Sunday, 5 June 2016

Practicing what you preach


I wasn't going to write this post.

But I'm someone who always tells my friends that I'm there for them 24/7; that they should always come to me if they have a problem, even if it doesn't seem like one. It's fair to say, I don't always practice what I preach, however I'm learning.

The best way in which I can describe anorexic recovery to someone, is that you have a radio in your brain. That radio only plays one channel and it's continuous. Over time, that noise becomes quieter and more muffled, until eventually it's on mute. It's not switched off though, it's still playing. It's just not heard because the volume has been turned down.

Having said all of that, sometimes there can be certain situations which cause the volume to rise. The only difference between me now and me when I was ill, is that I don't choose to tune in any more. It's just there, crackling away in the background. A bit like an annoying buzz that you just can't seem to locate.

And so I've learnt that that's what happens when you put me in an office.

Don't get me wrong, I can't grumble at my new job. I'm working for the NHS Continuing Care department, learning so much that I know will help me with my future in social work. I have great hours and good pay for the work I'm actually doing. The people have been lovely and welcoming, and I've made some really good contacts which will be ever so useful in the future.

But being in an office is quite claustrophobic for me. Going from travelling to being stuck at a desk has been a hard transition, and I don't feel that same sense of freedom. I hate feeling trapped - it simply reminds me of the years in which I was trapped inside of my own mind - it's too familiar. I also struggle with the constant talk of dieting, calories, weight loss, fit bits, exercise.. you name it, it's covered.

The thing is, I miss not being able to join in. Not in a way that I miss calorie counting or going hungry but I miss not being able to tune into that radio channel when it's my way of coping when I'm bored with life, deflated or don't feel comfortable with a certain situation. I miss that sense of control, being 'safe', feeling empty, numb and in my own little bubble where nothing else mattered.

It's almost as if I'm grieving. Maybe grief is the right word? In the same way that you miss a passed loved one when you see an old photo, I miss my old coping mechanism.

I'm not saying I blame the office, but I do think it's important to point out that sometimes, what we say really can impact on someone else - and that's not necessarily just with food or weight.

Nor am I saying that I'll ever go back to being ill because I won't. I just think it's important to write this down and note that grief is 100% normal, and when things do creep up on you, it's OK to discuss it.
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1 comment

Amelia May said...

You are definitely very brave and it's lovely you had the courage to share this, it must have been tough to be open but it does definitely help to speak up about what is going on inside our minds. It sounds like you're managing this very well despite the internal challenges. Xx take care xx

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