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

 

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

 

LET’s CHAT…

I mean right now, being able to socialise around food is almost on par with being able to walk again after breaking my leg.

 

It feels like I haven’t blogged or discussed what has been going on in my life aside from all the fun events and strange things I think about. I have had a lot to think about over the past weeks and haven’t really felt like writing and whenever I did write I felt I was being disingenuous and boring. It’s times like this though that I want to share, when I don’t feel tip top or I am dealing with something, because life is like that and it is the truth.

The past 3 weeks have been a big stepping stone in terms of my eating disorder, and I want to give an honest insight to what is going on ((bear with me though, this is quite nerve racking)).

I am now in my 3rd week of relinquishing control over everything relating to food ((apart from being allowed to bake my family their fav brownies and biscuits)). There have been numerous chats with Doctors, Health care professionals and family over ways of managing my eating disorder but nothing was really getting through to me. I kept lying to everyone ((myself included)) that tomorrow I will get better or next week I will get better but nothing changed. I was referred to the eating disorders clinic at my local hospital and was put on a waiting list(?!?!?!) but soon removed because my BMI wasn’t low enough and they were oversubscribed with patients. That phased my family and I quite a lot and we felt quite lost without any guidance, my GP was amazing and did the best that they could.

Few months later and I wish I could say that we found the perfect answer to all our problems or that there was a particular moment where I was suddenly like, ok yes I feel good lets get cracking with recovery. It has definitely been more gradual and as my mood improves the more I want to start living a full life rather than ((what my family call)) a half-life. Currently my body is not in a state where it can live up to the life that I want for myself so now I have to get it to a state which it’s working at its best. I already feel good about feeling like this because it shows to myself how much I am kicking depression in the butt again.

To many people’s surprise or not surprise this has been hard. Handing all of this over has come with ((to state the obvious)) a lot more food, which nicely pairs with a considerable amount of anxiety and some very concerning thoughts, of which need a lot of managing ((I am exhausted.. Ironic huh?))

At the moment, I see food as fuel, like it’s medicine. Similar to a physical illness in order to get better you sometimes need medicines, for me, my medicine is food. I am slowly understanding and learning again what food is all about and I have achieved so much, ((which I am gonna pat myself on the back for)) I went out for lunch…whoop. Even writing that I rolled my eyes ((I am sure you did too)) and I realise how ridiculous that sounds ((another reason to overcome this)) but for anyone going through any illness, usually it’s the little things, the day to day things, that the illness takes from you and you finally get back, you find feel like and often are the most significant achievements. I mean right now, being able to socialise around food is almost on par with being able to walk again after breaking my leg.

Illness can be long-term, short-term, physical or mental, whatever the combination I know there is no quick fix and takes soosososos much time and effort. I have A LOT of amazing events and changes coming up, that I want to be my whole self for so need all the encouragement I can get! This post has been very truthful and I feel like I have revealed a lot ((so be nice)) but I want to provide some insight on a topic that in my eyes is not spoken about enough ((at all)), especially while either someone is suffering or overcoming it, even if some parts aren’t so jazzy.

Xxx

 

 

Hidden Gems

((Basically an excuse for me to take some “artsy farsty” photos and show of my stunners of a fam))

Eventually we (my family and I) are getting back into the swing of things again and settling back into our comfy routine ((Hooray!!)). However, after every summer jolliday comes the post holiday blues, with the real world hurtling around the corner and being completely in your face with absolutely no consideration that you had once been totally relaxed ((I think my dog is definitely suffering the most with not being able to run around the perimeter of the boat all day or chasing after something for hours on end)).

Unsurprisingly I found my self flicking through the countless photos that we had all collected from the week… I came across some absolute stunners and some not so worth sharing but 100% never being deleted ((safe to say we aren’t all sleeping beauties)).

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On one the longer walks that we set off on ((that wasn’t to the local grocery shop or to the nearest toilet)) we spotted the most incredible field covered in sunflowers *cue photo opp* After a few thousand cringey yet worthwhile pictures later mum said something along the lines of “isn’t it amazing what you can discover”, she mentioned this to me because we had been talking about being able to cope and manage unplanned events etc and highlighted that good things can happen, even when you don’t control or plan it. It made me think about my previous blog post “CHANGE” and the idea of being a little more spontaneous and changing routine. We hadn’t planned our route, well, Dad had an extremely vague idea of what direction we should be heading in but really we were just walking to be outside and to enjoy our surroundings. For me, even though it was only doing something little and simple, it really emphasised the importance of opening myself up to opportunities because quite literally you have no idea what might be around the corner.. Hey! it might be a field full of sunflowers!! ((sorry for the cliche)). I appreciate that a simple family walk and going down a few footpaths and taking some odd photos may not seem big or as poignant but for me it was something new and different and I really really enjoyed it. ((Basically an excuse for me to take some “artsy farsty” photos and show of my stunners of a fam)).

It has made me excited rather than anxious to continue discovering new places and to leave some trips a little more unplanned and add some spontaneity, even if it’s just exploring a few unknown streets around Cambridge with my pups. ((risky business i know, but hopefully worth it!!))

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I would love to hear about any places people have discovered by accident??

xxx

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CHANGE

“Go with the flow”

So it is coming to the end of official day 3 on the boat.

Let me put that sentence into some context. We decided, what seems like a long time ago now that as a family we would venture to the Norfolk broads for 7 whole days on a cruiser…plus a dog. What an experience this is already turning out to be, for many many reasons, good and bad.

This great idea first came when I was originally only going to have about a month at home in between my first year nursing placement finishing and the start of second year, so in that time I told mum that I would prefer a holiday that everyone could come on including my puppy! This was back when a month at home didn’t seem like a very long time, so time was very precious. Since booking the holiday and actually moving back home in February the idea was starting to sound more and more peculiar. Why on earth would you put a crazy cocker spaniel, a pair of princessey parents, a 13 year old boy and a soon to be married couple… Oh yeah and me(!!!) on a boat for a week. It has come with some serious entertainment alongside some very honest chitter chatter.

Swings and roundabouts though and would you believe it, so far so good. The weather has been ideal thankfully ((mum and sister have even whipped out the shorts))

This made us think what a change this has been for all of us and how good it has been. When I think August summer holiday, as everyone dreams, it consists of a sandy beach somewhere gorgeous with lots and lots of sun with a cool drink to hand. Not, I need to row across a massive river at 7 am so my overly excited/anxious/mad dog can have his long awaited morning wee and poo. As it turns out, that has probably been the highlight of the trip so far. I have never seen such peace and tranquillity, and I really took that moment to appreciate my holiday.

Something about stepping out of our comfort zones and changing things up from what we normally get up to day to day has been so valuable. It has sparked up a few interesting conversations about ourselves like, what we actually really enjoy and who really can adapt the best… ((my brother probably being the first to admit that he really likes routine)).

While routine has been essential for me to get back into the swing of things again, this change even if it’s just been a little change in location or rather the massive change in the way I am living, I have probably learnt more in the past 3 days about my family, myself included ((particularly that my dog can genuinely run all day if there is a ball on the go)) that I would never have discovered if we had kept to the norm or even our usual summer holidays ((when I often don’t even spend any time with my family..))

The idea of change fills me with such excitement, I love the potential of what the future holds and I love planning and being able to set my-self goals ((I love a list, especially a list of goals)). The thing I struggle with is the unexpected change and the unknown future. One thing that this holiday has been successful with, is being able to throw a curve ball when you least expect it. Adapting to an environment I am not used to is challenging but I am now trying hard not fear it and just “go with the flow” instead. I am really enjoying this experience of not knowing what is next and challenging myself. When I do slip nicely back into my routine I will try and leave an element of surprise and see what comes of adding a little bit of change… or maybe I will in the future…who knows…

xxx

HEN PARTY, ANXIETY & SOME HONESTY

WHAT A BLOODY FANTASTIC WEEKEND!!! Never have I laughed, chatted and enjoyed myself for so long in such a long time. I’m going to toot my own horn for a little bit and say that I am proud of myself! I organised a bloody hen party, like how cool is that ((well to me it is anyway)) and to top it all off everyone had fun… including me(!!) I am filled with such a sense of achievement. I managed money, organised activities, bossed people about, socialised and shared food with some amazing girls ((this deserves a place on my CV right?)) I am honestly, still in a bit of shock at how it all happened so smoothly but I’m gonna own it and I can’t stop smiling about it… SososoosooSOoo many achievements WOO.

Taking a tiny step back from all of this euphoria, I have slightly crashed. I am the first person to admit that after a full on weekend of smiling and entertaining, while it was awesome, it is extremely tiring and demanding both physically and mentally, especially if you are not used to it. I have learnt that it is beyond important to make sure that I unwind and have some down time… like seriously important.

So yesterday, still a little bit wired from everything, I thought it would be appropriate to write my “self-care: Part 3” post, sharing some of the really lovely ways I unwind and things that I find particularly useful when it comes to a bit of self-love ((this post will eventually make an appearance at some point I am sure)). I started writing that post and it was really fun and I was enjoying myself lots, but as I re-read my first sentence and had some much needed chats with my mum and sister I realised I was flat out lying. I definitely was not sitting here wearing my favourite lipstick, waiting for my bubble bath to run to read my latest book, after a wholesome nourishing dinner. Truthfully, I have slightly neglected myself over the past couple of days and not put into practice any of the self-care I have spoken or wanted to speak about. As much as I really really wanted to share how balanced I was being and to emphasise the idea that when there are busy times you also need the quiet times, it was just not true at that moment and I was just adding to that cliché ((it is a lot harder than you think)). At the same time, I think I was trying to make myself believe that I had actually done those things and if I wrote it down and let other people read what I had supposedly done then it must have happened?!!? Crazy I know…

Surrounding myself with family and friends means so much to me and I truly loved every second of it, but I did feel a little all over the place after and really put my anxiety to the test. My body was telling me to rest but my head was whizzing around, I was kinda stuck in a lose-lose situation. ((Please say I’m not alone on that one?!)) I now realise, at that point I should have thought “Ok, self-love and care are your best friends today” when in reality I panicked and after a few tears and sitting in child’s pose on my yoga mat did I start to feel a bit calmer ((Ohhhh, the beauty of hindsight)).

It’s Tuesday and I am feeling almost fully recuperated, but still somewhat slack on the self-care front. I have set some self-care tasks for myself today and throughout the week to really make sure I keep myself well. Sorry I haven’t really sugar coated this post but after I realised what I was doing, I wanted to be as honest as possible… just shows what a long old journey this all is… not to forget how far I have come though!!!

xxx

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