Keep Holding On.

So now that the new year is fully in flow and now that I have well and truly failed at Dry January, I have finally gotten back into a daily routine. I swear the Christmas holidays mess everyones body clocks up because I honestly lose track of what day and time it is, where I should be and what I should be doing and when. However, it’s back to the grind for everyone and as boring and repetitive as that may be for some people, I am determined to strive to achieve my career goals this year. I refuse to let my mental health affect my confidence and stop me from striving for things I have always wanted to do. Whether that be my career, travelling or saving to buy a house (just a few of the things on my 2018 To Do List) I am not succumbing to the disordered way of thinking that I have only just managed to break out of.

One thing that has kept me going through my lower points in recovery recently has been looking at how far I have come compared to this time last year. January 2017 was the run up to a cannonball into the deep end of depression for me and I refuse to let the same happen to me again this year. I have spent the last two weeks focussing on taking the right steps towards the right people in my life. I have filled my days with working hard, taking some time for myself and doing things that I enjoy (Hello, Assassins Creed Origins) trying new things and visiting new places, meeting up with old friends and looking for new career opportunities.

Now the thing about recovery is it really isn’t a nice, neat straight line of a journey. You have to buckle yourself in for the bumpiest ride of your life because just as you think it might be levelling out, you’re thrown around another loop-de-loop of anxiety. Recovery is like the most severe white knuckle ride of your life but instead of holding onto the safety bar, you’re holding onto yourself whilst you feel your shoulders shake as another wave of tears rocks you to sleep. The nights feel long and the days even longer but the biggest piece of advice I can ever give to someone in recovery, especially when it’s so difficult that you just want to give up…is don’t. Keep holding on because I can promise you that if you find the strength to keep going eventually it won’t feel like a rollercoaster anymore. It will feel like one of those lazy river rides that your parents take you on as a child.

Swimming along through the depths of depression is one of the hardest things to do because in my personal experience I held onto the rocks that were dragging me to the bottom. Ana constantly filled my pockets with pebbles and pulled me down into the darkest depths of my mind and it wasn’t until I looked into the eyes of my boyfriend to see a very sick and fragile girl reflected back at me that I realised I needed help. Despite knowing that Anorexia was a very dark and dangerous path to go down, I refused to turn back and even now, after walking away from her, I still struggle to not stray a few steps backwards when I feel like I am losing control. Ana always gave me such an incredible sense of control and power because I was controlling what was going in and coming out of my body but in reality all that was happening was Ana was getting stronger and I was getting weaker.

Looking at how I used to live my life will always inspire me to keep going because I know I never want to end up as ill as I was last year. Instead of holding onto the things that were dragging me down, I have started 2018 by focusing on the people that are going to help me on my road to recovery. One thing that has become quite difficult for me is after spending so long isolating myself and handling my problems on my own, I have found it difficult to re-connect with old friends, allowing my anxiety to convince me into hysterical states of loneliness. Over the last few weeks I have pushed myself through my personally built walls of anxiety and I have had two of the best nights reuniting and reconnecting with old friends. It might not sound like much but to me it is an incredibly big deal. To be able to go and eat dinner at not just one but two of my friends houses is something I haven’t been able to do for years as I was too scared of having to hide in the bathroom afterwards as I purged the meal I used to so desperately wish I could enjoy.

Over the last few weeks I have managed to meet up with two of my longest friends, April and Leah who I have been friends with for 17, nearly 18 years. We met in reception at primary school and to still be in touch all these years later and for us all to still be as weird and as wonderful as we used to, is such a precious gift in my life. I love both of them so dearly and they are two of the most kind hearted people I know. I also met up with one of my old work friends, Charlotte, who I haven’t seen for months due to us both having to do boring things and actually become adults. Seeing her and catching up after so long was so lovely and both the conversation and the wine didn’t stop flowing. It was so nice to not feel scared to be myself and to not be afraid to talk about what had been going on with me and actually being able to tell the truth for a change. Happiness is such a beautiful gift and I feel so lucky to have such amazing girls by my side. They are all helping me on a journey I never expected I would have to take, but they have stuck by me through every bump, turn and roundabout and for that I will be ever grateful.

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Friendships are so important and it is one of the things I have been lucky enough to share with some incredible people. I am lucky enough to be in a relationship with my best friend and being able to share all of my best moments with the person I love is one of the most natural antidepressants. I guess what I am trying to tell you is that life really isn’t perfect but find the people who make it worth living and spend as much time as you can with the people who make you laugh. Surround yourself with the people who are going to help carry you when you’re broken, make you laugh until you cry and wipe away the tears when you need it most. They are the kind of people who deserve to see you at your best and they are the kind of people who are going to help and support you at your worst. Keep holding on to the people that matter.

Fill your life with happiness and spend time on the people who heard you when you didn’t have to say a word. Stop wasting time on things you can’t control and spend time with the people who really matter. Live for something. Live for yourself and create your own reality. Just live. That is enough for now.

