There is three months left of this year and I want to make the most of it. I think I speak for everyone when I say 2019 has royally sucked on the most part. This probably would be a great moment to list some of the shitty stuff that has happened this year but honestly, I’m in an okay mood so why spoil it? Quite frankly, if I somehow get through this year without falling apart, I would consider it an achievement and pat myself on the back. But this isn’t the point of this blog. Yes, this blog actually has a point. Instead of focusing on all the shitty moments that made 2019 absolutely terrible and reflecting on that long ass list I made of stuff that I wanted to achieve that I know is quite frankly impossible…I want to take this moment to plan these next three months. Holy shit, that’s a really bad sentence. I apologize. I promise I’m an author? Buy my eBook? Anyway, in classic Cassy fashion, I digress. I plan to completely ignore all my failed plans and goals up to this point and instead make a realistic list of shit I want to do these next three months. Some of this shit I want to keep under the wraps because why tell you exactly what blogs to expect and then shoot myself in the foot when I no longer feel like writing about it? Also, take a shot every time I say shit.
Disclaimer: Cassandra is in no way, shape or form condoning the misuse of alcohol. It’s a joke. Also, I trust your responsible enough not to drown your liver on my say so. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Let’s talk about my personal goals for these next three months.
I want to complete one fitness program. This could either be a yoga-based routine or a strengthening workout routine similar to BBG (Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines).
I want to complete two challenges and as I will most likely share this on my blog, I won’t go into too much detail. One of the challenges is everyday for a week while the other is for two weeks.
I want to complete another one-month food experiment (the first experiment being the fasting once a week). I will have to think quite a bit and decide which of my possible experiments would be the best fit. I really don’t want to overwhelm myself.
I want to complete all three remaining Immigrations tests that I have been postponing literally this entire year.
I want to start with a new first draft story and finally start work on my next eBook. It’s ‘Chocolate Chip Cookies And Pink Nails’ just in case you were wondering. I’ve been dying to take the feedback I’ve received and give this story my all. The transformation a story goes through after that initial first draft into the final copy is so exciting.
It might seem like a lot but honestly – it’s just five things and if I’m smart about it, it won’t be too much to handle. I can still have those barely leave the bed days. I can’t go into too much detail about my plans for the blog but I can say that my personal goal is to return back to my normal update schedule where there is a blog every Monday and a new blog every second Friday. So far with the entire month of October planned out, it’s quite doable. Speaking of blogs, I hinted in my awkward return that there will be collab with other bloggers and the return of my Sims 4 remaking meals series. This is all true. I’m going to attempt to collab once a month but seriously don’t hold your breath. Finding a blogger I connect with isn’t as easy as I thought it would be but saying that, trust that the people who I do decide to collab with is people whose content I truly enjoy. Fuck, I can’t write blogs anymore. The Sims 4 blog series and the review blog series that I never quite finished will start again but this time it will be a little more spaced out. Just for the next few months until I can get a moment to work ahead. Once I’ve gotten ahead, we can return to the normal every three weeks. For now, the two will trade. We will start with a new Sims 4 meal (hamburger cake) and then three weeks later we will have a review. Three weeks after that we will have another Sims 4 meal and finally just before the year end, we will have one more review. I know it isn’t ideal but your girl has a lot of things she is working on and well I’m only one person and quite frankly, I need to rest. I personally think the key to success and fulfilling your goals is to pick and choose a small handful, put all of your focus towards them and once you’ve completed those few, you can choose the next few and focus on that. Fuck, my writing is bad. You will have to excuse me, I’m out of practice. What I’m trying to say is instead of focusing on my 101 ideas I have for my website which includes projects and one-month challenges, I’m going to choose just five. I will then give myself an x amount of time (in this case I gave myself three months) to complete those 5 tasks. I guess I could discuss these five tasks?
Return to my normal update schedule.
Restart both of my blog series.
Collab with another blogger(s).
Launch one of my projects.
Write. This one has three subcategories. I want to work on a new first draft (the one I will share on here every second Sunday). I want to start work on my next eBook and finally I want to write one of the five extra chapters for my eBook that launched in June. Yes, you’re experiencing déjà vu. I so desperately want to get back to writing, it’s on both of my lists.
