Diane from Hometogo232 has been a constant source of encouragement and support towards me since we found each other’s blogs. I couldn’t think of a more deserving person to have been awarded a reader appreciation award, so it’s really amazing that she’s chosen me as one of the people to pass it on to.
It means a lot to me, because my readers are part of why I blog. My blog started as a way for me to express myself and air the ‘secrets’ of many kinds that fill my life with so much shame. Eating disorders are such hidden diseases much of the time. Everyone knew I had one, I couldn’t hide that, but my life with it, the realities, are something I hid every single day, put on a face and just pushed on. This means that a lot of people saw me ‘coping okay’ and decided that I WAS doing this because I wanted to be skinny, because I was vain, because I was a brat, because I was too lazy to get better… pull out any of the many misconceptions tossed around about people with Eds and it’s been said and thought about me.
The reality was it was a nightmare, still is a nightmare, a life that is agony to live every single day, and for many of those years there were no bright spots to even hang on for, not for me. I don’t know HOW I hung on so long, looking back, I truly don’t. For my cat. Because I’m stubborn. So as to not let ‘them’ win. Many reasons – but I did not wish this on myself or set out to become sick in the first place. It was not a choice. But I now know it’s a choice to fight it and I have been, and now there ARE bright spots in my life that far outshine the everyday nightmare bits.
I blog to share what’s happened to me in my life, all the abuse, because I am no longer going to be shamed or scared silent by that either. I speak up now, because I realise that this shame does not belong with me (and does not belong with anyone out there who has been abused in any way.) It belongs with my abusers. If they are not comfortable with me laying the facts of their actions towards me out there – well that’s their problem. I owe them nothing. I’m not their punching bag any more and never will be again. I have a voice now and never again will I be silenced.
Now my readers. When I began, there were no readers. There was just me, and that was fine. But as I found other people’s blogs and found amazing friends in many of them, my readership grew. I now have a lot of hope to share – a few short years ago I had none whatsoever, I was on a fast trajectory to death. Hellish short life, then death. Things have turned around so fast and now I can see what I just couldn’t see back then. Hope. Growth. Change. That things take time. And that we need to trust and believe in ourselves and in our progress, especially when we feel we are getting nowhere.
You don’t spend most of your life battling an eating disorder at a life threatening level without learning a lot about the nature of the beast – and meeting a heck of a lot of people who are going through the same thing. I have seen so many people falling through the cracks – missing out on support, on treatment, on understanding, even on tolerance and acceptance in society. Because there are so many fallacies flying around, and so little understanding in the community.
I’ve been told to eat a sandwich when I was admitted for early stage heart failure. Restrained to a bed because I was not to be trusted, and locked in a room with none of my belongings because the people treating me decided my eating disorder was a spoilt brat thing and that punishment would cure me. (It didn’t. It made me sicker as I started to forget there was a real world out there and the walls closed in on me.) I have been spat on, on a well-to-do shopping street for being too disgustingly thin and making myself into some sort of ’creature’. Punched in the face for not giving a lady my bag of groceries one day because “There was no way I could possibly eat those and I was wasting food that poor people (meaning, she and her drug-addled friends who had blown all their money on heroin) badly needed more than I did.”
All this, and so much more that has happened through these long years of fighting, is not acceptable. Should never happen to anyone. And yet it does. I’m not the only one by far. I don’t want anyone else to go through that.
But even more, I want others to read my words and realise that they do have hope, that they can hang on, that it’s worthwhile. That it IS possible to turn a corner when you feel there is no way out. That it IS possible to recover no matter how hopeless a ‘case’ you feel you are. That they DO have the courage to fight for their lives, because they already have that courage and strength right there within them, they need to believe in themselves, believe it’s possible. And that life is so worth it. That THEY are worth fighting for. Because that’s the truth.
And so to be nominated for a Readers Appreciation Award fills me with happiness because it means that there must be something I’m doing that’s working. Thank you so much, Diane.
Here’s what I have to do!
The steps to take, preferably with joy
1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.
The Questions: Note I have answered some of these questions previously so if I have, I will give you an alternate answer.
1. What is your favorite colour?
Every colour in the rainbow.
2. What is your favorite animal?
Cats – namely my cat Shalimar.
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
I drink more tea than anything else – white tea, with lots of (I know, I know, bad stuff) Equal sweetener. I crave fresh juice – both fruit and veggie – a lot. But I don’t really like to drink or find it easy – it’s a constant struggle, especially as I used to have a huge phobia of even water. I’m working on it
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook, I have never really used Twitter. I love that I can keep in touch with my friends but also tend to find it very superficial.
5. What is your favorite pattern?
I love the patterns that the clouds make in the sky!
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents?
Giving, by far. But I squirm in embarrassment and wish that I could hide. My favourite way to give gifts would be for them to just appear out of nowhere and surprise the recipient!
7. What is your favorite number?
My lucky number is 13. Amazing things have happened to me related to 13 – the date, the address, etc. My least favourite is 4, partly because I believe it means death for the Chinese, but mostly because the OCD-ritualistic crap that happened with food and eating (and still does to a far lesser degree) usually involves a lot of fours.
8. What is your favorite day of the week?
Friday, because I have an entire weekend right ahead of me!!! Sleep in tomorrow!
9. What is your favorite flower?
I had a huge daisy bush that I grew as a child, but it’s too hard as an adult to choose just one. I love honeysuckle for their smell and some memories, and I love nasturtium for the same reason (and am currently growing them in my garden.)
10. What’s your passion?
My passion is life, my cat, people, God and His amazing world. I used to be passionate about dancing, still am a dancer on the inside, hope to be one on the outside again in the future (for my own love of it, not as a career like it was, once).
The Nominees Some (or all) of these writers may choose to not participate in this award process but I still want this chance to help you to find these blogs and perhaps be inspired by what they contain, if you haven’t found them already. Since I have been through the process recently I will choose 5 to nominate.
I enjoy so much reading these inspirational blogs and in turn I receive many encouraging words from them.
Buckwheat at http://buckwheatsrisk.wordpress.com
Cathy at http://extralongtail.wordpress.com/
There are so many people I would love to include! Thank you to everyone for encouraging me and for reaching out to me, a complete stranger.
Now for a light-hearted ending to this post – Shalimar always manages to inject hilarity into my life. My money is controlled by a Government appointed Trustee (still hanging round from the sicker days, hopefully I’ll get off this soon) and today I was taking photos of my backpack to show them that I really do need to buy a new one, will they let me have my money? (Getting your money can be like trying to get blood from a stone!)
Shalimar totally photobombed my photo. Sneaky, cheeky little darling