I made it through an evening

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When I started therapy I thought that at some point I would be completely free from the desire to use food as a source of comfort. It turns out, it is not all that easy.

Yesterday, I spent the day at work waiting for feedback on my last task. Nothing came. I started doubting my work, thinking : it must be crap, that is why I have not heard anything. It turns out my reviewer was simply too busy. I asked her for an update.

In the evening I wanted to do something for myself. When I arrived home, I grabbed my dog’s collar and the dog with it and headed for the beach. It was not crowded, just the way I like it. My dog did not behave well though. He is in heat again so it was difficult to manage him. He ran after a labrador, then a border collie and would not leave the collie alone. So I had to leash my dog. I felt a little disappointed because he was so good a few days ago. I guess it was not his fault. Just hormones. That said, I called the vet earlier this week for a chemical castration and scheduled an appointment already. This is to see if my dog’s behaviour improves. I really hope so.

Well, apart from my dog obsessed with sniffing other people’s dogs. It was a fun evening. I felt some triggers to reach for food as comfort and sleep it off but I stayed strong. The reason why I wanted to use food again was because I felt lonely. At the beach I embraced the vastness of the water, its calming sound and the fact that at anytime I can come here and regroup. That walk somewhat stabilised and strenghtened me.

I sometimes dream that one day I will go the beach and walk my dog while holding someone else’s hand. You know, someone I love and who would love me back. I have not found him and he has not found me. This makes me sad sometimes. I tell myself I just have to be patient. I will not put my life on hold and focus on something I cannot control, I have done that before. It has not worked. I will enjoy my life and surely we will cross paths.

In the meantime, there will be more beach walks on my own with my furry bestie.

xoxoxox

I.

Triggers dissipate

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Since my last post my triggers have lessened. When I reflect on my past with ED, I realise every time how far I have come. Especially mentally. Physically, I am still overweight for my height and I need to start exercising. Mentally however, I am more aware and relatively accepting of who I am. So even when there are bad days it becomes somewhat easier and quicker to bounce back to my one and only objective. Accept life’s challenges and enjoy life’s repetitiveness and spontaneity.

Last week and this week triggers decreased without me really constantly focusing on them. I just went about my days and included treats in my routine. Not edible treats but experiences. On my own: cinema, walking in the park, at the beach with my dog and with others: cocktails with a good friend and Thai food with nice colleagues. I also worked on my jewelry making, that always draws me back to a more balanced state with a grounded sense of self.

I have also decided that I will be sharing tips on my “me times” because I started experimenting with using natural beauty products and to encourage others who are recovering from, living with ED, BED, self-esteem issues, body confidence to take the time to care for YOU without resorting to the good old frenemy FOOD. You can find these tips on the category “natural care”.

Take care !

xoxoxo

I.

To my eating disorder … Go away !

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If only I could tell it to just leave. Leave forever and never come back. Don’t linger here thinking you will get a hold of me again.

This morning I had to get my yearly referral for my psychologist. New GP. So I had to explain my story all over again. Where do I even start? When I was 14/15 bla bla bla bla.

Of course she has my file but I still have to explain. So the waterworks started. Memories are back. Feelings are here. I am 28 now and I still cry when I have to re-open the wound of my eating disorder. Quite frankly, I want it gone. Everyday I struggle. When I make it to bed without having restricted, purged or binged. It is my victory.

Lately there have been more victories. I love that. I love my life and I am liking myself. Hey ! I am not all that bad.

I am here to vent. I need to vent. I need to tell eating disorder voices to go away. Leave ! you have no audience in my head and there is no space left for you in my life.

You all know it is not as simple as that. Even so, today I am victorious again.

xoxox

i.

Rain

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When London rains, I reconnect with the city. The double decker buses shine their devilish red just enough below the gloomy skies. The sounds of rain drops camouflage the urban noises that sometimes clouds even the clearest summer days. Everything slows down for a breath of life. The city finds its right pace.

London was designed for its rain. They compliment each other like a dress that fits perfectly on the right silhouette. Without these tears from heaven the city  has no soul, it is out of control. Red bricks clash with the grey concrete of all too many street, too busy, too much, too harsh.

I am relieved that it rained today. I have gone two days without a binge and one overeating. The past two days I drew, collaged, paid bills looked for a new appartment and drew some more. I felt alive again. Those were sunny unfamiliar days. Thoughts did not consume me. I was shining inside. The rain drew me closer to the world. It made me want to get out of my bubble with enough safety that I could belong just for a moment in London. But I didn’t instead I used it as an excuse to stay inside one more day.

This morning it became more challenging to move past the anxiety and worries. I have not binged or overeaten. But  I need some space. Time to contemplate. I wanted to go out view some appartments and pay more bills but deep down I do not feel motivated. So when it started raining, there I found yet another excuse to stay in.

I loved the rain more from inside my appartment.

So here I am admiring the city under its rain drops trying to stitch my mind and body so that it does not tear apart and crave for an escape because of unresolved real and unreal conflicts that I deliberately ignored.

