The Next Adventure

The day after tomorrow, our new adventure begins as we both jet off to Miami before we board the biggest ship in the world to start our  7+ months of work, whilst sailing around the Caribbean……not a bad life I guess. If you don’t know us, this is how we met… working on a cruise ship, how else does a Romanian man and English woman meet? Now 8 months on from when we first met and after having a relaxing vacation, we are back joining a new ship together.

For the majority of 2017 we have previously been working and living on a different ship together. Being with someone 24/7…you get to know them pretty quickly but we soon found out we share the same passion of travelling and have decided to document our life together as we keep moving forward into the future.

Happiness is only real when shared.” – Christopher Maccandles

I (Hayley) created the “Live Free, Live a Journey” quote and started blogging independently (not as often as I would have liked) about things I am passionate about e.g. travel, positivity, my personal life. Things have took a whirlwind turn in the past few months and I have found someone who shares the same positive energy and drive to reinvent “Live Free and Live a Journey”.

So for the next few months we will be together 24/7 again and going through the ups and downs of ship life whilst visiting some amazing places, but this time we will be documenting our adventures TOGETHER. However, the problems of keeping you up-to-date with our life through blogging, youtube videos and other forms of social media, is the requirement of reliable internet………we will be in the middle of the ocean!!! Plus the majority of time spent each day is spent working or sleeping!! SOOOOO I guess we are going to face this constant battle to find decent wifi BUT we are going to try our best to post as regular as we can and we hope you stick around!!!

”It’s time for a new adventure”

Get to know us more and more as you follow us on our life journey!

Let the next adventure begin! 1 day countdown as we are reunited again in Miami!

Speak Soon x

Hayley & Ovidiu

“Live Free, Live a Journey”

 


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24 Years

Nearly three weeks ago on the 3rd of April of this year (2017) I turned 24 years old! Where has the years gone. Who would have thought I would be celebrating my 24th birthday on a cruise ship in the Caribbean! It was only two years ago I was panicking about what I was going to do with my life. Plus in a big chunk of 6 years in life I couldn’t even imagine how I would make it to 24, I couldn’t see that far into the future. I believe I have only started living my life how I want in the past year and a half.

I used to regret the years I was gripped with an eating disorder and anxiety, I felt like i had wasted my life; the crucial years of my life enjoying my teenager and adolescence years where everyone figured themselves out, lived a journey of ups and downs together and was able to handle it. Now a realise the only thing I regret is hurting my body and others I love around me. That part of my life will always be with me as it was my only comfort in my life at that time…it will always be there trying to take control again of my life but I have grown inner strength to finally live my life happy. Nothing is going to change how I live my life now as I have worked too hard…my body doesn’t deserve it. Now 24 in the past year from 23 years old I have found myself again and what my real reason is for living on this earth as me…as Hayley Vincent.

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How did I celebrate? 

Back home I really don’t get excited for my birthday. It was just another year I had struggled through to get to an older age……this added more panic, stress, hate, loathe and failure as my life wasn’t planning out like I imagined as a little girl. However, now I see my birthday as another year for opportunity, growth, risk, recovery, love and excitement. I celebrate another year of being free and grateful (hence the tattoo I have…to remind me everyday of how far I have come). Another year of being happy for who I am and whatever weight I am. 

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For my 24th I celebrated on a cruise ship with my extended second family. Living and working on a smaller cruise ship you really end up like family. I celebrated my 24th in Labadee, Haiti….despite visiting there multiple times in this contract and my previous contract I decided to embrace the beauty of the island. Normally I wouldn’t get off in this place as it is all commercialised for the cruise guests (it is part of the island used for the ship), however it is still another island that is beautiful, different culture, different people, amazing scenery….you cannot complain or be ungrateful. However it was a long working day with no time to really celebrate. I ended running an extra activity for the guests on the island and only had a maximum of 3 hours off before I headed back to work. Well them three hours free ended up making my birthday the most special and getting over an enormous fear. I did TWO zip lines!! One of them was 500ft above!!! I didn’t know I was doing it as if I had known I probably would have backed out. It was such a special and memorable day for me. Having someone surprise with this was such a shock….in my head I think I don’t deserve this and if i had known I would have said “no don’t plan this”. It is weird how I got over such a fear with ease, this means to me my anxiety had reduced and I am truly living a free life…I now feel safe in this life and life isn’t against me. 

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Even though I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep that night, everyone in the team and other people from other departments encouraged me to celebrate at midnight for my birthday. I didn’t even think about this I was just going to sleep as we had an early morning of work again the next day. At this moment I was so happy…..being around people if I have’t known long were making my birthday special. The sports team as normal had a little get together in one of the cabins. I really don’t think about the presents I may receive on my birthday, I would rather just have the people most meaningful to me around me at that time. The team all acted like it wasn’t my birthday and saying they hadn’t got me anything….normal gullible me I believed them but I didn’t care one bit. As long as we were together is all that mattered to me. Suddenly, I had a wrapped present in front of me…a pillow saying ‘blondes have more fun’ that was a gift from the sports team…again I could have cried with happiness. This quote sums me up so well…..I am blonde and now in my new life I have more fun than anymore 🙂

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I even got surprised with a cake!!! I will be honest I nearly cried with happiness AGAIN as I didn’t have a clue!!! At midnight everyone sang happy birthday and there was a cake arranged by a certain someone. That moment will be memorable for life. I was with people who I hardly really knew, from all over the world and they were there wanting to celebrate my birthday…..a very special moment filled with gratefulness and true happiness. You learn people aren’t as judgmental as you think, the world is a community and full of acceptance.

This 24th year my goal is to take risks more with my emotions. This means I need to learn to embrace and show different emotions to people. I think I am protecting myself but really I am hiding myself from others. Showing your emotions is a leaning experience that may result in you getting hurt or full of happiness…but you have to take the risk in life.

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The next day we was in San Juan, Puerto Rico! My favourite port of the trip!!! Due to rotation of the schedules I didn’t have much time off in port but this worked out the best as I had the evening off where there was an all crew party which I decided to class as my birthday party!!! What a night! Drinking alcohol would normally make me more anxious, I would hate it and feel so self- conscious meaning I drink more and more. With so many people around I felt like I could be 100% myself, I danced the night away and enjoyed my life with people I love.

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It was an amazing birthday and I want to thank everyone who made it special for me. The next day we was in St Maarten and I had a nice chilled day full of sunshine, good company and time spent swimming in the sea. Despite everyone feeling slightly fragile from the night before some of the sports team and I dressed up like normal human beings to go for a meal that evening…making this a THREE DAY CELEBRATION!

