HONESTY

“yup everyone thinks you are freak who needs to be congratulated for eating…WTF is that all about”

A big part of my depression and eating disorder has been about accepting myself and being happy with who I am, which has always been something I have struggled with ((such a cliché I know)). Looking back at my time through school I would always put myself down and need reassurance from my friends that they did in fact like me ((which must have been exhausting and really annoying, sorry)). From that I tried to be someone who I thought people would like or who I thought people wanted me to be, which long story short got me caught up in a whole lot stuff I shouldn’t have.

Coming to King’s in particular, I didn’t want to fall back into that way of thinking, but putting that into practice is actually really hard because you want to be liked by people…obviously. I also wanted to go into uni being open and honest with the people I met about who I am ((unfortunately I am not part of the that gang who have been to South East Asia to find myself… maybe that’s where I am going wrong??? But I do think I have some idea now)). So along with trying to impress all my new amazing friends ((lol)) with all the fantastic qualities I have, I didn’t want to hide any of the not so bubbly and outgoing aspects of me ((this blog makes that a little hard to do anyway)). I have thankfully been lucky enough to have met some really accepting people who have not even batted an eyelid about any of the stuff I have shared with them ((I mean unless they are all lying and do think I am super weird haha)).

It’s hard though, and I have already realised that it is far easier to pretend everything is ok and go along with everyone else, but I have decided to embrace the JOMO

It does and probably will always worry me that if people know me, like properly know me, then they won’t like me, inevitably making friendships and relationships a lot harder. I have to constantly remind myself that if people don’t like me ((then fuck ‘em)) then fair play to them I probably wouldn’t like them either. Surprisingly ((or unsurprisingly)), it’s made my life, particularly at uni a lot easier. People have been really supportive and understanding and I think it’s made the friendships more genuine, something I didn’t have when I was at Edinburgh ((Ella that clearly does not include you, you are practically family now, what could be more genuine than that?)).

In saying this, I have found that revealing that I suffer with an illness has sometimes made it difficult to move on from that fact. By labelling myself, in my opinion I have got ownership and control of that label but at the same time I feel like I have created an expectation of not being able to cope. In other words, I have literally set myself up for failure. I stand by the fact that I have done the right thing in being open about myself. In doing this though, I have noticed people treating me differently, which at some points I am thankful for because boy do I need all the support I can get, but at other points I think “yup everyone thinks you are freak who needs to be congratulated for eating…WTF is that all about” and then I wish for it all to go away. It is such a double-edged sword I know, help her then she’ll be annoyed, don’t help her she’ll be annoyed. I am not saying either one is the right one ((please don’t stop helping me)), but has been a different kind of problem I had never considered would be an issue.

One fab thing about being more open and honest with the people I have met has been that in return, other people tend to also be more open and honest with you – which can make things a little less scary.

xxx

 

OOPS

There is no middle ground

I had so many ideas last week, I was so motivated. In my head I had a whole plan of blog posts that I wanted to share, because there really has been so many positive moments that I am sososososo chuffed with.

Putting my awesomeness to one side, I didn’t start this blog to show off about my life or for it to be another one of those romantic recovery stories that get thrown about, or for it to turn into “how awesome is Olivia page” ((as much as I would love that)). At the same time, it would be wrong for me to ignore the progress that I have made, and to not admit that I am beyond proud of myself!!! but it would also be wrong to only share that stuff, because in reality I am far from being a happy chappy 100% of the time, i don’t think is. ((Plus no one really wants to read about how awesome someone is, we have the rest of social media doing that for us AND, we are all way too nosy for that, well I know I am)).

