• emmanuellegammage

Getting Real and Personal, again...

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how I've found body acceptance and I discussed the healthy relationship I have with my body in order to support and inspire you. I must have jinxed it because for the past month, there has been hellfire inside of my little brain and body. I'm sharing this today with you, to remind you that we're all human and that life certainly does throw you obstacles.

My mental health started deteriorating when I was stressed writing my dissertation. The only thing that made me feel better was biscuits, and lot's of them. I did notice I was gaining a lil bit of weight but because I was stressed and also active in the gym, I didn't really mind. But since coming home for Easter I have filled my stomach with mini eggs and alcohol. Despite trying my best to practice body positivity, it has negatively effected me. I haven't wanted to socialise with my friends nor really leave the house without my boyfriend - I've just wanted to wear my pjs and hide away.

One of the things I struggle with most and repeatedly write about is routine. At university I cook for myself, have plenty of time to myself to go to the gym, go for walks or practice yoga in my bedroom. But, when I come home I have to fit in with other people and don't have as much time to myself. I loved home cooked food, but it's not what I would usually make for myself at uni and my body simply isn't used to that kind of food, so it has to adjust and that period of time is usually full of bloating and shit skin. This phase happens e v e r y time I come home and it's a really draining process to put my body and mental health through.

It's so difficult because once you accept your body, it changes again and then you have to repeat the process and that sucks, because it feels like it's never ending. It doesn't really seem fair and it shouldn't be this difficult to love and accept your body, it should be the most natural thing in the world. And, you know, it's not just like you're having an insecure day - this feeling overpowers every other feeling you have and it's inescapable. It's an illness, and sometimes it has more power than other days. No matter how many years you've been recovered, these moments still find a way of creeping in, and that's what a lot of people forget.

The thing is, I really couldn't be bothered to be positive and to make myself feel better. I want to wallow and feel gross because it's too much effort to try and accept my body. It feels and looks to me, as though I have put on weight and especially in my stomach which is the most insecure part of me, as it is for most of us, but I don't own a pair of scales so I wouldn't know. I just wanted to lounge around in my comfies rather than wear pretty summer dresses because I didn't feel skinny enough to wear them - and the real me would never say that, this is anorexia Emmanuelle talking. For our date night away, I had planned to wear a pretty summer dress and I did at the beginning, but I had to change because all I could focus on was how I looked rather than my beautiful surroundings.

With a history of anorexia, it feels impossible not to maintain little habits. When I feel stressed or down, I usually resort to anorexic habits because it's sort of a comfort blanket. If I can't control the other things in my life, at least I can control my body. When I feel that way, I constantly check my body in the mirror just to check whether I've lost weight or put on weight. It's so unhealthy but I can't stop because I become fixated upon it. I vow to stop eating chocolate and hate myself when I slip up. The thing is, it's so easy to slip into these ways and not let go. I found myself wanting to starve myself and I even took a laxative which I am really disappointed about. But, we have to remind ourselves that we are human and we make mistakes and we find things hard.

It's really hard to communicate these feelings. How could someone who has never experienced feelings to this extent understand? How are they supposed to know what the best thing to say is or how to help? I hate speaking these feelings aloud because it sounds ridiculous and I also feel disappointed with myself. How do I explain that although I'm happy, there is something eating me up inside? Something that other people don't understand because when they look at me, I don't look fat. But, all I can focus on is the little pouch on my stomach and flab on my arms. I can't see the things I like. All I can think about is how to reduce that fat and how to make myself prettier. That is just the worst feeling in the world, when you've fought so hard to reject something and it comes creeping back in. It's not just feeling insecure. It's not feeling worthy enough to exist, hating yourself every second you eat a bite of something, wanting to pull your hair out at the sight of your body and fearing the feeling of being full. It's a complex bitch and it's totally unforgiving. I haven't had a toxic relationship with my body like this for a long time, but I'm ready to fight it.

As I write this, I'm not quite sure what the purpose is other than to communicate my feelings so that in case you're feeling this way too, you're not alone and perhaps we can get through this together.

We have fought every day for years to reject this and we're not going to stop now. We're going to accept our body's thinner or fatter than they are now. We're not going to make steps to lose weight nor treat our body's with unkindness. If we don't feel like showing love to our body that's fine too - but we will always try to accept it. We don't need to feel beautiful, we just need to feel healthy and happy.


So it's been about a week since writing this and things are much better. I had a little blip, but I picked myself up and my mental health is starting to blossom and my body is starting to forgive me. We are allowed to wallow, to give up for a while and forget our path - when the time is right you will water yourself again and flower. Personally, I know myself well enough to understand when I need to just be sad and unforgiving to myself, because I know I will reach a state of happiness and positivity again by myself, I trust myself to do that. I stopped focusing on what made me uncomfortable and sad, instead I did things that made me happy and made me feel better. I didn't stop eating Easter eggs (in fact I bought eight from Tesco yesterday) but started going on walks, drinking water and having productive days! Basically, the moral of this blog post is to KEEP GOING, trust yourself and embrace this beautiful journey of life, that sucks sometimes, but is totally magical too. I think it's so important to share our little moments like this because when I was suffering from anorexia, I felt so alone and isolated and I needed to hear something like this.

P.s. this was a good day. I had to photograph Katharine for my fashion module and it was SO much fun to dress her up and take photos. We were celebrating her beauty and my creativity and we ate ice creams and it was exactly what I needed to uplift me!

"In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did, and why you no longer need to feel it"


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