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!!

It’s ok to lose your spark

I keep seeing a quote pop up (which of course I can’t find when I want to reference it) something about the tools you used to survive may not be the same ones to heal. I’ve definitely got the wording wrong but the message is there.

The tools I used to survive were binging, be it food or shopping, starving, purging, cutting, isolation… I could go on but basically, yes they helped me to survive, but they will not help me to heal. The only two I can really say that I have not done this year is cutting and purging. These two were my biggest release and two of the worst physically. The others I have been consciously working on doing less of… not going to lie, the shopping one has been my go to recently. This might sound like the best, but my bank balance does not agree. I have very little really to show for my excessive spending, so although I have not physically hurt myself, mentally it’s damaged me. I have undone years of hard work to manage money better and save, now it feels like I am starting from scratch.

Lately I have been struggling so have wanted to turn to my old methods of coping. I have focused so damn hard on trying to hold myself together without them, that I forgot about the many healthy tools I have. I’ve isolated myself and not spoken my truth all that much. I stopped meditating. I stopped taking long baths to relax (it’s where my best blogs come from, I’m writing from the bath right now! How have I ignored this one?!) I have bent over backwards (when I’m not isolating) to put other people’s needs and feelings first. I’ve filled my diary and not taken time alone, to the point that I made myself ill.

You know what though? That’s ok. I forgive myself for that.

I tell other people to put their mental health first yet often I don’t do that. I am pulling myself back on track though. I am speaking my truth. I am standing up for myself and my mental health. I am putting myself first. I am surrounding myself with people that build me up, not bring me down. I am doing the things that I want to do and prioritising the people and things that bring me the most joy. I am deep into this journey of recovery, yes I have set backs but man am I learning (then forgetting, then relearning) some things along the way.

  • It is not selfish to take time out for myself.
  • It is ok to say no to people and I am not obligated to explain myself.
  • It is ok and very important to speak my truth.
  • My mental health and my happiness should be my priority.
  • I cannot pour from an empty cup.
  • I am worth more than what I look like.
  • Other people’s opinions on what I look like or what I eat, are none of my concern and likely stem from their own insecurities.

Another quote, which popped into my head while writing this:

It’s ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire. – Colette Werden

So I am getting back up and I am the whole. Damn. Fire.

Stay strong warriors 💜

Bittersweet Symphony

Mental illness… it’s a funny one… not funny like ‘haha’. Funny like, ‘tricksy little bitch that sets out to ruin your day and you have to fight against it on the daily just to function like a semi-normal human being and sometimes you just want to cry because fuck you mental illness’ (I purposely didn’t use a comma here, anyone that knows me will know that is how I actually talk).

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again… mental illness does not discriminate. It doesn’t only affect those that have a shitty life. You could have everything going for you and mental illness will just creep in all ‘Oooh hey there you seem like you have it all… it would be a shame if something were to… FUCK. WITH. YOUR. BRAIN. MOOHAHAHAHAHAHA!!’

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some trauma and heartache in life. I have had things happen, even recently, that I think completely justifies my feelings. That being said, I have also experienced a kind of happiness I didn’t even know I could feel. I have started to feel like my life is making sense. Finally a reason for all the shitty things that have happened to me, it all brought me to this place, this place where I could be so gloriously happy. Now there are those that will see this happiness and joy I have found, and assume that means I am cured. As if mental illness cares if I found some happiness. It doesn’t. I still get anxious, I still fight daily with my eating disorder and a lot of the time with body dysmorphia. I still get overwhelmed by all the things I have to try and process and go into shut down. I have still felt sad (I am grateful it hasn’t been full depression, but I still get a little lost). This has brought much confusion and in turn more anxiety to my life at times lately. For the last few weeks I have just started to bury my head in the sand. Don’t want to have that difficult conversation? Avoid them. Don’t know how to process something that is happening? Find any distraction I can, go to the happy bubble and just ignore it. Feel dissatisfied with a certain area of my life? Buy things. Buy all the things. I haven’t really known what to say to people, so instead I have avoided most people and only really made time for a select few. I have tried countless times to write a blog, but the words have just been so jumbled in my head that I can’t string a sentence together.

