Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Day After, The Peace Came

There was a day when I knew I recovered fully. Deeply. To the core. For good.
I felt how little broken Natasa finally got her peace and she stopped kicking a fuss, asking for attention and for healing. On that day I told my husband: " Babe, I feel it. I am done. I recovered. I feel at peace.I feel the space. Mental illness is all gone. Now there is room for a baby. I know it will happen."

Jono was so happy he radiated happiness miles around.

I recovered couple of years ago. Just before we moved to New Zealand. But this was deeper. This was final.

There are two definitions of recovery: One can learn to live with mental illness, to manage symptoms. One can live full and fulfilling life, maintaining hope.  OR One can live with complete absence of mental illness. One can live full and fulfilling life, maintaining hope.

I learned how to live with my mental illness before we moved to New Zealand.
I leaned to manage my anxiety, depression, fears and disordered personality. I saw hope and I had some peace. I was hopeful about the future. I was able to see past "this moment" and get excited about next week, next month.

There was still no sign of healthy confidence and decent self esteem, self reliance and self respect. I did not have a clue of who I am, and anxiety was still part of my everyday.

But I was alive. And I didn't hate myself. I had pretty healthy relationship with food, and my borderline personality disorder was fading away slowly but surely. Voices in my head took turns instead of demanding attention all at once. Some days they didn't question me at all. I had faith in my marriage. I wasn't paranoid anymore. I could see beyond myself. I saw Jono for who he is, not for what he can do for me.

I was also very unsure of myself. Afraid to speak up. Afraid to voice my opinion.I let people walk all over me and I let them use me. I had no healthy boundaries, either I gave too much or I burnt the bridges and built the walls. I relied on people to fix me, make me feel good. Be the way that it is the most comfortable for me. I fraught with them because of that.

I worked through another depression. It was situational. Anxiety increased. Being in a new country with zero self esteem and confidence is hard. I was too afraid to show myself outside. I was afraid to talk to people. I was afraid of being judged.  I didn't make any friends. I was unhappy. Afraid. Anxious. I compromised too much of myself, but at the same time I had no clue how much am I even compromising myself since I had no idea who I even am. But I knew how to deal with it. This time around I knew exactly how to take control over mylife again.

I changed a job. I started working in mental health for adults. I committed to daily meditation. I went  "into my body" daily. I committed to feeling and processing all the fears despite the discomfort. One day at the time. It took me six months before I walked outside by myself, and another six to become really comfortable with it. I committed to "The Artist's Way" 12 week program twice. It helped a lot because It provided me with some structure. I read books "The power of Now" and "The Road Less Traveled" 10 more times, and I monitored my habits and behaviors and worked with them every day.
I payed close attention to my procrastination, and I classified it as "Addiction" just because I know how to deal with those. I monitored my time on a phone and online. I reintroduced and incorporated DBT skills  into my daily life. I didn't skip a day. I worked my butt off. I looked for a long lost passion and my clients became my greatest inspiration. I worked through "people pleasing syndrome" and "being a control freak" which were both huge issues for me.
The list goes on.

But with each day, a little bit more of peace came into my heart. With each day I had better idea of who I am.
I learned about boundaries. I learned to let go. I learned to relax.I got to know myself pretty well. I learned what areas still need improvement and what are good to go.
It was September 2016 when I overcame depression and I had a pretty good idea about myself. We talked about a baby again.  We knew we are getting close to a day when baby will happen. But I still felt randomly fat and ugly, and I still was slightly rigid with food. And one thing I knew for sure is that I dont want to carry any of these behaviors into my pregnancy and motherhood. I want to be strong and complete for my child. So I worked through that as well. I started making random breakfasts and random meals. It didn't take long for me to completely let go of all that. I guess I just needed a little push. And my self esteem and confidence increased even more. By that stage I could see the beauty in me. In my personalty which wasn't disordered any more, and in my physical beauty. By that stage I fully embraced my body. I thought it is beautiful and good enough. WIth all the stretchmarks and cellulite and    fat around my hips and belly. My face is strong and beautiful with or without make up, and there is nothing wrong with me. I stopped wanting to be someone else and live differently. I finally welcomed my own self home.  And guess what, I never looked back since. 

Then my parents came for a visit in December. I was ready. I didn't fear. I didn't question anything and anyone. It was quite a journey for all of us, but nothing I couldn't handle. I had so much peace by that stage, that my parents were at peace too. I had an opportunity to talk to them about my mental illness for the first time in my life they listened. They heard me. They did not try to change my truth and my experience. They accepted it. Even my dad, he heard it all, and he didn't oppose. He didn't get angry. He just hugged me. My mom cried, listened and processed it all. She let it all go as well. Then she hugged me and said "I am sorry for the pain you wnet through and for the things we did wrong that caused you suffering."    A hug and "I am sorry" was all I needed. Less than I though I needed from them. It was enough. There was so much love and so much forgiveness.So much healing the words can't describe. That hug was not for me. That hug was for a little Natasa inside me dying to be hugged this way by her mother and father. And finally, she got peace.
I told her "Go, little girl, rest. I got this. I will protect you now and always."

 I recovered.

On that very night baby girl joined us.

We both knew we became pregnant.

Today, I am almost 33 weeks pregnant, with a very healthy baby girl. She is due on 4th of October.
I have loved every single day of my pregnancy so far and I have loved my body more than I ever hoped I would. I am growing and changing and I love it. I trust my body. I trust myself. I trust our marriage. Our unconditional love. I trust my recovery. Baby girl is coming into a very healthy and loving home. Nothing else matters.

We did well.

The circle is now complete.

I am sending all my love to you all out there, fighting your battle with mental illness. You will win. When you give up, forgive yourself. Have a glass of water, take a nap, and try again tomorrow.

Be at peace. xo

Friday, June 3, 2016

On the way to "me" (unfinished)

This post has been a process of several weeks, every time I felt something and I had strength to write, I set down and I wrote a part. It has few layers and it might not make a perfect sense. But it has all been about discovering "who am I and where am I at" ..

I am writing this for myself, for a purpose of reflecting  on my current state of mind, monitoring my mental health condition, but this post is also for you out there, who suffer, to let you know, that five years later you might be able to function and be able to look into yourself and be curious about the true you. Peel another layer and  as much as the journey to the core of your being is painful as beautiful and liberating it is.

Its my random feeling. There is much more to that, but I will write more detailed when I have strength to go into the depth. Now am I just so exhausted. 


I set down to write the post several times now and I draft my thoughts but I don't feel like posting it because it just isn't that ripe yet so i leave it. Some time next day or in few days I come back to it thinking I will finish it off and I read it through and I just don't feel like that anymore...which I guess It is a good sign because my drama just isn't "big enough" for sharing , it doesn't stick around, I over come it quickly and somehow it feels like I would offend all of you who suffer so much you can't even breathe normally with my day-to-day struggles on this "bulimia=suffering blog" ... yet I don't know if I have got myself together enough yet to say something inspiring..

Well, after 5 years of intensive recovery I seem to be able to get on top my crazy mind most of the time. Sometimes it takes a day to get on top of it, sometimes a week, two weeks, several weeks, even months, but at the end I manage to let go.

I have sorted out my health (more or less) I have sorted out my diet, I don't vomit and I don't binge, I don't mind myself most of the time, I don't think I am the fattest and the ugliest any more, I socialize more now - still very particular when it comes to people, not fond of random folks -  I recognize my anxiety and work with it regularly, recognize my emotions and can go deep enough to find the roots of those emotions, can meditate easier, can understand my past and my now, believe that my life is my business and I hold all the cards, I stopped blaming my parents for my struggling, I thank bulimia for what I know now, I love my husband for who he is and not only for how he makes me feel  and for what he can do for me anymore, I rely on myself, I love food and can handle fears around it that still arise time to time, I now know I don't die straight away if I sweat - although still struggle with this one -  , I take daily showers, I care about what I put in my body and on my body, I like walking in the forest and I am very mindful about Mother Earth, I love Mother Earth and I pick up trash whenever I can, I got myself into bikini (not in public yet though), I got less harsh with myself around my yoga practice, I surf, I find ocean very spiritual (I was terrified of it before) , I hate less, I laugh more, I express myself through art more, I became to be (very!) honest, I don't lie anymore, I don't steal anymore, I spend more and more time present , I have goals and hopes, I think of the future and it excites me (that one is my far favorite), I wish to have my own child, I am less selfish, I can say "you look great", I don't aspire to be super skinny anymore in fact I became to really like curves, I take good care of my mental health, I became friend with my mom and dad and my brother, I am a good friend (to those close to me, still a bitchy about those who I don't really like), I can take care of a cat, I make love to my husband, I am more faithful, less lost, I sleep better, I recognize my triggers, I am very honest with myself to myself about myself, I can look into the mirror and ......... say nothing, I like my face and my style half of the time, I am more in touch with a reality, I can distinguish between right and wrong and truth and illusion most  of the time, I now know I don't die If i eat more sometimes, I allow myself to eat junk food when I crave it, I listen to my body, I take care of myself when I am sick most of the time..

