eating disorder · recovery

Me time

One thing I still really struggle with in recovery is having ‘me time’ – time when I just relax and do something I enjoy for no reason in particular.

I still feel like I don’t deserve to just relax and treat myself, I feel like I should have done something impressive or worthwhile or good to others in order to deserve time to focus on myself and look after myself. During recovery I have got a lot better at resting and relaxing, but I often still struggle with just being kind to myself and giving myself a break.

Today I have decided to give myself a relaxed, ‘me time’ day and I’m trying to get used to seeing looking after myself as something normal and okay, and not something that I need to deserve.

For anyone else who struggles with ‘me time’ and your anxious or anorexic thoughts come in when you try to relax, here is what I have been reminding myself –

  • Relaxing isn’t negative orΒ  lazy, it is an important and positive part of your life.
  • You don’t have to do something impressive to deserve time to look after yourself, just by living your life normally everyday you are bringing happiness to the people you love and that is an amazing thing.
  • You are getting stronger and you don’t want to reverse this process, your recovery is down to you.
  • Relaxing and resting is crucial so you have the strength and energy to do the things you love.

When I was younger I used to love Winnie the Pooh and weirdly something A.A.Milne wrote in these stories has been helping me recently; ‘you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think’.

Give yourself some ‘me time’, you do deserve it πŸ™‚ xx

eating disorder · recovery

Do I need help or not?

One of the hardest things with recovery is getting other people to see your food as normal.

Once you’ve started to put on weight you ofcourse want to be able to have days when you don’t have all the snacks in your meal plan. You want to be able to treat eating as a normal and relaxed thing that isn’t life or death if you eat more or less than you’d planned.

I love all my friends and family and they love me so it’s natural that they’re concerned. I guess I need to understand that it was as hard for my loved ones as me when I was ill and they want to encourage me.

I am strong enough to not need prompting from other people, but they want do to it and even though I don’t need it…it helps a hell of lot.

Stay strong, accept family support πŸ™‚ xx

eating disorder · recovery

What really matters

My last post was on quiet a negative note so tonight I want to put a much more positive message out there. The truth is that there are times when I really struggle with my anxiety and anorexia, and last time I posted I was having a really stressful moment but there are also moments like now when I am aware of how lucky I actually am.

I am now well into the recovery process and it does feel strange to be putting on the weight and getting back to feeling stronger, but whenever I have anxiety about this and my old anorexic thoughts tell me to go backwards I just try and remind myself what really matters.

Mental illnesses are really hard to battle because, obviously, they get inside your head and make you think that the warped way that you’re seeing the world is the right way. I know that there have been times when I’ve been suffering from this and I’ve been moody or snappy with the people I love, or just haven’t really shown how much I appreciate them.

But now I am starting to recover I feel like I am getting so much more perspective and I know what is truly important to me. I have a wonderful mum who has always supported me, I have a lovely boyfriend who means the world too me and I only feel closer to every day, I am doing a university course that I really enjoy, I’m starting an exciting new job and I have some kind of ambition of going into teaching and helping people in the future even if I don’t really have any idea how I’m going to get there.

There will always be days when your anxiety is overwhelming and anorexia feels like an easy, safe option to retreat into but, in reality, this is only a fake coping mechanism and is taking you further away from the things that really matter to you. I’ve written down a list of all the things I love in my life and that make me happy and I add to it every day when something lovely happens. I look at this whenever I am struggling and it really helps – sometimes when you’re battling your own negative thoughts, the best thing to do is to fight it with your own positive thoughts.

Treasure what really matters to you, appreciate yourself and the people you love in your life πŸ™‚ xx

eating disorder · recovery

Eating in solidarity

I’ve recently really been struggling with eating when other people aren’t, not because of comparing myself to them but feeling that I don’t deserve to eat if other people aren’t.

My eating disorder was worst when two members of my family were severely ill. They didn’t feel well enough to eat regularly and my anorexia made me feel like I was being in sympathy with them and showing solidarity.

