Recovery

Eating Disorder Awareness Week, 2017

Before we begin

This post marks Eating Disorder Awareness Week and, as such, it’s necessarily about eating disorders. It discusses my own experience of living with, and recovering from, an eating disorder. It also touches upon self-harm and the diet industry.

If you are recovering from an eating disorder, or are vulnerable to disordered eating you may prefer to sit this one out. No worries – I’ll see you in the next post xx

Oh – and it’s also a very LONG post. So now you’re armed with all of the facts, let us begin.

I lived with an eating disorder from my teens until my mid-twenties and those years were, without any shadow of a doubt, the darkest I have lived through. It started, as I suppose these things often do, innocently enough: I was a teenager, I was growing and I didn’t like it. So I went on a diet.

Of course, now I know that it was a little more complicated than that. Thousands upon thousands of people go on diets every year and for most of them it doesn’t end in the horror and chaos that I brought to bear upon myself. For me, there were other factors in the mix. I was unhappy, I was angry, I felt I had no control. I was also quiet, conscientious and prone to perfectionism. Add to that the tendency to obsess and, well, safe to say, I was the perfect eating disorder storm.

It didn’t happen over night – it crept up on me, slowly but surely, until one day it was too big for me to stop: it was a juggernaut smashing its way through my whole life. On the face of it, it was a numbers game because I soon discovered that everything, including my own worth, could be counted. For the longest time, I valued myself in calories, pounds and ounces and BMI; the lower the better.

Beyond the numbers there was nothing but horror in my head. I hated myself with such conviction that I started to hurt myself – in part as punishment and in part to prove to myself that I was capable of feeling something. Of course, what I really wanted to prove was simply that I was still alive – because for years, I felt dead. I know how dramatic that sounds, but in the end that’s what it came down to – my eating disorder took the feelings that go with being alive and replaced them with an all encompassing sense of nothingness. When I think of myself back then the living dead is the thing that most vividly comes to mind.

living-dead

It took the best part of ten years to get that particular monkey off my back, although I would be lying if I said I don’t still struggle from time to time. Mostly it’s a fleeting thought that threatens to burn through everything before I stamp it out but I live in constant fear that one day, I won’t be able to extinguish it. To this day, I can still recite the calorific content of pretty much any food you can think of and find myself tallying up my meals as if its second nature. I still sometimes feel a little flutter of excitement when I realise I’m hungry because somewhere in my brain being hungry still equals good work. I still struggle to eat in front of strangers, and I still have the strong urge to a) always leave food on my plate and b) conceal what I leave. Habits, as they say, a minute to make, a lifetime to break….

Finding a path back to a healthy relationship with food is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. The urge to restrict my calorie intake was so powerful, the cycle of denial and reward so overwhelming, the desire to disappear so all encompassing, that there were many times I wondered if I was capable of swimming to the shore at all.

Above all else, I struggled with the conflicting messages from the people who were supporting me, and what I saw as the world at large. In every sphere of my life I came across people who were on calorie-controlled diets, and the biggest diet message at the time was low fat, low fat, low fat. There has been much debate about the role in the media in the prevalence of eating disorders, and it isn’t one I am going to be able to solve here. All I can say is that, for me personally, the never-ending dichotomy about how certain food groups are ‘bad’ (when they were the very food groups I was being encouraged to eat), and about certain body shapes being ‘beautiful’ (when I was – as I saw it – not allowed to pursue those body shapes) hindered my recovery.

In the end, of course, I made peace with myself. I came to understand that nutrition was a fairly straightforward balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals – and that the kinds of diets you find in lifestyle magazines were by and large, bullshit. I came to understand that healthy humans come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and that in the end, the size of other humans was really none of my concern. I made a promise to myself, a promise that I keep to this day. I promised that each day, I would do my best to nourish my body properly and, if I ever found myself unable to nourish my body properly, I would seek help.

As far as mantras go, I’m pretty pleased with it.

Pleased.gif

I still come across people who are dieting on a near daily basis, and that, as I’ve said, is none of my concern. Sometimes, though, it worries me. The diet industry seems so much more pervasive than it did twenty years ago, the messages so much more mainstream. The notion still persists that some food is good, and some food is bad. Fat is frowned upon and thin is the Holy Grail. More often than not, the nutritional science is sketchy at best, and to me, some of the advice seems to have been lifted straight from the eating disorder playbook (The 5:2 diet, for example). The constant pursuit of ‘thin’ over health makes less sense to me the further away from my eating disorder I get.

