£140 therapy session: 3 seconds.

So, since I got back from my ‘other home’ (where my parents live) a couple of weeks ago I’ve been full of pent up emotions. Before leaving London I joked to my best friend that I felt sorry for the person next to me on the plane, envisaging me balling my eyes out. Then more seriously I said to her, I hope I do just break down and cry, because I knew if I didn’t, I’d just continue on with all these built up emotions, just blocking me up. I didn’t cry. I slept a lot. I felt so sad, but I didn’t cry. I never really used to cry aside from when I was drunk (okay, so the last few years that was most nights… but it’s so different..)

I’ve spent the last two weeks feeling intensely sad at points, hurting physically at the thought of not seeing my Mum for 4 months. Trying to work out finances and expectations and hours between my two jobs. Trying to actively lose weight, but not open up the doors to self loathing or criticism. I almost broke down a week ago. At a Muay Thai class. I was so exhausted, and the class was going well, but at the end I just couldn’t muster up any more mental or physical energy. I was trying so hard and felt like such a big lump. I’m pretty fit. I care about what I put into my body. I exercise a lot. I always take the stairs. I walk as much as I can. But even since I decided to get healthier, I put on weight. The ONE time in my life I was a size where I didn’t feel like ‘the fat one’, or ‘the best friend’ was when most of my calorie intake was booze. But since then I’ve sworn to myself to treat myself better. And I have, but my god, was not being ‘the big one’ amazing. I see woman much bigger than me and I think they are utterly sexy and gorgeous. And ‘gorgeous’ woman much smaller than me and wish they’d put on weight (including some friends) because I don’t think they look very well. So, it’s not that I have this perfect ideal. But when it comes to running, to jumping, to being more physically lean and agile – I feel…

Actually I didn’t mean this to be a speil about weight. And boring myself. And kinda happy with that. Because deep down, or not even so deep down I cherish how I am now. And I wouldn’t give this up to be lighter…. But it was all these thoughts that made me holding back tears. Trying so damn hard and ‘failing.’ Actually, the only thing I really had failed at was holding back tears, but I think I got away with it and only let a few out. I was hoping I’d get home and cry all those tears that needed to be cried. But no, the walls had come back up, and that uncomfortable sea of emotions insides stayed put.

Everything is good. The job situation, though stressful in terms of working out what and when, is pretty damn excellent. I am working somewhere I NEVER thought possible. 16 year old me remembers day dreaming about doing a job like this. And it’s happened. I FUCKING MADE IT HAPPEN! I’m writing. I mean, like writing, and people are saying they like my writing. And I’m making new friends. And I have such a beautiful family, and such wonderful friends. Damn – at Easter I’m meeting 2 friends from Europe and 1 from Asia to all go on a yoga retreat together. I mean WOW! How damn good is life!! But I can’t shake this sea of unsettledness. URGH! I know I can’t force that seed of contentment, but for fucks sake, how much good shit needs to happen for it to appear?! What more do I want from, and for myself? I started questioning if I’m going down a path I don’t want to be, but just think I do.. and that’s why I’m not feeling happy or excited about all these things. I wanted this move to bring me more freedom and laughter, as I’ve said before.. a lighter life. But I feel weighed down.

And that brings me to yesterday morning. I woke up to a sad text from a friend about the death of Dolores O’Riordan. Not only did I think she was an incredible, powerful, dynamic, inspirational woman, frontwoman, social commentator.. The Cranberries have been a soundtrack to my life. So, thinking of all their songs, and then playing them whilst working out, brought a FLOOD of emotions and memories. I then… put my 6kg weight on my bed. I usually do this very carefully. I did not yesterday. It bounced off and smashed right into my bedside floor light (I know.. why the fuck do I have one of those in a tiny studio flat!? NOT my choice!) It shattered loudly and instantly. I started sobbing uncontrollably. Wondering why the fuck I moved. I wanted to just be with my parents. What was I doing? I’m trying so hard to save and keep everything together and I feel like some fucking fraud. Why do I fucking bother? and the tears kept rolling. It did not feel good. I had a really important meeting at new job and my face was puffy and I called my Mum from the Underground and started crying again..