As always, peace and love,

Beth x

 

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New Year, Becoming Me.

I woke up this morning feeling so energetic and excited I was unsure if I had woken up in the right body. Me and mornings don’t really go very well together but when you’re waking up next to the person you love and the sun is shining through the window, they don’t seem so bad after all. I can’t believe it is 2018. Like, seriously, where did 2017 go? That whirlwind rollercoaster ride of a year flew by and as much as I loved the highlights that shone out on the cheekbones of a crazy year, a big part of me is still glad to see it go.

So, here we all are, probably a lot of you who are reading this are heavily hungover from last night and attempting to recover but if you are reading this then congratulations. You made it. You made it through the sh*t storm of another year and you should be incredibly proud of yourself. I think everyone can agree that 2017 wasn’t the best year we’ve had but I am refusing to let my lowest points of last year define any of my progress this year. I am not defined by any moments of relapse with my illness and I am choosing to stay in recovery no matter what 2018 throws at me because I didn’t get this far, to only come this far. I am determined to make 2018 my year.

One of my closest friends has inspired me with one of my new year resolutions and I am excited to tell you why. I am going to buy either a large box or jar and every day I am going to write down one positive thing that has happened within that day. It could be absolutely anything that has happened within that 24 hours. It doesn’t matter what time, place or location it was but you write that positive little thought down on a piece of paper and fold it up and put it in the jar. Then the following day you do the same again. And the day after that and the day after that and so on. I think you get the idea. I plan to do this every day and then on the 31st December 2018 I am going to open the box and look back at all the positive moments I have had this year. I refuse to let myself dwell on the negative things in life any more. I am determined to make this year a better one in as many ways as I can and I can’t wait to get started.

I spent so much of last year focussed on the negative aspects in my life that it blurred by so fast that before I knew it another year had gone by. I want to live my life to the full this year and to fill it with happiness and love rather than hatred and neglect. I have never been one for “New year, new me” and all that rubbish because everyone says the same thing every year. It isn’t about becoming a new you. It’s about being yourself and becoming the best version of yourself so that you are happy. Everyone should feel comfortable being themselves and no one should feel ashamed for who they are or what they are going through and that is why I think mental health needs to be discussed more often. Mental health does matter and don’t ever think otherwise. No one chooses this or wants this but unfortunately some people have to live with it every day. Every single person who has ever experienced mental health problems deserves a medal because some days it really does suck.

I’m not going to set any New Year’s resolutions about eating a perfect diet or blah blah blah because I know I will just break them by the end of the week. I mean, after all, living life recovering from an eating disorder isn’t always that straight forward. However I am going to set a few new year goals that I can strive towards throughout the year. I want to keep recovering as best I can and to hopefully kick Ana and her friends back to where they belong which is left behind in 2017. I want to keep writing my blog and sharing my weird and wonderful thoughts with the world because it is something I am passionate about and enjoy doing and hopefully by doing so I can help others along the way. And finally, I want to keep working hard, saving money and hopefully buy my own home with my boyfriend before the end of the year. Oh, and also hopefully get a foot in the door towards getting the job I have always wanted.

I learnt a lot last year and I plan to use those life lessons to make 2018 a year to remember. I think one of the most important lessons that I learned was to surround myself with the right people. Surrounding yourself with the right friends and family can seriously have a great impact on you because they only want what is best for you and your health. I removed a lot of toxic people from my life last year and as soon as I had, low and behold, my mental health improved. You have to sometimes make sacrifices in life and be a little bit selfish because you have to put your health first. Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to live your life and cut out all of those controlling people in your circle. You want people who are there to support you and your goals, not those that are trying to break you down and stop you from achieving what is going to make you happy.

However I think the most important and valuable lesson I learned was to never give up. Even when things get unbearably difficult you have to find happiness in even the smallest of things because you will look back in months to come and realise those minuscule things were actually so important. This is why I am so excited to start my New Years resolution of placing positive thoughts in a box so that I can look back on them at the end of the year. It will be an amazing gift to myself because I will be able to look back and read through 365 little notes of happiness and realise that despite what happens in the next 12 months, there were still good bits of the year to look back on.

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Experiencing such hard times last year has really made me value everything and everyone around me and as I turn over the first page of my new 365 page novel, I am determined to focus on the positive aspects of my life. I have amazing friends and an incredible boyfriend by my side and as easy as it is to make a mountain out of a molehill, try to remember that there is always someone else who has it worse than you. No one knows what is going on behind someone else’s closed doors and we should be more considerate and kind to others ands be grateful for what we do have. Smile at someone, say hello, ask how there weekend was. The smallest of gestures make the biggest differences.

