Category Archives: body image

Stu’s Birthday & Dreadlocks Update

It was Stu’s 33rd birthday a couple of weeks ago, as you may have read in my previous post I’m not rolling in pay cheques at the moment so I wanted to make his birthday really fun without splashing the cash.

I decided I would make him an Alien cake as he is so into UFO’s Aliens and the unexplained. I looked online for some inspiration and found  beautifully crafted realistic (as can be I suppose) Alien cake.

It definitely didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped and was a bit more out there than I was going for but hey these things are supposed to be fun! I had fun making it, although I did cheat and made the sponge from a box mix as I wanted it to be red velvet inside to resemble the inside of an aliens head. You can see his reaction in the video I made below:

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If you have been to or live in Australia then you will know how breathtaking the Whitsundays are. I pinch myself every day waking up to another day in this place! On Stu’s birthday we did pressies, played with our housemates dog and then went down to a one of our favourite local Bowen beaches (Grey’s Bay) for a morning swim. Showered and changed we then drove out towards a beautiful (I’ve heard) beach resort in Gloucester Passage called Monte’s, and it was closed! We were gutted as it was 40 minutes out of our way and we were absolutely starving, but instead we went to Dingo Beach Pub, only 10 minutes from Monte’s. It turned out really nice there, and Stu still enjoyed the birthday lunch he was looking forward to.

We were pretty tired by the time we got home after an early start so we had a quiet one, with the guys enjoying some alien cake after some traditional happy birthday-ing.

Happy birthday to my fave human around!

We also decided to cut Stu’s dreadlocks, well he decided that he wanted them to be shorter, they were way past his bum and causing his neck and back to hurt (plus they were dangerously close to dipping in the toilet!) so we took 10 inches off each dreadlock! They are still long but it definitely relieved him of some of the weight!

I decided I was tired of being stuck with the one hairstyle a few months before and finally I brushed out my dreadlocks, which is definitely a better option than shaving your head! It is more time consuming, but so is growing hair!

I enrolled a very kind friend Emma who helped me brush some out and then every day I would tackle a good handful by myself, a LOT of hair came out but apparently that is the hair that would have otherwise naturally fallen when you brush your hair. It was super frizzy and broken, I don’t have any pictures but I do have photos of my hair now post dreads. I would say it has taken about a month after brushing the dreads out for my hair to feel super soft and shiny and healthy again.

Me being me, I put a semi permanent blue dye through my previously blonde bits cos I can’t handle too much beige in my life.

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I loved having dreadlocks at the time, but now I look forward to having more versatile hair style. Sleeping was definitely a problem, and especially living in such a hot climate as North Queensland, it is truly delightful to dip your head in the ocean sans dreads.

Having dreadlocks was a cool experience and part of my journey but now I look forward to some loose hair adventures!

If you have dreadlocks or are thinking of getting them then please know that it doesn’t have to be for forever.

Much love,

Hippy Hoo Ha

x

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An Open Apology

“This is a blog that I wrote as a draft way back in December. I read it tonight in my massive draft archive of blogs that I’ve never posted and I thought ‘Yeah I’m gonna publish this’ so here ya go! Why be afraid to express yourself and how you really feel or have felt? To feel is to be alive and to express that is to inspire so I hope one person can relate to this.”

I’m sure everyone has felt at some point that they wish they had said certain things to certain people.Be it ‘sorry’, ‘I love you’, or whatever. I find it hard at the moment to sleep well at night due to all these thoughts running through my mind, and I have an overwhelming urge to write some of those thoughts out.

No-one is perfect and we cant always be right, we all have times in our life that we look back on and cringe at what we did or said. I definitely feel like there are many people worthy of an apology from me. It’s a bit crazy to suddenly apologize to people you keep in contact with and who to be quite honest may not realize you feel so bad about a past situation. So, this blog post is not just about apologizing to others,it is about apologizing to and forgiving myself. I’m speaking openly to everyone I have ever hurt and seeking (though also giving) forgiveness in the process.

I have been in a really up and down place over the last few years (maybe nearly 5 years), and I realized the deeply personal implications of a long term relationship deteriorating, breaking up and then literally turning my whole world upside down. Alcohol & drug abuse, anti-depressants and coming off them suddenly in a place where there is no-one to confide in, eating disorders, losing my job, using others to make me happy short term, being used, trying to work out if I am doing the right thing & what the hell the ‘right thing’ is,  plus all of the ‘What am I gonna do with my life‘ & ‘Am I gonna be alone forever‘ moments….over and over and over.

Until, BOOM! I would end up in the same place as always, curled up and cosy in bed questioning who the hell I was, alone and confused and ashamed of who I think I had become and all of the things I had done.

