A break-up

Today I broke up with my boyfriend.

I know that sounds like such a trivial thing but it was so, so hard. I’ve been going out with him for over a year now. I enjoy his company but I’m not ‘sexually attracted’ to him or whatever it is you’re supposed to feel about someone you’re going out with. I go out with him because I feel I have to, that I don’t want to hurt his feelings but not because I actually actively want to. I got on with him like I get on with my friends, but he liked me in a different way and it just wasn’t fair on him to keep him in a relationship that wasn’t even. 
Despite this, he really didn’t want to break up. He desperately tried to ignore what I was saying when I rang him and was downheartened and upset by the end. I feel so cruel for breaking up with him, I was trying to do what was best for both of us but now I just feel selfish.

Why I broke up with him, a comprehensive list:

1) We just want different things in the relationship. I want to keep things at hugging/kissing but he wants more even though he said he’s willing to wait. He wants the relationship to progress but it just isn’t going to happen.

2) I don’t have time, and when I do see him he complains that I haven’t seen him for long enough

3) He can be really difficult and make me feel guilty about everything, for instance he makes out that I’m the only thing good in his life and he can’t imagine life without me so I feel trapped in the relationship

4) He doesn’t understand me. He tries, but he says all the wrong things yet always pushes me to open up to him when I don’t want to. 

    Two things about this, firstly I am a huge believer in talking to people, but personally I don’t care who that is- if my friend was upset about something, obviously I’d want her to trust me enough to tell me, but as long as she was talking to someone that would be good enough for me. I hate it when people try to pressure you to talk to them, like it’s personally offensive not to.
      Secondly, when I told him I’d been discharged from the ED services and that it was scary etc, he 1) bought me chocolates (?!) (weird choice of gift considering the circumstances) and 2) said ‘well you don’t have to worry about it anymore, it’s all behind you now’ or something, not understanding that in actual fact I still battle it every day- I’m simply better at coping these days.

    5) He wants me to be someone I’m not. He wants me to not be tired all the time, to stay up later, to text more, to do this and that. I cannot do all of these things, I can try but at the end of the day these are not my skills. My friends will agree that I am rubbish with texting, but they know I try hard and they understand that (I think). It’s tiring always being told that I don’t text enough, I don’t do this enough etc etc, and at the end of the day it just leaves me feeling inadequate.

    6) He’s really sensitive and struggles with self esteem. How am I going to make him feel if he knows I am not attracted to him? It will make him feel worse, and to stay in that relationship is a constant reminder. He doesn’t deserve that.

    7) he deserves better. Not only does he deserve better than my personality/being, but he also needs someone who is less busy and can spend more time with him. Because 

    8) He is very clingy. If it were up to him I’d never do anything else but see him.

    9) He’d always bring up conversations his friends had had about us, teasing him about us not having sex or whatever, like he was trying to guilt me into doing it? He’d bring it up like ‘oh max just texted me’ and so I of course am supposed to say ‘oh what about’ then he’ll say something along the lines of ‘ah just the usual’ or something but every time he tells me something about his friend’s conversations it’s about me or our relationship and I HATE it because I don’t know them and I get really anxious/ paranoid about what people think about me.

    10) He’d talk about us in the future like we were going to go out forever, which freaked me out as I’m only 17! If I didn’t break up with him soon I was literally going to end up marrying him for the sake of it. That’s how it felt.

    The point of this post?
    Well I’m not sure. I feel like I almost need to justify why I broke up with him? Like it’s only ok if I have good reasoning and it was the right thing to do?

    I realise I must sound like such a cow. I honestly don’t mean to, I just had to get it off my chest and I don’t know where else I can so that.

    I absolutely hate upsetting people but I know I hurt him. I relapsed into self harm for the first time in months. I didn’t even want to, which is more unusual as sometimes I get urges and I want to but I manage to distract myself, but today I just made myself. I had to. I hurt him so I must hurt myself. It was as simple as that. I’d caused him pain so I had to inflict pain upon myself, I deserve it. 

    Not looking forward to the endless task of hiding it and covering it up. It isn’t bad but it’s just a nuisance. I feel like I’ve let everyone down by doing it, but yet I felt I had to. I couldn’t win.

