Over the past year, hearing people say they miss their freedom was something I honestly couldn’t fully relate to. I knew that when lockdown ends I’d still have restrictions placed on my life, by me. I haven’t felt free in a long time. I gave myself guidelines to live by that always created a barrier between the life I wanted and the life I was living. Some of these were food-related; others were about my body, my routine, my habits, my hobbies. I thought these rules were there to keep me safe, but I’ve begun to realise they were only there to keep my eating disorder active, and I can’t fully recover while following these rules. I’ve started to do things that I previously wouldn’t have even considered because they were unconsciously banned in my head. Why have I been so harsh on myself? Life is tough enough as it is without these added limits we place on ourselves.
It’s crazy how much I’ve not done because I listened to these thoughts and did not challenge them. Your mind is not always your friend, sometimes you need to do the opposite of what it tells you to. Black and white thinking had me label things as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but there was no truth in this, only my own judgment, which was false and disordered. It’s hard to know what to believe when social media and diet culture are more prevalent than ever, but we need to stay in tune with our physical and emotional needs and follow our gut and personal instincts. No one can tell you how to live.
Ironically, during lockdown, I became freer, because I’ve had the time to challenge my thoughts and realise that my own restrictions were restricting my happiness. I came to terms with the fact that life is unpredictable, anything can happen at any moment (a pandemic??!), so I am determined to make the moments I have as special as I can, filled with things that make me feel happy and alive and loved and free.
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