I have let who I think I am and who I think others think I am become who I am over the last few years. Too shy to be openly me, always trying to fit in, desperate for recognition, desperate for comfort, for someone to want me for who I am if they could give me a chance to open up, or someone to sit with me, cuddle in and tell me I’m okay.

Desperate, sad little old me. 

That is true, and that is who I was.

Desperate, lonely and very, very sad.

I thought when you hit rock bottom, it could only get better after that. I must have hit rock bottom hundreds of times thinking ‘Okay, this is bad but it can only get better right?‘ but it just got worse and worse and worse.

This is not for anyone to pity me, this is an explanation and hopefully some form of apology to people who encountered me on my rock, rock, rock bottom trip. This is also to help people who feel like I have felt to see that it doesn’t last forever, things get better, you get stronger and you can be yourself again. To all who I interacted with on such a low level emotionally and sociably, all I can ask is that maybe you read this and understand a little more, that we aren’t all who we seem. We all experience struggles and pit falls at many points in our lives, caused by many factors.

I may have been an absolute disgrace or maybe I wasn’t in your eyes, but (in mine I was) I wont sleep until I get it all out.

I’m sorry if you got more than you bargained for from me, if I was a handful, a pain in the ass, or over the top. I’m sorry if I wasn’t enough, if I disappointed your expectations or I was weak. I’m sorry if I pressured you, pissed you off, or gave you a wrong kind of hope. I am really genuinely so sorry.

I made plans to sort my hectic self out and on the way I met an amazing partner. Now I am on the other side of the world with the love of my life. We are balanced individuals and make each other happy every day. Without him I feel happy and with him words can’t explain. If it wasn’t for all of the madness I wonder if I would have met him.

Words of advice to anyone who feels like I felt: Make a change!

You can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different result! Make plans, write lists, know deep down what you need to be happy.

I came across a book called The Spiritual Guide to Attracting Love one day going cheap in The Works. I bought it and I completed one of the suggested activities. ( I bought this book as a general well-being book not as a search for a partner) This activity was to make a page up of pictures of what you wanted your life to be like, be it career, relationship, lifestyle etc. I decided to a general lifestyle with what I imagined my life to be like, including how I saw my future self in a happy relationship. I set it as the wallpaper on my computer so that I saw it every day.

The similarities in my compilation of images to my current life are uncanny and I couldn’t be more thankful. I met Stu in October 2014 after making many necessary changes to my life.

I’ll never stop being thankful of how far I’ve come and the people who stood by me when I was a bit crazy.

I am by no means perfect but I am truly the happiest I have been in at least 5 years. Be thankful everyday for what you have, who you wake up next to, be aware of who you surround yourself with and never settle for less than you deserve. To this day I still feel very shy in social circumstances, unless (& even sometimes when) I am around close friends or family. I’m working hard to overcome this fear of being judged by others and writing this definitely had helped me release some of my emotions surrounding my past.

Your past does not define you.

 

 

 

 

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Vegucation

Since everyone is always like ‘Oooh, but what do you eat?’ when they find out I’m vegan, I just wanted to clarify that eating vegan is just like eating ‘normally’ I guess.

It’s very tasty ( in my opinion) you’ve just gotta be creative, but simple lunches such as avocado on toast which I have most lunchtimes ‘cos I’m lazy ( and it makes me happy!) are brilliant too 🙂 I think of being vegan as being less selfish to what I am told is tasty by advertising and taking hold on what I know is actually tasty and cruelty free food. If you don’t agree with people eating dogs then why is it okay in your mind to drink a mother cows milk (meant for her calves btw) and also to eat chickens and basically their eggs (or periods depending how you look at it). We have been taught from a young age that these things are okay but did you ever stop and question it? You can eat vegan and still be really unhealthy, many unhealthy highly processed foods are vegan, but for most vegans avoiding processed foods and featuring as many fresh, healthful foods is key!

Most vegans feel that by not eating meat or dairy, or buying any animal products they are making a sacrifice that has a somewhat small impact on the lives of other beings on this planet. Some people feel that vegans force their views on others. In reality most vegans are trying to support beings that have no voice. I can’t speak for every vegan out there but I know that, without forcing it on others, I feel that my choices do have a positive effect on the animals of this world and the environment. No matter how small one persons choices are, ultimately these build and DO eventually make an impact.

I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a massive divide between meat eaters and vegans, and I understand if you love your steak, as my boyfriend loves his meat, but he also accommodates for my vegan diet when we spend time together, and I respect his diet. We aren’t some mad race of lunatics who criticise other people who are different from us every move. I fully embrace people who just make a change that can make a difference. Cutting out dairy for instance can make a huge impact. Or even just lessening the amount of meat you consume. It’s better for your health, the environment too!

