Saying Goodbye…


Today, I did a thing.

I finally, at long last, took a step towards accepting my new reality.

I filled a charity bag with all the clothes I will never fit into again.

It was a difficult and challenging thing to do – it felt as if I was saying that, even if I do lose weight, I will not ever be buying my clothes in the kids section again.

I truly marvelled at how tiny some of the pieces were… was I ever that slight?! Really?

So, there are some 11 year old girls in Chernobyl that will be getting a stash of jeans and tops soon…

…and I must accept that my days of being a waif are over.

Ciao,

đź’‹

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

 

A Note on Turning Point


Warning! This post contains a very large and potentially nauseating dose of positivity and hope… proceed with caution!

I wrote and shared my post Turning Point yesterday with more than a little trepidation.

My fear was that people would think I was exaggerating, making it all up, or just plain crazy.

To say I have been blown away by the support and kindness shown to me in response to the post, both on here and twitter, is an understatement. I want to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who commented and affirmed that I had handled the situation well and with strength and courage.

*

Last night I had perhaps two hours of broken sleep at best and was very tired this morning. I was tempted to stay home, but instead I left the bed at 7.30, ate a good breakfast, chatted to friends and got ready to go out.

I walked into town, enjoying the breeze on my skin.

I managed to get the bones of a new piece of flash fiction formed in my head, as well as a few ideas for a card I want to make for the OH and my anniversary later this month. I smiled at a gorgeous Labrador who was carrying today’s edition of The Daily Mirror in his mouth for his owner. I treated myself to some new pens for crafting and colouring. I popped into the doctor’s office to change my prescription for a new antibiotic, (the one I was on was ripping my tummy apart Aliens-style). I bought some salad and fresh bread and, as I walked home, I inhaled the fresh green scent of the hedges on the side of my road being trimmed by a tractor, (which surprisingly did not trigger my hay fever). As I walked up my driveway I caught sight of the two little fluffy white heads of my furry daughters perched looking eagerly out the lounge window and it made me laugh. They really do resemble two little ghosts.

I came, drank some ice-cold water, cuddled them and decided to write this.

All very mundane and not making for riveting reading, but you know what?

I feel good!

I am not thinking about my body, my size, my appearance, how much I don’t measure up.

I enjoyed the very tiny, simple things that we all to often miss. I used my imagination. I smiled at people. I enjoyed the physicality of walking and carrying home groceries.

I am so very ready to feel different.

I deserve to feel better.

I deserve to feel happy.

I deserve to take care of myself and treat myself with care.

I deserve to remind myself that I am a kind, caring, smart, funny, good and strong person.

I am more than my appearance.

I am more than my past experiences and traumas.

I am more than the mistakes I have made.

I know there will be dips but if determination alone can get me to where I want and need to be then I am feeling hopeful.

If you see me slipping remind me ok?

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And once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

đź’“đź’“đź’“

Ciao!

đź’‹

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Turning Point


With my hand on my heart, I promise that everything I am about to tell you is 100% true. I have not embellished or exaggerated anything. I like to think I can spin a good story, but even I could not make this shit up.

Last Thursday I went to see a psychiatrist for the very first time in my life. I had told my GP how incredibly low I had been feeling; all the self-hatred I felt and the comfort I got from imagining ending it all. He listened, reassured me I was not in fact crazy and referred me to a private psychiatrist.

I sat outside the psychiatrist’s office waiting to be seen. My appointment was for 3pm. Another man arrived and sat next to me. This made me wonder, as I had been told the appointment would last an hour, so I thought this man must have arrived incredibly early for his. After waiting about 10 minutes, the doctor came out and just looked at us both, nodded to the man next to me, who got up and went into his office. I was confused. I called the number of his secretary to confirm I had the appointment time correct and she came out to confirm I was right and said he was running behind. I asked if the appointment would last an hour and she said yes. Ok. I was rattled – having been referred to him for depression and anxiety I thought this was a careless way to treat a new patient.