I can’t help wonder if the diet industry is designed to keep people on constant diets that don’t work, because they don’t work if you see what I mean. For some people, that will be endlessly frustrating. For others it will perpetuate negative messages about good food, bad food, sins, fat bodies, thin bodies, and fasting. And for some, it is more damaging than you can begin to imagine.

Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions that are difficult to beat. Research suggests that 46% of anorexia patients make a full recovery, 33% improve and 20% remain chronically ill; for bulimia patients these figures are 45%, 27% and 23% respectively*. I find it so very sad that more than half of the people affected by the two most common eating disorders won’t be able to escape the terrible clutch it has over them. At the same time, it seems clear that it isn’t all bad: if you approach the research from a slightly different angle, it suggests that 80% of anorexia and bulimia patients go on to make a full, or at least a partial, recovery.

Recovering from an eating disorder is completely possible – I’m a living, breathing example of that – but it isn’t easy and for some, despite their best efforts, it remains beyond their reach. Eating disorders are complex conditions, with a varied range of contributory factors, issues and challenges for each patient. Against this backdrop it is difficult to fully understand why some people who are affected by eating disorders find recovery so difficult to achieve.

As with so many things, early intervention seems to be key. In that regard, I was incredibly fortunate. I received swift referral to specialist support services and, benefited from having a sympathetic and knowledgeable family doctor. Years later, when I found myself struggling to cope with some significant changes in my life I started to worry about relapsing, and again, the best support network the NHS had to offer seemed to swing into action around me again. Sadly, that isn’t always the case which is why B-eat, the eating disorder charity, are focusing on getting people into treatment as early as possible during Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

You can read more about the work B-eat do, and why early intervention is so important on their website at the following link:

https://www.b-eat.co.uk/support-us/eating-disorder-awareness-week

If, like me, you understand how important this work is, you might like to consider signing the petition calling on government to ensure eating disorder patients are treated without delay:

https://campaigning.b-eat.co.uk/page/6557/petition/1

That’s all from me folks. So long, and thanks for all the fish……

Love you lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxox

 

* https://www.b-eat.co.uk/about-beat/media-centre/information-and-statistics-about-eating-disorders [accessed 02/03/2016]

The C word

It’s okay – it’s not a post about that C word, because, you know, I’m rarely that vulgar…. This is a post about the other C word: CHRISTMAS. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Everyone loves it, right? Ho ho ho and it’s Chriiiiiiiiiiistmaaaaas. (A la Slade*).

For my own part I like this time of the year well enough, although I wouldn’t put myself down as one of those hard-core Christmas enthusiasts. Truth told, I’m happy to take it or leave it – I like buying presents, I like Dr Who, and I like being able to drink alcohol before twelve noon but apart from that, I like all of the other days of the year just as much as I like Christmas day.

drinking

I’ve been alive for 38 Christmases, and (of those I can recall) only three of them have been shitty. That’s a fairly good return, although PLEASE GOD can you not ask me to work out the percentages. Nobody should have to work out percentages during the season of goodwill…….

percent

My first shitty Christmas was 1996. I’ll never forget it, and to be honest, when I think about Christmas now my thoughts are still clouded by Christmas 1996** Christmas 1996 was, for me, Eating Disorder Central. I spent months worrying about how I would pick my way through the calorific reality that was coming my way, and then I spent months atoning for it. I sometimes wonder how different my life might have been, had it not been for Christmas 1996, but then I remember that there’s no good blaming your whole life on a few sausage rolls and I move on. Again.

My next shitty Christmas was my first year in Surbiton. That was the Christmas when everything I thought I knew changed IN A HEART BEAT and I found myself alone even though I thought I would never have to be alone again. It was also the Christmas I moved house and got tonsillitis all AT THE SAME FUCKING TIME. That year, it snowed four days before Christmas and I remember that because four days before Christmas I still hadn’t bought a single gift which meant I had to hike my way to Kingston in FIFTY feet of snow FOUR DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS and buy gifts for the people I loved even though I just wished I would drown in a puddle of melted snow, without the people I loved ever having to know. That was a pretty shitty Christmas…..