When I wrote my last post, I was SO on it, I had such a positive outlook for the week ahead of me. ((I even booked a trip to visit my gem in Liverpool, massive love to everyone up there you are all fab xoxo)). A couple of months ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that, there was a lot of socialising, there was a lot of adapting to meal times and putting myself in vulnerable positions. Yup, I survived that, I even enjoyed bits of it. What some people won’t be aware of or even consider is that daily events, have a big impact on me. It’s a bit like a hangover, you know where you wake up from a heavy one where you felt fab or different in some way but eventually you don’t feel as good or as strong anymore. It becomes effort to think, you don’t want to get up or do anything, too much or too little of anything kinda makes you feel a bit ill, oh and don’t forget the heavy whirling of thoughts that spin round your brain… ((I mean that is definitely how my hangovers have felt like in the past)). That is how I can feel after any day, whether, it is as big as an entire wedding day, or just commuting to university. I sometimes need some space to recover/pause because I have been dealing and managing a whole array of thoughts, emotions and experiences in my head ((which is bloomin exhausting)). Even after blogging, I have to take a break, breathe, cry or watch something and try completely switching off. I am not sure if it’s because I am constantly aware all the time, of my surroundings and situations etc and I feel like I feel things in extremes, whether it’s feelings of anxiety or happiness ((there is no middle ground)).

After several busy weeks or daily hassles and a variety of things going on, I have switched off ((not totally out of choice)), and have lost a huge amount of motivation. I know loads of people who have said similar things more generally, either about work or school and I really do all feel ya pain. However, when I feel like this over things I love it can be difficult – but that is the beauty of depression, it is sapping and numbing and almost impossible to ignore.

I understand there are a lot of WTF moments in this post ((and life in general)) but it gives a bit of an insight into the truth. Depression, eating disorders, and other illnesses are very tiring, and very hard to manage 100% of the time. With that in mind, I haven’t been able to stick to my original plan and show off about my eating out, and meeting so many wonderful new people, but hey, it is what it is.

xxx

 

DAY OF THE DEAD

We had a few incidents involving a weird green slop, some fish that still had its eyes and some very disappointed hosts

I love being logical and pretending to be organised so I thought I would chat about all the madness that’s been going on in chronological order ((I made a list (love a list) and it made the most sense to talk things through from start to finish)). What doesn’t make sense though is the title of this post, other than today when this post goes live it is halloween and in Spain they call it the ‘Day of the dead’ #funfact.

2 weeks into Uni and I thought it would be a great idea to hop on a plane to Spain and have a jolly tennis coaching for a bit. Well, it wasn’t quite like that. Back in May this year I had previously been with my parents to Spain on their tennis holiday in La manga because they had pretty much no other choice but to take me. I was not in a good place at all, I had just come back from Edinburgh and to put it plainly, I couldn’t be away from them ((also the pressure for my sister who would have had to watch out for me would have been way too much, yes, I was that much of a nightmare)). When we went on the May trip to La manga I wasn’t me, I didn’t want to be there, I was a bit of burden on my parents and it just wasn’t the ideal holiday everyone had imagined. The nature of the holiday on top of that was extremely social so that made things a billion times harder. Mind you, I love a bit of Spanish sun and in general I love being on holiday, so I wasn’t complaining too much at the time.

 

This time around though, I can’t exaggerate enough how much fun I had. While it was literally the exact same holiday it was SOOOOO different ((which is a good thing, I think..)) I was coaching, I was actually playing ((in my opinion)) really good tennis, having fun, enjoying meals out(!!!!) and socialising with everyone. I think the main difference was that I actually wanted to be there this time and enjoy my time in Spain ((who wouldn’t)). This October trip was initially only booked for my mum and dad. When my mum booked it, ((I am pretty sure it was basically the week after we returned from the May trip)) October seemed like a long way off and long long time for me to make progress and be in a much better place, where I would be able to stay at home and not gate crash their trip…again. In August ((I think.. or July)) I had to be added to the trip. I was being very stubborn and making no effort to even try and get better so mum had no choice but to bring me along again. As it turns out, I think I ended up having the most fun. My dad lost a fair few of his matches and mum decided that on a tennis holiday she would also take up running and got herself a back injury, I think I was the only one to leave the trip smiling.

IMG_1408

The closer the trip was getting, I was making more and more progress. I have started University at King’s College London, I have been cooperative and my mood has only been getting better ((Thank God for Septempber!!!))