Please don’t hate us!

I am vegan because I love animals. I love my pet dog, Lola. I started to feel ill from consuming dairy products and I researched it and I realised what was going on. I stopped eating meat when I couldn’t see a difference between my beloved dog and a cow in a farm. Why is a horse better than a cow? Why is a dog better than a sheep? Why is a dolphin better than a whale or shark? Are we judging this on looks or what? I’m not sure but things need to change!

There’s this whole protein argument, but there are healthy natural ways to get protein rather from killing and consuming animals.

Please think about it next time you buy a steak, and when you buy a pizza, that cheese was made from milk meant for the cows calf which was taken from it just after birth. I’m not exaggerating,  this is TRUTH.

Why are we being hated on for being good people.

It’s time to stop being so selfish.

If you love bacon or eggs, then that’s okay give up something you find easy to at first.

It took years for me to become a full on vegan, you cant just become vegan overnight, as you’ll definitely stumble. Cutting out things as you educate yourself is the way I found best. I watched documentaries and found I no longer could stomach certain foods.

I consider myself an ethical vegan but I certainly reap the health benefits.

It takes years to learn, and adjust.

It is a little to give up for a lot of happiness worldwide.

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I thought I’d make some points:

  1. It’s very cheap to be vegan! A weekly shop for me will be something like: bread, avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, squash, lettuce, cucumber, many bananas for smoothies, tomatoes, Vegemite, lentils, chickpeas, agave nectar, frozen peas, rice.
  2. You feel good: You are eating fresh unprocessed food, I’m pretty sure every diet book you ever read encouraged this!
  3. You lose weight: Your body understands the food you’re eating and can digest it well. It took a few months but I started to lose weight after keeping at it!
  4. You have more energy: As long as you make sure you take vitamin B12 every day( a necessity) and keep your iron levels high (that’s why its so important to not eat junk vegan food! You must eat healthy natural fresh food!) you will fell great, you will naturally lose weight and being slim is much easier than ever before.
  5. You feel closer to the world around you.
  6. You taste more: Plain simple foods taste amazing! You have less need for sauces and salt. I had a big bowl of mashed potato for dinner and it was delicious.
  7. Educate yourself and find your own path. If vegan-ism sparks an interest in you then explore it. Don’t be ashamed of it and follow your own path 🙂 Your choices no matter how big or small make a difference!

My boyfriend makes a mean Vegan Dahl

Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is outta this world and I’ve enjoyed this with many meat eating pals

Vegan Sushi is my go to easy meal

And if you can’t let go of your favourite junk foods, here;s a must follow for your needs!

Accidentally Vegan who bring you all of the foods you never knew but always hoped were vegan!

If you don’t want to be vegan or you think I’m talking rubbish, that’s okay and I wont take offence to it 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

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When did it become okay to tell someone you don’t like how they look?

NEVER.

It never became okay!

I’ve noticed a recent increase in people commenting on how I look and giving me their quite frankly unwanted opinions on my personal decisions.

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So let me clear this up: this is for all the unwanted hair-touchers, prodders and outspoken opinion makers who I’m sure we have all encountered, and maybe if you realise you have done this you can see how rude and inappropriate you have been.

Respect is the biggest lesson to be learnt here.

Here’s 5 things all arseholes don’t realise:

  • Touching a strangers hair is inappropriate & unwelcome attention.

I cannot really find anyway to make touching a strangers hair an appropriate way to greet someone, so first of all please don’t  do it on a whim because you don’t understand it, and second of all please just don’t ask to do it. Go home and Google it or something. Most people are happy to answer any questions you have, but please don’t interrupt my private conversations. The amount of times I’ve been interrupted by a random hair toucher is unreal! I would NEVER interrupt someone to ask a dumb question so STOP IT NOW!

  • Just because I look different doesn’t  mean I want to talk to you about it

You cannot comprehend how many times I have been asked ‘What do your tattoos mean?’

I don’t ask what your hairdo means or your clothes, really please just leave me alone.

To me it’s mainly decoration, and any that I have that do mean something, what do I owe to you to tell you?

It’s not a strangers business so back the fuck up.

  • People with tattoos think its a way to relate to me:

Okay, so you have tattoos, I have tattoos, that’s great, I still don’t want to talk about mine, so please stand here and tell me for hours about how and when and where you got yours and I can try slowly slither away out of earshot. Holy Christ. I don’t wanna talk about it.

(This one is probably the bane of my life.)

  • You don’t like my hair/tattoos/piercings/image/style and feel an unbearable need to let me know:

I don’t judge you or comment on your life, so please keep your thoughts to yourself. I have a partner and I am very happy and content. I don’t need your approval and I am very aware of my life choices. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t like something about me, but I would certainly never feel the need to tell anyone friend or stranger something about their image that I personally didn’t like. Keep it to yourself! How rude of you! Live and let live!

