Wholemeal toast x 2, butter.
Baked beans, jacket potato, butter, side salad.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).
Savoury minced lamb, mashed potato, vegetable medley.
Plum crumble and custard.
Weetabix x 2.
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
Scorcher out there today… I’ve just ventured out into the mini courtyard, to be reminded of the most simple and available way to lift anxieties. About anything. Not just the sun, but being with air, sounds of trees, wind…
Away from all physical things made or manipulated by ‘us’… things made by people with feelings, judgments and thoughts.
Today I’ve been in one of those moods where I feel disconnected – lonely but frustrated for being lonely. The more time I have by myself the more time I have to ‘try and get my life together’ right? To learn what to do with my life, to experiment with my abilities, to study how to be ‘better with people’… so that when I start spending more time with people it will be easier? The panic that if I can put in this work, recovery will be easier. I’m terrified of getting ‘physically’ to that place, and still mentally hating myself/feeling inadequate/feeling childish/feeling purposeless. So the beaver of my brain is constantly prodding me to sort my life out if we’re going to be able to see enjoying and accepting proper food as a regular thing.
I feel frustrated because of where I feel my head is currently holding me hostage with ‘liking life’, ‘liking myself’ and ‘allowing myself to have confidence’, to feel free to ‘be myself’. As I’m really working hard with all of this (sometimes maybe I’m not WORKING hard enough but actually doing too much HOPING) it’s like when I feel a little gush of confidence or sudden ‘contentment’/acceptance of myself on this journey… my head pulls me back and I clam up again. I get thoughts like, but this isn’t you? You’re not ‘born’ to be talkative… it’s not natural to you to be ‘happy’… if you’re confident or happy that is big-headed and actually you’re more likely to have people turn away/dislike you, not LIKE you more…
So then my head tends to go back to ‘hedgehog’ mode. Where I mentally curl up. Keep my head down and not fight my mouth when it clams up and I shut down.
It’s weird. I woke up in a ‘happy’ (probably more ‘focused’, at ‘peace’ than happy) mood… and I notice that as soon as I start feeling different, the guilt shuts me down again. And by round about now, I feel lonely but I’m scared of the negative commentary from my head about being around people. At lunch, I felt like I allowed myself to not even worry about ‘talking to not seem boring’. I just wanted to get on, and yes it felt selfish and yes there was a bigger jug of shame filled, ready to spill in my head. But maybe it’s okay to have these days? So that you can reflect and push through it… dance through the sh*t and all that. I’m just scared that this way of thinking becomes a habit. And if this way of thinking persists when I have officially divorced Anorexia from a ‘physical’ point of view… how will I cope.
Being outside, and with what is the most untouched part of all of our lives, it almost feels like a weight is lifted. There’s no expectation. No judgment. No laws… no stereotypes… no calories…
…sometimes you need a very simple but DEEP reminder of this. The grass, the pavement, the soil, the road… it will accept you and hold you up regardless of your shape, weight, talents, abilities, qualifications, gender, sexuality, whether you’re clean-shaven or have a ‘Forbidden Forest’ under your pits. Whether you love or you hate Marmite.
There’s no time limits, no deadlines, no hierarchy, no body-shaming, no food-shaming, no money, no disappointment, no anger.
It gets you. Even when you don’t ‘get’ your own mind. When you don’t really know what you feel that day, so you’re left temporarily trapped in your own brain. You don’t need to explain or worry what anyone’s reaction will be. Because you don’t need anyone when you’re making contact with what’s always there for you…
There’s no pressure to communicate, I don’t have to worry if I’ll sound silly when I talk. Or if I’m talkative or entertaining enough. If I’m going to feel weak in a room full of confident, bubbly people. All things that feed into my Eating Disorder if I let it. It doesn’t tell me to hurry up and decide what to do with my career if I’m going to ‘deserve’ recovery, or to decide how to space out my meal choices through the week, so it feels ‘right’, or tell me I’m too lazy when I’ve eaten but have barely moved, or that I was selfish and greedy for not talking at the table at lunch.
My perfectionism too, takes a stroll round the park until I’m back with the ‘real world’ – which ironically, isn’t real. It’s all made by ‘us’.
Off for tea and taking my hedgehog with me.