Friday, 26 April 2013

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“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”

I think this is a very well known saying, but it's something I stumbled across last night whilst reading an insightful book. I can only really relate this to my own situation right now, as in that I very much need to find some inner courage. I don't know why it has suddenly become so important to me that I must fully recover, but it is always on my mind.
This stage of being stuck is becoming old and tiring, and I desperately need to move forward. I have been here for too long. Trying hard enough to eat but only really sticking to safety. From the outside looking in, I am fine. Almost a fraud really because I'm a healthy weight and I eat and enjoy chocolate and cake. However, I'm not challenging anything - I turn down social occasions, I don't try new meals or eat out often because quite simply, I have to be in control. 
So, I can say I have started to make the effort to eat a little bit more. Not much, but it's better than nothing. I just hate the way it makes you feel. Feeling like the biggest person on earth, that if you gain loads more then your clothes will no longer fit. I almost want my body to reflect the inner, ongoing battle that is taking place in my head, just so that people understand a little more.
Last night, I started to speak to an amazing girl named Meg (and I truly hope this continues!). It was nothing more than uplifting to listen to her advice and see just how far she's come. Sure, things aren't dandy everyday, but she's still trying and she challenges things. She is courageous. 
I have to find the courage to face the unknown too. Fear of the unknown is quite possibly the hardest fear to face. It's like jumping out of a parachute and not knowing where you will end up or how you find your way home. On that journey you face challenges but you'd also discover new places and curiosity for life takes over. 
That is what I want more than anything now, my desire to live my life to it's full potential back.
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School days

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

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I have spent most of this evening discussing my upcoming holiday with my best friend. It may sound trivial to you lot, but this year is the first time I'm going abroad without a responsible adult - parent/teacher - and actually, it's a bit scary! For someone who hates public transport, I'm sure getting to Malaga airport is going to be a little overwhelming but at the same time, I am soooo excited!
So, as the conversation progressed, we began to reminisce on our school days. I think I can honestly look back and say I had a blast. I was a cocky little bast*rd really, and got away with a lot because I am quite intelligent. I worked hard and did well, which meant many teachers let me have a laugh with them.
I really did have some fun and there are memories we always laugh at. For example, my best friend gave me fanta before a bleep test (a running test to see how fit you are), in which I stopped shortly after it began to throw up! And there was one incident in particular, which I secretly love.
I was very negative in German lessons.. basically because I was too lazy to learn German and therefore 'could not do it'. I spent the lessons just chatting and being a nuisance but nothing was ever really said, apart from the same old 'stop being so negative' comments - and I didn't like my teacher either! We were in one lesson and given one sheet between five of us. This was definitely not enough so we didn't really do anything! Half way through the lesson, we were given questionnaires to rate the German department. I didn't really want to so gave them outstanding for everything :-) But, my best friend didn't, and in the comments section wrote 'need more sheets'.
Well, nothing was said until I asked for some help! Our teacher had read every questionnaire (which are supposed to be anonymous!) and replied with 'what? a smartarse like you needs help?!'. I was mortified so fought my corner.. especially as I hadn't written anything! We had a full on shouting match in the middle of lesson and I won :-) And received an apology from her and the head of department. That day, I was proud I stood up for myself!
These were the days when we lacked responsibility, and I can actually say, I had a fantastic time!
Were your school days 'the best days of your life?'

