Breaking up

I knew when I looked at him sitting across from me in the therapists room that it was over. I’d asked for a trial separation so that we could have some time and space to decide what we wanted to do. If we wanted to be together, or if splitting up was the best idea.

When we talked about expectations for the separation, I said that I would like to see him make an effort to contact me and maybe ask me out on dates or something like that. When the therapist asked what he thought, whether that’s something he could see himself doing. He said no.

That really made the decision. What was the point of going any further? He clearly had no intention of coming to the party and trying to make the relationship work. If he ever did.

So there we have it, the end of a relationship. And now we get to sort out the stuff like, who keeps the house or if we sell it.

At least my binge eating habits haven’t kicked in. Maybe part of the reason I was binge eating to begin with had to do with the stressors in this relationship. I don’t have those anymore. Maybe some different stressors to come but for now I feel ok.

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Qualified volunteer!

I’m super excited to say that I have completed my training and am now qualified as a Mallee Minder volunteer with the Zoo, woohoo!

The training days were just really to familiarise me with how to get into the zoo and where to go, rostering, and of course meeting new people.

I have had some pretty cool experiences already, there’s the usual land maintenance and conservation work. But if doing that while being able to watch giraffe or Mongolian horses wasn’t cool enough, I have also been able to pat rhino, and given an odd, ad-hoc job of helping to round up yellow footed rock wallabies for their vet check.

Now that I am qualified though, it means I get my shirt and security pass into the zoo and get to choose which Wednesdays I can go up there and help out, I just need to send the supervisor a text and let him know I’m heading up.

 

Attempted soap making

One thing I’ve been wanting to try for a while is making home made bath products, one of those being soap of course. I also want to try other bath products like hand wash, bubble bath, liquid shower wash instead of a hard bar of soap, as well as body lotions and what not. And then maybe move on to household cleaners too.

But the first stop was trying out soap. I’d been a bit hesitant about it previously because of having to work with caustic soda. At uni though I’ve worked with some harsh chemicals though and everything was fine, so I figured I’d take a leave out of uni’s book and just make sure I had all the necessary safety gear on, so the lab coat, safety glasses, closed shoes, face mask etc.

I did a lot of research on ye olde internet and found a recipe to try out which used the caustic soda and then a combination of olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil. I also researched how to make it scented and coloured, but naturally so.

Here’s what those bars of soap look like…

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I did the cold method so it’s just curing for another few weeks before it can be used. And you can see I tried to put a “home made” stamp on it but I think it was still a bit too soft when I did that so it hasn’t worked out too well.

The colour looks pretty good, I used tumeric to give it the colour and I put some lemongrass essential oil in it but you can’t smell it, and I’m not sure if that’s because it was a cheapie or if I didn’t put enough in. Probably the first though.

So first attempt at soap making, not too bad I don’t think. Can’t expect it to be perfect the first time around! When I actually get around to using it though I’ll do an update on the soap.

Have you ever made soap before? Are there ingredients you love using or do you have a preferred method?

Take care,

Jas

Christmas Wrap-Up!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas day with lots of yummy food and lovely presents!

Mine and my partners Christmas family gatherings started on Christmas Eve with my Mum’s side of the family. We don’t give presents to each other anymore because it ended up that we were just going “what would you like?” and buying that, so we just figured we’d buy it ourselves. I did get something for my Mum though, she bought a Suzuki Swift about a year ago and wanted dash mats and seat covers, so I bought her a Super Cheap Auto voucher. But because I don’t really like getting people vouchers, I also went on to the Photobox website and made her a personalised 2016 diary with pictures of me and my partner and our dog in it. My Mum got some of the pictures from our Bali trip and made a collage of them in a really big frame which is nice. It’s quite huge and heavy so we need to work out where we can hang it where it won’t fall off the wall!

For Christmas Day lunch we went to my step brothers house…or maybe it was more like an early dinner. They tried lunch a few years ago and haven’t learnt anything about timing because lunch was at about 3pm! Anyway, my siblings and I do a Kris Kringle present giving which makes things easier when there are six of us! I had my sister in law this year and I bought her a Pandora stacker ring, my partner had my eldest step-brother and got him a small kitchen veggie/herb garden, and I got a perfume and lotions set and he got a Super Cheap Auto voucher. For my Dad we got him tickets to the Australia Day cricket and gave my step-Mum the bellabox Christmas box. From them I got a fancy drink dispenser and some money and my partner got an air sander.

We finished up the day at my partner’s parents place and we got his Mum a personalised 2016 wall calendar, we had an extra one made for his Gran as well. For his Dad was some fishing thing for his boat which I really didn’t understand what it was! And for one sister we got the bellabox Christmas box and the other one we bought a T2 teapot with matching cup and three little tins of loose leaf tea. Gosh we always get spoiled when we’re over there, we got a rotary clothesline, because the one we have now is hung under the carport and I can’t reach it! Along with some pegs and clothes bags and a voucher for Bunnings. My partner also got a life jacket for when we go kayaking and I got an Anaconda voucher to buy some accessories for my kayaks. I also got a couple of makeup and jewellery cases as well and my partner got another toolset and some little sorting tubs for the shed.

