I AM SO A GRADUATE WITH A BACHELOR OF ARTS WITH HONOURS (in the arts and humanities)
I haven’t had my graduation ceremony yet and with all that has happened this year, I totally forgot that I have finally finished my degree. My other half was going ballistic (in a good way) and looked at me and asked me why I looked so down. I guess either I am still in shock or I don’t think it is that big a deal compared to what other goals and shit I have had to focus on this year. So let me high 5 myself and reflect on how the path to get my degree became – the successful one.
Way back in 2007,I had just come out of the hospital with a BMI of 16. I enrolled at my local college in the U.K. to do my BA in acting performance.
I was with a lovely group of talented individuals and managed one term. I was quickly losing more weight again and my mental health went down. I could not maintain a low BMI. I either had to go lower or higher and I went lower. I managed to get merit (when they still called it that) for my classical acting. How amazing is that?
I wanted to engage with my group but I couldn’t shift the anorexia. I had become a sub-host to it.
Back in 2008, I decided to have another go at it. I had gained a normal amount of weight. I met a seemingly lovely man who swept me off my feet. He worked in the army and ended up going on tour for 3 months in Canada. I went to live in Barcelona with my Aunt for a few months and partied hard. Hit Ibiza with my cuz and when I came back to the U.K I was ready to piece my life back together.
The night I arrived back in the U.K. was the same night the army guy got back and he came straight to see me, bringing me little gifts back from his tour. I was so touched and couldn’t believe we had another chance to get to know this one another again and give him my heart. I invited him for a meal at my Nan’s house the following evening as he was rather ‘fatigued'(such an elegant way of putting it) from his flight.
The following day he texted me to tell me he was getting his car serviced and would see me later. Later turned into 6pm And 8pm and then 9pm. The curry was losing it’s cool. I rang him asking him why he hadn’t pitched up and he completely dissed me on the phone and told me he was with his family and I can’t make him choose his family over me! WTAF?
If he had explained that he wanted to be with his family then I would of got it.-The lovely army guy broke my heart. He didn’t want to be with me. I internalised all this as my fault. I had put on weight, I had been homeless and had recently found somewhere in the U.K. to live and I thought I wasn’t good enough. I remember walking my Nan from my new home to the bus stop and I broke down. I didn’t know how much I liked this guy until I felt my heart tearing. Each sob caused another tear and another.
In 2009 I was finally in a better place and I was ready for another attempt to get a degree in the arts arena. I started a two Foundation Degree with 24 students. By week two that had whittled down to 7 students. Again a totally different bunch of lovely people. I fucked up. I stopped taking my meds. I was trying so hard to fit in but I guess I felt a bit intimidated by all the talented actors and talent. I didn’t know then that they were all just as frightened of failing as me. At first I was coping and I managed to go out get wasted and silly and form friendships. Standard uni stuff. One night a girl on my course rang me and told me to come out. She said the night was on her. I got dressed and put on my party face even though at that time I was taking 100 laxatives a day.
When people asked me out I would say ‘Awesome. I will be there’ I had a bad habit and once I had taken those tablets I was ill. I mean of course, I had the shits. Haha. Never thought I would be typing this but the moment before I purged I had stomach cramps that pushed and pulled and stabbed at me from the inside. I couldn’t walk from the spasms. SO that night I gave a big fuck you to Anorexia and went out to have some fun and bond with some friends.
My taxi pulled up at ‘the only reputable club’ in that locality and I saw my college friend wave at me and she was laughing and she gave me £50 and told me to come with her. It was a bit. Well, I was sober and everyone else was hammered. I didn’t find it funny. I wasn’t in the zone yet. I went to the bathroom and then I went to look for the pack and I couldn’t find them anywhere.
My mobile battery died and I turned around to the first person I saw to ask that person if I could use their mobile. I happened to bump into the person who went on to degrade and disrespect me in the most colourful and inventive ways. I couldn’t find anyone so we went back to mine and drank until………… I passed out mid-sentence.
This guy wouldn’t leave me alone. He was lovely at first but really full-on. I tried to back away. My friends told me he looked creepy. Leave him alone.
A guy from uni came up to me and told me that creepy ex was well and truly creepy and to stay away. Did I listen? no, I let my insecurities get the better of me. I melted into his world. At first it was flattering that someone would want to be around me so much. I didn’t think I was going to get in a relationship with him. I was trying to make friends and I had my eyes on someone else.
