H.O.P.E

H.O.P.E

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The only way out is through x

It's surprising how you can go from super positive to super low so quickly, apologizes for that, I think I am a touch run down and emotional,but this is the reality of recovery, you have to embrace the good and bear the bad. 

Right now I have a room full of things I wish I didn't have. I was strong, I didn't run away from my feelings and I faced the inevitably hard goodbye that I have put off for so long, and it was easier then I expected.
With the support of my family I kept my chin up, smiled, walked away and let go. Really let go, and in fact, it was freeing, hard, but freeing! I can finally start to draw a line under that part of my life, and I will, I am.

But even though it went smoothly the Gremlin in my head is giving me hell. I don't know if it's a mixture of all the stress that had built up being over and finally hitting, being over worked and being run down, but my mood seems to of plummeted. The fears that I feel about life are creeping back in and I can feel the negativity swarming around me, attaching themselves to every thought and making me doubt and over analyze.

The gremlin in my head is screaming at me, I am shutting it up and screaming back but sometimes I scream so loud for so long that I lose my voice.

All that I can focus on is the feeling of not being good enough, at anything. Failing. Falling. Inadequacy. Taking up too much space. Being uncomfortable in my body. And the overwhelming sense that I am not enough.

This is backed up by the constant thought that, I have failed at the one thing that we are put on this earth to do, our primary function apart from just living, the thing that we are all looking for, the one thing that gets us through life, our main goal, to love and be loved, because isn't that the purpose of life? To find love, to find someone to go through lives ups and downs with. My mind keeps going to that classic Sami place, the self critical, self hatred, place. Logically I know that it's not solely my fault, in fact I know that more then ever, but my gremlin is latching on to my weakened positivity and screaming at me.

I am glad I was able to walk away, and I await the day that its legally all over, but for now I am going to ride out this emotinal turmoil, continue to trust the process of recovery, and keep telling myself that:

although the world feels overwhelming right now, and I feel like I am not good enough for even the smallest of things, not enough for all of the things I want to do in this life, that I do not need to turn to old habits to prove otherwise. I do not need to block these feelings out because, as hard as they are, they are just that, feelings, and that this low point, this self doubting, this fear and ache will pass, and positivity will come back again. 

The only way out is through.

Right?



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Be the change!

I've been trying to write this post for a while now, but I am panicking about it being good enough. Classic Sami.

I am starting to understand myself, notice my triggers, where I struggle, and also where I thrive, yes that's right, I can thrive :) It's like someone has found the light switch in my brain and its illuminated enough to be able to find my way around. 

I am determined to work on the reasons why I turned to anorexia in the first place, and for the first time I am not avoiding or running away. Its hard, bloody hard, and with other areas in my life being so difficult at the moment it's hard to ignore that gremlin that's screaming and tempting you to do what you have always done to manage. 

But that gremlin can take a run and jump, without me attached. 

I am content, I'd even go as far to say that I am happy, and not afraid to admit it, not afraid to mean it, not afraid to embrace it. I am starting to face my problems rather then run away from them, and, as scary as this is, the feeling of strength that come afterwards is so worth it. 

I was reading through my old blog today, the blog I wrote throughout my illness, and it's so sad. I read the words and can almost feel the pain that I was in, yet it feels like it wasn't me, and it makes me glad to not be in the midst of all of that drama, upset and agony anymore. It makes me even more sure that I don't want that life. I once wrote:

  'But then again I 'shouldn't' be a lot of things
I shouldn't be going to bed with a heavy empty heart every night because my husband hates me so much, hates the feel of me 'wasting away' so much that he refuses to sleep in the same bed as me
I shouldn't be crying inside with such hunger because I can't bring myself to just be normal
I shouldn't plan my work shifts, social occasion and appts around my ED
I shouldn't rely on other people to speak up for me
I shouldn't of wasted this time
I shouldn't BE a waste of time, a waste of space, a waste of life
I shouldn't be hurting or letting people own as badly as I am

I am one big shouldn't,
one big pile of flaws that's held together by its need to be flawless

 Its a deep and dark fog that I am in. It's scary how suffocating it becomes when you are searching for your way out. That once comforting, encompassing darkness begins to weigh you down and appear everywhere. You used to be able to control it and now it just engulfs you. It clings to you, your every thought, every move, your every breathe.
It does not linger like a shadow, it is a full body, constant hurricane.
'

 I read this and it reminded me of something that was once said to me, that I'm hoping will help others, because we tend to have this trait of blaming ourselves, turning inwards and punishing ourselves for the way we are. 
If you are feeling like one big 'shouldn't' please know that there are no shoulds or shouldn'ts in recovery. You are where you are, you have unfortunately reached that point, its what you do NOW that matters, it's the baby steps you take to escape this hell that matters. 