You’re here, you’re living and you’re breathing and for now that is enough. It’s the first day of another year and all you can do is take one day at a time and see what tomorrow brings. You have the rest of the year to figure out what you want and where you want to be and it is filled with endless opportunities. I hope it brings you and everyone who matters to you, health and most importantly happiness.

Despite the sun disappearing behind the clouds since I have typed this, and as the rain pitter patters against my window, I refuse to let the weather dampen my mood. Happy new year everyone, lets make it a good one. Show me what you got 2018.

 

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Peace and Love,

Beth x

 

 

Dear 2017…

Dear 2017,

What a year you have been.

God, you haven’t half put me through some sh*t but the truth is, in a weird way, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. The journey that you have taken me on over the last twelve months has helped mould me into the person I am today and that is someone I am learning to love more as each day passes by. I have never felt more like myself and that is such a beautiful gift that I am lucky enough to be experiencing because some people spend their lifetime trying to find themselves.

We began the year together at a very low point in my life. You took me in under your wing and you tried your best to keep me going despite the fact you made my days turn into years and my seconds into hours. When I was alone it felt like years had flown by and sometimes it had only been minutes but you watched over me and somehow got me through my darkest moments. You observed as I slowly hit the self destruct button and as blades became my closest friends and starvation became that all so cosy comfort blanket, you somehow still managed to keep me fighting. I’m not going to lie, I used to hate you 2017. You watched as I began to give up and no matter what I tried to do, you just let it happen. It never felt like it was going to get better and I hated what you were putting me through.

I remember at the start of the year of I wished that this was going to be my year and in a sadistic way you somehow made it happen. I remember all of those months ago, that when I look at them now, seem like another lifetime ago. I was stood on the top of one of my favourite spots in the city, screaming that I wanted it to stop. I remember being so adamant that I wanted to end things because honestly all I wanted more than anything was silence. For the disordered voices in my head to finally go to sleep. You watched all of that happen and somehow managed to make it stop without me going over the edge. You observed as the days all rolled into one, becoming a blur as I lost track of what day and time it actually was as I locked myself away in my little Manchester flat. You dragged me through the darkest days in that little room but you somehow taught me to keep going. Despite the constant self neglect and self harm that I put myself through in the earlier months of the year, you somehow kept me going when I had given up on everything else.

I remember thinking that you were the worst year of my life and I hadn’t even made it to Spring yet. You somehow managed to drag me back from the edge and drag me back onto a path that in one way or another got me to where I am now, sitting here in my bed in my little hometown of Bolton, typing away. I made it through your darkest moments 2017 and as much as I hated you for each and every one of them, I can’t thank you enough for the amazing memories you have given me in return for the pain you put me through. So let’s look at the highlights that we have shared.

One of the biggest moments for me was walking out of my 24th therapy session. 2017 brought me face to face with my darkest fears and by that I mean me, myself and I. You walked me through a 24 week rollercoaster ride of therapy which at the start, I never in a million years thought I would finish. You guided me through the ups and downs and loop de loops that therapy threw at me and most importantly you gave me Ian who is without a doubt the best therapist I have ever met. He helped save my life and as much as I miss winding him up each week, teaching him slang words and giving him new films to watch (Ian you better have watched that list) I hope he’s off somewhere doing what he does best and helping other people recover. No one will ever be able to take away the sense of pride and achievement that I had after walking out of the Eating Disorder Clinic in Manchester because I knew I had gotten myself through it all each and every week and no one can ever take that from me. I am recovering and even though I am not yet fully recovered, that’s okay. I’m healing and I am no longer ashamed of my scars because all they show is that my body is a battleground and I’m the soldier who came out fighting.

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2017 has given me such amazing opportunities and I honestly feel so lucky to have experienced each and every one of them. It has given me music, festivals, events, friendships, love, happiness and some of the best memories of my life. Despite this year starting off as one of the darkest, I am happy to say that it  has turned into one filled with so many high lights filling my mind with little illuminations dotted throughout my memories. It is these little saving lights that have guided me through and as I sit here looking back at the year, I have never felt more grateful for the amazing moments I have had.

To any one who has kept up with my blog, they might remember one of my earliest posts entitled “Fill Up The Scrapbook” and although this year has been one of the most difficult I have made sure that no matter what happened I have continued to collage mine. I have shared so many events and seen some of my favourite music acts all with my boyfriend by my side and he has been in every one of my favourite memories of the year. He has supported me each and every step of the way with my recovery and when I couldn’t find the strength to keep going he could give me a single look and I would find it within myself to carry on. Even though I haven’t travelled this year, I have been lucky enough to attend two festivals: Parklife and Creamfields. I got to meet new people, share new experiences and dance all of my troubles away with my best friend by my side. I got to attend events and see new music artists at places like Warehouse Project as well as getting to go to Steelyard for the second time to watch A State of Trance (ASOT) which was absolutely incredible. I think the rave highlights of the year have to be Creamfields and ASOT because I have never felt happier or more free than I have dancing with my love by my side and I don’t think there is a more amazing feeling than turning and seeing the person you love just as happy by your side. Thank you for making all of the best memories with me, thank you for starting the year with me and for seeing it out with me.  I love you Harry and you are without a doubt the highlight not just of the year but of my entire life.

