Mental Health is the One True Wealth

A Princess and her Journey to Health

Category: fitness

On the Up

Things have been looking up since I last posted here. I was at a very low low last time I wrote. My mental health was at its worst in a long time which prompted me to reach out and seek help. I’m still on the waiting list for counselling and I haven’t heard back yet but in that time I’ve started to be able to cope better. I’ve been going to the gym more frequently, 5-6 times a week and the difference that has made has been massive. My anxiety is reduced, my negative thoughts are not near as constant or overwhelming. All in all, I’m coping better.

I’m 5 weeks into the Get Shreddy Guide, by b-nd store and I’ve been loving it so far. It’s challenged me and kept me motivated. I was doing Grace Fit Guide for months and that did help me increase my strength but after a while it had gotten repetitive and I was losing interest. I would recommend Get Shreddy to everyone, advanced or beginner. The workouts are split into 2 lower body and 2 upper body sessions a week, with a core and cardio and lastly, total body conditioning. Going to the gym 6 times a week might seem excessive but it’s honestly so rewarding to finish that first week and the whole guide is only 6 weeks long. The workouts change every two weeks so just as your body gets comfortable, it’s switched up and you’re a beginner all over again! Sounds fun, right?

When I first started the total body conditioning was a big no from me but now it’s one of my favourite workouts. A good mix of strength training and cardio to really make you sweat and get shreddy for summer! I can’t actually believe next week week is week 6 and I’ll have completed this guide! I’m not usually a finisher so much as a procrastinator!

I’d say my weight has stayed in and around the same but I haven’t been very focused on being on a ‘cut’ but my whole physique has changed. I have definitely lost fat and become more ‘toned’. Proud of my quads and baby biceps in particular! I think for me, the biggest change has been with my mental health though. I’ve pushed myself and actually fallen in love with working out again rather than just doing it for the aesthetics. Totally helps that I’ve found a new gym bud too who has been amazing, whether it’s helping me with my form or just being there for a chat!

I’ve loved this programme so much I might just start it all over again! I’m looking into the Hanna Oeberg ‘Get Lean, Stay Healthy’ guide so if any of you have tried it, I’d be interested in hearing some feedback. Anyway, if you have a spare 6 weeks and you need a new challenge, Get Shreddy is the one.

 

Advertisements

Healing, at Last

Today I took my first big step towards healing. For months, for years, I’ve been fighting this mental battle with myself. My mental health is really good at times and this can last anywhere from days to months but always, that good spell comes to an end and I’m feeling very low and anxious again, without reason, cause or explanation. Last week it all finally came to a head when I was just mentally exhausted and I wanted to give up. I’ve never quit this battle with my mental health in my life so this was a terrifying experience for me. I’ve never reached that point where I’ve just thought fuck it, I’ve had enough. I was in this terrible place where I just couldn’t muster a happy thought and it scared me. I have finally reached the point in my life where I can’t keep riding these highs and lows anymore. I’m too exhausted to constantly have to got through this. So, I asked for help.

I’m officially on the waitlist for childhood abuse counselling. That phone call was the hardest, most necessary, thing I have ever done for myself. I’m so ready to be free from this suffocating feeling that has come from my silence. I’m tired of trying to cope with and understand this trauma by myself. This was never my fault and it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with that. I still haven’t grasped why this happened to me and maybe I’ll never have an answer for that.

It had become unbearable these past few months to have to work through the PTSD of these supressed memories alone. There are horrible, traumatic incidents that I’ve gone through that sometimes just surface and I have no idea what to do with them because in general, I feel over-dramatic when I think of myself as a survivor. I downplay all these things that happened to me, just so that I can function in my day to day life, at any capacity. I can’t verbalise some of the things I remember because I just cannot comprehend the evilness of some of it.

My eating disorder stemmed from these situations. I have an excellent memory and yet I haven’t a single memory of a time before I was made conscious of my weight. I had a complex about my weight at 8 years old. At 8 years old….I can’t finish that sentence. There’s unrest in my soul that I’m finally ready to deal with and I need help for that. I’m done with trying to deal with all of this alone, without the tools to do so. I’ve already given this too much of my life and I know that I can never have kids when I feel like this. I am aching to start a family, I have so much love I want to pass on, but I also have trauma that I won’t ever knowingly pass on. I’m so grateful that there is a free service out there that will help me through this.

