Self-inflicted Mind Games


I’ve been back in London a week now and straight into my new house with my new housemates – two very good friends of mine and between you and me, once we get all the boring general admin such as bills and the like sorted, we’ll be ticking over just fine.

However, I feel so incredibly nervous and scared. One friend knows I am recovering from bulimia and the other doesn’t and I have this inexplicable feeling that I’m going to be watched and monitored. Even though it would be from such a good place deep in her heart, I just don’t want pressure to eat…maybe because I still struggle to eat in front of others…because I know it’s still something I’m working through.

It’s funny because I was scared to weigh myself but this time when I plucked up the courage I was actually lighter than I thought I would be. I shook my head and thought, no, this can’t be right, I must be heavier. And so I moved the scales around…same weight…I went and grabbed my laptop…I was heavier…removed the laptop…back to the initial weight.

I was convinced the scales must be broken. Convinced there was simply no way I could have lost some weight whilst away.

Impossible.

But I just realised something this evening.

Three days ago I had to register with a new Doctor’s Surgery and they asked me to weigh myself on some special digital machine thingy-magigy. It told me I was half a kilo heavier than what my scales had told me. This was with my gorgeous baggy jeans and grey sweatshirt combo!

But the implication of this simply didn’t register with me.

But today I realised that maybe my scales are correct and my mind is wrong. Why don’t I believe the solid evidence that my regular eating has helped me lose some weight in a healthy manner? Why am I convinced I must be so much heavier than these scales are telling me?

It’s such a vicious circle. If the number was higher I’d be unhappy and yet it’s lower than expected and I’m still unhappy because I’m convinced I’m bigger than what I am?

A lower number urging me to restrict or purge because surely the number is wrong.

It’s a tough one to get past.

Then again, my friends were happily lifting me onto their shoulders last weekend so this short arse over here could actually see something! That in itself tells me that my perception is distorted. I’m not the number I think I am. Even if I was, surely I’m worth more than that anyway.

Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92

 

Hey Boy, Hey Girl

What’s that saying? A problem shared is a problem halved? Well, let me tell you, that’s never felt more true for me this past week. About a month ago I came across someone I didn’t want to see. There was no verbal exchange between us but the look in his eyes and the fear in my heart were more than enough.

It triggered me.

One month later and I’ve only just woken up to the fact that I need help again. I felt ashamed. The dirty feeling I had last year and three years before crept up and infected me before I could even attempt to create an antidote.. Riddled with memories of fear, the nightmares started again.

Family drama swiftly arrived just in time to make an already difficult time twice as deadly. I tried to bury myself in work to hide the pain. To avoid confronting it and then it all came crumbling down.

It all triggered me.

And boy, I fell hard.

But I eventually asked for help.

And boy, did I get more than I expected.

A text to ask for some company so I wasn’t alone with that bathroom calling out to me. A phone call to ask for dinner and a bed for the night and all of a sudden the fear subsided, the shame calmed down and the screaming in my head became a whisper.

And boy, did I cry.

I was all curled up on my bed and I let it all out. I ended up curled up on his bed and I let even more out. I went to her bed and let It all out again.

And boy, did that help.

Coming to London has been more challenging than I gave it credit for. I left Manchester and the people who had helped me over the years and I was in the City with no one to turn to. No idea who I could trust. However, I can safely say I have two people who have helped lift
the pressure.

And boy, do I appreciate them.
And boy, do I love them as my best friends.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the other half of El-squared (a name that was born because we realised if we combine our names we get Eleni or hers). I couldn’t be more grateful for such a wonderful human being who has entered my life and I sincerely hope she is here to stay.

I also couldn’t be more grateful for the guy who has recently entered my life. I’m incredibly proud of myself for letting my vulnerability come out. I do believe that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with someone is a strong decision. He’s amazing, you know…and yet I’m still keeping him quiet. I really don’t need nor want anyone’s opinion and I’m enjoying keeping him all to myself. My special safe bubble. All mine.

In my little world of happiness both of these people have helped me create.

And boy, am I getting emotional just writing about them.

I suppose that shows that they truly mean something to me.