    I’m determined that this shall be my last time. I want to be able to say “XX was the last time I self harmed”. I want to put self harm in the past. I was so close to doing so but I screwed it up.

    BUT, as my friend reminded me, recovery is a bumpy road. It’s full of ups and downs and you’re going to slip up on time to time. That does NOT mean I have failed. It just means that I am strong enough to pick myself back up and carry on fighting. 

    Sorry for the ramble, I bet it was an awfully long boring account of what’s going on in my mind. But I did write this post in the middle of the night while I have a stinking cold so what do you expect? Oh well. I live another day to feel the guilt of being the one to end the relationship. Feeling truly selfish but I hope that gradually it will dull with time.

    Thanks for reading.

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    2 years, 4 months and 7 days: no more CAHMS

    2 years, 4 months and 7 days ago I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Since then it’s been a rocky journey- 9 months, 20 days spent inpatient/ then day patient at the Priory EDU (Eating Disorders Unit), and many more days off school. Meals cried over, tantrums thrown, friendships broken. Exercise obsessive, no calories uncounted.
    Depression gripping me and blinding me

    – I thought I’d never see the light.

    But somehow I’ve muddled my way through and I’m still here today, fighting hard as ever. Today is the day my journey carries on by myself, I am discharged from CAHMS/ YPEDS as of today!

    I’m going to be honest, being discharged is absolutely terrifying and many tears have been shed. But I know, deep down, it is a good thing. It’s time for me to continue by myself, to use the skills I’ve learnt and to overcome my demons once and for all. It’s hard having my safety net taken away from me, it’s hard having to say goodbye to my psychologist who I adore, it’s hard not being ‘ill’ anymore. But those things will remain hard no matter how long I stay; letting go is sometimes the hardest thing of all, but it has to be done.

    So much has changed during these last nearly 2 1/2 years. And though I always feel I could have done better or I’ve let myself down, it’s days like this where I have to acknowledge how far I’ve come.

    A girl who cried and refused her meals, who would think of any way possible to hide or restrict her food, who would go on long walks while on ‘bed-rest’, who would even spit out her own saliva in a desperate bid to shed any weight she possibly could. A girl who was so distraught by the numbers on the scale that she cut her skin. A girl so riddled with depression that she no longer enjoyed anything anymore- her hobbies and interests soon redundant. Cold, alone, scared and isolated.

    in the grips of anorexia
    Now that girl is fast disappearing, replaced instead with a vision of hope. If you look closely there are traces of her- traces that will one day be gone entirely. Of course, she will never forget what she went through. The pain and torture, but also her endurance and determination.

    As today draws to an end, I am left thinking about my journey: how far I’ve come and also how far I have yet to go. The reality is that there is still some journey, but it’s time like this where I have to focus on how far I’ve come rather than just how far I’ve got to go.

    I’ve been incredibly lucky to have friends and family supporting me through my illness, but I know many aren’t so lucky. People are quick to judge mental health: ‘attention seeking’, ‘freak’, they say. But in reality we are no different to you- we’re just a bit lost and need a hand to guide us into the light. 

    Never be afraid to reach out, both to those struggling or if you are struggling yourself. Have a broken friendship? Try fixing it before you give up into desperation. Live your life to the full and don’t let your eating disorder or mental health condition live your life for you.

    Thanks for reading and supporting me on my journey through blogging.

    My First Inpatient Meal

    This post talks about the thought processes I had during my first meal at the inpatient unit. It could potentially be triggering to those struggling with eating disorders so please be careful,
    I’m posting this to raise awareness of what it’s like to battle your demons through each meal. I hope you like the style it’s written in, feel free to leave feedback in the comments and I’ll reply as soon as possible (I get back home from holiday in a few days time so will reply then).

    My First Inpatient Meal

    I remember my first meal.

    Half a tuna sandwich.

    The mayonnaise and sweetcorn spewing from the sides.
    My hands shook as I moved the half across from the plastic container to my plate. The others began. Silence all except for the radio wittering softly in the background. I picked up my sandwich again. I looked at it, studied it’s brown seeds and soft brown crust. I pulled it closer to my mouth, lingered there for a moment. Unwillingly, my mouth opened. I nibbled the corner. The dry bread slipped down my throat.
    Time was slipping by.