To this day, I still can’t explain my third shitty Christmas, unless being mental is an adequate explanation. Somehow I knew that Christmas was approaching but somehow I also didn’t give a shit about it. I stuck my head in the sand – as I’m wont to do – only conceding that Christmas was going to happen regardless a week before it actually did. It was around about this point that I shoved a tree up, flung some tinsel in its general direction and took to wearing a jumper with a quirky penguin on because, you know, quirky penguins are FESTIVE. Ho, ho and fucking ho.

I don’t think this Christmas is going to be a particularly shitty Christmas. I’m looking forward to it well enough (it’s that thing I said about drinking alcohol at noon): my tree is up, my gifts are bought and I’ll get to spend time with the people I care about. Most importantly of all, from my point of view, my head is in a reasonable place – I’m calm and collected and not especially mental. I head into Christmas knowing that a) I’m going to survive and that b) surviving isn’t going to be a problem.

Still – I keep thinking about those people who might be where I was during my three shitty Christmases: people who might be afraid, or alone, or just off the scale mental for no good reason. I keep thinking how difficult it is to find a way through at this time of the year, and I keep thinking how much I wish I could tell those people, who feel the way I once did, that however hopeless the hopeless things they are dealing with feel – there is hope to be found at the end of the hopelessness. You just have to hold on tight.

Christmas brings so many expectations with it, and it’s easy to get carried away with the idea that everything should be perfect for that one day. At Christmas all of your insecurities should somehow melt away, and you should be with everybody you love, and you should feel miraculously joyful and everything should be completely perfect BECAUSE CHRISTMAS. Here’s what I know: ‘because Christmas’ isn’t the answer to all of the challenges you were facing before Christmas. Here’s what I also know – ‘because Christmas’ doesn’t make anything worse, or more intolerable, or more unbearable than it might have been either.

Christmas is tough for so many people, for so many different reasons. But Christmas will be over soon enough, and the reasons make sense in the end. Tomorrow will come. Until then hope is important, shout up if you need help, and I’ll see you in the new year.

Oh. And ho, ho ho……

mofo

Love you lots like jelly tots

WeeGee xxx

*Wait – is it Slade? I’m starting to wonder if it might be Wizard…..

**Can everybody please be too polite to mention that 1996 was TWENTY years ago, thanks.

 

Today came around. Again….

It always rains in WeeGee land on 19th September.

To be fair, I don’t know if it actually always rains, or if my memory just thinks it always rains, but it very definitely rained today and since that fits with my pre-conceived notions of what today should feel like I’m going to go with it.

It’s been fifteen years since the 19th September first meant anything to me. Fifteen years is a long time. It’s so long that I can’t properly remember the person I was back then. It’s so long ago that my friends are different, that my life is different, and that whatever it was I hoped and dreamed of at the time is long forgotten and given up on. I’m a grown up now – it’s all behind me – none of what mattered then matters now. Life moves on, people change, you stop looking for the big answers and start dealing with the little questions one by one.

Today shouldn’t mean anything to me. It’s an anniversary of something that only I remember and that has no meaningful impact on my life now. Like I said, life moves on.

Every year, the 19th September comes around. I dread it for weeks, and then it comes around and before I know it, it’s over with. I try to mark it, but I never manage to mark it well enough because…. Well, because – how do you mark a thing you want to remember but don’t want to acknowledge out loud?

As it goes, the best I can do is to withdraw into my own head for the day. All I can do is make today about today – I can let my thoughts rest on things I don’t otherwise let them rest on – I can stop for a moment and I can let everything that has happened in the last 15 years settle around me.

I’ll wake up tomorrow and today will be over with. That’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? Today doesn’t matter because tomorrow is on the way.

What you’ve lost is less important than what you have. Hope is important.

Love you all lots, like jelly tots,

WeeGee xxxxx

And so I kept living

I wrote this post to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2016, and it perhaps unsurprisingly, discusses suicide. Please scroll on past if that might put you in a difficult position. If you need help right now – pick up the phone, send an email (feel free to use my contact me form – I’m here, I won’t judge) knock on a door, head to A&E (ER). Take care of yourself xoxox

 —- 

Four years ago, I wrote this post to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2012. So many things have changed in the years that have intervened – for me, for the people I love, and in the world – but sadly, one thing hasn’t changed much at all: the figures on suicide around the world.

