Tag Archives: self esteem

Living the happy life.

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Mindil Beach Sunset, Darwin

As our four month anniversary of ‘donga’ living (basically a small container with enough space to swing a carrot) whilst working on the Sandalwood plantation drew closer, myself & Stu began to feel more and more claustrophobic and grew tired of the repetitive work on the plantation. The planting season had passed, and the novelty of a five or six hour round trip each weekend to the nearest supermarket had worn off. The work available to me fizzled out slowly as I was not willing to work or be exposed to a chemical (Glufosonate) used widely in farming (which in my opinion should be against the law for it’s detrimental effects on the environment and it’s inhabitants.) However, the company we worked for were understanding of my choice and did make a huge effort to provide alternative work for me in the last couple of weeks. Finally, during one of our trips to Darwin (most weekends from the plantation at Douglas Daly), we managed to organise a place to stay and a part-time job each. We handed in our notice, and bundled up/organised four months worth of accumulated nonsense from camp into ” Lil’ Rover”

We now live in a beautiful house on stilts in the Stuart Park area of Darwin. It is within a 20 minute walk of the CBD and a cycle away to anywhere I could dream of going in Darwin due to it’s pocket sized city status and plentiful cycle paths. I just had to buy a bike! A $50 Gumtree bargain, AND it’s purple with a basket on the front!

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Date night at Nirvana, Darwin

Darwin is an excellent city, it is still catching up with the rest of the world as far as vegan options go in my opinion, ( although it is exciting to think maybe we can maybe get together with others to organise a vegan food/beer festival next year) but saying that, there are many options at the local markets, and I seem to always miss the chance to get to them! I am also eagerly awaiting the day that I am in the right place at the right time and get to try one of Petra’s Raw Cakes: They look out of this world! (Stu if you are reading this…it’s my birthday next month..Please get me a slice! ) I haven’t made it around a lot of the cafes which have vegan options as we usually just eat at home, but I did have an outstanding Acai bowl at Cafe Eco one morning, and a beautiful meal at Nirvana, my new favourite restaurant. I have also organised a vegan potluck down at the beach next month, something a few years ago I would feel too low in confidence or un-motivated to do! Darwin is definitely working for me!

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Cafe Eco: Delicious Acai Bowl

Since moving to Darwin, I have gone out by myself to gigs and events by myself a couple of times, something I would never do back at home, and through doing this I have made many friends. The funny things is, since my last blog post who would have thought we would be where we are now?!It acts as a great reminder that keeping these blogs going is such an excellent means of keeping tabs on my progress over many weeks, months and years! I definitely recommend starting a blog to anyone who feels they need somewhere to put their thoughts. I have so many drafts of things I just had to write down at the time, but will probably never share, and sometimes if I feel I want to, I go back, finish or edit my drafts and publish them. For me it is very therapeutic.

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At Chippo Live, a brilliant music venue in Darwin

I have also been making videos of my time here, and even made a video for a charitable cause to help publicise a friends charity event. If you’re interested in seeing my videos, my Youtube is here, and I intend to film and upload more of my adventures. I really enjoy the process of creating these little snippets of life and look forward to having them to look back on at a later date.

On that note, I also have been thinking a lot about what it is I really want to do. What really makes me happy. Travel is definitely up there, and I’m definitely doing that! The whole genre of creating things is also where I’m at, I love making something that wasn’t there before. I was thinking about how I want to find a tattoo apprenticeship again as i had a bad experience back in Scotland at a studio I worked for. For some reason I let this one bad tattoo shop owner belittle & bully me for how I looked/ my tattoos etc until I left my apprenticeship and it has forever tainted the whole thing for me. I know in my heart it is what I want to do, it is my dream job and I know that I am good enough and have the skills to do it, so I am going to. I don’t quite know where or how, but I am putting it out there and I am being pro-active, and currently working on creating a proper sketchbook of my art. My 30th birthday is rapidly approaching, and rather than let the feeling of age-ing hold me back, I am going to embrace it and put everything I have into creating the life that I wish for.