That's a few things I kind of got on top of over the five years, slowly but steadily. Sometimes I still struggle with these but most of the time am all good. I have been progressing, but what i still really suck at are relationships.
I am an absolute failure when it comes to relationships with people...

I have five genuine friends that I have gained over the past two years (in first three years of rehab I lost all the people, either because I annoyed them or because they annoyed hell out of me) that I love genuinely for who they are and not for what they can do for me. I also trust their love. For them I can be selfless, I am a good friend. Time spent with them doesn't feel like a waste of my time, instead they inspire me and they fill me up with love.

But there are those particular women out there who trigger hell out of me....
those women are all very organized and particular, follow a set schedule day in day out, they exercise three times a week on set days and they do Pilates on the odd days,  they have a set "family day" and a "hiking day" and a "baking day" and a resting day" .... they leave nothing to coincidence , everything is set and planned and always the same. They all act in a same way, their character is bitchy, because they are scared of the entire would, they dress safely, they ware jeans and their homes are set up as, well .... set up.
They share a lot of mannerism and they are very predictable, they share no emotions with anyone but one best friend from childhood or a brother/sister. My husband calls them 'Boring' I call them 'perfect' because they are everything that I am not and they kill me every time I come across them.

They are everything my father ever expected of me.
So every time I come across to one of chicks like this, a little Natasa inside me wakes up feeling like a failure all over again, because I never turned out to be this way and I made my father and mother suffer more than they deserve.

However, I got to learn that that is just a voice and an old pain.
I would NEVER change my life for "that kind of life" and most of the time I agree with my husband, they live a pretty boring lives. It is not coincidence that I am where I am. No! I worked my butt off to be where I am now and to be who I am now. I was to hell and back fighting for my purpose, fighting for my life, fighting for my place under the sun.

But,even in a good state of mind as I maintain now  I can't let go of the "not-real desire" to be one of them.
I glorify them, I admire them, I plan my schedule the way their schedules are.... Every Monday I schedule exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Walk or jog on Tuesday and Thursday, hiking and baking day on Saturday, cleaning and resting day on Sunday.... then, next thing I realize is -- surprise surprise , Its Thursday! I forgot about Monday's exercise and walking/jogging Tuesday and there I am, feeling like a complete idiot not being able to keep up with such a simple schedule and THEY are. Failure!!

It seems like I will never learn....

But then one day, just like 10 million times before, I went into my body to feel the pain caused by this "need" to be just like "them" .... and after a massive melt down and a serious crying I had my "aha moment"

But I am not "them". I am not "her" I am not "she" ... I am "me". And "me" is all I have got.
I don't like hiking and I don't like exercising and I don't like my life to be scheduled and I am not organized and I don't like jeans, and I don't like my home to be just set up, and I don't like baking on Saturdays, and I don't like waking up at 7am for no reason and stay up until 11pm just because that is what adults do.

This sort of epiphany moment was a beginning of something painful yet beautiful ---
Painful realization that I have NO fucking clue of WHO I am, and what do I want and need and how does MY day run. I set up my entire day with the fake image in my head -> perfection,  that is created entirely by my voices and  based on what "the voices" think "me should look like" and based on that made up persona my agenda gets set up....
morning Yoga every day, evening yoga 3 times a week, morning meditation every day, going into body on Monday and Thursday, Sunday alternately,  walk 4-5pm etc
But I am not that kind of a hard core yogi and I am not that kind of a hard core meditate-or and I dont like this kind of a structure and I can't and refuse to keep up with the scheduled week....
I even fake write in my calendar, because since I aspire to be super organized that requires a calendar diary so  I got myself one, but because I can't function with one, I fill it out at the end of the day or the next day pretending my day was very organized and busy. But 'me" doesn't do it....... the "persona in my head" does it ...The made up persona. Everything I think about, do, create, read, google etc I do based on what I supposedly like as "that persona" ....

Now who am I?
What does "the real me" want to read, create, do, think about ...??
Well, I am yet to learn that..

But it is a painful process because as I am aware of "ME" and "I-made up persona" I am more rational. And more rational I am, more I refuse to live that fake life, and more I refuse to live a fake life the more I wish to get to know myself, and the more I wish to get to know myself, the louder I shout back at my voices, saying literally "I am me, and nobody else. And me is all I got. Me doesn't like exercising, me is not her. Leave me alone!!!"
Tand the more i shout the wilder my voices get. ...
The good old "you are fat. You are getting fat. don't eat because you will get fat. you are stupid. of low intelligence. boring. lame. disgusting. worthless. not creative. worst that anyone. unsuccessful. uninteresting. not unique. if you don't set up a schedule you will become nothing. be like everyone else. run. jog. exercise. get a flat stomach. etc" is in my face all the time. Makes me cry.

This morning I set up my breakfast and got two pieces of toast on my plate and the voices yelled "you fat bitch don't eat two pieces you will be fat. you will survive with only one. " I cut one piece in half and ate one and half. Jono said something to me and I snapped. I was a bitch to him. Then I broke down. and I cried and I cried that I am me, and nobody else and that I can't live the way voices want me to, because that is not me. I wan't to live my own life and not someone else's life it is so hard to keep up with all the restrictions and limitations and expectations my voices have for me. I can't and I don't want to!! I cried my soul out first thing in the morning.

But I see the progress. And that is the beautiful part. For the first time in my entire life I am fighting for "ME" ... not for myself in a term of surviving physical dying. That was  a good fight that I won. But fighting for "me" ... for who I really am and for what really interests me. I want to get to know myself. Without my voices.  Process is very, very painful, but I can feel the Earth move. I can feel the movement. It excites me. At the same time, it seems like I fell behind with my recovery progress because the voices are brutal again, and being in the middle of this mess it is hard to tell which way am I going to.... Is this the pain before I "become a butterfly" or is this the pain before I drift further back?

Well I tell you that -- I REFUSE to fall behind!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lessons New Zealand has taught me

The idea of moving to New Zealand was rather exciting, and my entire body was buzzing from joy and excitement.  I was so ready and so happy about it.
I never saw myself age in Slovenia anyway.

Ages ago I met a cristal-ball-lady and she said there is a gypsy soul living inside me (totally!) and therefore I am not a settler, I am a mover. She said I will leave Slovenia and won't come back.

So buzzing guts, happy heart, man that I couldn't love more by my side, and the bad ass words from a psychic --- It seemed as I am all set for the move.

But the last few days before we left I stopped eating, anxiety replaced the joy and excitement, fears replaced the courage.

I felt as I am dying.

Lesson #1: Moving hurts

Old pain came back -- Family!
Although they were very supportive of our decision,I couldn't stop feeling terrible and guilty.
 "How will my mom survive without me? Am I giving up on them? How will my brother be?"

I felt like someone was tearing my heart apart. The sensation was so strong and so scary, it paralyzed me completely.
It was exactly the same to the one I had at one stage during my recovery when I was processing the cause of my eating disorder, processing the dark side of my family. It was the stage that lasted the longest and during that stage I wanted to quit my rehab every single day.
Realizing that my family is harming me (and themselves) broke my heart into pieces. I remember my therapist encouraging me (at one point telling me) not to visit them for a while, because they are so very toxic. I remember the image in my head and the sensation in my body as the world was falling literally apart, sinking into its own self. I physically couldn't breathe when processing that. The scariest thing ever. I saw the image and felt this sensation on the right side of my face.
The only truth I knew was now gone. If I have to live my life without them (not in a physical sense of the word but emotionally free from them) who am I then. My dad's opinion is the  only one that counts and the way my mom takes care of the family is the only right way, and if one isn't as successful as my parents one is worth less, because my parents set up those standards for me and my brother. They were my only truth. And I was expected to let go of that truth and find my own one?
I'd rather die.
That was definitely the darkest time of my life and I honestly just wanted to die.

Without my family am I nobody.

That is what my mother brainwashed me to believe "Tasi, friends come and go, Family stays."

It never mattered that my bulimia was born in that family, that I grew up with domestic violence, my mother being extremely passive  aggressive, my dad aggressive without boundaries... They were my truth.

I sort of processed that and with enormous amount of Jono's support I distanced myself from them at least so I could take a breathe and slowly, very slowly, I understood what my therapists were talking about and what did Jono mean everytime he said: "Babe, nothing matters, we are a family now."
The child inside me was screaming, but   slowly I managed to say No to my parents, stand my ground. But the inner child, the abused and "the wrong one" was not healed.
If my parents blew at me I would still tip over. They could manipulate me with their eyes closed.

However - -
I sort of pulled myself together and made few grown ups decisions, which actually helped my relationship with my parents (although The inner child hasn't been healed yet) but moving to NZ threw me straight back into the pool of the biggest pain.... like I have never even touched that area before.
It was so painful.
All over I felt like my world is falling apart, sinking into its own self. Who am I if I am not defined by my mom and dad and my brother?
How will they be without me?
The biggest pain was related to my brother actually. The physical pain when I hugged him for the last time at the airport was just insane.

The burden I carried months and months after we moved to NZ because my mom suffers so much because we left was just too much.

I knew my dad will be alright because he is a very logical man, and he put one and one together, figured out we are be better off in NZ and that is good enough for him.
But my mom and my brother hit the very rotten old spot.

I felt so much sadness it was insane. It felt as I died and I talked to my family and friends from heaven every now and then. Everyone was so sad. It took me about two months to realize I am not dead and I have life to live, then additional four months to pull myself together and process the actual sadness and loss of identity.

I grieved for the streets of my city and I still dream of my village.

Lesson #2: What defines you? Should anything even define you but you?

The strangest sensation in the world - who am I?
Things, places and people that defined me up to this point are no longer there.
I am on my own. Alone.
Am i slovene? Balkan? Slavic? Mom and Dad's daughter? Such and such's best friend? His sister?Non of that was there for me to lean on, to point at and say "That's it! That's me. I belong there!"

I have heard people say things like "We own nothing. We belong to no-one and no-one belongs to us." but experiencing that in practice was rather -- uncomfortable.

All I had was my own self, and my story.

For someone with such amount of selfhate relying on my own self was really beyond me.
If I tell people I am from Slovenia that means nothing to them. They don't get any clearer picture of who I am.They don't know whether Slovenia is a country or food. If I tell them I am Bosnian they know even less. Or even worse, they make an assumption that i am a refuge. If I tell them I am from Ljubljana, it is like I said I am made out of marshmallows.
Nothing would put some sort of a frames on "who am I" -  nothing but the way I spoke, the way I laughed, the way I interacted in that very moment. Me. Myself.

I don't know how, I don't know when, but it seemed to me as one day I just woke up stronger than ever before, relying on my own self, walking my own path. Still experiencing little to massive anxiety everytime I interacted with   someone or just walked outside (It took me 6 months before I walked outside by myself for the first time), but I overcame it each and every time.

It is quite liberating, actually, to be pure, simple YOU.
But we grow up believing that family brings safety. The village brings safety. Community brings safety. Whatever we are familiar with brings safety. But no. It is the very raw core of ourselves that can bring you safety.

I relay on myself now. I can tell people who I am without looking for the definitions that would help them get the IDEA about me.... no ideas. just me. true me. Natasa. The way I am because of me.
Not because of my family, not because I am Slovene and Bosnian (although I love the fact I inherited Balkan temperament and passion), not because of the way I grew up, not because of anything but myself.

Every now and then fear of depression and bulimia arises, but now I have the tools to pull myself together as soon as I realize how I feel, and I have been doing quite well.

Lesson #3: When feeling lost - go back to basics!

I had a period of two weeks when I became so very sad. So sad and unsatisfied. I set with that feeling day after day, trying to figure out what is it about and what to do with it. Thanks goodness for all those years of therapy and meditation. I set still and went into my body. I felt the sadness and it really hurt me but after couple of weeks of hard work and trying to feel it, it became apparent that the sadness is all about loneliness. I feel lonely. Ever since we have moved we have been unsettled, and had no time and space to make new friends. I miss friendship hug, laughter, support... I have Jono and we are best friends, but at least one other friend. I was able to understand the feeling of sadness, and I was able to embrace my loneliness. Suddenly, it all made sense, my life made sense. My situation made sense. My feelings made sense. I am displaced. I belong nowhere and that is a pretty sad realization. I know that from a psychological point of view we shouldn't even aim for belonging in a sense of the attachment, but I am talking about belonging as safety. Belonging as home. As space where you can slow down, feel and recover. And we had no such place, because life circumstances turned out the way they did and life gave us few more lessons before it would give us the "belonging" ..

Lesson #4: I don't have to be a bitch 
We moved to NZ with jobs waiting for us. But once we arrived they said they need additional 4 weeks before they can accept us. So there we were with no place to stay other than our parents. We needed this time because our relationship with Jono's parents was not glorious and we have been silently hurting one another big time for the past year and half. we needed some time together to restart the relationship, heal and recover from the invisible war.

it started off as a promising recovery, but after a week it all became even more painful. We simply can't meet my mother-in-law's criteria. We always disappoint, on all the levels. Either we sleep in for loo long or we don;t help around the house or we are using them or we are giving a vibe that they are too old to hang out with or we don't want to be engaged or we are too engaged or we aren't aiming high enough or we are aiming too high and are just the two dreamers or we don't earn enough or we are too generous or we let people use us or we are selfish or we are inconsiderate or we are too loud or too quiet. Being stuck in that situation for such a long time (we paid for food and at one point moved out) was both good and bad for us.... Good was that we protected out marriage so much that we would not once give my mother-in-law any material for any judgments which in practice meant I was the best behaved wife ever. I wasn't a bitch, I didn't comment every Jono's movement and I embraced him the way he is for the sake of not being seen as a difficult wife, I didn't whine and I didn't complain - at all! So, after this I had no more excused - If i could hold myself back for my parents in law I can hold myself back and not emotionally (ab)use Jono even if parents in law aren't around. Jackpot!!
But putting up a show for such a long period and being hurt by them because they just wouldn't embrace us as their children and treat us with unconditional love hurt both of us and the pain was real, especially for Jono as they were Jono's parents, so there was a lot of pain untreated and the day we left we both literally exploded. We hurt each other. But we also forgave eachother for all the bad words said in the fight and one more time proved to eachother how much we care and how grateful we are that that was our only second yelling fight we had in 6 years of relationship.
This was the moment that brought us closer again and for the first time I didn't see Jono as my support but someone I love and respect and someone whos heart can get broken as well and I should be there for him and support him just the way he always does for me. Very important break through in my behaviour and emotional development.

Lesson #5: You can only help this much
We took a role of teacher parents for the young boys (age 11-17) who have severe conduct disorder and mental health problems. With other words, for those from not a field of psychology - a very,very naughty boys. Their crimes vary from stealing cars, robbing big businesses, sexually assaulting other children and youth, heavy drug use and selling drugs, strong gang connections and being violent in public and their personal circle.  They come from heartbreaking background and their stories tear your heart apart, cut it right open! Growing up as product of a rape, seeing mother geting raped and beaten on daily bases, being heavily beating yourself, often needed to be hospitalized because of the seriousness of the injuries, being not fed, starve most of your childhood, get beaten by bet by your mother everytime she got high and the worst of all -- being left in this situation until your mother dies and you are 11 and you lose your mind because now you are a teenager and you are angry and all you know is violence, drugs and sex, and you are on a loos and the crimes you commit and bigger now and you put innocent people at risk the social workers finally pick up their game and think now its tie for you to get tome help, and they look for people like us who are willing to help and who will take such cases on board. So there we were, with two boys (three more waiting to join our household but were put on hold because one of the boys was way too dangerous and first he needed to be replaced - to prison, because their is no such treatment available for such heavy cases) who do drugs everyday and night, hate the system and all they want to do is to destroy the system and evrything related to the system, including you, who give them food, a nice big sunny room, clothes, love and professional treatments. Their strategy to destroy you is very violent with daily assaults, both physical and verbal, to the point that police dispatcher recognizes your voice when you call the police.  Their old pain coming out in a form that is painful for all of us, but you understand it. You know it is not the child's fault.
you can see the treatment work and soon they become to trust you a bit, though still attach you physically almost every day, and you can have some quite happy moments with them. You care so much for those boys that you love them with every fiber of your being yet at the same time you are scared of them because they can end your life at any point. We have been threatened to be killed on number of occasions and sometimes the treats were serious.

During the night they would be taking drugs, stealing from you, running out and coming back in the middle of the night and for every inappropriate behaviour you need to write an incident report and inform the police. Awake most of the nights, working hard from 7am till 11pm - in the mornings you need to get the household set up, shopping and cleaning, meeting lawyers, social workers, psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists, teachers, in the afternoon you need to be with the boys delivering the treatment, therapies and keep them sober.  You get one night a week off.

And as much as we cared for the boys and wished for them to get back on track and as much as their progress made our hearts sing and everytime they were able to hold a respectful conversation, ask you for an advice or simply love you was a magical moment, but we did't have enough support from our employers and support staff and we were burning out.  We have one rule: always protect the marriage! so we left! We left the situation with broken hearts but stronger than ever before, closer than every before, more connected and more inlove and respecting eachother more than ever before.

The progress I made during this time was equivalent to 2 years of therapies on weekly bases.

Lesson #6: If you don't protect yourself, no-one else will

It wasn't easy to leave because we cared so much for the boys and they progressed so much and they cared for us too, and they have no-one else who cared for them. We made wonders with those boys, but we reached the limit. We asked for more support, asked for more time off, and although they guaranteed and always reminded us that they will do anything to support us, they failed to fulfill their promise. By they I mean our employers.
They actually didn't care how we felt. they olny cared about how much use do they have from us.
And they used our commitment and our good hearts.
Leaving was especially hard for me because the voices were screaming things such as: "you are a quitter!" "You should be grateful they gave you the job." "You are weak." "if only you were perfect they [the employers] would fight for you."
All this crap, but I managed to look our boss into his eyes and say "it is not good enough for us."

At last, we were free.

Lesson #7: Relationships require sacrifice
Although we were free at last, it wasn't time for us to settle yet.
We had my brother visiting. We loved having him here and he was the best support in those hard times and he was the best and the easiest visitor, but anyhow we were on the road all the time, traveling around NZ. I was ready to move in into the new house and settle and rest and sleep and recover, and make some friends....but not yet!
He is our brother. Our dearest friend. Our family. the relationship with him was our priority. Creating home will wait.

Once my brother left, my cousin arrived. Same thing.
Our creating a home needs to wait. Tired and exhausted but we knew that when all is over and we are safe, we will be very grateful for both of them (brother and cousin) visiting us. And we are.

Brother and I needed that time together. It brought us closer together.

For new friendships you need to put an effort in. Go out and try. Fail and try again.
I wish we could just tap someone's shoulders who seems interesting enough and say "Hey, would you be my friend? or Would you try to be my friend?" just like four year olds do.

For old friendship you need to put even more effot in, and no matter how sleepy you are at night you answer that call and answer the messages. No matter how tough your life is at the moment, you share your pain with your friend so you dont lose the depth of the friendship.

And you realize how many friendships dry out before you even land into the new country. But that's ok. 

Lesson #8: Commit to stillness 

Finally it was end of March and my cousin left and we committed to stillness. We slowed down.
We couldn't wait to create a home, go into the community, meet people, explore our new town, see where do we even live and who are the people we share this space with.

When we slowed down the pain and suffering had time and room to come out but also , this time I had room and time to feel and process it all. Processing was very unpleasant, but  once I let go of those emotions beautiful things began to happen. I met my first friend. I freed myself from sadness. Jono's mom and dad started putting effort  into the relationship (we are all good now), my body stopped hurting me, I continued with yoga and meditation again, I began to create and write, and most importantly- I began to feel and understand. And belong.

Bonus lesson: If you have to push it, Don't! Just leave it. Let it become ripe.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Art of Letting Go

I have been trying to write a post about my life in New Zealand in chronological order, but i somehow don't  "like it"..... its just the sequence of events and its boring, although all the  events are very much bulimia relevant, because they have shaped me into the person I am now, buy nah ...

Then I realized ..
This is  exactly my problem ----- everything I do, I do with other people in mind. Will she like it? Will he mind? Will they get it? Does it make me look stupid in his eyes? Does it make me look worthless to her? What will she think? How will she get me? Am I sounding reasonable? Am I clear? Will they get me? If I dress this way will people think I am boring? If put this on, will people think I am out of my way? Should I be quite and say nothing? If I don't speak I am so lame, if I speak I am pathetic. I better not try this out because he will think I am beyond stupid, but better not try that out because she will look at me like what the fuck.

With these thoughts in my head I make decisions throughout the day.
5 thousands decisions made out of fear of what other people might think of me.
Day after day.
With every decision made out of fear of what other people will think of me it means I am not true to myself, but to them. To people out there, relevant or irrelevant to my every day life. 

It sucks. It truly sicks. And 5 years into rehab I still mind what people think of me.
It is getting easier as each day goes by, but still punish myself everytime I allow myself be true me -- "Now what will she/he think of you after they saw you walk this way? Heard you laugh oddly or say such and such thing....." my voices speak up.

It's so annoying because the entire rehab is about accepting myself for who I am.
Accepting the way I walk, the way I talk, the way I work, the way I drive, the way I think, The way I clean, the way I cook, I wake up, I make love,  I make friends.....

I just so so so sooooo badly want to let go of a burden of being suitable for everyone in every situation.
Fuck it, some people don't like me, I don't like bunch of people too. Some people are more organized than me and some are more active and some are better dancer and some are quieter and some are bubblier, and some are sexier and some are wiser.... But that ok, because they are just different.

I get it. I get it in theory.
I know we are all beautiful and gorgeous and creative and sexy and interesting and artistic and we smell nice.......but the difference between "The beautiful ones" and us is that they know they are beautiful, they are aware of their uniqueness and their strengths and we aren't. We are still so terribly afraid of who we are. 

The child inside us is still afraid of what mommy and daddy will think of us, and if you are as unlucky as I am then your mommy and your daddy are afraid of what their mom and dad will think of you, and their friends and the neighbors and people in the store and the whole village.....
So you grow up needing to please all the people in the entire universe so your mom and dad would get the approval that they did a good job raising a kid.

There is no way you can suit everyone. No way. And you shouldn't/
But I have that need to "be approved" by everyone ... the neighbors need to think that I am the best neighbor they have ever had. The mother-in-law must think that I am better daughter in law than her own daughter are. The kids in school must think that there is no better teacher in the world than me. Friend must think I am the awesomest and  they almost don't want to hang out with anyone else but me, because no-one is as good friend as me. The cat has to think I am the best owner in the world and the colleagues at work need to admire me and those that like me should look up to me and those that don't like me should feel like they should totally change their minds and start liking me. I mean the list goes on, I want to be perfect in every social situation at once!
Of course that means I am being hypocrite.

Underneath all of it I have this big desire to let go of that need and just be myself.

I feel the heaviness of this burden, I feel like there is a massively heavy brick that holds me down and I can barely breathe.
 I know if only I could take this brick off, I would feel such a relief and I would breathe normally.

So my mind gets it. My mind wants to fee itself, but then as I try to let go of this burden I seem to struggle. I keep coming back to it. I manage to let it go for a bit, I spread my arms and I honor my self, my life, my choices, my path and my purpose. I get it. And I feel it all. I am present in the moment and I am so grateful and don't feel any need to change anything. It's all so perfect and everything smells nice and a gray rainy day is the most beautiful color ever and the sun feels like its filling me up with light and colorful flowers and houses and cars and buildings seem like the most delicious fruits. Everything is just fine and I understand it all and I am thankful for my legs, my eyes, my belly, my hands, my face, my lips, my voice, my drive, my passion, my house, my cat, my friends, my family, my neighbors, my job, my challenges, my struggles, my yoga practice, meditation, food, books, furniture, people, animals, recovery, courage, writing, creating....
Then in the next moment "BOOM" .. its all gone. I don't see anything and I don't feel anything and most certainly I am not grateful for anything. Instead I whine and complain and nag and bitch and hate and envy and I wan't to change everything and everyone around me, and I wan't to change the way I breathe and I want it all RIGHT NOW!
Its so overwhelming.

Then once I catch myself drifting away I now exactly know what to do.....I need to sit still, go into my body, process the suffering and let it go all over again..... Until it comes back.

So this art of letting go is what recovery is all about.
It isn't a struggle, it is a practice. It is a creation. It is ART.

It keeps coming back but you must keep letting it go. Until it is completely gone.

And there is where I am at at the moment.

I am still letting go and it is still coming back.
It is not entirely gone.

The desire of approval of others, fitting in with everyone, being everyone's favorite and not allowing myself be myself, make mistakes and not be everyone's favorite is   my current piece of art I am creating right now.

During writing this post I went through tears and heartache. Through a massive melt down. Through several layers - from resisting the truth about myself to realizing I am the one suffering because of it to accepting my role and my responsibility in this story to letting go of the desire of perfection to accepting myself for who I am, a little bit more.

Now I have peace in my heart.
I removed that brick of my heart.
I took a breath.

I honor myself and I count blessings.

I hear the rain outside and it makes my heart sing.
I smell the fire and it warms my bones and I look around me and all I see is a house filled with love and hope, I see the cat that we rescued and I am thankful for having a big enough heart  to save her life. I see my husband and my heart is about to burst from the gratefulness I have for this man, I remember the conversation we had in the morning about loyalty for yourself and for your partner and the responsibility we have to live our lives with open hearts, letting our inner artists roar. He allows me to be honest with myself, with what I feel, although the truth isn't pleasant for him. He accepts it because he knows I am on a journey to recover from this madness. He knows I am still learning and growing and developing. He forgives (How, I don't know, but he does. He never holds anything against me.) I am so, so, so thankful for his massively big heart, wisdom, encouragement, love and friendship. Looking at him now I feel I want to have his child. I feel we will do good with bringing another life into this world because we will raise him well and we will make sure his heart is big and open and he/she will help the world become a little bit nicer place.
I feel that and the fears and doubts all drop.
I keep looking around, and I see this gorgeous rustic house of ours, beautifully decorated by our won hands, I take time to look at each peace of art and I understand they speak our story and I realize.....our life is good. I realize I don't have to be sporty and "hot" and cellulite free, I don't have to jog three times a week and eat greens when I don't feel like...I am a child of this universe and I am as beautiful as everyone else and I am not into sports because I am an artist and that is ok.
I smell bread I made and I am thankful for my mother who taught me  how to cook, who equipped me well for this grown up world kitchen wise. I see the yellow blanket we bought the other day because It is cooling down and my heart goes tinga-linga-ling, I see our yoga mats and I smile as I remember my yoga practice this morning, how I overcame the fear of sweating (heart raise and sweating always remind of panic attacks so I really struggle with sports, but yoga teaches me how to gently push myself towards the dark places and face the fears.) and I am happy.
I need nothing, because everything is here.
My cellulite on my butt has nothing on the peace in my heart right now.

And I know it will all come back, but right now I am able to be present in this moment, in my body and because of this peace right now I know that the very next time when the darkness comes back, I will be able to let it go a little bit easier...... until it is all gone.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

1 Year Fast Forward

  It has been 16 months since I wrote last. 16 months filled with craziness, growth, fighting, fears, hopes, dreams,insanity, heartbreaks and heartaches, letting go, changes, movements, breakdowns, successes, but here I am - 16 months later, feeling better than ever. For the first time in my entire life I stand my ground, I speak my mind, I am not terrified of who I am. For the first time I have control over my mental state, my bulimia, my voices.

It was November   2014 when I wrote last and I wasn't doing fine. Depression came back in September 2014 and it stayed with me until May 2015. When I put starting and ending date like this I am talking about the period of my life when I simply couldn't cope. The struggle was real all the time up to that point, but I coped. And after that, but I cope.

During this time I saw hell all over again. I hit the bottom again. I didn't go back bulimic behaviors in a sense of food and vomiting though, but it was a very dark period of my life and for  6 months I went straight through hell before taking a breath.

Maybe I was due to get depressed again but it all started in September when I went back to work after summer holidays and I absolutely couldn't stomach being there because of the way they treated me, yet was too weak at that point to stand my ground. It got even worst in October when our friend did a really nasty thing to us. she was very nasty before that every time we interacted, left the wedding after an hour, never replied my messages....long story short -  she was ready to get rid of us, so one day she heartlessly and successfully did get rid of us!
She invited us over for her birthday party then cancelled us one hour before we were suppose to come.
I messaged her in the morning to confirm the time for lunch and her husband messaged back saying lunch was not at 1pm but 12 and that we can come for a cake at 3. We said that we will be able to make it by 12 as we are ready, to which he again said to come for a coffee at 3pm. I then told him to stop bullshiting and just admit that they aren't counting on us at all, to which he admitted his wife didn't count on us. That was end of our friendship but beginning of one of the biggest struggles I faced.

I got so wildly obsessed with her that my therapist needed to change her approach in helping me.
I got so wildly mean towards my own self I dont even know If I am able to find words to picture the insanity! Every living moment I spent transforming myself into her. To start with I wanted to go back in time and change everything and make her like me more. Well, That I could not do, no matter how many break downs I went through. Her getting rid of us means we arent good enough. I am not good enough. If only I was good enough, this would not happen! I spent next several months beating myself down for not being good enough, glorifying her and hating myself to the core of my being. Every time I moved my foot, arm, or head, my voices screamed that I am not moving the right way and that She moves so perfectly. When I picked up a glass of water, I instantly got triggered and I got an image pop up in my head, an image from a memory I had, real life, and voices screaming: "She picks a glass up perfectly, look at you, you worthless spook, you are ugly!" I Remember how number of times when I set into the car and closed the door the voices got beyond crazy shouting I am a worthless bitch and She sits in the car perfectly." Seeing Her in my head.
 All i could do is just scream and cry from the pain caused by this insanity. Everytime I did any work around the house - same story. Everytime I laughed. Everytime I set down to eat my lunch, dinner, breakfast. Whatever. She was in my mind along with my voices screaming and shouting! Day and night!
When I made coffee - wrong attitude! I dont lean to the right leaning on my hip.
When Eating breakfast - wrong eating breakfast! I don't eat cereal and low fat milk nor do I read newspaper.
 When we went out for a drink - wrong wrong wrong!! I dont even have my own drink! (Her drink is AperolSchpritz with no exceptions).
When I set still those were the worst ones - torture beyond torture!! Screaming voices in my head that I am so lazy where she is so active. If that was her, She would be outside walking. Because the voices were so controlling I would humbly put my shoes on and go out, in a rain, in a snow, with a fever. walking, because She would go for a walk.
 Evenings were in tears all the time because I dont shower everynight, but she does and I am a stinky, yucky hippie and she is so organized and focused and clean and she would NEVER go to bed without the shower! Screaming voices would always get me showering after a painful breakdown. (Ok, that one isn't that bad, shower hasn't killed anyone, but still...seriously? Every night even if you are lazy at home not sweating at all??)
I hated myself for not horseriding and thisone was a  tricky one because at the (literally!!) same time I made myself NOT to go for a horseride (I did little bit of horseriding then quit because I am not as good as She is) because I am not as good as she is, and wanted to do because I wanted to be a copy of this bizarre perfection/illusion going on in my head at that moment.
Not to mention how much suffering the-way-I-don't-talk-to-Jono-the-way-she-talks-to-her-husband I went thought. Well, she is mean towards her husband, but in my head they obviously have nothing but PERFECT marriage.
 I wanted to do pilates because she does it, and she is perfect, and I wanted to change the entire home decoration because our home decoration is bohemian/rustic and hers is classic. I wanted to move into another apartment because our apartment was retro and hers is classic/modern. I obsessively looked for lakes where we could go to because she lives close to the lake and swims all the time. I wanted to get myself jeans because my style is bohemian/gypsy and hers is well.... nothing.... i dont give her credits on that one ha! But, I anyway i almost drowned in my tears having breakdowns because I should get running shoes, hiking shoes, walking in the forest shoes, working shoes, jeans just like her. I made this clever plan on how I will become organized. Organized?! Me? I mean seriously! I have lived with bulimia since age of 11 or 12 or whatever because I can't cope withn the system where everyting is organized and set up, and the whole purpose of my bulimia was to release the control. Let go. scream vomit kick whatever, just let gooo! And there I was, planning on becoming organized. Well, I one morning also looked up how to become an Austrian citizen. Anyway, the list goes on and you got the picture...Things got a little bit out of control. And when I say every living moment I had an image (That I created about her) about her in my head, I quite mean that! Day and night! Those were not random thoughts that would pop up every now and then, those were insanely bizarre, sick, violent thoughts I had GLUED in my mind ALL-THE-TIME!!! I was addicted to her and obsessed with her, addicted to the pain the thought about her caused,to the "excuse" for a self hate. But I really didn't see the way out.
And you know what...She was the worst one, but not the only one that woke up such enormous selfhate. There is a pattern.

One day when waiting for my therapy I was looking through old emails and I found her emails. By that point I spent about 6 months of this insanity and increased therapies and alot and a lot of work, so reading through emails with a little bit of distance I could see, for the first time, that we were actually never friends! There was nothing. She was using me as a back up just in case they move to New Zealand and I would be a friend to start with, but then they decided not to move to NZ and she didn't need me, so she pretty heartlessly got rid of me. And I was using her for feeding my bulimia.

Then in December my husband Jono and I went back to Africa for a month. Depressed as I was I wasn't looking forward to the trip. It was like I sensed something isn't right.  When we arrived we were picked up by a friend of mine and our boy .. Should be joyful time, but I was numb. I was last in Uganda three years ago, and it was first time for Jono.
 However, the very next day I got shock of my life and it felt like I got hit by truck. We spent the day at the project and our hearts got broken for ever. The boys were the way they were when I last saw them, still stealing to one another and lying, the only thing that changes is that they became very materialistic and our first interactions all started with "Auntie Natasa, get me an iphone. Get me an ipod. Get me original allstars, get me bike. Give me 2000 shillings. Get me a passport" Project I helped to start with another girl from UK back in 2009. The project should support street children in Uganda, give them home, education and heath, and sort their messed up lives out. Like for example, help them to stop stealing and lying and begging for stuff.
As I didn't visit Uganda for three years I didn't know how bad it was, and I supported the project financially. Sent thousands and thousands of euros to "my friend" in a good faith that she is doing a good job. I noticed the change in her and also she obviously wasn't fond of me as much as my Austrian friend wasnt, nut she needed me for money. Jono was telling me all the time that she is dodgy and not fond of me, but I was in a denial, as this is what i do best. Well, at last,. my eyes were open. The project was ruined, corrupted, her and her husband were using the money I was sending for their personal shit, the boys didnt have couches, the house wasn't painted, they had no idea I am sending all the money for their breakfasts and treats and trips etc.
I screamed and I cried and I was fighting against the betrayal,  against another heartbreak. We decided to stay for the boys and just spend all the money on fixing up the house then talk to my friend about "what the fuck is going on" and if no resolution then leave the project. Well, we did ask "my friend" what the fuck is she thinking, and that was last I ever heard from her.
But leaving the project was terribly hard and complicated. Our boy was still there. We loved all 30 of them but one in particular adopted us as his parents.   How to leave him? We tried to adopt him, spent next 3 months spending all the money, which was thousands and thousand of euros, on lawyers and documentation needed, such as passport, birth certificate, tracing down his parents, getting the permission, arranging court dates, saving money for tickets for going back to Uganda to attend the court, paying for a "blessing" his  parents gave us with feeding the whole village , dealing with corruption and then finally realizing two things: 1) it will not work out because he is too old, 2)My motive is unhealthy.
After the second day in Uganda I did something that made my marriage suffer for the first time (other than suffering all the time because of my mental health problems lol) --- I shut Jono out of my life completely. Physically, emotionally,  mentally. I was literally obsessed with saving my boy. Not our boy, but MY boy! I became obsessed with MY boy!! This obsession was a little different to the one with Austrian lady. I didn't want to become My Boy but I wanted to have him next to me all the time, physically!
I stopped talking to Jono, I was only happy if I had a good talk with my boy, and we talked everyday. If he didn't call for a day I lost my mind! I felt rejected. Betrayed. Hurt. I felt worthelss. I felt useless and therefore he swapped me for another "mom" who is more fun, intelligent, creative, confident, capable... I went from one break down to another and it was all about ME. Although it looked like I massively care about My Boy that wasnt the case. I only cared about how he made me feel. When he made me feel needed and wanted and chosen then I got my fix.
 I totally emotionally betrayed Jono. Then one day he told me he sees no future like this and that if we don't do anything about it we wont make it.
I remember being so mad at him, how does he dare to put ultimatums on our marriage while I am trying to save last bits of what was left  from my broken heart. 5 years of my entire life was gone. There was that massive hole that now needed to be replaced. I am aching to the point that I cant breathe anymore and all I want is to die. The thoughts about dying were with and I haven't had suicidal thoughts for ages, and there he is, the man who is suppose to love me, telling me is unhappy because we don't talk, nor do we have sex. How does he not understand that this project was my life, before i committed to him I committed to the project. how selfish of him!!!
I was absolutely terrible. I failed as a wife massively! Not for a minute I thought about him, about the pain he is going through because of me.
But I did think about what he said and soon I realized I will need to choose between "my boy" and my husband. I was very clear to me choosing husband is what I want to choose, after all he was so supportive and so beautiful to me all this time, we worked so hard to be where we are, going through serious mental health issues, addiction, he never failed to protect me. And with this thought in my head I realized my obsession with the boy is everything but healthy and after I spent weeks and weeks working through this emotion, I was able to see that I want to be "his mom" I want to be needed and wanted and thanked for. I want to have my own kids too.
Once I learned that, I was able to hug my husband again. That was after three months.
It took me additional 6 months to let go of my boy. 

All this was happening while I was very sick. I was on a sick leave for three months. The damage to my body that was caused by bulimia was tremendous. My intestines were cut from the inside and I got bunch of hemorrhoids.  I needed two surgeries and the recovery was the most painful ever! Every single day I was reminded of the pain I went through when I vomited and overdosed on laxatives and other pills. I was so afraid of my own self. I couldn't distinguish whether I am going through this pain because i am doing it again or because something else. The lines between reality and non-reality were blurry again. My addictive personality wasn't helpful at I was given painkillers to reduce the pain and needed to take them every day, in no time 3 painkillers a day were not enough. I no time I started taking 6 at once, 3 times a day. So that was shit as well.

This not being enough, I hooked up with another mental health person,who was also very involved in our African project. She was borderline and god give her peace, we were terrible for each other.
Yes, losing a project was a nightmare and leaving the boys was heartbreaking but if one is mentally unstable everything feels 100x heavier. If two are mentally unwell everything feels like 500x heavier.
I was addicted to her just like I was addicted to the painkillers and my boy and in the past to vomiting, food and laxatives. We were feeding of each other. It was terrible! We made eachother feel like shit. But that was the whole point. The more we felt like shit the more we needed each other. We talked big talks about our pain, suffering, mental health, heartbreaks, betrayals ALL.THE.TIME. With no stop. We felt sorry for ourselves and for each other. Drama, drama, drama!!! I stayed up during the nights to talk to her about her drama, because she lived in Canada so timezones are opposite, and she stayed up during her nights to talk about my drama. I didn't put my phone down for a minute (again, meaning quite literally!) We talked on FB, we talked on viber, whataap and skype at once. Going through same stories over and over again, all the time!! To the point that I cired everytime I saw her name on my chat (she probably did too) and I wanted it all to stop! Thanks to my therapist, my husband, and my rich experiances with addiction I was able to put an end to this one!
 I decided to get Canadian-Friend-clean. I deleted my Facebook for good (God bless me for that!!), I deleted her phone numbers, contacts, emails. I meditated and meditated and mediated, really worked hard on letting go and in March 2015 I took my first breath!
Everything else followed. Not that I was free from my mental-buddy and got rid of Facebook I had more time and space to deal with other shit as well. And for the first time in 3 months I didn't need to take painkillers as the pain from the surgeries finally stopped.

While this was happening, my beloved friend who  makes jewelry launched her new collection called "Wear it like a crown" titled by song Wear it like a crown by Rebekka Karijod. I listened to that song not to lie, about 300 times (yes, my addictive personality does not know boundaries) and there was just something about that song - each and every word spoke to me, until for the billionth time I heard the song and I had my epiphany moment - "This is how I feel!! I am afraid of who am I becoming! Afarid of letting everyone and myself down!!" The song became my best friend! A friend who felt me and understood me and the friend who gave me the best advice with its line saying
"'Cause if I don't follow my heart this time,
I'm gonna forget what this life is all about,
I'm gonna take that path, I'm going in on my own,
I'm gonna take that fear and wear it like a crown"


If I dont follow my heart this time, I'm gonna forget what this life is all about! were the words echoing in my head once I really understood what they meant, and There I was, decided to follow my heart this time, so I don't forget what this life is all about!
That day when Jono came from work we set in the middle of the living room and I said - "Babe, I get it! We are together for something greater than just saving my life. We are together so together we can go out into the world and help kids who need help. It is not about you and me, it is about those who need some love. Lets leave."
Jono said "Africa or New Zealand?"  I could take another breath.
We decided to start with New Zealand to balanced up our marriage so I get an opportunity to get familiar with an environment that shaped him.
Now this is last week of April I am talking about here.
And it was our spring break in school. We went to Italy for few days, celebrating our engagement anniversary, I resigned from my school and for the the third time I could take a big breath and burden of my chaotic life became a little bit less heavy.

I applied for visa and in August we packed our backpacks and moved to New Zealand.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Grey cloud

Lately I have struggled a lot. Such strange times. I mean I struggle every day like all of you with ed, but it seems like I got stuck now. I can't get out of this grey cloud. Its choaking me. It is like I wanna break free, but don't know how. It is like I wanna be happy, but I don't know how. I keep choosing bulimia over my life.
My little room where I deal with body pain and emotions and do yoga got stuffed up with junk, a slovely but surely over the past two months.

Rehab hasn't been my priority. I haven't worked much with my emotions, and I have neglected myself over all. It has been over two months since I did yoga last time.

I got my priorities wrong. I don't even know how I ended up with so much work.  Mostly because I can't say no. So I got way to many kids to work with. I love the kids but I don't love myself after a long day. All I can do at 6pm when I get home is breakdown and cry, and get myself together for some study before bed time.
I haven't cooked much lately which irritates me. I still depend on a quality home cooked food. I kind of reflect the food, and the food reflexes me. If a food is a junk food I feel like garbage. If the food is fast I feel restless. If the food is out of a bag I feel guilty.  If I don't take care of my meals is like I don't take care of myself. I show self love through food.
That's basic self love.

I just quickly grab a snack in the morning, without putting any thoughts into it, and I feel like a crap. Or I just buy some bread from the bakery, it is like I hate myself.
Through food I think about myself.
If I treat my meals pooorly, I treat myself even poorer.
I am still very bulimic.

Then I promise myself everyday that I will stop it and change it. How difficult can it be to get back to a good cooking......??? Well, very! Apparently!! I just can't break through. I come home so exhausted and I spend so much time with a melt down that I run out of time and energy to cook. My husband cooks sometimes for me but it just isn't the same.

I tried to catch a routine with getting up at 5.30am so I get some time by myself in the morning. I like it and it is going well, but it is not like I can do much. Before I even know I am run over by the everyday shit, and my morning hour is a drop into the ocean.

I lost the routine. I am freaking out. Literally.
I still depend on a routine so much, and this might never change.
And having no routine is like going 5 steps backwards.

I tried, mostly for the sake of my husband, and to proove myself I can live without the "friend who doesn't give a fuck about me"  to socialize a bit more lately. 1 out of 10 times give me some satisfaction but the rest is just "I did it because I am a human being and this is what humans do."
People are so tiring. I can't really talk about my depression and bulimia.... I hear stuff like "oh cmon Tas, you got it all " / "go for a run" / " that's because you are a woman!" / " have a kid. You all forget about your problems." / "we all have problems" / "just say no to your voices."
People know now that I am a bit more social now and they call me, they need me,they ask me shit, they tell me their problems, they wanna hang out ....... And it is tiring, gosh it is.
Sometimes I do feel very blessed to be loved by certain people (until the voices kick in) ... But I find it very difficult to hang out because I can't say I am feeling fine when I  spend most of my time numb and the other part I spend crying, and people are not ready to accept that. I find it very difficult. Also I find it difficult to be a friend! I don't fucking know how to be a  friend. Do I have to say something? Do I have to just listen? Do I have to be fun? It is hard to be a good friend when you don't feel a shit of your body and nothing has any value. It is difficult to be a friend with voices in your head commenting your behavior non stop: "you laugh weirdly! You are fat! You are boring! You are lame! What was that about? You sound weird ...etc"

That shall will pass, aye?

I miss my life, I miss myself, I miss my recovery so much!!!
I miss routine, cooking, and yoga! I miss making love. I miss music and I miss dancing.
I am not happy. Even music doesn't wake up anything inside me. I am cold. I feel like I could just spread my arms and dance, but the voices don't let me . bulimia doesn't let me. It doesn't want me happy.

It tells me that nothing in life has value. Nothing matters. Nothing is real. Nothing will stay. Nothing is worthed. Nothing is interesting.
No one means it when they say I am cool. They all take it. They all lie. Nothing is warm, nothing is certain.there is no love and no depth. There is no beauty.

Only emptiness.

But I am ready. I am ready for it to be over. I am ready to live. I am ready to feel. I am ready to love, to dance, to sing, and to be loved, I am ready to give and I am ready to accept. I am ready to believe again and to be faithful. I am ready to spread my arms and smile. I am ready to appreciate and I am ready to pray again. I am read to yoga, to create, to read, to write, to cook, to make love, to be s human. To be a wife. A friend. A daughter. A sister.
I am ready to be present! Oh boy I am ready for that!!!

Once every ten days I hit a good day, when the sleep was good, the moon is right, the hormone are leveled, the temperature is perfect, and over all everything falls into a place. When all of it fits, my voices are quiet and I live. I feel. I love. I smile. I laugh. I accept and I give!
Other times I am like a fog.

This is my prayer.

I pray to open my heart!!

I pray for you to open your heart!
I pray that we all find the perspective where life will make sense from.

I pray for us all to find faith. To believe in something so strong that even in the darkest days we have something to hold on.

I pray for us all to quit facebooks and and live. OK this one is for me, you keep Facebook if you want, but I waste so much time on it and we know what Facebook does to you.

People will poo on us. Trash us. Let us down. Dissapoint us. Those who we believed in the most. And those will hurt the most . and we might find it hard to let go. Ego will not let you go. But you have to do yourself a favour and give respect and let that mother fucker go!
If they don't give a shit you just have to have faith that even without their shit you will be fine. Just fine!

I actually don't know how to do it with my voices in my head all the time. when the voices are telling me I am worth nothing without that person and that my life is not as beautiful as hers it is difficult to keep my head above the water
.. I guess what helps me is that I don't fight back but I admit I am aching at the moment, of obviously missing her..... Then the pain lasts shorter than if I fight against it and look for the reasons why she isn't worth of my friendship and I feed my happiness only if I find a proof that her life isn't perfect....this shit is tiring ... but sometimes it just takes control and the voices maske me suffer and there is not much you can do about. My therapist tells me to tells myself :" OK, I am weak now. But this is not me."  I can't do it. Because it seems and feels like a reality, so this is me......

Ultimatelly you have to give yourself a permission to walk away from any situation that doesn't make you happy. Period.

Look for faith.

Because everything is OK. Just OK.

Monday, October 6, 2014

None of us fits

It was a very hectic month.
The work started and it has been exhausting. I would come home at 5pm, make dinner, eat, break down, sleep. Day after day. The work itself is good, I got a pay rise and the hours I want, but there is much more work to do than ever before. I love working, but I am just a bit too busy. The dynamic this year is different. There is no room for fun stuff, and for creative teaching. All seems to be boxed up, and it is just go go go.  I lost faith in myself and I have no clue how good I am. The children are progressing big time on daily bases, and I guess that means that I am doing a good job, but honestly, I think I could do it better. I lost my patience few times and I hate myself for that. But I don't know where the line is.....where is me aiming for perfection because I am unwell, and what could really be done better. I would have random breakdowns and the voices would get completely mental.....Like as mental as a year or two ago, even as mental as three years ago at the beginning of my rehab, just that this time the attack lasts shorter, but it is very mental. It happens somewhere around my eyes.... I get that strange feeling when I stop feeling my body, but I only feel the area around my eyes. I feel it for a short few seconds and then is gone.....I am gone......the reality is gone. I become a different person. I change. I live different life. I live a different truth. It is such a torture that all I can do I cry and beg it to stop. It gets so out of control that I physically cannot breathe anymore. It tunes me out and my head goes so crazy it is like I would listen to 5 different radio stations at the same time and all of them were very, very violent.
But I believe it all. And I am very mean. I am harmful and hurtful. I am not a nice person. I am mean to my husband. He sticks around, and continue supporting me, but I make him cry that mean I get.

Other times I would have, comparing to this very severe break downs, just a melt down. I torture myself for not being perfect, but I still recognize my behaving. I know it is happening and I know I need to go in my room and deal with the pain that just got woken up.

Over the past few weeks I would experience a sever mental break down once a week and a melt down like twice a week, so it has been very tiring.

Beside work, I continued torturing myself with the friend that is not a friend. I treated it as an addiction and I could keep sober for couple of weeks, but I ended up breaking down after two weeks. Then I would pick myself up and continued protecting myself for another two weeks. Everytime the thought "You are not good enough and that is why she is not prioritizing you. If only you were perfect, she would put effort in this friendship. she is perfect. She is active, organized, confident, determent, interesting etc and you are not!" everytime I noticed I am glorifying her, I would change the thought. And it works for another 10 days, then I give in. But it started mattering less to me, until I gave in last Saturday and asked if she would come over. Of course she didn't have time and so she suggested to meet in two weeks time. When I double checked if we can book that Saturday she said AGAIN that she might have family stuff going on because it is her birthday next day. I asked for another day before that and she never replied. Ever since I have been a bit too mental about it again. I cant stop the thinking about why she doesn't like me or why doesn't she put any effort into our friendship. I go on and on and on and I just don't stop. It is quite tiring. There is part of me that goes : Fuck it, like it matters. She just doesn't benefit from your friendship and that is wwhy she doesn't wanna invest into this friendship." And it actually calms me down. Other times rational thinking has no chance. ANd this is how it was for the past three days....... I kept stressing over that every living minute. Even when I thought I am not thinking about it, I did. I would be checking her facebook and trying to find a clue where did it go wrong. what changed? what happened? I would peak on Whatapp to see when was she last seen on whatsaap and she spends more time on there than me and I am pretty addicted. Everyinme I check she is there or was there just few minutes ago, and then I drift into a pain because I see how much time she spends on the phone yet she would never answer me straight away or within few days. I cry and I ache. Then, a healthy thinking   strikes in again (current state) and I see the things from completely different perspective. Yesterday I realized that it all started when I realized that she just doesn't want to open up with me, and I told myself: "That's fine, there ar epeople like this that they just need a lot of time to open up and they may still not be the first starting with their personal life." so I told myself to just try and be more direct with questions and she will answer those. she never did. I would ask the direct question and she just wouldn't answer. then I realized that oh my god, we are not even friends. we cant be friends if she doesn't trust me. then I realized that if I stop texting and calling that our "friendship" will end. But I wasn't willing to do so. So I decided to postpone my action and give another chance. I gave clear signs that I want to be involved in her life and her new born baby. I asked for the pictures. I asked how the baby is. How she is. when to visit. I wrote letter to the baby. sent stuff over. invited over. I even forgot about the fact that she didn't stay at our wedding, she left after the ceremony without letting us know. She just left. and there was the place for her empty at our table. But I got back even less.
and in a mean while while I was hoping I will get a feedback, I was aching.
I spoke to her once how I feel and she assured she is fine with me. but she clearly isn't.
and I just don't give myself a permission to walk away.
but yesterday I got angry for the first time, which I suppose is a good sign, because I think like: I am tired putting an effort into this relationship without getting anything back. And should be good enough reason to let go. as soon as I felt better about it, the sick mind kicked in, and it is telling me "noooo don't let go, just go back to being the one texting and asking." but I don't want this kind of a friendship. I do have other friends that do check on me and randomly text me or call me and ask me how I am. 
we probably started the friendship with different expectations and I thought we are real friends and she thought we are just useful friends and over the last year it got obvious that we cant work out and that we just aren't real friends. She changed and I am bad with changes, she has her own priorities and my friendship is not one of those. I miss her. I would lie if I said I don't miss her. But hey, she doesn't miss me. and friendship is a two way thing.  I grieve and I ache, but I have to let go.

My imperfection is my pain.
Change is not my friend.

I don't know how to cope with my imperfection, and I don't  know how to cope with change.
Both are the only truths in life. We are all imperfect(y perfect) and change is constant.

I am not perfect teacher, I make mistakes sometimes and my "friend" change to the point that is in a way to our friendship.

I understand this, but my ego doesn't. Ego is mean. It feeds itself with this situation and it go so big that it filled up my entire mind. but just knowing what is happening is a big relief. It feels like I will be ok, because it makes sense, because I can understand it.

I don't like being mentally unwell, because no matter how beautiful my life is (and it is beautiful big time) I get hooked with one or two things that are not perfect and let them run my life.
Its so sad and so tiring. I know you all experience the same, and the eating disorders are all about could win a trip around the world and you could be loved by the prince and you can have amazing friends, but mother fucker you ate too much for your lunch so now everything is broken, life sucks and you are not worth being alive. Or a stranger on a street gave you a weird look so your good life doesn't matter any more. or, your friend is neglecting you and nothing else matters but that, it is all your fault and one day you will be perfect and then those things will not be happening.

its a bullshit.
Your split personality will always be in a way and your ego will always find something. If not this then some thing else, but you cant run away.

You have to give yourself a permission to not be good enough for some people and in some situations. You have to give yourself permission to feel unloved and not wanted and believe that we all experience that some time and it is not because you failed, it is because some people just don't feel the same way. there is no way that everyone will ever love you and that is ok, that means you are doing something are not banding under someone else' criterias but you are true to yourself and in a mean while someone doesn't like you that way. that's ok.

How to shut the ego the fuck up, I don't know.
My therapist tells me to make myself feel a body, feel my breathing and say :"You keep on going, but I am bigger and stronger." and to try not actually resist to the voices, not to give them the power, instead, just redirect the attention to the body. if it gets too much and the ego simply is too strong then giving in is not a failure anyway. it just got too strong, and that is painful, you are the victim of ego's violent play, go into your body pain and let yourself feel broken and weak.

What I do, I always resist. I set up rules and I get angry and I just participate in the ego's play.
I am as stubborn as my ego is and that aint good.
I am not nice to myself even when I recognize the voices. I just don't take care of myself. I let ego punish me because I deserve it anyway. I just don't have that faith that I deserve peace and selflove.
I know most of you feel the same way.

its such bizarre thing.....its torturing me I am not normal and I live odd life, but it itself is making me not normal. I cant live normal life, and average life, I am not normal, I am not average. I have mental condition and I am over coming bulimia. I cant live normal life like the rest of the world. Neither can you! but I so badly wanna fit in, I don't let myself be different and openminded, I don't let myself recover. its such a goddamn circle. nothing makes sense.

I am different. I am recovering. I have eating disorder. I live differently. I feel differently. I think differently. I eat differently. And I should go from there.

It is ok. we all have our story. None of us fits. None of us is normal. Those that we call normal need the psychiatrist more than we.

I am broken, and that is fine.
I am recovering. I am trying.