body image · mental health

How to speak up without flipping out or running away.

Or more precisely, hiding away into the chair, even though they can still see you, at least you avoided confrontation right?

I had another little ‘moment’ today. One of those moments that makes me think ‘yes! – this is different!’ Infact, I’ve had about 3 of those moments over the last 3 days. So, the reading, the blogging, the therapy is really doing something. I am not acting in the ways I used to and the outcome is goood.

I had to go to a dinner party yesterday evening and while I was a little hesitant for my own reasons (more on that later), I was in a fairly good mood and even state of mind. It was during this party though that an unexpected event occurred and I had a welcome response to it.

For those of you who suffer from poor boundaries, anger issues or emotional sensitivity – where your emotions are just 100mph ahead of you and feel so strong and intense that you end up imploding or exploding before you even had a chance to realise wtf just happened – this is probably something that you’ll understand.

Sitting next to a distant family member, my sister comes over for conversation politely asking her questions to which she was met with a rude, ruthless weight comment (meanwhile my brain is thinking; why are some women so bitchy??). As it’s not the first time she’s said something like that my sister tries to tell her to shut up by saying ‘that’s not the first time you’ve said that. But no, that didn’t stop this mean girl, she went in with ‘yes but you’ve gone MORE BIG’. Immediately, I felt the anger surge, you know the ‘rush’ in your body that forces you to do something in response to whatever’s just happened? In DBT they teach you to notice the physical sensations because they are the ‘signals’ tied to the emotions. This ‘rush’ tells me ‘I am angry’ and I am angry because something has happened. Now in the past, I would end up outbursting, or being so afraid of my outburts, I would stay quiet and stew in my own rage silently for hours, replaying whatever someone had ‘said’ or ‘did’ that made me that way. Either way, it was unhealthy.

If you suffer from ‘anger issues’ it’s never about removing anger, or never experiencing it again, it’s what you do with it. So what my surge of anger would have had me do was yell out: HEY! DON’T BE A BITCH! What I actually did was: Notice the anger, realise this was a situation that needed dealing with and whispered into mean girls ear ‘Don’t say things like that to her because it upsets her.’ To which she acted surprised and went quiet. While I got to walk away with a (try to say something now psshhhh).

Being able to stick up for yourself and for others in situations is so important and for so many years my mental state hasn’t let me do that in an effective way. Today was one of the first times I’ve been able to do that and without it being planned.

And, I am damn glad that I did.

 

 

 

body image · borderline personality disorder · mental health

On Suicide & my eating disorder.

Today has been a pretty loaded day for me. I’ve been in a strange headspace the past week, with the attacks in London and me trying to improve my spirituality I’ve been on a strange parallel between recovery and the dark side of life. It seems the more spiritually inclined I am becoming the more disinterested I am becoming in life. Now I don’t mean that in a depressive way although it sounds depressing, I mean, I feel as if I can see the fragile nature of this world and the cruel attacks around us carried out everyday and I just do not feel motivated to worry about the things I once worried about, they just seem frivolous in comparison. I used to worry about finding the right person, heck I even talk about it on this blog, finding something I’m passionate about etc. etc. and yes, I want those things if they come to me, if they don’t, I’m just not phased as much. There is so much pain around me, just in the same city, let alone the rest of the world, that it just doesn’t seem as much of an agenda as it did before. I’ve cried nearly everyday this week, through an increasing amount of spiritual connection and because of all of the attacks and injustices that have happened in the UK this month (for one – Grenfell tower was NOT an accident btw). I mourn for the lives lost, for the fear-mongering that the media carries out everyday, I mourn for people who are attacked as a result of the lies they print. I hate that it has come to this, but come to this it has. All the while we go to work, live our lives trying to gain some sense of stability in this madness, and then I have a whole lot of madness inside my brain to deal with as well.

Suicide reared it’s ugly head today, twice, almost as if it was a theme for the day. An old best friend of mine got in touch with me after over a year of not speaking. She lives in another country and we’ve never met but we connected years back on a very deep level. This is mainly because her BPD symptoms and issues branching off of BPD are the most similar to mine that I have ever come across. Now I’m sure most of the people who are reading these MH blogs know that even though 2 people can be diagnosed with the same disorder, they can manifest in completely different ways. This can happen even more so in BPD as there’s a whole host of criteria that you can meet and since you only need 5 out of 9 that vary, it’s almost like a ‘pick and mix’ bag of symptoms. But when I speak to her, I can tell her anything that I’m feeling/experiencing and she relates totally, and it’s the same for her when she talks to me.

