Finding the balance.

My life has fallen into a routine for the first time in 3 years  and with that I have made the decision to start back to the gym. A few years ago I started lifting 4 – 5 times a week and I loved it, but the appearance of muscle and the weight that went with it scared me off. I quickly fell back into counting calories and doing cardio before moving to Belfast and giving up entirely due to a lack of free time. I pushed myself in my studies instead, never stopping to look at myself.

Even though I didn’t count calories or restrict or even exercise my body didn’t change that much. Looking at it now I can see that my body has probably hit it’s set point, that little thing I go on about sometimes. That being the case I have shipped myself back off to the gym at a casual 3 days a week to keep myself active if nothing else. I have no doubt that this will eventually become a more regular thing, with me marching in as much as 5 nights a week.

But why am I there? I don’t even know yet.

What am I looking to achieve? I have no way of measure change if change does in fact happen.  Weighing is out of the question and it takes every ounce of bone in my body to pull myself away from the scales in the women’s changing area each time I walk by them. A tape measure may trigger the same response. So, how does one measure body composition while in recovery without tripping some sort of ‘oh shit, you need to restrict’ alarm?

I would apprechiate a chime in at any point to help this wayward solider out because I really, really want to give the gym a good go and actually enjoy it like I used to. I want to lift more than 5kg above my head without feeling like I’ve gone 4 rounds with a professional boxer. I want to wake up in the morning, sore and aching, and actually see the changes it’s doing.

We look at our selves day in and day out, as do our partners, therefore we’ll not see the changes as they present themselves. So there has to be another way that won’t open the flood gates of eating disorder hell.

For now I’m making do with a journal detailing my food intake (warning) and my output (WARNING) which isn’t good for the likes of myself either.

I may like organisation and structure, the OCD comes with the eating disorder territory, but some of these habits are raising the alarm and I sure as hell don’t want to go back into that burning building.

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Hiatus: And what it meant.

I have been absent from this blog for a long time. Long time being the understatement of the year so far. During this time there have been up’s and down’s, as there is with anyone’s life.

We lost our family dog shortly after I graduated which hit me and my family quite hard. He was with us for 13 beautiful years and still to this day I miss him so so much. But we carried on and continue to do so because the memory of how he was on the day he left us pushes us forward thinking ‘yes, we did the right thing.’

I undertook a NEBOSH health and safety course and found out recently that I had obtained a strong credit for my troubles. This means I am officially accredited to work within the health and safety field.

During this time I worked two jobs, one of which I later left after a horrible month, and the other I was forced to leave in December due to the shutting down of the store. Lucky (or unlucky) for me the new owners offered me a position as a supervisor and I hesitantly took it.

So my life has been full of bumps the last couple of months, mostly down if I’m honest. That being said it’s all lead me to here, where I am, sat hunched over my keyboard fresh out of an interview. And as of 1 hour ago officially employed as a health and safety officer, something I have been training to do for the last 4 and a bit years.

I was doubtful for a while. My anxiety and ‘rut’ had gotten me so down that I went to the doctor for help and came away with strong medication and a week off from work. I was so hopeless and done with the whole job search. There is nothing harder than getting your foot into your first post degree job. I mean there probably are harder things but this, for me, was like moving a mountain. I had sent several unsuccessful job applications, sat one awful job interview and was offered other interviews in far away lands that were unrealistic. Then my second day into my leave I got a call regarding maternity cover in a slaughter hall and I immediately said ‘yes, anything. I’m game.’ 

So that’s been my life. My mental health has been rocky and I am being treated for it. My hope has been lost and then regained, my heart has been broken and hasn’t quite healed and my nerves have been frayed. But I never let it effect like it once would have. I didn’t resort to any of the my previous methods. I just complained and brooded to my fiance or anyone who would listen. I also accepted his advice and help when the time came and got the help I needed.

Ultimately I feel I have grown as a person in the last few years and months. Even the last few weeks. My new medication is stronger and means I can’t drink (all that gin going to waste breaks my heart), but seems to finally be working in bringing my mood to a stable level to where I can actually cope.

This is my coming back post.

So hi! I’m back. Have you missed me?

~ Nyx.

Breathing.

I don’t know where to begin with this post. I don’t even know why I’m making it. A blog, this blog especially, is something I use to release the emotions that would otherwise only be seen in the way of a new cut or by starving myself. But I haven’t turned to this blog since the death of my dog and I suppose I haven’t needed to. Not even when I took on a job that I hated and worked literally all the time with barely a moment to sleep or breathe.

But now that I am entirely still I find myself becoming lost in old habits and old thoughts. I have considered going back to my GP for new or stronger medication, but either can’t get the appointment or can’t get up the courage.

It’s hard to admit you’re struggling and I suppose this is my way of really coming to terms with it. When I work and study I have no time to feel overwhelmed, even if I am stressed to my eyes. Now, in the stillness and solitude of redundancy (because that’s what happened, I was made redundant) I am lost.

