Today I wanted to talk to you all about challenging yourself in a HEALTHY way. I think that anyone with any type of mental illness has fallen victim to punishing themselves and setting themselves too high a goals which they cannot achieve. I know personally my goals were ridiculous, to be friends with everyone and to be happy and bubbly all of the time. So in the end I was exhausted and wearing myself out and my anorexia got stronger and stronger until I felt oh this is great, I am losing weight finally something I can be good at. Of course in time I found myself as unhappy as ever and so I entered recovery and have been trying to find new ways of challenging myself that do not include unachievable goals or physically and mentally harming myself.
This next week marks a very important week for me in my recovery because my parents left for France yesterday evening for 10 days. I got ever so anxious yesterday and when I get anxious I scream because I don’t let the thoughts come in. So I am just sat with an anxious feeling and I have no idea why. But yesterday was one of the easier times where I could link my anxiety to a big event and sometimes I can’t do that. So, after I had calmed down a little bit I thought to myself… This is a REALLY BIG positive step. I am challenging myself from being away from my mum so I have to take care and responsibility of my own recovery. This is a huge positive and healthy challenge because I am not going to be punishing myself and I have set myself an achievable goal and if I don’t quite manage then no harm is actually done. I am still going to feel accomplished because being away from my parents is already half of the challenged ticked already.
So I wanted to share with you a few other little challenges that I have/want to achieve. I do lots of planning of these kinds of challenges and it makes me feel SO GOOD once I have finished them. Like I didn’t know I could have such a confidence boost just by doing my favourite hobby regularly or doing homework tasks set by my therapist. You will see these goals are not entirely food related but some are because I like to have a mixture. The one thing they all have in common is health and well being related. Here are my goals:
To make my friendship bracelets whenever I have a few spare minutes in the day
To give in my job application forms (already done this one!)
To go horse riding as regularly as possible. I love horse riding but sometimes it’s a lot of effort to make myself go. Just because my negative voices are very loud and recently I seem to have lost interest in nearly all of my hobbies. But horse riding is something that actually makes me feel good about and it is a challenge to make myself go so that is why it is on here
To put effort into my mindfulness practice and to do it at least three times a week
To go back to college in September (That’s a huge one and I have knots in my stomach just thinking about it!)
To make the effort to have lunch out with any family member each week. This is an important one because I have found that I absolutely love having lunch with my mum. I can talk to her about therapy and any worries I might have and because it is at a time and day that we have planned to have lunch then I can plan what to say and I find that very useful because if we didn’t do that then there wouldn’t be another time that I feel more comfortable talking to her. Because at my house it is busy busy busy!
To make sure I keep writing to my pen pals
To make sure I look after myself. Wash my face, put a bit of make up on, use my perfume, use my favourite shower gel and body lotion. Hand cream and foot cream. When I was deep into my illness I wouldn’t do any of this. My hands and lips were completely cracked and bleeding because I refused to look after myself. Now I wake up feeling like I want to get out of bed and have a nice day just because it feels a bit nicer being in my skin.
To walk my dogs everyday
So those are all of my goals and challenges to make me feel like I have a purpose to my life and I am not just floating around doing nothing. I have ambitions and I want a proper life and hopefully my goals will help me towards that. What are your personal challenges/goals? I would love to hear them.
I hope you are all well and I hope you have had a lovely week. It’s the weekend now which means we can all slow down a bit and I give permission for you to have a break and relax this weekend. I guess a lot of things have happened since last week when I last wrote a blog post so I shall start with last weekend when it was my nanas 80th birthday party and on Saturday morning I travelled up there with my parents because it takes 5-6 hours to get there and my sisters went the day before so they could help with the party preparations etc. On Sunday evening it was my nanas actual party but on Saturday evening it was still a huge challenge for me. We had dinner with the German side of my family because we just haven’t seen them in so many years and it was nice to catch up. I find the socialising part so difficult in itself because it has been so many years since I have seen my German cousins so that is one challenge. And then the next challenge was actually eating in front of them and at first I got so anxious and upset because I would say no when I was offered a drink but they kept going on and on and wouldn’t take no for an answer so that upset me a little. So the second challenge was to actually eat in front of everyone and I think a lot of people recovering from eating disorders find this bit hard and I know I do because I think people are going to be staring at me and thinking nasty things about me. The more likely thing is that they would probably be too engrossed in their own food to even notice. And then the last challenge was eating a Chinese takeaway (!!!!!!!) Oh my I haven’t had a takeaway in over six years. It was scary and uncomfortable but I did it and I came out the other side and I am not ashamed to admit I am actually a bit proud of myself. So then the next day on Sunday we spent most of the day preparing the food for the party. The actual party was with all of the family and some of my nanas friends as well. I think the most difficult part was the socialising. I just kind of felt out of place and I didn’t know what to say or how to act. I didn’t really feel like I belonged at all. And then that’s sort of how my week turned from bad to worse because I started listening to all of the thoughts again. I listened to my eating disorder and I obeyed but starting from Wednesday I have been trying my absolute hardest to follow my meal plan again. Yesterday was also a huge challenge for me because I had to go out to lunch with my community nurse. It was scary for me and it’s hard for me because she barely knows anything about eating disorders. She had a training course a few weeks ago and she likes to tell me things that aren’t even relevant. Like I said once that I am worried about putting weight on quickly and she said when you are at such a low weight, the dieticians increase your meal plan gradually so you don’t get refeeding syndrome. And it’s like that has got nothing to do with what I said she just likes showing off. It frustrates me because she goes on about eating disorders being secretive and then I ask her not not be weighed and she is fine with it. I know I should be more angry at myself for doing what my eating disorder wants be I WANT them to stop me when I can’t stop myself. Anyway, by the time I got there I was so anxious and I wasn’t hungry one bit. I said to her I don’t want anything because I am not hungry and then she said oh okay then well do you mind if I get something then? I don’t know, I feel like I ask too much just for these people to support me. I want them to help me but they don’t they just sit there while I have a battle against myself and it’s just unpleasant. In the end I did order a sandwich and it was actually really tasty and that is all that matters I have decided. Not that my nurse just had a salad and I could have gotten away with not having anything. I stood up to the bully in my head and I ate. And then today has been quite a busy day and I have really enjoyed it actually. I went to my volunteering this morning which I go to every Friday morning. I help out in a charity shop and I really like it because it helps me a lot with my social skills and that is the area that I need to improve on a lot. And then after the charity shop I came home and had lunch and then I painted my nails this lovely coral sort of colour:
I then relaxed a little this afternoon and ate my amazing afternoon snack of course which I wanted to talk to you about.
I just love eat natural bars SO much and if you live in the UK, like fruit and nuts bars, like chocolate then you will love these as well. I always have my cupboard stocked with them because they are my favourite go to snack. I like how they are really balanced with a little bit of fruit, protein, important fats and then the chocolate which is needed to balance it out. I think this one here along with the cashew and blueberry yogurt coated ones are my favourite. So yes, if you haven’t tried these already then I would highly recommend you trying them! I hope you all have a lovely evening and I shall be bak with another post very soon