Posts Tagged ‘self-acceptance’

The actions that go with the words

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Tonight, I am painting my nails red and wrapping myself in blankets. I wrote a post, this morning, and disregarded it immediately because I did not work out what giving myself a chance actually meant.

Giving myself a chance

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

There are two sides to this post.

I considered splitting it down the middle – a post for each – because the one seemed so disparate from the other – but they seem to go hand in hand.

It has been that kind of month. Half shot through with a dizzying energy and an indescribable sense of awe; half like a nightmare that I didn’t ever expect to find myself in.

I have struggled to reconcile the differences. To have these sudden moments when I step out of myself and realise that, shit, I actually feel hug-the-world happy; and then a few days later, wake up with aching post binge limbs and the sense that I’m sinking.


Or not.

There is a tug of war in the middle. A part of me that doesn’t trust I deserve this kind of happiness and therefore pushes me towards self destruct. That expects rejection and acts out the expectation until it eventually takes place…


This is the relationship between the two sides. How they co-exist despite the seeming contradiction. I have been playing out old patterns, without even realising it, and in the process, got myself stuck.

And so, I can keep the circle going, which is what the eating disorder is trying it’s damndest to achieve; or, I can step out of the loop and ask myself whether I really want to keep going round and round and round –

Or if I’m prepared to give myself a chance

Snapped. Happy.

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

I have taken – and been taken in – a lot of photos this holiday.

This is new for me.

I don’t have many images to remind me of the past 20 years, either because they were barren of experience, or because the thought of being photographed was obscene.

And So This Is Me

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a girl who spent every minute of her life thinking about food –

I am not sure where I am anymore.

From the moment she woke up, to the moment she went to sleep, it either dominated her thoughts or tugged at the edge of them so that, in returning to the thought, she realised she’d been thinking about it all along.

It has only been two years since I actively moved towards recovery, and the length of time before this is obscene.

Wallowing. And flat hunting.

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I have been flat hunting this weekend.

It has sapped my energy leaving me deflated and overwhelmed.

It’s not the 100 people that are vying for each room that’s got me worried; it’s the revival of a few deep seated insecurities and the sense that I am floundering out of my depth. Yet again. I have caught up, in some respects, but scratch the surface and there is a great big hole –

The “I don’t care” voice

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I am starting a new job on Wednesday. It’s the first time I’ve gone into a new job without the eating disorder to lean on. It was, I am beginning to recognise, a big part of my defence against the world and so I feel rather exposed venturing out on my own. If it all goes wrong, I will have nothing to make me feel better and nothing else to blame.

It is a little hard to acknowledge these thoughts.

I’ve been digging around rather uncomfortably to see if I can find out what they mean…only I already know the answer. They mean that I have to stop pretending that I don’t care.

Body Image: A New Perspective

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

My attempts to reconcile me and my body have taken an interesting turn over the past few weeks. I have begun to realise that my response to my body does not derive from a vision; it begins, instead, at the pit of my gut. I am feeling my appearance, rather than seeing it – which might explain why I have been finding it so hard.

It is not the size of my leg or the shape of my arm that make the relationship difficult; it’s the emotional response that’s messy. The lack of differentiation between what I feel and what I see.

Instead of being objective and basing my body-perception on facts and realities, I have been building it on far more precarious grounds; and, by reinforcing these through my emotional responses, all sense of perspective has been covered up.

This means that when I am told to look in the mirror and focus on my ‘good points’, I zoom straight past “I have nice eyes” or “I like the colour of my hair” and nose-dive into the feeling instead. It has been interesting to observe what these are:

Being Beth

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

When I was a child, I wanted to be Beth from Little Women.  I had forgotten just how much I wanted to be Beth, from Little Women, until I was flicking through a quotation dictionary and stumbled over this quote:

“I am angry nearly every day of my life….but I have learned not to show it; and I still hope to learn not to feel it, though it may take me another forty years to do so.”

(Chapter 8, Louisa Alcott)

For anyone who has not read Little Women, it’s the story of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and written in the 19th century.  I can only remember the plot in fragments; but it is hung on the girls’ characters, and their presence, for me, persists. Meg is the eldest and most sensible; Jo, a hare-brained creative; Amy, blonde and pretty; and Beth, goodness incarnate.

Without Which I Would Not Be Me

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I have been re-writing my CV recently. It is clean, sparse, and formulaic. I have done a lot, in a relatively short space of time, but the lot feels overshadowed by the glaring delay. Plus, my biggest achievement remains unsaid.

I’m not too sure how well my background would go down. Whether it would be considered a liability or, as I’m beginning to view it, a difficult journey, without which I would not be who I am.

Without which I would not be me.

Body Image: Missing A Link

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Since deciding that my eating disorder was about far more than body image (which I’ll stand by); and determining that the outside was a reflection of the struggles which were taking place within (yes, again), I seem to have cut off any consideration of my appearance and swung straight to the other extreme.

If I understand that my perception can get distorted; and I know that it’s all tied into how I feel about myself; and I have a whole bag full of CBT tricks to prove that no, I can’t possibly be fat with my BMI or yes, the reason I feel uncomfortable now is because I was used to being so unnaturally thin…

Well then, it’s all hunky-dory, really, isn’t it, and there’s clearly nothing to dwell on?


