When you feel like you're stuck and can't see a way out?
Today has been a little better than yesterday and I’m wondering if it’s my hormones? My period had just finished and considering I’m usually pretty happy when the sun is out combined with the fact I’m eating much healthier than usual, it was odd that I felt, well, ‘odd’ yesterday.
Talking to my counsellor yesterday, we touched on my last job and how unhappy I was as an I.T. Consultant, living and working away from home for 5 days a week (Sunday to Thursday). This was when I was at my heaviest – 19 stone and a size 22/24. I remember it well and also remember driving home , buying 1 -2 bottles of wine a night and some incredibly unhealthy food including BBQ racks of ribs, massive bars of chocolate, chips, pizza, full fat chocolate milkshakes, before eating it all on my own and feeling so unhappy and alone. It was a really dark time for me and I just couldn’t see any way to end the cycle.
- I was unhappy, so I’d turn to food for comfort.
- After eating so much I felt sick, I’d feel guilty for eating so much
- I’d wake up in the morning (usually with a headache after drinking so much wine) and feel really lethargic and unhappy, so would have a croissant or a bacon sandwich for breakfast to cheer myself up.
- I’d feel unhappy at work as I wasn’t really recognised for my achievements and felt so self conscious as everyone else was a ‘normal size’
- I’d leave work feeling unhappy and… Repeat first step.
My boyfriend tried to help me, however I didn’t tell him how I was genuinely feeling and ended up pushing him out completely. I think he was frustrated at the lack of communication but also because he couldn’t ‘fix’ my unhappiness (not that I’d have let him, I was, and still am, incredibly stubborn!). So after driving 3 hours to see me during the week for over 2 years (he worked shifts so had 4 days off at a time) and then 3 hours back the next morning, he realised he couldn’t cope, so ended it with me….
… We got back together a year later after a year of total no contact and even today I don’t blame him for that. Looking back, I was in a total, total pit of despair and an incredibly self destructive cycle – I utterly hated how I looked, I hated my job and didn’t tell my friends, nor my family, nor my boyfriend how unhappy I felt. Food was a comfort to me, it didn’t judge me and I felt good when eating it….
Despite the fact that my work at the moment is a lot worse than it was 7 years ago, I’m determined not to allow the same cycle to happen again. I am a lot more open with my friends and family and I’ve received nothing but support and kindness – from one of my lovely friends bringing me flowers, to another sending me a random postcard through the post, to others sending more frequent emails… and even my lovely sisters making time to text / email and phone me. I’ve also tried to be much more open with my boyfriend, which is hard sometimes as he really does love ‘fixing’ stuff and with me being so headstrong, I don’t want to be given advice on how to ‘fix’ things, just for him to listen and give me cuddles (which he does in abundance and also tells me I’m awesome, which is really nice and welcome).
So how have I managed to stop myself from getting into the same self-destructive cycle? Why am I not on a crash course to 19 stone again, filled with BBQ ribs and copious amounts of chocolate?
That’s not what my body needs at the moment – I’m going through a massively tough time at work and my body and brain need to be in the best working condition that they can be. Filling my body with rubbish is not going to help me in any way, shape or form.
- It wasn’t a solution – What does eating loads of unhealthy food get me? How does that help me with my current battles in life?
- I’m not alone – I’ve been much more open with my friends, family and boyfriend about my feelings and they’ve been really supportive. I’m human and it’s usually me who supports people. Learning to ask for help has been incredibly tough, but saying ‘I’m upset, can you talk / email / meet me for a coffee?’ has been met with lots of ‘Yes! Of course’.
- I want to be able to love my body – I’ve (hopefully) got another 60+ years on this earth and I don’t want to spend all of that time hating myself or being unhappy when I look in the mirror. I want to change my body image and eating unhealthy things is not going to help that
- I’m trying to not feel guilty when I eat unhealthy things – This is a massive one and I’m still working on it. There’s been so much guilt and judgement around eating food my entire life and I know I’m not there yet, however if I do make an unhealthy choice, I’m trying to not beat myself up about it – after all, tomorrow is another day.
This morning, I had a lovely pot of porridge for breakfast and lunch was the same as yesterday – houmous, pepper, tomatoes and pita bread. My friend and I walked into town just to get out the office and despite it not being as sunny as yesterday, it was still a lovely day. Despite my Boss being in the office AGAIN, I’m coping quite well and am looking forward to going to the cinema tonight and not thinking about work :-) Not sure what I’ll eat – I might grab some sushi from somewhere, but will try and ensure it’s heathy, whatever it is.