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Thank you 2017 for giving me the opportunity to build incredible friendships that I know will withstand the test of time no matter what happens. Thank you for leading me away from people who weren’t good for me and for directing me into the arms of friends who love me and want what is best for me. I am one lucky girl to have such amazing and loving friends, some of which write me poems or send me flowers when I am sad (Laura and Emily you know who you are) but on a serious note I wouldn’t know what I would do without them in my life. Some I see everyday at work and some I see less frequently but please know that you are all loved from the bottom of my heart. Friendships are one of the most important things in recovery because you need to surround yourself with people who are going to help you blossom rather than people who are going to rip off your petals one by one. Friends are basically the fertiliser of life, they help you grow day by day, supporting your growth as you recover from the harsh storms of life.

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2017, thank you for giving me the strength and courage to fight my darkest fears and to find the strength in myself to admit that I needed help. Without you throwing me into the deepest depression of my life, I would never have realised how strong I actually am because despite it being the worst experience of my life, it has shown me what I can actually fight through. It has shown me that I have the vigor to pick myself up from rock bottom and to carry on climbing. I am so proud of the person I am becoming and I am the happiest and best version of myself I have been in a long time. Thank you 2017 for helping me find happiness and for teaching me how to love myself again.

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You reminded me that I am beautiful the way I am and don’t need to lose 3 stone to be comfortable in my own skin. Someone very special to me once said, that your body is a canvas and after gaining three tattoos this year I have got plans for 3/4 more hopefully in the nearby future. I am done with hurting myself and adding to my scars, it’s time to make my body into something that I love.

Most of all 2017, thank you for allowing me to forgive myself for what I put myself through and for all of the mistakes I have made along the way. I would continuously punish myself either by starvation or self harm and I can’t thank you enough for giving me the time and courage in myself to recover and to put that chapter of my life behind me. I honestly can’t wait to see what the next chapter of “Beth’s Life” will bring (how good a book title is that though…)

I am so excited to see what 2018 brings. I already have several events and gigs planned including my first trip to Amsterdam in March with my boyfriend which I am beyond excited for. #DAM18 can’t come quick enough with the DLDK Squad.  I am well on the way to saving for my own place and hopefully this time next year I will be sat next to my boyfriend with a glass of wine in hand on my own in couch in our own living room.

I hope that every single one of you has an incredible start to 2018 and even if this year has been a tough one, lets make sure that next year is the best one yet. I believe in each and every one of you.

Goodbye 2017, you have certainly been eventful.

For the final time in 2017, peace and love,

Beth x

 

 

Winter Wishes.

The end of another week and I think I’m finally getting into the festive spirit. After reconnecting with my mother this week after years of not being in touch, it has definitely  given my usual bah humbug attitude a kick up the backside. It was so much fun to go back to her house and introduce my boyfriend to the house I grew up in. We spent the evening eating, drinking, catching up, reminiscing and decorating the christmas tree. It was hilarious to dig through the old christmas boxes to find all of the horrendous primary school decorations I had made as a child but it made me so happy that my mum had held onto them all these years despite us not being in touch. The kitchen roll tube wrapped in pink tissue paper with glued on silver sequin snowflakes has to be my favourite. Or possibly the artistic piece I did which consists of a printed out, coloured in snowman with pencil crayon eyes that she pins on the wall, a masterpiece I created when I was about 6. And don’t even get me started on the Christmas tree which has so many pieces of tinsel, beads and mix match decorations that it looks like a Santa’s Grotto Reject.

I guess Winter isn’t so bad after all. Yeah, it’s cold, dark and damp but as the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder, you somehow still manage to get wrapped up in the holiday cheer whether you’re an Ebenezer Scrooge or not. For example today I spent majority of my drive home from Chester listening to my usual favourites consisting of a mixture of Axwell Ingrosso, Ed Sheeran, Gareth Emery and Armin van Buuren but after stopping off at the super market and clicking onto the radio for the remainder of my journey I couldn’t help but start belting my heart out to Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You”. I was going to make my own version of the song and release it in time for Christmas but “All I want for Christmas is to not have an Eating Disorder” just isn’t as catchy.

To be honest the holidays are really difficult for me because as I’m sure you are aware, suffering with an eating disorder really sucks but what sucks even more is suffering with an eating disorder, throughout a holiday that revolves around food, more food and yeah, you guessed it, even more food. I think the thing I am most looking forward to is the fact that this will be the first Christmas I have spent at my boyfriends house and to be a part of his holiday traditions will be so special to me. However, like I just said, the main thing flashing in my mind isn’t the fairy lights on the trees or the christmas decorations on the doors, it’s a massive neon light flashing FAT, FAT, FAT every time I see a Quality Street tin or a tray of mince pies.

