When enough is enough and it’s time to get serious!

gratitude-2

Saturday afternoon.  I really could be doing so many other jobs right now.  The house is in quite a state (I can almost hear my friends thinking yeah right…) but for some bizarre reason it isn’t bothering me.  Lets be honest, it’s possibly because I know I will attend to the chaos tonight!

I knew I wanted to write another blog post this last week, but as busy as the week was, I settled for simple journalling every day.  If I didn’t happen to get up before Zoe in the morning, we’d sit next to each other at breakfast and write in our ‘journals’ together!  Don’t be fooled – this has not necessarily been the peaceful scene you’re imagining.  It has involved me losing my shit because I can’t handle being crawled on and nagged at so early in the morning!! Waaaahhh #mumlife

Writing helps ground me through the ebs and flows.   (Obviously need a little bit more work on that).  It helps me nut out any niggles that are causing anxiety, come up with solutions (if any) for any of these niggles and to ensure that I haven’t derailed slightly and am veering off track.  I have finally learnt, at the age of 28 , that you just can’t afford to ignore doing the things that play a huge part in your well being.  It’s not worth it.  Not for me who suffers from an ED that is never looming too far away, and not for ANYONE!  Something that sounds so simple, is the simple thing that means you can either live a life that you are basically proud of, or live your life as a spectator observing an ongoing train wreck – that being the case for me anyway!

I mentioned in my last post, that I wanted to write about what has helped, and continues to help me with an ED that developed 10 years ago.  Writing this initial post was pretty confronting, but I wrote about it when I was truly ready, so the positives have far outweighed any negatives.  There are so many wonderful people out there.   I almost feel that writing about what has helped me, would be even more confronting.  In a way it would reveal to people how much it had a hold on me, and how incredibly hard I’ve had to work to come out the other side and STAY THERE!

That post will come when I feel ready.  That same feeling I had when I published my last post, will let me know when it’s time to share the next chapter.  I have so much I want to write in terms of the recovery.  I’ve read a shit load and am learning a shit load.  To a point where I have become fascinated in how our minds work and why we do what we do.  I’ve enrolled in more study to help answer these questions and to potentially help explain it to others one day.

The time will come, but for now I’ll dance around the edges as to what has helped me.  So not quite warts and all just yet….Lets call this stage one!

  • Daily gratitude.  This simple practice shifts your focus from what is lacking to what is already abundantly present.  There is always something to be grateful for.   Don’t wait for a positive experience to allow yourself to be grateful.  Look deep, even if it is simply that fact that we have oxygen to breath.
  • Remembering that this too shall pass.  Some days life is wonderful.  Some days life simply sucks.  These things never stay the same.  Enjoy it when life is good, and when it isn’t?  Simply know that it most certainly won’t last.  When you’re down…. feel it!  Is there a message there?  When you’ve had enough and learnt what it is you needed to know.  Move on.
  • Being healthy starts from the inside out.  You need to put as much energy into having a healthy mind, as you do having a healthy body.  We feed our bodies good food to feel better.  Our minds need be no different.  Feed it faith.  Feed it truth.  Feed it love. That’s what you will get in return.
  • Spend time on YOU.  Learn about yourself, get to know what works and what doesn’t.  What triggers you to fall back into old patterns and what pulls you out.   It is so easy to get lost when you are always doing things with a sense of urgency.  Find a moment of stillness and really give your heart a chance to tell you where you need to be and what is really going on in there.  Try and try again.
  • Ask yourself each day for a month:  If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with how I’m living my life?  If the answer is no for too many days in a row,  change something!  It’s so important to check in.  This is basically what has helped me realise when I’ve needed to make changes in my life, big or small.
  • Get serious with yourself for a moment – learn what cultivates that kick arse feeling inside you and stick with it!  Sometimes you won’t feel like it, and thats ok, just don’t leave it for too long!  Pick it back up the next day.   What creates that feeling?  Maybe writing daily in your journal, pre planning for the week ahead – looking at areas you might need to support yourself through or plan for in the upcoming  week.   You could engage with your kids, catch up with good people, get out in nature or take a warm shower (this should hopefully be a daily practice)!   Quiet nights when you feel you need them helps me stay sane,  including meditation in each day for as little or long as you need, or maybe a yoga practice that keeps your body free from aches and pains?  Sometimes it’s nice to reach out and show gratitude to people that you appreciate.  Think outside the square, send a thank you card to someone that made you smile that week.  Basically, find what fills up that cup and try and get as much of it in as possible.  The end result – less anxiety, more self trust and the ability to back yourself through the shitty times!  For so long I knew what helped me but I didn’t do it.  Don’t deny yourself of what you deserve anymore.  Rant over.
  • The magic happens when you are out of your comfort zone!  Sometimes you just need to say yes and then figure it out!  There is a lot of emphasis around saying no at the moment.  I get that!  It is important to listen to your heart and what it truly desires.  However I’ve also found that conciously saying YES to things that I’ve initially recoiled from and felt anxious about, has built up so much of the self trust I lost during my marriage and separation.
  • Prioritising good sleep, is good self love.  We know the best sleep is before midnight.  Try and get as much in as you can before 12 pm.  Having a child that now basically sleeps through every night has helped with this.  We all do what we can and work around what we need to, but just knowing how much better I feel with a good 7-8 hours behind me is enough motivation to put my phone down and go the F to sleep!

