I’ve Said My Piece, Now What?

Following on from yesterday’s post.

Phew, I’ve said my piece. I prayed for guidance on what to say to my friend, and I was pleased with what I said. Because I had had a practice run first, and because of the post I wrote on yesterday’s blog, my head and heart were clear.

My fear of rejection meant that I had some thoughts saying that I didn’t want the friendship anyway, but I know that isn’t true. I spoke kindly, said how I felt about something that they had done, how it left an imbalance in the friendship, and I suggested a way forward.

Now I need to let go. I’m not in control of how they respond, but I have gone into worry that they will be upset, and that they will become angry with me. That’s control. It’s me wanting to control the outcome.

I identify as being codependant, I find it easy to put others needs before my own, I have an inbuilt belief that I am unworthy, and other people need to be taken care of, that I should become what the other person wants me to be. I can very easily lose my personal identity because I see things from the other person’s perspective. Some may call this being a doormat, but I think codependancy is a form of dishonest and manipulative behaviour. It’s trying to control what other people think of me. I know it comes from the inconsistent and abusive childhood that I experienced, so I’m not giving myself a hard time. It’s actually seeing codependancy for what it is that has opened my mind to the reality that it is OK for me to have wants and needs, that it’s OK to say when I feel hurt, it’s OK to express my needs in a relationship. It doesn’t come easily to me. It takes a lot of effort for me to be honest in relationships, but I’m getting there.

Telling Others How I Feel About Their Behaviour

Today I need to do something which I find challenging and that I feel anxious about. Somebody has behaved in a way towards me that I feel frustrated about, and even a bit hurt by.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a big thing to others, perhaps it would. It is big enough for me to need to say something, and so the friendship can survive.

I need to tell them how I feel when they behave in such a manner to me, and I need to keep the focus on how I feel, rather than blame them for their behaviour. Over the years I’ve learned that people have the right to behave however they choose, and that I have the right to tell them how I feel when their actions affect me.

In principle that’s easy enough. But I struggle with it. Although my self-esteem is most definitely improving, but it’s not so good that I feel at ease with expressing myself when it comes to conflict. In my mind I talk through why I shouldn’t say anything, I empathise with the other person, I feel for them, and I think I don’t have the right. After all I’ve made mistakes in my life, meaning that I therefore don’t have the right to say anything to others.

On top of that I get anxiety come up quite strongly. I’m afraid of how the other person will react or if they will reject me, it’s easier to put them first so that I don’t get rejected. Fear of rejection is a big thing for me, it’s also destructive. I’ve stayed in damaging relationships before, rather than allowing myself to feel rejected.

I know what I want to say. I’ve got that clear in my mind. I think it’s best to leave them a WhatsApp speech note, rather than talk to them over the telephone. They don’t live in the UK so I can’t tell talk with them face to face. A speech note feels like a bit of a cop out, but most of our friendship has been conducted in this way, and if we speak on the phone they won’t hear me because they talk too much to listen. It still feels like a cop out, but it’s the way I am choosing to do it.

I’m not sure how it will go. I don’t know if they will accept what I have to say, or whether they will become cross with me. I just don’t know, and that’s difficult, not knowing, it could go either way.

The thing is that I need to say something for my own sake. If I don’t say anything then I will become resentful of them, which will only make the situation worse. So I have to bite the bullet and be authentic. Living an authentic life is important to me now.

What I Could Do During Social Isolation – Freewriting

One thing that I’ve already mentioned before is writing Sophie Lives. Not that I expect to write the whole book, but I can write more of it. There’s lots of writing that I can do, I intend to keep up with my freewriting on a daily basis, whether that’s on here or in my notepad.

Meditation has been a part of my life for many years, although I have let that slip recently, and I we would like to take that up again, whether I do breath awareness or use the Insight Timer app. I like to put wax earplugs in, shut out the background noise and just focus on my breath, so I set the intent of meditating today.