Don’t get me wrong, compared to last year, this year will probably be a breeze because I won’t spend half of my christmas afternoon, in the bathroom, whilst I try to hide the fact I couldn’t keep any of my dinner down. I haven’t been sick for weeks and as much as I know that is a good thing I recently feel like I am trapped in a tornado of disordered thoughts, swirling round and round and just as I think it’s stopped they come swinging back round again: carbs, calories, chocolate….carbs…calories…chocolate, a permanent record stuck on repeat. For anorexia sufferers, Christmas isn’t the joyous holiday you remember, it is in every way hell on Earth, particularly for people who haven’t yet started recovery or recovered from the illness. For me, the run up to Christmas has already been extremely triggering. Everything seems 10x more exaggerated than usual as selection boxes, chocolate tins, biscuits, cheese, crackers, nibbles and then more nibbles begin to decorate the house. As soon as those sleigh bells start ring ding dinging those alarm bells start going too because everywhere I go it just feels like I am surrounded by food.

As much as I wish that I had completely kicked Ana out this Christmas and as much as I wish I didn’t have to listen to her bitchy, underlying tone in my head each time I even hear the words pigs in blankets or christmas pudding, I do. Unfortunately she is still hiding in the shadows of my illness. However, I will not let her control me this year. Fighting back was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but after hitting rock bottom, the only option I had was to climb back up. I am in such a clearer and better place than I was this time last year and that is what I have to focus on. I can’t waste any more time, fuelling the flames of a negative fire. It’s about time I threw some wood onto a positive flame and enjoyed devouring some toasted marshmallows over the top of it instead.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to just try your best, because if you know you’ve tried your best then you can never be disappointed in yourself. You will know in yourself that you have given it your everything and trust me when I say it becomes worth it in the end. I have spent the last year continuously fighting to try and kick Ana to the curb and even though she’s decided to try and take a seat at the table again this year, I refuse to let her take control. Last Christmas I was terrified to even take a bite of a meal and even though some days are still influenced by Ana’s under tone, I am now in a place where I am finishing meals and can enjoy a few nibbles afterwards without having to worry (as much) about the consequences. So I say bring on the tins of Celebrations, Heroes, Roses and Quality Street and throw me as many Toffee Pennies as you can before all that’s left is the horrible Strawberry or Orange creams.

Without a doubt my Christmas wish this year is that 2018 will allow me to find the strength to kick Ana and her rules out of my mind for good. Until then, I’m going to keep fighting no matter how hard it gets because I want to enjoy my Turkey and Stuffing sandwich on Boxing Day without having an internal screaming match with Ana. I mean, we all know thats the best bit about Boxing Day. Enjoy the run up to Christmas and make the choice to not let Ana ruin yours. The question is, what will your winter wish be?

Peace and Love,

Beth x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Wish.

When I was little I used to be terrified of the dark. I would crawl into bed and as soon as my head hit the pillow my imagination would kick into high gear, transforming every shadow and shape in the room into a mirage of monsters and nightmares. My parents got divorced when I was four which meant that as soon as I got used to one bedtime routine at my Mum’s house, it would be Friday night again and I would be back at my Dad’s house for the weekend. My mum lived along a main road and I got so used to falling asleep to the noisy rumble of cars and locals going past at night that the silence surrounding my Dads house used to unnerve me when I was falling asleep. You would be able to hear a pin drop and maybe that is why my brain used to run away with me when it was time to go to sleep. I just realised this is probably why I felt so at home in Manchester, falling asleep each night to the sounds of the echoes of the city only minutes away.

I’m now 21, and even though I’m not scared of the dark in a physical sense anymore, I am still very scared of the darkness I have endured in a mental and emotional sense over the last few years. However, as much as the dark used to scare me when I was little, I can’t let myself be afraid of myself and the things I have found that I am capable of when I am at my lowest points. I have found that I only now understand myself and who I am since spending so long destroying myself. The process of fixing myself has been a long one and is one that I am still pursuing but the thing about recovery is that it has allowed me to realise who I really am and for the last 21 years that has been something I have been very unsure about.

I spent a lot of my teenage years trying to do everything possible to fit in: wearing certain clothes, wearing certain makeup (those being the more sensible things) compared to smoking, drinking, drugs, boys, partying the pain away because each drink I consumed just added to the continuous masquerade mask I portrayed to the world. Soon enough you’re drowning, trying to convince yourself that your head is still above water when your heart is sinking, way way way down to the bottom. When you smack into rock bottom it almost feels deafening because you feel like the only company you have is your lonely little heartbeat and even that, at the time, you really wish would stop. However, as difficult as it is, your survival instinct kicks in. You drag yourself out of bed, you push yourself to keep going and no matter how drastic your coping mechanisms may be you still manage to get through another day. You managed to find the inner strength to keep going and at the end of the day, even if that day feels like a year, no one can take that away from you.