Out of respect to my daughter, I won’t go into a diatribe of events. He tried to take my soul. When he couldn’t have all of me he came up with a cunning plan to try and take my life away from me. Our daughter. During this time I could feel Anorexia clawing it’s way back inside. Cold, damp and merciless. I couldn’t allow it home again. I reached out to a couple I know and went on to meet my future husband to be. Before you judge- I have had my karma. I nearly lost my daughter as you may know from previous posts. I had time on my hands. Instead of being a full-time Mom to my daughter, I was a 10 hour per week Mom instead.
I decided while I battled it out in the court arena with social services and my creepy ex I would resume my studies. This time not in a mainstream uni but an online one. I worked my toosh off and today I can say I am a graduate. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my partner and my family.
DON’T JUDGE -if you can help it. That is a huge lesson I’ve learned. This piece of paper means so much more than the letters printed on it. It is a symbol – a tangible piece that reminds me of how I got to this place where I am today. I’m a bride to be with a gorgeous daughter who will be four in October. I’m working with mental health charities and I am a stable weight- super healthy. I don’t smoke. I drink mostly water ( with the odd cocktail of course) , I exersise. I am a success. I am proud of me. No one can take that from me. I won’t let them. Always be ready to learn a bit more. I may have officially finished learning but I will not let that stop me from learning in other ways. I treat every experience in my life as a learning curve. Always look for the silver lining no matter how bleak.
How can we help you? You are loved.
I’m going to the source of my labelled diagnoses to find a way to answer this question.
Not to look for a reason to blame why I am like I am, but so I can ask the right questions to help myself get better.
How can we help you?
Okay. The brain goes dead. How I help myself?
Set small goals for the bigger goals I want to achieve?
What do I want to achieve?
A new carpet.
I want to clean the blinds,
I want to go through my drawers and Bee’s drawers to organise ourspace better.
We need a new cupboard.
I want to get in the festive spirit.
Bring the big T.V. downstairs.
I’m worried about Tatiana’s ( my cat’s) cough. I don’t want to be a FUCK UP!
- I need to connect more with my mom and family.
All achievable unless its a “bad” day.
Write a list to Santa? ( my inner Santa)
Being self-destructive is tough (sarcasm & truth).
Not as tough as being an 8-year-old child who doesn’t understand why her mother pushes her away. She is also scared to make her cry or hurt my feelings.
Not as tough as having an endoscopy and no sedation. Having people talk about going for a pint after work while they look at your bowel.
Not as tough as being alone, having a panic attack & waking up in a hospital alone at 87.
I’m so quick to forget about the mermaids tail & a dog that can do anything ticking off Santa’s Christmas list.
I’m so quick to dismiss time.
Or is that just me looking up my own anus again?
Fluent in assholism
How can I save my relationships before its too late?
Am I going through the motions as my husband asked?
A firm NO takes up all the room in my cognitive region.
Before I answer I think again about if I’m just going through the motions…
Today I am going to look up the definition of ‘going through the motions
Well, of course, I am going through the motions. That is part of the problem.
Get up, eat, clean, sleep, fill my day.
It’s not because I don’t care. I don’t think about the consequences or I forget the pain associated with the consequences. Or I think about how to get away from feeling a failure in the now.
Note to self: Don’t do things that will make you feel shit about yourself
It’s not that hard to do, Is it?
Maybe I hesitated before answering my husband because I asked myself if the way I am and response makes me a narcissist.
Well, of course, I am. I have spent many years trying to look good, be the thinnest, the most pretty the cleverest etc…
I know I am not & will never be all the above-mentioned thoughts.
What did that mean for me as an adult with Chronic Anorexia?
I don’t take millions of pictures of myself and think I’m better than other people. When I have judged others I try to look at the shitty things I have done or said in my life to humble myself… I am demanding. I can be selfish. I don’t think I am the best. I want to be the best I can be.
Do I live in a fantasy world?
I have done. I do live in a world where I am the object of desire/ importance to get away from who I see in the mirror, who I feel I have become measured by what I have achieved psychically/emotionally/materially. I use sleep as a defence mechanism to not have to deal with the person I am today. My perception of me.
