All posts for the month July, 2014

“Haven’t we gone over this fear of control?”

Published July 23, 2014 by Crystal

My brain is at odds with itself. There’s a conversation I’m observing. Today was going to be a non fast day. It being old chap’s birthday, and the original idea being a visit up to Birmingham. Anyway. He is still poorly. So all plans are off right now. No nice breakfast. No slap up lunch. No cake. So it’s not a particularly special day. The problem is that in my head it was not going to be a fast day. I was going to enjoy a day of eating out and birthday cake.
At time of writing I still haven’t had breakfast. But I have had a cup of tea and a bath. And oh the can of worms that bath opened! As I lay there, a conversation started in my head that goes something like this.
“Why not just have the day off fasting? You were going to anyway”
“But the plans have changed. No point eating for the sake of eating. Might have a piece of cake later if he’s up for it, but I do actually think I want to fast”
“The problem here is fear of losing control! You’re worried about losing control. You can’t control yourself if you eat”

But then it hit me. I’ve always approached the “c” word thinking it is about my fear of losing it. That “in for a penny, in for a pound” type thinking that can happen, and does happen often, is easy and forgivable. But there is something far more sinister going on within that I had been unaware of fully until today. It’s not the fear of losing control. It’s the fear of maintaining control, and become obsessively controlling. A fear of going back to the controlling nature of past eating disorder episodes. So to compensate, or protect maybe, I prefer to lose control than maintain control! It’s kinder somehow to overeat eat and forgive, than to let myself retain control and see positive results from that control!
It’s a bit of a revelation to be honest, and looking back I can see a very clear pattern of collapse after a period of time of capitals control. My mind starts to panic, to emphasise that control that I am using, to demonise it, and to let me kindly fall into failure. Thanks not to say I am not completely capable of becoming obsessive and over controlling around food. But I think maybe my defence mechanisms are going into overdrive a little too readily these days. Control isn’t a bad thing. It is that balance I need to find.
Will I fast all day? Maybe not. Maybe old chap will wake in an hour and wasn’t a day out. What I do know is that for now I shall keep going, and worry about neither losing, nor obsessing about control.


Poorly menfolk

Published July 22, 2014 by Crystal

The boys and I spent a day shopping and baking. It’s the old chap’s birthday tomorrow, and so we united in choosing a recipe, buying what we needed, and got down to the nitty gritty of creating. Disappointingly and somewhat miserably husband came home a few hours early, amid our flurry of culinary magic, and went straight to bed. He hardly saw the balloons adorning the lounge, and he did not join us for burgers on the patio. And he most definitely did not have the energy to see the masterpiece, “wonderfully” decorated by the boys. Boo sucks to the sickness bug that seems to be travelling around the clan of ours. First was middle son, then me, then old chap. Crappy Birthday to you 😦
Hopefully he will feel better in the morning, and he can gaze with wonder upon the Nigella delight. A cake that contains a gallon of sour cream, a mountain of chocolate, and hopefully lots of taste!
On the plus side, our trip to the shops did see me get very lucky with a discovery of several 78s by Stan Kenton and Ray Atkinson for 50p a disc! There was a definite vintage vibe as we baked to the sound of the radiogram!
And that’s how things go these days. Ups and downs, but all tolerable and dealt with. Depression seems a distant memory at the moment for which I am grateful, but there but for the grace of God go I. Trying never to take for granted the joy in my life, even when plans fail, and the lurgy strikes. X

I am good enough.

Published July 18, 2014 by Crystal

Lots of endings for me today. My oldest son leaves Primary School, preparing for a new stage of life. I have been a bit of an emotional bundle the last couple of months. Knowing we were drawing towards this day, thinking about what it means to him, but also what it means and symbolises to me. He is my firstborn. He has moved so much, changed so much, he is growing from boy to man, and the years are passing, childhood is fading. Soon he won’t be the lanky, mouthy child. He will be a lanky, mouthy teenager, and then an adult. Needing me less, becoming more and more independent.

