Feeling: WELL… WELL?
Well well well. To the trail (or more appropriately, tough-and-testing-and-trying trek) to finding wellness.
I have decided this next ten months on the home front is going to be all about realising and reaching a state of wellness. Exploring therapies and treatments (and somewhat alternative avenues), testing and trying different products (both inner and outer, all natural and organic and such sorts) and mind rejigging to get to the person I want to be – with all probes and investigations detailed and yarned about on here of course. Make like pilsner and bear (gettit?) with me as I expand out to apex in and conclude.
Let’s start with the analogy I have come to consider whenever I find myself slipping into destructive ways. Ok; a home. A place where you live day to day, that you keep your prized possessions within, that is your own space. You decorate it in such a way to look nice, right? Do a weekly clean to get it fresh and hygienic? Where you spend time and money filling it with treasures and trinkets to be warm and welcoming and inviting, loved and treated well. Should a bad sort break in and wreak havoc, you’d be pretty dismal about it. Likewise, a stealing stranger hustling around and thieving or damaging the things that make it function – think the plumbing, the lighting, the locks and what not. Well – how is this any different to your body?
Your body is more a home than any other habitat will ever be. You physically leave your house home on a regular basis, but you are never out of your actual self (unless you are a champ meditator and bound off to another realm of course). But yet we often cram ourselves in with injurious invaders (toxic chemicals) that harm our inner workings, engage our bodies in acts that are destructive and detrimental (I’m sure you can imagine), and don’t care and concern ourselves with aspects relating to our physical – and mental – selves that we should.
I have started immersing myself in books about nutrition, well-living and the like in a bid to garner motivation to look after myself. Getting to know more about the body’s needs and functionalities (do you actually know what gluten is and does? I shall share such at a later date) has me nervously picturing my innards with a shifty sweat. What with nigh on a decade of forcing my form through some pretty gruelling raids and wars – think constant famines peppered in with full on feasting – this almost-quarter-century-self is starting to feel – and show – the wear and tear. AND IT’S FREAKING ME OUT.
I mean, what you do in your early and mid-twenties sets your health up for the to-come decades. It’s pretty scary. And pondering back to the prolonged periods where I ate not an ounce of protein or calcium doesn’t exactly instil me with bounds of buoyancy. There’s no doubt repercussions for that kind of deprivation and deficiency, and my bod is slowly starting to show them.
Last week at work a table of the local high school teachers came in to indulge in some dins. One of the women smiled at me and said, “Is it nice to be on holiday and out of school for two weeks?”. Rather than burst her bubble I went along with her mis-contexting and said – truthfully – being out of school was lovely, though I did miss my history lessons. I went and told the chef of her thinking I was still a student and he laughingly joked, “Maybe she got you confused with a haggard old school teacher.”
I laughed and what not but then I actually thought about it. Sure, I often get mistaken for being younger than I am with my skin elastic-y and still firm with collagen now, but come ten years down the track I’ll probably be as lined as a refill pad should I not sort my shit out. (And it was with great phew that as the aforementioned female paid up and left the restaurant she said, “Swapping one uniform for another being here aren’t you!” – she did think I was a sixth former and not a fellow staffer).
Busting off to Europe for three or so months meant a sabbatical from the book writing. Although I was full of determined intentions to finish the thing whilst hustling about the continent in transit, once over there I realised such a notion was downright laughable and I put the pages well away to tackle on return.
Mondays are now my writing day, where the phone remains in flight mode until late afternoon when I emerge into the world for appointments and what not. My wall is adorned with a plan of dates and such when upon the manuscript will be first drafted, under editing, ready to be published, with the past two weeks having been dedicated to rereading the already written and getting back in the prosing precinct.
And revising all the work thus far absolutely shattered my heart.
I am awful to myself. Totally and utterly horrendous. It’ not just Ed that I let treat me in a despicable way; the way I myself approach my daily doings, how I speak to myself in my mind, the brutal ways I make my body go through day after day after day… it is completely cruel and callous and vindictive and I am shocked that it hasn’t given up on me (well, more so than it already has). That is my life? I questioned as I took in my memories and ways of being and thought patterns turmoiled through. Mate, I’m a full on manus.
How sad is it that my life goal is to be skinny? Because, being completely candid, that’s what my ultimate wish is. I was pondering such last night as I lay in bed (slumber not even a slight option) and gave myself a few multi choices. Would I rather be rich or skinny? Successful or skinny? (Though the two are now synonymous to me). Happy or skinny? (Ditto). Would I rather have a fabulous holiday to Fiji, or weigh 48kg? Have a sensational night out with friends, or have my jeans feel looser? And perhaps the pinnacle of the self-disgust: would I rather be 10kg heavier, or be dead? When the answer to each of every of those put to me tipped far in favour of the skinny side of things, I realised even more so than I have already how fucked up and sick I have become.