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Extreme Diets

Sunday, 21 April 2013

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I seem to be completely surrounded by extreme diets at the moment. This is probably a combination of the excessive chocolate consumption over Easter and the desire to achieve the perfect 'beach body' in time for summer.
I don't deny that everyone wants to look great in a bikini but why does society look for this 'quick fix'. 2013 doesn't have time to lose weight healthily, and in the same sense it doesn't have time to recover from a mental illness either. People long for drastic results fast. Calorie counting, denying themselves everything 'unhealthy', exercising everyday.. In reality, that is unhealthy in itself. I have learnt that we really do need everything in moderation and we can have it all. 
The problem with these fast solutions is that they are difficult to stick to. Cutting out everything you love will only mean you crave it more and then overeat when you finally get the chance. What I don't seem to understand, is that we lose weight for the summer, then indulge during winter, meaning this vicious cycle continues and really, you remain the same size.
However, the thing that scares me about all of this, is that I become sucked into this too. I hear people discussing how much weight they're losing or how difficult they're finding it and I long to be able to join in. I am supposed to be gaining weight, yet all I can think of is how I will look in a bikini on a beach in Costa del Sol, in 2 months. As we have seen some sun, I have started to think about the Race for Life, and whether I am well enough to run. Running means training but can I be trusted to exercise? People are swimming, attending zumba and meanwhile, I sit hear wanting to so badly but fearing relapse. It is also extremely scary to see how easily influenced I am by other people's food choices. I don't need to lose weight or diet but because everyone around me is, I want to? At uni, I can live in a bubble if I need to, as I have my own space, but what happens when I leave all of this and really enter the real world? Attending a business lunch and the hot blonde orders a salad.. I know I'd do the same too even though I don't really want to and I know I shouldn't. 

I think being surrounded by dieting shows me how far I still have to go to feel comfortable in my own body.
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Thursday, 18 April 2013

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As my extra long summer holiday is rapidly approaching, I thought I best start making plans, contacting managers, applying for work experience etc. And today, I've started doing just that.
There is nothing more annoying that having a 9am lecture, cancelled at 5 to 9! When I am up, I'm not going back to sleep so spent the morning tweaking my CV and writing to St. George's Hospital, applying for work experience. This is the mental health hospital in my home town, and yes I've been a patient there - I probably still am, but oh well.. foot in the door and all that? ;)

I have contacted my manager and told him I only have 4 Saturday's left and will ring my old store on Monday. And finally, I finished my last assignment for this year!
I have been convinced to stay an extra week here and go to carnage as a big final night out before we all leave for summer (god help me!). Big night's out aren't my thing but saying yes is something I want to start doing. Too many opportunities get wasted when fearing food and drink, and it's time to change this.
So, the 14th May is when I return home. I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing yet but only time will tell. One month to be precise.
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Sunday, 14 April 2013

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Like many students, I live in a variety of places. Here at Uni, at my Mum's house and I guess my Dad's house too. However, there is a difference between a house and a home. Today, I returned home. It's not perfect, as I was greeted by drama over freezers and fridges but it is my own space and I feel comfortable. 
I immediately caught up with my friends, and was given another Pandora charm from my best friend/flat mate - a little house!
I have been sincerely pushed and tested at my Mum's, felt second best on many occasions, so it's nice to be away from all of that now. Tomorrow, I will start the final term of my first year at Uni and I shall be putting myself first again. 

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Happy Birthday!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

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Despite not wanting to celebrate my Birthday at all, I have actually had a lovely day. I woke up and was truly overwhelmed with the amount of cards, gifts and messages people had sent me! I saw one of my closest friends for coffee - Mocha Cortardo actually ;) and then went shopping with her and then my family.
I have been treated to some lovely gifts, including the most beautiful friendship bracelet, Pandora ring and charm :-)

I then decided I would bake brownies and they were delicious! I did think that my baking skills may have some what suffered but hey, I've still got it! Can't say the same for the presentation though! Anorexia was not going to ruin another Birthday for me and it hasn't because I have also enjoyed a lovely meal out too. 
I have decided that this is age to fully recover. No if's or buts - I don't want to enter my twenties still battling an eating disorder. I have been stuck for long enough. It's time to take the plunge, gain the final few kilos and LIVE my life. What am I clinging on to? Fatigue, coldness, numbers? They aren't what I call achievements, people don't like me for these things etc etc. And I say this now with a positive outlook, and sure it won't last, and sure it takes time. Well, the sooner I take a bite of this bitter lemon, the better because the more time I devote to this illness, the less time I spend living.
And just quickly, thank you to those who have sent me a card, gift, message, tweet! It really does mean so much to me.

