Hello 2018

I’ve not really been one for New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always found the ‘New Year, New Me’ to be slightly superficial but major congrats to anyone who fully commits to their resolutions!

However, I do like to reflect and make goals.  (Same thing, I know!!)

I was at a party again for NYE, the same one as last year and it really dawned on me how quick the year has gone and how much has damn well happened. If I try to compare 2017 to the year before, I can definitely say without a doubt that it was a lot more successful.

I passed my final degree with a distinction. I travelled solo to places I’ve always wanted to see and made more travel plans for 2018. I had some amazing times with my friends. I started my new job after graduating and met someone who makes me really happy. I’ve also made some massive steps in my recovery this year.

When I try to make myself goals or rules, I always make them too strict. When I inevitably don’t stick to them, I feel guilty and it can send me down that awful ED spiral. So, I might not be making strict resolutions this year but I’m going to try make some changes to the usual goals I would make.

Instead of losing weight, I want to exercise 3-4 times a week.

Instead of questioning if our relationship is ‘okay’, I want to learn to trust that it is.

Instead of spending all my weekends in London, I want to try visit my friends more.

I want to reduce how many coffees = ‘lunch’ and slowly increase my intake.

I want to distract myself when I’m stressed with a mentally healthy hobby.

I want to feel less insecure by tackling my insecurities head on.

I want to stop feeling like my past is going to drag me down.

The insecurities one is a big one for me. I know I’m getting less and less insecure in my relationship. I do worry that he won’t want the ‘broken one’ or that I’ll ‘never be good enough.’ He’s definitely not as much of a ‘talker’ – as in, I definitely say those three little words and some cheesy stuff a lot more…but the stupid thing is, I know that he does feel the same way about me.

Because of the relatively awful past I’ve had with guys, I look for affirmation a lot. I need to know people are happy with me and that things are going well, as if to protect myself from nasty surprises or horrible situations that might occur.

So, those words and actions confirming the words mean so much to me.

I want to work on needing less of this though. To stop looking for the signs he loves me. Naturally, if they stop all together then I may need to be concerned! But I’m only going to self-sabotage if I don’t learn to just relax a bit.

When I’m with him, it’s all perfect. But when I’m apart – that’s when the fear starts and I can get triggered. I figured I’d bury myself into a new hobby so I’ve got something just for me to enjoy on my own. Hello new camera and photography courses! I’ve always loved capturing memories and nature, being the country bumpkin that I am, so here goes!

Here’s to an even better year.

Happy New Year Everyone xxx

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Shit Happens

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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. 

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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.

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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

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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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