Just Because

Just because you see the smile doesn’t mean there isn’t anything hurting behind my eyes. Just because you see the food being eaten doesn’t mean there isn’t any fear behind every mouthful that I swallow.

I’m not pretending to be okay. I’m fighting to be okay.

And each day is getting better…I think so, anyway.

In fact, I know so.

But from the moment I wake to the moment I shut my eyes my mind is plagued with fears and doubts and questions. When will I eat? What is on my meal plan? Will I be hungry at the correct times and what if I’m not hungry at the right times? Will I lose weight? Am I going to gain weight? What if I break my plan and have a biscuit in that meeting at work? What if I want to purge later? What if I end up purging? What should I do tomorrow to make up for any slip ups today?

Even if I have my three meals and my one hour of exercise my mind is plagued with these thoughts and you know what, it’s tiring as hell.

It’s been 4 months of meal plans and increasing my exercise week-by-week and a massive reduction in both my restrictive and purging habits.

And here we are, still trundling along.

After I initially stopped the purging I did gain a few pounds, but in all honesty (other than the pesky number on the scales ruining my mood) it didn’t really change me or my body that much. I didn’t instantly become fatter from stopping the purging.

But I still had hoped that 4 months down the line, that I would have physically changed.

I do know I have some body fat to lose. I just desire my stomach to be flat. My stomach is the only part of me that I am so incredibly self-conscious about. It always has been.

Even as I am in the process of writing this out I simultaneously wish I didn’t care about my weight. I’ve sometimes spoken about wishing I was the girl I used to be who didn’t care about my weight or what people said. I realise today that, that’s a lie.

I was forced to pretend everything was okay. I supressed every single one of my emotions by putting on a smile and learning how to laugh the pain away (and comfort eating in the process). I wasn’t ‘me’…I wasn’t allowed to be me.

No wonder I snapped one day.

Is it normal to miss your illness?

I don’t know if ‘miss’ is the right word.

I don’t enjoy purging. I don’t enjoy restricting. I don’t miss not being able to get out of bed for being weak. I don’t miss the burning in my throat day and night. I don’t miss the cramping in my stomach from laxative abuse but maybe I miss all the lies it was telling me. The lies I believed.

Maybe I miss the false sense of control it gave me. The reassurance that I was going to be ‘better’ if I did what it was suggesting I do.

I need to find a positive in this post and I can find a good one – yes I initially gained some weight when I started eating 3 meals a day, but I haven’t gained more than those initial 4 pounds.

I haven’t suddenly become the fat girl I was scared of becoming. The fat girl I am still scared of becoming. I’ve just sort of hovered in this middle ground…little bit heavier…but a whole lot healthier.

I’m currently maintaining.

I’m writing this because I have a little bit of free time at work and I want to purge.

I want to purge even though I had 1 sandwich for lunch because…well let’s try to be honest…because deep down I don’t think this is about weight loss…I’m a little overworked, a little tired, a little self-conscious and a friend being cruel in the way she spoke about my ED a few nights ago has left me feeling vulnerable.

If I break it down further, the ‘fight’ on Sunday night left me remembering those who have used my ED to their advantage to control me. It made me remember and feel feelings of worthlessness and being taken for granted. It made me feel uncared for and ‘dumped’.

Let’s be honest, it just made feel shit.

Well at least I can pin point what’s triggering me this week.

I’m trying to remember that I’m a whole lot healthier than I was 4 months ago….4 pounds ago…

I wish being healthier didn’t hurt as much as it does right now.

They say actions speak louder than words but, just because my actions are those of a normal person, doesn’t mean the words my brain deals with aren’t deafening.

 

Hello

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I have a weekly face time catch up with a best friend of mine. A best friend I’ve actually only known two years, a best friend who’s been a best friend possibly less than a year but, regardless, the best of the best.

Doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone, all that matters is that they’re there.

But when you realise they are there, even when you didn’t expect it because you hadn’t asked them to be…that’s when you know just how special they are.

I cancelled last weeks’ FaceTime because I was incredibly stressed out for reasons discussed previously and also on that day Dad decided to visit.

