Balancing States of Mind

"Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life."

-

Robin Sharma (via severs)

This hit me like a brick…

(via knitting-books)

(Source: pureblyss, via collectingmij)

Letters: Ancient hatred stalks the land once more

If you think this doesn’t concern you, you are wrong. It concerns all of us. 

This is happening right here and right now in our society and it is terrifying. 

Do we allow this segregation and hatred to continue or do WE STAND TOGETHER FOR PEACE?

Main Ways I Healed My Body Image

Body image, genuinely, has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. It is all about how you feel, and your relationship to yourself. It comes from the inside, and is largely a spiritual and emotional journey. I am never going to say that healing your body image is EASY, but it is important, and very possible.

Here is what helped me:

1. Seeing “weaknesses” as strengths. Reframe Reframe Reframe! Perspective shifts are totally possible and transformative. Weight is not a weakness, it is genuine strength. Healing and gaining weight are not failures, they are so amazing and important and cool.

Take the thing you hated, and see it as a strength. Brave, imperfect, unique, mangled, dimpled, sturdy, and amazing. Take time to see other people that way as well. See other people in all their imperfection and find the inherent beauty. It is always there. And then you’ll start doing it for you too. The issue is… often instead of really going for and changing the way we frame our body image, we resist it on the grounds of what we fear other people think….

2. It truly DOES NOT MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. We get in our own way worrying what other people will think of us when…. [fill in the blank]. Honestly… who the fuck cares? It doesn’t matter what people think. I know that this is hard to do. I know that sometimes when people get up in your face, it’ll hurt. But at the end of the day, what other people think doesn’t actually matter AT ALL. We just feel like it does. (We also don’t know what other people think).

3. Buy bigger clothes. I kid you not… Buy bigger clothes. Once you are wearing clothes that fit you… you aren’t too big at all. I know this is easier said than done. I know that if you can’t find anything that fits, it is discouraging. But when you are wearing clothes that are too small, of COURSE you feel like “you aren’t right”. But guess what… it is just the clothes. They are too damn small. You are just right.

4. Be Irrational. If loving yourself as you are seems crazy to you: be crazy. Irrational and unconditional self-love is the way to go. I said to myself a while ago: I am gonna love myself like a psycho. Irrationally and fully. That can help you override the “but I SHOULDN’T love myself like THIS”. Yes you should. Because now, you love yourself the way your are wholly, fully and IRRATIONALLY (soon it won’t be so irrational to you.)

Anonymous asked: how does ip help you :s

Hey :)

I answered this not too long ago here

The reason I go IP for a few days a month: I have had many long admissions to hospital- ranging from a few months to a couple years at a time. Often with just days inbetween. The real difficulty for me has never been about GETTING WELL, but continuing to do well once I am home and taking responsibility for my own recovery.

About 9/10 years ago, the focus of my treatment shifted completely and became not about recovery but about “living safely with anorexia” which is what I have been trying to do. I’ve had a few admissions to hospital but my treatment has primarily been in the community.

About 3-4 years ago when I started working with my current treatment team, something shifted. I don’t know what but SOMETHING. I already knew that ”living safely with anorexia” was NO quality of life but for the first time, it was hitting me hard how impaired my life was as physical consequences of being so unwell kicked in (multiple stress fractures, nerve damage in my spinal chord, etc).

I decided I wanted MORE.

(sorry for the long rambly answer)

Basically, since then, I’ve stayed pretty stuck and very rigid with my behaviours. I spent a few months IP when my physical health deteriorated but really wasn’t able to make much changes whilst IP other than letting my body heal (I had a broken leg and two broken wrists).

It was just gradual changes since then that led to last winter- my weight jumping up a bit and not fighting to lose it (as HARD as that was), working in therapy, setting goals with my dietitian about the things I wanted to bring into my life as opposed to any kind of meal plan (for me, this seems to be working- a post for another day if anyone is interested).

This all paints a rosy picture so you are probably still wondering why I go IP.

Dec/Jan of last year, something clicked in my head. Up until then, I’d still been clinging to my eating disorder and was doing this little dance with a pseudo-recovery where I just couldn’t quite let go.

I wish I could tell you what changed or how but SOMETHING changed and I started walking forwards and there was NO turning back. It felt like I had closed a door and although I had no idea what direction to move or even if I COULD move…. I couldn’t stand still, I had to keep going.

