Small Update

Haven’t posted in a while because I’m having a hard time putting into words how I’m doing. I’m kind of just chugging along, but thinks feel heavy and I’m tired. Winter term of uni is almost over so it’s crunch time. Plus I need to start thinking about spring term, and I need to meet with an adviser (should have done that years ago…) and figure stuff with my degree out. And I need to start thinking about finding a job again. I’ve not worked since October and it makes me so anxious even just thinking about looking at new jobs. So I’m being crushed by anxiety, which makes me feel depressed and like I’m never going to amount to anything, which makes me anxious, and it just keeps feeding into itself. I need to talk to my psychiatrist about this and look into maybe changing my meds up, but that involves calling my psych’s office because my appointment needs to be rescheduled. I just want to curl into a ball and hide from the world. I don’t want to talk to my doctor or therapist, or an academic adviser. I don’t want to continue with classes. I don’t want to get a job. I don’t want to see my friends. So yeah, I’m struggling, but I can’t afford to take any more time off school, can’t afford to not have an income, can’t avoid life. So onward I  go. I’m just so damn tired.


Recovery Struggles//Inspirations

My least favourite part of recovery is when I’m doing just fine, managing well, eating properly, feeling stable, and ED thoughts still hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’ve been in recovery for three damn years and this is still a regular struggle for me. I don’t know if it’s my ED brain realising that I’m doing well without it and deciding to pipe up because heaven forbid I let go of this demon. Maybe it’s too much influence from the people I follow on social media. Maybe I need to distance myself from the internet for a while. Maybe it’s because of the body dysmorphia that’s been nagging me lately. Maybe it’s a combination of all those factors. That’s why eating disorders are so hard to completely recover from.

I’ve been working out regularly and I think I might be building some muscle, but my thighs look absolutely enormous and it makes me feel physically sick. I’ve been working on increasing my intake to make up for the exercise (the irony is not lost on me, here…) and I feel greedy and gross for eating so much. I feel hungry at weird times and it triggers me so much. I’m basically constantly eating small meals/snacks all day and it feels good but also really scary.

I’m just so tired of wanting to starve myself to death. I’m so tired of this still being my first thought every time something bad happens. I’m tired of not wanting to completely let go of my ED. I’m tired of the back and forth between wanting to be fully recovered and not believing in complete recovery. I’m really tired of questioning recovery.

Because recovery is amazing. My body is functioning the best it probably ever has. I have the freedom to not only do so many things that I couldn’t when I was sick, but I can choose to do or not do things based on what I want, not what my ED wants. I can put my energy into being creative, or active, or learning, or whatever I want; I don’t have to be consumed by thoughts of food every second of the day. But I also find myself getting scared by this freedom because it’s still so unfamiliar to me. I am in a place of pretty much constant discomfort because of how much I’m changing and growing and pushing myself and it sucks, but it is what it is and the only way to alleviate discomfort fully is to allow yourself to experience it.

In light of feeling so shitty, here’s a list of some of the people online who inspire the hell out of me; you should definitely check them out:

Jen Brett – Twitter YouTube + Instagram

Megsy Recovery – Youtube + Instagram

Mia Findlay/WhatMiaDidNext – YouTube + Instagram

Kelly U –  Twitter + Instagram

Mary Jelkovsky/maryscupofteaa – Instagram

Kenzie Brenna – InstagramTwitterYouTube

Neva Swartzendruber/ditch_the_diet – Instagram


Just a fun fact: this post was originally titled “Undeserving” from January 3rd.

Lately things have been clicking for me like never before. I still hate myself and want to die, but not nearly as intensely as before. My meds are working wonders. I’m seeing my psychiatrist and therapist regularly. I’m going to school. I’m going to the gym. I’m eating not only enough, but in an amazing balance. I’m feeling the most stable I have in probably years.

But what is really different than ever before is that I’m treating myself with respect and consideration. I still feel undeserving, but my actions no longer reflect that. I’m setting boundaries with people who I feel suffocated by. I’m refusing to let people treat me like crap; I’m ending a very, very long friendship if she can’t treat me with more maturity. I’m working out in order to get stronger, not to burn calories and lose weight. I’m eating good, nutrient-dense food as well as what makes me happy. I’m taking time for myself when I need it.