I have relapsed and I’m no longer scared to admit it. The hard truth is that if people do not know they can’t even begin to help me. If they don’t know my story they can’t begin to understand exactly how I need them. The other day I just needed his arms around me as I cried, I just needed that safe space he creates. I just needed her to help me eat dinner, I just needed that comfortable atmosphere she creates.

I’m sat on a plane right now and my emotions are considerably high. A slight tear of happiness drawing out the love I have for them both. Where am I going? I hear you ask. I’m off to Thailand, on my own little independent adventure. Two weeks to help me clear my head, two weeks to help me appreciate how strong I am and how proud I actually am of myself. Two weeks I am unbelievably excited for.

And boy, am I gonna miss them both.

She sent me a text before I went and it made me cry a bit. It genuinely did. God am I emotional for all the right reasons today?! Not only did she wish me the most amazing of adventures she told me how strong I am. I’m not about to go into details but she made me feel proud of myself and truth me told I feel exactly the same way about her. I feel as if she will be a constant in my life. A constant I truly need right now and I do hope I can give her just as much support as she gives me. A truly beautiful human being.

And oh boy does that make me lucky?

Signing off from God knows however many thousand feet in the air..

Laters taters ❤️

Infamous Same-Names

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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet definition. (William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet)

An association with something, anything, can lead us down very different paths depending on whether the association is positive or negative. Unfortunately I have, due to more-than-unfortunate-circumstances, developed a negative association with a name…

[Insert name here because after all this time I still try to protect others in my posts]

Whilst we can’t taint the same group of people with the same negative associations I have noticed I do just that but, arguably, the more-than-unfortunate-circumstances that led to such an association are more-than-understandable.

I went to senior school with a guy called Name Number One. He came to stay at my flat one week four years ago….I had to force him to leave. I had swimmers come home with me from training to try ensure the situation went as smoothly as it could go but it didn’t go very smoothly at all

I asked him to leave because it was the second time he had visited and ‘tried it on’. It was the second time he had made me incredibly uncomfortable in my own home. In fact, far more uncomfortable this time round because it was far more intense this second time round. Far more nerve-racking, far more scary…

It could have been scarier. It could have been worse.

But that’s not the point.

A Same-Name-As-Name-Number-One came into my life around a year ago. He kissed me whilst I had a boyfriend, a boyfriend he knew about. He knew and still went for it…I did fuck up too in that situation, I text him the next day to clarify a few things and him kissing me ultimately led to me realising how unhappy I was but that situation with my ex-boyfriend was also very unfortunate at the time and that’s not the point of this post.

Following the break up there was one person texting me. Following the break up I was stupidly convinced he was devastated that I was a mess due to his actions and, wait no, I wasn’t stupid, I was lied to. I was all over and I went to someone for support that I shouldn’t have gone to. I know that. But I also know that does not mean what happened to me that night was my fault.

I know that now.

It wasn’t my fault.

Looking back I can see the guy who kissed me whilst knowing I had a boyfriend and then hung around, trying to stay in touch, acting sympathetic, saying he simply cared about me,  trying to see me post-break-up…I can see now that I was so completely broken that I could not see his actual intentions. I can see now that I was so vulnerable and someone was actually taking advantage of that.

I can see now that I did put myself in a dangerous situation but that does not mean what happened to me that night was my fault.

It wasn’t my fault.

I keep telling myself that but I don’t know when I’m truly going to believe it. I never did anything about it. I didn’t see the point and I actually still don’t. I want to tell someone new about it but I still don’t want to do anything about it. I know I should, I know we need victims of abuse to speak up and whilst I want to, I also don’t want to take it further (in a legal sense).

I saw ‘Name Number One’ on Friday and I most definitely didn’t expect to. It was at a school-dinner-reunion-thing where people from all ages and year groups came to send off our most recent headmaster who was retiring. I froze when I saw him but not as badly as I did that time I saw him in the street and had a mini-panic attack in an alleyway as a result. I froze for a minute or two and then found a different group of people to go and talk to.

So what is in a infamous same-name?