But I made it through the day. In fact, it was a really good day. I gave myself a pep talk and gave my best self to my new colleagues. The costs of fixing the stupid floor bed light are £140. Not the £500 I though it might be.. (just thought the worst obviously.) It’s still a lot to fix something I never wanted, and is stupidly unnecessary, but something changed when I smashed that glass. I don’t feel fabulous. I don’t feel content even. But something shifted. And I feel more positive. I can see the clouds opening a little. I hope they continue to open, I’m a little scared they won’t.. but I have faith that to get what you want in life there is a lot of hard work, uncertaintity, and a lot of effort, planning and emotion. And I hope, after all I’ve put in, I can sit back and enjoy it a little soon.. of course me sitting back and enjoying it means FUCKING GOING FOR IT but not having to do interviews, wait for contracts, have awkward conversations with employers. I lost my appetite in London. I have it back, but it’s different. I don’t feel obsessive. I can go to the supermarket and not overbuy. I can think about what to have for dinner on the way home, not plan for the whole week (in a food obsessed way, rather than for some real, positive reason.)

So, that’s me right now. I met a guy on Bumble. He seemed pretty cool at first, but then his chat? Kept asking me questions.. to which I’d respond, then no acknowledgement of my answers and another question.. pissed me off. I’m a conversationalist. I like to know about people and I like people to listen to what I say! So, I declined his offer for coffee in favour of a long walk with a new friend. Right choice. I sent a nice message

Oh.  So, this made me laugh a lot… in my frazzled state yesterday I cleaned up the glass mess on the floor. But most of the glass was actually in the area/rectangle box that the strip lights are in. My plan, to keep myself safe, and not step on the glass when I got out of bed was to tape cardboard over the wooden box and glass. PERFECT. I’M SO SMART.

When the handyman came round to measure up the glass needed he said ‘be really careful cleaning this up. You have gloves right?’ And it dawned on me. LIKE EVERY OTHER TIME I HAVE EVER BROKEN ANYTHING EVER I NEEDED TO CLEAN UP THE GLASS AND NOT LEAVE IT AND COVER IT WITH CARDBOARD?! I managed to stay cool and be like ‘yeh of course’ and then when he left, had a giggle fit. Just imagining all the times I’ve broken a glass; ‘fuck it, not cleaning it up, just going to tape cardboard over it to keep my feet safe.’ Hahahahahaha

So, I feel mad at myself about breaking the glass. £140. When I count every cent. When I go to three supermarkets to check out I buy the cheapest Weetabix. This is how I save and manage to travel. But part of me is like, it had to happen. So, that’s my 3 second costly therapy session.

 

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Moments

Pretty much all the time I’m content with the path I’ve chosen, even when I feel low, angry, floored by life… I still can see the bigger picture, and all that being sober has allowed me to do. But I still miss moments. I miss moments, short pockets of memories, circumstances, that I probably won’t have again sober. I miss the slightly drunken flirting. Hugely. It’s been a long time since I kissed someone, and longer since I slept with someone. My friends, may I massively emphasis, in long term relationships say, ‘well it’s better to be alone than..’ (you know how that sentence ends…) or ‘but you’re so independent and happy doing your own thing..’ But I get so lonely. I don’t want to die alone. I don’t want to be 50 and still not have slept with anyone else. I just get on, because what else can you do. But here I’m not talking about that. I’ve talked about that before. Those fun moments. Those crazy moments. That after, they may bring mental shit, confusion, or hurt, but in that moment – it’s laughter, flirting, perhaps kissing, perhaps more. But fuck, I miss that. This was sparked by seeing pictures of a guy I had a thing with years ago. The result of it was the most abusive, repulsive texts from my ex (we are all in the same music ‘scene’ which resulting in me blocking his number) and actually it’s good for me, that ‘us’ was stopped because of that. But those few nights together, just living right in that moment, was amazing. You know in a good one night stand, when you know nothing more will happen, but for that night, you both act like its something more, because at that time, you are enjoying each other, each others company. It’s not fake, but just purely present living. These thoughts opened the floodgate of memories to other nights, instances, with laughter and flirting. And its so bittersweet. I love that they happened. It makes me feel that perhaps once I could feel attractive, sexual.. damn, just even flirt again! But then the crushing sadness, that me, sober, vegan, GIANT compared to the woman here, will just have to keep the iron barriers up and the strong independent mindset for the foreseeable future. Because there is no one to make me a cup of tea. To give me a squeeze in bed. To kiss the back of my neck. To just hold my hand. And even those thoughts more often that not quickly deteriorate into remembering the pain, fear, anxiety, sadness of my last proper relationship.