It has been REALLY tough. And I started to crumble. I tried to stop walking (my exercise of choice) and by 4pm that day, I literally leapt out of a moving car and went for a run because my legs would not stay still any longer. Day 2 ended up with me literally sitting on my hands and twitching all day before again, exploding and running late into the night. I tried to stop weighing myself completely and became petrified of wearing anything but the same pair of jeans for 6 weeks straight. By which point, I had no sense of what my body looked like or felt like- it seemed to expand and shrink as I watched it in the most surreal way (which is still happening- it’s bloody terrifying).

I started to struggle with urges and thoughts I haven’t dealt with for years, wasn’t sleeping, was ending up walking even more in an attempt to “not walk” my rigid route….and because I was so anxious not knowing my weight, I became even more rigid and obsessive about what I was eating. 

Basically, everything I was trying was just blowing up in my face. 

Cue: hopelesness, depression, panic attacks, despair, suicidal thoughts

Antidote for the above: reconnecting with the part of me that made the decision to move forward, no matter what. The part of me that WANTS FULL RECOVERY and believes that it’s possible. The part of me that knows that I am more than numbers and labels and the part of me that wants to be in this world because I believe it’s a magical place. And I want to experience it. 

It’s really hard for me to stay connected to that part of me when I am drowning in my own thoughts. When each day feels like a lifetime and any “moments of freedom” feel so small and insignificant to the prison I am living in. 

There are things that I am starting to notice really help me “reconnect” with that part of me, but the main thing so far has been other people.

I see support workers through the week which gives me a chance to not only get support for whatever is going on but also do take the risk of doing things that then open my eyes to the possibility of more freedom and life beyond my illness- we go out for lunch or to my dance classes. Things that make me feel LIKE ME and that I want to be in the life I am creating for myself.

The IP admissions are part of that… It’s a more intensive kind of support where I can rest/relax and just let others help in a way I find really difficult to do for longer than a few days. I have company and support and a BREAK from having to plan meals or do all my routines and rituals and walks and it too just gives me a chance to “come home” into myself again.

And that, overall, is why I am still, (somehow)  moving forward.

Sorry- that was really long.

Hope that makes sense :)

Anonymous asked: How did your review go? What happened?

It was fine, thanks!

My reviews never seem to take the normal format of “everyone from the team” meeting and discussing things all together (medical, dietitian, psychology assistants, etc) because of how my treatment is now managed long-term (I see a team of external support workers instead of the psychology assistants now- they work very closely with my treatment team). I haven’t had medical monitoring since this time last year (LONG STORY) and it was too short notice for the dietitian to attend.

So it was just me and my therapist discussing overall how things are going, the frequency of our contact and whether that is helpful and something we should continue- we both think that it definitely IS. So no changes there but she mentioned a few new ideas she wants to try.

Then there are the weekends in IP which I was worried about because I just had my last of the 3 we had initially arranged with the hospital so there’s been a lot of uncertainty for me around whether this would continue. The conversation was a little confusing and I am not too clear about what my T thinks- the way she asked me to speak first and then say whether I wanted them to continue made me wonder what her thoughts would have been if I had said something else. But we agreed that the weekends ARE helping right now so she is going to ask for another set number before we review them again.

That was that really….!

"

There is this stage
in recovery
where slipping back
and following
your disorders rules
and regulations
is no longer
something that you are
fooled into
thinking is what
you should
or even want
to do, but yet
you still find yourself
stepping down
the stones of the footpath
that you wore out
long ago.

Do not think that this
makes you weak
or bad
because the steps forward
hide themselves
in small measures
that one day
will lead you
where you want
to be.

Do not listen to anyone
who tells you
you are not trying
and do not
compare yourself
to the steps
of others
who wear different shoes
on different feet
to your own.

"

- N.J., This is your recovery.

live-and-heal:

Sometimes I think that what holds us back from committing fully to recovery is the fear that without a disorder we would be just… ordinary. Nothing and nobody.

But we need to realise that overcoming mental illness makes us fucking extraordinary.

That should be our anchor, motivation and secret super-power.

….but then that is based on the assumption that an eating disorder makes you “something” and “somebody” when the reality is that all it does is strip away anything remotely resembling a human being and turn you into a shell of a person, a mere puppet, that is reduced to numbers and labels and just another face in the masses of eating disordered populations. It turns you into nobody. Recovery allows you to discover who you are without your illness and become SOMEBODY.

(via live-and-heal)