I still feel really guilty eating if someone else isn’t feeling well because I feel like I’m being a greedy, selfish person. I know this isn’t logical but its a really emotional area for me so I find it really hard to battle.

My eating disorder has never been about trying to be thin or look good, it’s been how I’ve felt in control when things and people around me seem to be going wrong and there’s nothing I can do. I feel really stupid that I’m not able to get over this barrier in my eating disorder and I don’t know how to convince myself that I don’t need to worry about these things anymore.

Right now I have no idea how I’m ever going to get over this feeling that everything could suddenly the go wrong, but I guess I just have to keep trying.

Keep trying, be brave πŸ™‚ xx

eating disorder · recovery

Accepting and anticipating your demons

Even though I have been diagnosed with anxiety, anorexia and depression for over two years, I have only recently fully started admitting it to myself.

I was honest about my diagnosis from the start and didn’t try to hide it from people, but I don’t think I truly let it in and accepted it in my own head. I still got frustrated when I had days when I was really down or had an anxiety attack. I always used to beat myself up if I found it hard to gain weight, and couldn’t make myself eat more and exercise less even though I said I wanted to recover.

It’s a really hard thing to admit to yourself that your mental illnesses effect the way you think and behave and that you maybe aren’t ‘normal’. It’s one thing stating your diagnosis to others, but it’s a really scary step to admit to yourself that it’s part of you.

But, I’ve discovered that if you accept the mental illnesses you’re struggling with then your battle actually becomes a lot easier.

If I accept that I will have down days when my depression hits, they I can prepare myself for them. If I accept my anxiety then I can recognise panic attacks when they happen and tell myself that the feeling won’t last forever. If I accept my anorexia then I can be less harsh on myself when I struggle with my weight gain, and tell myself that those internal voices telling me to restrict are part of a recognised illness and shouldn’t be trusted.

It is never easy to admit that you’re not perfect, but at the end of the day nobody is. Everyone struggles with their own demons and the sooner you accept yours, the sooner you can start to recover.

Accept your illness as an obstacle that can be defeated, it is part of you but it won’t be forever πŸ™‚ xx

eating disorder · recovery

Push yourself

One incredibly hard battle with anorexia and anxiety is feeling confident enough to meet new people.

Thanks to an amazing job opportunity, today I got to meet lots of new people. That was such a scary feeling for me and it toke all my guts to go but I’m so happy that I did it. I met lots of strong, inspiring people who I look up to and I never want to let my anxiety prevent me from that.

Push the boundaries, push yourself, you may just enjoy it πŸ™‚ xxx

 

 

eating disorder · recovery

Playing the comparison game

The hardest thing I’ve been struggling with in my anxiety and anorexia recovery recently is comparing myself to others.

The nature of both anorexia and anxiety is to make you feel inadequate and worse than everyone else, so when you see yourself eating more than others it can be a massive challenge to tell yourself that you’re not being a bad or greedy person.

A major part of my therapy and recovery has been to accept that I don’t have to deserve to have food and be happy, and that I am entitled to ask for and eat what I want when I want it. As any fellow sufferers will know it’s really hard to put this into practise though, and its easy to slip back into negative thought patterns.

When I’ve been struggling with this I have just tried to remind myself that it is normal that everyone is different. I wouldn’t expect my friends, family and partner to always want to watch exactly the same movie, listen to exactly the same music or dress exactly the same way as me so it’s irrational that I would expect them to eat the same as me.

There will be days when you want to eat more and times when you want to eat less than the people around you and it’s important not to judge yourself for when these peaks and dips in your appetite occur.

The truth is, if you’ve been suffering from anorexia and your body has been underfed for a long time then you probably will feel more hungry and want to eat more than the people around you but that does not mean that you are a bad person.

You’re doing an incredibly brave and difficult thing by choosing to accept recovery but it is the right thing to do. Try not to compare yourself to your loved ones because they are a different person to you and at the end of the day they don’t want anything they do to hold you back, they just want you to recover.

Follow your own path, fight your own battle πŸ™‚ xx