I know what is real and isn’t unless my thoughts about weight and shame invade my inner world.
I have to wake up from my slumber eventually. Then I convince myself that the only thing that will make me good & empowered is by proving to people I have the money to buy shit that isn’t worth it.
I put a value on what I pay for & how I want it to be packaged.
I don’t feel I need constant praise from others to keep my ego in check. I do feel I need to give myself praise and try & love myself so that I can come across as a person with feelings, warmth & love.
I do struggle to show my emotions. Perhaps its the way my face moves, or because I don’t lie about how I feel or because I’m shit at pretending to be over the moon about something when I am feeling anything but amazing.
When I’m in a toxic phase I guess I do feel that the world should stop for me. It’s unrealistic to think that the world does. I have to check myself. I need to live more outside of my head than in it.
I don’t try to exploit people maliciously for my own gain without feeling shame nor the ability to empathise. I know how manipulative I can be & I have to check myself a lot to try & not be too manipulative. I do sometimes forget how it must feel like to another person to be taken advantage of.
I don’t think I am a person who enjoys belittling others to prop up my own ego. I hate gossip, I can use patronising language & behaviour if I feel threatened. I don’t enjoy making others feel less than I feel.
I want people to be happy & I want people to know that I can be a source of happiness too.
Maybe I am going through the motions but we all do!
If I said: yes, I’m going through the motions
then that would mean that I am a narcissist!
And according to Google: Narcissists can’t love their own children!
I already feel I lack traits that a normal mother gives her child.
Or because of my eating disorder, I have traits of a “vulnerable” narcissist.
If I look indifferent I am also afraid of being abandoned so I try to prepare myself for that moment.
Most of my relationships are unstable -with my mom. daughter partners etc… I can go from having a high opinion of myself to having zero worth in myself in a matter of hours.
I do need to work on my self-image & habits to self-harm.
I have many diagnoses -I need to use what I know about myself to make a positive change.
I want my daughter to love me in 20 years time.
I’m not a child any longer. I want to be better than I am now.
I’d be letting myself down if I didn’t post about my Eating disorder or mental illness nor if I didn’t write about my body image issues.
I shouldn’t be alive. I’ve been in & out of hospitals sectioned, medicated, threatened with E.C.T. therapy, my Dad didn’t want to care for me & asked social services to get involved in my life. I had other family members who loved me more & didn’t think that is what families do to their children.
I am still alive (obviously). I wish that kids could learn about body image & emotional intelligence at school.
Body Image is the mental picture you have of your body. It includes attitudes and feelings about how you look & how you think other people see you.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week we will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.
My stepfather used to tell me I was fat & would eat sweets & cake in front of me. He was a bastard for many more reasons than that….
People with HEALTHY Body Image…
▪ Accept bodies come in different shapes and sizes. ( I accept that as long as it doesn’t affect me)
▪ Know there are good things about their bodies. ( sure- legs……….)
▪ Are comfortable with their bodies. (Most of the time I wish I could swap heads with someone for peace of mind)
▪ Are critical of the ‘ideal’ body seen in the media. (Yes
People with UNHEALTHY Body Image…
▪ May think a lot about how they see themselves or how they think others see them
▪ Maybe uncomfortable with their bodies. (I’m not shy just aware of it).
I found Sa Roc when I was going through another post-suicide blues.
I’m also inspired by her courage to talk about her own self harm & body issues
I dealt with feeling inadequate or less worthy because I didn’t fit conventional standards of what was considered beautiful,” Sa-Roc explains to HipHopDX. “There was also a lot of unexpressed anger and pain that I didn’t feel comfortable or courageous enough to share with my loved ones, so I took it out on myself.
I identified with her honesty & her strength, and her vulnerabilities.
Because she emcees about how much trauma she went through & thinks that as an artist she needs to empower women especially in the one-dimensional world we live on social media. She has her own style & doesn’t conform to any style but her own. She has a message. She wants other women to feel free & she wants to break the discrimination of men in the industry dismissing talented & credible female emcees.
People forget that women have been instrumental in Hip Hop since its inception,” she says. “Most of us are really familiar with the early male Hip Hop icons and pioneers, but women have been present and just as instrumental since the beginning. One of those women, who my name actually pays homage to, is Sha-Rock.