All of these things go directly against my core belief that I am a piece of shit who needs to die, but opposite actions, right? It feels so uncomfortable to treat myself well because I’ve never been in this mindset before, ever, in my almost twenty-three years. But from discomfort comes growth. I can accept it, even if I don’t like it.

I’ve been existing in a very mindful state and it has made everything so much more tolerable. Radical acceptance is an incredibly difficult concept but it is so, so important. Instead of looking at my unhelpful thoughts and actions as bad things that I need to change — which for me leads to a nasty cycle of trying, failing, feeling like shit for failing, resorting to those same old coping mechanisms, trying to stop doing them, failing, etc. — I can notice them, notice the thoughts I have about them, and allow them to exist. This is the core principle of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and I find it so much more manageable than the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) approach.

And what’s really wild to me is that I’m working on being mindful and accepting not just because that’s how I’m supposed to be functioning in order to get “better”, but because it truly is good for me. I deserve to be at peace with my mind. I deserve to be as well as I can be. That is so hard for me to wrap my head around and internalise, but I’m working on it. I can accept it.

Why Do I Write?

Wanting to write and knowing what to write do not go hand-in-hand.

I have a deep seated need to write but I often find myself at a loss for what to say. Does this mean my brain and body crave the act of writing? Do I have hidden thoughts and emotions that need to be worked through? Am I just a creature of habit who comes back to the same form of expression time and again?

And my bigger question these days: can my writing benefit others?

I don’t know if my blog posts mean anything to anyone besides myself. That’s fine. I’d like to be able to use my experiences to help others but at the moment it’s enough that writing them is therapeutic for me. I also write a lot of poetry. I don’t share the vast majority of my creative work because a) I am self-conscious, b) it’s pretty dark stuff, and c) I feel like most of it isn’t worth reading. I get really repetitive in my analogies and allusions and stuff. I also have a vast store of stories I want to write but never get around to because procrastinating prevents failure.

I want to submit and publish my writing. I want it to be read by people. I want professionals to approve of my writing and deem it worth reading. I shouldn’t let fear of rejection stop me but I do. So. Opposite actions. That idea can be used for things outside of eating disorder recovery. My brain is telling me not to bother submitting my writing to literary magazines because no one will want it. Okay, so? If one place doesn’t want it, other places might. I won’t know until I try.

Also, I have a hard time being creative while on my laptop these days. I do all of my creative stuff in a notebook, with a pen. Typing, while one of my favourite feelings in the world, has become reserved for schoolwork, research type stuff, only factual writing. Maybe I should try pushing on that. I find myself avoiding this blog lately as I’ve been avoiding thinking about things that make me uncomfortable. But discomfort is where growth happens. So here I am, writing, in order to push through this particular patch of writer’s block and the discomfort that comes with it.

People tell me that I’m a really good writer and I never know what to make of that. Writing comes so easily to me, that what I consider to be mediocre others think is brilliant. I know I’m capable of really great writing, but it’s the basic stuff that I don’t think is worth anything that people tell me is good. Where I’m going with this is that I’m working on bridging the gap between the writing I do for myself and the writing I do with the intention of sharing because maybe the boring fluff is important, too. I’m trying to not be so critical of myself, while also being able to critique and improve my writing. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

The bottom line is that I write for the same reason I breathe — to live. I write because I need to. My brain is swirling with thoughts and ideas and if I don’t write then my head will explode. I write out my thoughts so that I can see them and study them without them floating away like they do in my head. I write so that I can build my ideas up and develop networks of thoughts that are not only easier to understand, but that can be shared. I write because it brings me joy. I write because it challenges me. Writing is recreational, scholarly, and ambitious for me. Writing is how I consider my past and how I plan for the future. Writing is a way of life and I don’t plan on stopping, ever.

Changing My Approach To School

I feel cocky admitting it but I was one of those kids who did well in school without ever having to put in effort. I loved school, loved learning, had a pretty easy time grasping new concepts, and my obsession with reading gave me an impressive vocabulary and understanding of language. This came back to bite me in the ass, though, when I started university. I had no study habits and no concept of having to spend hours and hours on a subject. As a result, I had some pretty rough grades my first couple semesters.