Did you all have a nice Christmas? What presents did you get?

Take care,

Jas

Getting Personal – I have an eating disorder

There, I said it. Now the whole world knows, yep, I have an eating disorder. Specifically, Binge-Eating Disorder. I struggled with this “label” as it were, for a really long time because let’s face it, Binge-Eating Disorder…it doesn’t really sound like a thing does it? But oh yes it is. It’s like the dirty cousin of Bulimia, it shares many of the same defining points, only there’s no compensatory action at the end – no vomiting, laxatives, working out at the gym like an idiot. Just eating food, and lots of it, without being able to stop yourself from doing it.

Why did I decide to blog about this? Well, there’s a few other blogs I’ve seen of women in particular who are struggling with various issues, OCD, depression and anxiety, and the strength that these women have is just amazing and inspiring. So I thought, just maybe if I could blog about my own experiences as well, perhaps it will help someone else to know that they are not alone, someone else out there knows exactly how they feel, and most importantly, that help is available.

I am only at the beginning of seeking help. A couple of years ago is around the time I think when I first starting trying to drown my emotions in food, and it helped. Like any addiction, it all seems to help at first. But then I started getting negative, self-loathing thoughts, especially as my body started changing because I was putting on weight. Part of me must have known that what I was doing wasn’t right, because I found myself starting to hide evidence of all my binges by burying rubbish underneath other rubbish already in the bin, or even hiding wrappers in my desk where my partner wouldn’t see them…and then still eating a full dinner just in case he asked why I wasn’t hungry. It was not long after I started hiding what I was doing that I thought about vomiting everything up, it just seemed like an easy solution. I thought about it, and I thought about it, and then something in my mind just clicked and I thought “I need help”.

I started with seeing my family doctor and just broke down in tears, and she prescribed me with moclobemide which is an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication and also put me in touch with a psychiatrist who is the best in the state. The medication has helped take the edge off all of my negative thinking but it is still there, I just don’t care about it as much, which is good in the sense that at least I’m not an inconsolable wreck and can still function properly at work. But at the same time makes it equally important to work with a psychiatrist to work through all those issues I have sitting in my head that are causing me to binge.

I had the first appointment with the psychiatrist a few weeks ago now. The only problem with seeing someone who is the best in the state is that it’s very hard to get an appointment with them, which I actually think has the potential to cause more harm to recovery than good. But anyway, I’m doing ok at the moment. This session, being the first one, it was mostly like an information session where I told him about my background and history and he helped me understand how it is that people may come to have eating disorders. That in itself was really interesting from a scientific perspective. Even rationally and logically you can look at it and say yep, I understand all of that, and even how to change it to get better… But actually implementing those changes…I am afraid..terrified even. What if it’s too hard and I can’t find the control within myself to do that? Well I suppose that’s one of the things I’m seeing him about, to help me establish that control over what I’m eating. It still terrifies me though.

I was actually really pleased that from the session I have tangible things to take away and work on, homework I guess you’d call it, and that makes me feel good about the session and hopeful about getting well. But it also makes me feel a bit stressed and anxious because there was quite a list of things to do, and it got me wondering how the hell I cope with that as well as things like uni and work and everything else in life!

So in case you’re interested, these are the tasks I was given from the first session:

  • Start keeping a food journal detailing time, what you’re eating, where you’re eating and what you’re thinking and feeling. This is so hard oh my gosh, whenever I binge I just want to pretend like this journal doesn’t exist so I can not write in it and therefore forget the binge happened. It’s only really been the last week or so that I have actually been detailing every single little thing accurately, so I feel like I’m making progress.
  • Read a book called Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating by Peter Cooper. I have read through near most of this book. It contains a manual for helping recovery, though it is recommended that you do this in conjunction with seeing someone like a dietician who specialises in eating disorders. So far I have worked through Step 1 and this week will be starting Step 2.
  • Write a letter to my eating disorder as a friend. You know like, hey friend you make me feel amazing. Felt a little weird but did help to put things into a weird sort of perspective.
  • Write a letter to my eating disorder as an enemy. Same sort of thing, only this one made me cry, but was also kind of cathartic.
  • A life chart detailing good and bad key events in my life and how they made me feel. This is a hard one, and one that took me a long time to complete because I kept going back to it to add more. I think this is one of the things that the psychiatrist will want to work through, like a list of issues that you keep locked away and don’t properly deal with.

Share with me in the comments below; are you recovering from an eating disorder, or have you recovered from one? Tell me a bit more about your journey.

And above all, make sure that you take care of yourself.

Jas