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Turning 24 I didn’t even imagine where I would be in life. It is weird as I don’t know what I want to do in life right now, but I am not panicking about it. I am enjoying travelling, visiting new countries and  enjoying meeting new people and living life as me. Meeting so many people in the same boat..literally…has put me at ease. Whatever I want to do in the future will come…..I am no longer planning. I know I am a perfectionist but I have learnt life isn’t about failure to meet your goals…..it is about embracing the small goals you have.

Speak Soon xx

‘Live Free…Live a Journey’

The Power of Control

Life is a crazy whirlwind full of ups and downs, with obstacles to overcome, immense highs and extreme lows. Have you ever felt like your life is running away from you? You feel like you have no control over your life? Your life is so busy full of unpredictable changes? You keep looking in the past or looking into the future for answers?….Guess what! You are not living and embracing your present life. 

“Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinary well” – Arnauld, Angelique

One of them most prevalent fears people have is that of losing control, the fear that if you don’t manage to control the outcome of future events, something terrible will happen. The need for control in todays society is essential, with people working busy work schedules, balancing family life, striving for perfection, all whilst aiming for true happiness in life. However the main crux of the problem is the demand for certainty in a world that is always tentative and uncertain. People with losing-control anxiety are perfectionists….yes being a perfectionist in parts of your life are beneficial, however it can be a rollercoaster ride of demanding for perfect certitude and when you don’t get it you worry and ruminate about it.

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Focusing on self-image, especially in todays’ society, there is a pressure to look a certain way….. with the media promoting a new diet craze every week, the new fitness fad, the thin model body or the curvy voluptuous woman. You cannot win. In my experience with an eating disorder I believed it was my friend. It was something that was mine and something I had total control of. “Control” was a qualitative feeling, but I turned it into a quantitive one counting calories, pounds, miles and minutes. I tested my self-control everyday setting myself unrealistic goals of fasting for 7 days straight, calorie restriction , extreme exercise routines and when i successfully completed these tasks, the high I got was unexplainable. Even though I was exhausted , hungry and weak I felt like I could take on the world. I felt like I had self-control in at least one part of my life whilst a rollercoaster of changes and emotions were happening in my everyday life. It was my escape and my little secret to help me manage with the anxiety I was feeling…life moving forward was a fear that was daunting for me. After all these years, it is only now I recognise the close link between the search for control was a search for relief from fear. I believed if I could get to my perfect body weight and successfully complete my extreme diet and fitness plans….then my life would be perfect and I will be happy.

Soon the strict rules began to slip as the ‘bulimia’ voice in my head became powerful. The restriction turned into addiction to food. I needed something to full the empty hole inside me as my anxiety and restlessness became uncontrollable. Then BAM! I lose my control completely after taking that one mouthful of food which can only be explained as an comforting orgasmic high. WOW..I had failed…again! The need for that perfect body, and to lose weight had become an unachievable goal. The panic would set in…I had to gain back control over my body by getting rid of the calories I had consumed by vomiting, overexercising, laxative abuse until I felt like I had pressed the rest button. Looking back with help from my therapy sessions, I believed I was in total control of my life but in fact my life was a true chaos. Despite my mind filled with anxiety and thoughts flying everywhere, I had an empty hole inside me that was filled with an unhealthy addiction which felt like a soft, comforting blanket that suppressed all my thoughts. 

‘Conflict’

“I know, I understand. I know, yet I do not understand. Words without action. Action without control. Without control over that which I control. Scared. Confused. Alone. What next? What I want is not what I want. I want half, but not the other half. I cannot go on, yet I must. Struggle, Struggle as I might, I must go on. Yet why don’t I go in the healthy direction? Because I know, but I cannot control. I understand, yet I am trapped. I know, yet I reject the knowledge. Why? Because I must.”

Leighah Darcy—1994/5

Control is an underlying theme of an eating disorder. However, my eating disorder didn’t start as a search for something I could control. It started as a search for happiness and to help make me feel better about my body. As I was successfully completing my diet plans, the more the fear kicked in of how I was going to maintain this throughout my whole life, the fear triggered the need for control. The anxiety that comes with an eating disorder isn’t related to food, life itself overwhelmed me…I couldn’t handle any extreme emotion from extreme excitement to extreme sadness. By restricting my food intake or binging and purging turned down the anxiety chemicals temporary, and these behaviours gave me the illusion that I was in control of my life. During recovery, I couldn’t imagine my life without my eating disorder…it was there for me in difficult times but I had to face my fear and let go. 

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“Have the courage to accept yourself as inherently flawed; as part of a universe that offers no guarantees, and as a being the lives imperfectly in this imperfect universe. “

Speak Soon xx

“Live Free…Live a Journey”

My Journey in a Previous Life

Ok here it goes. This is what has motivated me to create a new blog and how my total outlook on life has changed for the positive!! This was meant to be written a long time ago but life just got in the way and I wanted to take time in writing this post to get the true message across.

Previously said in my Let’s start this off! blog post I had a previous blog and many people know what I have struggled with throughout life. The reason I created that blog at the time was to raise awareness and to help anyone who is suffering behind closed doors as I felt like I was strong enough to do so…but I wasn’t and soon the pressure of updating the blog honestly was so hard as I wasn’t moving forward in my recovery as it could be very triggering. However, what can be seen as a positive and negative, is the fact that so many people who I knew of and didn’t know of was coming forward asking for help and guidance. At this time I didn’t feel like I was in the position to do this I was trying to reach out to others for help too….how was I going to provide good advice and help when I wasn’t implementing it myself. 

However, I am now happy to say I really feel for the first time in my life I have had that turning point in my life, I have learnt how to cope and adjust with change. It has been a massive learning process dealing with different situations but I have got to know about what suits me personally, I have let my body heal and become more at one with my body. Yes it has been challenging and not easy at all but I am come through the other side… I finally feel like I am at peace…..I never ever thought I would have said that just 11 months ago. So what am I on about? Well I have been battling bulimia nervosa and anxiety for a good 6 years behind closed doors. As everyone knows I put on a very good front as I am always happy and smiley (which I emphasise was totally genuine) but there was a storm happening within me. What a rocky 6 years it has been but I have finally come through the other end to now tell my story after reaching rock bottom.

I am finally Living Free and Living my Journey down a life-changing, enjoyable, peaceful and secure path in life ❤

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

What is bulimia nervosa? For people who don’t know bulimia is an eating disorder defined as:

an emotional disorder characterised by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging”

Yes this is correct but it is so much more than this which I will try and to explain as best as I can with my experience and other peoples’ that I could relate to. Not everyone is the same, my journey may be similar or different to others,  but we all connect as we all battle everyday and this is where we need to speak up and support each other. 

