It’s Been a While

Hi everyone, sorry I’ve not posted in a while! I love writing on this blog, it helps me offload and share what I’m going through with those of you that read it. It also hopefully allow some of you see that you’re not alone. But recently I’ve been living life to the full with barely a minute to spare. I’ve been working hard, but also taking the time to do the things I enjoy most. I’ve been on holiday, I’ve been to parties, I’ve been spending time with my boyfriend, I’ve started singing in a band, I’ve been LIVING. Recovery has allowed me to do the things I enjoy again. It’s allowed me to find a purpose in life again.

Since my last post I’ve been on a long weekend away to Geneva with my housemates, as one of them lives there. A weekend full of pastries, ice cream, cheese, wine, swimming, dancing, and laughter. What a special memory. I’ve been able to spend numerous weekends cooking and ‘pigging out’ with my boyfriend without being snappy and difficult. I’ve been to the pub on weekends, and I’ve been to every house party and night out going. These are all things I’d never have had the energy to do. These are all things I’d have missed to sit in my room, alone, and binge after a week of hardly eating. Things as simple as eating three meals a day which now don’t even cross my mind used to be a struggle. So fuck you anorexia, we’re well and truly over.

In terms of food, it doesn’t occupy every corner of my mind anymore. I’m eating when I’m hungry, and I’m eating what I want regardless of calories. Maybe I’m eating a little too much at times, but that’s ok. I’m listening to my body, and the past couple of months it’s been wanting what are classically deemed as ‘unhealthy’ foods, but that’s natural after years of restricting. I’ve put on weight… So I’ve bought new clothes. I’m just letting my body have what it needs and I know things will settle down with time. Yes it’s important to think about what you eat and try to live healthily, but right now the healthiest thing for me is just eating what my body tells me it needs, and blocking out the disordered voices that tell me I can’t.

The fact that I’m nourishing my body also means that I can actually enjoy going to the gym now. I can use it as my time to get away from everything, and focus on everything my body can do. Allowing myself to work with my body, to listen to it, and not to fight against it, pushing it to the extremes. I can explore everything my new body can do, the new way that it moves and feels.

I’m also reducing my dose of fluoxetine with the aim of coming off of it, and I’m working my relapse prevention plan with my therapist with the aim of discharge very soon. That’s not to say things will definitely go smoothly, and their door is always open for me to come back, but right now I feel like I’m ready to leave that chapter of my life. I don’t know if it will ever completely go away, I’ve lost years of my life to this disorder, and I’ve been taken to some dark places, but that’s what’s brought me to where I am today. What I’ve been through will always stay with me, but now I want to start making step towards helping other people who’re stuck in the depths of that place, feeling as lost and helpless as I was, and try to show them that there is a way out. I want to use my experiences to help others, and to see perceptions changing. Here’s to a future of acceptance and love.

 

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Why

I’m about to leave for the hospital, but I just had to get this off my chest before I left.

I’m at a really low point, I’ve never hated my body as much as I do right now, and I’m frustrated with myself. For 2 nights in a row now I’ve got back from the hospital at about 9pm, and I’ve binged until I’ve felt ill. WHY?! I know how it makes me feel, and yet I do it again and again. The restricting has lessened but the bingeing is just increasing. It’s like food is this forbidden fruit, and as soon as I have something ‘bad’, everything is out the window.

I was feeling so bad this morning that I made the fatal error of weighing myself for the first time in 6 weeks. Oh dear. I’m actually too embarrassed to say what the number was, but I’ve certainly not weighed this much in at least 3 years. The only good thing is that I know I’m not going back to restricting the way I used to, I just can’t stand the misery, and I do love food too much. I’m just struggling with the lack of routine in terms of food, sitting around for most of the day swamped with thoughts about food, and just sort of grazing through the day, unable to resist.

I just don’t know what to do with myself, or where to go from here. I’m disgusting.

My Head Is Screwed Up

Head head currently feels like this.. asldihvjknjwlrhgctaiulwefhmowJFXMw[m[woprGM

It’s running in circles and won’t shut up. I’m not feeling good, but it isn’t a good time. My Gran is critically ill in hospital and I’m taking time off Uni to be at home/at hospital with the family. This devastating turn of events has happened so quickly, and although knew Gran was ill, this has taken us all by surprise. We know we’re going to loose her, but I don’t think it’s quite registered with anyone yet.

My head is spiralling, and my mental health is suffering. I can feel the grasps of anxiety working its way back into my life, and my relationship with food has taken a turn for the worst, but in a different way this time. All I can seem to think about is food to take my mind off things. I don’t know if it’s ’emotional eating’ or a way of distracting myself, but I’m just eating and eating, wanting food when I’m not even hungry. Maybe it’s because I’m finally allowing myself to eat rather than restrict and so my mind is saying quiiiiick eat everything you can because tomorrow you’ll go back to ‘behaving’… but yet again each day I just indulge. I just can’t find a balance. It’s all or nothing and it’s driving me mad. Where’s all my self control gone? I feel like such a phoney, such a fake, I’m supposed to have an eating disorder and I just can’t stop thinking about food, and giving in! My self hatred is through the roof right now. I am disgusting. I can’t bear to look at myself. If I catch myself in the mirror I get a horrible sinking feeling as thought I’ve ruined all my hard work. And I know that’s silly because weight gain is part of recovery and I’m LOVING eating I really am, but my God I hate myself at the same time.

