…is me. Was me, has always been me. I am a mental health professional for eff’s sake! I know how to care for my health and well-being. I was just thinking, how in 2009 or thereabouts, when living in Scotland, I was involved in facilitating Food and Mood sessions at the mental health charity I was working at. Speaking to folks about the benefits of blueberries (during my recovery I have become a person who makes her own blueberry smoothies…every time I drink them I’m like ‘Who is this person?’. This person is me.) and never having any myself. I also remember meeting with my clients, filling in benefit forms for them, and thinking ‘I feel a lot worse than some of these people do. I am a lot iller than some of these people are’.
I remember being at mental health peer support groups (heck, I’ve started several of my own, in situations where no-one else was doing it), suggesting to people ways to cope with a situation, deal with their feelings in a healthy way, and then going home to eat until I was sick. I thought I was such a failure as a human. How can I be so smart, yet so dumb.
The other day I was at the dentist on an emergency appointment. I didn’t care for my health for years due to sickness and my teeth were in terrible shape. As I am in recovery and not ashamed of my illness at all, I told the dentist what’s what. That I am an adult human starting-to-become functional person, who hasn’t been able to care for their teeth due to ED. She was like ‘It’s okay, we all make mistakes’. She didn’t understand that I didn’t make such a mistake. My illness was in control. I am a sane person with a solution-focused approach to life. My illness is a petulant teenager causing destruction inside my head.
I wish people understood it better. I didn’t choose this. I don’t want it. It’s caused nothing but misery in my life. I talk about myself and my experiences, not because I have a need to talk about myself all the time, but because I want others who haven’t lived with this illness, to understand the mind of a sufferer. I notice I keep repeating myself a bit, but this is really important to talk about. You can always stop reading if you want/have fallen asleep.
My proactive approach to life’s little challenges has become handy during recovery. I notice I may be better at dealing with problems than some of my human colleagues. I am also a very positive person and my natural approach to see the positive in negative situations too is very beneficial when I am having a particularly poor attempt at a day. It’s nice to be able to appreciate certain qualities in oneself after years of having ‘You are rubbish and the worst human there ever was’ as the elevator muzak of my mind. My recovery has thus been quite swift so far. February 26th 2018 feels like a million years ago.