I half-reluctantly met him and it was perfectly pleasant but I’m purely going through the motions now (I’m so fed up with him and would be happier without a connection…but mum begs me to stay in touch).

Anyway, a perfectly pleasant lunch ends with him saying its time I met my half-sibling. He spoke about him so casually throughout lunch, ‘oh Jason has exams soon…oh Jason’s doing this that and the other’ and it’s weird to hear my dad talk oh so normally about a half sibling he surprised us all with a few years ago. The half-sibling he dotes on so much more than he ever did me. One of the reasons I had to pick my mum up all those years ago, one of the reasons there’s no money left and mum can’t pay her bills. I wasn’t even 7 years old when dad started the affair, barely 15 when the kid came along and just 19 when I found photographs and letters and skype messages telling the truth. So much hurt from a man that never cared and yet mum asks me to ‘be nice because he’s still your father and he’s so stressed out.’

Oh yeah, let me just put the man who hurt me over the years, who hurt all of us, first. Let me put him first simply because he has the title of father when all he is in reality, is a glorified sperm donor.

I broke down when I got home after lunch – my head was all over – food was too much to contemplate and I hadn’t been sleeping due to nightmares and I simply didn’t want to be alone so I went to his house to spend the night. I text her apologising for cancelling with no other explanation other than ‘I’m really stressed out’ and she completely understood because great friends always understand.

But you know what an even better friend does?

This…

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I got this through the post on Monday and I cried. It took me completely by surprise and I cried. I sat on the kitchen floor and cried. I cried because I was slowly realising how much support I have. I’ve never doubted her support but this simply just got me. It went straight to my heart and seemed to release all that pain.

I hadn’t even told her any of the reasons why I cancelled because I’d been so busy the entire week. But that’s the thing. She didn’t need to know the ins and outs to be able to help me. She just knew something was up and that small postcard contained more support than you can even begin to imagine. A small postcard that has pride of place on my bedroom wall. A new daily reminder I can get through all this. A daily reminder that there are people there even when I don’t expect them to be.
Especially when they realise I need them before I do.
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Too Glam To Give A Damn

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Self-confidence is the best outfit you can possibly wear. 

I broke down at law school this week, I’d let the emotions get on top of me and I hadn’t dealt with them healthily at all. I’ve spent a while feeling fat and overweight and ugly…all those horrible words said to me by others years ago and the horrible words I learnt to value my worth upon.

I couldn’t hold it together and I broke down in the middle of the class. Two of my really good friends came to help put me back together and I told them exactly what’s been going on. The family, the fear of being told I have cervical cancer, the hurt, the financial situation, and I told them I’m recovering from bulimia. That I have purged and I was so  ashamed of myself for, in my words, ‘failing’.

So, it’s been a tough one this week but we had a girls night out (with a close male friend too) and it was simply everything I could have wanted. I could feel how much the week had gotten to me though because I was feeling back in a place where I was nervous to go out, struggling to find clothes, hating that girl in the mirror. I was filled with this fear that I’m going to be that fat friend with my other skinny counterparts. That I’d look so fat and ugly in any pictures that surfaced the next day. I could feel that dread burning. The desire to be thin rising yet again.

The night before I tried on my outfit and hated the way I looked so before going out I tried something different. I didn’t want that fear to be there when I went out. I didn’t want the demon to stop me having fun. So I stood in front of the mirror and I took a deep breath in and I smiled at myself. I thought about how much fun I knew I was going to have. I thought about how much me and E had been planning this night and how excited I genuinely was. I thought about how much I wanted to dance with someone who’s become one of my closest friends, to dance without a care in the world. A night where boys were not on the menu!

Smiling seemed to make me smile even more.

And I felt the smile glowing. I felt my confidence starting to grow. I laughed at some of the antics from the week before and at the thought of only god knows what was going to happen later! I started to smile at how much my friends cared when they saw me break down. I started to remember that there are people who think I’m awesome and, if I’m honest, I do think I’m pretty awesome too.

I was smiling simply because thinking of my friends, my excitement, even those damn sexy shoes I was going to wear made me happy! I was smiling because I knew exactly what outfit I was going to choose and although I had started the evening so scared that I was going to be fat, when I went back to the mirror I loved that girl staring back at me. I loved the curls in her hair, that smile and her dimples. I loved how happy she was.

