That Annoying Body Image

Everybody has some issue with something about their body, I’m sure. I have a lot, and always have.

Age 4/5 I remember asking my nan for more chicken because I felt I was too skinny. That “too skinny” phrase didn’t last long, it became the total opposite. From around age 6, I’ve always worried about being too fat. At such a young age, I starved myself. I would secretly chuck food away when my parents weren’t looking. I’m not sure I ever came under the ‘Anorexic’ title but I’m pretty sure I was close. The thing that got me eating again was my nan saying “If you don’t eat, you will end up in hospital with tubes down your throat, being force fed”. I was young and that sentence scared the crap out of me. But still, age 10/11 I was wearing age 2-3/4-5 aged clothes, until I started putting weight on.

So, throughout my childhood, I was quite a skinny girl. Then Puberty came and I just became flawed with everything ‘big’ from both sides of the family. Broad shoulders from my dad and massive hips from my mum. I also got a big chest from my mum’s side of the family. At age 13, I was already in C-cup bras!!

So, my teenage years came with massive body image issues and that has never changed. I’ve always believed that I am fat, no matter my size. I have lost and gained weight but no matter what weight I have been, I’m fat.

More recently though, being fat hasn’t been the top of my thoughts regarding my body image issues. It’s my boobs. My weight is always going up and down and usually with people if the lose weight, their boobs get smaller and vise versa if they put weight on. Mine don’t change. They’re huge. You hear a lot about people with small chests having body issues and wanting bigger breasts, for me, I want smaller.

They’ve been really bringing my mood down a lot over the last few days. I’m trying to lose weight and I think I am but when I look in the mirror and stand side-ways it’s like the letter P. (except I’m not skinny). It’s just now that I am losing the weight, my boobs are looking bigger.

I’m due to go bra shopping, there’s nothing really wrong with my bras at the moment but, it’s underwear, and like any underwear, it’s nice to get new ones. BUT I keep putting it off. I hate shopping for bras. I will go to a shop and be searching for a style that I like, go through the sizes, get to 34DD and the sizes stop, they don’t do bigger sizes in that style. It’s very hard to find a pretty, nice looking bra in my size.

I was on a train last week, standing in the aisle because it was packed. People were trying to get pass and, I know my brain has most likely warped this image, but how I saw it was my boobs were in the way. I couldn’t squeeze into the wall anymore and I’m pretty sure, my chest just took up half the space from one wall to another. It’s so embarrassing.

I pretty much get brushed up against at least once a week. I’m forever hearing “Sorry, I just touched your boobs” and my response is always “It’s okay, it’s my fault, they’re in the way” like I have the option of them not being so big.

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Sleep and Relaxation

As you may have ready, I suffer a lot with insomnia.

I have constantly been taking zopiclone sleeping tablets, on and off, when the lack of sleep got too much; I have downloaded several sleep and relaxation apps and they’ve sometimes worked, but a lot of the time I will manage to relax but not sleep. A lot of the time with these apps, the recording of the person telling you what to do irritates me. Their voices are either shrill or Professor-Snape-like (Reference Harry Potter), the whole 10 minutes to tell you to take a deep breath in. It drives me insane.

About a week ago, I was asked “What has relaxed me in the past?” and after thinking, I remembered a holiday that I took last year. It was a quiet holiday in North Wales with my sister. We had seaside winds and seagulls and my favourite part was when we were sat on a grass bank looking out at the sea. That’s where I was most relaxed. The sound of the wind, the waves, and the seagulls was just bliss.

So, I tried imagining this scene again, but my imagination is a little faulted when I’m tired and depressed. So, off I went to look again, on the app store and I came across a relaxation app called ‘Relax Melodies’ where I can play a combination of sounds rather than the usual picking a sound.

For the last 3 nights, I have played the ‘slow waves’ and ‘seaguls’ sound for half an hour whilst lying in bed. Imagining being by the sea have been much easier with these sounds playing and I’ve slept much better on these nights. I know it’s only been 3 nights but I’m starting to feel more human. I hope it all lasts.

The First Session

On Thursday (14th May) I had my Initial Assessment appointment for counselling/therapy. I’ve been in and out of counselling for the past two years and each time I’ve returned, I’ve had to have the initial assessment. The first time I went, my initial assesment was pretty quick after seeing my doctor, then after that I.A, where they find out your needs and problems, the service refers you to someone most suited to what you need, and that was about a 6-week wait.