“Skinny” is no kind of life and it shouldn’t be a life goal. That constant gnawing sensation in my stomach, in my brain, how it controls and constrains and dictates how I live; it consumes all the aspects that make life brilliant. I miss beautiful moments because I’m too busy calculating calories; I become mean and self-focused and lash out at loved ones because I’m struggling with resisting the intense urges to eat. All the brain space I could be using to become dexterous in Dutch or gifted on the guitar or – I don’t know – able at art is instead taken up with the efforts of being in famine and fighting feasting. It’s not right. It’s not healthy. It’s not the way to be. (And it’s fucking BORING).
In my last year of uni one of my photojournalism assignments was to photograph our greatest fear. As we were being briefed, my mind instantly turned to food. Isn’t that sad? That the thing I am scared of, above anything else; being force fed a bowl of spaghetti or made to eat a slice of bread and in effect (in my Ed addled mind) putting on weight. It should’ve be sharks or spiders or heights or some shit, not an act that is as necessary to survive as breathing and drinking h20. (In the end I did a shoot at the local pony club, feigning that I was scared of horses. “Wow Pop, you really conquered your fear!” my tutor said as she sorted through my snaps of horse hind legs and the like. “You really got in there and grabbed your phobia by the reigns – literally, you even got on one!”. The guilt of the lie is still saddled with me to this day; scared of horses? Mate, I was Saddle Club-bing it up and riding on the local mare Rosie from the age of four. Timorous of horses? Neigh).
I have sort of stopped writing about Ed on here as I wanted to save it for Seedless Green Grapes (working title; nicknamed so as I went through a good few months where I ate pretty much nothing else besides). And as an undercurrent, I started to feel a little ashamed of how I am. Opening up whilst in India and Nepal about all the Ed issues that I’ve grappled, scuffled and struggled with was with a lot more ease; a literal world away meant I was removed and didn’t have to deal with people acknowledging such to my face. While I’m a lot better talking about it now, it is only with certain people and when others try to bring it up I do the awkward jolly chuckle and get out of the sitch quick smart (a falsified phone call is usually the go).
But the people sharing their stories with me is worth it. I have a rather large number of struggling souls – both males and females – who message me often just for an understanding ear (well eye – it is CMC). And just knowing that I can aid in such a way has far outweighed (pardon the pun) the trepidation of what other people might think.
What have I learnt? You can’t control what other people think of you. And I’m finally learning to let it go. I mean, I would most definitely prefer if others saw me in the sort of light I try to portray and authentically be by, but at the end of the day it’s about being proud of the person I am myself. Hearing back what people may say behind your back obviously hurts (and I take it that next step further with it absolutely gutting me should it be on the negative) but unless it is an action I’ve done that I should apologise for, I would rather just not know. My own opinion is volatile enough right now – but I’m aiming for that to change.
I don’t want to live like I have been anymore. And rather than have recurring pity parties as I have been the last few months (guests being the mother Dee-Dub, old Henio, the brother James and the BF Abbey) I have decided to make like skin cleanser and get proactive about it.
It’s time to go to the ultimate home (I.e., me) and spend time, money, mind power and love setting it to a state of wellness. A fit and healthy life is far more fulfilling – and fun – than a skinny one. I want to learn to master my thoughts, replenish necessary reserves, and get to be the girl I genuinely am proud to be.
Life isn’t about having skinny thighs or fist pumping yourself because you got through the day only eating a carrot and two tomatoes. It’s about enjoyment and joy and all other ways of being joyful. And I’m going to find it in any which way I can. I want peace – with life, with food and with my number one home, myself.
So I shall be a tad reclusive for the next ten months or so. Aside from work and the scheduled in socialising, a lot of time is going to be spent with just me – sorting myself out, getting to understand how I work and just getting to a point where I can wholehearted say I am pretty fab (because I am far off that pinnacle at this point in time). So I am FINALLY going get this blog sorted out and sectioned to be easily navigable and shall start this new chapter on the search.
A Frazzled, Frantic and Somewhat Fucked-In-The-Thoughts Girl on a Mission of Mindfulness and, well, to get Well. Being a warrior with an “a” and not an “o”. Being my own saviour, not my saboteur. Life’s too short to fully focus on being skinny – and doing so will supremely shorten it.
Let’s get this glow on. Hail in this health. Go homeward well and truly.
I’ll let you know how I get on.