    I looked around me, seeing how far others had got. Most had eaten almost a quarter. The girl sitting opposite me, also on half portions, had barely touched hers. I must finish last. No one will take me seriously unless I finish last.

    The minutes ticked by.

    Soon ten minutes were up, then fifteen. We were half way through the meal. I was less than halfway through my half-sandwich.

    I took another bite, forcing the salty tuna down my throat. I felt the eyes of other patients bore into me, sizing me up. Sizing. Ha, it’s almost funny isn’t it? That in actual fact they probably were looking at my size. My enormous, disproportionate body. The body that the professionals insisted was ‘underweight’. The body that I had toyed with for all those months. The body I tried to make disappear.

    As I sit there, my head spins. It’s too late now, there’s no going back. I will gain weight, I will never again be this thin. I can’t bear it. If I look like this now, what will I look like in ten kilograms? What will I look like with both halves of the tuna sandwich?

    I take another bite.

    Nonchalantly I chew. Again, I look up around me, up at the clock this time. 10 minutes left. I let my gaze drift down to the window. There’s a garden outside, one for the adolescent unit. I see a girl sitting there on a bench. I wish I could be sitting there, in place of that girl. Free to run around the garden, to exercise without the judging eyes and stern words from staff.

    I look down at my hands. Just a few mouthfuls left.

    The staff disturbs my thinking, “five minutes left, five minutes”. I shove another mouthful in.

    Chew.

    Chew.

    Chew.

    Swallow.

    I try not to think of the grease coating my mouth. I look around, everyone has finished. Even the girl opposite. I stick the last bite into my mouth, just as the staff calls for us that our half an hour is up. I think I’ve done it, but the staff shakes her head at my plate, indicating that I must scrape it clean. Humiliated, I use my finger to scrape the excess crumbs and mayonnaise from the plate. A stray piece of sweetcorn also finds itself in my mouth. No need to chew, I swallow fast. No supplement drink for me. I was through our first meal.

    ***

    Thanks for reading.

    P for Positivity

    Positivity is important. No one can feel positive all the time, and in recovery it can be rare, so when the moment comes we need to try our best to remember what that felt like.

    On Thursday I had my birthday party (I turned 17 on Monday), and it was after my party I had a rare moment of absolute satisfaction and positivity.

    So I recorded it , I jotted it down like I was speaking excitedly to a friend. And that’s what I thought I’d share with you today. Sheer, genuine, in the moment positivity and appreciation for life and recovery.

    “I had such a fab time at my party! Felt a bit ill towards the end of it but never mind.
    And do you know what? I ate loads, like loads to a normal person not just to me. I had crepes, a milkshake, pizza, a slice of birthday cake.. And do you know what? I’m still alive, I’m still ok, I haven’t exploded! My stomach is round and content with food. It’s full. And full is good, full means my body can get to work on any repairs it has to do! Full means my body can learn that I’m not going to starve it any longer. More importantly, today taught me that there is more to life than an eating disorder, there really is. Laughing and chatting with friends, being loud and eating in front of people and actually, you know what?, not caring. Because I couldn’t have had such a good time without food, if I hadn’t eaten it would have been awkward for them and for me. And what’s better than watching a film with a bunch of friends and a pizza on a paper plate? What’s better than laughing at charades with your friends? Yes it was quite loud and challenging for anxiety etc, and I received some absolutely amazing presents and I love them so so much, but it’s hard for me to get presents so that was a challenge to. But I did it, and I’m ok with that.
    I don’t know, I just feel so positive right now. Like maybe I do have a place, maybe I can recover and live a full life. I want every day to be like today, challenging but full of purpose and fun.
    Only recovery can get you here, only recovery can allow you these opportunities. I couldn’t be gladder that I’ve stuck with recovery, even through darker times where I’ve nearly lost hope. Please remember that, there is always hope. And where there is hope, there is determination, and with determination you will get there.”

