Look Back

Look back, look forward, stay present.

I love a good motivational quote. I’ve expressed before how Pinterest is one of my coping tools. There is one that comes up a lot which is “don’t look back, you’re not going that way”. Now, I get it, I do. There is another quote about living in the past is depression, living in the future is anxiety and living in the now is peace. (Definitely didn’t quote that right and can’t remember who it was).

Over the last few days I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past and dreaming a lot for the future. I don’t feel depressed and no more anxious than is my normal level at the moment though. I feel inspired and strong. 

I have been dreaming and planning for building the future of my dreams. I am grateful for what I have now but I have big dreams and big plans. Sitting purely in the now is not going to get me there. I believe I can, so I will. I have to get out of my own way.

There is such power in looking back. Living in the now is great, I truly believe this. Changing your mindset and focusing as much as you can on the positives can have tremendously great impacts on your mental wellbeing and your life in general.

At some point though, you have to look back. 

If you have experienced trauma of any kind and it is unresolved, you can sit in your present and work on happiness all you want, but it will likely come back to bite you. It will be holding you back in ways that you wouldn’t even have known. Only when you look back can you process this trauma, find forgiveness, peace and remove the limitations you have put on yourself as a result. Do this yourself, journal, scream, dance, meditate. Get help from a therapist, a life coach, a friend, or family. However you do it, believe me there is power in healing from these old wounds. 

There is also power in looking back to see just how far you have come. Since I started this blog in May 2017 (5 years ago!!!) so much has changed. I have faced so many challenges while healing and even added some new traumas. I have recently been receiving coaching in work to help with my personal development. I’ve also attended a “Play and Create” retreat day with @jennygilescreativerebel which was so eye opening to some of the reasons I’ve been feeling stuck. These have highlighted for me some of the big things that hold me back. Imposter syndrome is a huge one, but why? Finding the why of this and realising the root cause is helping me to process it and move on. I am living in the now and practising gratitude for everything I have. I am also still looking back though. No I’m not going that way, but if I ever want to move freely in the direction of my dreams, I need to break the chains that are weighing me down. To do this, I must look back.

I have in the last couple of days been having conversations where I’ve reflected on the journey so far. I’ve looked back at the old version of me and seen just how far I have come. I have been feeling a little stuck and lost lately but ooooosh this reflection is helping me. First to heal from some shit that is keeping me locked in place and also to see just how far I have come. I am a different person to who I was then. Another quote I love is something along the lines of “If you knew me before my healing, you don’t know me now, I put back my pieces differently” I have come a long way and I am so proud of the person I am now. I still have some healing to do and I believe we never stop learning, growing and changing, a fact that I love. I am healing, I am growing, I am building the life of my dreams. 

Don’t stay stuck. It’s ok to be sad and to hurt, just don’t stay there. It is possible to heal and move on, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

Stay strong warriors

Procrastination

Hello fellow warriors! Just checking in 💜

Is anyone else feeling like a big barrel of ‘I don’t know’ at the moment? I feel like my brain is going at 1000mph and there are so many things I want to do or need to do, but instead… I do nothing. I get so overwhelmed with all the big things, that even the little things don’t get done.

At this moment in time, I am sat in my living room having spent time mindlessly scrolling social media, researching new hobbies like I will actually try them, online ‘window shopping’ and well, here we are. Procrastination central. I’ve thought about the two baskets of washing that need to be put away, the dishes in the sink, the fact that the bedding needs changing and generally the house could use a little clean and tidy. Not to mention the empty fridge so ideally I should do a food shop but that means I definitely need to shower first, which means washing my hair and finding clothes in the baskets… all this and I have also a few bits I need to do for work as I’m off on leave next week and I was too tired to finish it all yesterday. Alas, what did I decide to do instead? Write a blog.

I know what you’re thinking… next comes the motivational “you can do it, we’ve got this” well, sorry to disappoint, this is simply a procrastination post to distract myself from the fact that I don’t want to do the things I ideally should do, but I don’t know what I want to do instead. If you’re reading this, are you also procrastinating? Is this a club now? Should we have a support group? I’ll set one up, you know… later.

I hope that whatever you are doing, you are feeling good. If you’re not, that’s ok too. If you’re procrastinating like me, sod it, there’s always tomorrow. 