  • You need to let me know that I’m probably going to regret that:

Oh yeah, so I never realised until you mentioned that it’s permanent.

Yeah I’ll totes regret it.

I hate your face!

(jokes)

So, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t understand why people think its okay to comment, is it because they think I want the attention? I genuinely think that some people assume that if you have tattoos and piercings and ‘mad’ hair you are doing it for attention, well you are very wrong.

I along with most other people who are seen as alternative are just being who we are.

I understand why people ask about these things but most of the time I get asked in a very rude manner. I worded this post in a jokey manner to try keep it fun. I am never rude to people who do ask me about things, but I would live a simpler life without this hassle as I’m sure a lot of people would too.

I choose to live my life this way and I like to decorate my body, I would never dream of asking someone why they don’t have body modifications so please give us a break and realise that we don’t all live our lives  in the same way!

* as a back note I’d like to say that I understand genuine human curiosity and that I can respect that and I can tell the people who are genuinely curious from the invasive rude people! Most of you are just lovely, it’s just a small percentage that lets us down.

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Don’t let your emotions rule you.

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The day these photos were taken are very important.

This was my 26th birthday party in September 2012 in Barcelona, and most importantly, the morning before these photos were taken, I wanted to kill myself.

I look at these now and can see that I do not look like someone who felt that way, but I did.

At this point, I had reached rock bottom, again.

I want people who feel like ending their lives, to know that tomorrow is always better, and if you don’t believe me then hold off cos there’s next Tuesday, next month, next year or something to look forward to, and slowly but surely you can build your life back up. If that’s not enough imagine how many people will suffer because of you.

Suck it up and stay alive.

Don’t do it, because life is full of ups and downs and it is a chemical imbalance. You aren’t thinking clearly and lets suppose you have one chance at life on earth so you better try make the most of it. Who knows what you’ll miss out on.

Please don’t do it.

The ones who love you save you.

Sometimes you cant see them but they are there.

For once I don’t think I can write any more about this so I’ll leave it at that, and with the thought,

‘Our greatest glory lies not in never failing, but instead rising up everytime we fall’

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I just want to make a house, with our hands.

I just want to find a place, a beach.

I just want to make a house, with our hands.

I just want to hold the earth and squeeze it tight.

I want to hold you in my arms, surrounded by the ground that we made into a home.

I want to see you everyday.

I want to taste new tastes with you.

I want to wake up with you.

I want to wander around.

I want to wonder.

I wonder.

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Lets wander the lands whilst we can, and please, kiss me.

Always, kiss me.

I love you and I want you to hold my hand forever.

No-one else can hold me like you do.

No-one else can make me laugh like you do.

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My brain 23:25.24 05/03/2015

The society we live in is so mixed up.

People competitively eat and are obese, whilst others starve.

Others are so lonely and depressed in a place so full of people and communication, that they kill themselves.

Does this happen in places without television, politics, money,?

ARGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you all see that this is wrong?

We are so far detached from what is true.

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“I am a Master Pretender”- First Aid Kit

(Firstly. I wrote this listening to this song on repeat. Put it on or your most insirational tune and then begin to read for the full effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51BgWFciimQ or type into Spotify First Aid Kit – Master Pretender)

Like most people I can really suffer from low self esteem.

For some it is extreme and for others sometimes it’s just a wee dip, but we all feel a wee bit of low self esteem sometimes.

Over the years I have developed techniques to make me more confident and I’ve tried to compile some of them for you.

First off, the most important thing is that YOU LOVE YOURSELF, but of course you don’t feel like you do.

So now we have to pretend a bit.

I like pretending, we were all really good at it as kids.

By this I don’t mean lie. I mean we can pretend we have confidence until it becomes more natural.

Who seem to be the most naturally confident people? Famous people! Many who are ACTORS  and models. Being a pretender is their job! They’re pros!

So here’s some tips.

Remember, that it’s not selfish,

You deserve a wonderful life.

It isn’t selfish at all.

You are a unique and beautiful being.

Walk with pride and embrace that your thoughts, movements, ideas, aims, are different from others round you.

Everything is perfect.

You can be anyone or anything you want to be.

Carry yourself high.

Be proud of yourself.