I never thought I’d get to a point where I’d say this, but the pain I’ve experienced really has become my source of strength.  When you experience moments of how peaceful life can really be,  that becomes the drive.  It goes without saying that I have hard days, ED related or not!  Like any of us!  Im just learning a little better at how to recover and find that inner light again.

I’m being beckoned from the other room.   She’s awake.  Those 2 hours went way to quick!  A deep breath to help transition into the new pace that toddler wrangling brings and see what this quiet, now Sunday afternoon brings.

Jen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey To Recovery

never give up

The Grounded Mum was born last year, at the end of my marriage and at the beginning of a life that I only saw in my wildest dreams.  That I hoped of anyway.  A life that I used to day dream about in our Botanic Gardens and would write about in all my half finished journals.

It wasn’t immediately that I started writing – after a few months of settling in and having some days to myself where Zoe was in daycare (to you know, heal and all that stuff) I discovered my passion for writing again.  At this point I didn’t realise it was to be the first of many passions that subsequently was to emerge.

The title The Grounded Mum was based around a couple of things:

  • The fact that I am an ex flight attendant no longer flying (hence the term ‘grounded’. And;
  • My desire to be just that.  A grounded and present Mum to my beautiful daughter.

Anyone who has been reading this blog from the start – and lets be honest there’d only be a handful, would know that this blog isn’t so much about the past and the reasons my marriage ended – but instead how I’m choosing to live NOW.  The beautiful moments and at times the not so beautiful moments.  I share the things that help me and also hope to inspire anyone else out there.

This blog is full of rawness and honesty.  It’s a blog reflective of a period where I have discovered more about myself than at any other time.  Which brings me to my next point – the reason I came into my study to write tonight.  I feel its getting to the point where I can’t continue writing, without sharing a big part of me.

Ahhhhh big breaths……

I suffer from an eating disorder.  I don’t really believe that you can ever write that statement in the past tense.  For me it is something that I manage, and certainly not something I have completely ‘gotten over’.

Rewind 10 years.  Moved away from my home town, all the way to the big smoke… SYDNEY!  I was young, incredibly naive, and thought that this was going to be amazing.  I had landed my dream job as a flight attendant and had broken up with my boyfriend at the time without a care in the world.  I was moving to Sydney – nothing else mattered.

I had ZERO life experience outside of high school antics.  Well not any experience that would help me get through what was to be one of the hardest times of my life.

