Getting back up after a knock 

Tuesday was a hard day, and while I felt a little better yesterday I did hide in bed all day and throw routine out of window. It perhaps wasn’t the best idea but I just had no capacity for anything else so I just gave myself the day to feel down but on the understanding that today I would get back to it.

I don’t really feel like embracing the world today but I’m going to do it anyway. I know what helps me so I need to implement it even if it feels hard. 

  • I got up with my alarm
  • I made a proper lunch and snacks
  • I had a pre-run breakfast and prepped my 2nd breakfast
  • I’m going for a run now
  • I chose a nice outfit rather than defaulting to safe baggy clothes
  • I’ve written a manageable to-do list for the day
  • I’m meeting a friend after work even though I feel like hiding
  • I have planned a proper dinner

The drop from feeling great to being down is always a rough one, but I need to accept my brain doesn’t always play ball with me and that this will happen. What matters is my reaction to it. A knock like this could have previously taken me weeks to come out, but I know more now and I know that it won’t happen without effort. 

I’m drawing on all the great strength I find through you lovely blogging people, and sending you all good vibes for anything you’re facing today x

A day to myself

Yesterday was the first day in months that I had no plans. I had to be home to wait for a delivery and it forced me to arrange my day to be at home. 

It was bliss! I woke up early but lay in bed reading. I did some epic spring cleaning- I washed two sets of curtains, I cleaned the grouting in the bathroom tiles, I washed the windows, I sorted out cupboards, I cleaned my cross country shoes, I had washed clothes that had been building up. In between this I had two naps and watched two movies! 

It might sound like a horrible day to others but cleaning really does soothe me, and it was great to get things checked off my to-do list, and to wake up this morning to a sparkling house! 

Eating wise it wasn’t great, despite being relaxed and having a lovely day I purged three times and binged/purged in the evening. Bulimia is back with an avengance but I’m aware of this and prioritising my recovery, I took out my self-help manual and have started the first module again, and wrote out my pros and cons for recovery and am going to food shop today to get me started for the week. 

I’m away again the next two weekends and can already feel the anxiety building up, but this is a lesson that I need more days like this as they really do help. In fact I’m going to schedule some in the diary right now! 

Hope you all had lovely Saturdays too. 

My current lifestyle is not sustainable

I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. My brain hurts and my body hurts. I have kept going and going and going and I know I can’t keep it up anymore. I had a sobbing session with my counsellor today. I started crying in the waiting room and then it didn’t stop. My eating is all over the place, my stress levels are sky high. PhD stuff is freaking me out. Work is just full of people needing things from me. I am over promising and under delivering and I hate myself for it. This weekend coming is the first of 4 trips in the next 6 weeks for weddings and hen parties and christenings. (I’m so blessed to have lots of lovely friends but sometimes I wish they could spread their life events out!). I need some time to myself as I know going on like this is not sustainable. 

And yet I could make time for myself if I tried. I’m sure people would understand. I could schedule things better. I could take on less at work. I could exercise less. I could prioritise spending time food shopping and cooking. But I haven’t been, and I need to take some responsibility for the impact that is having.

I really struggle with slowing down and stopping. My experiences of when I’m not ‘go go go’ are of depression and inaction. As with so many things, I’m all or nothing. I can keep going until I need to collapse and hide. I have recognised this before and have really tried to address it, but the guilt and anxiety that come with ‘down-time’ is hard to cope with. It never feels that restful to be honest, and when I do enjoy it I feel ashamed for enjoying it. I associate action with thinness and control and effectiveness, and stillness with weakness, laziness and fatness. 

I need to accept that I’m not superwoman, that I can’t do everything and be well, and that’s okay, it is not a reflection on my strength of character, it’s just who I am. 

I’m annoyed at myself for falling down the same hole that has tripped me up before, but there’s always room for learning. I can’t make major changes right now as my calendar is how it is, but I can be aware to not make any more plans for a while until I have figured out this whole moderation thing. 

Does this need to be always on the go affect anyone else? Any tips gratefully received as always! 

Alone tonight, but not in life

I’m seeing the new year in on my own tonight. I am at my Mum’s and I have the house to myself and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend this new year’s eve. I am unexpectedly single, but doing okay with that. As time passes I feel like the dust is settling and I’m liking the picture of me that is emerging from it all.

I’ve spent quite a lot of new years eves on my own as it’s not a night I typically enjoy. I had far too many drunken nights as a teenager/young adult that would end in tears because a new year didn’t mean a fresh start for me, it meant another year of my eating disorder and depression. I  have had some fab ones though, with some special ones in Sydney, Wanaka (NZ) and Madrid. Seems I enjoy them more when abroad! But when I’m at home I like being just at home and enjoying the evening myself without the weight of social expectation. However, if I’m honest some of those evenings spent alone were lonely and a little sad.