Stop punishing yourself for your suffering, more punishment will only keep you in it, start FORGIVING yourself and start RESCUING yourself instead. 
Don't punish, adapt and heal. 
 
I am looking towards the future and excited that not only do I not see it involving Anorexia, I also don't want it to. For years I couldn't see a way out and was in this limbo of not wanting to get better but also not wanting to be ill. The fear of the unknown had me convinced that I didn't want a life without my Eating Disorder, it convinced me that a life without it would be out of control, panic ridden, messy and lonely. 
I can tell you that it's the exact opposite. 

 If this is the life that my gremlin made me so fearful of then I am starting to believe that fear can stop good things as well as bad.
 
I am not recovered but I am closer then I have ever been, and I am hell bent on getting there, and I'm hell bent on showing to others that life CAN get better. 

'Be the change you want to see in the world' 

xx

















Monday, May 12, 2014

I got a lovely message today from someone I hardly know saying:

'I think you are more inspirational to others than you realize and what you have achieved is amazing. despite the ongoing difficulties that are inevitably faced and challenge us you have shown great strength which is admirable'

and it has reminded me of WHY I am so open and honest about the highs and lows of recovery, and the thought processes behind it.

So this week is Mental Health Week and the theme is being Anxiety aware. As someone that has the diagnosis of Anxiety disorder I thought I would blog about how it all ties in.

There were many reasons for my Anorexia, but one of them is that it was (WAS!) my coping mechanism, it was a way that I managed my extreme anxiety and felt that I had control of my life. It was a shield so that people wouldn't get to know the real me, because the real me (in my eyes) is not good enough or worthy of peoples time. I saw myself as a person who never fitted in, who was never enough.  I effectively pushed people away and managed to avoid life by being consumed by this inner voice that screamed that I was worthless, undeserving, horrid, a waste of space, unlovable, fat. If something bad happen I could avoid it by delving into my Eating Disorder, I could block it out, not deal with it, avoid.

The anxiety I felt about myself, about the world, was so over powering that by beginning to obsess about something else gave me a way out of being that anxious mess. It gave me something to feel good about, in control of. In the beginning it feels freeing, because you are in control, it's like an invincibility, a numbness. But as time goes on the anorexic voice becomes more powerful and once again you are drowning in feelings that are just as negative as the anxiety. It's a never ending battle and the two play off of each other.

BUT for those of you that also suffer from anxiety I want you to know that it gets better. I used to suffer from panic attack over little things like just going into work, or meeting new people, having a driving lesson, I even used to get so anxious when waiting to be picked up from a dance class because I didn't want to be noticed. I'd get anxious that I wasn't doing enough with my life, I wasn't saving the world, or helping people, or fulfilling my dreams or others dreams. I'd get anxious that I was wasting my life, wasting time, not belonging, just not ever being ENOUGH. I still feel most of those things, in fact I know I do, but I know how to manage them and not let those feelings turn into destructive actions, (most of the time). Now I meet new people all the time, I plan to when I become a DMP and work with a variety of different people. I don't get as anxious going into work anymore, I have my off days, but it's so much better. When bad things happen, yes i still think illogically and blame myself, but I can often take a step back and find the real reason and accept that bad things do happen, it is what it is, you feel it, deal with it, find the silver lining and move on.

I still suffer from anxiety and those thoughts about not being good enough, but I have learn't to remind myself that I don't need to fall back on my Eating Disorder to numb those feelings or to hide the real me. If people don't like me for who I am then that is their choice. I have met so many amazing new people since moving to Exeter and I can hand on heart say that they are friends with me because of ME, not because of my Eating Disorder, and that's quite amazing.