According to the World Health Organisation an estimated 800,000 people worldwide lose their lives to suicide every year. It’s difficult for me to imagine the human picture behind a figure like that so I tried to break it down – it averages at around 90 people every hour; or three people every two minutes. In the time it hasn’t taken me to write this post nearly 100 people have taken their own lives. For every person who dies by suicide, another three people make an attempt on their life. So, in the time it has taken me to write this post 400 people have found themselves willing themselves out of the world. Sometimes, there are no words for how awful the human picture actually is.

Here in the UK, the picture is no less discouraging. In 2014 (the most recent year for which figures from the Samaritans are available) some 6581 people lost their lives to suicide in the UK and ROI – the highest number of men since 2005 and of women since 2011. Whichever way you look at it, the number of people who die at their own hand in the UK has increased – I don’t know whether that makes me more sad or angry, but I don’t suppose it really matters right now. I am a suicide survivor, and as hard as it is to say THAT is what matters to me right now.

As a rule, we still find it difficult to talk about suicide and that’s a huge problem because one of the best means of defence we have is talking about it.

Here’s what I know:

  • Talking about suicidal feelings gives you the space to examine them, outside of your own head.
  • Talking about suicidal feelings helps to remind you that you are never alone with them.
  • Talking about suicidal feelings gives you a distraction from the actions that are gathering ever more momentum in your mind.
  • Talking about suicidal feelings helps us to remember – above all else – that it’s okay to talk about suicide.

So – at the risk of repeating myself: I am a suicide survivor, and I am not ashamed. There have been times in my life that I wished not to have life anymore – it wasn’t ever that I wanted to be dead, more that I didn’t want to be alive anymore. The two things have always been, and remain, very different to my mind. The feelings that I had at those times don’t make a lot of sense to me right now but I remember the desperation, and hopelessness, fear and pain. I remember those things in my bones and in my heart – I carry them with me and use them to remind me that whatever happens, and however I feel: my life is worth having. And so I choose to live. I choose it every single god damn day.

Suicide is complex – nobody knows that better than I. But suicide is also, almost always, preventable. There is work to be done and we need to look to each other – to our family and friends, to our politicians, our media, our healthcare professionals – to make it happen. Most importantly of all we need to keep on finding the courage to talk about it, until all the shame is banished and until every single person who thinks they are lost is  in no doubt that we are ALL here for them, and that we are here to get them through.

I end, as I did four years ago, with some words that mean the world to me – words that have lifted my heart and carried it for me, words that have comforted me, words that have saved my life:

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover. DH Lawrence

Keep your lights burning brightly, my friends. And remember, it’s good to talk.

Love you all lots, like a million and one jelly tots – WeeGee xoxoxo

wsp

Burning my very special little candle, in support and solidarity and hope

On where I am now

Since last I wrote a whole lot of time has passed. Some of it has been happy and some of it has been sad and some of it has been other things – things I don’t have a name for yet – things that don’t quite fit into the ready made categories we’ve got set out for them.

Also – I haven’t been eating right. It’s a difficult subject to tackle, and I’ve thought long and hard about how to write about it. I don’t want to end up with some kind of ‘pro ana’ blog on my hands because even at my worst I was never about encouraging that kind of shit. Even at my worst, and most poorly all I really ever wanted to do was leave that nonsense behind.

Still. YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE. Of all the lessons I’ve learned, that’s the most valuable and important. You can only ever deal with what’s in front of you.

Okay – so what’s in front of me? Lots of meals that I don’t want to eat for reasons that I couldn’t explain to you if I wanted to. But, by the way, I don’t want to explain myself anyway. Take it all with a pinch of salt but I mostly couldn’t give a fuck one way or the other.

Here’s the truth. I’m not as ‘thin’ as I used to be. The trouble is that ‘thin’ is the only thing I’ve ever achieved. The thinnest I was? That was the best I was. The thinnest I was – that was the person I want to be, the person I should be. The thinnest I was – that was the best I ever was.