As shaky as your foundations may be when you set your first few bricks down to rebuild that path, the path that is going to direct you out of the darkness of your own mind, perseverance is key because eventually you will be sat here typing your recovery experiences down in a blog to hopefully help someone else who might be reading. Even if I am helping just one person who is reading my weird and wonderful thoughts then I will be happy.

Even on your darkest of days, if you have managed to somehow make it back into crawling into bed at night then you should give yourself some credit. You didn’t give up. I sometimes still get scared when I get into bed at night, not because of the monsters hiding under my bed, more for the monsters hiding in my head. The disordered voices whispering amongst themselves will always terrify me more than the physical darkness once I switch my light off. Anyhow, whilst I was driving home from my boyfriends house in Chester to my little hometown of Bolton the other night, I realised something rather special. As I focussed on the road which was only slightly illuminated by the crescent moon and the glints of cats eyes along the ground and stars in the sky, I got lost in thought wondering about stars and how brightly they shine down.

One thing I have always done for as long as I can remember is if the sky is clear, I always wish on the first star I see every night before going to sleep and on most days earlier this year when I was at my very worst, it was the only thing I held onto. However what I didn’t know is that for a star to be born one thing must happen before hand. A gaseous nebula (you’ve got as much of an ideas as I have) must collapse in order for a star to be created. So basically what I am trying to say is let yourself collapse, stop putting up an exhausting front each and everyday and every time someone asks responding with a broken hearted “I’m fine thanks” Let yourself crumble, let yourself hit the concrete so hard that you don’t know if you can get back up and then surprise everyone. Rock bottom doesn’t mean the start of your destruction. It’s the start of your rebirth. You get to rebuild yourself into a version of yourself that you have always wanted yet didn’t realise you wanted to be.

 

Surround yourself with people who are going to help you grow into someone you are proud of being. Find someone who will be there for you through your highest and lowest moments and someone who shares your pain when you’re hurt because that is something so rare to find. Find the person who will stay up till 3am texting you to make sure you’re okay and find the person who is going to see through the fake “I’m fine”‘s because it is those type of friends who will do anything in their power to make you happy. You know that no matter what happens, that connection will never fade. Those friends are the realists, they are the kind of people you need in your life because they are the kind of people who will support you back to a healthier, better version of yourself.

You’re all beautiful, don’t ever forget that but just remember that a star collapses before it shines and I guess it’s now time to make your wish.

Peace and Love always,

Beth x

 

 

 

Nostalgia is a Bitch.

To some people, nostalgia is such a pleasant feeling. One that washes over them bringing a sense of happiness and a bitter sweet taste to your tongue, the taste of so many memories floating around your thoughts like wisps of candy floss so sickeningly sweet. However, I have a slightly different view on Nostalgia, and yes, as much as she likes to remind you of your childhood (and in my case the last 21 years of my life) not just in photographs but in certain tastes, smells, places, textures, colours and almost every item you come into contact with, the truth is, Nostalgia is a professional con artist and unfortunately she is very good friends with a girl I know called Ana.

Don’t get me wrong, she can be pleasant. She can remind you of the beautiful moments you have shared with someone in a particular place or at a particular time but the thing with Nostalgia is that she is almost like an invisible comfort blanket. She makes you yearn for the safe and familiar whilst you fight with this inner urge to break free from yourself and the routines you have created for yourself each and everyday for as long as you can remember. Without even realising it, we spend majority of our lives being homesick for places we have never visited, for people we have never met and to be versions of ourselves we have never had the confidence to be able to find.

In Greek, the word “Nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound” and upon reading this it made me realise why she gets along with Ana so well because not only does Nostalgia cause your heart to twinge but it causes a feeling so strong, so emotional, that it makes you ache to go again. You want to return to that point so badly even if you know it wasn’t what was best for you.

I’m currently typing this in-between wiping away the tears from my laptop keys because I almost feel ashamed at what I am about to say but I miss her. I miss her cold and confident grip against my back, pushing me through my loneliest moments. I miss her delicate whispers in my head convincing me that everything was going to be okay when majority, no scratch that, ALL of the time it really wasn’t okay. I miss seeing the hollow shadows along my ribcage and the way every single object felt so fragile in my skeletal fingers. I miss the way she could comfort me when I cried, listing excuses as to why it was okay to have not eaten for days or to add yet another scar to my pale and lifeless skin. I miss how she gave me strength in the darkest ways but at the time it was what I wanted most whether that meant starving myself for a couple more hours each day or by rewarding myself with a sip of  hot sugary tea. I miss how she filled me with joy when the number on the scales dropped and I felt a small smile spread along my carved out cheekbones.

