You’ll always get what you’ve always got….
Easy to say but making changes is often not the easiest thing to actually do.
Recently (there’s a blog coming up about running will also relate to this!) I’ve been trying to reflect on what is really behind my seemingly unstoppable ability to self sabotage all and any efforts to make positive changes in my life which I know, in my heart, I need to make.
When I look back to the time in my life I felt ‘at my best’, it wasn’t in my 20’s when many people travel, enjoy the freedom of adulthood and live life to the max. During that time, I was in a controlling, unhealthy relationship which led to me developing an extremely unhealthy relationship with food and me being extremely underweight. I wasn’t anorexic but I was very clearly unwell and my body displayed the symptoms to prove it – not that I listened! The ending to the relationship was traumatic to say the least and took some dealing with.
As I headed into my 30’s, I was pretty much a different person. What I’d been through in my 20’s shaped my personality and made me determined that never again would I be controlled by another person. There were other legacies from my 20’s including the need to recover from my abysmal eating habits. Essentially, as I healed, I started to live my 20’s but it was as if it was on FFWD in order to catch up.
With some bumps in the road, things improved. I had a great career which took me all over the country and made me feel I was really making a difference. I was fit, healthy and personally happy. Life was good. Yes I had put on weight but I was healthy.. My body was fuelled by good nutrition which supported my workouts, challenging career and active social life. I was in good shape!
Looking back – this is when I think I was truly my best self. Forgive me the slightly cringey ‘american-ism’ but actually it is the best way to describe how I felt.
So, going back to my starting point, if nothing changes then nothing changes!
Yet clearly something has changed. Over a period of 10 years I have allowed myself to move from a healthy way of life to slip into habits that are clearly detrimental to my body being able to function. Not helped by a chronic hormone condition which requires lifelong medication.
I came through my pregnancies damaged – physically and mentally. Not by the children (although that’s probably another blog post!) but the ‘condition’ and the resulting changes to me. Nothing extreme or unusual for many women out there, but I certainly haven’t ‘bounced back’ in any way, shape or form. It’s led to long term health issues and changes that I have never been able to reverse or come to terms with.
And as more time passes, the further I am moving away from all the things that I know, intellectually and emotionally, will help me to feel better. Somewhere along the line, my self esteem and confidence has become so eroded that, even when I try to look after myself well, it lasts such a short time that there’s no chance for those changes to become embedded and actually make a difference. Before anything positive happens, I self sabotage.
So, the point of this? Well, having had counselling (which helped with some issues), I recognise that I can’t actually continue as I am. Of course there are certain aspects that may be able to be helped by working with my GP, but actually, to change how I feel and think about myself, well, only I can do that.
At a loss for what to do next, I got back in touch with a friend I had (almost deliberately) not been in touch with for a really long time. I was prompted to do this after bumping into her in a coffee shop. Despite not having replied to her attempts to communicate, she was genuinely excited to have bumped into me, warm, interested and just really lovely.
She is also someone who has faced her own demons in life and come out the other side with an enviable passion for helping others, immense positivity, and has forged a successful career doing just that! And she’s no bullshitter – a rare but beautiful quality IMO!
It’s early days. We are currently working to establish what it is we are actually dealing with in order to form a plan. But in the first conversation I had with her, she said one single sentence so sincerely that I absolutely believed her. And it was:
“I will help you sort this, because you are worth it”.
So here goes…. there’s no ‘plan’ at the moment. But what there is, is an intention and with that intention, some initial actions to start making the changes that need to be made. I’m resisting the urge to go in all guns blazing as I’m fairly sure that’ll end in failure. By taking small positive steps every day, I hope things will start to fall into place.
And the first thing I plan to do is take some time to heal my body and mind. It’s time to stop punishing ‘it’ for not doing what I want it to do, to stop just pushing on and to start helping it to get well.