AND yes, you didn’t read it wrong, I even enjoyed meals out this time. Back in May we had a few incidents involving a weird green slop, some fish that still had its eyes and some very disappointed hosts ((I am sure anyone would have ran away from the table crying if they had been unexpectedly faced with that, again to Ann, Phil and Jerry I am sorry but we still had a fab evening)). Moving on from that, this time there were no tears, and some meals out. Admittedly, it still filled me with anxiety and if I had had the choice I wouldn’t have gone but, I did and I am still standing. Nothing terrible happened, I got to chat to some lovely wonderful people and you know what it was kind of tasty! It was so nice for a couple of nights to feel normal, I enjoyed doing a normal thing. After this though, and feeling this sense of ‘normality’ I started hating feeling normal and what normal meant. I started questioning whether people were going to have expectations from me now like I am back to the old me and people won’t care or something (WTF?!?!!). Just because I ate out doesn’t mean I am “cured” or “recovered” more I calmed the storm…for a bit, I managed my disorder and I think that is such an achievement and for now I can’t ask for anything more. So yes, there is a little piece of me that is still scared of getting better and trying to understand that people apparently do still care even if you can look after yourself.

But hey, one step at a time!

XXX

 

 

OMG OCTOBER

I have managed what I could, and I personally think I have done bloody well.

I am not even joking when I say that my house at the minute is freezing! We currently have no heating because something is being done to the boiler ((who knows, not sure that my dad even knows what is going on)) so I am probably feeling the cold even more than I should be ((thank god for UGG boots, I will always been a fan)). But then my mum did kindly remind me that it is November this week. What the actual heck. October disappeared from right beneath me, it has been a very strange month with a lot of stuff going on with a lot of ‘OH MY GOD’s’ thrown about. Genuinely though, oh my god October has been mad.

At the beginning I was in Spain, the thought of that warm sun seems like a very distant memory now as I drown myself in tea and coffee in my best efforts to stay warm. I was there coaching tennis everyday on the beautiful clay courts on the resort of La Manga Club – it was the dream ((the company was also fab, love you mum and dad)). The middle of October or more specifically the on 21st October 2017 ((which in the past two years I must have said literally 1,000 times and has been long awaited)) my sister finally got married!!!!!! It was genuinely the most magical, fairytale like wedding you could imagine, we did not hold back on any of the planning, preparing and partying.

It has been great, fantastic, incredible ((all the adjectives)). It’s also been exhausting, and amidst all that fun there have been some wobbles. Being busy does take its toll and has meant I haven’t blogged at all but I do have some quiet time ahead ((YES)) so the plan is to fill my page with as much as possible. Including all the nitty gritty stuff, truths about actually how draining and tiring and difficult having a full on life is and lets just say I welcome the break with open arms.

OHH YEAH! and amongst all of that I still had university to attend. Spain did make that a little trickier and I did my best to stay up-to-date with all the work from my sun lounger… although that often led to a little snooze ((definitely well deserved)). Then who can really concentrate on anything when the biggest most important event of your sisters life is about to happen, so I prioritised packing confetti into 50 tiny little bags, over trying to complete any of the 4 deadlines that I had due this month.

So yeah, it has been go go go, life has stopped for no one. I think I could 100% say that in the past few weeks I have felt EVERY single emotion I possibly could, I have cried pretty much over everything, good and bad.

It’s these everyday life events that we can’t always control the timing of and sometimes they happen all at once ((that seems to happen all the time with me)), which is extremely overwhelming, but that is the nature of life. Before, I would have said absolutely not. There would have been no way I could have dealt with all of that physically or mentally. I would have quite happily hidden behind my depression or anorexia and not been able to do any of it or even wanted to, let alone actually enjoyed it. Instead of hiding, I sort of just went with it ((to put it very simply)), and I have managed what I could, and I personally think I have done bloody well. There have been a lot of achievements and a lot of moving forward, but at the same time it has also highlighted bits that I am still not so good at or still find difficult ((I am not superwoman, that’s for sure)).

Thank fully now I have a week off uni ((I think I am supposed to work during this time but…it’s all about having balance, right?)). I want to share all the thoughts, feels and things that October faced me with. Prepare yourself for a lot of ‘WTF?’ moments and some ‘YES YOU GOT THIS GIRL’ moments.

xxx

Responsibilities…EW

Does it mean that people stop caring for me?

I have finally found some quiet time ((breathe)) to do some writing ((aren’t you lucky)). It’s been so weird, I have gone from having a lot of time doing things at my own pace and doing little bits here and there. Now, my day consists of making sure I get the correct train at the correct time ((so far not too many mistakes)), making sure I get to correct lectures and seminars on time as well as getting my daily dose of caffeine.

