Shit Happens

img_8437

I know I did nothing wrong. I know that sometimes you simply aren’t going to be the right person for someone but god, do I feel like a fool. Last night I wished I could say with conviction that it was his loss and yet I couldn’t.

His words have been such a contradiction to his actions and I simply feel like an idiot for thinking he liked me. I do believe he’s a nice, genuine guy and we probably could have been friends if we met in different circumstances. It might not have been his intentions but I feel like a glorified fuck buddy.

9 weeks ago, I removed my links to my blog from my social media, you know?

I was embarrassed. Okay, well maybe not embarrassed about my blog but more so that I was worried about presenting myself as broken. I removed my website from my profiles and stopped sharing links with the corresponding pictures on Twitter and Instagram. I stopped sharing my journey because I was scared of how a boy might accidentally stumble across chapters of my story without me realising.

Some of my previous posts about my recovery have been brutally honest but the hard truths are what help us recover the most. I suppose that whilst I happily share my journey with the world I still have that fear that when I like someone they won’t like the girl who’s been a little bit broken and battered along the way.

I did mention my ED to him but only briefly. However, that took so much strength. Strength I only found because he gave the impression he liked me. That’s what hurts right now. The fact I stupidly opened up to someone who didn’t see anything in me. I feel as though I’ve let my guard down and that I should have known better.

Wish I would stop stumbling across nice guys who accidentally mess me around.

You know what though?

Shit happens.

And I am never deliberately hiding my story ever again.

24 hours later and I genuinely believe I’m over him. The reason why it’s happened so quick? Because I have a group of badass friends who picked up the phone last night and convinced me to go to them. I travelled across the country late at night and spent all of today with them…still in the clothes I wore to our ‘date’ last night!

Thanks to him I’m going to be even more wary of guys than I was when I met him but also thanks to him, I got to see my absolute bestest who I didn’t get to see this Christmas. I got to see the two newborns of the group as well as their amazing mums who are even better best friends to me.

I got to spend the day with my favourite 3 people with endless cups of tea, biscuits and baby cuddles. So much laughter and a few tears were shed about how, once more, I’ve been messed around but there truly weren’t as many tears as I thought there would be.

Right now, less than 24 hours later I can say with conviction…it’s his loss, not mine. 

img_8489

Here’s To Us

img_8391

Here’s to the friends who have never left your side. To those who will always answer the phone. The friends who are always there when you need them the most.

Here’s to the friends who are separated yet remain inseparable. To those who meet up and nothing has changed. The friends who rearrange their days for the shortest of reunions.

Here’s to the friends who see your pain when everyone else sees the smile. To those who lift you up. The friends who drag you out of the darkness.

Here’s to us who have been through thick and thin. Here’s to us who always end up back together. Here’s to us, having fought through the pain, reaching for the stars. Here’s to us smiling past the struggles, laughing our way to the top. Here’s to us with a friendship that’s here to last.

Here’s to the friends who turned into family. Because of you, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a lot more.

Here’s to us.

15 years and counting

Here’s to 15 more ❤

img_6184-2

Wise Words

 

Words are powerful. They can crush a heart or heal it. They can shame a soul or liberate it. They can shatter dreams or energise them. They can obstruct connection or invite it. They can create defences or melt them. We have to use words wisely. 

My motivation to write can come from a variety of sources and when I get an idea or the urge to write I take a picture to include with each post. Admittedly its usually a selfie or a picture of something I’ve done that day that’s made me happy but I never post the pictures where I’m sad.

The words from the small paragraph I’ve included above could not be truer. The picture on the left is from my morning coffee in the back garden and I took the one on the right about 5 hours later. The change is staggering and the reason for the change? One small sentence said to me shortly after the first picture was taken.

I would never usually take a selfie of me crying, desperately trying to hold myself together but I decided today I would. I wanted to show the reality. I want people to see the hurt and struggles that I still go through because no matter how hard I try to ignore it, no matter how hard I pretend I’m okay, there are days where I’m still in incredible amounts of pain.

Christmas is hard, notoriously hard for any sufferers and recoverers from EDs. I don’t really need to tell you all that, you already know but to hear my brother say to me, ‘if you’re going to be sick today can you at least clean the toilet because my girlfriend is coming round today and we don’t want the toilet to be dirty.’

His words echoed in my head and the tears came running. I really struggle with my recovery when I come home at any time of the year, let alone Christmas and to hear what really was an insensitive comment cut right through me. I hadn’t been sick this visit, I hadn’t purged, I hadn’t bent over the toilet with my fingers down my throat and yet his words…the thoughts came running, the tears came burning, the storm came thundering and then the fear set in.

