200 days without alcohol

At the moment I’m currently up to week 8 of my 14 week Social Work placement and I’m feeling pretty stressed. The first few weeks I was shadowing other workers a lot and just trying to to absorb as much information as possible.

As the weeks have gone on I have picked up my own case load and I am feeling the pressure of trying to do the best for the clients I am working with, learn at I go and as show my agency that I am professional and competent.

In this time I also made the decision to move back into mum and dads. It was an extremely tough decision but I felt awful that I had changed my mind on the new housemate, and decided that moving out was the right thing to do.

It hasn’t been the best living back at home but it hasn’t been the worst either.

Pros: walking with mum each day after placement, being able to run at night without feeling vulnerable like I did at my old house, not having to pay for utilities, helping mum cook dinner and taking the pressure off her with other household chores, having my own space, no noise from construction or school children over the road

Cons: spending a lot of my time doing chores and cleaning because mum finds it difficult and dad expects it from me (even though I’m at placement full time and work weekends), arguments with dad, missing my old housemate, my boyfriend not being ‘allowed’ to sleepover (sigh I’m almost 25) and losing that independence I had (not having to answer my parents about where I’m going, what I’m doing, who I’m going with etc).

The past week has been particularly difficult after my parents had a huge fight on Tuesday and I had to leave to avoid being drawn into it all.

Feeling anxious and sick about the prospect of returning home was the main reason I left in the first place. Being faced with that same problem after years without it was excruciating. There is nothing more embarrassing and unsettling than feeling like you have no where to go home to and having to ask permission to impede on someone else’s living space.

Adding to this, by physically removing myself from the situation I still couldn’t escape it. For those 5 days I received text messages and phone calls day in day out from both my parents trying to give their sides and gain my validation. I had to take a sick day at placement and spent the whole day on the couch watching shameless to distract myself.

I’m lucky that I could stay with my boyfriend and his amazing family who always make me feel welcome and secure. Moments like these do however, re-motivate me to tighten my spending so I can get out of here and buy my own home, my own sanctuary.

“Sanctuary is a word which here means a small safe place in a troubling world. Like an oasis in a vast desert or an island in a stormy sea.”

-Lemony Snicket

Today I went to Camberwell Market and bought some flowers and some books and then I had the most amazing breakfast – gingerbread french toast – which was more of a dessert than a breakfast but hey – isn’t that what Sunday is for?

I’m trying to go into this week with a positive attitude and I’m really focused on having a week of life admin to make me feel more at ease. I’m running 6km next weekend so I also need to put all I have into my last week of training.

Despite the past week being pretty dreadful, not once did I feel the urge to drink alcohol as form of coping. At one point I thought about the act of drinking, to numb my feelings and instantly thought about how much I would regret it the next day and how many more problems it would cause. I am so proud of myself for coming this far and making this change.

Thanks for reading x

 

 

 

 

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I’m like a moth that keeps flying into the light even though I know it will hurt me.

Was it a break down or a break through?

Tonight I had a complete melt down.

One thing that has become increasingly clear this week is the fact I can’t move back home with my parents bc of my dad.

I don’t feel like going into much detail about it but it just isn’t an option.

This caused problems because

a) I had already got a new guy in to rent my room from the end of the month

b) he had already put his house on the market

c) he will now need to find somewhere to live for the next 2 months OR

d) couch surf until I move out which is all my fault and might mean I end up couch surfing in my own place or finding another sharehouse (fuck)

Adding to this I am currently having problems with university, which for the sake of ‘professionalism’ I won’t go into, but for context – currently going through the most difficult decision making university process of my life.

With all of this happening at once I had a bit of a melt down. My amazing boyfriend Kyle has managed to calm me down and we’ve decided to book a holiday to Vietnam for November/December instead of the Canada trip we had planned (which will have to wait).

This gives me something to look forward to in the midst of all this madness. I also appreciate him infinite amounts and despite the shit storm that is my life currently, I have him and it seems he is all I need to pull me through.

I hope everyone else is having a better week in comparison, and remember no matter how hard it gets – you can ALWAYS plan and look forward to the future. Sometimes it just takes a loved one to turn on the light and sit beside you for an hour or two while you cry on to them, your pillow and yourself.

And that’s okay.

 

Stay strong x

Big changes are coming

Big changes are coming

It’s been a while since I’ve written in here and I’m trying to think of where to start.