Here are the things that I really like to do:

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  • If it doesn’t inspire you, tidy it away: Leave things around your home that remind you of people you are proud of or honoured to have as friends and who know and who respect you. If you cant find anything or don’t have photos like this, then put up a certificate or a reminder of something you have achieved. Make it prominent.  If you have made things, display them, if you have tickets or memories of good times put them out on display on the wall or on a notice board.  Get creative and make sure that when you wake up everyday you are reminded of your greatness, no matter how small importance it may seem. I have definitely surprised myself with how great it feels to see a picture of a happy time on my wall in the morning and I think, “Wow I remember way back then, I remember, how I never knew that I could ever be where I actually am now in my life, and now, look here I am, and look at all I have accomplished.” Sometimes that is all it takes… Sometimes our past achievements can feel like dreams. It’s almost hazy and we wonder how we ever did them… Keeping them out and rotating them every so often keeps this fresh and keeps us WANTING to do more to change it! I like to put my own art in my house, and I have a notice board in my kitchen which I put photos of my close friends and family, or just even random good times. I rotate this every month or so, and put new and often old photographs of fun times up. Sometimes it really helps you to remember to get in touch with someone you had forgotten about or remind you how great your friendship was. I like to hang jewellery I love that inspires me, in areas of my house, I only use mugs that are bright and colourful, I try to only be surrounded by positive objects and everything else is tidied away in cupboards/drawers. These things inspire me, and make me happy so they are displayed.

 

  • Have a music supply readily available in the areas of your home that you spend the most time in: I find that when I wake up and head to the kitchen to put a kettle on, hitting the ON switch on the radio is the best thing. I listen to tunes first thing, I have a wee sing song and a dance round in my Pj’s. I salvaged a digital radio last year that my mum was gonna fling out and it is now my favourite. I set it to a good reliable station, so there is always nice positive background noise, and personally I find this ESPECIALLY important first thing in the morning. It sets the mood for the day and is always great later on as the kitchen is the social area in my house, where everyone gets together and has a good laugh. It reminds me of laughter and good times. It makes me feel social even if I’m by myself. I even respond to the radio presenters. Ha! Personally this makes me feel like I have company when I don’t and builds my confidence for the day.

 

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  • Get a pet: I am very lucky, in that I can have a dog, and don’t get me wrong, it can be really hard work, but I chose a very mellow, chilled out breed well (Greyhound in case your interested! ) Having her around can be really helpful for my self esteem.  This wee pooch loves me and gets excited by my return to the house. She wants to hang out with me, share my food and my bed and basically we are best pals cos I wanna hang out with her too ( I’ll skip on sharing her food or bed though!) You don’t need to feel bad though if your circumstances mean you can’t have a dog. I also have a fish.  She’s a character. She murdered the other two fish in the tank. ( I did have three!) She also gets excited by my presence as the food dropper. It’s therapeutic. You can buy a fish, it’s something to concentrate on, put a little energy into. You make a friend, you have a wee character in your life. I have ‘Sharon the mad wee fish that ate Seana & Dan’s eyeballs out’! I can leave her for days and she’s cool, she doesn’t need walked, but she’s there and she needs me and that’s great for self esteem. She’s over there right now as I write this in my kitchen and I don’t feel alone at all.

 

 

  • Create a cosy, welcoming environment: Whenever I’m feeling down, it is reflected in my house and/ or bedroom especially. When life feels manic, my room is insane. Creating an organised system and having a friend to help you out at first if it seems too hard/overwhelming by yourself to manage is brilliant. When my house is tidy. everything seems better. I sleep better, I know where things are and it’s easier to keep that way. Never be ashamed to ask a friend for help or to explain to them you are struggling to keep on top of things. We are all only human and think how you would respond and if they were in the same position. My best friend Micaela would often come round and help me tidy when I was in a really bad place.

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  • Clear out unhelpful clutter: Bad memories and bills etc can really clog up your energy so store everything unhelpful away, give them a place, make it a drawer and keep  them so they aren’t out on show. This also counts for clothes, or keepsakes that have a negative memory. Throw away clothes that do not fit you. If you lose weight do you really wanna wear something that has been sat in your wardrobe for three years. No. Throw it out. Treat yourself to something new.  Do you really wanna be reminded everyday of your past heartaches?  No. Keep them, respect them and put them aside in storage. I like to keep memory boxes, I fill them and store them away and when I feel ready I like to have a look through at old photos and memories. Sometimes it’s good for a cry. Then you put them away again. No point in torturing yourself.

 

  • Love your body: Appreciate your body. It is a beautiful vessel. Look after it and respect it. I can be pretty lazy sometimes, but I do try to eat well most of the time. Everyone has their own thing. Something I have learnt is to stop worrying about thinking . FULL STOP.  If you worry you’re too fat or too thin to do something, or that people are judging you based on that,  I know for a fact that I have been stick thin and worried that people thought I was too fat and I have been hanging out with really ‘cool’ people thinking I wasn’t cool enough. What are we thinking!??! ALL, AND I MEAN EVERY SINGLE BLOOMIN’ ONE of my friends are my friends because they are the most lovely people.  I  could not give one care to what they look like/ how cool/skinny/chubby/awkward/awesome they look because I love them and I love WHO THEY ARE. It really actually doesn’t matter, no one is thinking about us what we think of ourselves, and even if they are, so what?! Let’s get over it! Somehow I still struggle with this one. I often feel awkward  and this is where I normally put the next bit of advice into action.

