I did a thing…

Don’t worry, I haven’t robbed a bank or anything.

I shaved all of my hair off!

So I’d had the itch to do it for a while, and I had done it before but for some reason I was even more nervous this time around?

I felt the fear and did it anyway, and boy am I glad I did. It is honestly the most liberating and scary thing ever!

Now, you don’t need any reason to shave your hair. You can do it simply because you want to (and that was definitely one reason for me!) but I had a few more deeper reasons for sure.

For me as a child and a teenager, hair was everything to me. It was a defining and precious part of my identity. Though I never had really long, flowing hair, it was still a massive part of my look. I do remember wishing I had long hair like Rapunzel, so I could look like a princess. Screw letting a prince climb up to my window with it though, you think I’m getting a sore scalp for some stinky boy? Errrm, absolutely not. I’m fine in my room on my own singing Britney Spears in the mirror to my teddies, pretending I’m in a music video. So, thanks but no thanks.

Anyway, I digress. I started experimenting with my hair at around 18 years old, with subtle colour changes and cuts until eventually I got a pixie cut at 20. And then dyed my hair bright colours around 22. It’s been a rollercoaster ever since haha!

Recently I had been growing it out and really liking it. But my brain was telling me I was too comfortable with the length and in true Heather style I thought “you need to challenge this!” I needed to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, in more than one aspect of my life. So here I am with very short shaved hair, dyed pink of course. There is nothing to hide behind, which is both amazing and terrifying at the same time. People stare, because a woman with a shaved head is still a strange thing to see these days. “Oh you chose to have hair like that? Are you okay? I mean, mentally? Are you alright yeah?” Yes Barbara I’m all good babe, my hair was just pissing me off and I wont be defined by it because although society tells us women have to have long, luscious, shiny hair to be pretty and for men to admire us, I am not following suit! We good? Cool, have a nice day Barbs.

I will not be told that I am more attractive with hair. Without tattoos, if I was thinner. If I just wore this, it’d suit my bigger body better. Have you ever thought that I don’t live to be attractive to men & other people? *SHOCK HORROR*

After most of my life wanting to be attractive to guys, being bothered about what others think of me and gaining approval, I cannot be arsed anymore. I do things for me, because it’s my body and I like it this way! Don’t get me wrong, my mind set hasn’t 100% changed, it’s not like I clicked my fingers and I suddenly don’t give a shit. I have stuff still to work on and thoughts to challenge still. But I am miles from where I was for sure.

Recovery has tought me to feel the fear and do it anyway, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is scary. But you know, if I want that tattoo or I want to cut all my hair off, or that piercing or that short skirt, you bet your ass I’m gonna go for it. Now, I’m not endorsing distructive, impulsive behaviour here. That’s a whole different ball game, and you do have to think about decisions you make in life realistically if they’re going to affect things. But what is the harm in being someone you want to be? Being comfortable in your own skin? Why is it still such a revolutionary, rebellious thing to do?

Some people may think, “alright love you’ve just cut your hair calm down” and yes I agree. I’ve just cut my hair. So why is it such a big thing? It shouldn’t be.

I’m just saying, I’m gonna keep doing me. Pushing the boundaries of perceptions of beauty in my own little world. Being rebellious. Because this shy, rule following cute little lady is also kind of a badass. And it’s about time that badass came out a bit more…

My Eating Disorder and Me.

I have an eating disorder called Binge Eating Disorder.

Now, I’m no expert but when you’re diagnosed with something, you tend to learn a few things about what it is you have. Binge Eating Disorder (shortened to BED, I’ll be using that because ya girl cannot be arsed to write the whole thing every time) is an eating disorder that makes you binge and restrict your food. They’re binge- restrict cycles, and they’re one of the things that keeps the eating disorder going.

You think you’re fat, you restrict, and then you binge. A lot of food. And repeat. At least for me anyways.