But that is the reason why Nostalgia and Ana are friends. Nostalgia is a liar. She manipulates your memories into thinking that they were good ideas when in fact they consist of some of the biggest mistakes of your life. Nostalgia warps each and every memory of your illness into a sick and twisted picture of distorted reality and convinces you that you want it all again more than anything.

The last few weeks have been really difficult for me and my eating habits have fluctuated so much and as a result so has my weight. But what does the number on the scales really count for? Because I can guarantee you that the number that is staring back at you no matter what it is will not make you laugh, will never make you happy and will sure as hell never love you. Fighting through the haze that Nostalgia creates is difficult and like any road to recovery you’re bound to hit a few bumps along the way. Nostalgia, like the true bitch that she is, has made the last few weeks particularly difficult for me. I admit that I slipped back into old habits and like any alcoholic savours that first drop of red wine against their lips, I adored the moment each and every day when I stepped onto the scales to see the number dropping from 8st 9 to 8st 4. It might not sound like much but on the inside I was fighting a war between feeling heartbroken and ecstatic. Overjoyed at the slowly dropping numbers but destroyed at myself for returning to old behaviour after so long.

So, what do you do when you’re stuck romanticising about the past two years of your life? Two years that you spent dedicated, to doing everything in your power to lowering that number on the scale. My body is still trying to heal the scars I punished myself with and yet I still have this desperate need to return to having that sense of control, that desperate sense of power in my life. So again I ask, what do you do?

You say “F**k You Ana. Not this time”

When you’re stuck inside the Nostalgia trap, she will wrap you tightly inside her web and  slowly descend on you like a spider to a fly. The thing is, Nostalgia is a bitch but memories are important and all you have to do now is spend time focusing on making new ones. Surround yourself with the people who are important and never ever let your sense of nostalgia convince you into thinking that you don’t deserve to be happy. At the end of the day, the only person that matters is you and your happiness so do whatever it takes to get there.

cookie.JPGThis week when I was feeling particularly low, one of my amazing work friends bought this for me and as you can tell I clearly got peckish before taking the photo. This time last year I never in a million years would have considered eating a bite of this sugary goodness but I am happy to say that this cookie is long gone and it tasted more than heavenly. If you’re having a tough time please don’t punish yourself for it. Allow yourself time to heal and to pick the days when you are prepared for battle. Everyone has rough days and as horrible as they can be, go to bed and wake up tomorrow and just give it your all. You don’t have to win every single battle, be the soldier that wins the war. I believe in you, you’ve got this!

You’re all beautiful and sometimes we just need reminding.

Peace and Love,

Beth x

 

 

 

 

a feeling, an emptiness, and a bridge.

the art of becoming

i am a girl to whom self-awareness feels almost like a necessity to existence, and yet recently, i have been at a loss for what is going on inside of me. for much of my life, i had harbored the deep-seeded belief that there was something deeply and inherently wrong with me, and this feeling that has recently arisen is bringing with it the old tugging of this dark and destructive story. and because i have set out to begin creating this blog as a safe haven for my own honesty and journey to becoming, i decided that words were the place where the answers could begin. and if not answers, then maybe just the conflicting truth that i am not alone, and others feel this too.

this feeling is a desert, the dark sky above you. cool wind on your flushed cheeks, stars unfurling like the vast, thick blanket…

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we begin. we write. we persist. eventually, we become.

the art of becoming

words, for me, have always been pieces of illusive beauty that i have ceaselessly attempted with all of my heart to capture and express with the utmost grace. and yet, also, words have been jagged pieces of confusion that i lost for nearly a third of my life. and you may be shaking your head, maybe you are ready to give up reading this blog completely, confused by this paradoxical nature of words, and confused why it even matters at all. but, if you, like me, are fighting for your life and clawing your way out of the inexplicably dark void of an eating disorder, you know exactly what i speak of. for years i felt more empty than i could ever express, so empty that i could truly physically feel my loneliness as a weight pulling me ever closer to the cold earth. an empty shell, crumbling by the…

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when thanksgiving is far from perfect, and falling in love with that anyway.

the art of becoming

i have had too many thanksgivings spent in excruciating loneliness. some thanksgivings surrounded by a cold hospital bed instead of my family, with the sounds of medical machinery engulfing me rather than laughter, some thanksgivings states away from the place i call home, where my loved ones gather and celebrate without me. i have had them in places so dark i could not eat a bite of the food prepared for me, neither by my grandma’s warm hands, nor even the hospital’s sterile cafeteria. despite all these years of sorrow, in the last year i am proud to say that my soul has grown in ways i never before believed it could. i still feel lost, i still have nights where i choke on my emptiness, but i am utterly alive. alive, and existing as i wholeheartedly felt that i never would.

and so as this year’s thanksgiving neared, i…

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Saving Light.