Going from where I left off last entry, I have entered myself in a 5km race for the 30th of July and have started training. I really enjoy running and I’ve never participated in a fun run so this will be a milestone for me. I splurged on some new runners and started training 2 weeks ago and got up to running 4km without stopping. The end of the university semester then hit me with 3 major assessments at once and the pressure of a looming placement. A breakdown, a cold and a migraine resulted from all of this, meaning I’ve been able to run for the past week. I’m hoping to get back into it tomorrow by building back up slowly to 4km and then pushing myself to 5km + so I feel prepared for the race. My grand plan is my boyfriend and parents coming to cheer me on and all getting a celebratory lunch in the city afterwards.

Speaking of, I also made the decision to move back home with my parents. I moved out of home almost 4 years ago because being at home wasn’t a productive or healthy place for me to be. Along with the help of my psychologist we decided that leaving this toxic environment was a crucial step for me to grow, mature and make up for experiences I didn’t get a child (having friends over). A lot has changed since I moved out, with both my family and myself.

My mum had the DBS surgery which has changed her whole demeanour, her energy levels, her physical and emotional capacity and her outlook on life. As a result of this dad is a lot happier and we’ve actually been enjoying each others company. I’ve grown up a lot since I moved out, my priorities (drinking, partying, rebelling) have changed, and a previous relationship which caused a lot of strain on my relationship with my dad is now gone. I’ve also learned a lot about myself in the past 4 years, such as the effect childhood trauma has taken on my life and my relationships and coping strategies for this. Because of these reasons I feel as though I am ready to give living at home with my parents another try until I move out permanently (paying a mortgage).

I love my parents and I realise they’re getting older which makes me even more inclined to want to spend more time with them while I can, and I guess, make up for some lost time if that makes sense. I’m not naïve about the potential of thing to go wrong again but I do want to give this a real go, so at least if it doesn’t work out, I know that I gave it my all.

I’ll be moving out of my current share house on the 30th of June so I’ve started the moving process by taking possessions over to mum and dads and going through old possessions to determine what I want to keep and throw away.

I also booked in to get my first tattoo on the 21st of August. I am going to get it on my ribcage area and the meaning behind the tattoo is “be who you needed when you were younger” which is one of my favourite quotes because I think it encourages accountability as well as kindness towards yourself, which I habitually forget.

On Monday the 5th I start my second and final social work masters placement, working with the elderly and disabled in the community. Although I am pretty nervous, I also feel as though this will be a fantastic learning experience and I’m looking forward to being able to apply my social work skills in another setting.

Lastly, I am still completely sober and am up to 148 days at present which I am very happy with.

Anyway I think that’s a pretty thorough update on how I am travelling and what I am up to as of late and I hope you are all keeping well.

 

Thanks for reading xxx

 

Back at the gym and this is a good thing

Losing weight is tricky but surprisingly losing weight isn’t the part I find hard. I’ve always been a very disciplined and headstrong person when it comes to doing things I intrinsically want to do. The part I find tricky is resisting the urge to restrict calories once I see results. When sliding down this slippery slope I usually stop going to the gym because I have little energy to do group classes, long periods of cardio or lift weights. Instead, I walk for hours to burn off excess calories in a ‘gentler’ and easier way. I  start isolating myself because if I’m in social situations I fear not being able to control my food intake and have the carefully planned, low calorie meals I want. I get irritable and anxious and start taking it out on those who are close to me. This is balanced by erratic moments of motivation and outward displays of happiness that come from feeling in control. These are my warning signs that I am becoming unwell and falling back into anorexia.
After a month of struggling with this I can confidently say I’ve shaken this monster and went back to the gym (3 days in a row!). I’m trying my hardest to reach 1430 calories a day on top of exercise, and having up to 3 ‘cheat meals’ a week. I wanted to make this post as I only recently identified my early warning signs and wanted to make this clearer to friends and family who read this blog.
Thanks for taking the time to read this 💜

Warms my heart

Last night at work I was talking to one of my colleagues about what prompted her to get into the helping profession. This particular colleague, (as well as working with adults experiencing mental health problems), has worked in disability and now works with children with autism (her passion).

She told about how she used to live in small country town and had to catch the bus for 50km each day to get to school. When she was 17 there was a younger boy who caught the same bus with her who had autism. As his school for children with autism, was next to her school she used to walk him over before school and wait for him afterwards and she absolutely adored him. They used to have him over for dinner and catch up after school and on weekends. This was when she decided working with kids with autism was “her thing.”

Whenever I work with someone new in the area of mental health, I always make time to ask them what inspired them and it’s people like this colleague that warm my heart and fill me with optimism about humanity. There are so many phenomenal people out there, so many people who work day in and day out to support those who have it tougher than others.

I love my job.