When you’re told the truth that you really don’t want to hear.

I struggle to eat. I make every excuse under the sun to avoid eating. I hate,absolutely hate, choosing what to eat. The thought of selecting food on the spot brings me so much anxiety.

My friend and I go out to eat regularly, we stick to the same 2 places. I know what I’m having and I cope. But recently, I’ve started limiting the amount of food I have. It started with a main and 2 sides, then a main and a side, then a main. Now it’s a small main with nothing else and I struggle to finish that. He’s watching me, I feel him not knowing what to say. I know I frustrate him, I know he wants to help me but he just doesn’t know how because for him, food is good. He loves eating and eating suits him. He’s a bloody good looking man, he trains his body hard, he eats well and it shows.

Me? I’m a slim woman but I’ll always have the fat fear. I was very overweight about ten years ago. I’d had 3 children very close together, the pregnancies with bad food choices, no structured exercise and low self esteem led to weight gain. One day I decided enough was enough and I started to get my body back. It was hard work, not an easy fix, sacrifices were made, hours in the gym, no to pizza on a Saturday night but I had a body which I could be proud of. If only I’d let myself.

Today, I’m still slim. Due to my lack of gym training, I’ve lost my muscle definition and I feel soft. I hate it. I look in the mirror and all I can see is fat, wobbly bits. I hate my body.

My life has been chaotic over the last year with the breakdown of my marriage, my house sale, my 8 months off work. I’ve controlled the only thing I could; food. I’ve starved myself, I’ve promised to eat and then forgotten, I’ve pretended I’ve eaten, I’ve eaten in secret, I’ve eaten in public. Worst still, I’ve started to make myself sick.

My friend is the only one who knows, he is the only person to have noticed that I run about making everyone else food, I’m a decent cook, but never feed myself. Over the Christmas period, he went home and I didn’t see him for 2 weeks, on his return he was shocked at how thin I was. I was so miserable during this time that I just didn’t eat.

I rarely get hungry, I’ve gone past that. I can easily go 20/24 hours and not eat. I know what I’m doing and I want to stop but I’m scared. I’m so fearful of losing control, becoming fat. When I do eat, the sick feeling lasts for over 2 hours, I walk around, I try and distract myself to keep the food inside me. Sometimes it works.

Then this morning, he couldn’t contain his views anymore. I know I worry him, I really don’t want to. I don’t want to be a burden. He’s threatening to stop coming to my house, he won’t eat here unless I sit and eat with him. I get the feeling that he’s desperate now and doesn’t quite know the right thing to say, so is saying everything in his head and in his heart. I know he’s right. I have to eat. I wish it were that simple.

I don’t want to be without him. He is my world but when it comes to food, will I eat just to keep him? Worse still, will I eat to please him then make myself sick?

I have a real problem. I need some help. My fear of food cannot take away the best friend I’ve ever had but I don’t know how to stop this

H xx

The start of a new chapter

Spring is in full bloom here in the UK, this week the weather has been glorious. It makes you feel happy to be alive.

Or that’s the theory. I’ve struggled all week. My confidence in myself is at an all time low, my return to my job is imminent, it hangs over me every second of every day.

Fear. I’m scared. I’m frightened that I can’t do my job anymore. I haven’t worked for 8 months, I’ve distanced myself from my place of work to aid my recovery which was so needed but that is now showing huge disadvantages. I’m out the loop, I can’t remember what to do. In just over 36 hours, I have to walk back through the door and do the job that I’m paid and trained to do. Sure, there is a phased return and in my case, it is generous but I still have to get up, put on my work clothes, drive there and walk through the door.

This thought train plays on a loop in my head like a never ending roller coaster. It’s made me incredibly irrational. I’ve been on a self destruct mission trying to vent my insecurities on the one person I love the most. The one person who holds me together more than anybody. The one person who really should walk away from my craziness but keeps coming back. For that, I’m eternally grateful.

Then yesterday came and for a few miraculous hours, it all went away. My lovely friend took me out, we went shopping and laughed. I saw the old me, the old friendship, the one that got us together in the first place. We had the looks between us when the salesman was trying ever so hard that had us trying (and failing) to hide smiles. I was happy.

I’ve forgotten what inside happiness feels like but for a brief time yesterday, I was reminded. And I liked it. I want more.

The new chapter of my life is happening, I can’t stop it, I can’t fight it. I need to go with open arms, big girl pants on and embrace the way forward.

