I’m literally dragging myself through Tuesday

Ever woken up in a strange mood? I did yesterday and its continued today. I can’t shake it, I’m grumpy and irrational, I want to be on my own but I’m lonely. I’m tearful and I know if I let the tears fall, they won’t stop. I dragged myself out of bed this morning, I really wanted to stay there with the covers over my head but as I’m a single mom of 3 and have 2 dogs, that isn’t an option.

I should have woken up happy this morning, my new bed was delivered yesterday. Due to the breakdown in marriage, separation, splitting of our possessions and house move, I haven’t slept in a bed since Boxing Day, I’ve slept on the sofa, a couple of nights in a hotel and then the last 6 weeks on an air bed. But no, not even the first night in my very lovely, extremely expensive (who knew that buying a bed cost so much money!) bed could lift this strange mood I’ve descended into.

I wrote yesterday about my fear of eating and how I was going to do my best to beat it this week. I failed miserably yesterday, on day 1, I don’t think fried plantain, a handful of peanut M&Ms and toast really adds up to eating enough food to sustain me. I’ve been a little better today but no where near enough. The lack of food is certainly contributing to my mood, lack of energy and headache. Irony is, I’ve just baked a batch of peanut flour, no sugar cookies for my friend as I’m worried about the snacks he is eating. I need to put my mindset of worrying about what other people eat into my own food intake.

I made myself go to the gym this morning. I used to train hard every single day. I was focussed and dedicated. My head was down, I worked hard early in the morning before a day of work. Since the start of this year, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve trained. I’m just not interested. I’ve bought shiny new gym clothes, brand new trainers in a bid to motivate me. It’s not working. I hated every minute I was there earlier and to make matters worse, one of the women I’ve known for a long time bounded over like an excitable puppy to tell me how tiny I was, how amazing I looked and what was my secret. If you have ever experienced body dysmorphia then you will get that my head went into over drive and all I could see was fat and I hated looking in the mirror. I finished my set, cut my loses and got the hell out of there. At least I escaped the gaggle of senior aqua ladies whose conversations drive me to insanity in the changing room.

So, what do I do? I need to shake this mood quickly. I’m finding the immediate weeks after the separation tough, it is literally a case of survival, get through each day by the skin of your teeth, pretend to the world that you are winning. Even though I instigated the split, it still hurts like hell. I sat outside my old house late last night and sobbed, I loved my house, I miss it and I feel like I’ve let it down. In a nutshell, I’m drowning. I am sure that this is all part of the grief for what I’ve lost process and it will pass with time. Until then, it’s probably best to give me a wide berth and if you are brave enough to talk to me, please don’t comment on my weight loss.


Monday. The day of good intentions and new goals

Most goals are set on a Monday. If the Monday happens to coincide with the first of a month then its definitely a winner! I hear these goals all the time:

  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Go to the gym
  • Stop eating cake
  • Eat fruit instead of cake
  • Stop drinking fizzy pop
  • Drink water, 2 litres a day

Today, being Monday, I have set myself a goal for this week. This is unusual for me but I have a serious problem that I need to face urgently.

I struggle to eat. Seeing those words in black and white hits me in the gut, hard. My goal for this week is to eat at regular times during the day. I’m not going to concern myself with the nutrition, the carbs, the calorie intake, I just need to eat.

With the help of my amazing friend, I have started to unpick the reasons behind my fear of food. He was the the first person to notice that I starve myself, that I can go for hours and hours and not eat and when I do, I rarely finish what is on my plate. Along with his “Are you still breathing?” message, I often get a “Have you/what have you eaten today?” message. When you are struggling with food, to have some accountability is very important. I will often eat because I don’t want to see his disappointment, he’s never angry, in fact he has really helped me understand why I’m scared to eat.

I’m scared to eat because I don’t want to be fat. I’ve been fat, there is a whole blog post waiting to be written about the day I realised how fat I was and how that day has changed my life. I lost my weight through sensible eating and intensive training in the gym. I can’t pinpoint the day the eating disorder took hold, I think it crept over, slowly and sneakily until it became my way of life and nobody noticed. Until recently. I’m currently not fat, I’m a UK size 10 but I don’t see myself as slim. I struggle with body dysmorphia. I look in the mirror and I see a fat stomach sticking out, I see chubby, wobbly legs. In reality, I know that I haven’t got a perfect figure but I am no where near fat. Try telling my brain that.

So, I starve myself, I can go all day and not eat. I go past hunger, I feel my body starting to shut down. I’ve had fuzzy vision, shakes, violent headaches, emotional outbursts. All because my body was starving. why oh why would I put myself through that? But I do and I continue to do so on a regular basis.

