Aunt Bessie, I salute you! So I picked up these ‘Sweet Potato Cajun Slices’ in the frozen section of Heron’s for a quid the other day. They are just diviiiiiiiiine. If you’re a member of the sweet potato fan club, I’d urge you to give them a go. Yummy and crisp, with a slight shimmy of spice…
…anyway, back to the mental health. I know – that ol’ chestnut. Putting together a blog post has been poking my brain lobes since this morning, so I’m fulfilling the urge.
I’m currently going through a LOT of emotions. And going through big change with mental health services. I feel like there’s a silent earthquake happening – for 7 years, more than a quarter of my whole life I’ve been so, so lucky to have consistency with the same care-coordinator who was also my therapist, within the same service. And now things are changing and I’m chuffin’ terrified.
So last time I celebrated my successful binge-purge free nights. And I managed to keep that ball rolling for a few more nights, slipping up here and there, and now I am not exactly having ‘runs’ of days when I first started, my nights have been more scattered. But I’m okay with that, and to be able to say that I currently have some nights without Bulimia, is a lantern to my soul to be honest! (don’t quite know if that metaphor makes sense but it is what was sat at my fingertips itching to come out)
I’m well and truly fighting, I know that. Because I m accepting emotions as they come, analysing the world around me and the people in it, so I can make sense of how I would like to live. Realising the pain that’s coming in and going out.
I did a gig on Thursday, which I came away from feeling so warm inside. I left the pub, guitar in hand feeling like the world was a calm place, and I felt content knowing I did what my heart wanted to do. To sing and play the guitar, at risk of judgment, but coming out in one piece the other end. I enjoyed every word, every pluck and every strum. The other musicians were so welcoming.
What people didn’t see was the night before and the night when I got home of the Bulimia. On stage I probably looked like I had it together, but really I was so frustrated with myself having fallen for the trick the night before singing – the impact it may have on my voice. How could I give it my best performance when I’d forcefully vomited numerous times the night before?
..I could either cancel yet another gig. Denying my heart and letting my illness win. Or accept what involvement my Eating Disorder has had on this situation, but let it take no more. And show up, trusting that’s what the me underneath it all wants to do.
And I’m so glad I did. I felt like I was at home.
So I’ve been having these assessment appointments for a new diagnosis, and last week, I heard the results of that. I’m still not brave enough to share it. But I will when I’ve got my head around it. I’m really, really sceptical of what this diagnosis is, but hey ho.
What it hasn’t done is make me feel restricted by a box or a label – because I feel it would be easy to let myself slip into the typical traits expected of the disorder, and blame it for acting in a certain way. Feeling trapped in what a diagnostic criteria assumes of me.
By choosing to do that gig, days after receiving this diagnosis, proved to myself that I can act against an expected way I would behave. That’s something I fear – living under a criteria for a diagnosis, believing that I can’t do certain things because of this and that. It makes me want to rebel against stereotypes, and be evidence to the world that we are far too complex creatures to fit a certain box or label.
When I hear something I may struggle to do more than others, I promise to myself that I will always try to beat that barrier down. I am not a mental health diagnosis. At the end of the day, we are all humans under a huge spectrum of mental health traits. Depending where we are at in our lives and what we’re going through.
The fight more at the minute, isn’t to achieve some ideal recovered state – it’s to realise every day what is holding me back or what is expected will hold me back, and try and conquer that very thing.