The thing that really hurts me though is that she experiences it x100 in comparison to me. I’m not invalidating my experience or pain, it really is that way. Imagine my pain when she messages me this morning, when I’m already stressed because I was running an hour late to work and tells me she had been depressed as usual (a normal topic of conversation for us) but that she had made another suicide attempt a few days ago.

The worst thing about it was how heavy my heart feels for her, and yet, I can do absolutely nothing. She said she is just existing and all I could tell her was that for now, just exist. I couldn’t say why, I knew if I told her things will get better it just wouldn’t matter right now. I have been suicidal, I’ve been there, I made an attempt when I was 16, and a close to-attempt at 14. When you’re in that much pain you don’t care about the next minute of your life, let alone ‘sticking it out because at some abstract time in your future-I-can’t-tell-you-when’ it’ll get better, which both of you know isn’t even a guarantee.  I can’t make her want to live, and that’s what hurts the most.

So I get into work and try to make it as normal of a day as I can, but I was already exhausted by the long journey (90 mins late!) I had to use my skills on the way because being late causes me anxiety and coupled with the fact I haven’t had much sleep this week. While I try to make it through to 5pm, I get a call at around 4 by a psychologist telling me a patient is coming in to where I work and that they’re suicidal and need to be seen by someone to help decide whether they need to be sent to A&E. I speak to a Dr, who agrees to call the psych back. It upsets me so much, knowing that there are people out there in so much pain, that they want to take their own life. Yes, I struggle with my moods, I don’t sleep well, my brain runs on a 100mph, it feels like I have 2 minds and I try hard to appear normal and live a normal life when all I want to is to act on urges and destruct whenever I’m stressed and act on my sex and love addiction on top of it. What I ate at lunch triggered me, I didn’t have breakfast and I had a reasonable portion, but you know when you eat and you can see your belly poking out a little since you just ate? I realised now, the harsh truth, that I am being triggered by my body. I was triggered by the appearance all day, it was on my mind from the moment I finished my meal. I felt guilty for eating what I did, and I hated the sight of it. I decided I’m not having dinner to make up for it. I know now, that I really do have an eating disorder and the worst thing is, I don’t even know if I want to make the effort to fight it right now. It just feels like one more ‘issue’ on top of everything else I’m trying to deal with. 

I don’t want to go through the process of convincing myself that I should eat, that it’s okay, it won’t make me huge. I just don’t have the energy today. It’s not just a ‘weird eating phase’ anymore. I looked at my thighs the other day and the sight of them stressed me out repeatedly. They need to be thinner, they need to be thinner. I surveyed women in their summer clothes today, how ‘her belly looks flatter than mine’, ‘her thighs are thin and she’s fine’ and on and on my brain goes at me relentlessly. I hate that I can’t just eat like I used to. The times I do eat like yesterday, I have to fight thoughts about how bad of an idea it was, how it’ll make me gain weight, how I’ll regret it when I see on the scales I’ve put on weight. I check my weight on the scales in the bathroom everyday, and I mirror check to the point my sister asked me two nights ago whether I was anorexic because ‘that’s what anorexic people do’. She didn’t even mean to tease me, she was genuinely asking me that because I do it so often (multiple times a day I lift my top and ‘check’ how my stomach’s looking.

I’m so done with today. I know I will make a post about why I don’t think suicide is the way out, because even despite our struggles, it really isn’t. There is life to live for, even with mental illness. For now, all I will say is, if you have even 5 minutes where you are or you were happy, it is worth it.

 

 

 

body image · borderline personality disorder · mental health

‘Are you puking up your food?’

Was a genuine question I was asked today. As if the ‘skinny’ comments were not enough. The thing is, I still don’t think I am THAT skinny, as I have been surverying women more lately (I don’t remember ever doing this) I notice their thighs and if they’re slimmer than mine. And yes, I have seen women the same height and they’re much slimmer than me, I wonder, do they get comments too? If they can be slim surely I can be too?