I’m thinking I might start doing the things after I post this. Or I won’t, who knows. This motivation roller coaster is wild.

Peace out! Stay strong warriors 💜 

You don’t have to be grateful that it isn’t worse.

Hello lovely readers! I know I’ve not been consistently blogging, but I also know that people are still reading my old blogs. I occasionally get asked if I’m still writing, so I know when I say ‘hello lovely readers’ that there are in fact a few of you still with me at least!

As with my last post, I will admit that I’ve tried to write many times for this blog, but nothing felt worthy of sharing. This world has become a real scary place at the moment and I find myself frequently saying “stop the world, I want to get off”.

Every day I feel a sense of helplessness, with so much going on and each day trying to limit reading or listening to the news for fear of what will be next. People around me struggling, experiencing tragedy and heartbreak and loss. I know that much of what is happening is outside of my control. I cannot help any more than simply donating, listening, supporting loved ones and friends where I can.

The last couple of years has pushed mental health to its absolute limit in most people I know, myself included. I’ve had too many conversations with people who feel like they should be able to cope, like they should be fine now. We are all just trying to keep going, to keep pushing through.

I’ve been pushing myself to breaking limits. I’ve been working too much and too hard at home as well as in my job. Up until recently, I’ve been saying “If I just don’t stop, then I won’t have time to break”. Now, I know, I know this is not healthy. Years of recovery, years of blogging and talking and healing… I know that is not the way. I also know that I wasn’t ready for the other way. I wasn’t ready to let myself stop, to let myself be, to feel and to open up publicly. If I did that I knew I would have to sit with that pain and let it in. Even as I write this I know I am not fully feeling it. I’m still planning in my head what I am going to get up and do when I finish writing. So I guess I should say I am not ready, rather than wasn’t ready.

I feel a heaviness in my chest that just won’t lift. I feel a deep sadness trying to get out. I’ve had days where the dam that I’ve built to hold it all in, cracks. The water works start, the darkness creeps in, then somehow I build that dam back up and keep going. People keep telling me I’m going to burn out, but I’m pretty sure I did a while ago and now I’m just running on muscle memory.

(I’d like to pause here to say this is not the blog I intended to write, but this is what is flowing out of me so I am going with it)

Over the last few weeks I’ve been taking steps to get myself back. They’ve been baby steps and I’ve fallen backwards a few times, but I’m still trying. I’m trying to work more reasonable hours, to make time for loved ones, to take better care of myself. Writing this blog has helped ease some of the weight.

I just want to say to anyone who may be feeling like this, you are not alone. We are not alone. Its ok if we’re not ready to feel it all yet, but we can’t stay here either. Life is too damn short, we deserve to heal and to feel joy.

It’s ok that we don’t feel ok at the moment. With the things we’ve all been through over the last few years, it’s completely justified.

I also want to reiterate to myself and to others, we don’t have to be grateful that it isn’t worse. I know that with everything that has happened and is happening, there are people far far worse off. My heart goes out to them and I am very aware of the privileges I have. I also know that my pain is real, its justified and it is ok.

For anyone who is struggling, please know that you can reach out. Keep going because we can get through it. This may not be the super positive blog I intended to write, but its honest, it’s real and it’s me. I’m with you, I’m fighting, please keep fighting too. You are not alone.

I’ve added a page on this site for mental health resources. I’ve currently only listed those in the UK, but I’m also aware that people from other countries read my blog sometimes. If anyone knows of reputable mental health resources in other countries, please feel free to let me know and I will update the page.

Stay strong warriors.

You are not alone

I haven’t written a blog in over a year. After writing so much (even if I didn’t always share) this seems so odd.

It’s not that I suddenly got all healed and didn’t need to. I actually stopped writing because honestly, with everything that was/is going on in the world, I never felt like my words would be worthy. So much pain, so much loss, so many voices fighting to be heard, when they should never have had to fight at all. In all of this, I kind of lost my voice. My mental illness never left me, but I had some good things happen. Big life things that normally, I would have wanted to shout from the rooftops… but with all the pain and all the loss, I also felt like I didn’t deserve to celebrate. How could I celebrate my happiness when there was so much suffering? Then, when I have struggled, I’ve subconsciously thought, who am I to add my voice to the masses? There are other people that need to be heard. Even though I’ve had moments of bad depression, raging anxiety, I’ve hurt myself, I’ve slipped on my self care and I’ve not listened to my needs. Even with all of that, I still have this deep feeling that I should only be grateful and I don’t deserve to feel this way.