It came on slowly – I was eating out a lot, and eating late.  I hadn’t had to worry about weight before.  Previously, I ate my mums cooking and life was fairly simple.  Weight crept on and I was probably at my heaviest.  I was miserable, regretted dumping my BF, felt extremely lonely, was making some pretty cod ordinary decisions in life, parents had moved overseas for 4 years, was working a lot while my high school friends were back home partying and having fun.  I was absolutely, completely and utterly out of my depth.

It was a period of so much change and I had no tools to handle it.  Eventually it all got too much.  I needed to control something in my life.  A life that was spiralling out of control so fast.  And food it was.  I went into starvation mode and lost over 13 kg.  At my lightest I dropped to 55 kg on a 171 cm frame.  I kept journals, tracked my weight and most of all kept encouraging myself to go on this ‘eat minimal’ diet.  I lived off grapes and carrots sticks.  It wasn’t until this point that I realised how incredibly hard it was to socialise with an eating disorder.  Food is everywhere!  I pushed away a lot of beautiful people in my life because I didn’t know how to have them AND my “ED”.  Thankfully, I am still in contact with some girls from my initial flying days.  I’ll always have a special place in my heart for them.

Did it make me happier? No.  I did however enjoy being skinny to some extent.  I had something to focus on.  At this point, I had no idea that it would still be with  me 10 years later.

I eventually had to quit my job and moved back home to live with some dear family friends.  It was so incredibly big of them to take me on – I can’t imagine it would’ve been easy for them either.  Looking back I probably should have got some qualified help to help aid in my recovery.  Instead, I started exercising to make up for the additional food I was eating.  I was running anywhere up to 12 kms a day to help maintain my weight.

I eventually got my own place, a job and a boyfriend and life settled down for awhile.  I put on weight (more than I would have liked) but I guess I had enough distraction to keep me from relapsing.  Life wasn’t bad.  I had good friends and was just so happy to be home again.  Looking back at that stage, it was a period where I was almost free from the ED.  I enjoyed exercising to a healthy level and for the most part had an ok relationship with food.  It wasn’t healthy food, however at that point I didn’t know the world of healthy foods!  There was only two levels of eating:

  • Eating food – any types at all, or;
  • Basically not eating at all

Four years passed and after awhile that relationship didn’t work out and came to an end.  It was the next 5 years, years filled with emotional trauma, and again emotions and experiences so far out of my depth, that saw the same issues creeping up.   This period involved other people, so I won’t go into it.

Instead of just restricting food – in came the binging and purging.  And I guess up until 12 months ago, instead of it being something that I only used in order to ‘deal with’ awful times, it became habit.  Before I knew it, it had a hold on me.  If I wasn’t physically either on a diet or at times making myself sick – I would be questioning anything that crossed my lips.  There was no peace.  Being in a relationship and subsequent marriage that I was unhappy in didn’t help the situatiuon.

Over the last 12 months I have worked so incredibly hard to break years of bad habits that made life such a lonely place at times.  In a way,  looking after yourself becomes so much easier when you are living a life true to who you are and where you want to be.

It has been hard.  So bloody hard at times.  Relapses and mistakes, on repeat.  However with nothing but sheer discipline, a discipline harder than NOT allowing yourself to eat, I am now at a point where I can see recovery as a permanent thing.

I know exactly what has worked for me and I will most certainly share that in another blog.  I am no longer naive, have lived and tried it ALL and if i can help just one other person then it was all worth it!

Being a mum doesn’t put you in bubble wrap and mean you don’t struggle with these things.  Sometimes it just means you have less time to deal with the issues so it takes longer to heal.  I am a bit like the ED natzi and can spot distorted eating from a mile away 😉

I don’t for a second take for granted where I am, especially because I know how hard I have worked to get here.

I have a daughter that I love more than anything in the world.

This recovery is as much for me as it is you my darling!