    I really recommend jotting down moments of inspiration like this, because reading back on it can be so helpful and inspiring and can help pull you up from dark and difficult moments.

    Today I am not feeling particularly great, so I’m reading that and trying to remember how it felt. I’ve learnt to live for these moments. They may be few for now, but you never know, one day my life could be full of them. I just have to get there.

    Thanks for reading.

    5 things to achieve this February

    If I’m totally honest (with myself as well as you), I’m struggling a bit recently. With depression, with food, with the thoughts- the whole lot. I figured as today is the start of a new month, why not set myself some realistic but perhaps challenging goals to help me through.

    Part of me wants to relapse but part of me wants to beat it and get better; I’ve just got to keep fighting and make the latter part win. It’s so hard saying that let alone getting my brain to think it, but it’s work in progress. I have to keep strong for my friends and family, as well as for me, even if sometimes I don’t care about myself/ more extreme of hating myself.

    Here goes! 5 goals this February:

    (1) Open my Christmas selection box and eat at least one bad of chocolate from it. It’s been sitting in my room and I’m too afraid to eat it, I also hate having food in my room as it scares me!

    (2) Write a blog post at least once a week.

    (3) Gain weight at weigh-in at least once this month, PLUS maintain/gain for another week. So max I can lose is 2 out of 4 weeks.

    (4) Get through another month without self harm (in terms of cutting of scratching)

    (5) Moisturise at least once a week this month. Caring for my body is so scary as I think I don’t deserve it, but I’ve got to challenge these thoughts right?

    That’s all for this month, I have no idea whether this will be helpful or not, but I figured I’d give it a go and see. I really hope I manage to achieve at least some of these, at the end of the month I’ll tell you how it went and set more goals if I found it helpful!

    Hope you’re all ok and sorry for my lack of posting, depression and anorexia are bitches but I will fight them.

    Thanks for reading.

    A meaningful goodbye

    Today was a hard day, because I had to say goodbye to my psychologist, whom we will call L.

    We exchanged goodbye letters and a few tears were shed, but I’ll never forget what she has taught me and I will forever remember our time together. It is so sad and hard saying goodbye, but this isn’t the end: I am still in recovery and on an ever changing journey, and you never know, one day our paths might meet again.

    Here is my letter to L.

    Dear L,
    It’s hard to know where to start.
    Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me, you’ve helped me so much and made me realise that I am not alone. There are two types of people in this world: those who know their limits and accept them, and those who know their limits but do not let that stop them or define who they are. I may be more susceptible to mental health issues than others, but you’ve assured me that things can change and that, although it hard, you can always overcome your issues.
    I might not easily find the ‘middle ground’ that we oh so love, but, like anything, hard work and practice should get me there.
    I’m not saying all my problems are sorted and I’m going to waltz myself through life, because that is unrealistic. I still have some way to go, but you have helped me open up doors I didn’t even realise were there. You’ve helped me realise things I felt or thought that I didn’t even realise I felt. And most importantly, you’ve been there for me. You never gave up on me and for that I can never thank you enough.
    You’ve allowed me to talk through my fears, no matter how small or silly they may seem, and you never judged me.
    Goodbyes are hard and I hate them, because you really have changed my path or at least helped me along the right one. Without your incredible support who knows where I’d be now?
    Goodbyes are hard at the best of times, but it’s even harder when the person you have to say goodbye to has made such a big impact on your life. I trust you more than I trust anyone except maybe my mum, and it is hard to leave that.
    I will forever remember our times together; from laughing about the elusive middle ground to shedding a few tears. But as you say, that only strengthened how close we felt and how we were able to connect.
    You must get heaps of patients thanking you and telling y how much you’ve helped them, big I just had to say it because it’s the genuine truth. We all thank people who, let’s face it, we don’t particularly like or value, but my thank you is sincere and I honestly could never thank you enough.
    And finally, I hope you have an absolutely incredible time in X. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience and a new and exciting chapter of your life.
    I know we don’t talk much about you in our sessions, but I really hope you live a happy and fulfilled life, because you really deserve it. You’ve given me a chance and I’m sure you’ve done the same for many others, so don’t forget to put yourself first and have some fun.
    Life is too short to worry about the small things, that’s what you’ve taught me. And for every bad there is a good, so I’ll try hard not to forget that.
    Thank you ever so much for everything you’ve done for me, and I wish you all the very best.”

