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.

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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.

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.

Lighter binges

I try to be aware and stay aware of my emotions. Differentiate between the real and unreal fears. While this is going on, I have to keep living. To continue on my journey. Not that of others.

Today I woke up thinking about food again. A common phenomenon when I wake up alone. Often it is because my first reaction is to escape the self-doubt, self-hatred and fear of uncertainty during these days of freedom. I never considered using a sabbatical year to start getting in touch with who I am. Away from family, Malagasy society, competitive pressure of law and move towards my creativity.

I have so much freedom now and I am always alone. Alone and aware. I have learned however that being alone and feeling alone are different. Feeling alone is harder to face. But I must because ignoring it only builds up pain that will eventually emerge. Often it manifest itself in my extreme use of food.

As often as I can, I chose to live in my reality. Instead of focusing on food and live in the clouds. When my mind drifts towards those urges I pick up a paint brush, look at photos online or simply watch a tv show. Carefully assesing whether I am numbing or distracting myself from what Is really going on. If I catch myself doing so. I would rather stop and stare. Cry, laugh, yell in my pillow. Feel.
The urges? They somehow fade away.

I recently started painting again. When I do, time stops. I never painted or drew much because I would always be to quick to judge what it looks like. I have pushed that prejudicial attitude aside and allowed self-expression. In the moment I am at peace. Food is no longer my master. I am no longer its slave.

I still ate two pain aux chocolat and a flapjack at breakfast. Then I felt guilty. Lunch was better. Now I am lying in bed. Waiting for my design class tonight.

Could this behaviour be binging?

Staying away from temptation

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Today started off weirdly well.

I was woken up by a facebook message from the “artist”. A guy I have been on and off with. I welcomed his virtual hellos without reading too much into it. I thought of food. Then pushed the ideas of indulgent sinful breakfast away. I had soya milk and coffee instead, carelessly. Without planning or obsessing. I then cleaned my appartment. Picking up traces of my last overeating experiences. Honestly I still fit in the muffin, flapjacks and popcorns throughout the day. I have them in the comfort of my bed watching a serie. Why? Out of boredom, to kill time.

Then the guilty feelings settle in. Guilt for not applying to a job, for taking another easy day. Truth is. I feel terrible for being unemployed. I had imagined a completly different life at this age. At least I have been brave enough to pursue another obsession. Arts, fashion. So today instead of eating too much. I worked on some photos for my fashion page. Applied to a work placement with a designer. I doubt I’ll ever be considered but you don’t fail unless you try right?

Then I was debating going out and getting some beauty products. The streets are a little bit of a challenge these days. Although I love the sense of invisibility in London. I hate my appearance. I have not been this big ever. I have not weighed myself but my dress size is off the chart. So going out there feeling like the ugliest ducklin isn’t pleasant. I did anyways and I needed lunch as well. I did not overeat. But I still managed to eat a flapjack. I ate at my dinning table. I worked on some pictures a little longer.

Sobriety was taking a toll on my energy level. I wanted to watch a movie in bed. I realised that I usually do this to distract myself from focusing on the fact that I can’t find a job either in law or arts, that I am still torn between the two and feel as if there has to be an answer somewhere. When I do that I forget to enjoy the experience of figuring it all out. Then my mind drifted to food. How proud I felt for not giving into temptation with the exception of the 350 cal flapjack. Yet there I was, struggling to determine more reasons for needing my drug. Loneliness, boredom, fear of failure.

V one of my friends from university, a close one, as close as my definition of a friendship is, is coming over. I want to plan a shoot in the streets of London. I was nervous about her visit. Her judgments really. She has seen me supposedly obsessed about my body image, loosing the weight and now back in my XL clothes. I was embarrased of what she might think. If a few months ago this would have driven me to planning food. These days, I try to let the fear be, making sure it does not consume me. She came we talked, laughed. My project is a test shoot with a model whom I would style. I have never done this here in London. I am starting to get used to it in Madagascar though. The logistics are much easier there. But I won’t find out unless I try it here.

The evening was obviously terrifying. Night time is when my evils come out and attack me. I had a croissant with ham and cheese and a magnum ice cream. I avoid keeping food in my apartment that I can easily reach for. Again to stay away from temptation. I hope it won’t be like this forever. Right now I am too fragile to do otherwise.

I bought a box of alpen muesli and skimmed milk for breakfast. I ended up mixing the muesli to a batter I prepared for a binge on pancake early in the afternoon. I did not give into that binge. Well I mixed it and fried it. Tasted it and it was disgusting. If this was months ago I would have proceeded to having it anyway. But I couldn’t. I am better than that. So I stopped. I still poured a bowl of muesli and milk and ate it in bed. That in my opinion was comfort eating.

In sum my day was venture to stay away from my fixes. I was trying to figure out the reasons and deal with them. While I was in bed trying to alleviate the pain and distract myself with a tv show. I ended up crying a little. Feeling weak and vulnerable. Saddened that it takes this much effort to stay away from food.

I don’t have much of a conclusion other than that it was a struggle. I made it without waking up the next morning with 1ton of guilt instead of 1000 tons.

Life is a struggle at times and I have to face it.
Fears, feelings, food are part of that battle but I can win it.

It is wednesday and I am trying again
Not to binge, to feel, to fight

Lost in the illusion of being alright

I have been lying to myself. Taking unnecessary medicines. Hallucinating on an illness that is far from being physical. A call for attention. A self imposed challenge out of desperation. Most times I wonder why I hurt. Whether I have the right to feel sad. To complain.

Still struggling with the ability to find the balance between an intellectual and emotional intelligence. Feeling as if I have lost all competence of rationalising. Blinded by created and unreal happiness. I have forged relationships. Ones based on friendship or so they say. One deviating towards a cocktail of sentiments.

Lost in waves of feel good motions and regrets. Knowingly aware of irresponsible decisions. Still making them.Paranoid by their possible repercussions. Before God and family. Wondering whether I should be selfish for once and put myself first. Assert my wants and needs.

A few months ago. While working amongst lawyers and judges another world to which I belong. I wanted an escape from my perfectionist and controlling self. Thinking of a venture filled and dominated by mistakes. Of accountability and repercussions. A sabbatical year fits with my objectives. I would create a time filled with freedom and responsibilities. Learning to juggle and prioritise on my own if none else would teach.

I wanted to make mistakes. To shake up the status quo. Live a little. They say negativity, loss of control and mistakes are challenges a lifetime must meet. Endure. Let go and learn from. In tune. I moved back home. Where I feel secure. Now I feel exposed. Judged. Creating a life of judgment.

Terrified of what might and could happen. As I am conscious of the different turn my life has taken. I wonder how far I can go. I am willing to go. Whether I want to leave my lawyerly life and embrace home and all the freedom it allows.

My instinct tell me it is only alright for a short while.

I decide to keep indulging until my hour is up.

izaoty