The One With Monica’s Boots

The title of this blog comes from an episode of the show ‘Friends’. Basically, Monica buys some really beautiful, really expensive boots. She tells Chandler that the expense is ok – she can wear them with everything. Of course, the first time she wears them, she finds out that they are super uncomfortable! But determined not to lose face, she keeps pretending to wear them. She finally gets caught out after Chandler makes her wear them to a work function – and they have to walk a fair distance. She gives up, tells the truth and takes them off…and then promptly lusts after the same pair in a different colour that are on sale!  Continue reading

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The Green Eyed Monster and Other Nasties

en·vy

/ˈenvē/
Noun
A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
Verb
Desire to have a quality, possession, or other attribute belonging to (someone else): “he envied tall people”; “I envy Jane her happiness”.

Continue reading

The Choice

Yesterday, I made a choice.
I quit therapy.

Now, before you all get concerned, I want to put a few things out there.
To start off with, I have been seeing the same therapist regularly since March 2011. That’s almost two whole years. Something else, is the fact that I haven’t seen her for 8 weeks now because she’d been in NZ taking care of her parents (and I’m still alive & kicking). Another thing to add…is the fact that, because of her own strong opinions, I often felt like I couldn’t express my own opinions a lot of the time. She’s also inconvenient to get to, and is disorganised to hell.

That isn’t to say that she wasn’t helpful, because she has been wonderfully helpful over the past 23 months. I have learnt a lot about listening to my body, misplaced guilt and how to be an adult (seriously, we covered this topic a lot!). She was, at the start, very good a getting me to talk about the things that I need to, and desperately didn’t want to talk about. I no longer feel rage and guilt and shame about being abused, but rather feel anger and sadness in proportions that don’t control my life (yeah, take that you dick heads!). I am able to stand up for myself. I challenge myself. I am compassionate to myself (and others) when I am let down.

The point I’m trying to make (as scary as it is) is that in addition to all the annoying things I listed before… I feel ready to leave regular therapy. And I have felt ready for a while. So, I have. I know that I will always be able to access a counsellor when I need to. And I also know that I have to skills to survive  thrive in this crazy world. Bring on this new phase of recovery!

new day

P.S oh yeah. I just realised that I told y’all to not let me quit therapy. Hmm. Well, I’ve made my choice now! If you do have any concerns, please let me know, though, ok?

The ‘R’ Word (It’s not what you think)

There is a word that people with my conditions hate.
It sits in the pit of my stomach, heavy with foreboding.
It gets stuck in my throat…I just can’t get the syllables out.

Relapse.

It’s the scariest word I have in my vocabulary. This year, Fiancé and several of my friends have gone down the paths of full blown relapse – hospital stays, concerned looks, confusion and desperation. I am not there yet – but I am on my way down that slippery slope again.

It began sometime after Fiancé was discharged. I don’t really know why or how or when, but at some point everything has become screwed up again. The voices in my head are there, whispering and niggling. Not screaming like they use to, but there. I am crying more and eating less. I find that I could stay in bed all day. I am anxious and angry and agitated. It has been better,  it could get a lot worse. So here is the next scary word…

Responsibility.

I create what I think and feel, and am in control of what I do or do not do. The same is true for you. We need only note the impact of our reality on each other. – Internal Boundary Statement, SPP Client Handbook

My responsibility is first and foremost to myself. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months taking on other people’s problems as my own. Seemingly contradictory, I have become more insular and withdrawn into myself. I have let my therapist convince me of things that she can’t possibly know as true, because that’s what I wanted to hear. I have not asked for my needs to be met. I have not been responsible for myself, and I know if I continue not doing so that the ED voices will completely overwhelm me again and I do not want to become sick again. So my responsibility is to find a therapist who will work within reality.  My responsibility is to reach out when I need help. My responsibility is to love my friends and family (and the best way I can do that is to love myself). My responsibility is to keep continuing down the road of…

Recovery.

A relapse, however small or great, is not the ‘death’ of recovery. It is a setback, a hurdle to overcome. I love recovery. I love the joy and life and hope it brings. I love the feeling of being ‘able’. I am willing to do most anything to reclaim my life. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. And I do. And I will NOT be overcome by it.

 

Hostage Negotiation

This post refers to sexual assault / abuse and uses terminology related to the subject. If you believe that this post may trigger you, please do not read it. 

