I did it. 15 miles walked on the backend of a terrible week and 4 hours sleep. I actually did it. Now there wasn't ever really a doubt in my mind that I would until the night before and my old friend, insomnia decided to keep me up with anxious thoughts swirling around.
It was hard. Really bloody hard but still, I did it. I'm not often proud of myself (something I need to work on, self love is important!!) but that moment I crossed the finish line I was PROUD. For those 15 miles I wasn't the girl with a chronic illness or mental health problems, I was just me. I was the determined, self-assuring me that I once used to be. I felt alive again (even though my feet felt like they were going to fall off) I felt purpose. I mean don't get me wrong at around mile 10 the self-doubting Jasmine made an appearance but we were all sore, tired and ready to finish so we pushed through together. I wasn't in it alone and that made all the difference.
It all sounds very dramatic for "only" 15 miles but listen here..... a year ago depression made having a shower seem as difficult as running a marathon. It made a 10 minute walk outside seem like a race I was never going to finish.. 6 months ago chronic pain made walking up the stairs feel like a climb up Mount Everest. It made getting out of bed feel like journey my body was not willing to make. This past weekend chronic pain has sent me to A&E and left me unable to get out of bed. So 15 miles, to most may not seem far (I'd would like to see people complete it before shrugging their shoulder at it;) but to me, it felt like an eternity. And rightly so. My feet ached and blistered. My bones felt like they were being sawed into pieces. My back was on fire. But my mind, oh my goodness my mind felt FREE. For just a little while, my mind was quiet whilst watching the world speed past. It wasn't aching from the constant worries or darkness. It could simply be.
So whilst I have undoubtably helped the mental health community with the money we raised (£2,700!!!) I've helped myself more than I could have imagined. I needed this after two weeks of feeling like I was failing. Failing at being a good person. Failing at losing weight. Failing at winning this battle. I needed this. It's given me back my power to fight. And reading through this today is what I needed after horrible pain these last 3 days. It's reminding me that chronic pain will not always hold me back and I can do hard seemingly impossible things!
There have been moments since my battle with mental health that remind me what it truly feels like to live again. But that moment when I crossed the finish line, that one has to be my favourite yet. I'm going to bottle up that feeling and use it in moments like today where the fight seems never-ending.
I can't end this without thanking my mum and her 3 wonderful friends, who despite each having their own children and busy lives, took the time to do this with me- for me. I am grateful beyond words and you should all be proud of what you had accomplished!! Mental health is better fought as a team than alone, and I have a pretty great team around me each and every day. Thank you to every person that is a part of that❤
The last two weeks have been good. I've worked out 6 days out of 7 both weeks and ate healthily. I haven't binged, purged or starved myself. My fibro symptoms don't feel like the constant burning flames they usually do. I've had the dieters ideal couple of weeks, I've had my idea two weeks except it's still there. I didn't think 'it' would go away completely but I'm doing it the right way, the healthy way yet my old habits have been replaced by new ones making my eating disorders voice still as present. It happens every time, regardless of how I'm eating, the disorder adapts itself to whatever I'm doing.
It's there when I purposefully go to sleep late so I wake up late and I won't have to have breakfast because the thought of 3 full meals a day makes me feel sick. It's there whispering 5 more minutes when I'm at the gym, over and over again. It's there when I look in the mirror everyday and my hands automatically start pinching at the fat. It's there when I think about the amount of calories in everything I eat and if they're worth it. It's there when I work out how long I need to exercise to burn off at least half the calories I'll have consumed in a day. It's there when I do choose to indulge making me feel guilty for every bite. It's here as I write this, furiously picking at my skin and bringing tears to my eyes.
It's not here in the way it used to be though. It isn't here telling me to binge or to go buy a bunch of food. It isn't here telling me to have another biscuit because it doesn't matter. It isn't here telling me that I will be fat forever so I shouldn't work out or take care of myself. It's different. And I can't decide which voice I prefer. They both tell me I'm fat, worthless and my body will never be good enough yet they do it in such different ways. Ultimately, they're both horrible and both lead down a slippery slope. I'm trying my hardest to resist going down it but after 8 years of this, I know how it works.
The other day I was in the shop looking at alcohol, I had decided to go out that night. It was a bank holiday the next day and I just wanted to have some fun. I went early on in the day and spent over 25 minutes googling the amount of calories in certain drinks to then figure out how long I needed to exercise for. As I was doing it I knew it was crazy behaviour, I even laughed about it with a friend because I sounded so silly. But in the back of my head, IT was telling me a night of drinking would make the 4 pounds I had lost that week all come back. And I believed it. So I set out on a 4 mile walk. It was all a numbers game, I burnt 700 calories on my walk, calculated the walk home later that night and the dancing that would most likely occur to make sure I had burnt over 1,000 calories that day. And yes, I realise that isn't how most people would prep for a night out ;)
It's like that every single day, numbers flying around my head and silently whispering horrible things. I knew it wasn't going to go away in 2 weeks of living "normally" but I've stopped binging and that's a huge victory for me. Yet if I've been restricting then maybe I'm not being a healthy as I think I am. But at what point do I admit it's a problem? The voice is so incredibly powerful. More powerful than people could imagine possible. Some of the things I do may seem like poor choices but I am not underweight or malnourished or critically ill so it's okay, right?
I'm eating healthily and exercising. I'm eating healthily and exercising. I'm eating healthily and exercising. I have said this to myself over 20 times today to silence the voice and as a way of proving to myself that I'm okay. Except I haven't eaten healthily, my only full meal today was dinner and even then I wondered how many calories I was consuming. It's a constant war between knowing how to lose weight the healthy way but my disorder knowing how to do it faster. I'm sure tomorrow will be a normal day. It comes and goes in phases, much like everything else. This, this right now is not a relapse, I tell myself. It is simply a bad phase and they're destined to happen.
That's the thing about eating disorders, it's always at the point when you feel most in control that you really start losing it and realise you never had any of the power. Maybe I haven't got this under control...
Hey there, I'm Jasmine, your average 23 year old working in childcare and living in England. Maybe Tomorrow follows my journey living with mental health issues and multiple chronic health conditions, all whilst trying to have some fun along the way.
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