Looking at this blog, I feel a mixture of emotions. I’m 60% excited, I’m 30% overwhelmed and I’m 10% stressed. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad stress but it’s more like I don’t want to disappoint myself? I don’t want to quit on myself. I want to complete my goals and end this shitty year on a happy note? But at the same time, I know that life can really derail plans and I’m scared? If I’m not making any sense to you, well join the club. I genuinely confuse myself 90% of the time. I barely understand what’s going through my head but writing always helps so uhmm hello? Sorry for this mess? On a good note, it feels good to address one of my biggest flaws and attempt to combat it a little. In case you haven’t noticed, I get overwhelmed incredibly easily. My problem is that I want to complete 101 tasks all in one go which is quite frankly impossible. Trust me, I’ve tried. And when I can’t, I derail. Baby steps, hey?
I’m going to wrap this one up, mainly because it’s pure chaos at this point and my husband should be home any moment now. I just want to take this moment to thank you all for sticking around while I was offline. It feels good to be back and I can’t wait to connect with you all again.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
I wanted to follow up the last review (I Watched 13 Reasons Why And It Kind Of Triggered Me) with something that could possibly help others with their mental health and a website popped into my head. I’ve only tried out the website 7 cups once and it was around the time I joined online counseling for the first time. Back then I figured I should just stick with the therapist and put all of my focus on there (Talkspace). Now that some time has passed, I thought it would be a nice time to try out the website again. The plan is to try 7 cups for one week, a new listener every time. I also want to stick to one topic which is my grandmother.
As I’m writing this blog, the news of my grandmother’s health is still all too fresh. Things aren’t looking so great. I haven’t really talked about it on here so I’m not really sure how to go about it either. I’m just going to talk and then hopefully some of it will make sense. At this point, I feel like it’s okay even if it doesn’t make sense. I just need to get it all out. Writing is my therapy after all. These last few months, I’ve been struggling with the distance from my family. It’s always been hard but there are times where I feel so fucking guilty for living so far away. It’s always when something big happens and I can’t be there for emotional support. One of the hardest things I had to accept was my grandmother’s cancer. I’m not sure if mentioned this before so I will briefly summarize it. About ten (probably more by now) years ago, my grandmother found a lump in her breast. It was cancer. She managed to beat its ass but like most cancer patients, it came back. It came back just after my au pair year ended. I just came back to South Africa and had to wait until I turned twenty-one in a few months so we can start the immigration process. They found cancer in her inner ear and she needed to undergo a massive operation to remove the cancer cells. She went in and she came out cancer free…or that’s how it looked. It looked really good in the beginning but then a few months passed and her ear started to hurt again. She went back to the doctor and we heard those dreaded words. There is nothing they can do for her. They can only make the rest of her time on this earth as pain-free as possible but her cancer can’t be treated. When this news broke I was already in the Netherlands. I’ve just immigrated a few months prior and it was a big blow. It was a difficult time. I couldn’t go back to South Africa to say my goodbyes. It’s simply not possible. I couldn’t afford to go down and visit and I had to accept the fact that there is a possibility I won’t see my grandmother alive again. With that being said, my grandmother is the kindest human being you will ever meet. She has this will in her. She is so positive and shines as bright as sunflowers under the sunlight. She is doing good. She dived all odds and pushed on for another year. Cancer has not won but…I almost feel guilty about bringing this up. I’m not the one with cancer. It’s not my mother dying of cancer but here I am, upset that I can’t remember what the last words I uttered to my grandmother in person were or if I hugged her before I left. Did I tell her I loved her and I’m so grateful to have her as my grandmother? It also didn’t help that we found out about her cancer being back when I was diagnosed with PCOS and everything was just happening at once. I can’t wait to tell you what that intense thing is and what affected me so much all throughout 2018…it should go up in late May or early June. I just need to finish all the part. It’s going to be a long blog series. I’m getting slightly off track…
Accepting my grandmother’s diagnosis and realizing that I might not be able to see her in person before she dies was hard. Really hard. A lot of family members went out of their way to go see her and it stung that I couldn’t do it. I can’t get that goodbye. I can’t hug her one last time. Damn, all of this is making me incredibly emotional. I haven’t really talked about all of this and it’s getting deep and raw very quickly. Yesterday, my dad shared that they found cancer in the back of her neck. It’s spreading fast and they don’t think she has a lot of time left. She can go today. She can go in a week. She can go in a month or heck she can go in a year. The good news is that she isn’t in a lot of pain and if she is she has medical support to inject her with a pain reliever. It’s difficult. When we heard the news that her cancer can’t be treated and her days were limited (Janaury 2018), I had started to prepare myself mentally but as my grandmother kept thriving…I allowed myself to hope. I allowed myself to hope that she will somehow make it until I can come back to South Africa and I will get that goodbye moment. But…I know I shouldn’t put my heart on that idea. I think I need to accept that she is going to die soon and that I won’t see her in this lifetime again. I need to accept that I’ve already hugged her for the last time. I also need to accept that my grandfather will go soon after her. One of the hardest things I also need to accept is that I won’t be able to go down for the funeral. I just don’t think we will have the money for it. It’s something you don’t know you’re signing up for when you move abroad. You don’t think about that part.