It’s not enough to make me drink. Though the cravings are there. And perhaps this sounds self pitying.. I’m just musing.. getting my thoughts out. I haven’t been writing enough here, or in my paper diary. This probably should have been one for that. But here it is instead.

Comparing myself to the IG’s of people I know, or friends of friends here. Urgh. Huge groups of slim, smiling people. It scares me. Like I should be part of that, but I can’t be. I know how to be alone. I don’t know how to function in large groups like that. I don’t think I even want to be in ‘those’ groups… but I haven’t really found any like minded people here.. I hope it will come in time. I am trying. And if it doesn’t.. I’m still enjoying my own company. My explorations. I just miss companionship so much. I miss having a group of friends. I didn’t when I left London, so it’s not a recent thing. I feel self pitying here, which, just now, turned into self-loathing and could hear some faint taunting in the back of my mind.  So, maybe it’s time to sign off and sleep.

Believe 😉

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Updates…

Reading through everyone’s Xmas and NYE updates I thought I should write my own (again… I did it directly on the app and lost it!)

Anyway.. so Christmas. I went back to London and saw all my family. Overall it was wonderful but man did my codependency (wanting everyone to be happy/making sure I had enough quality time with everyone/making sure everyone had what they wanted) was off the scale meaning I felt anxious and unsettled almost all the time! I drank a lot of non alcoholic beer, wine and prosecco. Haha, by a lot I mean a bottle of each of the latter and about 6 n-a beers. (over 10 days.. I probably used to have more than that in Xmas day drunk!!!) I lost my appetite (as any of you that read my blog know I stress eat.. so when I lose my appetite something is really not good/feel super sad…)

So much confusion over being home but coming from home (to the point I couldn’t work out where I was/where my cat was… fuzzy brain)… a good friend really upset me, but other friends made an effort to see me despite it being hectic holiday season and it was really great. But all in all, I don’t think all that differs that much from everyone’s Xmas’s. A lot of joy and a lot of ahhhhhhg!! For a few nights I slept with 3 kids in my room. Was actually wonderful waking up to them all bleary eyed and having random morning chat.

I worry so much as my parents get older and they had a lot of bad news this Xmas, and I saw them trying to mask their pain – my brothers generally can’t pick up on that where as I overly do!

I probably lost weight this Xmas and made me think how every year I generally did. Most people ate and drank more. I drank more and ate less. And I loved it. Able to booze ALL the time without it being weird AND lose weight?! Hell yeh! :/

NYE – my family (aside from my parents) left that day – and my emotions and thoughts were all over the place. I had no appetite but REALLY wanted to order a vegan pizza! So, had a lightbulb moment to go for a run and then pick up pizza on the way back – hoping it would have got rid of some nervous energy and made room for food!!! It did. For me, this year, it was the perfect new year. The actual countdown was with my parents on the couch, in my trackies.

After two flights on the bus home. Nervous. A lot of pent up emotions. Sadness at not knowing when I’ll next see my family – fear, of loneliness here, of starting my new job, and just the confusion of life – and what I’m doing. The conflict of it being so strange and so normal where I live now. Being back in London, I loved it, but didn’t get the sense of belonging and home that is so innate when I’m here.

A bit of a dull post. The one that didn’t post was much better.. I think I was crying on the stairs wanting to drink. Oh fuck! I did! I accidentally had a sip of someone’s prosecco as they’d picked up mine by mistake!!!

