My gorgeous jellybeans, how I've missed you! How I've missed rest, watching TV, seeing friends, doing anything other than furiously reading and writing essays in the darkened cubicles of the library alongside hundreds of other desperate, feverishly studying peers! But I can officially announce...
I FINISHED MY DEGREE!!!!!!!
Ok, so this is a big deal. It has taken me two gap years and five years studying (for a degree that should have taken three years), several house moves, a suicide attempt, abusive relationships, bereavement, oh my god and so much more. My niece being adopted last December and losing my dear friend, Zac in November were the worst things I have ever experienced (and I'd already been through so horrifying shit), but I made it, I did it. I don't want to dwell on everything that's happened over the last seven years, I don't want to come across as a victim. But I just need to put this achievement into perspective. There were so many times I never thought I'd finish. And I can't quite believe I made it. I wrote 30,000 heavily researched words in the past two months and I can BREATHE for the first time in weeks and weeks.
I finished on Monday and went up to uni (5 hour round trip) to hand in the final essay. It was so unceremonious, you just plonk the essay in a basket marked 'All Undergraduate Essays', no fanfare, no medal, nothing! Ha! But then, when I got home, exhausted and emotional, my incredible boyfriend had put congratulations decorations up, balloons, my favourite flowers (yellow roses), chocolates (naughty!), champagne - AND - he'd cleaned the whole flat top to bottom. He then proceeded to take me out to dinner at a great tapas place nearby, and then for cocktails. I didn't expect any of it and was just bowled over - damn, I love that man!
So since Monday, Ben's sister had a little girl, Lily to add to her little brood of two boys. I consider those kids my nephews and niece and I love them with all my heart. I went to the hospital with the boys and Ben's mum just 4 hours after she'd been born - such a gorgeous little one!
On Thursday I passed my driving theory test with 96%, very happy about that! My bestie took me out for cocktails that afternoon to celebrate that and finishing my degree.
I've been applying to jobs and have had interest back from a recruitment agency that want to hire me on a temp basis to start with whilst looking for a full time job for me. It's incredible that I'm making this progress and taking these steps with my anxiety disorder. I think necessity is boosting me. I know I may not always be able to function like someone with good mental health, but I don't ever want to use it as an excuse to just laze around and not try. I have to try. I don't want to have to live off the government when I am capable of working with perhaps just some adjustments to help me overcome my anxiety in unfamiliar situations and with new people. I just need a little more help.
So, on to band news. I had a fill 10 days ago of 0.2mls so that's just 0.05 less than my highest fill level that I got taken out in January. Immediately I feel more in control, I can't eat bread or pasta or pizza any more and I have to be really careful taking tiny bites and leaving ample time between them. I've been avoiding binge foods (apart from divulging in all those celebratory chocolates, a few crisps - that's chips for you stateside, and the cocktails and champagne - though they're not binge foods for me, but they're still a bit naughty) and haven't had any binge episodes since my fill. The ugly side of it though, was the weigh in I had at the band appointment...I'll just say it - 231lbs. I want to be sick. My lowest was 197lbs and that makes for a total gain of 34lbs since November. I hate it, I wish it hadn't happened. The timing of all that misery that began at the end of last year combined with having an unfill that I see now was a terrible mistake - means that it is what it is. I survived on chocolate chip cookies, chocolate, sweets, cakes - even eating pizza and lots of pasta. I have to own it. I will not let myself just blame the traumatic time I experienced and say it's understandable. Because in life there will be more traumas, more loss, more pain - and I have to find a way to deal with it, get through it somehow, without food. The only thing food can fix is hunger. Nothing else.
I've joined our gorgeous Robyn in her quest to get Coke free - I don't drink soda because it gives me hellish shoulder and band pain, (though champagne, gin and tonic, things with much smaller bubbles are ok) - but I really want to avoid sugar where possible. I'm still having a bit in things like flavoured yoghurts (only one a day at about 70 calories, ain't so bad), but generally I'm avoiding. I know for certain, and it's taken a long time for me to learn, or rather accept this, that sugar is my demon and it always will be and I have to find a way of not letting it control me and instead learn to leave it. It adds nothing good to me or my life. It only takes away good things, happiness, my body, my mind - it takes them all as prisoners. I've avoided the scale since the fill apart from once, a couple of days ago. The scale said 228.2lbs, 2.8lbs down in a week. I'm excited by that - I haven't lost any weight for so long. Gaining for 6 months is so so demoralising. And although I hate that I'm so near my starting weight (247lbs), and I have to re-lose so many previously hard earned lbs, I just gotta suck it up, accept the situation, and get losing.
I've got my 5k in just over 5 weeks - I have SO MUCH TRAINING TO DO! I haven't run in weeks (I completely blame my degree), but if I'm going to complete that race, I've got to get going. My wonderful personal trainer friend who set me going with my 5k so kindly bought me a heart rate monitor - it plugs into my iphone and records all the data on an app. I haven't used it yet but I'm really excited to use it to motivate me and track accurate results. Stay tuned for more on the running...
I've missed you all so much and hope you haven't forgotten me, and I'll hopefully be able to rev up my commenting. Big love to all xxx