I’m ready to start healing and living my very best life. It’s taken me so long to get here but I’m glad I finally made it.

person holding purple badge you are loved text printed

Photo by Mark Tacatani on Pexels.com

Freedom, at Last

There have been a few blog posts I’ve been considering writing for quite some time and today I even sat down and started to write one but the words didn’t come. So instead, I’m doing what I do best and writing from the heart and probably sharing too must of myself online. What’s new there? Anyway, I’ll keep going.

This post means a lot to me because it deals with identity and finding yourself, and losing yourself too. I’ve been in a relationship for just over three years. In this time so much of my life has changed. That is the people in my life, my perceptions of them and who I choose to associate with. The thing is, my significant other is significantly older than me. Like, by a lot. He’s 23 years my senior. Shock horror, I know. I don’t tell people this and I didn’t tell anybody for a long time because I was conditioned to think that that was wrong. I’m not ashamed of my relationship. We live in a society that is so quick to judge and the very people who should have supported me most when they found out about my relationship turned their backs on me. One whole half of my extended family basically completely turned away from me because of who I loved. What type of shitty people? Anyway, it was because of the negative reaction of those that were supposed to support me that I guess I just decided to hide it? The age gap in my relationship is actually one of the least interesting things about me.

My boyfriend is a whole huge part of my life so to hide him and our relationship took a huge part of myself away. I didn’t post so much on social media where people I knew where and it just impacted my mental health negatively. I have changed for the better dramatically since meeting my boyfriend. He has a calming effect on my personality and he has taught me to be kinder. I’m much better because of him. He’s honestly the most supportive, caring partner I could ask for. This messed me up a lot because I was made to feel as though our relationship was wrong, like I was being taken advantage of or like I had daddy issues. In all transparency I probably do but so would you if you we brought up like me lol. (Go read Sticks and Stones for reference) But the thing is, I need someone who is nurturing and supportive. I can’t deal with guys my age because I’m in no way into the idea of having to baby a man or deal with silly childish games. In my relationship we’re able to talk to each other openly and not hide things from each other.

We make perfect sense as a couple because we share the same world view, we have the same sense of humour, we balance each other out. I’ve always been more mature than my years and I honestly just needed someone who is on my level. I don’t want to wait until I’m 30 to have kids with someone who isn’t sure if they’re ready to grow up. I want kids probably in the next year or two and I’m so ready to get married. I’m finally secure enough in myself to be able to say these things and not particularly care what anyone says/thinks about that. I’m so tired of people not understanding that you can love whoever you want to love and there isn’t anything that should make one relationship less valid than another. I’m happy and at the end of the day, that’s all the really matters.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

love blog

The Longest Summer

This summer in Ireland is the hottest in my memory and I’m not coping with it all that well. As a fair skinned gal, let me tell you, I am melting. My skin has turned from blinding ivory to a beautiful shade of off-white. I don’t tan. I’ve barely left my house which has been providing protection from the sun and heat which means I’ve had plenty of time for thinking.

I moved out of my home house about 3 years ago and for the first time since then, I’m living back home again. So much has changed and yet, so much is the same. Last time I lived here, I knew nothing about life. I was sick and I was naïve. I’ve been out in the world now, I’ve been to college, I’ve worked, I’ve met my soulmate, I’ve dealt with an over-whelming loss. 2017 was by far the toughest year of my life, for myself and my family. I’ve experienced losing a family member, my great gran in 2016. We weren’t that close, I was sad and I’m an empath so I felt that pain in my family. Last year messed me up though. In all the time since my recovery this was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. I lost my young cousin to suicide. I didn’t see it coming and it knocked the breath out of me. Collectively, my family were in shreds. So heart-breaking and so life-changing. I went into my familiar dark place for months. Piled on weight without even noticing, cried regularly. Couldn’t even speak about it.

