Good morning again,
This morning is a chit chat about my recent mental health struggles.
Lately I’ve been really struggling with my body image and the other day it spiralled into a big old crying session where I felt like I’d just completely gone back about a zillion steps in my ED recovery and body positive journey. Juuust great 👍🏻
Since starting the job, I’ve been having the best time don’t get me wrong, but it’s got to that 3 month stage where the weird sleeping & eating schedule, eating and drinking out almost constantly and lack of regular exercise routine has begun to show in my body. Basically, my abs & boobs are non-existent and my tummy is bloating a lot and though I didn’t care much at first (when I was in a pretty good place mentally), for someone who’s stomach has always been the main insecurity it’s begun to make me feel a bit shit.
Now, I’m writing this a few days later, as this bad place occurred during an evening and I wasn’t quite ready to write it all down because thinking just made me cry more. I’m now in a slightly better and more logical thinking mood – and although I’m still feeling a bit insecure about these things, I know logically that it’s not the be all and end all. I’m very happy in other areas of my life at the moment and I’m trying to reflect on these relapses. I’m still learning to recover and challenge my thoughts and that’s ok.
During this relapse, I was really down about what I was looking at in the mirror and it made me very upset. In my view, at the time nothing was in proportion to anything else and every part of my body wasn’t how I wanted it to be. I noticed a lot of it wasn’t how it had been in the past, making me feel very ashamed and disappointed for ruining all the hard work I was doing. I was disappointed in my lack of motivation and self-discipline for eating a lot and the fat/salt filled food on flights, and how my clothes were tight and everything I wore made me feel insecure and disgusting.
I realise that this relapse was both right and wrong in where I am at the moment. After reflecting on it a bit, I realise it’s time for a bit of a change in my actions. The constant going out eating and drinking, exerting myself too much (going on jam-packed days out down route as well as jam-packed days out at home on minimal hours of sleep) and eating flight food isn’t the way forward for my health and well-being. However, I was way too hard on myself for enjoying food, drink and money and embracing this new chapter of my life. A balance needs to be found and this is my next step in my well-being journey toward finding it.
I’ve decided I don’t want to stop going out for food and drinks, because a. I love it and b. it’s a big part of how I get to bond with new crew as well as spend time with old friends – and I know that the time I let my ED govern my social life is a bit step back into anorexia. (Just acknowledging that is another sign of how far I’ve come and how one or a few down moods doesn’t mean all the hard work I’ve done to get this far is wasted).
On the other hand though, for my mental as well as my physical HEALTH (not body figure, health) I am going to think more about what I’m eating, how much I want to feel nourished (I tend to either not eat enough or eat far too much) and not to eat/drink for the sake of it.
I also feel like I need to let myself have time off. I find that this job has given me a lot more free time than I had before. Some would argue differently, but from a 40+ hour university degree, this job is something completely different to me. And I feel that if I’m not either sleeping or out exploring when I’m downroute or sleeping/out with friends/being productive when at home, that I’m being lazy and not doing anything. And I’ve felt quite guilty if I’m ever not out socialising with crew, or when I feel really tired at home on my days off. When in reality, this is a tiresome job and although flight attendants I follow on Instagram seem to be able to go to the gym at 5am before a long haul flight or who workout, explore the city and go out partying (and seem to still look amazing) – the reality is most probably not quite what it looks like and I’m new to the job and so my body isn’t used to the routine changes.
So my take home message from this blog post is several fold;
- Relapses happen. It doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved anything in recovery it’s just a dip in the road.
- Reflecting on relapses/times when you’re feeling down is important to help you move forward – do this again later when you’re in a more logical mindset – DON’T MAKE DECISIONS DURING BAD PERIODS!
- I’m still on my journey to self-love and body positivity
- Listening to you and your body is the most important thing