Have you ever heard about neurodiversity?
I hadn’t either and if time permits, one day I’d love to read up more about it. However, I was fortunate to connect with an expert in neurodiversity and asked her to be my mentor. I may not know the scientific description of neurodiversity but what I do know, is that having her in my life and her input in this chapter of my life has helped me to embrace what I used to believe was a crazy, mess of a mind.
Over the last couple of years, she’s held a safe space and given me the encouragement and permission to express myself even when I felt that it made no sense. She’s helped me to understand and clarify what was going on in my mind and accept that just because I may think and see the world differently, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. I’ve now come to value what I once thought was a mess and it’s helped me to stop feeling ashamed for the way my brain works.
The Round Up
As I’ve been rounding up 2022, I’ve experienced racing thoughts and nervous energy running through my body which is largely due to my incessant human desire to be normal, liked, valued and know how things are going to work out. This clearly doesn’t align with my personality or motivation, so the struggle is often real. However, I’m channeling that energy through a check in with myself and the wonder that is my healthy, messy mind. Here’s a round up…
Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic
I love my new job and still can’t believe 2022 delivered such an unexpected gift. It’s ticking all the boxes when it comes to the things that are important to me at this point in my life and although I still get days when I feel low and want to hide away in bed, I get up, show up and keep going.
The variety that this flying job provides works well for my mind and for the first time in forever, my mind is completely happy in my ‘routine’ of work.
Body Image isn’t the same as Body Appearance
It was one of the lessons during my therapy programme and I applaud myself for healing my body image even with a desire to change my appearance. I don’t hate my body and no longer attach my worth to how I perceive myself to look. It’s been freeing.
I still want to change my appearance and although I’ve lost weight this year, there’re lots of eating habits and behaviours I want to improve going forward. Not because I hate my body, but because I want to take better care of it.
I’ve spent more time with my brother in the last six months than I have in the last five years – largely because of my job and operating flights to Atlanta. What a blessing! Spending time with my immediate family who live thousands of miles away, and in time zones that make it easier to have calls with my Mum, has been great for my mental health.
Writing and Creative projects
I write a lot but don’t share much of it regularly. That’s a burden to me; stuck between wanting to disappear and keep everything to myself (safety) and my need to express myself openly in this world (vulnerability). Like any Creative, there’s a risk in expressing my creativity but I can’t go through the rest of my life keeping it locked up inside, I just can’t. So self-expression is high on my priority list for 2023.
I no longer tick the Christian box on monitoring forms
This is a huge leap in to freedom for me. I’m amazed at the peace I now have about not being a Christian. I’ve gone through the fear, doubt and regret stages and come out the other side, freer in my soul and Spirit than I ever was before. It’s the peace that surpasses understanding and a rest that drives my being and life.
I unlearned so much, I struggled with the pull to go back to the comfort of what I knew, but just like I had to run from the toxic attachment I had with Binge Eating Disorder and a relationship, I had to do the same with the church organisation too. Best decision I made!
Organising and sorting out
It’s something I’ve been needing to do for a long time: sort and organise my files and storage, both digital and physical. Although it doesn’t promise to keep my mind organised, it does help.
Lived Experience Practitioner beyond the NHS
It’s been an experience to work with Healthy London Partnerships as an LXP on their Adult Eating Disorder programme. I’ve learned more than I expected about how the NHS works to help people with mental health challenges and eating disorders especially. I’ve connected with people that have been open and valued the lived-experience I have brought to meetings and projects. However, going forward I will be dedicating more time to taking my lived experience out in to the communities and to the people who need to hear it.
For the rest of 2022 I’m in preseason mode. I read a post recently that I’ve seen many times before, but this year it resonated with me. It said:
REPEAT AFTER ME: YOU ARE ABOUT TO STEP IN TO THE GREATEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE.
I felt it, I was excited by it and I repeated it to myself.
I don’t take that feeling lightly; when you’ve come from the distress and depression of Binge Eating Disorder with a record on repeat saying “I want to die”, when life was tiring and hope was disappearing, to be excited and hopeful for the new year is a HUGE achievement.
Looking at recovery at the beginning was like facing a huge mountain and it’s been full of slippery slopes along the way, but the small wins and subtle signs of progress are the motivators that have got me this far. I still have days where it feels like I’m back at square one again, but something pops up to remind me that I’ve come a long way and this isn’t a sprint, but a marathon in to a life that feels much better than it used to.
The Fat.Ugly Blog 2023
This year, I’ve been as present in this space as time and energy has allowed, but I have a fresh resolve for 2023 and look forward to seeing you back here in the New Year.
Have a lovely Christmas
Much love and Hugs xx