I slept until 12pm today (which is unusual seeing as I barely sleep) and still I found it almost impossible to get up. My body aches, I’m not sleeping even though I’m exhausted or I’m over sleeping, and my drive to do anything is overshadowed by the fact that I don’t know what to do. I don’t even want to play video games  or read or see people.

I have to start looking for ‘real person’ jobs and I have no idea where to start, or if I even want to.I think I’m scared that my lack of experience and confidence will take over, or that I will fall into another job that I loathe.

I didn’t loathe Ed’s though. I complained about it because that’s what people do, but I loved it and I loved my work mates. We were family and the day they announced our redundancy I felt as if my world had been pulled from under me. I felt as if I were being burned from the inside and it all started in my chest.

I’m trying to pick up the pieces, I’m trying to get a job in what I trained for, I’m trying not to focus on my impending NEBOSH results that cost me hundreds; but I’m obviously not trying hard enough.

I’m so numb and emotional all at once that I just want to stay in bed and hide. I just want to curl into a ball and never come out of it. For the first time in a long time I just want it to be over, but I don’t want to die.

I deleted my social media account (Facebook) in a bid to stop these feelings and to disconnect myself from the world of comparison. Because we humans are notorious for that. We compare and contrast and covet and bitch among each other. It’s hard not to and I admit to doing all those things.

I love my friends and love to see them happy but it’s hard when you’re so unhappy and you don’t know why, and feel so so guilty about it. I have a pretty okay life and I’m the first to tell anyone that they are entitled to their own sadness for whatever reason, but I can’t seem to take my own advice. I know that depression and anxiety work in ways I don’t understand, and doesn’t particularly care who it effects, privileged or not, but I can’t seem to just allow myself to be. I can’t leave myself well enough alone and let myself feel all this without feeling embarrassed and guilty, and that’s a huge part of the reason that I don’t go to my GP.

I’m at the bottom of a well and I’m too scared to shout upward for the fear of who I might or might not find at the top.Currently I’m feeling as if there is an anvil sitting on my shoulders and pushing me into the ground, and every time I look into the mirror I feel like an alien. I don’t know that person looking at me. She’s a silly, scared little girl who doesn’t want to grow up because she’s afraid of change. She’s big and she’s got dark circles and she can’t see that she is burning herself alive by staying still.

This is a blog addressed to no one else but me. It’s there to tell you two months from now that I told you so.

This could go either of two ways.

Pawprints on the heart.

On Monday the 18th of July we lost our 13 year old west highland terrier. Since then life has carried on as if nothing happened, when in fact my family and I are suffering a heartache greater than I ever thought I would feel when he inevitably passed. But it has hurt immensely, and the thought that he won’t there when I go home is unbearable. I can’t comprehend how the world keeps on turning when we lose loved ones. I can’t understand how you are expected to carry on, go to work and smile as if nothing has happened, when your heart is in pieces.

I’ve had to put animals down twice before, each hurting just a little more than the first, but Ben’s passing was, and is, by far the worst feeling I have ever experienced. It’s as if someone has reached inside my body and pulled out my heart. Then there is the feeling of dread and overwhelming sadness which starts in my throat and circulates to my chest, my stomach and eventually my eyes. When that feeling hits it takes several deep breaths and quiet to make it go away. Sometimes it doesn’t and I just have to cry.

Although it may be difficult for my parents and sister living in the house where Ben also spent his days, I feel as though I am disconnected and lost because i’m so far away. They have each other to grieve along side, they have each other for comfort, but I feel as if I am alone in my grief and without any valuable comfort.

I miss Ben more and more with each passing day, but I also find that I am able to talk about him without crying now. I have managed to talk about the day of his passing without feeling overwhelmingly sad, and have managed to go into detail about his illness.

But I am also left with guilt. Not about putting him down but about not being home enough. I find myself thinking ‘Should I have went home on X date? I would have been able to spend more time with him in his last days.’ Although it may not have mattered much to him, after all he was my father’s dog, at least I would have gotten to see him alive and more like himself. Instead I am stuck remembering him sitting under the trailer, as far from us as possible and with his back turned. I am stuck remembering his slow trek along the fence, digging for cover, as if he did not want us to see. I am stuck with the memory of his final breath. The memory of my father crying and, finally, the memory of his body being placed into the back of the vet’s car. No breathing, no growling, no tail wagging; just still.

How long does it take to get over a constant companion of 13 years? A dog who helped you and your family through everything? I hope the answer is never, but that the pain of losing him dwindles into happy memory’s.

Ben you were truly a spoilt rotten dog. You growled at me every opportunity that you had, and you were a grouch. You helped my family through everything, and so it was only appropriate that we helped you through your final days. I don’t doubt that we did the right thing, and I think you would agree, I think you were telling us that it was time.

Thank you for existing, Ben. Thank you for being the grumpy wee pup that you were, for helping my parents through my illness, and helping us all through my fathers.

Thank you for everything.

Love you and will never forget you.

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Rest In Peace :  1 / 7 / 2003 – 18 / 7 / 2016.