How funny is that? Since when did mental illness only apply if everything is bad. Since when is it only justifiable if my life sucks? I may have had some good stuff happen, but I still spent months unable to see or hug my family and friends. I still felt isolated, scared, lonely and trapped. I also still have mental illness that doesn’t give a crap if things are going good or not. 

Another thing I’ve noticed is how much I am apologising again. Apologising for speaking out, for taking up space. I saw my mum and actually felt guilty for talking about me. The good and the bad. I felt bad, because I feel like I’m too much, that I am not worthy of the space to talk. I’ve been struggling a lot with stress and often feel like I am a burden to the people I talk to about it. I have felt like I am a poison, infecting everyone around me and that I just need to shut the hell up. I have felt like a failure that I’ve needed to ask for help in work. Felt like nothing I do is ever good enough. I’ve felt the weight of my imposter syndrome crushing me every day. I don’t feel like I’ve been silent, I feel like every cell in my body has been screaming but nothing is happening. I need to take better care of myself I know this. I also need to share. I need to share because I know I’m not alone. I know other people are feeling this way and I know that my voice can help someone. Knowing that I can maybe help even one person, that gives me hope and lights up some of the dark.

I stopped using my voice, my experiences and my hurt for good. I’m not saying I’m some sort of saviour, but I know full well it helps to know we are not alone. 

You are not alone.

You are allowed to take up space.

It is ok to feel crappy sometimes, even if from the outside it looks OK.

It is also perfectly OK to cry, to be real and raw. It doesn’t make you a failure it makes you human.

You are not alone.

Stay strong warriors 💜

The Importance of Sharing

Yesterday I had a difficult mental health day. I woke up later than intended, so that was a great start. I quickly showered and started to get ready for work. At the moment I am not feeling confident enough to go to the office without make up, so the getting ready part takes longer. This is odd considering that many of the people I work with have seen me without it. I share my bare face on social media often, yet right now, I want a mask. Even as I write this, I am wondering if it’s because I started a new job. I was feeling nervous about it, because I’d have staff to manage and a lot of challenges. I felt unworthy and like I was going to fuck it all up. I worried that my staff would wonder how I ever got the job. Somehow this has transpired into “if I wear make up I will look more professional and ‘together’ so they won’t question how I got there”. As much as I know this is crap, I still intend to put my make up on today. Maybe next week I’ll go bare face…

I am also struggling with my body image, so after what felt like 27 outfit changes. I finally just put on a baggy jumper. I am always boiling in work so jumpers are usually a no go, but right now it is all I feel comfortable in. Needless to say, after my clothes meltdown, my hair taking ages because it was so knotty and applying way more make up as compensation, I was late. I missed my first meeting and barely made it for my second. I felt awful and this fed into my feeling of not being good enough for my new job. 

I wanted to hide away in shame, but instead I apologised to my line manager for being late. I was honest about the reason and she accepted it without question, only asked if I was feeling ok now. When i went back to my desk, one of my staff members looked at me and said “are you alright, are you having a bad day?”. All I needed to say was yes, but I’ll be ok. The relief here was incredible, I was able to then just get stuck into my work and forget about my bad start. This was possible because both my manager and my staff are aware of my mental illness. I told them straight away and explained the signs and what I would need. I didn’t feel worried about my manager knowing, I’ve already experienced how much that can help with previous managers. Telling my staff was what made me worry – what if they perceived me as weak and unworthy?! Well that did not happen. If anything I am perceived as strong for sharing. I am able to just say “yes, but I will be ok” and there was no need for any further explanation. I had already explained that on a ‘bad day’ it didn’t mean they couldn’t ask for my help, I am still their manager and I will still support them, I just may look a little more frazzled doing it.

