner this is done, the easier the recovery will be! Many children hide away because they fear embarrassment or humiliation, and it makes it worse. I am 100% behind this project. If it just helps one child, it is definitely worth it.
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How do you cope with weight gain?

Monday, 5 November 2012

This is something I am currently not doing. Well, actually to some extent I am coping because I'm not restricting and I'm putting on weight, but the psychological aspect of putting on weight is some what torturing me!
I have been talking to my flatmate tonight, who really has helped me this evening, but I asked her what she'd do if she were told to put weight on. Her answer? She wouldn't want to. And actually, who does?! Everyone in the western world aspires to be 'thin', sometimes not even that but to be a 'few pounds lighter'. When you do hear someone say, 'I'd love to be half a stone heavier'. I have NEVER heard someone say this to me. So, if a healthy person dislikes the idea of weight gain, where does that leave someone with an eating disorder?
I never imagined recovery to be so challenging. Sure, I know weight gain is essential for a healthy mind and body - and that part of me must be winning right now. When I try explaining to people what it's like living with anorexia, it really is like you have the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other - which sometimes does seem kind of stupid as there is obviously only one of me! At the moment, I am winning. I know I have to put weight on and ultimately, I want to be a bit bigger. I'll have energy, my clothes will actually fit and I won't look like I haven't slept in 300 years either. But, at the same time there is this part of me that is almost screaming 'WHAT THE F@£!*&CK ARE YOU DOING?' and it's not easily ignored. I am ignoring it, but it seems to come at some crazy, emotional cost. I have no clue what is going on with my head right now, but every time I stop to think about me I become an emotional wreck! It's like I'm hormonal pregnant woman.. (which I'm obviously not!)
I can't believe how flippin' vulnerable I am! I am the one who is made of stone haha. I don't cry very often, I don't rely on people or trust easily but it seems all I want is to be around the friends I love most!
I'm not going to lie, weight restoration is a bitch. As for how to cope? I have no clue. Telling myself I'm receiving nutrients and I'll be healthy etc?
I am actually all right (I just needed to write something down I think). I know it's not easy but I've met people who have shown me that there is much better life waiting to be lived, at the end of it so I'm determined to keep going. But, if anyone does know how to cope with weight gain, I would appreciate ideas sooooo much!
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Saturday, 27 October 2012

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  • The act or an instance of motivating or providing with reason to act in a certain way: I don't understand what her motivation was for quitting her jobmotive,inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.
  • The state or condition of being motivatedWe know that these students have strong motivation to learn.
  • Something that motivates inducement; incentive: Clearly, the company's long-term motivation is profit.
I think that when you're suffering with a mental illness, one of the key factors contributing to recovery is motivation. Without it, you aren't going to get very far. When I have very little motivation, I'm lucky if I even get out of bed, let alone eat. I have to have something or someone to motivate me - usually, it is a certain someone. I don't mean that they have to talk to me 24/7, question what I'm doing or eating and ask how I am all of the time - more of a 'I'm doing this for them, to make them proud of me'. At the moment, I feel like I'm in no man's land. I've moved to uni, I'm away from my usual source of support and I've stopped all treatment. I have no idea what I'm doing, what I'm supposed to eat or what exercise I should/shouldn't be doing. But, I seem to have been gifted this huge chunk of motivation and it's almost like I don't know what to do with it!
About a year ago, I was ill with depression and when asked what was keeping me going by a Psychologist, I genuinely had no clue. Sure, I had friends and family, but when you're that ill, everyone and everything becomes a blur. Not knowing what is keeping you going is actually quite scary. It made me question why I was actually living - what was the point of my life? Now I'm thinking Does there actually need to be a point to my life? Why do I need something to get me out of bed? Why do I need a reason to eat
Ultimately, I shouldn't need a reason to eat. Everyone does it and it's essential to live: basic human needs. Maybe it's asking too much too soon for me to accept that, but as long as I do eat, I can get by. I have, however, recognised what motivates me and my god, when you know it's so much easier to pick yourself up when you have a bad day. 
  1. Cognition - Many people assume that Anorexia is just about being 'thin'. If it were just that, it would be so much more simple! I can honestly say, I have never wanted or aspired to be skeletal. Clearly visible bones is NOT attractive, in fact, I think I preferred my body shape when I was 15 stone. Anorexia not only damages your physical health but it dominates your thoughts and stops you thinking/concentrating on anything else. Recently, I have found that I struggle to focus in lectures or on work, if I haven't eaten enough - whether it be fatigue or calorie counting. Neither one of those are things I wish to face at 3pm. It's not me and I've finally decided that I am not going to be controlled any more. I came to uni to get a degree and if I can't concentrate, that isn't going to happen. I want to be able to study without thinking about food or my blood sugar dropping. I want my personality back and I want to be free to actually think!
  2. A close friend - I won't name this person, but if they aren't motivation, I don't know what is. Sometimes, it is only thinking about letting her down that gets me up. This person has literally saved my life, was there when at my lowest point, and now I want to recover, partly for her. Although, I'm trying to divert myself from people pleasing, making her proud of me means the world to me. And not only that, stopping her from worrying is hugely rewarding. The only way I can really thank her is by recovering, and if that's what it takes, then I'll do it.
  3. Finally, I want to show the people who comment on how thin I am, for a reaction, or encourage my weight loss that this is not healthy and that I'm strong enough to ignore them. I have to start living my life and not let comments control my every waking move. 
I don't really know where I'm going at the moment, but I do know that taking every day as it comes, is far easier than worrying about what I'm going to eat or do next week. I'm by no means recovered, merely begun a long and a times difficult journey, but for the first time in 2 years, I feel like I'm in recovery.
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A weekend at home