I’ve noticed I avoid Same-Names-As-Name-Numbers-One-And-Two at all costs from a dating perspective; I can tell you all that I have genuinely swiped left on tinder on pretty much every Same-Name I come across or avoided Same-Names that I meet and God, does that sound silly to type and read out loud! However, Same-Names I come across from a more neutral, maybe work-based, perspective I don’t seem to judge in the same way.

I think I just know I’ll never be romantically involved with a Same-Name and I think that’s understandable. You don’t think all fruits are going to be sour simply because the lemon is but I don’t think I could ever trust or fall for a Same-Name and, to be honest, that’s okay.

However, hating on a certain name just gives them fame and I realised on Friday night that a lot of the fear has gone. I obviously hate what one Same-Name tried to do to me and what one Same-Name did do to me but there is far less fear and whilst I was shaken for a few minutes – I know I always will be – I realised how much stronger a woman I have become.

Still Standing. Always Smiling. And didn’t I smile all night that evening…

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The Number Game ain’t a Fun Game

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Pesky little things numbers, aren’t they?

We place so much value on what a few digits can tell us and yet they truly tell us nothing at all.

I will be the first to admit I become obsessed with the number on the scales all too quickly at times and the number can either comfort me or send me into despair.

I haven’t been happy that the number on the scale seems to have increased and not dropped at all lately. I usually let it dictate my happiness but there’s more to life than numbers.

A friend pointed out my ‘amazing ass’ the other day and so I had a little think.I put together two pictures one from this week and one from 5 weeks ago…here it is…

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Same beautiful smile, same happiness. The only difference was the number on the scales.

But look at the change…not only have my legs gotten more muscular I think I look healthier. Now I’m not saying I was unhealthy in the first picture but I do think I look stronger as a whole in the second.

The numbers have dictated my happiness in the past but that’s all they are…numbers..and I’m worth more. They don’t reflect true values such as friendships, work or even that muscle you’ve clearly gained in the gym!

So chin up and ignore what those numbers tell you. It’s only a digit and only you get to decide what it means.

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V-Day-D-Day (Part 2)

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That’s right…V-Day-D-Day got worse yesterday AFTER I published my new post so here I am making an additional one. In all honesty, this guy deserves a separate post anyway, so well done him!

Firstly, let me provide you with some humour as to why some of my previous Valentine’s are ‘special’ in a not-so-special-way:

  • 2013 – I was surprised when we arrived at the restaurant with a triple date with people I really didn’t like.
  • 2014 – A friend was visiting for the week and instead of sleeping next door I found him in my bed and he harassed me.
  • 2015-  A date was kidnapped by his sports team right when I was due to meet him – story was never verified but I’m happy to award points for originality here.
  • 2016 – I was in a relationship where the guy didn’t do anything, where I felt more single than had I actually been alone.

And 2o17?!?! Drum roll please my lovelies!

So, I basically got dumped by a best friend yesterday but remember that guy who hurt me? (I refer to posts such as Shit Happens, A Beautiful Contradiction, Raw)…he damn well text me. It’s sort of ironic considering there was a hint of him in my mind when I wrote V-Day-D-Day (part 1) about boys lying to me.

My heart sank when his name flashed up on my phone. I actually panicked a bit. I didn’t know what to do. I do miss the fun we had. But this guy hurt me. When we were ‘dating’ he continually asked me to trust him. He wanted me to think he was genuine. He seemed to care whether I had eaten or not. He asked about my past and the future I wanted. I met a couple of his friends and he met mine.

And so I opened up that heart of mine. Just a little bit. I spent so long with my heart in a cage but I let my heart open up to the idea of something more.

The idea of being with him.

I tried to keep my heart shut but friends convinced me that he liked me. He was doing things that were more than sex. We had sober dates, romantic dates and of course we had drunken dates.

For the first time in forever, I thought someone liked me. And I let myself like that person back.

I let myself become vulnerable because I thought he was worth it.

But then one evening he ripped the band-aid off.

Let’s be honest this has been completely platonic. I thought after ten weeks I would have developed feelings but I haven’t. There’s never been any sort of spark between us. I want to fall in love with my best friend and you’re not that. We should end this. 