My photography portfolio hasn’t been added to for s while. I think it would be beneficial if I went through all of my photos and created a folder for all of the best ones. It’s nice to know that I have taken a few good photos over the past few years and I need to make the most of these. If I have them all in one place then I can get back onto curator space and submit some of them to exhibitions and competitions.

My eating disorder recovery has involved attending online 12 step meetings, and I have a weekly routine of attending three. As well as keeping up with those, now might be a good time to log into some others, which would increase my social contact.

Of course I should continue reading as well. Currently I’m reading Palestinian Walks: Notes On A Vanashing Landscape by Raja Shahadeh. It’s a fantastic piece of non-fiction about the life of a Palestinian from the West Bank (Occupied Territories) and his walks through the landscape. It’s beautifully written, and naturally it touches upon the political landscape of living under Israeli occupation and how the illegal settlements have interfered with the physical environment. I have an interest in the political environment between Israel and Palestine, the conflict has been going on longer than my lifetime, it would be nice if this conflict would end at some point before I die. I hold out no hope for this, but I guess people didn’t believe the conflicts between Republicans and Unionists in Norther Ireland would ever end either.

During the 12 week period of social isolation I am aloud out for short walks and to the shops as well, which is something I will most definitely do.

There are more things that I can do, and this piece of writing has helped me to solidify my ideas from my previous post. I wish all of you safety, peace and love and pray that you all get through these challenging times safely and that you remain in good health.

Self Isolation Due To Underlying Health Conditions

The UK government are beginning to put in place emergencgy measures to protect the population from covid 19.

They have asked that, from this weekend, people over 70, pregnant women and those with serious underlying health conditions to stay at home for 12 weeks. The exceptions are to buy food and go to the pharmacy (if you don’t have anyone to do it for you), as wee as to get some exercise.

I am vulnerable because I have underlying health problems l. I have heart valve disease, have had part of a lung removed, and also because I have diabetes.

They are taking these measure because those who have serious health conditions are more likely to have serious complications if they catch coronavirus, and would probably end up in intensive care. So, from this weekend I will be self isolating.

I have experienced some anxiety about this as my mental health suffers if I stay in for a couple of days, let alone for 12 weeks. I’ve talked this through with a few people now and I’m slowly feeling more relaxed about the situation.

I’m going to order food online for delivery to my home, and I’m going to ask the pharmacy to deliver my medication. These measures remove my need to go outside for these reason.  However, I am going to get outside every two or three days for a walk.

When I walk I will need to follow government guidelines on social distancing, which means staying more than two meters away from people. This is easily manageable with two routes I can follow where there is less footfall and away from busy streets.

Something else has given me more peace about spending a lot of time at home. I can write more of Sophie Lives and do more research into domestic violence and people’s recovery from it. I also have reading and my coursework, as well as freewriting. My kitchen and bathroom floors need a good clean as well.

I feel more settled about self isolating now. I’ll miss my cousins birthday, but we can celebrate it when we are able to meet up again. We were going to go to Minsmere for a day out birdwatching.

We are all in this together, and I need to to take the responsibility of doing my part.

Does Transition Into The Female Role Mean I Fancy Men?

Often people who are not trans or in the LGBT+ community can get confused around gender and sexuality. I guess it’s an easy mistake to make.

The simple part is to remember that gender is about who and what I am and sexuality is about who I fancy.

When I lived as a woman during my twenties I was often asked by family and friends “does this mean you fancy men now? Wouldn’t it be easier to just be a gay man?”

My relationships have always been with women whether I live in the male role, or as the woman I believe myself to be. I must say though that I always find a boost to my self esteem if anyone takes an interest in me. That doesn’t make me a gay man though. I’m flattered if any one dares to fancy me (poor sods) but I don’t consider myself to be male, so I’m not a gay man. I’m also not a heterosexual woman. I’m only interested in women romantically.

The Blackbird – A Poem

The blackbird is the first to sing during the dawn chorus.

It’s four am and I hear her chirping

No other bird is making a sound

The blackbird is another sign of spring

 

I don’t mind being up early, while it’s still dark

Especially as the blackbird is awake with me

It warms my heart

And tells me that today will be a good day

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I need a good day

And I desperately need the signs of spring

The winter has been long, hard and wet, with never ending rain

I need that blackbird to sing

 

I’ve heard a rumour that April will be warm

Much warmer than usual

In the 20’s I’m told

April will also bring the full dawn chorus

 

Such hope and such joy this news does bring

A hope for life

And another winter won

I can rest in hope now that spring has begun.

Gear Sick – A Poem

Wake up early I don’t know why,
Darkness looms, no sun in the sky.
Sleeplessness makes me want to cry,
So I’ll jack up early, I’m gonna get high.

The gear is shit I need some more,
Dollar in my hand, I go out of the door,
Living like this is such a chore.
So ill have another hit, I’m rotting to the core.

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I get my money by robbing Jack and jil
Another few quid to buy another pill
I never have enough, want one more thrill.
Life’s grinding me down like a stone on a mill.

You look at my life as such a disgrace,
Come right over here and say it to my face.
Leave me the fuck alone; leave this space,
Or ill stab you up and put you in your place.

Thank Fuck It’s Nearly Spring

To be honest it’s been a hard winter. I lost all interest in the people and projects that matter to me, and getting through each day has been a chore. A pointless effort with no reward. I’ve been in a very dark place, I’m still there on many levels.

However, today I felt some spontaneous hope. As I left home to attend counselling I realised it was light. The bus journey was diverted, and I found myself feeling excited to be living in London.

The past week I haven’t felt anything positive, but I have been putting the effort into positive behaviour. I’ve undertaken some photography for a long term project, I’ve read through some of my course literature, and I’ve undertaken a little writing yesterday and today.

Spring is just around the corner, and I’ve been looking for signs of it:- the growth of my trees, lighter afternoons, crocus and daffodils emerging, trees budding, and winter flowering cherry.

One of the things that true for me is that I have wonderful friends, and I seek additional support for my mental health. But life has still been a struggle.

Spring is a time of greater joy, energy and enthusiasm for me. Come on spring, please hurry up.

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My Eating Disorder Recovery – Latest Update

My thinking around eating has been disturbed this week. I have experienced an intense desire to stop eating and to lose weight. Partly this has been triggered by a drop in my mood and energy, but my weight gain hasn’t helped either.

I’m on an anti-psychotic because I experience severe paranoia, and this medication affects my metabolism. Consequently I have put on an amount of weight that isn’t usual in anorexia recovery, and is affecting my self esteem. I don’t want to keep putting on weight, and I dare not come off of the medication. I took myself off of it over the summer and the paranoia, anxiety and suicidal ideation were unbearable. I can’t exercise because of my heart condition, and I must eat the quantities of food as agreed with my nutritionist so that I maintain good health. I feel a bit trapped to be honest.

My mood has also dropped, which I believe is common for many of us during the winter months. My thinking has been quite dark, with an increase in rumination and suicidal ideation. But I can cope with this as long as I stay meaningfully occupied. Although this hasn’t been easy to do over the past week, I have fumbled my way through.

Life is complicated. I have a few quite serious health conditions, which affect my physical and mental wellbeing. But hey, that’s life. Each of us on the planet has our own set of complications that we need to face on a daily basis, and we all have ups and downs with these.

What do I need to do in order to cope with mine? Firstly, the above attitude is the right one for me to adopt. My difficulties are no more or less unusual than anyone else’s. I can’t afford to think that I’m worse off than others as that kind of thinking is the start of a slippery slope that’s dangerous for my mental health. Secondly, I need to keep eating the same amount of food, and to see eating as being the same as taking medication for my mental health. Thirdly, I need to stay meaningfully occupied. Fourthly, I need to make sure I also have adequate rest. My heart condition is now causing fatigue and I’m needing to rest for longer periods during the day.

Life is a balancing act, but there are definitely things that I can do to stop myself from slipping off of the tightrope.

If you have an eating disorder – recovery is possible, speak to a family member, someone you trust, a doctor, or search google for an eating disorder service in your country.

United Kingdom

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC