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

 

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

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

 

 

There is no place like home

Word of the day: FLUMP

Ok, I am going to put it out there straight away that I am definitely a home bird. I love everything about it, its familiarity, comfort, safety, the company, that sense of being somewhere where you belong.

When I think about some of my past decision like my move to Scotland, it seriously baffles me, like what on earth was I thinking! It was very ambitious of me to think that I would make it all 4 years..really long years at that – for some that move away from home is completely the right decision and I have seen so many of my friends who have flourished and do amazing things and I love seeing and hearing about what they get up to!

!!!WELL DONE TO ALL MY GALS AND GUYS WHO HAVE OFFICIALLY FINISHED THEIR FIRST YEAR OF NURSING – I am genuinely so proud of you all, you’ve done amazing!!!!

…But without making decisions like University, I came to know myself a bit more and now I fully understand what home and family means to me, I honestly have no idea what on earth I would be doing without them ((thanks guys)).

On the topic of family, this post was sort of inspired by my brother who has just returned from a 2 week tour around South Africa with his school ((I know, how unbelievably cool is that!..not jealous at all)) he came back this morning with SOooosoo many tales to tell but the first thing he said was “There’s no place like home”. There is nothing like that return home from Holiday, or a friend’s house, or just generally a really long day out, where you come back to your own space and can just flump – I can’t think of a better more onomatopoeic word than flump. It’s that motion of being able release the mental and physical exhaustion of well, everything! It is never something I really ever thought about or appreciated but that feeling is such a comfort to me now.

I am so impressed by my brother who is 12, to already have that appreciation of being and coming home. When I was 12, the last thing I wanted was to be at home, even up until about now I have always had the mind-set that it was really uncool to like your family, or want to be at home and I felt this enormous pressure ((mainly from the “expectations” the world around me has… cheers social media…)) to grow up and leave home and become my own person…whatever that meant!?!? I have had my fair share of adventures being away from home and family ((I mean in comparison to some of my friends who have travelled worldwide, months on end, my adventures may seem relatively small but being away still counts…right??)) during those times away I thought that if I missed home or didn’t want to be away from home it made me seem weak, immature and allowed me to be vulnerable and ultimately that people would really judge me for it.

Since then, I have done a complete U-turn and now I absolutely love telling people about what I get up to with my family and in my home, and talking about home and living at home, I have finally given in and accepted that I love ALL things home!!! ((I literally don’t want to leave..Sorry guys, you are just too good)) I am not ashamed because my family is awesome ((weird)), and you know what, my weekends playing tennis and going to garden centres and watching movies are wicked and I am incredibly lucky.

I could sing praises about my immediate family all day (as in mum, dad, sister, brother, grandparents) but it would be rude to ignore all the other families I have had across my life. School for me was one massive girly family, which was crazy ((trust me)) but a hell of a lot of fun. When I play sport the people I surround myself with are like a weird little competitive family. FRIENDS!!! They are your chosen family, you can actually pick and select the people you love the most out of everyone you meet and share everything and anything with, that is the coolest kind of family.

So, to everyone else who either secretly loves home or family, don’t be ashamed to broadcast it! For me, it’s a warm safe environment I get to be my complete self in and realising that has been such a game changer in terms of my happiness and doing what is right for me… but it has taken a bit of a while to come to that and wish I had someone else saying “ignore everyone else because there really is no place like home.”

xxxx