Yesterday was not a great day, but it was made 100 times easier to still function and go to work, by sharing. I told them upfront and on a good day, so that I wouldn’t have to explain on a bad day. There should be no stigma around mental illness, it is an illness and can be managed. Some days sure, it requires staying in a duvet fort, you know, like a cold. Some days you can function, it just hurts a bit, like a headache

This is a perfect example of why I am totally open about my mental illness. It helps. Don’t ever feel like you have to suffer in silence and alone. I didn’t need support yesterday, I just needed understanding, and that is exactly what I got. Nobody walked on eggshells around me as I had told them not to. Nobody asked me repeatedly what was wrong, because they already knew. 

Consider this when you feel like you can’t tell people as you may be perceived as weak. There is nothing weak about mental illness. We are warriors for fighting with our own minds every day. Yesterday was a battle, but today I am stronger for it.

Stay strong warriors 💜

Knowing, Respecting and Loving Yourself

A huge part of my recovery and my growth as a person has been learning all about myself. I have a greater understanding of myself today than I ever could have imagined possible previously. I am far more able to understand and identify my feelings, triggers, emotional blocks. I am able now to acknowledge that perhaps something I am saying or doing is unhealthy, but to also recognise the growth I have shown. In this way I am able to find something positive to focus on, rather than negative.

For example, a couple of days ago, I was having a particularly low day. I was looking back through old photos and admiring my body at the time my eating disorder was at its worst and I had lost a lot of weight. I have been feeling really unhappy with my current body and having been fighting a lot with the urge to lose weight through unhealthy means again. This includes dieting and ‘healthy eating lifestyle’ plans like slimming world.

(I will not even start a rant about diet culture/diet industries and how evil they are. I would just recommend that you follow @bodyposipanda aka Megan Jayne Crabbe aka my favourite account on Instagram and the reason I am still trying to love myself. Also read her book. It’s incredible)

So anyway… I’m sat there, looking at these photos, hating on myself. I was considering how I would be able to hide my ED from my family and friends, especially my partner. Then it occurred to me… when I was in full ED mode before, my hair sucked. Like super unhealthy, didn’t grow very well at all. Right now, I LOVE my hair. It has taken me years to grow it out and it is finally looking and feeling healthy. It is the one and only thing some days that I can honestly say I like/love about myself. So I decided then and there, I probably would have to try loving myself again instead because I don’t want to ruin my hair.

I went to my partner and proudly told him what I had been thinking, adding in that actually nails get brittle too and that was a pain. I was also stood unashamedly admiring my hair in the mirror. He was shocked and said “so, you’re telling me that the reason you decided against it now, was not for how it affects your mental health, what it will do to your insides, how it would affect your family or friends etc. You decided… because of your hair?” I actually laughed out loud and acknowledged completely how potentially fucked up that was. How to a normal person that is still super unhealthy… but to me, that is so damn grown. I decided not to hurt myself to change my body because I focused on something I loved about myself. I didn’t even have to consciously do it. I made the choice out of love for me. Maybe not love for all of me sure, but that seemingly small part, that will grow (like my healthy hair!). I was able to, in a very dark moment, genuinely love something about me and my appearance. I used that and chose love for myself over hate for myself. That. Is. Growth.

It’s January, it is the month of “New Year, New Me” diet and fitness ads are everywhere. It feels like everyone is talking about their diets and how fat they are or how bad they were over Christmas. I have been actually dreading going into the office because that place is rife with diet talk. For someone fighting an eating disorder mind, I can tell you it’s pretty damn triggering. It is not going to be easy for me to stand up for myself and politely ask my colleagues or friends to not talk about their diets in front of me. I am afraid of the reaction I will get and the judgement in people’s eyes. The look of “you don’t look like you have an eating disorder, you look like you need to diet”. I am going to have to bite my tongue to avoid a rant about diet culture and how bad it is. I am going to have to remind myself constantly, why I am fighting this, even if right now it’s only for my hair.

I am politely asking anyone reading this right now who knows me personally: I do not want to hear about your diet. I do not want to hear about your new healthy eating plan. Or food based lifestyle change. Or your plan to lose weight. If you post about your diet or constantly talk on social media about good food vs bad food and how “eating this is going to make me so fat” respectfully, I will unfollow you as it is not healthy for me. I do not want you to comment on my weight in any way, even if it is meant as a compliment. If your goals for 2020 are image related I don’t want to know about them. I am asking this in order to respect my mental health and to aid my recovery. I am also asking because maybe it will make someone think. Not everyone is as open as me. There may be someone struggling, as I am and they also don’t want to hear about your diet. I don’t think it would actually be wrong to ask, if you are not sure, if someone is comfortable talking about your diet/food plans. I consciously bite my tongue and aim to be respectful of other people’s views when it comes to diets. I only ask for the same respect when it comes to my views and my mental health.