    And here’s poem I wrote for her representing my journey through our time together from first day of therapy to last:

    Day 1 A scared and frightened girl
    Day 2 Another day gone
    Day 3 She nervously looked away
    Day 4 She cried she’d never belong

    Day 5 Scared, she opened her mouth
    Day 6 Began to talk
    Day 7 Let unleash the demons within
    Day 8 Nothing went wrong

    Day 9 She finally looked your way
    Day 10 Smiled
    Day 11 She took comfort from your words
    Day 12 The time was worth your while

    Day 13 progress began to take its place
    Day 14 A glimmer of hope finally found
    Day 15 She had a good night’s sleep
    Day 16 Their friendship, tightly bound

    Day 17 The time came to say goodbye
    Day 18 But there was no time for tears
    Day 19 For throughout all the pain
    Day 20 You were always by my side

    One of my favourite quotes from her letter to me:
    “I hope you can continue this journey you have taken the courage to begin. If in doubt, be nice to yourself, compassion at the times we feel in pain, have stumbled, made mistakes are important. Practice this new voice, ‘I am nice, good, likeable’ and remember THE MIDDLE GROUND!”

    2015/01/img_7309.jpg

    I drew her this. It may look simple enough, but the meaning behind it was the important thing. She gave me hope when I had none, and she’s helped me grow in so many ways. I drew this in biro without any guidelines or rubbings out to challenge my perfectionism just for her. I think she welled up a bit then.

    If you’re reading this L, I truly hope you liked my essay of a goodbye letter, drawing and poem, and the present. You truly are incredible. I’ll miss you but I’ll be thinking of you and you’ve adventures. I won’t forget you and I hope you don’t forget me. Thank you for everything.

    Anyway, so I have a new therapist/psychologist figure who we’ll call S, who I’ve met briefly but not had a session with yet. Fingers crossed things go ok, though even if it all went terribly I am still thankful for the wonderful help and support of L these last 6 months and beyond.

    Thanks for reading.

    Today I am thankful

    Today, as you are probably already aware, is Christmas Day.
    And I want to celebrate all that I am thankful for.
    I am obviously thankful for my presents which are all lovely, but there are so many more important things that need celebrating and we might take for granted in day to day life.

    I am thankful for my family, for their ever-supporting presence and their kindness and love. Yes, sometimes we may argue or my sisters might tease me, but at the end of the day I love them all the same.

    I am thankful for my friends, I may not have many but the few who stuck by me are fantastic and have never faltered in their unconditional support. They are there to have a good laugh with, but are also a shoulder to cry on through tough times. I couldn’t wish for anything better.

    Without my friends and family I would never have come so far in recovery, so I thank them most of all.

    I am thankful for not only material things such as having a roof over my head, being able to go to a good school etc., but I’m also thankful for unsaid, non-psychical things.

    I am thankful for my recovery. No matter how hard, no matter how many times I just want to be thin again, no matter how hard I may find it, it was the best choice I ever made. At times I feel like it wasn’t, that I should never have tried, but I know that is my demons talking, and I will not listen.

    I am thankful for today. Seeing all my family is wonderful, and the excitement of Christmas is somewhat contagious. Yes I may still have underlying feelings of sadness and worthlessness, but I will not let them ruin this day. No. This day is a special one.

    My aim is to make every day a special one like today.

    I was worried about posting this, for fear of people thinking I was “lame”. I know if my sisters saw something like this they would laugh and roll their eyes, but why should being greatful and actually taking a moment to appreciate what we have a bad thing? It shouldn’t be, if everyone took the time to notice the small things in day today life and slowed down just that little bit, I think we would all be much better off.
    And thus I concluded to publish this post anyway, doubts or no doubts, because at the end of the day if I never tried, how would I know what the reaction would be.

    Merry Christmas everyone, I hope today is a good day, and today really try to beat your demons because you do deserve happiness. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, everyone deserves a second chance.

    Thanks for reading.