Finding my Beautiful Destination

That moment when I realised I have been going about things the wrong way. Trying to fix binge eating and my need to drink alcohol to numb feelings instead of focusing on the cause – mental health problems.

This is a moment when I can start to turn my life around!

In the words of Martine McCutcheon “This is my moment.”

Apologies to anyone who now has that song stuck in their heads 😂. 

The last week or so have been tough. Going from feeling low to not wanting to be here anymore. So much so I wrote ‘Will anybody notice or care‘. I am very lucky to have friends that contacted me, around the time that I published that blog, to see how I was and then guided me through making me feel valued, wanted and most of all loved. Sometimes people can save lives and not even know it. A few words make such a difference.

Recently I was listening to Madeleine Black’s memoir Unbroken and everything changed.  

The therapies that Madeleine had tried and how they affected her really got me thinking. I have only tried therapy with Rape Crisis and a therapist through work. 

Rape Crisis were fantastic and I hope to start therapy with them again once I have moved house.

But there are so many other things I can do to help myself. 

I have tried to stop binge eating and drinking alcohol so that I would feel better about myself. But I was tackling this and my mental health in the wrong way. 

Madeleine said “It was time to turn and face that which I’d been running from for so long.”

When I heard this it made me realise I need to start facing the childhood sexual assaults, rapes, coercive control and sexual assaults in relationships which have cause my mental health problems. Only then will I be able to truly find myself and be free from my demons. 

So today is the first day of my true journey taking on the horrors of my past. Do I expect there to be hurdles along the way – yes, do I think this will happen overnight – no, could this take a long time potentially years – yes.

I do not expect this to be easy BUT 

I WILL beat this,

I WILL find myself and my beautiful destination, 

I WILL live again!

Day Two: Finding myself beneath food and alcohol!

A working day always makes things a little easier by taking my mind off of things. So for the majority of today I have been absolutely fine and have felt positive. 

There was a challenge to encounter though. I needed to go shopping for my mum. She gave me a list and I stuck to it. I won’t say I wasn’t tempted but I did it. I shopped for food and didn’t buy anything for me to binge on and didn’t buy any alcohol. That in my book is a raving success. 

I did get some bad news when dropping my mum’s shopping off. She had an angina attack at midnight on Friday. Putting aside my frustration that she hadn’t told me before today, I am just glad she is ok. She called the doctor on Monday to let them know. 

Despite the attack, mum being as stubborn as she is still mowed her lawn on Saturday! She’s made of strong stuff that woman. 

So tomorrow is going to be a tough one. I need to go shopping for myself. I will make sure I have a list, I will eat before I go and I will avoid the alcohol aisles. That is going to be my way of shopping for a while. 

The only other thing that is going to get in my way at the moment is my time of the month. Like a lot of women my emotions are all over the place once a month. If I don’t want to eat everything in sight then I am really low and wanting to drink. If I can get past this then I can get past anything.

Nobody finds themselves in alcohol or by binge eating. Neither will I!

Day three bring it on…..

Finding myself beneath the food & alcohol!

For many years I have been binge eating and drinking alcohol to numb the pain and emotions. To have time where I can forget myself and the life around me and just be.

I have been battling depression since I was a teenager. I always thought this was because I needed to accept that I am a lesbian. Yes that was a difficult journey but little did I know that there were a lot of other things lurking inside me.

I started seeing a counsellor when I was 18 years old. This was to help me come to terms with being gay. Unfortunately I had the wrong counsellor who thought she would tell me she thought I was going through a phase…. It’s a long bloody phase. I’m now 43 years old. Nope, i’m still 100% part of the lesbian rainbow crowd.

I was screaming out back then to be heard. I was also referred to a counsellor who specialised in alcohol addiction. I thought it was a waste of time. I didn’t drink that much right!?!

Only now, 25 years later, I can see it for what it was. Alcohol abuse!

Recently my therapy with Rape Crisis came to an end. The therapist was there for me for 18 months allowing me to vent, cry, have panic attacks but most of all help me through what I can safely say has been one of the toughest times of my life. 

When I registered to the waiting list for a Rape Crisis therapist I needed to talk to someone about an incident that had been brought back to the forefront of my mind. The memory of a sexual assault when I was a child. Little did I know that once I unearthed one memory more would come flooding back. 

After all of these years I was remembering being sexually assaulted and raped as a child from 7 years old until I was around 17 years old. 

If that wasn’t enough after talking to my therapist about my previous two relationships it was apparent that I had been sexually assaulted by my partners at the time. I was lucky to escape their controlling behaviours.

I know that not everyone who has been through trauma turns to something like food or alcohol to lose themselves. Unfortunately I did. I feel that I wasn’t strong enough to let the feelings free. I didn’t want to feel them. 

So for a number of years I have been binge eating when I am depressed or low in mood and sometimes when I was angry too. This has not been my only vice, I have also turned to alcohol. 

Alcohol numbs the feelings that I don’t want to feel. Binge eating, usually sweet things, helps me lose myself. I am no longer me when I am drinking or binge eating. I’m escaping my mind and body. 

Today I am fed up with the vicious circle of binge eating then kicking myself for doing it and numbing my feelings with alcohol.

Today I have decided to stop both for as long as I can. I am not going to put a timeframe on this because it could all go wrong tomorrow and I will kick myself again. The main thing is I want to try and I want to write about it so I can show others what it is like for me. 

Are you on a similar journey? What are you giving up? Is it harder during lockdown? Let me know your thoughts.

So here I am at the end of day one. I have not had an alcoholic drink and I have only had something to eat when I am hungry. I feel determined but as people know that can change from one minute to the next. Lets see what happens!

This journey is about finding myself, who I really am. I will be allowing myself to feel instead of burying myself in food and alcohol. It’s not going to be easy but I am willing to try. That’s a good place to start.