Jen xx

 

Cocktails and late nights to toddler wrangling and night lights

 

Flaming_cocktails

I’m writing this post at 10 am on a Friday morning.  I haven’t had a friday off in quite some time so it feels strange.  Im as sick as a dog, but I’m having that window of grace when the panadol is working its magic – so opening my eyes is possible!  It’s not until you are bed ridden with the Flu that makes you stop and appreciate good health.  Like being able to stand up without your head feeling like it will explode!

It has been a long time between posts!  Ive missed this space.  I tend to push things aside when I’m not too confident in the direction i want it to go, or maybe something as drastic as who I am?! I think blogs are funny like that – oh so resilient and always there waiting for when you next return!

The last 6 months have been full.  Working part time, raising an extremely strong willed little girl, dealing with the ups and downs of co parenting…. And everything else in between.

I think I’ve been in la la land to be honest.  Pushing the hard feelings and decisions aside that I’m not quite ready to deal with.  The first 6 months were filled with lots of growth.  Early morning writing sessions, yoga, exercise, online courses, early nights, healthy dinners etc etc – then I think there was a shift.  I had been living in my little bubble and felt a bit more confident to step out into the big wide world again!  When you start feeling stronger it’s easy to turn your back on things that bring so much positivity to your life.  It isn’t long before you realise that those things were in your life for a reason!

I was watching The Batchelor the other night and was listening to Alex (also a single mum for those who haven’t been drawn into such high quality TV).  She was speaking to Batchie about all the other things she is, aside from being a mum.  It was nice to hear.  One of the tough things I’m finding recently is the struggle around when I have my daughter to when I don’t.  Such two different lives.  I work the four days I don’t have her so there isn’t too much time for shenanigans.  However their have been some seedy Sunday mornings dragging myself to work! (Or spritely skipping to work incase my boss is reading).

It’s the whole thing of switching back into mum mode come Sunday night, when my little girl is due to come back the next morning. I feel guilty for enjoying the time I’ve had away from her, the interaction with adults, the lack of the whine and the introduction of the only ‘wine’ i want in my life!

I sometimes doubt that I am cut out to be a good mum to her when she returns.  I feel like it’s a double life.  I go from being out at a bar on Saturday night, (lets be honest, i could count on one hand (maybe both) the amount of times this has happened)… to toddler time at the library on a Monday morning singing Incy Wincy Spider.  I feel like i don’t belong in the mum “click”.   That somehow i don’t ‘cut it’ because the way our family operates is different! Yes there are some judgy mums out there but I take full responsibility for these thoughts –  all TOTALLY in my head.  I think it comes down to the confidence thing…  It’s getting better as I become more confident in my direction and feeling more proud of the choices I’m making. …. but it’s the whole two steps forward one step back thing I guess.

While I’m at it and in the f*%# it lets talk about everything mode….Dating (or lack there of)…

Dating hasn’t been something I have really delved into yet.  The town that I live in, as much as at is called a city… is still very much a country town compared to places like Sydney and Brisbane.  I lack optimism that there is anyone here for me – but the odd fling here and there has given me a taste of dating in this era.  I was introduced to Snap chat early on which has been fun but was also reminded of the whole stupid “game” thing that comes with SOME guys.  Not really into that, so just happy to keep focussing on my little fam bam and see where it takes us!  I’d love to meet someone who I can share this crazy life with, but something like that takes time…  I’m not getting it wrong twice!

I certainly feel that the last 6 months needed to happen in order for me to realise that I can have lots of different elements to me.  As can ALL mums, not just single mums!! It’s just choosing which ones you want.  Which ones are inline with your future hopes and dreams.  I think I’m learning that there is a time and a place for it all.  It’s what you do MOST of the time that shapes your days, your months, the years and then at the very end….. you look back on and has shaped your life.

Stay aware.  Stay authentic and whatever you do NEVER stop learning!

I feel like this window of grace is closing in and the magic of the drugs is wearing off so I shall leave my ramblings here….

Jen xx