Bulimia Signs & Symptoms

An individual suffering from bulimia nervosa may reveal several signs and symptoms, many which are the direct result of self-induced vomiting or other forms of purging, especially if the binge/purge cycle is repeated several times a week and/or day.

Physical signs and symptoms of bulimia nervosa are:

  • Constant weight fluctuations
  • Electrolyte imbalances, which can result in cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, or ultimately death
  • Broken blood vessels within the eyes
  • Enlarged glands in the neck and under the jaw line
  • Oral trauma, such as lacerations in the lining of the mouth or throat from repetitive vomiting
  • Chronic dehydration
  • Inflammation of the esophagus
  • Chronic gastric reflux after eating  or peptic ulcers
  • Infertility

Signs and symptoms of binge eating and purging are:

  • Disappearance of large amounts of food
  • Eating in secrecy
  • Lack of control when eating
  • Switching between periods of overeating and fasting
  • Frequent use of the bathroom after meals
  • Having the smell of vomit

Bulimia nervosa can also create problematic strains between the sufferer and family and friends, particularly as the individual has abnormal eating behaviours and/or the avoidance of social activities to engage in binge/purge episodes.

My Story

The Early Years (Aged 7-15)

It was only through my different recovery techniques such as CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy), hypnotherapy etc etc, did I look back on the triggers that could have contributed to my eating disorder. Why was I like the way I was? As a young child I was a happy, carefree, sporty child who was always smiling and loving life. However looking back, underneath all the positive and bubbly personality I was portraying, I remember negative thoughts going my head. 

One key moment was in primary school where I was known as being the ‘early developer’. A tall blonde girl, the tallest in the class and probably the clumsiest too. It didn’t bother me too much but as I was developing early this meant my boobs were obviously growing at a faster rate than the other girls in my class. Winning!!!…..erm not, especially as a sporty girl. This made me feel very self-conscious which caused more negative thoughts in my head about how I looked. I guess this happens to a lot of girls growing up, it is normal, but these thoughts began to control my mind and my life for the next 6+ years. 

As I was the tallest girl in my class this was emphasised in one of the lessons, some clever person decided it would be great to draw around the tallest and smallest of each sex, male and female. I remember feeling so down this day, the two small students in the class were perfect and petite, and here I was the giant which in my head I thought I was ‘obese’. I began to associate being tall with being fat. Despite playing all the sport I did, I never became small and petite as obviously my body had a certain physique…I couldn’t change my bone structure. I wasn’t stick thin like the models so it was repeatedly playing on my mind. Changing into my school uniform, looking at myself in the mirror and all I could see was a fat Hayley but then going to school with the same smile on my face. It is sad looking back on this and how down I felt inside. 

In my high school years, this is where it became apparent that I turned to food. This was my control. I was a healthy child so there was no way in hell that I would let anyone see me eat unhealthy food…which I rarely did! I was still the sporty one, I had to keep my athletic persona and be known as ‘the healthy one’.  I remember if I did try and ‘fit in’ one odd occasion by having that one packet of crisps or some sweets from the tuck shop (an attempt to feel like a normal school child)….it felt like all hell as broke lose. I had broken my image and people noticed by giving comments such as ‘oh my god Hayley is eating something unhealthy.’ This could have been a a jokey passing comment but this would trigger so much more……the hate against my body increased….I felt like I had lost the control and beat myself up so much. 

As the stress of growing up increased, image became more and more important I turned to food and couldn’t stop. In my later years in high school, I would fast meaning I wouldn’t eat all day in school as I felt self-conscious eating in front of others. I felt drained as I was running around with my hundreds of bags during the day doing different activities such as netball, dancing, running training etc etc.  I blamed not eating on being busy and I got away with it. However, a routine became apparent as I would literally time myself how fast it took me to walk home  and how much time I had on my own in the house before my parents came home. This was my time to eat and I turned to food to mask the feelings I had deep down. There was a problem though, as soon as I ate I couldn’t stop. I was binging in secret as best as I could but it became noticed by my parents as things were missing in the kitchen cupboard. At this age I didn’t know really what I was doing..I just know I always wanted to lose weight. After the uncontrollable binge after school I would feel terrible and knew I had to do my evening activity that evening whether it be the gym, swimming, netball or running….but it was awful going to swimming training with a bloated stomach and so much guilt and hate. This would make me push my body…or more like punish myself for losing control after fasting all day. The routine continued…

The strive to be the best in my sporting activities and to be academically recognised took control from a very young age. This is common amongst people with eating disorders but I must stress this isn’t the same in everyone. For me I put so much stress on myself to succeed and I was constantly setting goals for myself…..majority of the time unrealistic goals. This would send me in a downward spiral where I would then begin hating myself more. I became separated from friendship groups and simply didn’t feel normal. I wouldn’t go out with friends as much as I had to fit the gym in or I didn’t feel good enough and didn’t want anyone to see me as I felt like I was being judged by everyone. I was focused and was determined to succeed, plus I wanted my dream body. I wrote down gym plans, nutrition plans and I must stress these weren’t healthy plans….my anxiety grew and grew. I would find unhealthy ways to try and lose weight and beat myself up if I didn’t succeed. By the end of my high school years I felt normal as I had a boyfriend…things were looking up but my insecurities still took control. 

College and University Years (Aged 16-22)

These were definitely the years where things spiralled out of control, things were changing and it really took some strength to get through. I didn’t think at the time I had this strength to battle through. Firstly, I had been accepted in a well-known highly academic college where only a small amount of people from my high school progressed onto. I was originally excited to be going..it was a new start in a new place with new people, but these years turned to some very rough times. I wasn’t the best at anything anymore and there was greater competition in every part of my life. I felt threatened in my relationship, my passion for sport at the college disappeared and I felt stress and pressure to continue doing well with my academic work. This is where I really felt like I had lost my identity. I was more conscious of my appearance, competing to look at least half-decent and the anxiety took control where I felt like everyone was looking at me and judging. Obviously looking back this was all in my head, but I would break out in a sweat and panic in big groups and preferred a lot of the time to just be on my own. During this time I felt knocked as I lost my confidence playing netball. Something happened at the beginning of the year where I missed something as it was my boyfriends birthday and it put me off on the wrong footing. At the end of the day I just wanted to get home and out of the place, all the extra-curricular activities I enjoyed doing in high school I didn’t enjoy doing in college and just wanted to get home to the gym. It was a longer journey to college which didn’t make me happy at all and I became exhausted. 