I’m in a new space now where my heart still breaks to think about it, it’s still so fresh, but I know that life does not stop to allow you time to come to grips with these things. I have taken back control of my life and I’m looking for the goodness. Soon I’ll have my own home again, I have a wonderful boyfriend who would move heaven and earth for me. I’ve removed the one toxic influence from my life. Death has taught me how short life is and I won’t accept negativity anymore. I’ve learned to stand up for myself (without crying afterward). There’s a new strength I’ve found.

After 3 years I’m still struggling with body image, but all ED behaviours have been destroyed. I’ve joined Slimming World, I’m losing weight again and I’m becoming happier. I’m 8 weeks in and I’ve already made so many changes to my life. It’s been exactly what I needed and I’m going to keep it up. There’s no better feeling than peace in your own body and mind. It feels like summer 2015 again. Where I felt light and happy, like the world was full of possibility. I’m starting to make plans again. Plans for a future I so hope for and plans for a life that I didn’t even imagine before. Getting through the darkness makes you that much more grateful for the light. I feel like after the past couple of years I’ve had, I can get through anything.

blog pic

 

Sticks and Stones

There’s this rhyme that goes around the school yard and it goes like this, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. It means that the shitty kids on the playground can say what they want and those insults will just bounce off you. But I’m calling bullshit. Physical wounds will heal, verbal wounds seep into your system and poison your mind. Keep hearing something over and over and pretty soon you’ll start believing in it.

I grew up in a toxic environment. It’s taken me so long to openly admit that to those that are not closest to me. On a level, I was still trying to protect my abuser, but I can’t anymore. My father was a bully. His family were his victims. My whole life I’ve lived with this negative, draining presence in my life. He worms his way into every area of my life and takes the goodness out of it. For years I went through this constant onslaught of abuse. I was fat, lazy, useless. As a kid, this hurt me. I was a smart kid, I was always popular at school, I had a lot of friends. I was never bullied at school, but my bully was always waiting at home for me. When my teens started creeping in, I started taking all this stuff I was being told to heart. I was self conscious. About everything. My weight, the way I laughed, my accent for crying out loud. He pointed out everything about me, every single thing, and all of it was wrong. So I became cut off. I pretended to be someone else. My home life was miserable for the most part because I was afraid to draw attention to myself and set him off. He flipped in a second and those rages were unbearable. I was severely uncomfortable in my own home, always on edge.

It was around age 15 that this started really taking a toll. I developed an eating disorder because I thought I was fat and ugly, I suffered major anxiety, I developed depression. I was obsessive, a perfectionist. I had to have control. I had to be everything I wasn’t because the real me wasn’t good enough. I blamed my mother. We’re two completely different people. I didn’t know why she didn’t leave him. Why she didn’t protect us from him. But as I’ve gotten older I know that he manipulated her. Fed her lies and messed with her head so she couldn’t leave. He told her that all her family were tired of her, he was the only person that loved her. He’s a complete narcissist. Everything is always about him, he’s always, always, the victim. I recovered from my eating disorder 4 years ago but I still feel the effects of it. I moved away from home for almost 2 years. In that time, he couldn’t reach me. I finally found peace and happiness. I found self love. But now I’m back in my home town. He calls to my house. I hate it. But he won’t leave me alone. I don’t know how to cut him out of my life for good, because he’s so convincing. I still fall for the lies. Today is the day I call an end to it. Today I finally told him how much he hurt me. That he put me through hell, that he caused my eating disorder, my depression. I told him that he was supposed to protect me but he did the opposite, he instead was the person that put me through the most shit.

His reply was that he’s sorry I feel that way. His reply was that I’m just dramatic. His reply was essentially him dismissing my struggles. Belittling what he has done to me, worse, not even acknowledging it. All I wanted was for him to just once say sorry. He’s incapable of doing even that for me and so I’m finished. I don’t pity him. I have no more compassion left for him. I don’t hate him because that’s a waste of my energy. I simply don’t wish to acknowledge him anymore. He’s irrelevant to me. My mother took us out of that environment eventually. Now he doesn’t get to see his kids. He doesn’t get to do to my younger siblings what he did to us. My little sister needs to grow up knowing she is smart, she is beautiful and she is loved.