I’ve been trying ever so hard this year to keep purge-free. So much so I’ve been coming across angry and grumpy to my family because I’m simply so stressed out. I wish they would understand a little bit more but I don’t know how to make them understand more. He realised he had hurt me and when he tried to make it better I screamed at him to leave me alone.

I’ve not screamed at anyone like that before.

But the thought was there now. Purge. I need to purge. I stared at the girl in the mirror and couldn’t believe how fat she looked compared to a week ago when she was alone in London. I needed a shower but all I could see was the fat girl in the mirror. God I wanted to smash that mirror. The thoughts were pounding and the girl became blurry as the tears stung and I could barely stand up, holding onto the sides of the sink desperately searching for some strength. Any ounce of strength.

Come on girl. I heard myself say. Pull yourself together. Its Christmas…

Christmas.

Every year.

Something happens.

That all happened about 30 minutes after that first picture was taken.

The second picture was taken shortly after Christmas Dinner.

I feel weak. I feel disgusting. I don’t want to write this out but I know I need to. I know admitting helps me recover.

I relapsed.

But I sunk to a whole new low.

In the past I’ve done some incredible things to hide the purge from others but I did something I’ve never done before.

I knew eyes and ears would be on me at home and I went to the park. I knew that would probably be empty. I found somewhere secluded. I checked no one was around. I tied my hair up. I took a final deep breath, shut my eyes and I bent over.

I relapsed.

And the relief came rushing. I felt that instant relief that I learnt to wrongly associate with positives all those years ago but then I cried. The vicious circle had started once again. I’m home now and no body knows, that makes me feel worse. 5 years in a row that I’ve relapsed on Christmas Day. I feel like I’ve failed even though I know I haven’t. I’m just hoping I can get a firmer handle on things tomorrow. That’s all I can do, take each day as it comes, keep aiming for small steps upwards.

 

I understand I can’t let everyone’s words affect me but I don’t see why I should lower my feelings because of someone’s choice of words or their ignorance. He didn’t mean what he said but it really damn well hurt at the time. It’s hard to get out of this claustrophobic house at the best of times, let alone when the Demon’s voice starts to scream.

The second half of the day was surprisingly amazing. The family bickering had stopped and we actually ended up having a great evening as a family. There’s always silver linings I suppose. There’s always laughter in sadness and hope in darkness.

There’s always progress to be made at every hurdle.

There was a time I was purging every day. That was a long time ago. That’s the progress I’ve made.

That’s what I should be proud of today.

And the below pictures of dad dancing with me on his shoulders…that’s the memory I want to remember about Christmas Day 2016.

Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92

Parenting the Parents

 

img_7984

16 hours. 960 minutes. 57600 seconds is all it took for him to fuck up.

Yet again. As always. Once more the man messed up.

His actions have hurt me more than ever before.

I hate how much he’s hurt my entire family. I resent the pressure I have had to cope with to hold us all together when I can barely keep it together myself. I despise what he’s done but most of all, I hurt.

I simply hurt.

There’s no more room for anger if I’m honest. The anger has gone but the hurt resonates with every breath I take when he’s in the room. I can barely look at him anymore. I simply can’t be around him. But mum doesn’t understand and true to form she keeps begging me to try be happy, to put up with it, to pretend everything is fine for her sake.

I hate that guilt trip even more. The fact I love her can’t make me love my dad. The fact I care about her more than anything can’t make me pretend to be happy. I simply cannot pretend anymore. I’m mid-20s now and I’ve learnt how all this pretence since I was a child made my mental health deteriorate so rapidly.

I’m incredibly close to my mum and I always have been but sometimes I truly resent the fact she kept this man in my life. Sometimes I wish, oh do I wish, she had taken him out of our lives because he has brought nothing but pain. She always ends up on the other end of the phone, crying, screaming about what he’s done now and sometimes about how she wants to die. So why doesn’t she leave? I want her to leave and so does my brother…my closest friend who won’t come home yet for Christmas because dad is here.

At least he can use his girlfriend as an excuse. I have no excuse not to come home for Christmas.

I do appreciate you can’t interfere with someone’s relationship but I have been coping with these breakdowns since I was I was a teenager. I have tried to hold us up for so many years. I have held it together for as long as I can but some days I simply can’t do it.

I saw my best friends today. 15 years and counting and now two have the cutest babies ever. He was only 4 days old. I held this little bundle of cuteness who was 4 days old and we all caught up. The thing about my Newcastle friends, my old school friends, is that we have all truly gone through some horrific things, somewhat similar things, and we can all relate to each other on a level that I have never had with any other friends.

Something interesting was said though when we were commenting on how surreal it feels that two are parents now:

Well, we’ve all basically been parenting our parents since we were teenagers haven’t we?