During this time I was fitting in my academic work, my crazy diets, my gym routine, my boyfriend, my work and I had no time to just sit and think. I fasted for days not wanting to eat anything, I did crazy gym routines, I took all sorts of diet pills, I was beating myself put as I felt too fat and always wanted to lose weight. In my relationship it was breaking down and I completely lost myself, I felt alone and emotionally broken. College was all a blur for me, I remember bits but I completely zoned out these two years…all I remember is living off energy drinks, beating myself up whenever I ate something bad or anything at all, and trying to keep my relationship stable whilst battling my insecurities. At the end of the college years I came out with great academic grades…..super happy and surprised despite everything going on in the background. The stress of picking my next step in life became so nerve-wracking, I felt like I had to pick between my relationship and what university I was going to go to. I got into the top sports university but I turned it down to be at the same university as my boyfriend and convinced myself it was for the better….I was closer to home and it was going to make our relationship stronger. 

University years……some good times, majority the worst times. I thought going to a university with my boyfriend I could finally meet new people, go out drinking, hang around with loads of new people and finally enjoy being a normal university student. WRONG! This wasn’t me and very soon I realised it wasn’t. During my first year I struggled going out. I didn’t want to drink like the others as I didn’t want to put on weight. I isolated myself and it was the first time I had full control of my food intake. I would go on different diets all the time and couldn’t relax. If one night I wanted a normal movie night with my boyfriend with junk food I would go into full panic mode…as soon as I ate any of this stuff…I couldn’t stop! it was embarrassing and I felt disgusting. This is where the binging and purging really took over my life. Fast forward a few months I had a messy split with my boyfriend which crushed me. It was my first boyfriend and we had been together for nearly 4 years….I was alone. It emotionally destroyed me at the time, I couldn’t eat and would go home crying uncontrollably….this was so not like me as I never cried in front of anyone. I felt like I didn’t deserve anything and struggled to focus on anything else. My anxiety became out of control and would panic just walking around university ….I felt so much nervous energy and could feel the fat on my body. 

I made it through the first year….thank god. Second year it was another ‘new beginning’ for me in a new house with new room mates. I decided to get involved with freshers and partied hard….but my partying hard is drinking and not eating. No way could I be drinking calories as well as eating calories. I would go to the gym half-drunk, I would keep on drinking these next few weeks on little food getting me through. As you would predict…I crashed. I couldn’t handle it and my mood dropped to all time low. Work was piling up and my binging became out of control. Second and third year, I lived off little sleep and hurt my body a lot. The binge and purge cycle became intense and I couldn’t stop. The rush was too much to handle. Many people may not understand this binge and purge cycle I experienced but I will try and explain with an example of what would happen many, many, many times.

  1. My mind ‘Ok Hayley you have this assignment to do, lets go to the library and get the work done’……..
  2. 5 minutes into the work my anxiety increases and finding it hard to focus on anything. ..’I can’t do this assignment, I don’t know what to write, I need food, I am hungry, why can’t I do this? Everyone is looking at me. I need to go to the gym so I need to get this done. I can’t eat anything I will get fat. What can I eat that will not lead me into a binge? How many calories and fat is that? I will eat something and come back to do my work.’
  3. Pack my stuff away and head off to get food…My mind is racing, I feel so much adrenaline, I need to settle this empty feeling. I zone out and head to the shop. ‘This has too many calories, this has too much fat, what can I eat, this is so hard to pick, people are looking at me, how many should I get, I can’t get two, that won’t fill me up, bread will bloat me, I want something sweet, or do I want something savoury, should I go back to the library, my roommates aren’t in, I can go back later and do my work…….’ My mind explodes and I go into a complete trance. It is all so overwhelming in the shop. I panic I leave and without thinking I head to another shop where I hope no students will be to see me. I pick everything and anything into my basket. I am sweating and totally flustered. I reach the till and feel judged completely….It is completely obvious. I have 30 english pounds worth of food in my basket with 3 boxes of laxatives …..hmmmm?
  4. I literally speed walk back to my flat where I know I have just under 2 hours to do this. The first mouthful of food is unexplainable…..my anxiety decreases as I keep eating. Not even thinking I am shoving all this food, all this fat, all these calories into my body.
  5. BANG…looking around at all the empty packets. WHAT HAVE I JUST DONE? Panic increases and immediately i need to get the food out of my body. I run to the bathroom and force myself to be sick multiple times making sure the last thing I have eaten comes up. it gets to the point where water is just coming up. I sit on the bathroom floor completely zoned out. ‘Why have I done this again?’. I feel so emotional and beat myself up. I take a packet of laxatives still panicking I have gained weight immediately and end up taking nearly the full packet. I had become immune to them from overuse so I just had more and more. 
  6. In pain, zoned out, dehydrated, depressed and feeling disgusting I try to focus and go back to the work I had to do. I stay in my room and don’t go out as I am too embarrassed as I feel like everyone knows what I have done. 

A lot of people with bulimia believe….it is shameful, it is selfish and the eating disorder made me become a very selfish person.  It became so intense this cycle it would be happening multiple times a day. Looking back I don’t know how I functioned. My body was falling apart and I was mentally in a downwards spiral. I felt so much anxiety I would have a panic just leaving the house, I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone as I was so ashamed and pushed so many people away. I put myself in some scary situations for example I felt after having multiple binge and purge sessions plus overdosing on laxatives I fell asleep on the bathroom floor as I couldn’t move, I was so dehydrated and thought this would stop me. This is how powerful the eating disorder takes control of your life….you feel nothing can stop it and the next day you will continue. 

Where did I get help?

I admit I tried everything! From following a structured eating plan, getting referred to outpatient eating disorder program, cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation and hypnotherapy. I believe you have to do this to find the thing that helps you as it isn’t the same for everyone. 

One thing that I hope this blog post will encourage is for people to speak up and talk to people around them. It is scary and not everyone understands…you feel shameful and embarrassed. I stress you shouldn’t. The first blog post I wrote about this I was overwhelmed with positive comments and a lot of people came forward who were suffering behind closed doors. I was very lucky to have a close supportive family that helped me come through the other side.

With my personal experience I will tell you, it isn’t a smooth journey! It is recovery journey that continues with you throughout life full of ups and downs. However, having techniques to overcome these will help in which you can tun to when you feel the urge. It is time to start loving yourself and living your life free!!!!

