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All posts for the month March, 2013

To be honest….

Published 14 March, 2013 by ladyem83

This phrase seems to have been incredibly diluted through excessive use in popular discourse.  My brother uses the abbreviation, ‘tbh’ too frequently in text messages.  Why do we feel the need to prefix certain statements and/or opinions with a warning of honesty?  Surely we should be confident that every opinion we express is done so with pride, conviction and, above all else, honesty?

I have entitled this post as such because I feel a need to qualify my previous post  My 30th birthday…

This blog honestly describes my path through anorexia, depression and recovery.   My 30th birthday… described how I enjoyed and experienced my fabulous birthday weekend.  If, however,  I am to be true to this blog, then I should also describe the other aspect to my birthday weekend because, recovery isn’t all party poppers and Champagne.

My path through recovery seems to be hellishly bumpy.  Just as I begin to gather strength, a degree of contentment and self-confidence, a demon inside me hits the self-destruct button and I spiral downwards at a rate of knots.

In my writing, I purposefully separate myself from the demon.  You may think I’m seeking a scapegoat, so that I can excuse my thoughts and behaviour. This isn’t the case.  I know this isn’t the case because I have lived most of my life without anorexia and depression.  I know that I do not want to walk the path to self-destruction, yet there is something inside me that paints an extremely convincing picture as to why I deserve only self-destruction.  You may say; “Well, if you know that’s not the real you and that you want to behave differently, then why don’t you?”

At this point, I hold my hands up.  You may give up reading here, and I don’t blame you.  You may despise my weakness and think I should, ‘pull myself together’;  I know that’s what I think.

I am a strong character.  I have been strong for the last 17 years.  I really don’t know why, but now, for some reason I can’t quite muster that all-encompassing strength to put myself on the right track and continuously keep myself there.

Oh, believe me, when it’s called for I can put on my ‘Game Face’ and knock it out of the park.  But, during the hours I spend alone (and they are many), I struggle with the other voice.  I’m so tired of putting on my Game Face.  Even at the weekend when no Game Face was required, just being happy and being me, is enough for the other voice to kick into gear and put me in my place.

So, here it is TBH:

I was shaking and crying when I saw my birthday cards and presents….I don’t deserve that love.

Mum held me to ransom outside Aberdeen:  “We will sit here in the car until you’ve eaten that bread roll.  IT doesn’t want you to enjoy this weekend, we are not giving IT what IT wants.”  I hid half of the bread roll in the folds of the road map until an hour later when I confessed to Mum what I’d done and then ate the rest of it, knowing that doing so was like throwing a grenade into the heart of Ana’s camp but that I needed to do it.

I felt I didn’t deserve the effort my brother and his girlfriend had gone to to make a wonderful, relaxed birthday buffet for me (including all my safe foods).

I don’t deserve, I don’t deserve, I don’t deserve.

This all sounds so self-pitying, and I won’t think ill of you if you interpret it that way.

As a small token of defence I will say that; I am trying.  Yep, I’m tripping up and cocking up an awful lot, however, along the way I am telling those who need to know all about these mess-ups.  I don’t think I’m strong enough to do this on my own.

I would so like to bury my head in the sand and stay there, but if I do so I will be signing my own death certificate.

Suffice to say, something is still preventing me from signing that death certificate and at times, I really resent whatever that ‘something’ is.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep walking, making messy mistakes, stumbling, falling, reaching out my hand, getting up and falling again until, finally, hopefully, I am able to walk alone.

This is not a pretty truth, but it’s my truth. 

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My 30th birthday…

Published 14 March, 2013 by ladyem83

…was perfect.  It was a wonderful compilation of everything I love.  There is a reason I have emboldened and italicized that pronoun and it will become evident subsequently.

In the meantime, however, excuse my indulgence as I relive my weekend by recounting it here.

I came downstairs to the birthday scene of my childhood:  the ‘Happy Birthday’ banner  (now somewhat crumpled as it’s just about as old as I am!) was draped across the chimney breast in the dining room; and cards and presents were presented on the dining room table.  Even as I child, I was never one to dive in and start ripping open the paper; my brother always did that!  I preferred, and still do, to stand back and take in the scene.  I look at every detail and see the thought that’s gone into it and I feel its warmth.  The fact that Mum dug out from the depths of some drawer the old birthday banner touched me so much.