Completely platonic. 

Never been a spark. 

You’re not that.

The Demon was incredibly cruel to me following that. It told me I was stupid to think he liked me, that I was wrong to open up when he asked me to, that I was weak for revealing my vulnerability, that I’m only good for sex and not worth anything else. It told me I was ugly and fat and had I never told him about my ED he would have liked me.

It told me lies. Just like he told me lies.

I’ve written before that I don’t want him back but that hopeless romantic in me thought what if he wants to apologise? What if he wants to make up for what he did? I’ll never sleep with him but could we be amicable?

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So I truly was just sex to him for almost 3 months and last night showed he has no respect for me whatsoever. To think he could even consider trying to do this to me.

That’s what stabbed my heart last night. That’s what broke me a little bit more. Any consolation that perhaps I was a touch more than sex, gone.

I live my life by what I call the three-C’s. Stay Classy, never Chase a boy and never Crawl back. He dumped me and I never begged him to change his mind. I strongly remember holding my head high through the tears and walking out of that bar leaving him to settle the bill. I proudly remember refusing to reply to his text following that evening.

(Well done NYE-Drunk Len…you did us proud ❤ )

I’ve slowly been moving on and you think you can play on the fact you know I had feelings for you? You think I’m the type of girl to wait and hope for you to like me back?

Well, you’re a dick and I don’t want you back.

It’s your loss [insert name here]

You chose to lose me and now there’s definitely no prospect of anything ever happening again. He apologised after I replied. I bet he didn’t think I’d turn him down…I bet he thought I’d go running…but that shows how cruel he is.

How cruel some men are to play with our feelings, to pick up and drop our fragile hearts without a care in the world.

You clearly still think about me. You clearly still want me, even if it’s to sleep with me. You clearly had some level of ‘spark’ if you actually had the balls to text me to try get me.

But.You. Can’t. Have. Me. 

I was crying before but now I’m smiling.

And you know what, my lovelies? That means I’ve won.

He chose to lose me.

But I chose to respect myself and the value of my body and my soul.

I chose me ❤

And just look at what he can’t ‘tap’ anymore….

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Twitter:@elenip92
Instagram: @elenipapa92

A Beautiful Contradiction

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Let me tell you this. Being told that no feelings had developed, no slight spark after almost 10 weeks of seeing me was potentially one of the most hurtful comments I’ve ever had. Being told that it has all been entirely platonic and being asked to explain why I thought he liked me was a massive kick in the teeth.

I was actually somewhat nice about him in my last post but that’s who I am as a person: I try really hard to see the best in people’s words and actions but the more I think about it, the more I realise that he did mess me around, even if he didn’t mean to. I genuinely don’t believe any objective bystander would tell me I misread his actions and it hurts to feel as though the last 10 weeks were nothing.

That he had no feelings.

It hurts. That’s for sure.

It’s compounded further by the fact I opened up to him. I told him things I would never tell someone I was dating and I have that niggle in my mind that had I not done so he might have liked me. I don’t believe that’s why he ended it but I’m always going to have that doubt that I’m simultaneously too much and not good enough. That I’ve been through so much that I’m damaged goods and not worth anyone’s time.

I’m worth someone’s time though. One day.

But guess who text me at 5am on NYE/New Year’s day?

Okay so it was just a generic ‘Happy New Year x’ text but I do feel kinda of happy that I can 100% tell you I didn’t think of him when I was at this party and yet he thought to send me a text. I mean, yes it was just a generic text he probably sent to all, but he still thought to send me a text me regardless of whether he was drunk or not. My heart jumped and sank a little at the same time when I saw it. Probably because I didn’t expect a text and also because I didn’t hope for him to text me either.

I didn’t reply. I considered it because I wanted to be nice but then I thought, even if he was just trying to be nice, why should I give him the satisfaction of me replying? Most importantly, he hurt me so why should I give him even 10 seconds of my time?

If you couldn’t see how your actions and words hurt me then you really don’t deserve my time.