One thing that massively helped me get the ball rolling after many attempts at recovery was hypnotherapy. I saw my hypnotherapist once/twice a week where I would talk to her about how I was feeling and was totally honest with her. This was hard!! She would then get me to lie down attached to a monitor to measure my pulse rate…..you wouldn’t believe how high it was at the beginning of the session because of how much anxiety I was feeling. During the session we would focus on one thing, it could be increasing positivity, confidence, self-love etc, and I would close my eyes and she would slowly speak about this topic. My pulse rate began to decrease the more I relaxed into a trance where positive thoughts were filling my mind. It sounds crazy but I came out of every session feeling so much better and relaxed. 

This was one thing that did help me but I believe the main thing was practising the importance of gratitude. At this time I was faced with a massive change of leaving home for a long period of time….I was travelling around during this time and faced with many obstacles. However, this really opened my mind up about the world and I reminded myself everyday of how grateful I was for the little things in life. I understood the importance of self-love and gave myself that ‘me’ time. My anxiety decreased as I met so many people from around the world and hearing peoples stories helped me appreciate my life so much more. I started to respect my body plus love my body for how it was and slowly my relationship with food began to change.

There was no quick fix and it is a life thing that I will battle with but I can honestly say I now cannot remember the last time I purged anything and have relaxed massively about gaining that perfect image. I love myself now whatever weight I am and learned to listen to my body. I just hope this blog post opens peoples eyes up about the seriousness of this eating disorder, how it takes your life away and destroys everything around you. I had broken friendships, broken family relationships, no social life, a broken body and mind. It is totally not worth it. Don’t let your negative mind take control. 

 “There are women who struggle to GAIN weight who are beautiful. There are women who struggle to LOSE weight who are beautiful. You know who is the most beautiful? Those who learn to love themselves the way they are. You don’t need to change for ANYONE.”

― Teresa Mummer

In the Media

When I wanted to recover I was reaching out trying to find other people who have gone through a similar thing. Here I created a video called ‘AM I NORMAL? AM I ALONE’ of certain movies, interviews and documentaries that may explain bulimia in a more visual way that may get you to recognise yours’ or someone elses’ symptoms who be struggling behind closed doors and to stress this is normal when you suffer with bulimia. 

https://vimeo.com/user36328654/aminormal

Also, I found an amazing book that described everything I was going through so well. It really was comforting to know someone else has been through the same struggle. It is a true story called ‘Something Spectacular: The True Story of One Rockette’s Battle with Bulimia’ about a girl called  Greta Gleissner who was a Radio City Rockette for Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular in New York City.

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Below is an article about the book that sums it up so well with her experience with bulimia. 

“Insecure and suffering from bulimia, Greta Gleissner had her dream job as a Radio City Rockette for Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular in New York City – but that didn’t stop her from bingeing and purging up to 30 times a day.

Gleissner had been stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her parents’ credit cards in order to pay for food; and at 5-feet, 7-inches tall, she constantly compared herself to the other dancers – never feeling she was good enough to belong.

Depressed and feeling bloated toward the end of the show’s season, she called in ‘sick,’ deciding to spend the day bingeing and purging. In her mind, Gleissner rationalized this would make her feel thinner.

After eating “huge balls of mozzarella … a breakfast burrito, three hash browns, a cinnamon roll, two strips of bacon, and egg and cheese biscuit and a large Diet Coke,” Gleissner attempted to purge – but the cheese became lodged in her esophagus.

“You stupid idiot. What’s wrong with you?” Gleissner remembers thinking. She chronicled those thoughts in her memoir, Something Spectacular: The True Story of One Rockette’s Battle With Bulimia.

“That was a close call,” she wrote. “I easily could’ve choked to death. …Agh, I don’t want anymore. I’m finished for today, having scared myself silly.”

Gleissner, who soon entered a rehab program at Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona, said she remembers the specific day she became a bulimic as a teenager. Initially, the process was difficult – but she soon learned the ‘tricks’ of a bulimic – and became hooked.

It got to the point where she didn’t even have to stick her finger down her throat – her stomach would convulse on its own.

Jenny Taitz, a New York City-based psychologist who has not treated Gleissner, but treats patients with eating disorders, said it is estimated that 24 million Americans struggle with eating disorders; although it’s hard to know for sure, since many people struggling with one don’t always seek treatment.

A talented dancer from an early age, Gleissner was faced with mounting problems: Her parents were constantly fighting, which ultimately led to a divorce; she felt the need to lose weight in order to be successful and fit in – and through it all, she was questioning her sexuality.

“While my family dynamics played a part, it was how I chose to react to the situation,” she said. “Initially, I didn’t think it was an issue . . .but it became a full-fledged addiction.”

Taitz agreed: There’s plenty of research that shows bulimics and anorexics struggle with managing their emotions – and as a result, they misuse food to cope.

“So we have to teach people how to manage their emotions in more skillful ways, rather than using food and struggling with the fact that you’re eating with secondary emotions,” she added.

Gleissner was convinced she could kick the habit once she became a Rockette, but the rigorous schedule and anxiety to compete with other women only added to her disease.

“I was never told to lose weight,” Gleissner said, but guidelines stipulate Rockettes have to maintain a certain weight and height. “But with the characteristics of eating disorders, I was comparing myself to everyone else.”

Taitz said a common theme for people with eating disorders is that they define themselves according to their weight and shape.

Despite the lows she was going through, Gleissner maintains the Rockette gig – her last professional dancing job – was still a dream come true.

“It was amazing; it was a wonderful organization that treated me very well,” she said. “I thought this would be the job that changed my life – external solutions to fix internal problems. I wish my bulimia would not have stained my experience.”

For the third and final time, Gleissner entered a rehab program at the age of 28.

At Sierra Tucson, Gleissner learned how to eat smaller meals at the proper times. She learned to change her internal dialogue – and although she had periodic relapses, it has now been years since she has binged and purged.

Long-term effects of bulimia can include osteoporosis, gastrointestinal problems, cardiac arrest, low blood pressure, infertility and dental damage. With the exception of some root canals from all the junk food she ate, Gleissner said she did not incur any harmful health problems.

After Sierra Tucson, Gleissner spent three months at another treatment center in Florida and continued with therapy and a 12-step program. Eventually, she attended college and graduate school and became a psychotherapist.

Gleissner currently works at Hazelden – Tribeca Twelve, a housing facility for young recovering addicts in New York City. She treats patients with substance abuse disorders and eating disorders, and she has her own private practice. She said she has “normalized eating, just like everyone else.”

At 39, Gleissner is in a committed relationship and said her family life has definitely improved.

“Being in recovery is possible,” she said. “It is a process, and a lot of hard work, but it’s possible.”