As a perfectionist, I expect nothing less than 100% and A+ grades in every course. However, I am mortally afraid of my best not being good enough, so I spin myself into a cycle of procrastinate, not do as well as I want, beat myself up, but procrastinate further because if I don’t give it my all, then that’s a reason for not getting perfect marks. If I give it my all and still don’t make a solid 100%, then I’m just a flat out failure.

School is very intertwined with my depression, anxiety, and eating disorder. I get anxious about not being perfect, depressed because I’m not perfect and therefore will never amount to anything, and I use ED behaviours to distract from those things while simultaneously sabotaging myself because I starved brain can’t function. I had to actually drop out of my second year of university because my eating disorder got so bad that I could’t even leave my bed. I almost didn’t graduate high school on time because had I had to take the provincial math exam, I would have failed and therefor not been allowed to graduate. Thankfully there’s an exemption allowed from exams for students whose mental health impacts their ability to do school, so I didn’t have to take the exam and was able to marginally pass math. I compare myself to every other student. I feel stupid compared to the students who have better grades than me. I feel stupid compared to the students who are able to handle a fuller course load than me, or able to work more hours at a job than me while still doing well in school. I see people succeed and interalise it as I’m doing worse than them, I must be a failure.

The reality is that I am a mentally ill individual who cannot function as highly as most of my peers. I make myself an obstacle in the way of achieving what I want so that I can blame myself for being stupid and pathetic, rather than face the reality that I might not be capable of getting top marks. And the reality is that school isn’t about having a perfect transcript; school is about learning. I am going to school to learn, not prove myself to my professors or my department or my peers or my family. I am going to school for my own benefit, no one else’s.

Going forward, I am going to be shifting my focus back onto school as a place of growth and learning. I want to love school again. I want to be interested in the subjects I’m learning and not just slog through them because I have to. I want to expand my knowledge in the subjects I choose because they benefit me as a person. My goal is to be a writer, and I don’t need a university degree for that. Originally I set the career goal of becoming an English professor, but I realised that as much as that would be interesting and fulfilling, it was a way to avoid failure if I can’t make it as a writer. Just like avoiding my schoolwork in the hopes that I don’t have to acknowledge my best not being good enough. To become a professor I’d need to do my PhD, and for that I’d need my Masters, and for that an Honours Bachelors degree with a 3.7 GPA, and that all became too far removed from why I wanted to become a prof in the first place; I may end up becoming a professor one day, because I love sharing knowledge that I’m passionate about and I love being in academia and constantly learning. But for right now, I’m going to focus on school as a learning experience that will help me become a better writer, and I’m going to focus on my writing because that’s what brings me the most joy and makes me feel the most whole. A poor mark on a paper is a doorway to asking questions and bettering my understanding and improving myself. A good mark is proof that I’ve worked hard, not a sign of intelligence. I know that I’m school-smart and I want that to be enough. I want learning to be my safe haven in this world. I am going to work on being mindful and enjoy my school experience for what it is, not what I think it should be. I’m going to take my time and finish my degree at my own pace. I’m going to make my writing a priority and work with my creativity to expand and grow into the best writer I can be.

Who Am I Without My ED?

The burning question that haunts us all.

We let ourselves become so consumed by our disorders that we lose our sense of self. We strive to fit into diagnostic criteria. We lose interest in life. We stop doing the things we used to love because we’re so very busy being sick.

Part of recovery is letting go of our disorders. But that leaves us without something that defined us for so long. Part of recovery is figuring out who we are without our disorders. Trying to remember who we were before we got sick. Trying to figure out who we want to be. Feeling average and unimportant without our illness to make us special.

I’m going to make this post about me, rather than a general us. Because part of recovery is allowing myself to think about myself and my own needs.

Who was I before my eating disorder?

I used to ride horses. I was actually pretty good for a while. I stopped being good when my body stopped being able to handle that kind of physical activity, and when my brain couldn’t concentrate enough to be safe. I used to play basketball. I used to write about things other than my sadness. I used to be able to hang out with friends without feeling alienated by my disorders.

Some of those things I’ll never be able to get back. I’ll never be able to feel totally connected with my friends, but that’s okay because my experiences separate me in ways that have made me kinder, wiser, and more understanding. I don’t want to play basketball anymore because it reminds me of feeling inadequate.