So, it’s intense and I’m curious how I will feel about talking to a listener about it. Before we jump in and start this process, I should probably explain what 7 cups is. I will let their website do the explaining for me.
About 7 Cups
We live in a world where you can be surrounded by people, but still feel lonely, with nobody to turn to when things get rough.
But being heard is an important part of being human. Psychologist, Glen Moriarty saw that there was great power in listening, but he knew not everyone had someone to talk to. He started to wonder. “How can I make being heard a reality for everyone?” That’s why 7 Cups was born.Thanks to thousands of volunteer listeners stepping up to lend a friendly ear, 7 Cups is happy to say, “We’re here for you!”.No matter who you are or what you’re going through, this is a place where you’ll be heard and cared for. We might be strangers on the surface, but underneath we’re just the friends you haven’t met yet.
Chat online with caring listeners
Need to talk to someone? Our trained volunteer listeners are available 24/7 to give emotional support over online chat.It’s anonymous and completely free.When you need someone to talk to, we’re here to listen and help you feel better.
Meet people who understand
The community is at the heart of 7 Cups.You can find support and friendship in chat rooms and forums for many issues, like depression, anxiety, relationships, LGBTQ+ and more.Ask for help, join a scheduled group support session, or share your own wisdom and life experience to help others along the way. We’re all in this together.
So, as you can see 7 cups, is a very safe place where you can talk to others that understand where you are coming from. It’s a judge-free space and most of the times, it’s just nice to unload. To feel heard.
It’s incredibly easy to join and connect to your first listener not long after you join the website. It is relatively easy to navigate and find a listener who specializes in the topic you want. This is your starting screen when you join.
You can do two things now. You can chat to Noni which is a bot that can explain everything you need to know and connect you with a listener. You can live chat with a free listener which is usually according to my understanding, the listener will be chosen randomly. I immediately clicked on the browse for listeners button as I wanted to filter and find a listener who specialize in grief. As you can see in the next screenshot, it’s incredibly easy to filter and find exactly what you need.
Now, let’s say you’ve browsed the available listeners and you click on their profile to read more. This is what you will see.
As you can see every Listener has some stats that can tell you what you need to know. You can use these stats as a deciding factor if you wish you connect with the listener or not. The website also has longterm services and there are different levels in the listeners. I didn’t dive into it that part of the website as I didn’t think it was needed. I’m sure you will find all the information you need if and when you join if not through the bot, then through all the emails they send. Now, let’s get started!
It took a while to get started, the first two listeners I clicked on weren’t available but I finally matched with a listener and the conversation was very interesting. I’m not entirely sure what I want from these listeners or anything like that. I’m open to trying it out and I don’t know. The first conversation was…it just wasn’t what I needed or wanted to hear? I almost felt like instead of just listening or unloading my burden on this listener, I felt like I had to over-explain myself. I don’t really know how to explain it. But I wasn’t about to give up on listener number one. I will continue or attempt to keep the conversation going until it ends naturally or the listener ends the chat.
I will insert the first chat in a bit but I will be completely honest…I feel a little better but at the same time, I don’t. I still don’t think I got what I needed or wanted but then again, I have zero idea what that is though. The chat was also on the short side, it was only 14 minutes but that’s okay. Her responses were short and she didn’t exactly pull much out of me. I don’t know. I might be holding her on the same level as the listener I talked to when I joined way back then (September 2018). He was a therapist in training and I truly felt so much better after talking to him.
Reading over the conversation I still think it’s a bit on the strange side. I just don’t know how to explain it. It felt off. I mean, just look how things ended. I tried to end it in a nice way and I don’t feel that it ended abruptly but that could just be me. She also took forever to respond so we just couldn’t connect. I don’t really know how to explain it. The conversation just felt off.