Hostage – Nathan Tasker

Perhaps it’s just
It’s just this time of year
Cold it make everything
Seem more difficult than it appears

Like falling in love
Like falling in love

And perhaps it’s just
It’s just people I know
Letting mistakes that I’ve made
Fade from their memories so slow

Like falling in love
Like falling in love

Still I’ll take a step closer to the ledge
And feel the wind blow up from over the edge
Do I dare to believe this time when I fall I won’t hit the ground

And perhaps I’m just
I’m just falling apart
Too full of self doubt
To hold it together now

That I’m falling in love
Am I falling in love

Because I am Your hostage
I am Your hostage
I…I…I am Your hostage
I’m Your hostage now

And perhaps it’s just
Perhaps it’s just You
Keeping Your poker face on
As I stumble around like some fool

Who has fallen in love
Who has fallen in love
Who has fallen in love
I have fallen

I am Your hostage
I am Your hostage
I…I…I am Your hostage
I’m Your hostage now

I am Your hostage
I am Your hostage
I…I…I am Your hostage
I’m Your hostage now
I’m Your hostage now
I’m Your hostage

This song, was our song. The song I shared with second ever serious boyfriend – at least that’s what I called him at the time. I now call him my abuser, my groomer, my rapist.

I’m sure when Mr Tasker wrote this song, he was just talking about that swept up feeling you get when you fall in love with someone new. It really does feel like you’ve been taken hostage by something bigger than yourself. It is a wonderful feeling.

For me, I honestly had no idea of the difference between the “loved up hostage feeling” and the oh-so dangerous obsession, programming thing that happened to me. Here was this guy, two years + two months + two weeks + two days older than me, who told me I was beautiful (the thing he knew I longed to hear more than anything in the world). He was someone I could talk to, share my secrets, fears, hopes and dreams with. He got inside my head…and I wanted him there. I became addicted to him, to his attention like someone can become addicted to heroin. Then he broke up with me and my whole world, quite literally, came crashing down.

It took me literally years to understand what happened to me in this “relationship”. There was no equality, there was only power play, mind games and taking what he wanted from me. I ended up a shell of a person, desperate to be invisible and wishing someone could really see me and the horror I went through.

My abuser is getting married on Saturday. I feel sick to my stomach. Why does he get to be happy? No, seriously…WHY? In what world is that fair at all? Everyone will congratulate him, on such a beautiful wife and a lovely ceremony. It’s all a lie. And meanwhile, here I am. Scared, confused, still hurt and angry.

Will there ever come a time when I am not his hostage?

As Terrifying As Terror Is…

Today, I was running late for uni. It happens all the time. The bus was late. That happens all the time. (Oh and I turned up to class 15 minutes early – that happens all the time too!). Anyway, in amongst the rush to get out the door, I forgot to pack lunch. No biggie. Or at least it used to be no biggie…

My old uni had precisely one little cafe / food shop thingy. Staffed by the same guy every day, it was the kind of place with no real set menu – you just kind of picked the things from the fridge that you wanted on your epic roll / wrap / burger. It was also well priced (the actual food…the junk not so much!). This guy knew basically everyone on campus (all….300 of us?). He knew I liked skim milk with my hot chocolate even when I forgot to ask. He made coffees for the staff just as they were arriving. Like, amazing! This place was small. Nice. Dependable.

The food courts (yes, plural) at my new uni? OHMYGOODNESS. It was just stimulation overload in there today! People, food, noise every where. It was like my worst ED nightmare ever. Too many choices.  SO much anxiety!

In the end, I ran next door to the uni shop and bought a sandwich & juice. It was mediocre, but it was safe. I sat by myself, read Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone and promised myself I would never forget my lunch again.

I wish I’d had my Teddy today…

Practice What You Preach

A lot of people I know who are in recovery – from an eating disorder, depression or any kind of addication – are really good at giving advice (myself included). I’ve noticed we have this amazing ability to deflect from our own problems by asking each other about theirs – taking care of our friends instead of ourselves, and offering advice that we completely ignore in our own lives. It’s this weird kind of merry-go-round that is  very hard to get off because it’s almost expected in these groups of people that it will happen…

I have a theory as to why (it’s not very profound) – it’s because it’s to hard to deal with our own personal problems. Weird, I know. But at least for me, and my group of friends, it is much easier to take on someone else’s pain for a while than dealing with your own. There is a catch, though – we get too tired from carrying too much and holding too much in. Our disorders worsen, and recovery becomes near impossible because we’re not dealing with the issues at hand.

I find it’s so, so easy to just ignore my own issues and try to fix everyone else’s. Confrontation is too hard, to scary. I worried that I’m not going to like who I find under all the layers (or worse still – that I won’t recognise myself). I concerned that the people who love me won’t love me when my issues (and theirs) are brought forward. But ignoring the harder stuff is not recovery. Pretending the problems don’t exist will not mean that they will go away – they will, in fact, get worse.

I’m not too sure where I’m going to go from here. If there is one thing I do know it’s this: I should start listening to my own advice & the wisdom of my friends and family. For the most part, it’s pretty good.

I need to start wanting  for myself the life I so dearly wish for my loved ones.

Sonja 🙂

Do you heed your own advice (or the advice other’s give)? Or are you much better at giving?