Someone very dear to me sent me this quote the day before my wedding day to help pull me through my nerves, and the saying has helped me every since. The Serenity prayer-

'I seek the serenity to accept what I cannot change; the courage to change what I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.'

Life is unavoidable. Anxiety can be debilitating, but it can get better with time and work, and even though the anxiety and panic attacks and avoidance can make you feel like the weakest person on the planet, when you come through the other side and learn how to cope with those feelings, it can make you feel like the strongest. I promise. 






Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Life and rubbish GP's

My Anorexic brain is not happy right now....because I'm giving it no room to win. 
No room what so ever. 

I have been wondering what to write for a while now, mainly because the situation I was put in the other week still leaves me fuming. 
I had a run in with my GP, who quite clearly is not clued up on Mental Health conditions. 

I went due to people being concerned about me training for the Tough Mudder, when I was in hospital it was something that they told me often, to be wary of any future health concerns due to the stress my body had undergone. I was told countless times that it was amazing how it hadn't packed in in certain areas, because let's face it, it went from normal weight to underweight to a normal weight to an even more drastic underweight to a high weight and now back to a normal weight, and apart from the last change it was all by unhealthy behaviors. I have pushed my body to the point were my heart was ready to pack in and was close to renal failure. It's safe to say it's both fragile and strong and I need to start taking care of it.

So I went to the GP, just to get things checked over and she completley judged me on my size before even talking to me about how I am. She told me that for someone with severe anorexia who was emaciated they wouldn't have the energy to do the Tough Mudder (this is wrong on so many levels), she then looked me up and down and said 
'you don't look THAT unwell though
(personally I don't think I look 'unwell' at all as I am at a healthy weight), 

she then went on to say 'well I can't tell you to do it because if you drop down dead that would be my fault, and I can't tell you not to do it because, well, you're going to do it anyway'. 

THEN she said 'to be honest I don't want to get involved so good luck' and let me go on my merry way.

This was all said with a look on her face, and the tone of voice that just screamed 'you are wasting my time, what do you want ME to do about it?'

Now if I wasn't in such a 'fuck this I want recovery head space' that whole conversation would of been extremely triggering. GP's like her are the reason why people end up so ill. When I went to my GP in Bristol before the marathon I was of a similar weight (this is at the start of my training before it dropped so no one panic), but the reason why she was so concerned was because of my behaviors not because of my weight. In her professional opinion she told me that it was more then likely that I would die before I crossed the finish line because of the stress I was putting my body through. She saw past my weight, and saw my eating disorder for what it was at that time, a dangerous mental health condition. This GP knew my history and didn't ask me how I was, if I was engaging in old behaviors (which I'm not, I have my slip ups but no where near what it was), or if I was even still in recovery. 
She saw my healthy weight and assumed I was ok and that is dangerous. 

I am not angry for me because I know that I am ok, I am not letting her judgements affect me because to be brutally honest I'm fed up of being sick. I want a life that doesn't involve triggering doctors or worried friends and family, no thank you, been there done that, I choose life. BUT I'm angry because how many other sufferers has she treated this way? How many other GP's are out there like that? 

How much damage is being done by the professionals that are meant to be helping not harming.

If this sounds familiar, if you're GP is the same please, I beg you, find another one. There ARE good ones out there, ones that see your struggle without judgement and push for help, help you deserve. 
An Eating Disorder can be fatal at any weight, at any stage, for anyone. 
It has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric condition. 
Do not become one of those mortality statistics because a GP wasn't aware of what they were dealing with, there are GPs that will know and will act and will fight with you. Fight for yourself by finding one. 


On a more positive note, after a few wobbles and tantrums last week I decided enough was enough and began to push forward more then I ever have, and life has rewarded me so far. 

At the weekend I went to my managers wedding and for once in my life had the 'normal' social gathering that I've always craved. I decided on impulse to join in with having some of the evening food,  now bare in mind this was CHOICE, I could of easily not of joined in, and also I have a HUGE fear about eating in front of my work friends, in the whole 8 months that I've worked there I never have. 
But I did, and the world didn't stop turning, and everything was ok, and in fact it made the night better, because I was part of it, I was included, I was living.