I think the way forward is to focus on eating big  meals that fill me up, rather than falling into the same old trap of skipping breakfast, or choosing the minimum amount at lunch to save calories, because that only leads to snacking (which is ok but at the minute that just leads to binging)

Wahhhh, basically I’m just frustrated with how I’m feeling. I have so many things whirling around me in my head I was going to explode if I didn’t write it down. Apologies  for the word vomit, but if anyone reading this can relate, you’re not on your own!

I can’t say that tomorrow is going to be a much better day with the situation we’re in, but all I’m going to focus on is absorbing myself in every moment I have with Granny. I’m so lucky to have so many precious memories with her… got to look for the silver linings haven’t we.

Life Cleanse

I’ve just been sitting on the sofa, enjoying some chocolate my housemate brought back from Switzerland, and reflecting on how far I’ve come and how I’ve managed to achieve what I have so far. I think the answer is having a ‘life cleanse’… Just clearing out all the negative things that surround me and focusing only only positive aspects of life. I highly recommend it.

Social media can be a hugely positive thing, as I’ve found having recently opened up about my experiences of Facebook and having set up a recovery Instagram. However, it can also be hugely demoralising and unhealthy. Don’t follow people who make you feel less worthy, or who promote things that you find triggering. For me that meant staying away from fashion pages, stick thin models, and gym addicts, and instead surrounding myself with real friends, and immersing myself in the incredible body positivity community who promote self love and acceptance regardless of appearance. This allowed me to begin to see that I’m not defined by my weight, and that I am worthy no matter how I look.

I know there are good and bad days ahead, but I really am beginning to believe that I can beat this. I’m ready to start LIVING.

Off out for Italian for dinner with my dad and my sister now… Bye carb fear, hello pasta, bye liquid calorie fear, hello wine, bye anorexia, hello a curvier happier Anna 😀

Out Of Control

I feel like I’ve been on a binge for the last few days and can’t seem to get myself out of the cycle. I feel terrible. I feel fat. I feel ugly. I feel worthless. I feel out of control. It’s as though I’ve completely let myself go, and that should be a good thing, but I just feel horrible. I can feel my legs getting thicker, my thigh gap diminishing, my stomach bloating, a muffin top developing, rolls forming in places they never used to, and my arms getting flabby. I know this is part of recovery, but I’m finding it really difficult to deal with, and yet I can’t seem to stop craving food even when I’m full… WHYYYY

Sorry for the rant, it just feels so much better to write these things down and get them off my chest. If anyone is reading this and can relate, I’d really appreciate a message!

Learning To Be Moderate

This is still a struggle for me. I’m lying in bed feeling sick I’m so full, but if someone gave me slice of chocolate cake now I’d probably eat it. Once I’ve broken my ‘rules’ everything goes out all the window, all the days of restriction, all the exercise, and all the opportunities I’ve wasted because I’ve simply not had the energy.

Granted, the rules and restriction have decreased immensely. There was a time when I would religiously input all my calorie intake from food, weighing everything I ate to ensure it was accurate, as well as all the calories I had burned exercising, into a calorie counting app to ensure I was losing weight. But that inevitably led to huge binges when I simply couldn’t resist the temptation any longer, eating the cupboards bare until I was physically ill. This isn’t the case anymore (I still can’t help but check the calorie content of food items, although I know most of them by now), but I still have an issue with going over the top from time to time when I’m ‘treating’ myself. When I’m faced with a meal I’d class as indulgent, I still feel like I’m breaking all my boundaries and so might as well eat everything I possibly can before the next day when the ‘behaving’ and avoiding all ‘bad’ foods starts again. It’s not the last time I’m ever going to eat bread, or pizza, chocolate, or sweets, I don’t need to go crazy, I just need to learn to be moderate. So that’s my next obstacle to overcome.

If you’re struggling with something similar, you’re not alone, you’re not weak, and you’re not out of control. You need to be kind to yourself, to recognise and accept this behaviour, and work step by step to make the changes in the right direction towards a happier, healthier you. WE CAN DO THIS!

Feeling Thankful

Instead of climbing into bed being thankful that I’ve made it through another day, I’m climbing into bed with a smile on my face, feeling thankful for a whole host of reasons I never had the capacity to appreciate just a few months ago. Last night I went out for dinner with my mum and my sister to celebrate my mum’s birthday. Normally that would entail a gym session and eating as little as possible throughout the day in preparation, followed by the torment of scanning through the menu trying to calculate which option contained the fewest calories, and not being able to enjoy the company or conversation for the entirety of the evening because of the constant nagging feeling of guilt. Yesterday, however, was a completely different story. I went out for lunch with my sister and had a hotdog and shared a mac n cheese (both of which were vegan, and super tasty!) and enjoyed every mouthful. That evening we went for cocktails and then had an amazing meal of tapas alongside 2 bottles of wine… and although there’s still that nagging feeling from time to time, I was able to move that into the background and genuinely enjoy the night. For that I’m thankful.

And on that note, I’m so thankful for my family.  I’d be lost without them. Each and every one of them have been more supportive that you could imagine since my diagnosis, and I know they’ve been worried about me for a long time.

Tonight I went to cook for my Gran and enjoyed a cheeky bowl of trifle after we’d devoured a delicious stirfry. I’m thankful for every moment I can spend with her.

And I’m thankful for my friends. Whether we’re close or not, the response I got today following a Facebook post about my situation and promoting this new blog was overwhelming. I felt so much love. And I received so many kind messages, as well as messages from people who have been or are going through something similar. You are not alone.

So maybe I’ll sleep well tonight knowing I have so much to be thankful for.