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I’ve had this blank page staring back at me the past few days. Want to write, know that I do, but about what? I don’t know.

I just don’t know.

My head is spinning with a thousand questions, so much so I won’t allow myself to even take a step back and appreciate how well the past three weeks have gone. I’ve not weighed myself at all and I don’t feel as much of a need to. Part of me thinks that shows massive progression but the other part tells me its because I’m scared to see the number, that I’m bound to have gained weight.

Every time I think I’ve made steps forward that voice simply tells me I haven’t. It downplays my success. I’ve not purged for more than 3 weeks…but that’s probably because I’ve been with other people, not because I’ve gotten stronger…

He wants to be with me. Says that he does. Says that he really likes me. But I don’t know. What if I’m setting myself up for yet another failure. Am I weak for going back? Or am I making the right choice by trying to work through whatever happened? But what did happen? I don’t know. I still don’t get it, I still can’t process it because he hasn’t given me a reason as to why he did what he did.

And my head keeps spinning.

When I’m with him, its perfect. As though nothing happened. But when I’m alone I just think of all that pain he brought to that Sunday a few weeks ago.

He said after a really long (and I mean really long) relationship he’s scared of picking the wrong person. He described it as akin to a mental health issue, that he panicked and almost couldn’t control the things he was saying. I can half understand that, even though none of my friends do.

But surely that means I’m the wrong person? I mean, of course I am. No matter how many steps I move forward nor how many achievements I make, I have so many failures and broken pieces of me that can never be forgotten.

Failures and broken pieces that are rooted in a bastard of an eating disorder.

Of course I would never be right.

Of course, each time someone ‘genuine’ comes along, they soon enough realise I’m not right.

Why would I be?

Does this mean he’s just going to end it another day in the future? Right now, he is right for me. I don’t believe its healthy to look too far into the future regarding relationships too soon but am I just here, making him better for the next one to come along? Just like always.

Always setting them up to treat the next one better.

For once I thought I was finally getting treated better.

I just don’t know anymore.

But he does treat me right. One stupid afternoon, one epic mind fuck but everything else feels incredibly normal and perfect. I can’t spend a relationship second guessing everything…just like I can’t spend my recovery second guessing every step forward that I make.

No more second guessing, back to going with the flow, I suppose.


Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92

A Beautiful Ticker

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The thing with broken clocks is that you can tell exactly when they stopped ticking.
With people it isn’t so easy. Sometimes you can’t even tell they’re broken.

I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s broken but it’s definitely been hurt. It’s been picked up and carelessly shattered into pieces a few times but it’s still there. It’s still ticking, beating away to the sound of my consistently crazy life.

Going back to Law School meant that whilst the gossip had spread, most people hadn’t gotten to speak to the actual source: me. I don’t blame them but it took a lot out of me having to tell close friends what had happened yet again. It was draining to go through the evening over and over again: his words, his actions, my feelings.

Just like last year, my exams had been the perfect distraction. However, the post-exam come-down made me realise that I was still hurting. Not over the boy but, rather, his actions. I don’t need nor want a liar in my life but the situation just echoed my past. No, it didn’t echo it, it amplified it. The contradiction of words and actions was one of the cruelest things I have ever experienced.

I still don’t believe he meant to hurt me so bad but that doesn’t exactly make it hurt any less. I don’t need people to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. That sometimes things don’t work. That I’m fine just the way I am. I do know that and I’m still that optimistic girl full of hope that one day, someone perfect for her will think she is perfect for him.

Nevertheless, my confidence has taken a massive hit. My focal point of happiness has shifted back to weight loss and I need to pull myself up and climb over this rocky patch and remember that there is so much  more to me than a number on a scale.

Everyone needs to take a time out every now and then. Just press pause for a few moments, take a breath and reflect. We have all, at some stage or another in our lives, been presented with challenges that we have either overcome or are still pushing to overcome. We have all experienced darkness and failure. We have all been taken advantage of and let down. We have all been hurt and not once did any of us deserve it but whilst the pain makes our confidence drop, don’t you think that we are actually so much more beautiful for it?

I think so.

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Kintsugi is the Japanese art of restoring a broken piece with a lacquer that is mixed with gold or silver. This craft is based on understanding the spiritual background and history behind the material and is interwoven with the philosophy of finding beauty in broken things. To appreciate that the piece is far more beautiful for having been broken.

My ticker needs some time to heal right now but it’s going to be more golden than it ever was before and someone who truly deserves it will appreciate the artwork that is this broken heart of mine.

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Twitter: @elenip92
Instagram: @elenipapa92

Raw

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Hands tense, gripping what they can. Trying to stand tall but everything is crumbling.

Heavier weights to try numb the even heavier pain.

But it’s falling away. It’s being ripped away.

It hurts. Oh it god damn hurts.

The pounding starts. The voices come running. Whispers turn into screams.

Walls back up but still spiralling downwards. One step forward yet five leaps back.

Lift even heavier. Push through the pain. It helps the hurt.

But why does it still hurt?

Tears stinging. Why is it still so raw?

I’ll never see him again but why am I scared that it might happen accidentally?

How did one person take away all my strength? All my confidence? All my self-worth? Why did he have to take it, just to have sex with me for a few months?

I can’t do it right now. I can’t fix myself right now. Somebody please pick me up because I really can’t stand on my own right now. Anyone. Please.

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And Breathe…

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Take a step outside and shut your eyes. Feel that breeze in the air, take one big breath in and hold.

Keep holding.

And breathe.

Let it all out.

Let the stress leave and the pain subside.

It’s okay to crumble. It’s okay to slip up under the pressure. It’s okay to fall.

But breathe.

Just breathe sweetheart because that really is all that matters.

Through all the heartache and heartbreak. Through the stress and the tears. Through the chaotic whirlwind that’s trying to swallow you whole…just breathe.

I know it hurts. I know you feel like a failure. I know you’re struggling to fight back those tears.

So don’t fight. Just breathe.

You don’t need to fight and be strong for everyone else when you need every ounce of your strength for yourself.

And don’t you worry about a thing because they all understand.

Just breathe.

It’s all going to be okay. You’re always okay. Always have been and always will be.

Just breathe sweetheart.

And don’t forget to smile.

Breathe and smile. Always smiling.

You got this.

You always did.

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Twitter: @elenip92
Instagram: @elenipapa92

 

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

 

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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.

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Yummy Mummy #1

Twitter: @elenip92
Instagram: @elenipapa92

Tis The Season

 

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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.

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