From this I have realised I’m not actually that great at adulting – being able to function as a proper human in the real world ((I commend you all because you all do it and I know it’s hard and to those who are think What the hell is she on about? Well you are winning at life)).

In reflection, I think this is what I struggled with in Edinburgh, which spurred the relapse of depression and it’s progression into my anorexia. But I find that it is quite the balancing act, making sure I have enough clean pants and socks, doing all my work as well as socialising OH and squeezing a bit of time for myself ((one of them I thought would have to go, So I dropped myself)). This time I don’t want that to happen but already I am finding being solely responsible for myself challenging ((no likes responsibilities)). Since the beginning of the year I have had someone ((shoutout to my mum)) there with me all the time, telling me it’s snack or lunch time and making sure I’m doing everything I am supposed to. I mean I am very much an adult now so I shouldn’t need this sort of looking after. Honestly, it was what I needed and I think every now and again there is nothing wrong wanting someone to look after you because it’s lovely being loved. However, I want to live my own full life so I have got to start doing all these adult normal things for my self.

((confession time)) Thinking about all of this has scared me. I sometimes get thoughts that if I’m “normal” again then what does this mean? Does it mean that people stop caring for me? I wonder whether I will be forgotten or not liked? (?!??!) I understand these thoughts come from my illness but nevertheless remain on my mind. I worry that my irrational side will dominate. I have seen how easily it could be for me to fall back into unhealthy habits if I’m not 110% on it. Admittedly, I haven’t been that great, there have been moments where irrational thoughts override HOWEVER these thoughts are only thoughts and moments rather than directing my life and I am learning ways to manage all of it ((I just need to keep the motivation going)). Keeping this is up and maintaining this mindset does daunt me slightly but being at home does make it a billion trillion times easier and means adulting doesn’t last ALLLLL day.

THANKFULLY I do have a mini break from all of this busyness and I will be blessed ((fingers crossed)) with some sun(!!!) I can quite literally take a step back from running round like a headless chicken between Cambridge and London to running round like a headless chicken on a tennis court.

Adios Mis Amigos!! xxx

GUESS WHAT!!

I think some reactions ((I know mine was…)) were along the lines of “Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, shit.”

I realise that the previous two blog posts have not been completely cheerful… but hey that’s life! This time however, I thought I would update the world with some exciting news/big developments in my life that not everyone knows about ((Pause for suspense)).

I’ve gone back to university(!!!) Unfortunately or fortunately ((I haven’t decided on that one yet)) not back to Edinburgh but to London. Yup, just to make life a little bit harder I have joined one of the busiest but greatest cities in the world ((my anxiety loves it)).

When I first applied through UCAS in June I had literally days to churn out my application but King’s College London surprisingly said yes ((WHOOP)). When I first applied I don’t think it necessarily came from a good place, I saw it more as another way to get out the house for as long as possible and to distract and escape myself from myself. When I was given an offer, I think some reactions ((I know mine was…)) were along the lines of “Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, shit.” Even the conversation about me ACTUALLY going was on the hush hush and as a family we didn’t really speak about it until about a week or two ago. I had to prove to myself ((and many others)) that I did/do have the capability to look after myself and that I was genuinely ready for what has been a really intense week.  What would be the point if I couldn’t?! I do think I am ready and my reasons for going are endless! but are 100% for the right reasons now.

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone completely crazy I am living at home ((Thank god, no one wants a repeat of Edinburgh)) so that does mean I have to endure an hour commute, which isn’t going too bad ((provided I travel off-peak and have my noise cancelling headphones on)).

I am half way through my first week and it’s going. It’s been hard. I’ve had some challenges in terms of dealing with food and managing my mood ((it’s a long old day you know)), especially in such a social situation. At home it was easy, if I felt uneasy I would do some yoga, or walk my dog, anything that puts me at ease, but here I can’t really throw myself down into child’s pose in the middle of a lecture ((I mean I probably could but not sure how well that would go down)). I feel like I have coped and managed for this week so I am really pleased. Reminding myself to take one day at a time has been quite important. I have this tendency to over think things, which leads me to getting worked up quite quickly, Monday being an example of that. I was worrying about everything, there was so…is so much to think about; being able to look after myself, getting on the right train, actually learning and doing the work, not to mention all the socialising. Oh yeah! AND making time for me.