If you are also feeling the pressure of diet culture and the pressure to obtain the perfect body (as decided by who!?) I’m with you. I have told many people to try this and I feel it is even more important now. In the comfort of your own home by yourself, get naked. (This isn’t about to get weird I promise) stand naked in front of a mirror – those small make up mirrors don’t count! Then I want you to pick at least one thing that you love about yourself, even if it’s just your hair. Do this every day, really take in your body but do not get sucked into hating it.

Even if you don’t love your body, your body loves you.

Even if your body is not perfectly healthy or doesn’t look the way society tells you it should look, your body loves you. Your body works every single day just to keep you alive. You are alive because your body loves you. When you look in that mirror and start to notice all the things you hate about your body, remind yourself that your body loves you and then try to love it back.

I have just started doing this again today. Today I love:

  1. My hair… obvs!
  2. My waist and the curve of my hips
  3. My big Greek booty
  4. My eyes

Stay strong warriors, I see you, I’m with you, we’ve got this. 💚

That thing we don’t talk about… but should

So that thing, that thing we don’t talk about… it’s eating disorders. I’ve mentioned it in previous blogs but I don’t often talk about how much I struggle with it. It’s one of those things that people assume, because I don’t mention it, because they see me eating, it must be gone. They think, because I’ve not drastically lost any more weight and I’ve promised that I haven’t made myself sick in ages, that I’m all healed. Well, I hate to piss all over that parade, but I’m still working this one out.

For me this is yet another invisible illness. Not sure if you’ve looked at me… but I don’t exactly look like the stereotypical girl with an eating disorder. I am not skinny, but my relationship with food is not healthy. Every day is a struggle for me to either eat, or stop eating. Some days I feel so stressed or so fat and worthless that I will barely eat anything. Other days I will eat and eat and eat until I feel utterly gross and can’t move. I have also stopped exercising all together and totally berated myself for that too. I might as well come clean here… I have definitely made myself sick recently.

I went to the doctors the other day and they asked me to step on the scales. Now usually when this happens, I specify that I don’t want to know my weight. I’ll admit right here and now, I purposely didn’t ask that. I let them tell me my weight. I sat and listened while they told me how much weight I had put on and how it was bad for my health. Rather than snapping back with some body positive, BMI doesn’t mean shit, health isn’t all about size response… I stood there and took it because I felt like I deserved to be ‘told off’. I took that lecture right into my soul and internally scorned myself for ‘letting myself go’. I have been struggling. I knew I’d put on weight. I feel it in my clothes, I can see it in the mirror. I have already been beating myself up for that. Other stresses have made me want to turn to my eating disorder for comfort. I used to make myself sick when I felt really anxious. Eating disorders are not always all about weight. When I feel like I am spiralling, like I can’t control what’s going on around me, I want to turn to my ED as my way of taking control. I have felt really bloody anxious, stressed, sad, disappointed… add to that, my feeling unattractive, fat and worthless, maaan I have wanted to be sick, way more than I actually have been.

This time of year can be tricky for a lot of people. Especially for those with eating disorders or body image issues. Personally, it’s not about the time of year, but I say this so others may be more mindful. Check in on your people.

Right now I am trying to take some time to focus on what I do love about myself (loving my hair at the moment). I am trying not to focus on the areas I don’t love and I’m working again on healthier ways to deal with my anxiety. Hence this blog!

Stay strong warriors 💚

Don’t be an Asshole

You never know what someone is going through. People you come into contact with every day, strangers, work colleagues, friends, family… everyone has a story.

That person serving you in the supermarket, they didn’t talk and were seemingly rude – they were up all night with their toddler who just. Won’t. Sleep.

The person that cut you up on the roundabout and you screamed at – they were lost and panicking already and quite frankly having a really crappy day.

The person who bumped into you and didn’t stop to say sorry – they are really anxious in crowds and were trying desperately to get out so they could breathe again.