 

  • Positive affirmations:Look at yourself in a mirror before you go out, and complement yourself. About anything. Your clothing choice, your smile, your nice teeth. your cute squinty nose. Find something, anything about yourself that you think ‘That is actually pretty cool, and it’s unique to me!’ Find it and have a wee laugh in the mirror and feel high that you are you, even just laugh that you are sitting in front of a mirror doing this.  Learn to laugh at yourself. embrace bad photos where you don’t look great because the memory was good. You can write down your affirmations an put them somewhere you will see them daily. Even simple things like ‘I am a good person.’ I also made a ‘Treasure Map’ which is a collection of images that I compiled to create one large image of how I want my life to be and the things I most value and seek. I set this as my desktop photo on my laptop, so I see it everyday and I am reminded of what I am aiming for. I noticed a massive positive shift in my life since I did this.

kayls

 

  • Fuck them: My big sister taught me this. She probably doesn’t know that I use it as often as I do. But I call it ‘The Fuck You!” She told me that when she felt vulnerable in the street late at night, if she clocked some lurkers in the street, she would play ‘Rage Against The Machine- Killing in the name of’… in her head, and stride to it, with a bit of feist in her eye. Well, I like to do this, but I’ve expanded it’s use, I use it when people make me feel intimidated, or try to hurt me, or are mean to me, I put on the biggest goddam smile and I sing that song in my head and I stride away as the better man. With a great tune in my head. And ten times outta ten I forget I was even mad or feeling vulnerable. Plus, I’m smiling.

 

  • Smile and laugh: When times are hard, I like to force laughter. I chat away to my dog, I make daft videos, I send funny messages to people, leave ridiculous voicemails, I try to cheer others up. Take the focus away from yourself. Find an activity, find new people where the chat is lighthearted, if your relationships with friends are stale and negative, then change it up for a while. Start something new, sometimes friendships are so close they become negative because you are so comfortable. Have some time apart. Book an adventure. Be better at something. Organise a meetup, create a new group of friends. Don’t let fear hold you back.

 

I know I am a good person. I know you are too. You know you are, really deep down too. What makes you feel good? Do it more. Find more things and more things that make you buzz! Writing this makes me feel good about me.  This is my release.  And so I have one more….My last, last, very last tip to help boost your self esteem is to help other people:

  • Admit you’re wrong even when you really don’t feel you are.
  • Tip people/ give someone the last of your change that you might need.
  • Give random people compliments.
  • Instead of making up an excuse, tell the truth about something that scares you.
  • Listen.
  • Appreciate your friends and be there for them.
  • Ask questions about others in conversations and focus on other peoples lives during catch ups rather than your own.
  • Smile.
  • When you laugh, let yourself go.
  • Experiment with laughter, laugh loud, laugh little, laugh high, laugh low.
  • Have fun, I came outta the shower last week and danced round the kitchen naked whilst my flatmate sat there giggling. Life’s too short. I wasn’t worried for a moment about the size of my butt.
  • Wiggle, jiggle, laugh, relax, have fun.
  • Make others laugh, don’t worry about looking silly.
  • Give something back, become involved in your community and positive about where you call home.
  • Share everything you have. You will always get it back tenfold. Give food, give laughter, kindness, generosity, your truth, give in to everything. It is the most empowering thing you can do.

 

Thank you for reading this.

I actually wrote this blog in particular for a few of my girlfriends who are going through a hard time. They are beautiful strong women and I love them and I haven’t been able to be there quite as much as I maybe should have. Each one of them has taught me a part of this. Mostly to laugh wholeheartedly and to smile and care and share…

I bloody love these girls.

Raquel, Kayleigh, Gaynor, Chelsea, Mac

 

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Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one — himself.

Battles.

I don’t often feel like opening up too much online about really private affairs, but I feel like I need to vent and be open so I am going to do just that right now. I found this poem online by a poet called Kelly Zion and I could instantly relate to what it was about. I knew straight away that it was the right time to talk about this.

I’m not talking about this in order to get any sort of sympathy, but instead, simply to share my experiences and thoughts and to let other people in a similar situation for whatever reason, realise that they are not alone.

This isn’t easy to write about.