The reason I am able to do this right now is because last week I had a mini meltdown, then I reached out, admitted I was struggling and that I needed some time off work. It hasn’t been long and I can’t say that it cured me (if only!) but man has it helped. I’ve felt ridiculously guilty for not being in work though – I literally took two full days off, that’s it – yet I have felt so bad because of the happiness bubble. I have told myself ‘you can’t be so bad that you need time off when you can still feel some happiness’. Well to that inner bitch thought, I say SCREW YOU! Why should I have to wait until I feel like I want to die before I will give myself a damn break?! Why do we do that to ourselves? Plenty of people will take a sick day from work if they have a cold and not feel guilty because it’s not pneumonia. I have had to be reminded of this in work and in life recently. I kept telling my friends who were struggling ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself too!’ it took a few people insisting that I take my own advice before I actually did it.

I will say that again just in case anyone needs that extra push like I did… YOU CAN’T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO!

I got so good at self-care on my recovery journey, but at the moment I have been pretty rubbish at it. Today is the first real day that I stopped worrying so much about getting everything done and just took the day as it came. My anxiety has been a royal bitch this evening but I have definitely stepped up my self-care game and put down the guilt card for a few hours. My life at the moment is bittersweet – I have found happiness and love, but it doesn’t cure years worth of pain. I am better than I have ever been in some areas of life and completely lost, dazed and confused in others. It’s going to take a little time, but I am going to somehow process the madness going through my head and get back on track with my recovery journey. I’ve been letting that shit slip and it is time for me to work it out. I took my wallow time, I gave myself a break, now it’s time to kick some ass like the warrior that I am.

Reminders:

Don’t assume that mental illness goes away just because some things are going right.

Don’t forget to check in on your people.

Be patient with them, just because it looks like they are happy, doesn’t mean they are not still struggling with life.

Lastly… Stay strong warriors! ❤ 

New York New York!

I am writing this on very little sleep so if some of it doesn’t make sense I apologise!! I just need to say though… I bloody did it!!!

I have pushed through my fears and done many things on my recovery road. This though, this was the biggest so far.

I went to New York City all by myself. Alone. Completely and utterly alone.

Before I left I was spiralling. The day before my flight I wasn’t even excited. I reluctantly packed and faked excitement. When people asked me I told them I was just nervous. I was nervous, I was absolutely terrified! But I also felt a sadness so deep I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to enjoy a single minute of it all. A few people suggested that once I was there, I would feel better. I would feel so proud of myself for doing it, that I would forget for a little while of my sadness.

But that’s not how it works I thought. My heart feels broken and my mind won’t switch off, how am I supposed to forget that? Well maybe because I have never pushed that far out of my comfort zone when I felt that bad, I have never managed to experience it.

I felt it though! I didn’t forget completely, it was still there in the back of my mind. It wasn’t in the way though. I explored, I laughed, I chatted to people, I totally bossed the crowds which would have given me panic attacks before. I bloody did it! It felt good! It felt like an actual break from my pain, even if it never went completely.

My driver on the way back to the airport brought up anxiety in crowds, I agreed and told him I used to have panic attacks. He was so relieved to know that it wasn’t just him, it felt so wonderful to give him that. A simple cry of “me too!” which has made someone feel less alone. We talked for the entire journey and agreed on the importance of pushing through your fears. There are many quotes about comfort zones and how ‘life blossoms on the other side of your comfort zone’ or something like that. I have never agreed with that more than I do right now.

It may feel terrifying. You may want to stay in the sadness, because you know what to expect, it’s normal… but get out. Push yourself to do the things that scare you. Speak your truth. Face your fears. Get out of your comfort zone and see how the world blossoms for you. Sometimes you’ll have setbacks. You’ll speak your truth and not get the answer you want, if any at all, but you’ll survive. You’ll push out of your comfort zone and something might go wrong, but you’ll survive. You’ll face your fears and feel just as terrified, but you’ll survive. At least you tried, at least you gave it your best shot. It might not go how you expect or how you want it to go, but it beats the hell out of never trying, always wondering what if. Instead of what if it all goes wrong… ask yourself, what if it all goes right?

Be free, be brave. Stay strong warriors 💜

How are you?

I met up with friends yesterday and I was visibly sad. My one friend asked “why didn’t you tell me earlier when I asked how you were?” my answer was that I thought I was ok, but it changed. She told me that I should have told her it changed.

How many people do that though? When it changes, especially when it changes suddenly, do you tell people? I am mostly an open book when I am not that bad. But the worse I get, the harder it gets to just speak up.

So when people do ask how you are, do you lie? You can normally tell when it was a greeting rather than a question. When people ask how you are, a lot of the time, it’s just small talk. They don’t really want to know, they are not really asking. If I can muster up the energy to lie, I’ll tell them “not too bad” or “fine, just tired”. Sometimes I just flat out ignore the question.

Them: “Hey Jade how are you?”

Me: “Oh heey, how are you?”