At about 3.40pm he came out of his office again and just nodded to me, which I took to be my invitation inside. As I sat down, he asked me what had brought me there and I began to talk, giving him a history of how I had been feeling. Midway through this he suddenly leapt from his chair and bounded across the room to invade my personal space and stare into my face, stopping me cold. I was so taken aback. He returned to his chair and asked me if I wore contact lenses because my eyes were “incredibly green”. Stunned at this bizarre turn of events, I replied that no they were just my eyes. Then, as if nothing had happened, he told me to carry on.

After listening to me and taking notes, he looked at me and said, in a sing-song voice, “But you’re lovely.” Yes, he said that. He then went on to tell me that Estee Lauder couldn’t exist without women like me, that looks don’t matter, that I shouldn’t care what people think of me. Basically, he hadn’t listened to a word I had said. I told him he seemed to have formed an impression that I was a superficial and shallow person who judges people solely on their appearance, which was not at all the truth. My feelings of self loathing and disgust were nothing to do with how I felt any one else perceived me, they were entirely coming from inside me. He looked at me again and said, “But look at you, you’re svelte!” and carried on to tell me about his love for the Kardashians. Really!

Readers, I am far from svelte! A recent weigh in at a hospital appointment revealed my BMI to have nudged just into the overweight range, and I was sitting across from this doctor wearing a G cup bra… not svelte at all!

I usually never stand up for myself, certainly not in the company of someone in what I perceive to be an authority position, but I simply couldn’t stop myself this time. I told him that by calling me svelte he had made not only question his understanding of the word, but also his judgment in general. (Incidentally, when I told my GP about this later he was delighted with my response!)

I told him that when I was underweight, wearing age 11 clothes and teeny-tiny that I still saw a fat person in the mirror and wasn’t happy then either. His reply was, “Have you ever seen anyone in Somalia look happy?” I was pretty speechless by now.

He enquired what hobbies I had and I told him I blog. He didn’t know what a blog was so I had to explain it to him. He asked what type of fiction I wrote and I knew I didn’t want to tell him about my erotica – I wasn’t going to hand him that nugget to play with. I told him I write dark stories about the darker side of humanity. He quickly told me I shouldn’t be writing “that stuff” and instead I should write “happy stories”. He then went on to tell me the TV shows I watch and the books I read were wrong and that I should be watching Modern Family… he repeated this several times. The man really loves Modern Family.

I could tell you more of the ways he blithely dismissed my thoughts, feelings, opinions and beliefs but to be honest it is exhausting to repeat it all. Suffice to say he brushed off everything I talked about, including my love of dogs, as in his opinion cats were better.

The final nail in the coffin of this delightful encounter was this:

I was so very ready to turn my life around, so desperate to feel better, that I disclosed something to him that only the OH knows, I have never told another soul about this. It is a secret that carries with it a burden of shame for me and it was not easy to divulge it. In my opinion, I showed tremendous courage in sharing this information and I am sad and disgusted to tell you how it was received. His jaw dropped, he leaned forward in his seat, a look of complete shock on his face and gasped, “Really!!” I felt judged, shamed and embarrassed. I was not expecting such a reaction from a mental health professional, who surely must have seen and heard things far more shocking than what I had told him.

I had tears in my eyes as I left his office and was visibly shaking. He shook my hand and told me it was a pleasure to have met me and that he wanted to see me again in two weeks. I was numb.

The OH was angry as hell when I told him about the whole thing, but he was delighted that I had stood up for myself and affirmed that I had shown courage and strength.

I spent the rest of the day mulling over what had happened and trying to decide how to proceed. As it happened, I had an appointment with my GP the morning after this so I went and told him everything that had happened. He was astonished and could not apologise enough. He said he felt he had let me down by referring me to that psychiatrist and was concerned and angry about my treatment. In particular, he felt the comment at the start about my eyes was incredibly inappropriate and he agreed about the comment about me being svelte was also wrong. He looked genuinely remorseful and saddened by what I had told him and asked me how I wanted to proceed. I told him I was not going back to this psychiatrist and that I would rather look at new meds and be monitored by my GP. He agreed that this would work and we discussed treatments.