But I want to ride again. I want to write about anything and everything, not just fixate on my illness. And I want to find out what parts of me went ignored through my teenage years because I was too sick to notice them.

I got into practicing witchcraft when I first started recovering. It honestly gave me so much comfort and inspiration and I wouldn’t be me without it now. I’m rediscovering my love for yoga and exercise of all kinds, without calorie counting and changing my body looming over me. I still love to read and write. I love plants and gardening and nature. I love watching nature documentaries and lame tv shows. I love cleaning and organising, and it helps both my depression and anxiety. I love having deep discussions and debates with people because I can finally think about things besides my eating disorder. I am passionate about the environment and social issues. I love learning more than almost anything. I love tea and coffee without using them as appetite suppressants, and I love fancy Starbucks drinks without having to make it as low calorie as possible. I love museums and art galleries. I love hiking and being outdoors.

But I am more than just the things I love. And this is where I struggle. It’s so hard for me to acknowledge the things I am, because that requires acknowledging good things about me and that goes against my core belief that I am a shit human being worth nothing.

But I am strong. I am brave, because I’m still here and still fighting and still pushing myself to do better. I am polite. I am kind. I am almost crying while writing this because I cannot fathom being nice to myself. I am a good writer. I am a hard worker. I am empathetic almost to a fault, but that’s okay. I am quiet and introverted. I am extremely self-aware and introspective. I am a good friend, or at least I try to be. I am honest and genuine. I may hate myself but I am working on being okay with being me.

I don’t need to be a whole, perfectly defined person. I don’t need to check off imaginary boxes of traits in order to be a whole person. It’s okay if I’m not sure of everything. It’s okay if I am constantly changing and evolving and developing. Right here in this moment, I am me and that is enough. I don’t need an anorexia nervosa diagnosis to define me and determine my worth. I don’t need to be a certain weight or bmi in order to be good enough as a person. I don’t need my ability to starve myself to be the most interesting thing about me. And one day I won’t feel like I need recovering from an eating disorder to define so much of who I am.

Clothes Shopping in ED Recovery

This should be subtitled: And other people’s perceptions of my size.

I do a lot of my shopping with either my mom or (in the past) my ex best friend. Because I have body dysmorphic disorder, I don’t have an accurate perception of my shape or size, so I typically bounce things off of the person I’m with. Things like “do you think this would fit me?” “does this look too small?” “could I pull this off?” It’s also important to note that I typically avoid changing rooms at all costs, because weird lighting and store mirrors wreak havoc on my brain. So there’s some degree of guess work that goes into my clothes shopping.

Sizes are an arbitrary measurement and usually vary from brand to brand and style to style within each brand, so this complicates things further. Especially when your eating disorder brain is telling you that you need to be a certain size, because that certain size isn’t always the same. I can’t go into a store thinking that I’m a certain size and only looking for things in that size because it won’t be accurate, unless it’s a brand and style I’m really familiar with. Even then, things aren’t always uniform. I fit from an extra small to a large. That in itself is a mind fuck and it stresses me out to no end.

Back to the people I shop with. When I would be out with my ex bff, she always picked out things in small and extra small sizes, regardless of how tiny those things might be. I honestly have underwear she helped me pick out that’s two sizes too small but technically still fits so I wear it anyway. She would always make comments about how small I was/am. It was validation for my ED but frustrating and embarrassing in recovery.

Shopping with my mom, however, is almost the opposite. I’ll pick up an article of clothing and she’ll say things like “that looks tiny” or “that looks like it would be too tight” and then I end up feeling confused because what if I see myself as smaller than she does? Am I bigger than I think? I’m trying to shop second hand these days, but this means that I’ll find something in only one size; I’ll find something I like in a size I think will fit, and my mom will make a comment about it being too small. That hurts. And it confuses the hell out of me because I have no idea what I look like and I rely so heavily on having help, and that help essentially tells me I’m big.

Having to go up a size feels like the end of the world, but what I found out is that when clothes fit comfortably (i.e. not too tight because I’m trying to fit into a small or extra small) things actually end up looking better. It’s really hard to accept going up in sizes, but once you realise that the number is stupid and impermanent, it gets a bit easier. And it’s a learning process. You’ll end up having a dozen different sizes in your closet. Right now, I’m just working on feeling comfortable in the clothes I buy regardless of what the little tag says.