There lies the struggles today

Izaotee

A thought for my father

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If you have been reading the previous post. You would know that I walked out to the nearest starbucks for breakfast this morning. You might think it would be a trigger. Yet, I learned that it only becomes a trigger if I walk in while in a vulnerable place inside. So fragile that all I would want to do is escape. Reach for that fix. Run away from emotions that make me human.  I only needed a change of scene. I stayed in my apartment all day yesterday and it smelled like regrets, guilt and binge.

No make-up on, hair like a cave woman, clothes not matching. I needed to get out. Get some perspective. Get some space from my space. Then, after my little morning outing and grocery shopping. I came back to my niche. I broke down crying while printing images for my design research and listening to music. I cried because I missed my Dad. The thought was triggered as I was processing the bad news I received on tuesday. My cousin past away and lost her battle with breast cancer. She was only 32 years old. Diagnosed at 27. She left her husband and two boys of 9 and 7.

I wasn’t really close to her at all. My family always teased me about looking like her. Especially as she gained weight. To who-else compare the newly chubby girl than with the old chubby girl? I hated that comparison. She was also the youngest and only daughter. Any death is sad though I was never very close to her. Even so, it made think about my father and his passing. The void that he had left. Times I wish I spent with him, words I wish I had said. I never allowed myself the right to grieve until I started therapy again about a year ago. I thought that just like my mother, I was at peace with his departure. A lie. I was tirelessly restricting trying to be the perfect daughter.

Now, I let myself, miss him in the comfort of my room or my apartment here in London. Away from the stares and opinions. I truly miss him. I wish he was here. I wonder how things would differ if he was. Would I have held my ground and kept myself together? Would I have continued to keep a facade, try to the best of my ability to make my parents and brothers proud? Or would the real me, denied of the rights to freely live still push itself out anyway and demand its place in my world?

In a way, I believe not much would have changed. I would still discover my love for arts, face my struggles with food, continue to doubt my abilities to deal with those in the legal field. With or without him. Even if he was and always will be a part of me and has left an unforgettable print in my life, I cannot help but become the true person I am meant to be. Denying myself the right to “be who I am” in his presence or absence would still lead me to self-abuse.

Caught up in my overthinking. I miss my father. As simple a thought as that.

xoxoxoxo

I.

Can’t feel better

Tuesday is a blurr. I can’t remember much of it other than feeling guilty for wasting my life away locked up in my appartement. Wednesday wasn’t better. I was meant to see a play with V but as the day went on. My brain couldn’t order my body to get up and out and live. So I cancelled. Doing something I was not excited about wasn’t going to help the situation.

I was suggested by my therapist to try and break the obsessive thoughts by changing scenes. I tried my little roof top. It worked once. On tuesday, I think. Going for a walk has become terrifying. I feel watched, judged, inferior. I also feel exposed to my unhealthy escapes. My drug. Food.

Wore my baggiest clothes on wednesday, I walked out. Headed to the art store. Bought pens, gouache, and came back home. Contemplating my bed, a movie, food. I felt disgusted. I needed to do something else. Instead I entered the nearest starbucks, if only it was a park with trees not muffins. The nearest park is too far. I wasn’t in the mood. Had a chai tea. Started doodling. I felt calmer. The urges lessened. They did not disappear, I went home. Bought dinner. Too much dinner. Headed home with a less clouded mind.

I kept painted trying gouache. Swirling my brushes on the paper. Remembering why I hated that medium. It runs, it is water based. I can’t express myself with it. Stopped. Calmer again. Feeling even more stable I watched a movie, while eating and fell asleep.

I cried that day. I am not sure why but I cried. I thought about my mother aging, my father passing away, unemployment. It brought tears to my eyes.

Today should have been better because I had an art class in the evening but it was not. I cannot find the motivation to apply for jobs, to send inventory for my shop. I spent the day in bed. Knowing that if I was really in the darkest place I would eat all day. I lost the will to live.

I had two pastries instead of one. Pasta for lunch and I slept. Sent my adverts to my shop manager and slept. I was not deeply sleeping because while I slept there. I still felt guilty about wasting my time in bed. So here I am sitting at the art school’s cafe. Waiting for my class to start. Once again feeling like a stranger. Surrounded by beautiful, joyful people. Feeling huge, ugly.

I can’t seem to feel better…

Apologies for venting and complaining. Can’t call my therapist. I want to try this on my own. If and when it gets darker than this that call might be necessary.

Izaotee

New day ! Wednesday

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I was nervous about fashion class yesterday. It was a field trip. Gaining all this weight back and more reminds me of embarassing moments. Times when I couldn’t walk as fast as the rest of the class. When I would pretend to laugh and complain inside if I couldn’t enjoy hiking with my brother. When I was picked last at team sports. I had urges, thoughts about a cookies and more. I was genuinely hungry. So I had a cereal bar.

At coffee time after our retail research I had a chai tea latte. It was in a food hall at Selfridges. I was surrounded by food while stressed in class. Not the best of all situation. During our discussion I thought about a box of pop tarts. Well because I heard about them in movies and wondered what they would taste like. Buying a whole box would not be wise in this moment of weakness.

When the class ended we all walked out. I was the fattest. Embarrassed to buy that pop tart box. I walked out. In the streets on my way home I felt proud. Once again for not giving in.

One day I hope food will simply be an accessory to my life. Not the whole outfit.