To admit you need help is massive. I need help. I don’t want to fear food. Irony is, I love cooking, I’m good at it. I love to see people eating my food, it makes me very happy. I just need to learn to love (or at least like) eating again.

H xx

Anxiety. It’s real and it hurts.

There have been major changes in my life in the last month, I’ve left my marriage, I’ve sold my family home, divided our possessions and taken my 3 children to a new house to start a new life. On the whole, I’m doing well. I see small steps of progress in how I’m feeling, I catch myself smiling or even laughing occasionally. I am not spending all night awake, sobbing uncontrollably, then hiding my eyes away the next day because they are puffy and sore. I’m doing ok.

Or so I think. Anxiety. It catches me unawares. I think I’m in control, then the smallest thing can set me off. It may be a drive down a road near to my beloved family home, a song on Alexa, a photo on my time hop. And that is it. I’m off, the emotions are unchecked, I’m irrational, angry, stressed, you name it, I experience it.

I’m doing my absolute best to cope. I didn’t want to stay married, I was so unhappy and trapped that it was making my health suffer. I’ve made the best decision to leave but coping with the fallout of the hurt is hard. I was warned about the loneliness but to actually experience it first hand is another level. I just didn’t expect to feel so alone, I wanted out, and the feeling of loneliness has hit me hard.

I’m doing the best I can, my big girl pants are on. I have good friends around me, I have my amazing family and my fab children. To do this without a supportive network is unimaginable, I am one of the lucky ones, I have the chance to live my life how I choose. I need to allow myself to have these feelings but not let them destroy my day, night, weekend, week. I have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Ultimately, this will make me a better person.

H xx

Finding the happiness in the simple things

Saturday Morning

Simply stunning

The smallest things in life bring me the most pleasure, sure I get a kick out of buying something from a new car to new trainers but I find that the happiness that material things brings is short lived. I love the random, the unexpected, the thoughtful. A thank you card left for me to find, an unexpected compliment, appreciation after I’ve cooked a meal.

This morning, I walked my dog as I do every single morning. I looked up from the top of the field and was greeted with the above picture. Simply stunning. My mood lifted, the smile was genuine and there was a spring in my step. Nature has a funny way of just being there but often we do not take time to look up and appreciate the natural beauty that is all around us.

It is raining now, absolutely pouring so I guarantee that the field is not quite as beautiful and if I were walking, my head would be down to avoid the rain. I am blessed with nature’s gift this morning, she chose to share her beauty with me and fill my heart.

Happy Saturday

H xx

Grief is not only for death

Life is so short

This afternoon as I was walking my dogs, I came across, what can only be described as a shrine, to a teenage girl who tragically died earlier this year. Her friends had covered a tree with snap chat photos, (you know the ones with all the filters), poems, ribbons, hearts, and comments.

My heart broke. It broke for the girl whose life has been cut so short, for her family, for her friends, for all those who knew her. It also broke for the wasted years of my own life where I was so unhappy and I was too scared to do anything to make a change. This child had her whole life ahead of her and it has been taken away, I had my life but was not living.

I am the lucky one, with the right support around me, I was finally brave enough to leave, to start again, to find my courage and follow my heart. I have the opportunity to wake up every day and live.

Seeing the grief today has brought home how precious our lives are; we never know which day will be our last. I feel that I have wasted so many of my precious years by being unhappy that this second chance that I have been given, is a gift and I must make the most of every single day. Sure, there are times when the enormity of what I have been through hits me and the tears start to fall and I just can’t stop crying but overall, I am starting to feel calm and at peace with myself. I’m even starting to have a decent night of sleep, even though I don’t have a bed yet. that is another story!

One of the most important things I have learned is to trust the timing of my life, there is a reason why everything happens at that precise moment. The reason may not be clear at the time but stick with it. Life is precious and oh so short.

H xx

Here we go ….

My First Post!

I’ve thought about this day for a very long time, I have a story to share and I’m hopeful that my story will help change the lives of others. It has taken me a very long time to be brave and make changes to my life which enables me to live again. I feel through sharing my own experiences, it will help my road to recovery too. I am at the beginning of this recovery journey, some days, I am winning at life, some days I am just holding on by my fingertips.

The title of my blog has come from a text message which was sent to me almost daily by my very dearest and most trusted friend. He would send me a message which just said “Are you still breathing?” this message meant the world to me as having someone there, who cared that I was still alive gave me the strength to carry on. More about this wonderful, unconventional friendship in future posts!

So, in a nutshell, I have left an unhappy marriage of over 20 years where emotional abuse nearly destroyed me, I am recovering from an eating disorder because I am terrified of becoming fat again and I have been off work for a significant amount of time (at time of writing 7 months) and am preparing for my return to my job. Scary but exciting times, I hope you will join me on my journey and share my story as it unfolds

H xx