Things were a bit smoother with listener 2. I still felt like I had to defend or overly explain myself. The horrible truth is that I simply don’t have the funds to fly down to South Africa to say goodbye or find closure at her funeral. It’s just not possible. It’s just the ugly reality of things and there is nothing I can do about it. I almost felt judged because of it…but on the other hand by this listener stressing the importance of a funeral, I started to think. What can I do while I’m on the other side of the world? Oh, I know. I can have a little funeral here. I will go buy some flowers and spread them at the sea and just have a moment with my husband. I feel a lot of emotions right now. On the one side I’m feeling good because at least I know what I want to do when the dreaded moment arrives but at the same time, my heart is still hurting that her time here on this earth is coming to an end.
I liked listener 2 a lot more than listener 1 but it’s on the edge. By talking to the both of them, I learned something new and my inner turmoil shifted to the good side. I’m not sure if any of this makes sense. My mind is all over the place.
I feel almost guilty to write a blog about this and test out a website while using my grandmother but on the one side it’s so good. I haven’t really processed all my feelings about this matter and this is helping me to do so. I’m feeling more at peace about the reality that is cancer, if that makes sense. The little funeral idea opened up my mind and I started to think. What can I do to celebrate her life before it ends? What can I do to help sooth this ache in my heart and hopefully support my father emotionally in the same process? I’m incredibly limited in my choices as I live on the other side of the world but there must be something. There must be something that only I can do. The answer came to me within a few days and I feel a lot better about everything.
I know technically I only contacted two listeners but I don’t think I want to contact anymore now. I kind of know what I want to do about my grandmother so I don’t think it would be fair or right to continue with 5 other listeners. I’m still on the fence if I should pick a new subject (there is a lot I’m stressing about) and talk to the new listeners about that but I don’t know. I think I got what I needed and for now, I will keep 7 cups on the back burner. So, let’s talk about my experience.
I honestly like the idea of this company and the premise of it. I think it’s incredibly good and although these listeners aren’t trained and should in no way replace a therapist, it can still do wonders. Sometimes just talking about what is bothering you, can help tremendously. It’s always nice to unload and walk away lighter and more clear-headed. I do think that you should be cautious about it though. These listeners are just average people and they won’t necessarily have the response you need or want when it comes to the bigger things. I’m not making much sense so I’m going to try and explain myself more. Where I’m comfortable to talk about my grandmother with these listeners, I wouldn’t be comfortable to talk about suicide with them. Mostly because I’m not entirely sure that their responses would be good for my mental health. Where a therapist is trained in these situations these listeners aren’t. I don’t really know how to explain this. I just think you should keep an open mind and take everything with a grain of salt. Talk to them about whatever you want but at any time the conversation is going in a negative way, please leave the chat. What I really like about 7 cups is that they realize this and they will have little messages pop up between the chat (they disappear after a while) telling you the same things I just said but in a clear and understandable way.
Would I recommend 7 cupsto others? Yes, I would. It can be helpful but it depends on where you are in the healing journey and how your mindset is. If you’re in a really dark headspace, I don’t think 7 cups is the place for you. You need to connect with a professional who can guide you through it. They can provide tools that you can incorporate to help with your mental health as you go down the healing journey. The first time I used 7 cups, I wasn’t in a good headspace and it was doing more harm than good the more I used it. I needed to talk to a professional and that’s what I did.
Will I continue to use 7 cups? Yes, but in moderation. I don’t think it’s a website I will turn to every single day but instead when I want to unload. I’m a little annoyed by the sheer amount of emails they send. I don’t like it when a company sends a message every single day. I find it incredibly annoying. That’s the only big negative for me. I’ve reported them as spam so at least I don’t have to see all the emails.
Conclusion: It’s incredibly easy to use and join. They go out of their way to explain everything and you have listeners reaching out and making themselves available if needed. It’s a very positive place and it can benefit your mental health but you should tread carefully. That’s everything I wanted to say. I hope you enjoyed this blog.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
Okay, the moment I thought wouldn’t arrive until much later but here we are, about to watch the first episode of 13 Reasons Why. I mentioned before that suicide is a sensitive subject for me and that I didn’t jump on the 13 Reasons Why wagon when it came out because I feared what emotions and thoughts it will bring up. I’m still not sure if I’m ready to watch this show and I’m a little scared about what emotions it will bring up but I don’t think I will ever be ready to watch it. The title itself has and still does, rub me up the wrong way. Suicide can’t possibly be explained or reasoned. It’s not that simple. There aren’t 13 reasons why someone would decide to take their life. It’s can be brought down to just a number. Now, keep in mind this is my feelings before I even watched a single minute of the show.