Despite juggling all of those things I have already noticed what a comfort coming home has been. Knowing my family will be at home ((most importantly my puppy)) has made starting King’s so much easier and relaxing ((along with not being so hungover and ill from freshers, and actually following what on earth is going on, there has been a tonne of info)).

Bearing in mind it has only been a week, I think sustaining all of this will be one of the many challenges ((many blog posts that I share)). It’s going to be hard but I’m going to try. I want to do this to highlight that my illness hasn’t stopped me from going after what I want, BUT if I let it, it will stop me from being able to live the full life that I am making. Happy days #pepspeech.

 

Xxx

 

One step forward, Two steps back

I went from “yes I am overcoming this blip” to the depression and anorexia completely over taking.

Since my last post I have had some amazing comments along with lots of warming messages ((keep em coming)) , which has been so uplifting and motivating and I thank EVERYONE and anyone who actually reads these posts in general.

Not going to lie though, after I posted last weeks blog and received some responses I’ve had lots of chats with people telling me “I have turned a corner”, or that they are “proud of how far I have come”. Hearing that was so touching and knowing that I have a lot of friends and family that care for me has been one of the major factors in moving forward. I know there is truth in what people have been saying and everything so far has been a massive step and achievement. BUT… I felt so overwhelmed and actually quite scared of what all of that meant. I felt this enormous expectation to suddenly be “better”. ((does that mean being weight restored??? am I already better because I can discuss my problems with lots of people??? will I ever be better?!?!)) My head and the side of me that is a tad self-destructive went on over drive with many strange thoughts. I went from “yes I am overcoming this blip” to the depression and Anorexia completely over taking. !!ALERT – this will sound bizarre!! It made me feel really disappointed and ashamed in my-self from all angles. Both sides of me felt like failures, a failed Anorexic at the same time failing at recovery ((literally no win)). Feeling like this is draining, it’s a constant argument between the rational side of me which thinks I’m crazy to have thoughts like this, like why on earth would you do or say that, while the irrational side of me is extremely nasty and stubborn, and recently has been winning a lot more of these arguments.

The expression “one step forward, two steps back” really resonates with me. Wanting to get better and handing control of my food over was my step forward, but putting what I was preaching into practice and my reaction to this step actually took me back quite a bit.

Weird i know! But it’s the reality. In anyone’s day regardless of what is going on, there are moments where I am sure you feel effortless and on top of things but moments that also throw themselves at you which I am sure you wished had not had happened ((and can tend to be the ones that you unfortunately remember and feel the most)). Well it’s a bit like that but I flick between this, for what feels like all day and every day.

I have entered what lots of people call the “recovery” phase ((possibly the expression my mum and I hate the most – – a blog post for another day though)) I have been trying to keep my motivation up and have been reading stories and quotes of others overcoming whatever ill health they have been going through ((you stumble across so many clichés it is unreal!!)). I know they are here to help but honestly, I find the quotes specifically quite funny and condescending rather than constructive, or motivating ((that is probably the irrational side of me telling me not to listen or find them helpful…bit of a double-edged sword I know)). They make me think that, magically, one day  a bridge will appear leading me to a world of “recovery” or I will wake up and suddenly have arrived in this place of being better. Maybe that will happen but I am thinking maybe not and it is more something I am going to own, embrace, live with and manage a lot more successfully than I am at the moment. It is part of me but it doesn’t have to define me ((I feel like I should whoop at the end of that sentence)).

I love a success story, from whatever illness, they are empowering and provide hope to everyone and there is something so comforting to hear that we can be strong. I have a long way to go before I sound like any of the success stories have heard but this is all part of my story good and bad. Right now it is just not going very smoothly or as easily as I may have have hoped ((as it turns out it is not as easy as it may look… definitely not as easy as just eating another slice of cake – – (probably the most overheard and ignorant sentence to be said) but if it were that simple I wouldn’t be in this situation)) but maybe one day!!!

xxx