So what did I do? I necked some non alcoholic prosecco to mask the taste of the real one! Ha ha. I feel like it should be some big monumental thing that I did that. I know some in AA would say it resets my sobriety date but for me, it’s just a thing that happened. And actually freaked me out because I did just want to get drunk, but happy with myself how I handled it. I literally ran to the non alcoholic bottle, I think not to even allow myself time to taste/savour the moment! And it worked.

So, here’s to a fucking fabulous 2018. I’m going to make it so.

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Fuck

Edit – I danced. And I danced. And it felt so damn good. And I feel good. I feel like it was the close of the chaos and uncertainty this week that’s definitely brought on the booze cravings. I ended up dancing alone the whole night, and it was just incredible. So turns out I can do everything alone and enjoy it. Sometimes I think ‘but you don’t always want to be doing it alone’ but tonight it makes me think FUCK YEH!!!!

Below written four hours ago..

” Fuckity fuck fuck. How much do I want to drink right now? How much?! Soooo much! An argument with the person I love the most, my Mama. I cannot drink. I don’t think I will. And then a voice goes ‘but you could you know?!’ And then I see my current life falling apart in front of me. I used to say ‘I mean if I drank again I’d be okay, but I just don’t want to’ but actually all the wonderfulness I have now would go. Fall away. Hmm too poetic. More like blowing up a wall. Still be some left, but bits every where. Shrapnel of what was. Chaos. The foundations trying to hold it all together, a bit shitly. Ahhhh and breathe.

As I’m writing this I’m thinking ‘I need to update on the trip and my room and my eating and OMG I’m a bad sober blogger’ aiyaaaaaaaaaa!!

What really matters is that when I think I have no one and no outlet to say HELP!!!! I remember I do. And by the time most of you read this it will have passed.

Though this week really has been a struggle. Job interviews, parents making me feel like a teenager (me allowing myself to be or something I dunno..?!) just up against the same old shit as when I was a teenager!

I just remembered a half written message on here last weekend saying how much I felt like drinking. But I never finished/published it.

Haha! Here it is.. and the last line… so amusing giving I’m off now to go clubbing. So I’ll just dance it out. Getting fucking high off the endorphins and music. Oh maaaaaan!

Reasons I feel like drinking

Is it?

1. I feel so gross in my own skin and drinking takes that away for a while. And I miss that feeling of waking up kinda still drunk but empty, with a noticeably smaller stomach cause I ate almost nothing. Oh man – festivals were the best for that.

2. I’m bored. Bored bored bored. But I can subcategorise this. A. I’m bored of being addicted to food. (See point number 1) b. I miss the chaos of just being totally fucked up and seeing what happened.

3. Nostalgia. I’m thinking a lot about the couple of years before I gave up boozing. I had started feeling worthy. Some of my best drunken times were my latest ones.. by that I mean the ones wheee I didn’t ‘fuck up.’ I’d stopped doing shots, hardly blacked out. Only kissed and slept with people because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to. Or it was easier.

But in reality, I’d be in bars bored! I want to go to gigs and dance. It’s not the booze that’s lacking, it’s that. And I’m clubbing next Friday!

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Life… oh life…

I’m in a taxi from the airport to a resort in Thailand. My dad invests in a hotel and my parents go there each year. My parents were supposed to go to the opening, but it was over Christmas and eventually my Mum put her foot down and said no – family was more important. It was the year of the Tsunami and the hotel was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt from scratch. During and after the Tsunami my family were all transfixed to the news… obviously. It wasn’t until a few weeks later I realised my parents were meant to be there. I said this to them. My mum just replied, ‘I know.’

Thank fuck.

I get obsessed with songs and listen to them non-stop for days when I find a new one I like (literally non stop.) at that time it was Eminem ‘”like toy soldiers.’ I’m listening to it now. I remember being on the tube, about 6 months later, listening to my iPod on shuffle, when the first few notes played and before I even knew what song it was I burst into tears. A little embarrassing! And confusing.. but as the song played images of the aftermath flashed in my mind and I understood. The power of music. And though it was a coincidence, the lyrics ‘they all fall down, like toy soldier’ is so tragically fitting.