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Monday, 8 April 2013

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When a mental illness is forced upon a family, I think it's only natural for every individual to react differently. Some are ashamed whilst some eager to learn more about the illness. There is no right or wrong way to react but I think supporting the suffering individual is vital. 
The more time I spend with my Dad alone, the more I am learning that my family very much sweeps anything to do with mental illness, under the carpet. Almost as if they don't exist. My Mum has a mental illness, of which is never spoken about. My Dad has one in which he has told me a lot about now, since I am studying a psychology degree.. and I have one. One in which I never speak to my Mum about and no one else in my family knows (although, if they haven't guessed by now, they must be stupid!).
I spent the evening with my Dad last night, and he told me how he is treated within the family. His Mother has never been involved and only worries about those with physical illnesses. And you know, I am deeply saddened to think he has spent the last 20 years suffering alone with hardly any support at all. 
But then, I am doing the same thing? Not once has my Mum asked me how I am since I've been home. In fact, I've just been bombarded with food. Now, I am not saying that fish + chips on Friday, followed by domino's Saturday is wrong, because I'm not. In fact, there have been days in which I've more than welcomed it! Everyday of the week would have been lovely because let's face it - they're bloody amazing. But for a recovering anorexic, it's never going to happen. If I'm going to give my body something, I want something full of nutrients.  Something that will attempt to repair the damage I've done!
And then, 5 easter eggs?! 1 would have been fine! I know she's trying to include me but I don't think I've ever been this anxious. I desperately want to go back to Uni and I have no idea how I'm going to last when moving back home, because I really am spending every waking moment in my room alone.
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Talking Mental Health

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

It has recently occurred to me, that I can't keep talking about my mental health problems forever. I'm also questionning whether it's healthy to work in an environment which may/may not involve eating disorder sufferers.
Through blogging and twitter, I have made many friends, read many articles and stumbled across many videos, all in which aid recovery or talk about their personal stories. These things truly fascinate me and the people I've met, I will be eternally grateful to have them in my life, and I don't want to lose them.
However, the longer this goes on, the more I'm beginning to think it's feeding my illness rather than helping. The reason I choose not to look at celeb based magazines is because I'm drawn to how much weight someone has lost/gained or the diet pages. Neither of which do me or anyone any good. And it's the same talking about eating disorders.

The longer I talk about having this illness, the longer I'm going to have it. See, for me to talk about it means I have to still suffer. Sure, I can talk about past experiences to someone in the future (if I ever recover), but that isn't the same as regurgitating the same thoughts and feelings every day. It's common sense, but the more I weigh ourselves and count calories and talk about how I feel, to more time I devote to an eating disorder. I can go round and round in circles spending precious time on something that isn't worth a millisecond. And the longer it continues, the harder it becomes to break the vicious cycle. Being in London last week with Amy ( taught me that I don't have to live life by a routine. And my god, it's ridiculous! Do you know how stupid it can sound if I said to you 'Sorry, I can't come out tonight because I need my evening snack at 7:30pm'. Sure, I'm eating but I'm not living. Purely existing. 
I just think there has to come a time in which to fully recover, we have to stop talking and start doing. I'm not saying I'm ready just yet, but surely that's the nature of this illness? We can't make a half hearted attempt, we must completely let go.
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Evening drinks

Monday, 1 April 2013

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I am not usually one for drinking (various reasons) but tonight I went out with a very good friend of mine for a drink. I was inspired by lyrics from the movie Sex and the City 2 - I am strong. I am invisible. I am woman!
Let's just say, it's been a beautiful evening, simply talking the night away and putting the world to rights. I have now returned home and have rolled around my brother's floor, actually crying with laughter while he's finished off his sharing bag of doritos (all by himself!)

Yes, tonight has been a good night! 
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