Thanks for reading, I hope you follow your dreams too. Don’t forget to put your wishes out into the universe!

Love, Morv

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If you wish to see my artwork my Facebook art page is here.

 

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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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“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.

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  • 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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“Use, do not abuse… neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.” -Voltaire

* I am just heading out to work & threw this together quickly in half an hour so excuse the briefness*

I’ve been meaning to write a new post for ages, but I just haven’t been able to gather my thoughts for the last month or so. I’ve had a load of topics I wanted to write about and somehow ended up doing none because I just couldn’t decide.  Life has been pretty crazy and a lot has changed. In a good way. In a really good way.

I’ve made some conscious changes to my life. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’ve mentioned depression in some of my previous posts… It is something that I imagine most people are affected by at some point in their lives and for some it is something that will never go away, but you CAN find ways to cope with it. Ultimately these things make you stronger, and they contribute to life’s unsure nature.

Things are good, things are GREAT, and I can see (& others close to me have commented) that there has been an incline in my mood and general well-being from where I was at just  a month, two months, six months ago, a year ago.

One of the most powerful things that I have done recently is to stop drinking alcohol.

I think it is easy to fall into the accepted social behaviours of our peers and society and there is no doubt in my mind that excessive drinking is not only advocated, but encouraged.

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I am talking as someone who loves a party, I love to socialise, it is my favourite thing, but this always ends up in a good ol’ booze sesh. I think I realised that I was becoming comfortable with using alcohol as a crutch for coping, and scarily I began to believe that I needed to be slightly under the influence to enjoy myself and be interesting and seen as fun by others. You know, that way you think ‘Oh god, tough day, I NEED a wine.’ Thoughts and words are powerful things. You don’t need it, you want it. It’s best to keep it that way.

A year ago I couldn’t have dreamt that I would ever stop drinking, because well why would I? I wasn’t an alcoholic, I didn’t have a drink problem, I was just doing what everyone else was.

But it was negatively affecting my life.

The main things that I really despised about it was my lack of self respect for what I was doing to my body, maybe being a bit wild and then that sense of remorse in my stomach the next day even when there was nothing really out of hand that had happened the previous night. A deep sense of unnecessary guilt, it’s called  the booze blues, right?

The hangovers themselves, feeling dehydrated to the point no amount of tea could ever quench.  Feeling tired and uninspired at work, and layering makeup on my face to cover up the exhausted, dry skin crackling below.

It’s been nearly a month now, and my outlook on drinking alcohol has completely shifted.

I have still been going out as much as I used to: I am still, as much, if not more, fun to be around, my self esteem is much higher, I feel more balanced emotionally, more motivated and ambitious, I have saved loads of money (hello new tattoo), it has helped lift my depression, I have more faith in myself and I have a clearer understanding of WHO I REALLY AM.

The fog’s cleared.

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The strangest thing that I have noticed is how it seems to distress other people around me. Everyone wants you to drink, it’s thought of as really strange and I have experienced a lot of pressure from people around me who feel that I must be missing out on something. I gotta admit, I genuinely used to feel this way about people who weren’t drinking when I was too. It’s almost a bit edgy, like you are a sober spy on the occasion.

I have learnt that I am naturally very hyperactive, in fact I feel almost a bit over the top these days, and definitely not short in confidence. One thing alcohol definitely did for me was to make me doubt myself. To question who I was, what I did, whether I was really a nice person or not. I was never a nasty or sad person whilst drinking, but there was a bitter sweetness to it. I definitely made my fair share of bad decisions.

I’m not saying that I am never going to drink again, I’m sure I will, but this time out has really helped me to take a step back and re-evaluate what I want from life. My dream job is to be self employed and at the end of the day, if you are hungover and there’s no boss to tell you off for being late or tired or shit at your job then it really is down to you to provide the motivation for yourself.

In that sense, I feel like I am definitely moving in the right direction towards the life I want and deserve.

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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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