He tried to ingrain his beliefs in me. His beliefs about me, his racism and sexism. His intolerance, his nastiness. It didn’t work. I’m still here, a proud intersectional feminist. I am strong. This bully will not win.

IMG_0298

Back on Board

I’ve been missing from here for months now. I guess the reason was I fell off the wagon in regards to working out and eating well. In times of personal turmoil I tend to distance myself rather than keep up pretences, which isn’t all bad. Am I right? Honesty is the best policy and I suppose I wouldn’t want to be misleading.

2016 wasn’t my greatest year. I could sit here and tell you that it’s because I lost motivation or I was lazy but I’m going to tell you a secret. As much as I will probably deny it if you were to say something to my face, I’m much to hard on myself. There it is. I gained a couple of pounds. Does that mean you should totally lose all the love you had for yourself? No, but alas, I did. I find it hard to look past these things. I feel like I’ve failed and disappointed myself. But I haven’t! The only reason to truly be disappointed would be if I couldn’t see these things. If I did not pick myself back up from this minor set back and start working towards my goals again.

I’ve come into this year with fresh perspective, an open mind and most importantly, a mission to find my confidence and self love again. I sometimes forget that I have so much to give and instead focus on my downfalls but this is where that ends. This year will be dedicated to myself. The year of Sorcha’s goals. Of course I’m being completely idealistic, but hey, it’s January and who isn’t?

Today marks my 7th day of being both gluten and dairy free. If you’ve been following this blog for a while I’m sure you know this isn’t the first time I’ve tried this. The first time, it went down like a lead balloon. Crashed and burned. That was probably more to do with my lack of knowledge/preparation than anything else. Going cold turkey I have been cranky, which is actually a sign that you do in fact have a gluten allergy. If I am not single by the end of this, I will be amazed. I decided to jump on board with the Blogilates 28 day Reset: http://www.blogilates.com/blog/2016/12/28/your-28-day-reset-challenge/ which eliminates 5 things from your diet, before slowly reintroducing them after the 28 days to see what causes a negative reaction in your body. These are:

  1. Gluten
  2. Dairy
  3. Alcohol
  4. Processed foods
  5. Sugar

This was initially a nightmare. I take sugar in my tea and coffee. Butter on my toast. TOAST. Bread, noodles, cheese ( I miss you most, buddy), chocolate, pasta. All a no no for these 28 days. At the beginning of the week I was constantly starving and tired but I managed to still get my PIIT28 workouts in. I’m still tired but the hunger evened itself out and I got better at planning my meals around the ‘okayed’ foods. And you know what? Turkey meatballs are actually pretty good. Who knew? I’ve already started to notice things. My stomach aches are a thing of the past, my skin is glowing and no more headaches from coming down off sugar highs! Also feels good to say that I’ve lost 1kg in just 6 short days. Bonus points.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting down the 21 days until the end of this but I do actually think I will keep off gluten. Dairy, not so much because I seriously miss cheese and butter but it’s doable for a month. Not having sugar in my tea is a kicker and I’m so looking forward to a cuppa after this challenge. It’s encouraged me to cook more wholesome meals and eat more intuitively. Also, all that extra fruit I’ve been eating can’t be  a bad thing. I’ll keep this blog updated every week as this challenge progresses. Fellow Reset followers, keep strong, we got this!

img_0187

 

 

The Art of Getting Back Up

Last time you heard from me I’d just started college. Something I’d been looking forward to for long but that turned out not to be everything I hoped for.

My course wasn’t right for me. At sixteen, studying English and history where I did would have been a dream come true. At sixteen, I was not the person I am now. Somewhere along the line I forgot to factor in the level of personal growth I had obtained. I forgot about the challenges I faced and I forgot to fully comprehend that I am no longer the same person I was. During my school days I hated physical education. It was a challenge for me, it was not something I looked forward to. Understandable for an overweight, unfit kid! But early into my eating disorder recovery I found working out. I first discovered a liking for it because of Blogilates, Cassey Ho’s YouTube fitness channel. I worked out alongside her on my iPad most evenings and I found that it was actually something I enjoyed doing. I think I stuck with her for a year and a half before I started seeing all these amazing progress pictures on Instagram coming from the BBG community. Almost a year ago now I purchased the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and it was the best decision of my life.