Where I am at now?

I am the best I have ever been. It is so hard writing this blog post as I don’t even recognise the person I am writing about. To be honest I don’t remember much of my thought process at this time as it is all a blur and something I have discarded from my memory as much as I can. Practising gratitude everyday has helped me take control of my life and surrounding myself with positive people…I am very lucky to be who I am and I love myself no matter how much negative thoughts creep back into my mind.

I wish anyone who is struggling to speak up. I will always speak to anyone and provide any advice to help in anyway. It is not easy but recovery can happen!

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Lots of Love to everyone ❤ Be kind and gentle to yourself ❤ 

YOU DESERVE IT!

“Live Free…Live a Journey”

Speak Soon xx

First Contract working on a Cruise Ship #SecondHalf

This is going to be a shorter blog post…short but sweet as I definitely had some of the most memorable and best times here! I cannot compared to my first half of my contract but it definitely was different in a lot of good ways!

I arrive in San Juan, Puerto Rico on the 4th July at around 10am so I get checked into my hotel and have the whole day and night to explore before I sign on my new ship the next day. I did explore a bit along the beach as it was 4th of July…everyone was celebrating. However, I was exhausted and was straight back to work the next day so I crashed and slept in my hotel….good idea by me!

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All the feelings came back the next morning…anxious, nervous, worried but overall I was so excited to get back into the swing of things!

 

 

The places I visited multiple times on this part of my contract were:

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Kings Wharf, Bermuda
  • Philipsburg, St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles
  • New York, Cape Liberty NYC
  • Labadee, Haiti
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Portland, Maine
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

At first arriving on the ship, dealing with change was hard. I would go to places on the ship that would look the same on my last ship but different people…it was weird and not the same. It didn’t help I had a temporary cabin for a cruise when I first got there so I couldn’t exactly settle as I knew I was moving as soon as a cabin became available. However, it became the best decision to get transferred and really helped me with my confidence and belief that I could deal with change and adjust in new environments easily. Luckily I did know a few people from my last ship which helped massively….I do LOVE a good reunion after thinking I would never see these people again.

I became so close to all the people on this ship and I met some life-long friends on here. It was such a close family and I was able to experience more incredible places. So many stories and memories to share I couldn’t fit into one blog post but all these people know how incredible the life was on this ship despite some stressful times in the work environment we all pulled together.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin

 

Anthem of the Seas July 5th 2016-October 29th 2016: YOU WERE INCREDIBLE ❤

Lots of Love to all you guys who I met…I will see you around the world!

Ship life has its’ ups and downs. Looking at my pictures you may think I don’t work but we do…every day! Long hours, but we are grateful for everything and everyone around us. We become a family on the ship which I love the most. You live and work together, different nationalities, cultures, everyone is away from their normal life ….but it works. A big dysfunctional family and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Check out my Youtube video of my full contract HERE

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Cruise Division Anthem of the Seas 2016

First Contract working on a Cruise Ship #FirstHalf

Ok this is a long overdue post as I am now over a month in to my second contract plus I have had 2 and a half month vacation….woops.  But oh well trying hard now to get into the hang of things with more regular blog posts but it is kinda hard when I am on a moving ship with limited wifi and not loads of free time….trying is all I can do I guess.

I HAVE SPLIT THIS INTO TWO BLOG POSTS AS IT IS GOING TO BE FAR FAR TOO LONG!! 

So this blog post is going to a pretty long one with lots of pictures so I will warn you now, make sure you have good internet before reading this blog post 🙂 

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Eeeek where do I even begin as these 6 months in 2016 were a massive whirlwind and I can’t remember everything from this contract but I will give it a go. So I received my first contract working on a cruise ship and flew to Bremerhaven, Germany on the 1st April 2016 where the ship was in dry dock as I was doing the Take Out of a NEW ship! For everyone working on ships knows how lucky I am to get this offer for my first ship!!! It all happened so quick from the interview process to finally receiving my letter of employment then before I knew it I was on the plane leaving home for 6+ months!! I have never left home for that amount of time before…I haven’t even been on a plane on my own before so to put it lightly ….I WAS TERRIFIED. I was mixed with emotion…excitement, nervousness, anxiety, scared, but overall I was looking forward to a new adventure to take myself out of my comfort zone. It was time to take the plunge…..

“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”  – Gael Attal

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My Cabin: Sharing with my girl Sammy (Sports Staff)

 

The take out was amazing! It was hard work with so much to learn but the people I met made it a memorable experience. Learning the job as bbirthday-decorationsest as I could before guests came on board was a bonus but I would be still learning on the job throughout my contract.  On the second day of being on board it was my 23rd birthday, even though I am not too bothered about celebrating my birthday but the idea of having my birthday away from home was in the back of my mind. Luckily around that time we had the big Red Bull Party in Hamburg which was crazy!!! One of the biggest highlights of my whole trip. The whole crew out in hamburg, Germany having one big party…. who would have thought this was going to happen on the second day.

 

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Dining with the Sports Team in a restaurant onboard ship

 

 

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Dining with the Sports Team in another restaurant onboard (#takeoutperks)

 

 

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Dinner somewhere in Europe (Can’t remember…?)

 

 

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Rocking our ‘I AM ROYAL’ t-shirts!

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Red bull party in Hamburg, Germany
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Outside a Prostitute place in Hamburg…erm Tourist?

I was lucky enough to experience and visit some amazing places throughout my first half of my contract.

Here is the list of the places I was lucky enough to visit:

  • Bremerhaven, Germany
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Southampton, England
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Cherbourg, France
  • Paris (La Havre), France
  • Bruges, (Zeebrugge), Belgium
  • Gijon, Spain
  • Bilbao, Spain
  • Gibraltar, United Kingdom
  • Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
  • Naples, Italy
  • Athens (Piraeus), Greece
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Suez Canal (Passage)
  • Aqaba (Petra), Jordan
  • Dubai
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Cochin, India
  • Penang, Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Phu My, Vietnam
  • Hong Kong
  • Xiamen, China
  • Seoul, Incheon, South Korea
  • Tianjin, China
  • Nagasaki, Japan
  • Busan, Japan

Doing the crossing over to Asia from Europe was incredible with a lot of overnights in some ports allowing us more time to get off in the evening (the downside I was always very tired the next day). My favourite thing, mainly in the European ports, was to have no plan and wander around on my own (normally getting lost) but I would get to see things I wouldn’t have expected to find. Just a few weeks beforehand back home, I could never see myself having the confidence to do this…..especially dealing with anxiety etc. It was a MASSIVE step for me!