It is a sad thought though, isn’t it? I know my life has not been bad but that doesn’t mean bad things haven’t happened to me. Through all the pain caused by my dad and the accidental guilt trips by my mum, I was forced to grow up at a very young age. We all were. Other people also forced us to become adults before we were due but it’s very clear that all of us are at that stage where we can’t keep parenting our parents anymore.

Mum says she just wants a happy Christmas so why can’t I just put up with dad? My argument is, if you want a ‘happy Christmas’ why do you keep the man who just brings us sadness? I want to make her happy, but why does making her happy have to make me so sad?

Wouldn’t it be nice to look after myself?

Isn’t it sad how I cannot wait for the day I have an excuse not to be here when he is? Isn’t it sad how I was desperately searching for NYE plans, any sort of plan so I didn’t have to be here? Isn’t it sad how I’m spending the days out the house on my own, pretending I’m with other people, just so I don’t have to be around him?

I just want to look after me.

I’m looking forward to the day when someone wants to look after me.

When someone wants to make me happy.

When I can simply be happy at Christmas without having to pretend.

img_7931

Yummy Mummy #1

Twitter: @elenip92
Instagram: @elenipapa92

I Was Spiked Last Night

img_7328

Well, there’s an attention-grabbing title.

Nothing  else can sum up the thoughts spinning in my head right now about my world that was literally spinning last night.

I went to a house party with my housemate, Tom and it was perfectly normal but true to party style it got hectic. I’d had a tough day yesterday and knew I didn’t want to get too drunk in those circumstances so I was good with my alcohol. I just drank my wine and had loads of fun with Tom’s friends.

No problems there.

I went to get a soft drink when I finished my wine. I remember walking up to a table and saw a bottle of lemonade and asked this guy stood there if he could pass it to me. He made some joke about wanting something in return to which I actually clearly remember saying, ‘I’m not looking for anything, just looking for a mixer’. He laughed and took my glass and proceeded to fill it for me.

It’s a strange feeling to remember this small conversation but I cannot for the life of me remember his face. I even remember he kept hovering around and I kept catching him looking at me. The problem was, I thought nothing of it, I knew me and Tom would be leaving shortly and I just sat and drank my ‘lemonade’.

But the room started spinning and my speech became incredibly slurred. My instinct when my speech slurs is that I might be about to have an epileptic fit so my reaction was to find Tom. I stood up and fell over almost immediately and I think it was the lemonade guy who caught me. I broke free and luckily bumped into Tom who was coming into the room.

When I spoke to him this morning he told me that, I said ‘something’s wrong, take me home’ and that he has never seen anyone look the way I looked last night. I’m so glad I found him in time. The drugs were only just starting to kick in and I don’t even want to think of what would have happened had I not found Tom and passed out somewhere.

I remember little bits of the journey home. I remember Tom carrying me at stages and I remember throwing up badly at the tube station. I remember that I couldn’t stand let alone walk and I kept passing in and out of consciousness. Tom pretty much carried me to my room and got me into bed.

I’m unbelievably grateful to have him in my life ❤

The whole situation has kinda shook me a little bit. I’ve been…you know…still can’t find the strength to say the word but the thought that the night could have ended so much more worse than me vomiting at a tube station scares me.

It got me thinking bout how I victim blamed myself in that situation and even last night. That it was my fault. That I put myself in that situation. I let that guy pour me wine and I let someone give me ‘lemonade’ last night. That it was my fault, that I could have prevented it but didn’t because I’m an idiot. Because I’m a stupid girl who should have known better.

Why do we try to teach girls how to not get raped rather than teach people not to rape?

But somehow I still feel like its all my fault.

That I asked for it.

I won’t know who spiked me. I won’t know if they’ve spiked someone before or if they’ll do it again. The thought of what could have been scares me but my housemates truly looked after me today. We spoke about it a lot and that’s definitely helped me come to terms with the event. I suppose I can only try to learn from the situation which would be to always pour my own drinks. But even then, should I have even considered this person was going to slip me something?

To think someone could happily drug someone, treat them as a piece of meat and sleep with them passed out is such a horrible thought. That would have made me feel ten times worse than after that guy…

I try to pretend it didn’t happen.

The nightmares from that night only stopped about 2 months ago.

Can only try to move on from last night.

Just be grateful it wasn’t worse.

Be grateful for Tom’s quick thinking and his actions.

img_7339

Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92

Christmas at Southwark Bridge Road

img_7201

I love Christmas and I don’t think I could possibly even begin to explain just how much I love it. I genuinely feel it is simply such a happy time of year albeit equally as stressful.