In so many ways I know that everything I’ve said is nonsense. It’s nonsense and bullshit and airy-fairy rubbish. At the same time I AM WHERE I AM.

And I don’t know where to go from here.

Love you lots like jelly tots xoxox

This’ll do. For now….

Things have changed since last I wrote because after a brief mental interlude we’re pretty much back in business here in WeeGee Land. By back in business I mean I don’t much feel like sitting on the floor with my knees gathered up to my chin, staring at the wall for hours on end any more. Sometimes that’s what progress feels like and I’ve learned that progress is one of those things that you just have to take wherever, and however you find it.

Most of the time I still hate myself from wherever it is I start right down to the bottom of my fingernails – I feel hopeless and wretched and desperate BUT, above all else I know that this will end, that life will intervene and that I’ll find a way back to myself. Again. Somehow.

Like I said – we’re back in business. I’m busy putting one foot in front of the other, and pretending like I’m some kind of normal person with some kind of normal life. I’m busy doing the necessary because I know that even though I’m not where I want to be I’m on my way there, by hook or by crook. You’re never going to get there unless you’re on your way there, right?

I’m trying to handle myself more gently and I’m doing my best to be kind to myself. I’ve realised that, when it comes to myself, I always come at it sharp side first and I’m trying to figure out what that’s all about, because I don’t really show my sharp side to anyone else. I’m trying to give myself the same breaks I think everyone ought to have. I suppose I’m trying to get bigger and better, because I’m trying to forgive myself – it takes the biggest and the best people of all to nail that kind of shit.

I suppose I’ve accepted that sometimes, I’m going to get lost. I’m going to be sad, and hopeless, and frightened. All the evidence suggests that I’m going to get lost time after time and after time again despite by best efforts. The reality is that every time I think I’ve got myself on an even keel, the sky will fall in all over again and you know what – I’m tired of raging against the natural order of things. I’m tired of heaping failure on myself for a self that I didn’t choose and which is way beyond anything I can choose.

Sometimes I get sad. Sometimes I get lost. Sometimes the sky falls in. Sometimes I hate myself down to the very bottom of my fingernails. And them’s just the breaks. Sure – there’s stuff I can do. I can take care of myself and I can find a softer place to fall and I can try and try and try. But sometimes I’m STILL going to be sad and my brain is going to misfire and I’m going to wish I didn’t have to live with myself anymore. Some brains are better than others, and some people know how to deal with this shit. My brain isn’t one of the better ones and, I don’t really know how to deal with this shit but I’m learning, and I’m holding on tight and, more than anything, I’m still on my way to that place I’m trying to get to – wherever that is.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make – if I’m trying to make one at all – is that it’s okay. It’s okay that I get sad, and it’s okay that I rage against the world, and it’s even okay that I hate myself down to the bottom of my fingernails. It’s okay because I only feel that way for some of the time, and because I ALWAYS find my way out of the mire, and because fuck it – nobody said it was going to be easy anyway.

Anyhow. I’m pretty much back on my feet and squaring up to the world again. Things aren’t all perfect and sunshiny but then again I never was going to morph into the kind of person who leaps out of bed cartwheeling around singing about the wonderful morning I’ve woken up into (it’s that thing about sharp edges) Still, I’m as up and at ‘em as I know how, and the mornings keep on coming around, and that’ll do. For now.

Love you all lots, like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxoxoxo

Just some thoughts…..

I don’t mean to be alarming, but I’m tired of this. I’m tired of how it goes, and what it all means and where this ends up. Where this ends up, by the way, is almost always me – wide awake while the rest of the world is sleeping – wondering why in the name of fuck I can’t just have one of those normal brains that behaves itself and gives itself peace and generally doesn’t do this shit 

By my reckoning it’s been about twenty days (or nights) since I last managed to get a decent night’s sleep under my belt. As a rule I can’t seem to get to sleep and even if I do I end up tossing and turning because I’m cursed by strange nightmares that wake me up way before I’ve had anything approaching enough sleep. Bottom line? I’m so very, very tired. And yet here I am: wide a fucking wake when by rights, I ought to be asleep. 