So. Move forward a few years… I was supposed to come here with my, would have been husband, for our honeymoon. But we split up. Thank fuck #2

I still can’t believe I almost got married. 6 weeks before a wedding I called it off. My friends and family still went to the venue (it was in Thailand.) I literally cannot comprehend any of this. The 6 months leading up to the wedding my food intake halved and my drink intake doubled.. tripled? (From a heavy drinker anyway…) no wonder it so unbelievable to me. It sounds like something on a daytime tv show. But nope, that was my life!

Life eh?! So fucking surreal. So precious. Thank fuck I’m sober.

I watched a German movie on the plane… a bit like sliding doors. It was incredible. It made me feel like there is a chance I could love again. It made me feel some sort of spark inside. Ahh the magic of movies. I spoke to my therapist last night for the first time in months. I told her about making myself sick. I told her how powerful I felt when I was doing that. It was only when talking to her that clicked. And I thought, that’s not how I want to feel powerful.

I hope I can hold on to that. I’m also going to try and make my studio flat ‘lighter..’ maybe find some light blue and butterfly wall stickers.. I have some lovely intense sticks. I need to make it a warm, light, loving place. Not a hiding hole that it’s become in recent weeks. Me and my addiction. Maybe move the furniture a little. It’s small, but I know how much little differences can make huge differences. And perhaps a small physical change can mark what it was, to my new lighter attitude. Power in lightness, in self care, in loving myself again. How did I lose my way so badly?! She (my therapist) looked genuinely upset… though probably not too surprised. I won’t be restarting therapy, and I only have one more session. I don’t really want to schedule it because then that’s it. If she wasn’t my therapist she’d be my friend. We used to bump into each other at local events to do with women’s rights, amongst other political and social things. I care about her. I know it’s mutual. But I get client-patient rules. And who knows in life. But she’ll always be in my thoughts and heart.

I’ve been to Thailand a lot in my life. As a baby, a child, a teen, during uni, with my ex, with friends… so many memories – most good, a few awful (all the awful ones where with the ex.) Last time I was in this part I was a teenager.. the early years of my bulimia. Eating THE best pizza I ever remember.. just a plain margarita but so cheesy and just yum…. and sneaking off to puke it up every day.

Today, I realised the flight was longer than I expected and I forgot to order a vegan meal. Duh. So I asked myself what I wanted most.. and that was dark chocolate and dried mango. And pringles. So I bought them at the airport.. watched that wonderful movie and it was great. I guess that’s what people don’t get about binging. It’s not about good and bad. I want to eat chocolate. Cake! Ice cream! But I don’t want to eat 15 bowls of cornflakes in a row at 11pm. (seriously) It’s not about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ goods. Just obsessive addictive behaviour.

Gosh. Big offload. I have another 30 mins. I think I’m going to listen to Eminem and look outside and embrace all the Thailand memories from my life… the good and the bad. What was… Here’s to a lighter brighter future… 🦋

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Weighing in…

This was originally a response to a comment Anne wrote on an earlier post… but turned into more of an entry!!

“You’re so right about figuring out something to change this, and the importance of planning. I think I’m so scared of becoming addictive or obsessed with calories/sugar/content counting I think no plan is the best plan… where as it seemed to lead me to being really restrictive, pretending I wasn’t being, and then binge binge. Currently lying on my bed desperate to eat. Anything! I’m not hungry but I just want to eat eat eat! But I shall not. It’s like (an emotionally easier) version of giving up drinking.

Today I bought some scales for me, and the kitchen. (Just as a note – I know actual weight isn’t the main thing. I used to weigh the same as I do know but with a very different body shape!) but it keeps me in line a little more.. and actually, the stage I’m at now, pretty strong, healthy, the extra weight is what I want to get rid of, it won’t just turn into muscle. If I gain weight but drop a dress size, sweet! I’ve just not had that… happy to be proved wrong by my new scales! Haha.