I apologise if this isn’t projecting body positivity or a healthy message, I just want to relate my experience today. I was told I was too ‘slim’ again so I stuck up for myself and said I like the way that I am and that I am HAPPY with myself. I also said it’s a personal thing (aka my business). But she looked at me and asked me whether I was puking up my food, to which I said, are you asking me if I have an eating disorder? I didn’t expect her to straight up say yes, but she did. She then said ‘or if it’s getting to that stage.’

I said no, no it’s not and that I’m fine. Although in my head the train of thought was more like ‘well even if it was I wouldn’t flat out admit it like that anyway!’. The thing is, I know her and I know she wasn’t trying to be mean or a bitch or anything like that, I think she was genuinely concerned but it was just done in the worst way.

I’m not going to lie, I put on a couple of pounds and even though I’m still underweight, I hate that I did. I’ve thought about exercising. I HATE exercising, but I’ve looked up high calorie burning exercises and how I’m going to do that and how no one will know and screw them and what they think, I will be as slim as I want, damnit.

I have NO idea how I got into this loop, but I do know that somewhere deep down, this doesn’t have to do with food, or weight, or calories as much as it sounds. I just don’t know what else it does have to do with. Sure, I like the way I look when I’m slimmer but since when did I get that superficial or reliant on my weight? I have never had that issue before, in the past there were times I would get closer to the next dress size up, my jeans would be snugger and all of that good stuff and I really didn’t care. I don’t know what’s changed.

Thankfully, I have a beautiful friend who I spoke to on the phone and she affirmed that it seems a lot of these comments have to do with their own insecurity. I could safely tell her that while I don’t think I have an eating disorder (to be discussed with my psychologist soon) I was dreading getting to a healthy weight because it meant putting weight on. She is so validating in that all she did was mirror back what I said to ensure she understood and that was it. No judgement, no advice, no ‘suggestions.’ Sometimes, all you need is for someone to hear you and contain that. I am lucky to have her.

I want to add that I am genuinely trying, I don’t agree with this mentality or with restricting behaviours at all. I’ve had a lot of water today, and just made a fruit and veg smoothie to make sure I try to stay physically and mentally healthy by giving my body what it needs. I am sure with therapy this can be worked through.

 

body image · mental health

Body Image Bitches.

Yes, they exist. Use this label I want to make it a thing. It needs to be a thing.

Well this post is nothing short of a rant. Since Monday I have everyday without fail had someone comment on how ‘thin’ I am. How I’ve ‘lost weight’, how ‘tiny’ I am. How ‘I didn’t need to lose weight’. And guess who it came from? Yep, alllll women. Why do some women feel another woman’s body is her business? I don’t know. These are who I am referring to as a Body image BITCH.

This my friend is someone who most likely  is unhappy about her own weight and so feels the need to project this onto you. Yes seeing how ‘slim’ you are or how much ‘boob’ you have, or how you have nice ‘hips’ or whatever the scenario is hurts them to their rotten jealous little core. So what do they do? Make a comment to try to get you to feel bad too of course. After all, if they can’t work on bringing themselves up they might as well try and bring you down instead!

The worst part of it all is these are all people I am otherwise on friendly terms with. Whilst standing with one such ‘friend’ colleague she made the comment to me today about ‘how tiny I am’ to which I said thanks?!? ‘You must be a size 4’ ‘No I’m not’ ‘No you must be.’ Right because somewhere along the line my dress size became your business and I had to lie about it and/or even tell you it as if I’m sorry for something? So what if I was a size 4 WTF does that have to do with anyone but me??

I am not going to get into sizes here because women are beautiful whatever size they are. We talk a lot about fat shaming but I want to point out how many other people think it’s okay to call any ‘skinny’ girl (derogatory term in itself) ‘anorexic’. Why is it still okay to skinny shame?? Do they realise some people are naturally like that?

I know I have my own inner issues to deal with my weight as I still don’t want it to go up from my underweight size. But I have been eating. I have my water, my coffee with sugar, my chunky cookies, rice (lots of it) and vitamins. So fuck them.

I would never comment on someone else’s size, because quite frankly  that is disrespectful.  And they don’t need MY permission to feel beautiful as if once they reach a size or shape I’m happy with now they’re allowed to feel good about themselves. You go on ahead feeling beautiful. Whatever shape you are. Fuck these BIB’s.