Monday, 22 October 2012

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This weekend, I am returning for my Grandad's 70th birthday meal - a 3 course meal which is a nightmare for me in itself but that's not my biggest concern. I feel like this is my home now. University is somewhere where I started a new life - recovery! I'm going to see my friend who I am missing terribly, and really can't wait to see her, but apart from that I don't want to go. 
I have eaten so many foods in the past month - some that I haven't touched in over 2 years, and I am SO proud of myself. Things like pasta, sausages, rice, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, sweet bread, bananas - I mean some of those are healthy, and I still wouldn't touch them!
My family back home don't expect me to touch food - let alone some of those I've just listed. Some know I'm anorexic, but most just think I'm 'superskinny'. I feel like they judge me every time I pick up some food - even if it's an apple. Going back seems to me like a huge step backwards. It's the place that housed and fed my eating disorder - somewhere I don't want to return to. I have been eating over double what I was eating and I don't want to feel as though I can't eat because of what other people will think and how I'll be made to feel. 
I will let you know whether my concerns are actually something to worry about next week, but at the moment I don't think I'll return home again until Christmas. I have just begun to 'live' again, and I don't want to be knocked back 5 steps.
How are you doing?
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A New Friend :)

Friday, 12 October 2012

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I knew that coming University with an eating disorder would present new challenges and hurdles. I mean, EVERYONE that moves away from home for the first time, is going face new challenges. So of course, there have been days where I have felt like sitting in my room alone, completely isolating myself from the world - maybe even seeing a glimpse of depression (something else I have on my long list (; ), but I know I have to fight it so much harder because I really could become seriously ill.
I can honestly say, that I have met one person in particular who has helped me - probably without even realising - and that's my room mate, Yan (who is on the youtube video). She said to me 
'I can advise you on anything, but it's up to you whether you choose to act on it. I don't care what you do or don't do'
I know that some of you might think that not caring is a bad thing, but I know what she means. And, she's right! No one does care if I eat a chocolate bar here and similarly, no one will really care if I sit in my room, quite literally wasting away. She has really opened my eyes, even with fashion. I used to love clothes shopping, and when I was morbidly obese, it didn't stop me from wearing hot pants. Sure, it probably wasn't too attractive but I didn't care! Now, I hide underneath baggy jumpers because I'm so thin, but Yan has really taught me to just wear what I want and like.
There are some days where I know I have to be with someone else, or I may sink into negativity - so I went and sat with Yan last night, and she taught me how to make the little Origami swans and even some Chinese! I know it's nothing to her, but her company really is helping and inspiring me to recover - and for that, I am really grateful :) 

This seems like an unusual type of post for me but this is a blog about my life and recovery, so I guess this is part of it! And Yan, if you read this, thank you :) I hope we're friends for a long time!

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