I happily nominated myself to cook Christmas dinner for our house. I always find it ironic that the girl with an eating disorder genuinely loves cooking and baking but I’ve always found myself weirdly satisfied and happy when someone enjoys a meal I’ve cooked for them. Plus, as a family, we’ve always made everything from scratch, nothing frozen, and I suppose I really wanted to make sure the Christmas meal was as special as it could be.

Two of our neighbours came round too but the picture above is of me and my three housemates. They really have no idea how happy they make me and I can’t quite believe just how lucky I am to have moved to London, where I didn’t know a single person, and have come across three great friends that I’m going to have for life.

It was such a lovely evening and the fear of the food I was going to eat felt the most distant it’s ever felt and that, in itself, was such a nice feeling. I’ve recently found out my doctor who I have been seeing for more than 3 years has accepted a new job and, unfortunately, I won’t be able to see him any more in a months time…now that is a scary thought.

I’ve definitely built up a safety net in regards to our sessions. When I don’t feel I can tell others I’ve relapsed, I can always tell him. I don’t feel ashamed in the sessions and well, 3 years is a very long time to have been treated by a single person. I’m getting so close to the end of my recovery. I’m aware it’s going to be a life long journey and I’m getting far better but it does scare me that I won’t be able to see him anymore.

I don’t like the idea of, should I need to see someone, to have to open up to someone new. It would be inevitable, they’d need to know my background; every little detail that has resulted in me ending up where I am right now. I’d have to bring back all those memories that, although I’ve learnt to deal with them, they’re always so damn painful to bring back up.

I don’t want to rush to ‘fix myself’ though, so to speak. I want to keep going the way I’m going, keep taking those small steps upwards and simply stay happy. That’s all I’ve focused on lately…my happiness.

And what makes me happy? …Because those scales never make me happy, no matter how much I convince myself the number is okay.

My friends make me happy. The laughs we have when we’re studying or hanging out. Feeling accepted by someone (currently) special, feeling that they genuinely don’t judge my due to my weight or looks in the slightest makes me happy. Those stupid, idiotic, laughable moments make me happy. Helping my housemates and them helping me makes me happy. Cooking Christmas Dinner made me goddamn happy! My life right now makes me happy and I’m slowly accepting that over the years I’ve let the scales dictate how I feel and I’m incredibly proud I’m weighing myself less and…ironically…feel ten times lighter.

Weighing myself in happiness because, at the end of the day, a number on a scale never determined my true friends, the guys who like me for me, my academic and sporting achievements.

The scales have never truly determined anything great in my life.

img_7202

Tis The Season

 

img_6102

It feels like I have this lump stuck in my throat. I’ve just gotten back from lunch with a friend and admittedly that’s all I’ve eaten today. I’m trying hard to keep the panic at bay but I’m really struggling. The fact my meal was healthy doesn’t matter, my brain doesn’t see it that way. My body feels full and so my brain goes into overtime. Ignoring the calories and focusing on that ‘full’ feeling I’ve become accustomed to hating.

God, it’s been tough today but I’ve not relapsed. I’m trying so hard but feel like I’m walking on the edge of a crumbling cliff the past few days about to fall any minute. I can never fully explain how frightening this time of year is. Especially because I simply adore Christmas. I love the lights, and the decorations and the general happiness that seems to surround everyone. It’s such a happy period but as we all know, going home for Christmas has never been fun for our family. Not for me.

It’s not the family drama though, that simply adds stress to an already stressful time. It’s more so that this is the season full of food, which means I’m going to be full of food. All the time. I’ve already got 5 Christmas dinners and parties planned over the next two weeks and then the week after I’ll be home and god knows how many dinners and parties are going to happen then.

I can’t stand feeling full. There was a time I was scared of drinking water simply because I felt full. I like to keep things small. I still confuse feeling empty with positive thoughts. I still critically assume feeling full means I’ve been greedy. After all this time, my brain still confuses fear and logic. Still tries to convince me I’m things that I’m not.

I’m trying not to overthink, not to panic but it’s so damn difficult. I just know the type of food that’s going to be on offer and if I don’t eat people will comment and try to make me eat because they think that helps. And so I’ll eat so they think I’m fine when in fact I’m not and then that fear of feeling full will emerge….there I am…overthinking, panicking.

Come on girl, deep breaths. You’re getting better, you know you’re getting better. 

Mind you, for the first time in what feels like forever, I feel like I’m getting stronger on the edge of that cliff. It doesn’t feel like its crumbling the way it used to. I’m holding on stronger than I ever have before, tougher than I ever thought I could be.

For what feels like the first time in forever, I feel like someone’s arms are there.

I do hope that one year, I can enjoy this season for all its worth. To the full extent that I know I want to love it to. Loving it without the fear.

It truly is a magical season after all.

img_6929