This year however I am completely confident that while I’m alone right now, I’m not alone in life. I have a wonderful family looking out for me, a ton of fabulous friends who let me cry and then make me laugh. I have a couple of professionals who are keeping me on track. I have bloggers out there in the web (yes, you!) who read my words and send me hope through theirs. Being honest with people about all the crazy in my head was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but yet it has resulted in the most rewarding and beautiful consequences. It is so freeing to be myself, mental illnesses and all. And recovery and self care and all those other efforts continue to this freedom.

So while I’m alone tonight I’m definitely not alone. And if I convince even one of you reading who are keeping their demons to themselves tonight to even consider reaching out, that might be the best new years eve ever.

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017, here’s to another year of living. x

 

 

 

When hiding is not a plan

When my counselling appointment was cancelled the other day I burst into tears on the phone. Not my proudest moment but the secretary (bless her) picked up on it she offered me a doctors appointment as I won’t see my counsellor now for 6 or more weeks and it was clear things weren’t all sunshine and roses.

I saw my doctor today and, needless to say, sobbed and rambled at him but he did a good job in getting me to focus and make a plan of action. He asked what I thought would help and I said the only thing I can think of right now is to hide in bed. He suggested this might not be as effective as I think  and asked me to come up with other plans. I was honestly stuck. The thing I really want to do is go hide (preferably in a hotel so that I can be alone) and turn my phone and computer off and remove myself from the world. He said fine to do it for a day but I needed to think ‘then what?’ It was embarrassing to realise that actually my plan of action on how to help myself extends to only ‘hiding in bed’, and I’m more panicky than usual in this situation as my boyfriend isn’t working so he is at home which means I don’t even get to hide in bed in peace.

The fact is also that life goes on and I need to keep participating. Hiding is not really an option. Doc asked me what I did to make myself feel better and I came up with: doing extra ‘work work’ to get ahead on things, doing PhD work so I feel better about that, do chores and other things on my to-do list and run, swim and yoga. He was nervous about the exercise as I’m meant to be cutting down not increasing, and all the other things he said didn’t really sound like fun. He asked what I do for fun, or as a treat. And honestly, hiding in bed watching gilmore girls is the thing that does it for me at the moment, but here we were again having to think beyond hiding in bed. He asked about a beauty treat- no because people would have to touch me and that is just too much right now. He asked about shopping- no because shops are overwhelming, I can’t make any decisions and I feel I haven’t earned it. He asked about dinner/lunch/ coffee out with friends- no because, well, food.He asked about reading – I did buy a new book but can’t get past page 5. I’m stuck stuck stuck. He agreed, and said that this could be the time I try some new things to get unstuck.

So, tomorrow I am going to try a non-hiding approach to conquering depression. I shall get my car serviced, do some work in the library, and then my ‘fun’ thing is to write my christmas cards – not sure this is exactly fun but I’m hoping thinking about the people I love will help.

What does everyone else do when they’re feeling down and hiding is no longer part of the plan?

Not my pain

The last few days (maybe weeks) have been rough. I myself am doing fairly well but there are other people around me who are not- and it’s them who things have been rough for. It’s not my place to blog about it- they are entitled to their privacy of course-but there is a little bit of me that finds it hard to just sit back and watch. 

I have invested so much energy the last while in helping myself that it’s easy to forget that not everyone can, that other people can suffer and not want to take the same path I am. I was one of those people once- not wanting to share/talk/whisper anything about what was going on in my head. I have no judgements, they need to do what they need to do, there are where they are, but I just wish I could magic away their bad times and make everything better. I wish I could take their pain away but I know I can’t.

The best thing I can do is keep to structured eating and keep myself well so I can be there if I ever am needed. I can’t control how others feel, but I can control how well I am. So even though their sadness make me sad, I still have to keep moving forward. Just another lesson for recovery I guess!

Quote Challenge

The lovely El from a different life included me in a three day quote challenge. Now, as I’m trying out the challenge of no challenges (see previous post on my destructive need to set challenges) I’m not going to fully participate, but I wanted to share one quote that’s been on my mind recently.

“After they had explored all the suns in the universe, and all the planets of all the suns, they realized that there was no other life in the universe, and that they were all alone.  And they were very happy, because then they knew it was up to them to become all the things they had imagined they would find”

It’s from the play 5th of July, but I came across it elsewhere athough I can’t remember where- it’s just in my quote notebook which is now about 20 years old!

I’ve been thinking about it recently as it makes me think that along the lines of me  exploring all the means of self destruction, and all the ways that I needed to prove I was good enough, and to have considered all the external influences, but to then realise that actually I am just who I am, and that I’m enough just as I am right now. This might not make sense, it’s hard to explain!

Anyway, I’d love to read what other quotes people have in their minds at the moment!