“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.” – Paulo Coelho

Some of my favourite places include:

1..Surprisingly Paris 

I say surprisingly because even though I have never been to Paris, it was never on my bucket list as somewhere I desperately wanted to go. I don’t know whether this is because it is a popular touristy destination and it is so close to home (England) I always thought I would go sometime in the future. There was no real urgency I guess. I now have to say it was one of my favourite destinations of my trip and a bonus was it was an overnight!!! However this overnight was eventful. With a big group of us planning to stay the night in the centre of Paris for the night we booked a villa a head of time so off we go at around 8/9pm, after working all day, on a train to the central station in Paris. At around 11pm we find out our villa fell through as we was too late to check in……we were homeless in Paris. I found it hilarious and another excuse to adventure off into the night to find somewhere to stay. Luckily after a brief taxi ride we found an awesome hostel with loads of bag packers and decided to stay at the hostel to have a few drinks as we all wanted to get up super early and explore Paris in the day before we headed back to work. Never felt so tired in these few days but it was totally worth it! We explored everything!!!! I did think the weather helped a lot too as we got to explore when it was a gorgeous hot day. I fell in love with the architecture, the history, the people, the scenery….everything! A place I will definitely go back to!

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2.. Aqaba (Petra), Jordan

Well this place wasn’t even in my list to go to…and is it shameful to say I had never even heard of the place!! Eeek….embarrassing I know. Obviously beforehand I did find out it was a famous place for its’ amazing rock-cut architecture and it is commonly known as the Rose City due to the colour of the stone….this is due to my research beforehand. However, from speaking to other people, they knew of the place from the Indiana Jones movies….ok I have never seen any…sorry don’t judge me. I am so lucky and grateful to have visited this place, I was in total awe and was lost for words. As well as a culture shock the architecture was nothing like I have ever seen.

With ship life we have limited time to get off but luckily a lot of the cruise division was able to go on a crew tour together which was so much fun to spend time in this amazing place with my second family. We ran around exploring as much as we could but the main thing we wanted to see was the Monastery. However, from walking around so much taking pictures and doing the typical touristy things we had very limited time to get to it…most of the people decided to head back to the bus…..but a small handful of us decided to literally RUN up 800 rock-cut steps with the sun beating down on us and donkeys coming at us in every direction!!! It was like in a movie!! Totally hilarious but I did prove at this point how good my cardio fitness was with all the guys which was pretty funny.  What an experience! We made it! We took the pictures and it felt so good to have completed it and supporting each other along the way….at this moment I felt so close to these guys and it was a big accomplishment that was totally worth it. Bonding experience right there!!! The next thing was that we had to run down them 800 steps and run for about an hour to get back the bus in time!!! Luckily we did make it with time to spare to grab a drink and take a breath. Thank God!

Ok so the time came to say goodbye to the ‘Lost City’ of Petra and get back on the bus to go back to work. You would think this would be simple……..god it is a story to tell. About 20 minutes into the journey the bus stopped in traffic, I must stress STAND-STILL traffic. We was all like what the hell is going on! An accident had happened..everyone said it was a car bomb or something crazy like that. So we was on a massive coach that had to get past this and in Petra they don’t have normal roads like we do in England, so the coach driver attempts to get past…lets say it didn’t end well as we was going in a ditch. Finally though we did get past but we was all late for work…however as it was a crew tour organised by the ship so nothing happened to us we just felt bad on the few crew who were on board trying to run all the evening activities.

Overall I was mesmerised by this place as I would never in a million years have picked this place to go on a ‘holiday’ but experiencing the different culture was a memorable experience.

3.. Singapore

I didn’t know what to expect at all of this place but wow I was shocked. It could definitely be a place where I could happily live but to be honest I probably couldn’t survive with the humidity. I would have thought Dubai was going to be like this as I know a lot of British going over there to work or live but to be totally honest I wasn’t overly impressed. Singapore didn’t feel like a massive culture shock and even though it is very upbuilt like Dubai, it didn’t feel too much. It wasn’t about glamour it was just a modern city.

We was very lucky to have an overnight here and lucky me I also had a few hours off the morning after. After working quite late in the evening a lot of the crew, especially cruise division, were going to the same rooftop bar to have a night out so I couldn’t really see what Singapore was actually like. However, the rooftop bar allowed me to see the beautiful city at night with all the lights and built up skyscrapers….the thought process at this particular moment ‘how did I actually get here!!!’ What an incredible but expensive night with a lot of dancing and laughter. Despite the good time I did have in the back of my mind that I wanted to explore the following morning as I had very limited time!! This didn’t stop me getting back to the ship in the early hours of the morning…but hey it is just sleep…this could be a once in a lifetime experience!

The following morning a few of us got the train to the centre of the city and I did nearly back out as I was worried I was going to be late for work. A last minute decision but I decided to go and so happy I did! The place is so clean and beautiful, so modern plus the majority spoke english. We was able to see the Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay Sands Skypark, the Supertree Grove and some other things I can’t honestly remember. The downside was that it was such a rush and being short of time in intense humidity was hard but totally worth it. This place is definitely on my list to visit again even on my own as I felt so safe and comfortable in Singapore.

A Massive Bombshell!!!

A normal working day and we had just arrived in Nagasaki, Japan and was so excited to get off as I heard this was one of the best ports to go to. Rushing after the crew drill back to my cabin to get changed to get off….our plan was to go to the Atomic Bomb Museum and then explore for a little bit before going back to work. I bumped into my supervisor (Heidi :)) and she said ‘Come with me, you need to go to Gowers Cabin (Our manager) as he needs to speak to you’…….ok I was freaked out. What the hell had I done!! So I told the guys I was getting off the ship with to wait and headed to Gowers cabin with Heidi. I didn’t have a clue what to expect. I knew getting transferred unexpectedly was a thing that happened on ships but I just didn’t have it in my mind as I was a new hire…this won’t happen to me. Then the bombshell…in a days time I was flying from Tianjin, China to San Juan, Puerto Rico to join another ship. They said they was so nervous telling me as they knew I had been telling my roommate Sammy I would be so terrified if I have got transferred as I was so comfortable with my second family. I soon learnt this is ‘Ship life’. What did I do? Burst into tears with shock….but deep down it would be a good life lesson and a new exciting adventure! For my first contract I was experiencing a new ship, Europe, a crossing, Asia and now the Caribbean and US/Canada. Unbelievably lucky. Plus it was exactly the same ship so it was simply slotting back into a new environment and getting on with the work.