I can do this

H xx

Instagram @are_you_still_breathing

Life keeps throwing me these curve balls.

It’s been a funny old week. I’m mega emotional, I can’t stop the tears again. I think I cried consistently yesterday for many hours over actually nothing. My ex is being an idiot. He only sees our children for a very short time each week (his choice) and last night he gave them hell over him being lonely in the middle of the pub. They came back saying what an awful time they’d had. It breaks my heart that my precious children do not have the relationship with their father that they deserve. It is always about him, how he is feeling, how busy he is, what is happening to him and nothing is ever his fault. I keep pointing put that he is an adult and yes, they are teenagers but they are still children and he needs to grow up and act like an adult. I won’t hold my breath.

Before I’m allowed back to work (just over a week: anxiety is through the roof) my doctor ran a series of blood tests. To my absolute horror, I’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I just don’t get it. The standard letter which came has really messed with my mental well being. I’m struggling with an eating disorder. I can literally starve myself for many hours because I’m terrified that I’m going to get fat again. When I do eat, my potions are small, I never finish anything. I walk my dogs twice a day and I’m back at the gym. I’m hating the gym, I’ll explain about that another day, but I’m back doing my thing.

So, the letter pops through my door to tell me that I’ve tested for pre-diabetes and my chance of getting type 2 diabetes is high, but hold on, good news! I can easily reverse the pre-diabetes by increasing my exercise levels and losing some weight.

HOLD ON

I’m struggling with an eating disorder, given the choice, I won’t eat. That suits me just fine and now the medical professionals have given me green light to lose weight. Hurray!!!!! Does anyone actually check a person’s health records before sending out a standard letter. Where would they like me to lose weight from? And how do I increase my exercise? I walk between 7 and 10 miles a day and I train in the gym 4-5 times a week. I am no where near as fit as I used to be, but I know that my fitness is still above that of the average female, and way above females of my age bracket. I actually give up. The state of my head is horrendous. I’ve spent the last 48 hours googling diabetes which hasn’t helped.

I need some serious help

H xx

I snapped and lost it

One of the many reasons why I ended my marriage was that he couldn’t sort anything out. Sure, he would tell you differently, that he did his equal share in a busy family. I give him credit for doing the ironing (mostly his), washing our bed nearly every weekend, the garden. Apart from those jobs, I seemed to do everything else. He would do stuff if I directed him into it but he couldn’t organise himself, needed me to facilitate everything, remember everyone birthdays, pay all the bills, sort the kids out with their endless activities, you know, general everyday jobs which you just can’t avoid. It was driving me crazy.

I’m a very organised person, I like everything just so. I hate being late, if we need to be there at 10am, we arrive at 9.55am. If we need to leave at 9.30, we are driving down the road at 9.30, not sitting in the car waiting until 9.40 because someone can’t find their shoes/hat/phone/wallet etc. As the years rolled on, I became more super organised and he became more disorganised. it was doomed to fail.

Since our split, he has obviously had to step up and sort himself out. This has been hard for him. I’m lucky, I have a really supportive network around me with my family and my friends. Yes, there are time when I’m incredibly lonely and sad but if need help, I only have to send a message and it will be there, I don’t feel my ex has that support. Our children live with me, he gets to see them once a week (his choice, I’m not stopping him seeing them, but apparently he is so busy trying to make sense of it all one night a week is ok for now), he has a big family, but from what I can tell, the support is not there and that makes me sad.

So, is this my problem? I’ve sat with him, gone though his essential bills, given him all the details he needs, set him up a new bank account, paid off all the joint bills so we could both start again. But it just wasn’t enough. I’ve had daily texts asking me for information, it was driving me crazy. On Sunday, I was having a rough day, my CFS was bad, I was trying to rest, have some headspace and get myself in a good place especially as I’d had a terrible week last week. After many texts, I snapped. I was vile to him. It’s an awful feeling, knowing that you are being horrid but you just can’t stop. We haven’t spoken since.

I feel guilty. I’m stopping myself from contacting him as I know exactly where the conversation will go and I’ll snap again. It is time he grew up and took responsibility for his own life. My actions were wrong but that is what happens when you are close to breaking point. We are separated and that means we live separate lives.

H xx

Monday. A day of healing and self care

After my disastrous week last week, I decided to approach this week with a totally different attitude. I have 2 weeks before my return to work and this coming week, my diary is empty, something totally unheard of. So, I have started my week by putting myself first. I did train at the gym this morning, a short but effective session which I felt positive about. I’ve walked my dogs. And that has been about it. I’ve watched TV, I’ve had a nap, I’ve put my own well being first; something I never do.