For me this poem touches me because it is more about a lack of love for myself and the lack of being able to give it out, rather than other relationships. I do believe that loving yourself and having a strong sense of who you are gives you the best chance to becoming really happy.

I haven’t gone into too much unnecessary detail about some of the things mentioned in this post. There is a lot more to these issues and illnesses and I don’t mean to skim over a lot of things, but I feel that otherwise it would be really unreadable, and inappropriate.

Crying Crisis

Loveless, love your hatefulness
tell me to take a walk, I won’t be missed
Aren’t I God’s prayed for gift,
break my heart, you made me exist
kill me with your bitterness
All the times I almost made it,
I could’ve found something better than this
I could’ve found unconditional
unfictional
something that made any sense.

Take my heart, I’ll take my knife
cut it loose and give it to my true love
who I love no matter what
cause real is real and this is not
and take me out, my bitter love
my heart my heart has broken enough
last day on my broken earth
last time I’ll be standing stranded here
wanting to tell you why you are wrong

but then I start to cry because it hurts so much
this, this hurts so much
this crisis
there is no love.

-Kelly Zion

 

I have been ‘suffering’ from depression for many years now, and this last year I would say that it has really propelled and become a case of massive self hatred. To the point where more recently the simplest of things like getting out of bed is difficult at times, even showering, looking after myself in general, working, walking the dog, exercising, cooking. Even just being kind to myself or my body. Getting out and socializing  means  putting on a brave face especially as I have always been a very happy and positive social person and I often feel huge pressure to be fun and entertaining. I feel like I can no longer convince every body that I am okay. Because I’m really not. I’m really not okay.

It was triggered when I was about 20 years old whilst living in Barcelona on my own for a months holiday. I had heard a few mean, but lighthearted comments both at home and abroad about my wee belly and I stupidly  took them to heart, deciding that I was going to shed a wee bit of weight. I was by no means overweight at all, and until this point I had never really thought about food, I ate whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it. I had good intentions to improve my body image and feel better about myself.

On that holiday, I stopped eating certain things, I started living mainly on fruit, veg and diet products and I moved out of my mums house when I got home into my own flat, which meant that I had the freedom to control exactly what I ate, or rather more accurately, what I didn’t eat.

I started college and  found it really stressful and so I filled my spare time with a grueling timetable filled with trips to the gym every other day, for hours at a time, obsessing about the perfect numbers on the machines, walking everywhere and  taking the stairs wherever I went. I packed strict lunches to take to college with me.  My energy was totally sapped, I would cry and get so worked up about college work, I was falling behind on everything and I just couldn’t see a way out. I could barely pull heavy doors in the building open as I was so weak. When I did end up giving in and eating foods I had banned or too much, I would beat myself up so much about it. I would instantly ‘see’ the weight pile onto me. Constantly body checking and feeling for the fat to arrive. I barely went out anymore. I would get massive anxiety about even just going out for dinner to a restaurant, or to a friends house, or ordering a takeaway with friends. I couldn’t enjoy it, because I would be plotting how to burn it as soon as possible. i would cry at the gym, I would lie in bed whilst my friends were out and make up excuses not to go so that i didn’t take in excess calories and could be up early to work out the next day.

Eventually my weight dropped really low and I began to have panic attacks. Somehow, I managed to hold a long term relationship together in the meantime, and to be honest if it had not been for him and one of my closest college friends, I would not have been able to see a way out of it. I was diagnosed with Anorexia and put on a waiting list to be given therapy and a dietician. I kicked and screamed and hated the thought of having to give up all of these mad behaviours and anxieties, with this total feeling of stress, anxiety and horror at being pressured to eat certain things or quantities. It was my coping mechanism, my focus and a way to deal with stress. I look back at photos now and I remember how much I hated myself and how disgusting and massive I felt at the time, whereas now I think ‘God, you looked great! What a waste!’ The other thing is that because I barely went out and it caused me so much anxiety I barely even have many photos from back then. I would just torture myself over them, seeing a totally morphed image of myself, picking out flaws and thinking of things I could do to lose a bit more weight, even though my clothes hung off me.

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Now, you might look at these photos and be thinking,

‘Mate, you were not even that skinny! Shut up!’

And that’s fine, but the real long lasting damage that anorexia causes aside from physically,  is, in my case, mentally. I feel like some of the thoughts & behaviours I created will never be fully gone. It was all about having total obsessive control of my life which felt so crazy. I am genuinely sad that I wasted so many years of my life on this.

And so this leads me to the next issue. Whilst in therapy you are convinced about how you’re thought process is inaccurate and  the aim of the game is to put weight on and eat ‘normally’ again. Which is really bloody hard to try comprehend, when your whole life has become an obsession with food and weight, based upon a totally morphed self image.

So the inevitable happened, I began to put on weight and I managed to begin to let go of my obsessive behaviours, after a lot of determination and tears.  But what they don’t  tell you is that you can learn to deal with the eating of the food, but not the weight gain. So what happens? You eat and begin to think, ‘well I don’t wanna get fat again’ so you throw it up. Then you maybe realise that you are really, really great at this game and it means you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight. It’s not as simple as that though because then the madness in your mind comes back and soon you’re in a total messed up cycle of ‘eat, throw up, eat , throw up, eat, guilt, low self worth, hunger, eat, throw up’. You mess up your teeth, your face and belly get swollen, you’re moody, exhausted and nervous. You have an even more messed up view of yourself and with food. You feel absolutely out of control. Again.

So once again, I was sent back to therapy and we worked on these issues. I actually ended up getting kicked out of my most recent programme this year  for not showing up, because I felt so depressed and tired of talking about eating disorders and trying to work out why I did it, that I couldn’t face getting up to go talk about myself in a room again with someone taking notes and analyzing me. I was really hurt that I was just left to get on with it myself once they removed me from therapy (instead of calling me to see why i wasn’t making it along), but to be honest, it was the best thing that could have happened. I finally took responsibility for myself and my actions and I realised that I could decide to change my behaviours by myself. It took a lot of work and maybe therapy really did help me because I was so sick and tired of trying to explain to someone else why I was doing this to myself that i couldn’t wait to get better,  it was like Groundhog day, and near the end I would just completely avoid the subject during sessions. I became sick of it defining me.

Finally, I have come out the other side of these  eating disorders. There will always be some need for control with me, and I do still get anxious around food sometimes, it never fully goes, but I’m not starving myself anymore and I’m not binging or purging. I’m no longer either anorexic or bulimic.

Thank god for that.

Actually, no…..

Thank me for that.

Thank my family and my friends for that.

Thank the doctors and the healthcare and everyone who was concerned and helped me to get the right support, for that.

Thank you.

 

So you may ask, ‘Well why the hell are you feeling depressed if you don’t have an eating disorder anymore? You should be ecstatic!’

Great question, really great question.

I have no right answer.

I suppose I’m not fully over it all. It’s not so simple. I think years of self abuse has caught up with me. I still feel helpless a lot of the time in life.  I have panic attacks and anxiety still sometimes. I panic at forms that need filled out, I panic with bills and money and commitments. I panic about exercising too much or too little, even though I try not to get stressed about it all and I try to just be humble and kind. Sometimes I feel useless, I feel like giving up because sometimes it feels like I have failed, that my life is a massive mess and there is no point anymore. This is not true. There is meaning and a point to these hardships. I panic that people won’t like me, that they’re are judging me. That they can see all of my insecurities. That they think I look stupid or say stupid things or that I’m full of myself or not cool enough, too fat, too thin, boring, ugly. That no-one will love me, hug me, kiss me, accept me or laugh at my truly shit banter. There’s definitely a trail of destruction left behind in my life by it all.

The thing is everyone feels like this at some point in their life.  No doubt sometimes you panic too and think ‘What the bloody hell am I doing here? I’m awful! I’m failing, I’m rubbish.’

I can’t fix it straight away, but the way I’m trying to look at it is that I might look a bit rougher round the edges than when I was 7 stone and running everyday, but I’m way closer to fulfilling the life I want to lead. With the right kind of help, a great attitude, a life balance and the knowledge that whatever I end up doing in a year will be freaking fantastic, I have total faith in myself. It’s been 8 long years of battling with this disease. I am definitely older and wiser and have learnt to cope with it at last.

I have faith in you too, no matter what your battle may be. You may even be affected by similar issues.

 

It can be really hard to talk about these things, especially because you don’t want people to make fun of you or disown you or talk about it behind your back. I really don’t care anymore. It’s time to talk about it, so I can really move on. Judge away. If I help one other person see that they’re not alone in this then it is totally worth it.

The best advice I could give you is to open up to people around you.

Share your fears and struggles with someone you trust.

I wish I could have chatted t o someone who understood what I was going through at the time.

If you’re having any issues, and you would like to talk to someone who understands, then feel free to contact me. I promise I will respond.

You’ll get through this. It doesn’t always feel like it but there is always a way.

I think the key is to learn how to cope with who you are and accept yourself rather than trying to change or fight who you have become.

We need to accept our pasts and our presents and not concern ourselves with worries of the future too much. What we should have or could have done is irrelevant. Learn from these mistakes and situations. They make us and shape us and we come out stronger. You are not alone. You are not the first, and you certainly wont be the last.

Just don’t give up.

Hippy Hoo Ha

Greater in battle
than the man who would conquer
a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer
just one —
himself.

 

 

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