It is a bitter sweet thing. Not good, not bad, just, being, happening, as the clock ticks and the earth turns.
But I have learnt this last year that my feelings are ok. It is ok to feel a loss as things change. It is ok too show those emotions. It is ok to sometimes not be able to know straight away what one is feeling. And I may well sob during my son’s leaving assembly, or I may store it up and cry alone. It is all ok. Neither good or bad.
The other big ending tonight is a certificate evening for the students to collect our Counselling Skills Certificates. It’s been quite a year. I’m still processing what I have meant, what I feel about the ending, what I want next.
But one thing I now understand is that I’m good enough. A good enough mum, a good enough wife, a good enough sister, a good enough daughter, and a good enough friend. I try my best. Sometimes I fail spectacularly, sometimes I soar. Sometimes I don’t take everyone else into thought when I act, sometimes I bend over backwards to help and support and come out feeling battle worn, especially when I feel like it’s thrown into my face. But I try. And that is good enough. I am past laying blame into what made or makes relationships fail, and I am past allowing myself to accept and take on unfair blame from others. That’s not to say it doesn’t hurt, or it doesn’t matter.  Endings can be painful, and I don’t want to add more with blame.  Accepting and acknowledging the changes.  Allowing feelings to surface, to give them space, to allow upset and hurt.  But for me, now, blame seems rather pointless.  It doesn’t lessen the pain, it doesn’t offer a relief.  It can, if anything, leave us more angry and hurt, and feeling unable to find resolution.  Relationships change as we age. Whether it’s us, whether it’s the other person. It is impossible to remain the same. But I refuse now to see it as good or bad. It is, for me, another part of the journey of life. I know I have changed through having experienced the course. I believe my voice is as valid as anyone else’s, and expressing my feelings is not a bad thing that will kill me. I have learnt a bit about projection, and am aware of myself projecting a bit more, but also of others projecting onto me. And if I’m honest it has led me to stepping back and away from some intense situations. But again, it is neither good nor bad. My stepping away may have had some impact, but on the other had my needs are valid as those of others. And self care is important and valuable!
Anyway I need to get going. Lots to do.


good enough

First day Facebook free!

Published July 15, 2014 by Crystal

I have maybe accomplished twice my usual achievements. Washing on line, parcels posted, a couple of charity shops perused, and a radiogram won on ebay. This one

I feel bad for the seller. I never expected to get one so cheap. Sure they are big and cumbersome, but when I have some 78s playing from the dining room as I potter around the garden it will be heaven! My husband and I have different tastes when it comes to home decor. This is definitely not to his! One step further into the past for me, while he continues to love all things techy!
It’s another sunny day, and I’ll confess I could have been more productive! But the sun is so lovely! And the patio calls. Maybe it’s time to get those new knitting needles clicking away and be slightly more productive than I am right now! 😉

Media rationing ;-)

Published July 14, 2014 by Crystal
I made a cake

I made a cake

I made a cake today. My domestic goddess is itching to get out more. The only thing is, I had no butter, so attempted the butterless sponge! It’s ok, not the greatest, I’ve done better! I need to buy some butter, so when the mood takes me, I can bake without worry! Think I will try a proper victoria sponge tomorrow, with proper cream (not elmlea which is all the corner shop had 😉 )
But while I’ve idled the day away baking and playing endless games on facebook, I accepted that so much more could be done if I didn’t waste so much time on facebook! So I’m going cold turkey. I’m quitting. I’m going to have a life outside of facebook!
I’ve deactivated my account, and I’m a little excited about what I am potentially capable of in my time away from the media time machine! I have plans and dreams. So many ideas! A perpetually tidy house?  That really is a dream!  Maybe I will finally learn to sew properly (as is my wish to fulfil the clothing ration I’ve set myself!). Maybe I will finally learn to knit more than the basic stitch. If I’m really lucky I may get to crochet…..left handed is impossible right now!
But it starts today. With cake.

How guilty do you feel around food?

Published July 12, 2014 by Crystal

A conversation yesterday left me pondering on the issue of food. The conversation involved the “fat people need to eat less and move more” type opinion, which is a widely held opinion, and not entirely shocking, but it did lead me down the path of thinking about “normal eaters” and disordered eaters like me.
You see, when I feel guilty around food it’s an all consuming type guilt. Self loathing, disgust, anger at my lack of control. It’s an irrational, over-emotion. It grossly outweighs the deed of eating something I think I shouldn’t. It is not a “Ooh I shouldn’t eat that but ooh I will, what a naughty girl I am, nevermind, it was,tasty” type fleeting feeling. It’s more a “Ooh I really shouldn’t, I’m fat and I need to lose weight. Eating it is wrong and it won’t help, but I feel so out of control. And I want it. But I shouldn’t. I mustn’t. I have. Why did I do that? I’m a horrible person. I’ll never be thin. I don’t deserve to be happy.”. It looks extreme written in black and white. But these are very similar to the thoughts that have and do run through my brain from time to time. Food isn’t the joyful thing that it can be. That bar of chocolate that can be a treat to many becomes a tool of war to the disordered eater, stripping them of joy and self worth. It’s only a chocolate bar. But it isn’t. It is so, so much more.
A little guilt isn’t a bad thing. It helps us make choices. A lot of guilt, however, can rob a person of every potentially positive experience. And when it is around something that doesn’t even need to have guilt attached, it is crippling. So “fat people should eat less and move more” is a bit of a triggering comment to me. One placed with assumptions that food is a simple thing that can simply be reduced. If only!