That day in Nagasaki, Japan I was so anxious with nerves and excitement I couldn’t take in anything properly but I spent the day appreciating everything, especially being with some amazing people. Then the feelings all turned upside down to pure STRESS! The journey back to the ship didn’t go as smoothly….typical! We got on a tram going in the complete opposite direction to the ship and got completely lost. If you have ever been to Japan it is a completely different world to where I am from in England and as well as the culture shock…..no one speaks English and no signs are in English obviously! If this wasn’t stressful enough we was clock watching as we had just 45 minutes to get back to the ship!! Oh God! So we jumped off the tram and got a taxi…we had to get two as there was too many of us. Our driver didn’t speak english and one of the guys Isaac with the address/ship name/port name in Japanese was in the other taxi. In a total rush we just said follow that taxi…..easy right? What can go wrong?……………WE LOST THE TAXI!! So a Scottish (Laura), a Aussie (Stacy) and I (English) stuck in the middle of Nagasaki, Japan with now 30 minutes to get back to the ship and I knew I was getting transferred in a days time!! Sounds like something totally not real.

Cutting a story short we ended up getting back to the ship safe and sound with 3 minutes to spare…..how lucky! That was my last port of call on this ship before I had to say the goodbyes and leave for my next adventure. It was so emotion saying bye to my family but deep down I knew it was going to be for the best, I was going to meet more people to add to my family around the world and start some more new exciting adventures in different places across the world.

July 1st 2016 I flew from Tiajin, China to South Korea, to JFK New York and finally arrived in San Juan Puerto Rico on the 4th July 2016 arriving on my new ship on the 5th July 2016.

Exhausted.

Check out my Youtube video of my full contract HERE

Ovation Take out Team 2016 – Love you all and lucky to have met every single one of you. I never say goodbyes….I will see you all soon. The world is too small!

 

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” –Ibn Battuta

Dealing with Change

Change can be hard in life regardless of how big or small, it can be to do with change in routine, habits, careers, friends, environment etc etc. It has always been hard for me to deal with changes in life in which I have no control over. For me personally, I used to associate any change happening in my life equaled a struggle controlling the anxiety, worry, self-doubt and panic. A overwhelming rush of negative thoughts going in to my head. My fear of change used to get so intense that I would have a complete panic if something as simple as my days routine got changed as I felt a loss of control. 

However, over time I have been able to change my thought process for the better in dealing with change. I have realised change is associated with positivity rather than negativity….it is what makes life interesting!!!! Even if you expected some change in your life but the change didn’t turn out how you expected it…don’t think that you have made the wrong decision….embrace the change as something positive will always come out of it. You could be reading this and think it is all nonsense, but I believe by going with the changes with an open mind and losing the fear of taking new challenges can massively improve yourself as a person, for example greater confidence, facing fears, new life skills and positively changing your mindset. 

“You can’t always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” – Wayne Dyer

In this blog post I am going to write about the things I have done over the years to keep calm when unexpected changes occur in my life or when known changes have happened but they haven’t always turned out as expected. Lets say ok, you have experienced some changes in your life which you are finding hard to deal with….you are worrying, self-doubting, feeling a failure and panicking. What if you can’t change what has happened….how do you deal with it?

1.Practice Gratitude 

Throughout the day I try and think about what I am grateful for in my life. This is normally triggered when I feel negative thoughts try and creep in, but it is good if you do this everyday even when you are feeling on top of the world. When change occurred I used to feel every negative thought possible…I literally reacted like the world was going to end. By taking 5 minutes to think about what I am grateful for in life, even the simplest of things like ‘I am grateful to live around beautiful nature’ or ‘I am grateful to have a family and friends’ automatically feeds positive thoughts into my brain therefore opening my mind more to what is really important in life. 

2. Have ‘me’ time

Despite the importance of socialising, I am definitely a person who enjoys having some ‘me’ time. Just to have time to zone out to get into a different world by writing, reading, listening to music, meditating or going to the gym. By giving yourself this time is giving yourself some compassion and self-care, to calm your emotions and feel to how you are really feeling. This time allows you to put your guard down and face your emotions head on rather than allowing your emotions to bottle up and take control. 

3. Read quotes

As many people know….I love a good quote and love reading positive articles. Why not feed your brain with quotes that you can relate, feel good after reading, feel some inspiration and purpose in life!!! Even though change has happened or change is coming, research some quotes to help you deal with it!

4. Talk 

Harder said than done but it is great to speak up to someone you trust when you may be struggling to deal with change. By talking and expressing your emotions allow you to release them so you can start thinking more clearly. I have lost count of how many times I have rang my mum in pure panic and feeling distressed over changes happening in my life, but this has always been the best way for me (probably not the best for my mum though) by talking about how I am feeling, as normally the more i start talking the more I think how silly and unappreciative I sound. 

5. Believe 

If you have changed jobs, changed environment, changed friendship groups, changed schools etc etc, you may have feelings of self-doubt in how you are going to cope. Change can be scary but all you have to do is believe you can do something, if you can’t then who cares. You learn something new and move on. Making mistakes = learning experiences = new skills = positive outcome. When I am feeling a lack of self-belief I close my eyes, breathe in and out, and tell myself I can do it over and over again. Totally cliche but it works! Giving myself a little pep talk provides me with a mental visual image that I can cope with change providing me with greater positivity, confidence and belief.

“When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.”

6. List the positives 

Sit down and list all the positive outcomes or potential outcomes that can come with this change happening in your life. It may help you become a stronger person, teach you not to give up and take you out of your comfort zone to help you cope with future changes. Changes may be scary but life is full of changes which makes life more exciting and unpredictable. 

7. Let go of control 

The feelings of anxiety, worry, panic and self-doubt are all a result of change when you feel like you have lost control. As soon as you have so much control over your life, once that is broken down it can feel like your life has broken down. I used to be a person that enjoyed planning my day every day, but it got to the point it was a habit to write a step by step plan basically of my day to detail. What happened if someone rang me to hang out last minute? My answer would be No. What if work rang me up to cover a shift? My answer would be No. To the point….it was ridiculous and made me missed out on good memories and new opportunities. I now have to say by practicing feeling calm, knowing the importance of feeling calm and feeling positivity about change I now have let go of the intense control over my life. I enjoy spontaneous and unexpected things happening in my life…I grab it with both hands and embrace the ride. 

8. Smile

Short and simple…..by smiling even when you are feeling anxious about change it will automatically put you in a more positive mood. Why dampen your mood because something has become different in your life. You may not be able to control your life but you can control your mind. 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

I hope this helps.

Speak Soon x

‘Live Free..Live a Journey’