I work from home often and have sent multiple cheery emails saying “hope you have a lovely weekend/day/evening” all the while tears streaming down my face, desperately trying to finish my work so I could log off. I’ve sat and thought, these people will never know how much my heart was breaking when I sent this.

I will always try to be kind for this reason. I’m told that I am too nice, that people will take advantage and some people are just assholes. I am not always nice, I get road rage at times, I snap at people, I have been rude and gotten annoyed at others. However I will always try to acknowledge when I am in fact being an asshole. To the strangers that I may have been rude to, I can’t go back and say sorry. I just hope that maybe they think like me. I hope that maybe on my bad days, they can see it, that they will know. Honestly there have been so many times that I am screaming on this inside for someone to just notice. Please someone notice that I am really not ok. Sure I’m way more open now, but sometimes the words won’t come out. Sometimes you need that one person to give you a damn break, offer a helping hand, be kind.

The lesson here is don’t be an asshole. Somebody that you come into contact with could possibly need some understanding and maybe just a little break.

Stay strong warriors – have a lovely weekend 💜

What have you got to be sad about?

What have you got to be sad about?

I have been asked that many times. For all the work I’ve done to be open and honest about mental illness, I have still been asked this question recently.

This question and the attitude that comes with it, is what makes me feel like I have to justify my sadness or anxiety. Sometimes I feel the need to prove that my pain is real and justified. Often when I tell people what I am feeling or what’s going on their response ishonestly I don’t really know how you are functional and smiling right now”. I tell them it’s years of practice.

I have had trauma, I have had bad experiences, I have been heart broken. I have been made to feel by some that no matter what I do or say, I will never be enough or as good as someone else. I have done so much work on myself that I know where my mental illness comes from. I know why I feel this pain. I know how it started, but it has become its own beast now. It may be rooted in my life experiences but it has grown and changed and developed into a dark and twisty part of me. It can pop up from a reminder of trauma or during times of stress. It can also come seemingly from nowhere.

There is also the misunderstanding that just because I am happy in my relationship that all my other problems go away. People assume now if I am sad, that must mean that my relationship is going wrong. That somehow love cures all and almost a lifetime of fighting was all fixed by finding a man. Now don’t get me wrong, my partner is fantastic. I tell him all the time that he is my light in the dark. He helps to keep me from drowning when the waves are crashing in. They still crash though. Those waves, that pain, the struggle, the fight, the mental illness, it hasn’t just been cured by falling in love. Sometimes it can actually be more confusing. I can be in my bubble with him, I am safe, he keeps me whole. However I still have days where I feel like I am going to drown. He tells me that he can see it in my eyes, like he can see me, but he can’t reach me. I am there, but I am not there. I can be both so happy and in love and yet gasping for air and feeling so lost and unable to put into words what is bothering me and how it hurts.

Lately I have felt so up and down, so happy, yet so stressed and unhappy that it has really been affecting my physical health. I have been in so much pain physically and emotionally, that I have started to shut down. I have had a panic attack and cried so hard I couldn’t breathe and then had to sleep from the exhaustion. It has affected me more physically than it ever has before, pain so bad in my stomach that I went to the hospital. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home, a privilege I have utilised a lot lately.

I don’t know how many times I have written this in a blog, or said it to someone… but I seriously need to take my own advice. I tell people “you can’t pour from and empty cup” or “you have to take care of yourself and put your mental health first” or “you don’t have to wait until you have a full breakdown to justify needing to stop and take care of yourself” I say these things. A lot. Yet I have pushed myself again to the point of almost breaking in order to take care of other people before me. My body’s ‘check engine’ light has been lit up like a Christmas tree yet I just kept going. I pushed and pushed and pushed… aaaand then I cried at my boss and told him I needed to take a break.

I took a few days off last week but I still didn’t really stop. I kept pushing myself, I just did things around the house that I don’t usually have time for. By the time I got to the end of the weekend, I decided enough was enough. I have returned to work but I have really stopped pushing myself this week. I have done what I can do in work, then at home I have tried to not sweat the small stuff. So the washing up doesn’t get done straight away? So the clothes are not put away for 27 years after it’s been washed, maybe never, who knows? So the blankets on the sofa are not perfect? Since when did I care about that anyway?! I literally pushed myself so hard that I became a clean freak. Anyone that knows me, knows that this is just not normal for me, I am so untidy!! I did this because I felt like a failure in everything and I wanted everything to look perfect so at least I could say that I was doing something right.