Sorting Out Relationships

I don’t know if it’s an introvert thing or what, but I struggle with maintaining lots of friendships. Growing up I had two best friends and people I talked to but wasn’t close with outside of school or the barn where I rode. I kept those two best friends up to this point, minus one who dropped me out of nowhere. I really value intimacy in my friendships and the level of intimacy between my one remaining childhood best friend and I is like sisterhood. I made friends in high school and got dragged into a huge friend group, which made me majorly anxious in various ways.

Lots of friends means lots of obligations to people. It also means lots of opinions and views and having to sort out who you agree with, who you don’t agree with, who you can and cannot disagree with, who you can do certain things with, etc. Lots of friends is complicated and tiring.

Having a very small group of friends means more time for connection with each person, more time to spend with each person, and the chance for deeper connections and relationships. I crave intelligent conversation, stimulating debates, and exploring deep thoughts with people. I want friends who challenge me and force me to learn and grow. And that’s not possible with just anyone.

Let’s talk about my high school friend group for a moment. I went to a different high school than any of my friends. I was alone and anxious but managed to make friends with someone in my gym class because we both played basketball. She then introduced me to her large group of friends and I connected with about half of them. They all knew each other from middle and elementary school but I was embraced easily. To be very clear, I am forever grateful for them, even the ones who stopped talking to me for no clear reason, they made high school bearable. But all we had in common was school. After we graduated we split up at two different universities in the city. Some of the people started to shun the rest of the group, there was some tension, some unsaid drama, blah blah blah. So my friend group shrunk by more than half. Now I find myself with four friends from high school. I am close with two of them. Those two have an intellectual depth and experiences with mental illness that allowed us to bond more closely. The other two, I really have nothing in common with nor a history of being close with. And so I find myself unsure of how to navigate these casual friendships, especially since I can’t just stop being friends with them. It’s strange to spend time in a group because I feel like I’m faking, and I actively avoid spending time one on one with the two less close friends.

Is it wrong to be selective with people? Is it wrong to not care about people who consider you a friend? Because I don’t have it in me to care about much, these days, least of all what feels like nothing more than superficial nonsense.

Some time has passed since I started writing this and things have shifted:

I spent some time with my high school group and something was different; things felt more open, honest, and raw. I really felt a connection with the two friends I previously didn’t feel close with. I think I can really develop stronger relationships with both of them. I think this group of friends can grow into something wonderful; something more genuine and mature. It was really nice to feel the connections that I felt. I think this is a good thing and I’m excited to see where it goes.

But I’m also worried that I’m looking for too much from people. I don’t know if everyone even wants a close connection with me. I don’t know what they expect from me. I don’t know how open I can be about my problems. So many things I don’t know, and it scares me. It scares me enough to want to shut everyone out to avoid having to deal with complicated thoughts and emotions. But maybe there’s strength in being afraid and vulnerable. Maybe all I can do is act genuinely and see what I get in return. Maybe this is even just another example of my black and white thinking; we can either be super close or casual and distant, no in between? Maybe I should work on this. It must be okay to live in the grey areas. I’ll have to give it a shot.

Rest (And Why I Struggle With It)

Let me preface this with saying that I am in no way a busy person at the moment. I took a leave of absence from both my job and school back in October. I don’t socialise much whatsoever. I took these past few months to focus on myself and my recovery. But I still have a hard time letting myself rest.

I literally have no obligations at the moment, yet I still find myself obsessing over things that I “need” to do. Things like cleaning my room, doing laundry, responding to emails, feeding myself properly, being active, writing, planning stuff for going back to school this week, etc. Some of those things are actually necessary, like feeding myself and showering. Other things make the list simply because I feel the need to be productive all the damn time. I don’t need to respond to emails because they’re not pertinent to the here and now. I don’t need to clean my room, it’s just something that will make me feel a bit better. I put so much pressure on myself to be doing things because my brain tells me that if I’m not getting stuff done, then I’m a lazy, worthless loser. So I end up stressing myself out with imaginary obligations and then not being able to do those things because I’ve stressed myself out to the point of crashing.