Breakfast with Mum was Marmite on toast (our staple breakfast choice) and Moet (she knows me well!).  I popped my first Champagne cork with no breakages- but I did give a little yelp of excitement!

The rest of the day was spent driving to Aberdeen as we were spending a long weekend with my brother and his girlfriend.

On arrival, after hugs, my brother asked whether we fancied a cuppa or popping into the dining room.  Given that the door to the dining room was covered with a huge banner saying, “THE PARTY IS HERE!”, the decision was not a difficult one to make!

I opened the door, peaked inside, gasped and flung the door open as I stepped in!  Balloons! Birthday banners! A table filled with party food…and an exquisitely decorated birthday cake along side a bottle of equally exquisite Champagne!

We popped party poppers, we yelped when the balloons got too close to the light fitting and spontaneously exploded, we laughed, we took silly photos, we chatted; we were a family and I was an active part of this wonderful family unit.

The rest of the weekend was the same.  It was our family together, with the addition of an extra special member (my brother’s girlfriend who makes the special threesome of Mum, my brother and me, an equally special foursome).

My brother took us on a wild goose chase through Aberdeen to find the harbour because he wanted to see the boats.  Under normal weather conditions, this would not be an issue for me, or his girlfriend, but- oh my gosh, it was blowing a bloomin’ gale and freezing cold!  Nevertheless, I am (somewhat) glad that I saw the harbour, as it was breathtaking.  The white horses were fiercely dancing atop the excitable  waves and the sea was dotted with tankers and ships.  With my hood pulled up and feeling grumpy at my biting cheeks, even I could not help but be moved by the sheer strength exerted by the forces of nature which I saw before me.

That evening we put our glad rags on and dined out and it was lovely!

I said it repeatedly over the weekend, and I’ll say it again;  it was truly a wonderfully unforgettable birthday.

Over The Hill?

Published 7 March, 2013 by ladyem83

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.  Am I ‘over the hill’?  I bloody well hope so!

The hill being this hard slog from rock bottom to the vantage point from where I stand now.

So, what do I see when I look ahead now?  Well, there’s a vast landscape ahead of me.  I can see the green pastures where my dreams lie, the hard, rocky ground which I will no doubt have to traverse at various points.  The sky is blue and the sun is shining but, of course, there are clouds.  I know there will be days, weeks, who knows how long, when the sun will be obscured and I’ll be trying to trek my way through muddy grounds.  I don’t doubt that there will be times when I want to just run into the nearest dark cave and hide there.  Maybe it’s OK if I do that because, I now believe that the sun will slowly peak through the clouds again and entice me out.  More importantly, I’ll want to come out, hold my head high to its rays and bask in them.

This landscape perhaps seems ‘normal’ to you but a year ago I didn’t/couldn’t see anything but suffocating, toxic smog.

A couple of days ago I hoped on the scales and was disappointed to see the number, which I thought was too much.  However, once dressed I looked in the mirror and what I saw I thought was OK.  That’s somewhat unnerving for me.  Should I feel like that? Do I deserve to be proud of myself?  Well, I say, yes, I do.  This isn’t a fist thumping determined yes, it’s spoken a little softly with a slight questioning inflection but it’s still a yes!

I haven’t been on the scales for a few days now and I don’t want to.  Not because I’m scared of the number, but because I’m just so tired of being a slave to it.  I’m so tired of thinking about food, restricting, counting, calculating.  There must be so many other things with which I can occupy my mind and my attention other than that.  What have I been missing out on?!

I’m not going to dwell on that.  I firmly believe things happen for a reason and I will take every lesson I can from them and move forward.

I’ve still got a way to go, more in terms of addressing certain of my behaviours and beliefs which aren’t helpful.  But, I’m seeing a therapist and doing the thing I hate the most; opening myself up.  Well,  I’m starting to, or am willing to at least.

There are so many things I know I need to do and which I’m pretty scared of doing as I’ve built one hell of a thick wall around myself.  But it really is time to strip some of those layers back.  Brick by brick and slowly but for the better.

So here’s saying goodbye to my twenties, thanks for the lessons learnt and hello to my thirties and, who knows what!

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