Celebrating 2 weeks self harm free!!

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I realized last night that I have officially been free of self-harm for two weeks!! I know this might not seem like a big deal for a lot of people, but for me this is a huge accomplishment. I am really proud of myself for getting this far and I really hope that I can keep it up.

I really wish that I had someone to talk to about this in my “real” life who could support me and encourage me to keep up the good work. But at the same time I can’t risk telling my parents because they would flip out. So I guess for now I will just have to share my good news and recovery progress with my online community.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me on my blog :)

xo

Ayla

Let’s talk body-shaming

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Up until recently I generally thought of body-shaming as being specific to fat-shaming. I believed that skinny individuals were immune to body shaming because they have what everyone else wants. However, I’ve since come to realize that this isn’t the case at all.

One YouTuber by the name of Annie Marie or “Itty Bitty Annie” as she is known across many social media platforms, has opened my eyes to the reality of the situation. Skinny-shaming is real and it is just as hurtful and damaging as fat-shaming.

Now that I think about it I do remember a lot of people commenting on my body when I was in the depths of my bulimia. A lot of people would focus on my body weight and I would often be told that I need to eat more. At the time I took it as a compliment; the comments were like fuel to the fire that was my eating disorder. However, since gaining weight I have received a significantly fewer number of comments on my body. From this experience I have come to the conclusion that skinny individuals face just as much criticism, if not more, than individuals who are overweight.

I believe this is because people get jealous. People want what they cannot have and since they are unable to attain the “ideal” body weight, they belittle women who are smaller and accuse them of being unhealthy, sickly, and “unnatural”.

One video in particular by Annie Marie caught my attention because it features her talking about the criticisms that she faces as a result of her weight. This really opened my eyes to the fact that body-shaming is not limited to individuals who are overweight. Indeed, it is a problem that extends much further than this.

I have since spoken out about this issue on my personal Facebook page and I have received a lot of backlash from people who believe that it is their right to pass judgement on the appearance of individuals. But I am here to say that it is absolutely NOBODY’S right to comment on your body or criticize you whether you are skinny, “average”, or overweight. Your body is yours and yours alone. It is of no concern of anyone else except for perhaps medical professionals who are helping you be healthy.

So if you are one of the people who is criticizing other’s on there appearance, you need to stop. However, if you are one of the people who is constantly being criticized, perhaps you should ask “what gives you the right to comment on or criticize my body?” the next time anyone tries to say anything to you about it.

Stand up for yourself. You are BEAUTIFUL! <3

xo

Ayla

Choose your friends wisely

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Once upon a time I chose my friends poorly. I would choose to be friends with people even if they put me down all the time. I would be friends with people even if it meant changing who I am so that they would like me. I would lie to myself and tell me that they were right and I was wrong, that I needed to change.

But they were wrong. So very, VERY wrong.

Over the last few months my therapist has helped me to realize that I have let other people control how I see myself. I have been torn down by so many people who try to tell me that my dreams are foolish, my interests are dumb, my appearance isn’t good enough. I have been bullied for getting good grades and then belittled and made to feel dumb by the very same people. There are people who have been so condescending that I have felt so low that I thought the only way to be who everyone else needed me to be was to starve myself. To purge my body of every single calorie I consumed. To find perfection in the control that I was gaining.

But then I lost it all.

I lost control of my life. I was no longer me; I was my eating disorder. I lost all happiness in my life because I was no longer living for what I wanted, but for what I thought others wanted. I felt such a strong desire to make everyone else in my life happy that I forgot about myself. But I realize now that it’s not me who needs to change.

I have come to realize that there is no way to make everyone happy. There is no way to please everyone and that is okay. Sometimes you have to make decisions for yourself based on what is best for you. Sometimes you need to look out for yourself without thinking about what that will do to everyone else. It is okay to be selfish sometimes.

I have also come to realize that it is okay to cut the negative people out of your life. Until recently I had been trying so hard to make other people like me. I would pretend to be interested in things just to that I could be close to them. But then they would belittle me when I brought up my own interests. To these people I now say goodbye. They are no longer worth my time. I have lost all patients in dealing with people who only make me feel horribly about myself. I have grown as a person and I realize that I do not have time to waste on people who cannot accept me for who I am.