The world hasn’t ended, my children are still fine, my house is tidy (the washing didn’t magically put itself away) but I wouldn’t be embarrassed if my mum came round. So, what have I learnt from today? It is really important to take a step away from the busy lives we lead. I had the opportunity today and I took it with both hands. Normally by this point in the day, the guilt would be immense about my waste of a precious day but I needed this today. I needed to reset my brain, not answer my messages or emails, not rush about doing all my errands in one day.

The anxiety about returning to work after such a lengthy absence is at tipping point. I feel sick every time I visualise myself back in my office. I don’t know what to do, I feel like the new girl again, not the confident boss who runs the ship effectively and with precision. My self confidence is at an all time low. Once I have made my return, I will be expected to perform at the highest level so days like today are vital for my own well being.

My eating has been more positive today, I managed to cook and eat a wholesome breakfast, I’ve had a couple of snacks and plenty of fluids. I’ve got dinner cooking and I’m going to put myself a small plate.

All in all, I’m winning on this Monday

H xx

The Sea View

Like a lot of people, a massive dream of mine is to live by the sea. I find the sea so healing, the whole sensory experience just calms my frantic mind. But what happens after you’ve lived by the sea for a while?

You take it for granted, very quickly. It becomes the norm, it’s what you see every day and you stop looking. And this doesn’t apply to the sea, it’s anything that becomes part of our everyday environment; nature, relationships, friends, family, we stop looking and appreciating. We take these things for granted.

I was having a moan a while ago to my friend about spending time with my parents because there was something I’d rather be doing. I see them at least twice a week and speak, mostly by text, every day. His entire family live in another country, he only gets to see them twice a year. He was rather abrupt and told me to stop it, there was nothing he’d rather be doing than spending time with his parents at the weekend, especially as there had been some hardship and ill health in the family recently. It really made me think. We take our every day lives for granted.

We need to slow down, even just for a few minutes, appreciate the view, the sea, the park, the fields, the sky, the home cooked meal, the text asking if you’re ok, the coffee date, the hug waiting at the end of a long day. We need to enjoy our time, especially with the ones we love because tomorrow is not promised.

Last week was a particularly bad week for me, I was irrational and incredibly moody. I set goals which, with the best will in the world were unachievable. I set myself up to fail. After an epic outburst on Thursday (and Friday) I’m emotionally empty. Time to sit back and appreciate the view, recharge and find the positives in my new life. The last 6 weeks have been the hardest in my life and I know that I haven’t given myself enough time to heal, make sense of what has happened and allow the grief to happen. I am learning so much about mental health and about myself.

I have a sea view waiting, I have a holiday booked for August, a house which over looks the sea. I am going to breathe that view in for every second of the week that I am there knowing that it is temporary and the it is part of my recovery process.

But for this week, I’m going to stop being so hard on myself and take each day as it happens and put my own needs first.

H xx

Insomnia.

It’s 1.28am. I’m wide awake, again. I’ve done all the usual to try and get myself back to sleep but tonight, or rather, this morning, I’ve given in.

During an appointment to try and get my eating back on track this week I was advised to limit my water intake as I was drinking to satisfy my hunger and therefore not eating. Trouble is, I’ve always drunk loads of water, my body is used to it so I’m mega thirsty, you known, the thirst of the morning after the night before? I’ve given into that too, drunk some water, eaten some popcorn (that will play on my mind shortly) and I’m just sitting here.

My mind is in overdrive

I can’t switch it off. I’m overthinking my week, how I’ve reacted (over reacted) to situations. Why I feel the need to push away the people I love the most. However, the overwhelming feeling is one of guilt.

I left my marriage, for 101 different reasons and I don’t regret that decision to leave. But, I feel guilty, I’ve caused such upset and pain to others by putting my own needs first. I lie here, in my own room, surrounded by only my things, in a bed which I chose and paid for. There is some element of contentment in this, I’m hopeful that as I settle further into my new life that feeling will grow.

The effect of my lack of sleep will be negative on the day to follow. Since my diagnosis of CFS, sleep has been the most important element of my day. I long to wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go. I can’t remember the last time I woke up after a bloody good sleep. 4 straight hours is a win. Tonight, I’ll settle for an hour.

H xx