Why can’t I let myself rest?

I can try to offload some of the blame onto my parents; my dad grilled into me that doing nothing won’t fix anything and will make me a slave to my depression and anxiety, my mom is a freaking workaholic who regularly works twelve hour days. But I feel like that’s a cop out. However, note to my damn self: it’s okay to acknowledge that other people do influence the way I think and function. I’m not less of a person for not shouldering all of the responsibility.

I think a lot of it comes down to wanting approval. Approval from my parents, approval from my higher functioning, less mentally ill friends, approval from people at work, approval from my professors. It comes down to being a perfectionist. I have to have something to show for my efforts, something other than just keeping myself alive. I need to be able to show people that I have accomplished things, that even though I’m severely depressed and anxious and struggling with my eating disorder, I can still get shit done. I put such high expectations on myself, then beat myself up for not achieving those unrealistic goals. I don’t know how to detach from that need for approval and perfection enough to let myself rest.

Even though I’m doing a ton of inner work and putting so much energy into simply surviving, I feel like that’s meaningless because I have nothing to show for it. Maybe it’s like my need for physical proof of emotional pain; I’m putting all of my energy into not hurting myself and what I have as proof is nothing tangible, compared to hurting myself and having validation that what I felt was real. I am trying to stop comparing myself to everyone else, but it’s hard. Not only do I have non-mentally ill friends who are being productive people, I have mentally ill friends and family who are higher functioning than me. I look at what everyone around me is achieving on the outside and don’t consider for a moment that maybe they’re not doing as much inner work; maybe they don’t have to right now, or maybe they’re being productive as a way to ignore the shit on the inside. I don’t know.

I’ve been sick with a cold for several days and I absolutely hate myself for staying in bed all day. Even though I’m getting writing done and figuring school stuff out, it’s not enough. I should be doing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen, any number of other tasks. Even though I know my body needs rest, I still feel pathetic for not being up and doing things. It’s as if by resting, I fall behind. But what am I falling behind in? I’m not running a race here. I’m not even walking along this life path with a group of people who require me to keep up. I’m literally strolling at my own pace, by myself, yet hating myself for not walking fast enough, hating myself for limping as I get more and more exhausted, refusing to sit down and take a break, running myself into a whole breakdown all because I couldn’t let myself rest when I needed to. It doesn’t make sense. I know that the faster I go, the faster I break down. I know this is a habit I fall into time after time. I know that if I listen to my brain and get myself back into the routine I was in at the pace I was at I will crash and burn again because that’s how I ended up in the hospital in November. I have all of this knowledge and all of this evidence but I still can’t stop it.

My psychiatrist said something to me a few weeks ago that really resonated with me: she said that I have all the information, tools, and resources to get better, but I won’t let myself use them. My knee-jerk reaction was to feel hurt that she was suggesting I’m choosing to stay sick. But then I let myself think about it and she’s absolutely right. My intense self-hatred refuses to allow me to get better, because I deserve to suffer. I can’t let myself get better because I am unfamiliar with wellness and that’s scary and uncomfortable. I seek advice from people even though I already know the answers, because I need someone outside of myself to validate me and tell me what to do. If someone tells me I need to rest, I can listen to them and rest. But if I think to myself that I need to rest, then I must just be lazy, I must want to fall behind and I can’t allow that.

I am stuck in this notion that I must always be working to improve myself. The fallacy in that is that there’s nothing wrong with remaining stagnant for a little while. My therapist calls it a “holding pattern”. There’s nothing wrong with pausing where I am (I started to say “where you are” but realised I was avoiding allowing myself this kindness). If all I can do is not take backwards steps, then that’s fine. I’m achieving something in not getting worse. There is nothing wrong with how and where I am right now (that was really hard for me to write) and I don’t need to constantly pushing myself to get better and better and better. Sometimes being passive rather than active is more productive. When I was admitted to the hospital, I was given a chance to rest. I cut myself off from the world and just stopped doing anything other than the most basic tasks. In the hospital, I allowed myself to rest and recover. I was even validated by the nurses when I was napping a lot, because sleep is important in both physical and mental recovery. Upon discharge, I told myself that I was allowed to rest at home, that I was still recovering. That lasted less than a week before I started to give into the pressure of doing things. I felt like since I was home, I had to get right back into my normal life. But what is my normal life, anyway? Am I not in control of it? Do I have to follow rules A, B, and C in order to have a normal life? Couldn’t I slow down my normal?