Most people don’t even notice. Of the ones that do notice, very few will bother to ask again.

Someone I don’t know from another mental health page asked me how I was earlier. I didn’t want to lie, so I typed out exactly how I was. Then I selected the whole message, cut, and sent “not too bad how are you?”.

I have been seemingly happy this week to those that don’t know me or care to notice. Halloween is my favourite holiday. I have danced, laughed, been out with friends, talked a lot about all my exciting plans. There have been times where I have felt totally ok. But usually when I am driving or sat alone in a meeting room in work, or at home, I sigh big endless sighs. I start to tear up and think I’m about to cry, then nothing. I put on music and force myself to sing to cheer up, then realise that 3 songs have played and I’ve been silent and lost in my thoughts.

When asked how I was, before I sent my lie tonight, this is what I wrote:

“Like I’m doing really well and taking big steps. Then I catch myself feeling totally and completely lost and my heart beats so hard that I feel like it’ll surely burst. I want to cry or scream but nothing comes out. I want to see my friends but I don’t want to go out. I want to ask them for help, but every time I go to write a message, I think that I’m a burden and a drama queen. They have their own problems, they don’t need this shit from me. They don’t even like me, they just don’t know how to tell me without hurting my feelings. So instead of reaching out to my maybe friends, I am isolating myself and crying tearless sobs in my room while my heart tries to burst out of my chest and my head is so full I feel like I might pass out.”

Once I sent my lie, I got straight to writing this blog. I know that I will feel better. I know that this too shall pass. I know I have felt way worse than this and survived. I know I will be ok, but I also know that my self sabotaging brain is in isolation mode. So to my people that I haven’t contacted. To the ones I’ve seemed distant with. The ones that I keep pushing away. I’m sorry. This too shall pass.

Ahh the battles we fight. Speaking up gives me strength. Tomorrow is a new day.

Stay strong warriors 💜

Sunday Thoughts

Hello lovelies!

Sunday is my day of resetting, recharging, cleaning, sometimes gyming and today a little bit of blogging.

This morning I sat and thought about everything that has been going on with me lately. There have been setbacks, heartbreak, tears, anxiety meltdowns, questioning my choices, feeling like I can’t go on…

There have also been wonderful moments, love, breakthroughs, happy memories made, overcoming fears, pushing out of comfort zones.

I read a quote about forgetting how far you’ve come, because you’ve been busy looking forward. I’ve totally been doing that. I have been so busy focusing on what’s coming next, that I haven’t spent much time thinking about how far I’ve come. Sometimes it just hits me and I can’t quite believe it’s real. I can’t believe that I am living this life and not just getting from one day to the next. It’s not all sunshine and roses, nobody’s life ever is, but my goodness even with my setbacks, it is so much better than it has ever been.

I am reminded by my tribe that have seen me through this journey, just how much I’ve grown. One friend told me that I am still the same person, I am just no longer hiding. I feel like this is true, the person that I am now, she has always been there. I was just buried under fear, depression, anxiety… I wanted to do the things I’m doing now, I just always said “I can’t”. Now I am pushing back on that fear. I am challenging my negative ‘What if it all goes wrong’ with ‘but what if it all goes right?’.

I still feel pain, sadness, fear… I just let myself feel it. I really feel it, I open myself up to it and let it in. I spent years of my life fighting the pain and never winning. Mental illness doesn’t work that way, you can’t just switch it off, I’m sure everyone would if they could. By fighting it, I only made it worse, it lasted longer and took longer to heal. Now when it happens, I remind myself that this feeling is only visiting, and it is ok to let it in and feel it.

Last week I spent the best part of three days sobbing uncontrollably because my heart was breaking. I have not let myself cry like that in actual years! My bestie, being the awesome human that she is, turned up at my house, in full armour on her white horse, ready to fight my battles for me! I was already crying but man did it open up the floodgates the second she walked in the room. You know that loud, ugly face, heaving crying… yeah it was a sight to be seen I’m sure! She climbed into my bed and lay with me, without saying a word for what felt like hours while I cried.

The next day, my momma came into my room (where I was still crying – how I didn’t end up dehydrated I’ll never know) and told me she had run a bath for me and my sister was coming over for a movie night and take away. What a wonderful tribe I have right?! Even through their own troubles they are right there to support me, as I am with them. Ride or die tribe vibes over here!!

I allowed myself to feel it, to cry, to breakdown, but I also acknowledged that this pain wouldn’t last. I told myself that I have survived 100% of my heart breaks, trauma and bad days so far and I could survive this too. I reminded myself that I have people like my bestie, my momma, my sister and the rest of my tribe, ready to help me back up when I fall. If I have learned one thing on this recovery journey, it’s that I do not need to face it alone.

A week later and I’ve just come back from a wonderful trip to London. The first part of my trip I did all by myself, which was a huge step for me! I am so proud of the woman I am allowing myself to be now. I wouldn’t be here without my tribe though, so thank you to my ride or die tribe. Those that sit with me in the dark and help pick me back up when I’m ready. I am grateful for you every single day!

Find your tribe, they are out there and they need you too!

I must stop writing now because the cleaning and resetting part of my Sunday has not started! I just want to say though… my usual sign off to my blogs is ‘stay strong warriors’ but as I wrote it today, I felt like I had to explain… staying strong doesn’t mean fighting it. It takes great strength to let the pain in, to talk about it, to really feel it. Sometimes it takes more strength to feel it than to fight it, but the outcome is so much better. So when I tell my fellow warriors to stay strong, I am not telling you to fight and bury your pain. Let in it and then let it leave, the sun always shines brightest after the rain!

Stay strong warriors 💜

The Road to Recovery

Recovery is a road that terrifies me sometimes. It’s also a road that excites me.

Along this road I never know what I’m going to come up against. I have hit bumps I didn’t know I’d hit. I have unearthed some buried issues. I have acknowledged some long standing issues that I had ignored. I turned a previously binge eating disorder into a binge fast cycle. I started making myself sick when I got overly anxious. I lost a lot of weight through this and still now feel guilty when people compliment me on my weight loss.

I have felt like I opened Pandora’s box – my own personal Pandora’s box, a Jade box, with all my inner demons! At times I felt like people didn’t understand or accept my pain. Some see me doing well and think it’s all gone. Some people don’t recognise my disordered eating because I’m still overweight – so because I’m not ‘skinny’ I should still be doing everything I can to lose weight, whether or not it’s healthy. Trying to love yourself in a world that teaches you from a young age, you should always want to change, is so hard! (Shout out to my people that encourage me to love myself every day!)

I’ve wanted to give up, go back into the black hole of numbness and stay there. I’ve wanted to jump straight off the recovery road because I was afraid of what could happen next.

Then there’s the good side of recovery. I have made it over those bumps…

(I picture some epic journey over a snowy mountain, twists and turns all the time… I feel like Drew Barrymore would play me in the movie. It would be epic! 🤔 Actually to most it would be a small hill, like a mole hill… see what I did there?)

Ahem… back on track…

I have worked through some of those long buried issues. I have acknowledged and forgiven myself for some of the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve also dealt with and forgiven some of the people that hurt me. I have discovered new and healthy ways of coping with my pain. I have learned to stand up for myself, to speak up when someone hurts me. *sings This is Me from The Greatest Showman*

I have done things I never would have done before:

• I applied for a job even though I’d have to travel for the interview, and got it!

• I booked a holiday to New York for just me! I’m not going for a few months but it’s almost paid, no going back now!

• I have let other people book holidays for me and not planned a single thing.

• I have not prepared for those holidays until the last minute and didn’t over think it.

• I travelled to France by myself to surprise my sister in Disneyland.

I could go on for ages but those have been the biggest things for me so far!

It’s not always easy, I still slip back into old habits. I sometimes feel like I am standing on a cliff edge – if I look straight ahead, the view is beautiful. I can see all the wonderful things that are there for me. Then if I look down, I see a black hole. So yeah, I’m both good and bad. I’m healing and recovering and becoming this person that I’m so proud of. I am feeling so much love for the people around me, those that support, encourage and inspire me. I’m also damaged, I have scars and some still open wounds. Sometimes I feel empty and then terrified that it won’t go. Sometimes I feel like a badass warrior.

This pain that has been with me since childhood, it was never going to go away over night. Maybe I will always be both. Honestly though, as much as some days I wish to just be untroubled by these things – it all makes me who I am. It makes me the person that is able to help others. I make a difference in people’s lives by sharing my story, by encouraging and inspiring others to join me on the road of recovery. I am a more caring person because of my pain. I believe that everything happens for a reason, I might not have all the answers yet, but I can’t wait to find out where my road is leading.

It’s ok to be ok, and not ok at the same time.

To anyone in the dark, let these words be your light. There can be joy again. Stand in the sun with me ☀️ it’s ok if it rains. When it rains, we dance it out 💃🏼🕺(my fellow Shondaland fans will get these references. Shondaland for life!)

Stay strong warriors 💜