So after spending all weekend raving with my best friend and partner in crime listening to some of the best trance music I have ever heard, I realised something rather special and I don’t even care if one of my favourite songs inspired this post but if Gareth Emery or Haliene by some miracle end up reading this then thank you for inspiring me to keep going!

I am already starting to miss Summer even though it only feels like days have passed since the warm sunshine was playing peekaboo behind the occasional cloud floating past. Winter is such a draining season. It requires so much effort from you each and every morning and as the temperature drops, your bed gets ever comfier as you turn over and snooze your third and final alarm which means you know you actually have to get up this time. You rise and shine to dark and barely lit mornings and once the clocks have gone back you start to forget what daylight looks like seeing as when you’re leaving for work it is still too early for sunrise and upon returning home it is way past sunset.

When you’re feeling low it doesn’t help your mood when every single day the weather reflects your inner mood. A depressing pathetic fallacy sliding down your window pain like the tears that fall down your cheeks as the winter months get harder to handle. The thing with Winter is that it automatically drags you down with the temperature. As the clouds get greyer and the ground gets blanketed in a thin layer of frost each morning, you feel yourself getting colder as your mood gets darker and each day feels harder than the last. When the weather is miserable, you don’t want to get up and face the day ahead of you and you just don’t want to plaster a smile across your face and pretend everything is okay.

One of the main reasons I didn’t like Winter when I was a child was because I was scared of the dark. I hated how the darkness chased me on my way home from primary school, wrapping around my ankles and turning my short walk home into the longest 8 minutes of my day. Even now at 21 years old, I am still not a fan of the dark. If I’m walking up the stairs at night I always run to my room in case something is going to get me, lurking in the shadows (let’s be honest, we’ve all done it!) When I was little I was terrified of the dark but the beautiful thing about the darkness you ask? Well as unpleasant as living in darkness can be, it means it helps you find the light again, floating in the distance, shining brighter than ever before. Like a lighthouse shines out through the fog of the torrential storm, saving the ships from crashing into the rocks, you need to find your saving light that is going to save you from crashing back down to rock bottom again.

Some people go their entire lives trying to find a saving light inside of themselves. The problem is that so many people wander around in the darkness trying to find this rare beacon of light that will save them from the feeling that something is missing. They feel like their is a constant need for something, someone or possibly somewhere that will make them feel whole again. However, the problem isn’t that people are wandering around looking for a cure to this problem because as people are wandering through the dark parts of their life they gain experience. They travel, spend money, fall for someone and then get hurt, some cry, some get lost and then eventually find their way. Some people get a new job, some people have children, go through marriage and sometimes divorce. Some people fall so hard in love that they almost think they’re dreaming. The list of peoples attempts at solutions is endless but the only true path to finding the cure for wellness is accepting the fact that their is nothing wrong with us except the view we have of ourselves.

If we stopped shying away from the spotlight that shines out from the beauty within ourselves and stopped trying to become who society says we should be then we would all live much happier lives. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Don’t get me wrong, if I could walk into a room like a shot of whiskey; neat, strong and full of purpose then of course I would, but instead for now I’m comfortable being my own little shot of liquid courage.

Finding that saving light when you’re living in a black and white world is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. It’s like looking at a blank canvas and just waiting for the colours to appear but if you want the rainbow to come out, you have to fight through the rain to make it shine. You have to find the energy from somewhere deep inside you to pick up that paintbrush and throw a splash of colour into your dull everyday world. Finding something that will help save you isn’t always a straight forward journey from A to B. It isn’t going from hell to heaven with a click of your fingers. It’s trudging through the mud whilst the Earth begins to swallow you up and spit you out. It’s dark, it’s dirty and its difficult but god the rainbow is beautiful on the other side.

That saving light that keeps your soul going, that little orb of light that pulls you back from the abyss each and every time, that little piece of your conscience that is strong enough to keep fighting is the part of you that wants to keep going. It wants to see your friends laughing and happy by your side. It wants to experience all the best bits of your life that have yet to come and it wants to be there for all of the memories you are yet to make. You might not be able to save the world but one thing you can save is yourself and the light that you bring into the world. Don’t let your candle blow out. You want that fire burning strong inside of you so that you can make the most out of each and every day that you think is passing by.

Don’t take anything for granted because sometimes feeling right after feeling so wrong for as long as you can remember is one of the hardest things to get used to but don’t ever think you don’t deserve it. Because you do. You deserve to be happy, loved and to feel beautiful, because you are.

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I am lucky enough to have found my saving light and yeah sometimes the flame flickers in the wind and fights to stay alive but keep going because soon enough everyone is going to be wondering how you dance through the flames. I thought it only fitting to include some photos from my weekend at Steelyard with my boyfriend of when I actually got to see this song live and also some photographs of the light shows over the weekend. They were so beautiful, just like him, my saving light.

Peace & Love always,

Beth x

If you have never heard the song, you seriously need to listen to the Youtube link below.