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I loved me.

Just the way I was.

The way I am.

And I realised I could care less about people who made me feel fat and ugly all those years ago because all that matters are my friends who made me smile again. My friends who picked me up in that corridor when I could barely stand. My friends who danced with me all night long. My friends are beautiful people. And you know what? So am I.

Too glam to give a damn? Too damn right ❤

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Christmas at Southwark Bridge Road

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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.

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Whole-Hearted

 

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I have never seen pretty much everyone at work look so disheartened all week so thank God it’s finally the weekend. Finally time for me to get out of London for a couple of days and just get away from it all. Away from everything. I can’t even put my finger on exactly what I am desperate to get away from but I just have this dull ache inside me that needs to be fixed.

Maybe I was just on a come-down after a packed weekend, maybe I was still in pain from that ruptured cyst, maybe it was that text message, maybe it was this week’s workload, maybe it was nothing but maybe it was everything.

I couldn’t work out why I was feeling a bit meh…but sitting here now on the train has given me plenty of space to think. I feel like I can finally breathe so maybe things were a bit stressful. I haven’t really stopped since I went to Newcastle 5 weeks ago and the past month has admittedly been a bit of a whirlwind.

Something slipped out last night. I said I can’t wait to look after me. Wouldn’t it be nice to look after myself rather than everyone else? 

I don’t know why I said it but I must’ve been thinking it.

A someone I didn’t want to hear from sent a text I didn’t want to receive this week. Basically because they’re feeling lonely right now. No. Just no. You can’t do what you did to me and text me months later. Thinking I will be over the moon for you to text. No. Just no. I’m not quite as whole-hearted as I used to be meaning I won’t feel sorry for you and, therefore, reply. You made sure I’m not that girl anymore. I’m no longer that broken girl and you can’t use me the way you did. Not anymore. Never again.

I don’t want you to text me ever again.

And that was that. But it really knocked me a bit because I’m sick and tired of people trying to pick me up where they left me…where they literally dropped me. No. Just no. I’m tired of people getting in touch when they want something, never just to see how I am. I’m fed up of being used and taken for granted and although I point blank refused to let that person back in my life it still left me feeling rough.

There was a lot of good this week too, definitely ended on a high rather than the low I started on but even then, my brain is still spinning. I keep telling myself to stop falling. I’m trying to hold on so tight to these walls and although they’ve come down I’m still ever so scared. I’m perfectly happy with whatever is happening right now. That’s not the issue. I’m genuinely happy with whatever ‘this’ is but I think my hearts beginning to beat faster.

I’m scared and yet simultaneously feel so very calm about it all. There’s things he says or does that make me think he really likes me but then I’m also not too sure. I’m still a little bit scared of getting hurt again…I thought I wasn’t scared anymore but writing makes me realise I must be.

I’m scared of getting used again. Being taken advantage of. Taken for granted. Made to feel worthless

But I do like him and don’t want to shy away from this one in order to protect myself. I’ve happily taken each day as it comes and I’m going to keep doing that but I still feel vulnerable. I know that I don’t want whatever ‘this’ is to end right now. That doesn’t mean I want things to jump to any other level but I don’t want this feeling to end. That means the ball is in his court so to speak. I know I want to see him again and I think that’s what makes me feel vulnerable, almost like I’m not in control of the situation.

Sigh

A problem of mine is that I’m whole-hearted. I go full heart or nothing at all. That goes for family, friends, work, everyone. If I care about you, you know and equally if I don’t like you, you know. I will bend over backwards for those I care about and people have taken advantage of that in the past. They’ve abused the fact I care with the whole of my heart and they’ve crushed it without thinking twice.

But I can’t let my past define my future.

I’m very happy with my life right now. I am so incredibly scared at the same time but a little bit of fear keeps you on your toes. I’ve shown this week I am prepared to cut out the deadwood in my life and ultimately, those who want to stay in my life will make the effort and I’ve learnt who deserves my effort in return.

I’ve learnt the hard way which people deserve this whole heart of mine but that simply means I love all those people twice as hard.

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Having a bestest visit this week was genuinely needed ❤

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