Hello ladies! I report to you from my bed at an un-godly hour. Yup….I’m wide awake again, after sleeping in true marathon style over the weekend. Last week, extreme fatigue ruined my days and now I’m wide-eyed and energised…..hmmm….I have the true genetic makeup of an insomniac with narcoleptic tendencies!!
Now, before I go on, my post may be triggering for those with EDs or those trying to recover. Please don’t read on if you start to feel negative in any way because A) life’s too short and B) because I love you all!
Anyhow, I’m writing this post because I’d like to talk about TRIGGERS themselves. Now I know a lot of bloggies are in recovery from an ED of some sort, and one thing that can make the journey to health much more difficult, are triggers that ultimately lead to disordered behaviour.
When I was trying to heal myself after many years of anorexia, I sometimes felt that there was no way out. I wanted to get better but then someone mentions. “you’re looking well” and BAM! Three weeks later you’re looking a little pale again. You think, “Sod it! I’ll have that piece of cake”, and before you know it, you’re sinking into a place of immense guilt. You eat some avocado, PB or bread and all of a sudden you’re standing in front of the mirror, disgusted at what you’ve become…..
It’s a very sad, upsetting place to be and for those who are going through this turmoil every single day, just know that change is possible. Life can be amazing, even if you have to take yourself away from certain situations to avoid triggering negative thought processes.
I remember that stage in my recovery so well. Being asked to write down the things that made me feel like I needed to let my undernourished frame diminish some more. Conflicts all the time spinning through my brain. “I want to have babies, I need to get better”, and opposing those, “Why did I eat that sandwich?” Why couldn’t I have eaten something lighter instead?”
Talk about torture!! You eat to get better but then comments about your regaining health trigger relapse. Then before long, people’s worried frowns trigger a further downward spiral. If I showed any form of decline, my sense of self worth would plummet as soon as my family expressed concern. I mean, what type of daughter puts her parents through all that worry? And then I couldn’t eat because I felt bad about myself…..and so the cycle perpetuates itself…..
Just as foods themselves can trigger a binge or a subsequent,guilt-ridden starvation, so too can words, pictures, people, life events…..everyone has their own triggers.
For me, stress has always played a major part in my ED. During my exams, I who knew if I’d pass or fail but one thing that was certain is that if I didn’t eat, I’d be able to shrink away. And since I started working, yes, I’ve many experiences of when a bad day in the surgery has left me feeling….uhm….fat!
As I write this post, it feels like I am making reference to a character in a story. A deeply saddened, quiet girl, living a grey life. I can’t believe it was me. I remember my dad saying that I’d lost the sparkle in my eye…….
Looking back on things, the path to recovery is fraught with triggers. Seeing skinny celebs in magazines could be your trigger. Or how about that first bite of a cookie? Do you throw the empty packet in the garbage, feeling more empty than before?
The most difficult part of my journey was discovering that sometimes, people around you can trigger your negative behaviour. I had to distance myself from a previously close friend once I had realised that our friendship was draining me in many ways. I value my friendships so much, however, surrounding yourself with positive, energising people definitely helps to put a smile on your face.
Gosh….I ramble so much! What I’m trying to say is that if you are in recovery, there will be many bumps in the road. You’ll cry, scream, eat a little, eat a lot. People will say the wrong thing and so will you…but keep talking. If you always feel bad about yourself when you’re around a particular person, you may need to give your social circle a shuffle around. You will make amazing friends along the way, including those in the blogosphere, who, I must say, are some of the most caring and compassionate individuals I’ve ever “met”.
Buy magazines that feature healthy models or inspiring people. I think it has only been a recent thing for me to be able to read a fashion magazine and actually feel excited to hit the shops as opposed to feeling huge in comparison to skeletal catwalk models….
….like I said, I’m a different, much happier person these days. In fact, I’ve never been happier. I still have bad days but doesn’t anyone? Most days are good ones now. I love a man more than I ever thought possible and I look forward to cooking for him in the evenings. I’m living a whole new, exciting life
I love you all. Remember that you’re amazing and that you can do anything you put your mind to. Treat yourself. Wrap yourself in cotton wool for a bit. Step back from the things that consistently trigger destructive behaviour or bad thoughts. If you wanna be vegan, be vegan! If you wanna much on a huge steak- do it!
I promise you, breaking free has been the hardest but most liberating part of my life…..
……and if you’re not asleep by now then I’d be surprised!
Love to all xxxxx