This happened again for my second referral.

This third time was different. I went to my doctors and there was about  4-week wait for my I.A, so Thursday was at last, my day to talk.

It happened that the person who was meant to be assessing me was in fact the first person I ever saw. I was in the waiting room and she came down with a client she had just finished with, said “I’ll be with you in a few minutes”. I was early for my appointment so that was fine. It then got to about 10 minutes after my appointment was due and the receptionist told me that she (the counsellor I was meant to be seeing) had just been sick and so they were just seeing if someone was available to see me.

I think the change in person completely threw me, I suddenly became very anxious and stupid – I seemed to lose all vocabulary. I couldn’t string any sentences together at all and was a stuttering mess. Luckily, I had written down things that are going on in my life right now, the things affecting my mood and so just handed her (Call her Debbie), I gave Debbie the piece of paper which helped a lot because I don’t think I would have been able to say what I needed.

Somehow, for the first time ever, I became assertive. I told Debbie exactly what I needed in regards to sessions. I told her I couldn’t just do talking about my problems, I don’t particularly do that very well and it doesn’t help me, what I need is something that is going to help me get better, something that will give me the tools to help me cope with life’s problems, with the self harm and suicidal thoughts, I need something that will help me challenge my thoughts. Also, the last person I saw wasn’t all that great, sessions were once a month and for me, that was too long inbetween for me to cope. A thing that has helped keep me sane before is telling myself “I have councelling in 3 days, I can wait until then” so the fact I was waiting weeks, wasn’t great for me. I told Debbie I needed weekly appointments or at least fortnightly if weekly wasn’t possible.

So I was assertive. (I say rude ad demanding but my friend said assertive and if I want to be positive, I’ll stick with that word)

Now, because of the lovely NHS system of where I live, after my I.A, there’s a few weeks again until I begin my actual sessions. For me, my first session is on the 26th June. It sucks, but this is for everybody in that service. So, unless you can afford to go private then you have to be a number on a waiting list.

Also, because this service’s system of doing things has changed I don’t get referred to someone else, I will stick to seeing Debbie. So, Debbie has given me dates for my first two appointments and we have pre-planned what we are going to do in them sessions. I feel so good that we have planned them. I like to be organised, it’s kind of settled my brain a little.

She has also given me a thought diary thing that I have to fill in each time I get negative thoughts/feelings (picture attached). This is to see if there’s a pattern of things that bring my mood down.

Dear Diary

Firstly, can I just mention that I suck massively at online shopping with regards to size. A while ago, I ordered a t-shirt from ebay size M-L turns out these tshirts were for males and were male sizes (despite the picture being a girl wearing them). It’s cool, the guy let me keep this large tshirt and sent me a small so I get to lounge around and sleep in the bigger one and wear the one that fits in normal life.¬† I then more recently bought my hamster a wheel, thinking the size was inches, turns out I read that wrong and the wheel was in CM and too small.

NOW again, from ebay, I wanted to order a sketch book, about A5 size and I draw small and my A4 one that has ran out – well, I never really filled the page. There was this cool looking book and so I ordered it. Turns out it’s possibly an A6 size (kind of postcard sized) so I concucted a plan.

I used to write a diary all the time to help with my moods and thoughts etc, then it stopped being a daily thing for some reason. I went on holiday, leaving that behind and my mum read it. I’ve been hesitant to start writing in a diary again but with this little book, I think I’m going to restart it, not a daily thing, more of a tool to help me release me thoughts. AND since the pages aren’t lined, I could possibly do little sketches that relate to my mood if I feel like it.

An Emotional Wreck

I’m struggling right now.

Things that I think, most people worry about are going through my mind. Do you know those thoughts, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ that type of thing. I know most people, think those thoughts at some point of their lives but it’s really getting me down.

Yesterday, I was going through Facebook and I came across the People You May Know section. This came up with some old friends, friends I know that I am better off without since the deserted me when I needed them the most but also friends that I was close to at one point and friends that I miss quite a lot.

