The Never Ending Story

As soon as I make a little bit of progress – and find a few moments of hope and belief – I seem determined to crash and burn, just to prove to myself recovery is either impossible, or impossibly difficult.

What happened? Who gives a shit – same old, same old. But if there’s one thing I am taking away from this recovery gig, it is the importance of pulling my pink spotty bed socks up, and getting on with things. No point wallowing around in one of my infamous pity parties – they gain me nothing and I’ll be there all by myself.

Every day is a new day and a fresh start, and today’s poor choices do not need to be repeated again. I tell myself this at the end of every day – it is an ineffective strategy for making any lasting change. My halo of snapchat flowers are bright and angelic first thing every morning, and by afternoon they feel as fake as the smooth, porcelain skin the snapchat filter thoughtfully plasters across my aging visage.

So how do I find lasting change? By implementing some of the tools I accrued over the last decade or so – the most important of which are mind tools. Changing thought patterns so ingrained I don’t even know they’re there. We have been doing an exercise in identifying thought patterns. It goes like this…

  1. Situation
  2. Thoughts
  3. Feelings
  4. Actions
  5. Results

Then you do the exercise again with reframed thoughts and feelings, which leads to different actions and results. Or so the theory goes. I get stuck though.

I can identify situations (phew!). Then I hesitate a little, but with a lot of digging, start to figure out what I’m thinking. The next step is the tricky bit – feelings. I don’t know what they are. Well – that’s not true… I know what feelings are – but I can’t feel them. Logically I know what I’m probably feeling, but I can’t notice it. I’m just numb all the time.

I don’t want to be numb any more. I’ve been talking about these feelings for quite some time now – years with my psychologist. I hear again and again feelings won’t kill me – I’m sure that’s true. I don’t think I’m likely to find out in a hurry though!

As a child I was highly emotional – easily brought to tears, or laughing so hard I wet myself. And it was never approved of. I learned to suck it all in and produce a pasty bland face showing nothing. Or to plaster on the appropriate level of joy, jealousy, or rejected. The emotions were still there of course – bursting at the seams to the point I routinely couldn’t hold back tears, adding a deep level of shame and horror every time. So I learned to numb. And I am awfully jolly good at numbing myself.

Now when I try to remove those numbing activities, and to consciously access the well of emotion to see what’s sitting there, I feel dumbfounded. What’s there? Am I sad? Why? Am I just thinking through this logically, or am I genuinely sad? There are things to be sad about – we all have things to be sad about if we focus on them. So perhaps I’m meant to be focusing on the things I’m happy about – we all have things to be happy about if we focus on them. But then I’m conscious of the fact I’m forcing myself to feel something, rather than allowing whatever is there to just bubble up and be.

I hope this is a case of practice makes perfect. I have a lot of practice to do. I’m willing to do it – and I’d like to see some results.

The other mind work I need to do is meditation, mindfulness and visualisation. I need to do some aspect of this every single morning. Every. Single. Day. It needs to become a non-negotiable, essential part of my day. Just like brushing my teeth, having a shower, and painting my public face on.

All the other tools I’ve found and utilised are great, but mental health issues are mental. Which is defined as relating to the mind. And all the other tools are the important garnish, but if the mind is not developed and healed, they are always just bandaids on a gaping wound.

So here I go again, circling around in this never ending story. Polishing my halo of filtered snapchat flowers and hoping I can choose to make the choices that will lead to lasting change. It’s up to me. It has always been up to me.

9 Replies to “The Never Ending Story”

  1. I used to have an eating. Disorder. From 18 to 50 years old. That seems like a really long time and it got worse and you know. I went to treatment and didn’t quit then but then I did and rarely have ever thought about it . I tried but I couldn’t even throw up anymore. So oh yea if I could you will.
    ?’s just ask. Good luck this is your journey too but only for a while longer. Have faith little sister, love b

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to keep believing! New day today. Will have faith and do my best. I find so much comfort in hearing stories of recovery – thank you! xx


      1. That sounds really interesting. Do you mean drawings referring to your own former struggle with an eating disorder? I would LOVE to see them. What sort of a guest post would you like to write? I think I’d be pretty happy with that as well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi sorry it took so long to get back to you , locked out, Big computer died, etc. Life. My pictures were on google
        ‘S blog site and suddenly disappeared because of a cookie law with Europe? There are 4 but not sure where to find them, because I only have iPad and these were a long time ago, and still adorable. I”‘m in. A show tonight so I have to get that done today. I will tell you more bulimic tales. B

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Barb. I’m actually bulimic. I had some issues with restriction last year for the first time and the thoughts are always there. But primarily I’m bulimic. Not a title I’m proud of…


  2. In response to “who gives a shit? Same old same old” – we do! You have people rooting for you, don’t forget that. It’s so incredibly hard, and after years of eating disorders myself, I still struggle with the thoughts and behaviours (yes, even with a stoma!), day in and day out. You can do this, and the path to recovery will never be perfect so just keep going, however you can.
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you Caz! I have to keep believing. I am so grateful for the words of encouragement. It is a new day today. I will do my mindfulness work! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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