I have sent a letter to the illustrious Dr. Byrne cancelling my next appointment and enclosed a cheque for the €100 payment as I just want an end to it and do not have the energy to dispute his charge. My GP told me my story will certainly change his referral practice and I suspect Dr. Byrne will not be getting any more business from my GP!

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So, today I will take my first dose of my new meds.

 

I am hopeful. I am positive. I feel stronger than I have in a while. I think in a strange way that psychicatrist provoked something in me that made me think, “I deserve better than this”, and revealed to me how determined I am to feel better.

Here’s to what I sincerely hope is my turn around.

Ciao!

đź’‹

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #67


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Play along here!

This week’s word is:

Pain.

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http://nlm.nih.gov

I live with pain on a daily basis. In fact, according to the definition above I live with chronic pain and have done for almost as long as I can remember.

I am not talking about physical pain, (although at the moment I am experiencing a lot of that also). I am referring to psychological pain – depression, anxiety, self hatred, self destruction, self loathing.

I read Cherry’s W4W and related to her situation so strongly.

It has been suggested to me by several friends, as well as the OH, that I may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I struggle with this idea. If I were to say yes I have that, in my mind I am also saying, yes I am not hideous and ugly, in fact I might even be attractive but simply cannot see it for myself.

I cannot accept that and I feel that if I said that it is borderline arrogant/big-headed. Yeah, I can see how you might read this and shake your head at my contrariness. After all, I am the one who regularly lifts others up and encourages them to love themselves, yet when it comes to me I do a 180 on my own advice.

Cherry told me this:

“One of the reasons people don’t think or talk about it is because they might think they’ll be seen as being vain. It’s part of the condition and it’s the lies that are warped, not your mind.”

It has given me a lot to think about today.

What would it be like to actually LIKE myself? To accept myself? To not constantly only see my flaws? To see what other people claim to see when they look at me?

Would I even still be ME?

I have always been a person who disliked or even hated herself. The concept of not being that way is foreign and perhaps even a bit scary.

These questions are overwhelming and are bringing tears to my eyes as I write them. How different would my life have been if I wasn’t always hating myself? Have I wasted all these years? Am I incapable of being happy?

Who AM I????

I think I have much more soul searching to do before I even begin to address these questions.

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đź’‹

This week is World Mental Health Awareness Week so this post felt appropriate today.

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #65


IMG_3026

Play along here!

This week’s word is:

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I embrace imperfection in all things… except me.

I do not so much have a fear of never being good enough. It would be far more accurate to say I have a deep seated belief that I am never good enough.

I remember being a little girl and my mother was testing me on my times tables I had to learn for homework. I got them all right and she was very pleased with me. I, however, was very unhappy. I said I was bad because I had cheated. She enquired how I had cheated. I replied, “But, I just remembered the answers!”, and burst out crying. I simply, even at that young age of about 5, could not accept that I had done well. I could not feel good about my achievement.

I went into town yesterday to buy some groceries and supplies. I made the mistake of trying on some new bras. (Any woman will tell you this is usually not the most pleasant of experiences.) Yesterday, I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. Really, really hated it.

As I walked home I struggled to contain the tears that threatened to spill down my cheeks.

I know… Hey Kat! It’s not rocket science – eat less, move more, lose weight, right?

Been there, done that.

I got down to a size where I wore age 11 clothes and I saw a fat, ugly person.

Following medical advice, I allowed myself to put on enough weight to fit into a tiny size 6 and I saw a fat, ugly person.

I never, ever thought I had achieved the look or the body I wanted. I never felt happy with it. It was never good enough.

So, I could starve myself again and get tiny again, but here is the rub… I will still hate who I see in the mirror.

I sit here and type this post and my fear is not of imperfection, but that I will never feel at peace with “me”. That I will never be happy. Despite having so much in my life that I am truly grateful for – a loving relationship, friendships, family, enough money/food/things, my dogs, my health – I remain a shallow, vain and vacuous shell.