My sleep is becoming bad again. I go through times of Insomnia. I can go weeks suffering with lack of sleep and then I’ll get a short break where I think things are going okay, and I’m sleeping well, then it’s back to the insomniac phase. I’m in that right now. I am so tired and so exhausted but when I go to bed, I am tossing and turning, going hot and cold, feeling that whatever position that I am in feels uncomfortable and I just can’t sleep. It takes hours and hours for me to finally fall asleep.

The lack of sleep is making me so emotional. Today is a bad emotional day and I feel like crying. I just feel like sitting and balling my eyes out. It’s so hard to cope right now. I have my counselling assessment session on Thursday, I have written everything down that I want/need to say. I’m not great at being verbally open to people, I get scared and I say little bits but not everything. So, everything is written down and I am going to hand that to whoever I see.

Yesterday, I had my very first Skype conversation with my friend. It was so good. We haven’t met each other yet but we plan too and decided to skype before we meet up in a could of weeks.

Falling Further Down – TW

I’m really struggling with life at the moment. Things keep biting chunks out of me. I’m losing my will and motivations and coping seems to be getting more and more impossible each day.

Over the weekend, I have been in touch with Samaritans, it’s been nice to talk to them but then something else happened yesterday and I felt like cutting and I wasn’t exactly suicidal but I wanted to cut so much that I didn’t care if it was too deep.

I went to the shop and bought some really cheap razors. I then set about getting the blade out of the razor. For a cheap razor, getting the blade out was really hard, near on impossible. I got frustrated and so I put the blade down and started scratching my arms with some scissors. It didn’t really do much so I continued trying to get out the blade.

By the time I had done that, all my energy had gone. The feeling of wanting to cut went away.

I’m going mad.

I Just Lay in Bed and Cried

Last night, I slept quite well despite the day’s events and my mood, and so, I woke up feeling a little better than yesterday.

I’ve been dreading today.. or rather tonight as last week, my mum invited my cousin to stay to watch the big boxing match that’s happening as we have the channel and she doesn’t. My mum decided that she could stay on the top bunk in my room. I used to share with my sister and we had a bunk bed, but now my sister has moved out. It annoyed me that she invited her without asking if I minded since it is my room after all!

So today would be spent tidying my room and sorting out the bed for my cousin.

I had just heard the news about Kate and Will’s new baby princess and so I went downstairs to tell my dad. He was in the kitchen putting away the weekly shop. He asked me if I could get the hoover out for him.. as in “Can you get the hoover out for me?” which, unless I am wrong, does not mean for me to hoover up, it just means get it out of the cupboard…yes?

So I did that and was about to head back upstairs to sort my room out. Then he started pointing at the hoover as if to say “What the fuck? Why aren’t you hoovering?”

(I’m not working at the moment, so each day in the week I do housework which includes hoovering daily, mopping every other day and do the laundry (except ironing, I hate ironing)). So, I simply said “I hoovered and mopped up yesterday, I’m going upstairs to sort my room out”. My dad’s reply was quite a mix of ‘how many different ways can you call someone “lazy”. There was, “You don’t work, you spend all day in bed when things can be done. This is my day off, I shouldn’t have to do all of this” So, I said I had done a good clean yesterday and that it didn’t have to be done, but no.. he went on and on about me being lazy.

I’m getting fed up lately. I am always doing things to help out around the house whilst I’m not working. I cook (if I’m asked), I clean and not once do I get a thank you. We have a really fluffy dog and no matter how clean you make the place, you always get some fur somewhere. This usually accounts for the “have you even hoovered up today?” It’s driving me insane. I’m getting fed up of the “lazy” comments, I’m getting fed up of having no recognition for anything I do.

After today’s “lazy” conversation, I came to my room and curled up in bed and just balled my eyes out. I couldn’t control my crying. The self-harm urges that I’m getting quite often lately, showed up. I began digging my nails in and scratching my arm. I don’t think I’m going to be able to cope much longer without cutting. I’m trying so hard at the moment to not cut, I have my mum’s cousin’s wedding next weekend to attend and I want to be able to wear a dress that I have without a jacket. If I last the week it will be a miracle.

Tonight has been irritating. My cousin just does not stop talking. There’s only really so much of her that you can take and I’ve over-exceeded the limit tonight so I have come to bed. She’s downstairs with my parents and brother and I’m praying she stays down there to watch the fight.

I’m pretty certain tonight is going to be a sleepless night either way.