Now that the holidays have passed, I’m faced with going back to university and dealing with my job. I’m going to quit my job, but I’ve been too scared to actually give them my resignation yet. I feel like I need to be working in order to be taken seriously. I feel like being unemployed makes me a lazy, selfish, pathetic idiot. I’m hoping that the routine of school will be good for me. I’m not going to even consider getting another job until at least February, just to see how things go. I’ve decreased my course load this term. I’m going to be more selfish with my time and energy. I’m still going to have all of these thoughts about having to be productive and busy and as high functioning as I believe is perfect, but I refuse to give into them. I can’t let myself get swept back up into that. Maybe it’s okay not to be high functioning. Maybe it’s okay to be lazy (that made me feel nauseated to write, holy shit, that was hard). It’s going to take me a while to figure this out but for now, I’m going to think it through from the comfort of my bed.

2019 Goals

I hate new years. I think resolutions are bullshit and the influx of diet talk makes me sick. However, even if I don’t feel the need to make a new calendar year a big deal, I still like checking in with myself and setting goals. Nothing astronomical, no totally new routines or habits; just finding ways to grow and improve as a person.

As someone who has been physically active all through my life, my goals do involve fitness in a sense. Not setting goal weights for obvious reasons, not trying to lose or gain, just trying to improve my strength and flexibility and seeing how my body responds. I would rather not weigh myself regularly, however this is a compulsion I’m still working on so I’ll likely then be focusing on being okay with whatever the scale says and not changing my eating or exercise because of it. I want to continue lifting and I want to get stronger. I want to do yoga regularly (though not setting daily goals, that doesn’t work for me) and increase my strength, flexibility, and balance. I want to start running again, without pushing myself past what my body (i.e. my bad knees) is capable of.

I am going to push myself to write every day. Every single day. Even if I just write “I don’t know what to write” over and over again. I want to improve my poetry. I want to keep up with this blog. I want to submit my writing to literary magazines and publishers. I want to gain courage in sharing my writing. I want to challenge myself and grow as a writer. I want to be published somewhere by the end of the year but I’m not going to set that as a goal because that is not something I can actually control. All I can control is my writing.

My personal relationships are changing and I am going to spend a lot of time figuring out what I need and want from people, who is capable of meeting those needs and in which ways, and cultivating strong relationships from there. I’ve lost one of my best friends (she fucking dropped me out of nowhere, but that’s another topic) and I refuse to let her back in. I am going to work on separating myself from that relationship in terms of how much time I give to checking her social media and thinking about her. I’m going to pour that energy instead into the friends I have, because they deserve the world. I am going to work on my emotional independence, because I rely far too heavily on my boyfriend and that isn’t fair to him. I am going to continue to stand up for myself in my relationships and build boundaries where they need to be.

I am also going to work on my spirituality/witchcraft practice (please don’t come for me, I’m not interested in any negativity around that). What I really want to do right now is explain myself and explain my faith and history with religion, but you know what? I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t need to explain anything. My spirituality and way of practicing my faith is mine and no one else’s and I think this is the first step in my goal. So I’m going to leave it at that, as uncomfortable as that may feel.

The last goal I have for myself is quite practical and I’m proud of myself for not shying away from mundane stuff under the pretense of working on my inner problems; I am going to spend more wisely. This means a few things: spending less, consuming less, buying more second-hand/sustainable/eco-friendly, being a mindful consumer, and listening to my inner guilt more closely when it comes to “retail therapy”. My boyfriend and I are saving for a house and I think it’s important to keep that long-term goal in mind when I get caught up in things like buying books or skincare, things I can justify as for my own good.

My last goal is just to keep working on mindfulness and acceptance in every aspect of my life. I’m going to keep seeing my psychiatrist, keep going to therapy, keep journaling. I’m going to make my wellbeing a priority by checking in with myself as often as I can. These past few months were absolutely horrendous for me mentally and I can really only get better from here. And maybe just wanting to get better is something to keep working on.