And worse… I am so bored with myself and this constant discontent. I am certain I have bored you, my readers, with my incessant whinging.

And one thing I never wanted to be is boring.

Dammit!

đź’‹

note:

I do not equate fat with ugly, nor do I equate thin with beauty. It is much more complex than that.

In an uncharacteristic display of self kindness, I will say that I think I did myself a disservice when I called myself a vacuous, vain shell – there are reasons for my body issues and they are real.

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

A New Year!


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Yes… I know we have been living in 2016 for eleven days now but, for me, today is my January 1st!

I have been reflecting and it occurred to me that I took last year ‘off’. Allow me to explain…

I used to be an incredibly active and busy person, both physically and mentally. The OH used to say he was in awe of my energy, dedication and self discipline. I ate well, exercised, worked hard, walked daily and had projects to keep me busy – In short, I was rarely still.

But last year I stopped.

I gave up exercise and hardly moved beyond what was strictly necessary. I ate whatever crap I wanted, reintroducing unhealthy and nutritionally empty foods such as crisps and chips. I drank way too much wine and nowhere near enough water. I lost any sense of daily routine and wasted hours online, achieving very little.

No wonder I spent so much of last year in a slump emotionally… I was bored, I felt useless and therefore felt worthless, which in turn only served to make me feel that I didn’t deserve to take better care of myself. I was caught in a vicious cycle of self destruction.

This morning I left the house to buy bread. I returned with a new pair of trainers, a Shock Absorber sports bra, a set of work out gear and a supply of vitamins.

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I am not sure what changed in my head, but something sure did! I felt that I was worth the investment my new purchases symbolised. I wanted to buy new work out gear that I will feel good in so that I will actually want to work out again.

I am going to make a list of things I must do daily or weekly; small things that will hopefully add up to boost my sense of self worth and result in me changing my cycle of self destruction into one of self care.

  • Be up and dressed by 9am at the very latest every weekday.
  • Always use a body lotion all over after showering. Take the time to massage the cream in and notice the changes in my skin.
  • Move daily. Get out for 30 minutes minimum every day , unless I am ill.
  • Exercise at least three times a week – dance workout, elliptical trainer, weights, calisthenics – doesn’t matter which, just do it!
  • Eat well.
  • Drink water.
  • Take my vitamins every day.
  • Praise myself once a day for something.
  • Be creative – write, craft, garden, learn to knit.
  • Learn to challenge and silence that inner critic that shouts so loudly in my head.
  • Stop beating  myself up.
  • Give myself credit where it is due.
  • Rediscover the pleasure and pride I used to take from keeping a clean tidy and welcoming home.
  • Take more photographs – this could be part of my 30 minutes a day outdoor time.
  • Treat myself to a once a week home spa hour – face mask, body scrub, mani/pedi.
  • Read more – go to bed earlier and enjoy that stack of books beside the bed!
  • Have some time every day with no TV/Internet.
  • Take naps.
  • Be kinder to myself. Ease up on the expectations.

That’s quite a list!

I truly hope I can find it within me to put these ideas into practice and, hopefully, this time next year I will be fitter, healthier, happier and at peace within myself.

Wish me luck?

Ciao!

đź’‹

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

A Sincere Thank You


This day last week I wrote a very difficult and painfully honest post about my battle with body image and self acceptance.

I feared at the time that I would receive a backlash and that people would read it and think I was self absorbed, shallow and vain.

Nevertheless, I posted it because it felt important on a personal level to expose my demons. I am still not sure why it felt important, but it did.

I wanted today to post a quick but very sincere thank you to all the people who read it and wrote such kind and supportive comments. I was blown away by the compassion and empathy I was shown.

In addition, I was somehow comforted, (whilst also very much saddened), to discover so many of my readers had similar issues to mine. If nothing else, I hope my sharing my story helped some other people feel less isolated and less ‘freakish’ about the demons they carry and battle with.

Thank you all for being the wonderful, kind and generous people you are!

IMG_9358Hugs all round!

đź’‹

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.