Insomnia isn’t new to me. I’ve been here, bought the t-shirt and come out the other side MANY TIMES before. Seriously. If the doomie gloomies think keeping me awake against my will FOR WEEKS AT A TIME is enough to beat me into submission? Well – the doomie gloomies never came up against a WeeGee like me before, I guess. 
This is a bad patch and that much is obvious. The fact that I can’t sleep is part of the bad patch and not sleeping makes the bad patch worse. On the surface it feels like a double injustice but at least I’m eating right because I LEARNED THAT LESSON and I’m not hurting myself BECAUSE I LEARNED THAT LESSON and I’m doing all I can to get through this BECAUSE I LEARNED THAT LESSON (Or, to be fair – I’m learning that last lesson as I go – it all counts)

In part – this post is what depression looks like. Something as straightforward as being awake when every fibre of your being wishes you were asleep. 
I’ve lived with depression, on and off, for more than half of my life. I’ve tried to talk about it, and write about it, and somehow make it real. I’ve lived with it, loved with it and lost with it. Sometimes it has been the biggest part of my life, and sometimes I’ve barely known it was there. 

This week is depression awareness week. In an ideal world I’d have written something different, more meaningful – something better to mark it. As it stands I couldn’t write the post I wanted to – depression stopped me.

Instead I wrote this because it was the best that I could do. My name is WeeGee. I have depression. This is a little bit of what it feels like but only a little bit. I’m not ready to write the rest. Not just yet. 

If I could talk I’d tell you 

Since last I wrote it’s all been coming up WeeGee. I love the way that happens – you know, the way that even though it all seems arid and bare, green shoots manage to appear and suddenly, it all feels okay again. Life shuffles along, things get better, hope is important………

Last month was hard. It was hard on my brain but it was way harder on my heart. So often I’m told that my ‘problems’ live in my head but you know, the more the more I think about it and the more I feel it, the more I think that really the problem has more to do with my heart than anything else. Every time September comes around the thing that I have to deal with is a broken heart, not a broken head.

I’ve thought long and hard about whether I have any words for the heartbreak that September brought. I don’t. Not because the pain doesn’t deserve words, but because none of the words are good enough and because I can’t bring myself to say them and because somehow, even after all this time, I just can’t. If I could talk I’d tell you. But I can’t.

Of course, all of that matters because the things you don’t say matter even more than the things you do say. Fine. I’m going to leave it at that. There are things that I don’t, or won’t (or can’t) say out loud. Those are the most important things of all and they become no less important if I stay quiet.

I don’t have to shout about it for it to be important. The opposite of shame is NOT pride. It still matters if the whole world doesn’t know about it. Most of my heartbreak is quiet and introverted and none of any other fucker’s business. Still. My heartbreak, or the pain in my heart, or the pain in my head – adds up to an illness, in the same way that any other illness does.

I write about it because it makes me feel better, and because it allows me to connect. I don’t write about it because I want to be a spokesperson, or an ambassador or because I think that my experience of ill mental health ought to serve as anything other than one girl writing her life, if anyone cares to read it.

Here’s the thing, at least as I see it. Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes I love it. I feel responsible for the life I have, to make the most I can of it. But sometimes I can barely find my way through it. I want to survive and I want to do it quietly. I want it to be okay to feel depressed or a little manic, or separated from the world. I want to feel okay but I want to know that my place in the world is the same if I don’t feel okay.

I didn’t choose poor mental health.

I didn’t choose depression. I didn’t choose hypomania. I didn’t choose an eating disorder. I didn’t choose any of the things I got, but I got them. And I live with them.

If I could talk I’d tell you all about the life that I’ve had. But I can’t.

I’m not ready to talk yet….

Meanwhile in other news there really is nothing I can add. Nothing else to report save that I love you all lots, like jelly tots

WeeGee xoxoxo

Hiding. It ain’t all bad…..

Here we go again then, eh? September’s over and done with for another year and I’m still here, putting one foot in front of the other, managing to survive and wondering how I keep on managing to pull it off……

Last month was all about going easy on myself, and, to a certain extent, letting myself get away with things that I wouldn’t otherwise let myself get away with. But that was last month – this month is all about taking hold of the boot straps and pulling myself back up as best as I can.

I’m still feeling remarkably short of time mostly, I think, because my brain is busy. Generally speaking, I prefer a busy brain. I have a fear of what I have come to know as ‘spare brain’ because when my thoughts aren’t gainfully occupied they tend to wander off in dark directions. This, I think, is why I’m at my happiest when I’ve got lots of different projects on the go.

At the same time, every once in a while I find my brain getting a little too busy what with this project and that project and the other project and A MILLION AND ONE IDEAS and a couple of obsessions thrown into the bargain. Looking at it with my sensible head on, I think I have a tendency to over compensate during ‘difficult’ times because I’d do anything to avoid the ‘spare brain’ thoughts taking over. In the end of course, I overwhelm myself with all the ideas, or run out of energy, or more usually, I get overwhelmed and exhausted at the same time.

Of course recognising that this is happening is more than half the battle won because when you can see what’s going on you can take steps to stop the bad stuff coming down the tracks. As it stands, I know I’ve been a little over focused on distracting myself from, well, myself, for the past month. I’ve detached myself from much of the real world and I’ve connected myself with as many activities as I could manage to care about. On the one hand it worked because here I am – safe and well and not lost in misery. On the other hand it can’t go on forever because, whichever way I look at it, I know I can’t hide forever.

I’ve learned that hiding has its place: sometimes, in fact, it’s going to be the only thing for it. I wasn’t ready for the anniversaries that September brought, nor was I ready for the heartache that came with them. Hiding was a better response than unravelling or jumping off an impossibly tall thing. Hiding was the right thing to do LAST MONTH. But last month is over now and I have to stop hiding because I really didn’t ought to be making a habit of it.

That’s my long and rambling way of saying that things dipped into a strange and not entirely healthy little hole for a little while there. But there was a good reason, and I’m letting myself have a little dip because its way better than a ginormous dip that ends with me deciding jumping out the window is a good idea. For now it’s all about building my routines back up, and getting my connections back in place and looking after myself. Because everything is easier when you look after yourself…..

Meanwhile in other news I had my hair cut this weekend which confused Mr Awesome Thing Number Five because he genuinely couldn’t understand why I was delighted that it looked EXACTLY the same as it did before. Nothing else to report save that I have recently fallen in love with this guy’s songs and, since I can’t stop raving on in real life I might as well rave on here. Check it out – it’s beautiful:

Hope you’re all fine and dandy. Thanks for reading my ramble of a post. I’m working up to something more coherent, promise.

Love you all lots like jelly tots

WeeGeexoxoxo

Pickle ALL the things

Since last I wrote I have mostly been being in hiding, partly I think because I’ve been a little under the weather with some kind of ‘virus’ that I can’t seem to shake off for once and for all. The less said about that the better.

I’ve also been feeling quite far away from myself which is just one of those feelings that seems to come along every once in a while. I’ve gotten used to my feelings and I’ve learned to rub along with them without losing myself but I know I have to be careful when I start feeling far away. Historically, I’ve had trouble staying ‘grounded’ and ‘attached’ and I’ve learned the importance of working hard to keep hold of myself if my brain decides it wants to fly away. If anyone needs me in the immediate future, I guess I’ll be working hard to keep hold of myself……

Apart from feeling unwell and far away, life here in WeeGee Land is still rumbling along nicely enough. My latest escapades include pickling ALL OF THE THINGS, reading the fantastic Constance Spry cookery book, going a bit leftfield with my box sets and watching Midsomer Murders from beginning to end, and buying a fuck-tonne of Tupperware, for reasons best known to (if not fully understood by) myself. Standard.

Meanwhile in other news I have decided that I’m going to start keeping a diary. I’ve done a lot of journaling in my time, but I really quite fancy doing the whole ‘Dear Diary’ thing again. So I’ve started one. In September, because if I wait until January I’ll only have forgotten about the idea and who says diaries have to start in January anyway? Nothing else to report today save that I wanted my diary to be ‘old skool’ and it ended up looking like this:

Secret diary

I hope you’re all rare and sparkly and unicorn like. I thought I’d take the liberty of ending with a song. When I was younger I thought it was THE most beautiful song in the world, and I don’t exactly disagree now I’m old(er). I’ve probably shared it before, but some things just keep on coming back to you, don’t they?

That’s it from me.

Love you all lots like Jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxox