A Badge That Says ‘I’m Different’.


I was given this badge. This nice blue badge which, now that I mention it out loud, is appropriately coloured. On this lil blue badge is the London Underground sign with a phrase stating: ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’.

I was born looking normal, I grew up looking normal (well to the extent I hid my arm) and I definitely still look normal. No body can see the pain I’m in. Friends wouldn’t really know the extent of the pain I’m in on a daily basis.

Why? Because I don’t want to be that one who complains all the time and nor do I want to feel like a burden to anyone. So I smile and get on with my pain treating it as and when I need to.

I wish that method could apply to my mental pain, but I digress.

Standing up on a packed tube where I’m too small to reach any poles to steady myself is painful. All my effort goes into trying to balance and it hurts. My leg is throbbing from morning all the way through til that tube journey home.

And so I was given a badge. In the hope that people wouldn’t question my invisible disabilities and allow me to sit.

And most of the time they do. The rest of the time, I’m probably way too small for people to even notice me in the first place and that’s fine. What’s also fine, is those who don’t give up their seats because they could be like me.

It hurt me though, when I got it. I felt like I was given this great big blue badge that screamed ‘I’m disabled!!!’. I felt ashamed that people would look and question what could possibly be wrong with me that warrants me having such a badge.

I felt broken.

It represented this huge feeling of being broken. Of having something wrong with me. Of not being normal.

It reminded me of those feelings of shame for having physical issues growing up. The feelings of hurt when no one would believe I was couldn’t do things or was in pain. The memories of being bullied for being different.

I still get embarrassed. I see people staring but I know they’re going to. One person was cruel but that was one in god knows how many hundreds I’ve come across on my tube journeys this past month.

But being able to get a seat for most of my journey has really helped reduce the pain I get in my leg. Just like writing helps reduce the pain in my head and heart.

It’s nice to feel less pain in my legs.

It’s nice to be writing again.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last wrote anything and it was an unexpected message that actually got me wanting to write again.  It’s not been plain sailing since then but I’m sure I’ll start telling you all everything that’s happened soon enough!!

Thank you for that message ❤

Instagram: @elenipapa92
Twitter: @elenip92

 

 

 

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
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Bonfires and Fireworks

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot. We see no reason, why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot!

When I was younger I really didn’t like fireworks. I used to be quite scared of loud noises and knowing there was going to be a bang used to make me jump twice as hard. I suppose when you anticipate something, it’s always going to be worse. It’s always best to just sit back, relax and let things unfold the way they should.

I’m not just talking about fireworks anymore.

My whole life was spent trying to anticipate things, maybe in an attempt to control the outcomes. In some situations, I knew what the outcome was going to be but the wait in anticipation of that outcome was ever so draining. For example, I might have had a bad race, look up at my final time and think shit he’s going to kill me. The walk from the swimming pool to my coach was exhausting, knowing just knowing I was about to get ripped into…knowing they were going to comment on my weight…probably monitor my weight even closer.

That was, unfortunately, something I couldn’t control but I used to think I could. I believed if I kept my weight as low as possible they couldn’t use it against me. That if I had a bad race but I weighed 52kg, they couldn’t imply I was fat. Just one of the many lies my ED told me in order to keep me from being healthy.

When I look back on my journey, I really did think being skinny would solve everything. I thought people would like me more, coaches would stop pressuring me, boys would be attracted to me, that I would be happier. I genuinely thought skinny equated to value.

That as long as I was skinny, nothing else mattered.

I can’t quite remember when the need to control the chaos started but it started fast and it started hard. Coaches drilled into me that I was in control of every single choice, from going to bed 5 minutes late, to not being able to complete an essay on time, to eating one spoonful too much and that every choice was going to affect the final outcome. I understand what they were trying to get at but what they forgot was so very key. They forgot that control needs moderation. It needs to be flexible.

I really wasn’t back then, the control, the restriction, the purging, it all kept coming full circle dragging me down and down. I tried to anticipate what the scales would say, anticipate what time I would do if I was a certain weight, anticipate what they could and couldn’t say about me if I weighed so little.

I only really considered this yesterday, about how trying to anticipate things made me seek this intense control that I, ironically, could not control. It’s funny how considering the anticipation of the bang from a firework brought this to my attention but then again, my writings always been a bit poetic, very metaphorical.

Bringing my thoughts to the present day, bonfire night was a lot of fun. For a couple of reasons I’m still keeping to myself, but third weekend in a row I have had an incredible time. Just so much laughter and feeling at ease and just being me. I’m not going to anticipate what is about to happen here, I’m not going to think. I know where I may like it to go but I’m very happy not overthinking, not trying to convince myself either way, just letting things be.

Enjoying the bonfire and the sparkles in the sky. Enjoying those arms around me. Who knows what is going to happen, but I won’t forget.

Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92