It’s SUCH a big thing I needed to acknowledge that. That I have an eating disorder – I always forget that because I’m not skinny or anorexic and that’s what most people think they are. But a compulsive binge eater and long time bulimic…?! Umm I think that counts!!

So instead of pretending this is just easy and will naturally balance itself out – like people say it will, (because, I don’t have an eating disorder/it’s okay to ‘treat’ yourself (exactly the same kind of responses when giving up booze.. ) it is hard and I have to re-break the cycle and habits of binging each night, and thinking food is a reward. And get back out of the mindset it’s okay to empty myself :/ I’ve even started thinking about drinking again JUST to stop me wanting to eat all the time. It’s become that torturous in my head. But I will not. It’s not worth it.

The difference here is finding the balance, I can’t just cut out food… because I don’t want to starve myself of be unhealthy, or even not enjoy things like cake and ice cream! (Fuck ‘bad’ and ‘good’ foods) BUT before I get to that easier eating phase, to lose weight and change the habits I have to be strict with myself! To remind myself I’m doing this because I love me! And eating 6 bowls of cereal in a row DOES NOT make me happy. Actually most food I eat is what people term ‘good’ but I eat insane quantities of it. I even lose sleep because I’m binging. And so the cycle continues. I don’t want to be scared to be home alone because I’ll just eat and eat and not do all the things I actually love doing… so, here we go. Prepping, measuring, restriction, all for the love of my mental and physical health 💕

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Round 8… fight!

Slept so badly the night before my birthday. Woke up with such bad thoughts. How everyone would forget, and even though I know people care why would they remember even though it’s upsetting to be forgotten (yet so easy to do!) codependency kicked in… but I always send cards.. why does no one send them to me…

bleak, heavy thoughts. Then something just clicked. My life is good. I’m in a good place, doing things I want to do, enjoying these things, but what isn’t right, and why every day is a heavy struggle is because I am just so negative. About me. And that’s making everything dark. Work is harder because I think I’m shit and the kids and my

Employers don’t like me. (The reality – the kids generally do seem to like me, I try hard, and I get good feedback?! Today I’m even being shadowed by a new teacher so she can learn from me… I’ve been teaching 7 weeks!)

Friends – I think they don’t want to talk to me, don’t want to see me, don’t want to know me..: which in a word is utter bull shit. These aren’t conscious decisions or thoughts, but only when I delve down I’m like ‘WOAH!!! This is what you actually think?! Wtf!!!’

I used to be like this, then I worked so hard to change.. and thought that was it… more content self worthy person for good now. Nuh huh! So back I go to reading and listening to some more positive speak. Meditating 10 mins when I wake up to try and shut off the bombardment of morning crap, and to try remember I may have my flaws, but I’m a decent person who my friends and family like to be around. THAT is what I need to work on most.

So I went for a run, and I smiled all day yesterday. I smiled with the kids, I had a lovely dinner with my parents and my friend. I’m nervous. Because I feel positive. I don’t want to fall. How easy it is to be complacent. Part of me hates that I have to work at this again, but it’s not ground hog

Day – I’m not in the same place I was. I have closer friendships, more tools, and I am happier, more confident.

Turning 35, for the first time I got why people have midlife crises’. Not me, as I’m already doing the stuff people do wen they have them (move country, job, take up new interests.. haha..) but it’s always seen as a silly thing, people laugh at. But why? Not saying leave your wife or husband straight away but realising that life is short and to make the most of it?! Why is that frowned upon? I guess I know why.. people like the ‘norm’ but.. I dunno, just something I’d never thought of before…

I’ve been so happy having my parents here. I’m back in the UK for Xmas as well so it won’t be too long until I see them again, but after that I don’t know. I don’t want to live in London again but the separation might be too much.. ahhh well that’s then and this is now. And now… a drunk man is near me shouting away. He even offered me a beer. So kind.. 😉

I think I might look back at some of my early entries… remind myself how far I’ve come, and how hard I fought. I take this sobriety for granted. Or just forget I suppose. Sometimes it’s good to remember. Because I would not be here if it wasn’t for that.

Xxx

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