I know I pushed myself too far, because now that I have slowed down I have a cold. I am fully aware that this is my body punishing me for doing too much. My body is screaming “Right, I will make sure you slow down because now I’m going to make it difficult for you to move about and you know, breathe. Take. That.” I’m shaking my head just writing that, like alriiiight I stopped, give me a fucking breaaaak!

I’ve had a lot of setbacks on this recovery road but I have to keep reminding myself that recovery is not linear. I was asked if I was sure I was actually recovering, given my current state. I didn’t even need to think before replying that I am.

Compared to the me of 2 years ago, even a year ago, yes I am absolutely recovering. That being said I will probably always have mental illness. I have come to accept this as a fact and made peace with it. I will have my ups and downs in life as everyone does. My downs may hit me quite hard and send me spiralling down the rabbit hole, but I always come back. It may take me longer sometimes to acknowledge my check engine light, but eventually I do. I stop, I feel it, I take stock of what my body and my mind needs, then I give it exactly that.

Right now what my body needs is rest. What my mind needs is organisation. So this week I have had a balance of both, I have rested and still organised, I have given myself some TLC and worked on coming back. I’m still down in that rabbit hole at the moment, but I’m not at the bottom. I’m taking some much needed time to put my needs and wants at the top of my list.

Stay strong warriors 💜

Happy 2nd Birthday

Happy Blog Birthday!!

So today is 2 years since I started my blog. Oh how much has changed in those two years. I’ve taken leaps forward in recovery. I’ve also slipped down the rabbit hole of depression, discovered an eating disorder, found both healthy and very unhealthy ways of coping, and worried that I would never make it out.

When I realised it was my blog’s birthday, I sat and read the first ever blog post. I teared up reading it and ended it smiling. I smiled because I can really see how far I have come. When I read those words I can picture exactly where I was when I wrote it. I know exactly how I was feeling and how much pain was in those words. Today I read them and I felt grateful for my journey. I feel grateful that I chose life, that I chose this path, because it led me to where I am now.

Today although I am currently in bed with some sort of stomach bug (I am all sorts of gross right now!) I am happy. I wrote in the first blog that I was stronger than I had ever been. Well now I can honestly say I am even stronger. I have done things in the last two years that I never thought would be possible for me. I have really experienced life for the first time. I have found true love and the person that I intend to spend the rest of my days with. Most importantly though, I have found me. I found my voice. I have spoken up for myself in ways I never thought I could. I have recognised my worth and although I still fight daily, I know that the important thing is I am still fighting!

So much has changed and although it has been far from plain sailing, it has been one hell of a ride!!

You may be in the dark right now, you may be on your recovery road and wondering if you can carry on… this message is for you:

Keep fighting! I know it hurts right now and I know that you are thinking of giving up. You can do this. There is light and love and joy on this recovery road, you just have to believe in yourself and your strength. Call on your tribe, find your tribe, reach out. You are not alone.

I just want to thank everyone who takes the time to read, share and support my blog. It means the world to me and I hope that it continues to help those who are still fighting.

Mostly though, I want to thank my tribe members, old and new. I am a badass warrior but I know I couldn’t have gotten this far without you. I love you all and no words could ever express how grateful I am to you.

Stay strong warriors 💜

Here are just some of the things I have experienced and achieved on this journey:

I tried silks as I’d always wanted to… I wasn’t very good at it and I never went back… but I tried!

I went to New York with these lovely ladies and I didn’t organise a damn thing! I just turned up!! It doesn’t sound like much but it was big!

I travelled the furthest I had ever travelled alone, for an interview. It paid off and I got offered a promotion!

I went on my first ever flight alone to surprise my sister in Paris for her birthday! Another that I didn’t organise, I just went where I was told to by my super organised brother in law.

I went back to New York ALL BY MYSELF! I lost most of my photos which I was devastated about, but I guess that means I have to go back again!

I met this wonderful human and although I have been terrified, I have loved and allowed myself to be loved! He doesn’t even mind that I am a Slytherin and he is Gryffindor…

I found myself and my light in the dark!!