I started to notice a change with food around 5 and a half years ago, after going through a rough heartbreak. I’d always been the chubby shy kid, always had a weird relationship with food, but this was different. I was “officially” diagnosed 2 years ago I think? And I have been searching for the right therapy since then, chasing my recovery and yearning for growth.

I have since found the right therapy and let me tell you, it’s astounding the difference it’s made. More about that soon though, I promise.

I’ve learned so far that my eating disorder is a way of coping in a time of trauma. It protected me from feeling the overwhelming emotions that I just couldn’t cope with. It gave me comfort, love, and it was a punishment for not being good enough. It’s my protector but also my punisher.

I now know that, and although I’m only at the very beginning of recovery, I know that the eating disorder doesn’t serve me. It never did. It protected me, but only short term.

My self esteem has always been low, and the eating disorder feeds on that. It uses that to punish me. It’s a very complicated, dark cycle that is immensely hard to break but lord knows I’m a stubborn bitch so you know I’m not giving in!

Therapy has obviously been a massive help, getting my head around what is going on for me. It is both amazing and terrifying. I also read a lot, I find myself learning new things all the time from the books I’m reading. Learning about my eating disorder, trauma, self love, feminism and so much more.

I think body acceptance/ body positivity has made a massive difference too. I’ve gained a lot of weight since this eating disorder took hold. And of course, if you gain weight you automatically bully yourself for it. People also like to point it out too, like I don’t look in the mirror every day and see?! Unfortunately society thinks they have the right to comment on people’s bodies, whether they’ve lost or gained weight. Whether they look different, or maybe the clothes they wear. And they absolutely do not have the right, it’s none of anyone’s business what you do with your body. I am too guilty of doing this, but I’m learning & growing.

Body positivity is all about accepting your body right now, exactly how it is. Or at least being body neutral, if positivity sounds too scary. It’s about accepting other bodies for what they look like, and it was orginally made for marginalised people. To accept themselves just the way they are. I still don’t know a whole bunch about it so I wont go into it too much but honestly, it’s been one of my saviours!

Though I have a long way to go, I feel I have come far. And rarely give myself credit or recognise just how fucking proud I am of myself. My confidence is so much better than it used to be. I live in a bigger body than I’ve ever been used to but I have so much more confidence than when I was a size 12. Because I’ve worked on the inside.

I’ve given a big “fuck you” to society and I am learning to accept myself. I don’t diet anymore, diet culture is toxic af (again more about that another time!) I wear what I want, I’m tattooed, I have bright hair, and I have never felt more myself than I do right now. I still have work to do on the inside for sure, but I’m progressing and that’s the main thing.

My eating disorder may have protected me these past five years but now it’s time to learn to protect myself. And I have no doubt that I will be where I want to be eventually. Because I’m strong and I know I deserve it.

Hi, Hello, How are ya?

Well, here we are.

The blog I’ve wanted to do for a few years now but never had the lady balls to go through with.

I guess this first post is just to establish what this is all going to be about. I’m not expecting anything big from this, it’s more of an online journal I guess. The trials and tribulations of a millenial in therapy? Ha.

Hi, Hello, How are ya? My name is Heather. Mental Health has been so important to me for the past ten years, going through some shit and trying to get a grip on adult life these days. I feel that where I am now is miles from where I was but yet I have so much more to learn and lots of growth…to grow…? Haha.

If you’re interested in mental health, eating disorders, feminism, self love, therapy and spirituality amongst a host of other weird and wonderful things then you might enjoy reading my blog. It’s a little online journal for me to write down what I learn in therapy, in life, things I’m passionate about and rediscovering my love for writing. Little Heather bloody loved writing and telling stories, but I seem to have lost that love in the midst of all the bullshit. Oh and expect some swearing. Ya girl loves a good curse word (if you hadn’t noticed already!) And sarcasm.

Anyways, I didn’t want this to be too long. Just a little introduction to anyone reading, of what you can expect on here.

I guess I’ll see you on the next post! Oooo exciting, I know! Bet you can’t contain your excitement.