“Remember that you were art long before he came to admire you, and you’ll continue to be art even when he’s gone”

Mind you, this party I went to? Damn amazing. This fully alcohol-catered-unlimited-free-cocktail-party with a pool (yes, of course I went in!) with lovely people all around me was brilliant. I only knew two people but left with so many friends and most importantly, I went with no expectations and I left with no expectations.

(I also left without my bra, but that’s a story for another day and I promise it’s not sex-related!)

I didn’t go to this party freshly hurt by this guy looking for anyone to make myself feel better. Rebounds never work and one-off rebounds most definitely never work. Jumping straight back in doesn’t allow you to heal.

However, I accidentally met someone.

And I had quite a lovely evening in general.

I had an even more lovely New Year’s Kiss.

And that’s all I’ll say about that because he asked for my number and if I’d see him again but I doubt anything will come of it. However, the fact I don’t care what happens feels even more special right now.

I’m hurt but I’m not crying.
I’m hurt but I’m happy.
I’m on my own but I’m alright with the fact he’s gone.

I feel like a contradiction but I’m a beautiful contradiction at that.

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Instagram: @elenipapa92
Twitter: @elenip92

Ruptured Weekends Can Always Be Fixed

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Well this wasn’t exactly how I expected my weekend to start…actually last week was nothing if not full of unexpected events.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night with this niggling pain in my lower abdomen. I tried to get comfortable but the pain refused to subside. I looked at my phone and it was something like 5am so I tried to sleep but then all of a sudden I felt as though a knife had cut right through my right hand side.

The pain was incredible, I couldn’t move and could barely breathe. I managed to pull myself up, head spinning and somehow made it to the bathroom to throw up before passing out on the bathroom floor. I only know I passed out because I woke up there completely disoriented. The pain was getting worse so I crawled to my phone and saw it was now 6am. I hate going to the hospital, hate something else going wrong but I knew I had to go.

When I got there, they rushed me right through, tests being done immediately as I tried to get comfortable lying down. God knows what painkillers they gave me but god, did I need them. I was genuinely scared. I was on my own, genuinely in too much pain to pick up my phone to ring anyone. I was shaking and freezing, stomach twisting, passing in and out and then the bleeding started.

I don’t remember much else except waking up to this drip in my arm curled up on the bed. They ran so many tests on me and concluded I’d probably had a cyst on my ovary that had ruptured. Very normal to have and, luckily, everything was going to be fine.

That panic though. That fear that was coursing through my body at 5 am hasn’t quite left me yet though. I’m still quite tight, bit tender around that area but after spending the whole day in bed on Saturday I felt absolutely fine. Just tired and drugged up but absolutely fine. Couple nasty bruises from passing out but nothing major. It’s incredible how something relatively normal, and not too serious, caused me so much pain.

I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone.

The evening was fun though, I’d arranged plans and was in two minds about heading out. To be honest, if I wasn’t okay, I genuinely would not have gone. But the scans showed there were no more cysts and the vast amount of tests they did confirmed nothing else was going wrong inside me.

I do wish I wasn’t always that girl with something going wrong with her. I feel as though it makes me unattractive, in the sense that, people might think I’m hard work because things seem to go wrong with me. Problem is…its not even my fault, I’m just a bit unlucky. It’s funny though, how I didn’t really want people to find out I had spent the early hours until the afternoon in hospital because I genuinely didn’t want to come across as attention-seeking or melodramatic.

Just once, wouldn’t it be nice, to go for a little stretch of time where something doesn’t go wrong. Where something doesn’t happen to me. Well, not gonna lie, it’s been somewhat of a while since I was injured or ill. I just need to work on the timing! As always, its how we deal with hurdles thrown our way that defines us rather than what we’ve had to deal with.

As always, by the evening I was happy and having fun.

As always, I was smiling.

Not quite as always…I ate a curry…and I enjoyed it…I let myself enjoy it…for once there was no fear. I also had a Sunday dinner yesterday. I can’t even remember the last time I ate one of those.

So, I might be the girl who has things go wrong. More frequently than others, it seems. But I’m also the girl who ate two trigger meals this weekend but didn’t get triggered.

The girl who’s always smiling.

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Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92