I have also realized that some people will hide their mean comments and condescending nature behind the pretense of being a “friend”. Some people will make you feel horrible about yourself and will demand that you change or do something the way that they think it should be done because “any good friend would tell you the same”. But its not true. On the contrary, all this does is make you question your relationships with other people. It causes you to put up walls and push everyone away because you are afraid to be hurt.

I am happy to say that I am no longer tolerating these people in my life. I have learned to distance myself from people who belittle me and I have come to understand who my true friends are. Please know that if someone is making you feel bad about yourself more often than they are making you feel happy, they are not a true friend. Respect yourself enough to end toxic relationships. It makes a huge difference in your happiness.

xo

Ayla

Song’s about mental illness

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One of the things that I find really helps me get through the days when I am having a hard time dealing with my mental illnesses is listening to music that I can relate to. I compiled a list of songs that really help me which I keep in my journal so I don’t lose it. However, I just got the idea to share the list with my readers so that perhaps you can find some support in the lyrics. Let me know if there are any other songs that you listen to for support.

1. Dark Side by kelly Clarkson

2. Addicted by kelly Clarkson

3. Ana’s Song by Silverchair

4. Animal I have Become by Three Days Grace

5. Bleed it Out by Linkin Park

6. By Myself by Linkin Park

7. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

8. Courage by Superchick

9. Easier to Run by Linkin Park

10. Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

11. Everybody Hurts by REM

12. Fade to Black by Metallica

13. Fix You by Coldplay

14. Perfect by P!nk

15. Given Up by Linkin Park

16. Love the Way you Lie by Eminem

17. Lullabye by Nickelback

18. Maybe by Kelly Clarkson

19. Nothing to Lose by Billy Talent

20. Numb by Linkin Park

21. On my Own by Three Days Grace

22. One Step Closer by Linkin Park

23. Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones

24. Pain by Three Days Grace

25. Part of Me by Linkin Park

26. Rehab by Amy Winehouse

27. Russian Roulette by Rihanna

28. Skin and Bones by Mariana’s Trench

29. Skyscraper by Demi Lovato

30. Slipping Away by Sum 41

31. These Days by Bon Jovi

32. Untitled by Simple Plan

33. Tied Together with a Smile by Taylor Swift

34. Who Knew by P!nk

35. Sober by P!nk

36. I’ll follow you into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

37. Demons by Imagine Dragons

38. Nothing Left to Say by imagine Dragons

Books for recovery (self-harm and eating disorders)

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Here are some of the books that I’ve read that have the potential to help with your recovery from self-harm and/or eating disorders. Please note that you need to use your judgement to determine whether or not reading about the struggles you are dealing with will be triggering for you. If so, please don’t read these books!

1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

2. Cut by Patricia McCormick

3. Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

4. Skinny By Donna Cooner

5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

7. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

8. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Moving out, Recovery, and Mental Health

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Hey everyone!

I have some exciting news! I am moving into my very first apartment in just 2 short months! I’m really excited and I’ve been shopping around for some of the essentials that I will need for my first place, but I guess the one thing that I’m most worried about is how this might effect my recovery. The last time I moved out it was for my first year of University and I ended up moving in with my cousin in order to save money because it was much cheaper than paying for residence and she lived about 45 min away from campus via bus. So it’s not like I have no experience of moving out whatsoever; however, this will be the first time where I will be living without any family.

When I told my therapist about this, she was both happy and apprehensive. The positive side of things is that I will be away from all of the family fighting and I will no longer have to live with my abuser, both of which are huge triggers for me. However, the downside is that I have a lot more opportunity for relapse if I am living in a situation in which nobody is supervising me. That said, technically I am not being supervised right now since my family doesn’t actually know about my illnesses, so I am hopeful that I will not necessarily relapse. The only thing that might be a bit of a concern is the fact that my building has a gym which could be problematic. Those of you who have been following me for a while know that my bulimia does not involve vomiting, it involved over-exercise and caloric restriction. Therefore, if I become overwhelmed or stressed, there is a chance that I may be triggered to relapse into my patterns of over-exercising. But I’m hoping that the support that I have found online coupled with my therapy will help to prevent this!

Aside from the mental health concerns, I am really excited to move out! I feel like it is the next step in becoming an independent person. I can be responsible for myself and I don’t have to worry about reporting to anyone. On top of that, I feel as though my parents will respect me more as an adult once I am out on my own, paying my own bills, making my own decisions.

Looking forward to the next chapter of my life!

xo

Ayla