Frumpy and sad in February⬆️

The whole community changed my life. These women are so positive and inspirational, always wanting you to be the best version of yourself. Kayla changed my life. I’ve been getting fitter, stronger, falling in love with the process of self improvement. I’m currently just finishing up week 9 of the guides, and yes, I made it to this point last time I attempted this but I’m sticking to it this time! College made me fall off the wagon with working out. I lost all my progress in a few weeks. I was deeply unhappy in what I was doing. My workouts where my only joy during that time and the stress made me give them to too.

In March I decided to change. I couldn’t continue on with that course for three more years. But then, what would I do? Simple. What I love. Working out, hopefully inspiring my love in other people. So fingers crossed, as of September I will be a training personal trainer! The course I found is perfect for me with a mix of nutrition studies and physical training. I’ve been feeling down on myself lately, not losing inches fast enough, not getting toned fast enough. I lost my belief in the process and I need to get that back. This is not the end, so I still have time to keep at it and get the body I want. I’m excited for what’s next!


“Just because you took longer than others doesn’t mean you failed.”

It’s my Turn

Tomorrow is a big day for me. That’s putting it mildly. Tomorrow is a huge day for me because it’s the day my college offers are going to come in. I’m sure that’s a big deal for everyone who’s going through it. But it means the world to me. My first choice is doing a BA in UCD. That, my friends, is my dream. It’s taken me a really long time to get here, but I made it and this is the life I choose for myself. It’s my turn. It’s my turn to think about myself, to put myself first, to pursue what it is that I want. I believe everything happens for a reason and that’s easy to believe, but when your whole future is thrown out into the universe and it’s a game of chance? Well, that makes me feel the need to really reassure myself. I’m nervous. My stomach is literally sick with nerves because I want this so bad. I want it with every fibre of my being. I want it because it’s the final middle finger to my eating disorder. It took so much from me, it can’t seep in and contaminate my future too.

Leaving Cert year was rough. Like, really rough. We’re talking going into school maybe three out of the five days in a week and when I got home, my evenings were spent sleeping instead of studying. Eating disorders put your body and soul through hell and honestly, bouncing back from that is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. Being in full time education and sitting some of the most important exams of your life doesn’t really help that. What I’m trying to say is, recovery and also trying to get an education are not a good mix. When you already feel like shit about yourself, do you really need exams to confirm how shit you are? The answer is no. The process of recovery is daunting. If you aren’t eating, you’re sleeping. Do you see the room for study and school? Nope, because there isn’t any. For me to survive the year (at all) I had to make a choice. I decided the best thing for me was to focus solely on recovery and tadaaa! As you can see I’m still here, breathing, living so yeah, success. A+. I did it. As expected though, there wasn’t a single A+ on my results sheet. I didn’t fail a single subject and I put that down to my natural genius (I kid), but I will forever be angry that I couldn’t just be the average teen sitting those exams. It’s frustrating knowing I could have done better if not for the circumstances.

But I got better. I got stronger. I now choose health and fitness and self love. I feel like I could take on the world, until that little hint of doubt creeps up. But I’ve gotten good at crushing that. Tomorrow, it’s my turn. Regardless of what way it goes, I’m going to go out into the world and be brilliant. I’m going to give college my all and hope it counteracts that last disastrous step in my education. Because I’m ready. I’ve had a year to sit and get ready for this. I’ve had a year to grow and really find who I am and I wanna take that outside of this town with me. They say not to put all your money on one horse and of course, that’s exactly what I’ve done. But I believe in the universe and I hope just this once, it’s gonna work in my favour. Good luck to anyone else out there waiting on exam results and college offers! No matter what, keep your chin up and be the best you can be.

.image