In which I learn about ‘Positive Disintegration’

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

My friend Maria tweeted me this article on personality; and for those not on twitter, I thought it might be helpful to bring it over here. There are lots of themes, in the content, that correspond scarily to what’s going on in my head.

The basic premise is that in the quest for a fixed sense of self, we’re chasing a red herring or creating the next trap; because personality is fluid, the emphasis better placed on experience, instead of trying to hone in on descriptions -and fixed points – and an exact, unwavering sense of exactly who I am:

“The irony is that the more you seek to identify who you are, the more likely that you feel fragile about yourself. There is an inverse correlation between this question and your comfort with experiencing your life. The emphasis shouldn’t be on discovering what is buried beneath, but on facilitating the emergence of what we’d like to become.”

Ouch. I can totally relate to that.


Calling A Truce

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Today, I am not fighting.

Tomorrow – or maybe the next day – I’ll pick up whatever weapons I appear to be holding, for whatever battle is reigning that day, and the defences will be up, once again. But today, I am taking a step back – and a big shrug of my shoulders – and going with, rather than against, the flow.

That’s it.

No resistance to what will be.

No shoulds and woulds and musts; expectations, obligations, arguments, internal or otherwise –

Just a little break, in recognition of the beautiful weather; and an overdue – and unscheduled – truce.

So, I am ignoring the voice that is gabbling away in the background, creating chaos in a futile attempt to make sense. And, I have pressed pause on the need to know, and achieve, and justify every tick-tocking second and exactly how each minute has been spent. I have granted guilt – and fear – and control – a public holiday –

Because I am tired, at the moment, of fighting –

And would rather be enjoying the sun.

Permission To Fail

Monday, May 10th, 2010

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

There is a theme emerging in the quotes I keep bookmarking. They are about focusing on the process, rather than the outcome; and, enjoying the experience, rather than only celebrating success.

Making mistakes – so the message seems to go – is part of the learning, and broadens the opportunities for the great things that come next.

Lately, I have become more and more aware that I only do what I know I can do, and only try that which it is safe for me to try. That I am stifled, daily, by over-precaution, and paralysed by the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ –

Which is getting quite frustrating.

So, in the interest of science, and because there’s a convergance of opinion, I am going to give myself (at least temporarily), full permission to fail.

This involves shifting a few of the things that stop me from passing go.

1. The Fear of Reprisal


Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

My brain has slowed down today. It feels like each thought is an effort to push through and every word, too hard to write. There is a simpering panic, underneath the cotton-wool thinking; and I am grasping, desperately, at straws, frantically trying to make the chaos into sense.

I haven’t slept properly for weeks now. I end up on the sofa, at 2 am, because my head doesn’t stop whirring, even if my body is begging for rest. There are questions thundering around in there, with no answers; and the desperate need to achieve achieve achieve -

Only I have lost sight of what I am hoping to gain.

“I am an engineer and an artist”

Friday, April 30th, 2010

“i am an engineer and an artist. #iamnotmyweight” (@thisisMEssy)

I have favourited this tweet. It couldn’t be a more timely reminder, as I am struggling to figure out how life without an eating disorder works, that the words we use to define ourselves might help to change the positioning.

Given the name of my blog and the reason I started it (“this is the story of finding an identity and giving an eating disorder up”), you’d have thought I already appreciated this; but I have focussed so hard on what I’m giving up that I have neglected what I am finding. (more…)

Not Cool Enough

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

There are a few people who make me feel like I’m not quite cool enough; and I have been trying, desperately, to work out whether the problem is them – or me.

At 30, I should be beyond these schoolgirl considerations. They smack of whispering at the back of classrooms and popularity ratings and things that you would have hoped I’d grown out of…only the hurt is still as sharp and the insecurity, as gnawing.

It is frustrating that, whilst they’re getting on with life, I am still struggling to wrestle back a little self respect and reassure myself that their opinion is not the only thing that counts.

Nothing There

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I think that I have writer’s block.

I can not order my thoughts, nor find the words to express them. Sentences come – and then go – before I’ve time to pen them down; and the conclusion of any chain of thought is always a few phrases out of reach.

The panic is bubbling now, like acid.

The If-Then Voice

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

There is a little voice in my head that likes to make connections between totally unrelated things. I call it the if-then voice, because this is its favourite line.

If you don’t do that – then this will happen, OR, if you do that – then this will be the result.

It likes to predict the outcome, does the if-then voice. It likes to consider any action – or non action – in terms of what will come next and in line with its own, mysterious, agenda, which is mostly around controlling me.

The Carpet Critic

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

After last year’s bathroom tile debacle, I thought I’d got to the bottom of my indecision; but choosing carpets would suggest that I haven’t got there quite yet.

After a week of yo yo-ing between ivory and almond, and learning the shift patterns of the various Carpet Right staff, I’m clearly still struggling; but, this time, I don’t think the problem is knowing what I want – it’s living with the consequence that’s holding me back.

My head doesn’t do mistakes and it’s certainly not into forgiving.

Shoulds, Buts, and the Need To Get it “Right”

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

For some time now, I have become a little anxious about the frequency with which the word “but” is creeping into my vocabulary.

“Should” has always been bit of a problem for me, but I’d kind of prided myself on my ability to problem solve and think creatively and take the initiative …

The realisation that I automatically see objections – rather than possibilities – is a little sore.