I decided that I’m not going to watch the entire show. I will watch one episode, make notes as I’m watching it and then leave. I won’t watch the second episode until quite a bit of time has passed. I need time to process what I just saw in a healthy manner. Okay, let’s jump in. I’m terrified about pressing play but this can be good for me.
This is my notes as I’m watching the movie:
Okay, first of all, I’m one-minute in. I truly appreciate what they have done by having the cast members talk about the premise of the show and warn those who might be triggered by the topics of the series. That’s incredibly important as if something so deep catches you off guard it can do a lot of damage. I also appreciate the fact that they know that this is a serious topic and they’re being cautious. They refer the viewer to 13ReasonsWhy.info (I will check the website out when I finish the episode) for more information. Okay, so this helped with my quite negative view on the show. I like that they did this. It tells me that their intentions are good and that they truly just want to shed light on such a serious topic and start the discussion. Okay, now let’s move on to the actual show. I will be completely honest with you…my heart is racing like crazy. Last night I dreamt about my friend who committed suicide and it’s hard. It brings up a lot of thoughts like why did I survive and he didn’t? The thing is, I know how it feels. I have quite a good idea what’s going through their mind and it’s hard to accept that others who had the same thoughts than I did aren’t alive today. They’re not here to see that things will eventually get better. Their demons won and sometimes I’m terrified that mine will win one day too. Oh wow, I didn’t expect that. Where did these thoughts come from?
Let’s press play and see what happens. I do want to add then I will pause and stop this show at any moment I feel like it’s affecting my health in a negative way.
The start of the first episode by showing Hannah’s locker and it kind of made me lose my breath. One of the things I struggle with the most is the part that comes after suicide. What happens to the family members? To the friends? To the people around you? That’s the part that hurts me so deeply. When I was in my darkest moment, hours away from swallowing those pills and ending it all…I didn’t for one moment think about what would happen after. What about my friends and family? Will my school also decorate or put a picture up? Will my peers write a letter? Will my life be mourned for a few days and then will everything continue? Like I never left. Like I never even existed in the first place. Would my existence on this earth be easily forgotten? Those thoughts never went through my head but they do now. They scare me. I like to think that I’m supposed to be here. That my voice can be heard and I can make a difference. That my existence isn’t for nothing. The daily struggle, the agony that I’ve experienced, it’s not for nothing.
It’s surprising to me that just seconds of this show can pull out thoughts and emotions that I have yet to utter. It’s unexpected. I’m feeling raw and vulnerable and I’m not sure if watching this episode by myself is a good idea. I’m keeping some distance to myself emotionally from the show or well I have a wall up so I’m feeling all of these intense thoughts, but I’m numb. I’m going to see if I’m able to watch more by myself. I might watch this with my husband just so I have that comfort of knowing that he is here. He makes me feel safe and right now, I need to feel safe. I need to know that it’s worth it.
My husband came home from work and for the last 30 minutes, we’ve been talking about what has been going through my head as I watched literally not even 2 minutes of the show and I’m feeling a lot better. Let’s press play and watch some more. Oh wow. Okay, so I’m 3 and a half minutes in and it’s hitting some interesting topic. Girls posing in front of her locker and sharing it but with no emotional attachment. The teacher is talking about the death of the student and another student asks: “if we can move on, it’s been a week.” The truth is, that’s the reality. Some won’t truly understand what it means, some are so involved with their own problems and some just don’t care. That is just the harsh reality that is life. I’m not really sure what to think or to feel if I’m honest. I’m disappointed that my predictions and fears were hit right on the nose but at the same time, I’m happy the show included that because it’s the reality. Unfortunately, not a lot of people are taking mental health seriously and hopefully, that will start to change. Talking about suicide, openly talking about your mental wellbeing can save a life. Okay, let’s continue. And two seconds in…they’re talking about knowing the signs. Are they withdrawing from friends and family? I feel like this can be damaging in its own way. Some who are depressed or have suicidal thoughts won’t have these signs. I sure as hell didn’t. You learn to put on a mask, to act normal. I feel by telling people to look out for these signs can do a lot of harm…I don’t know. I feel like this can damage those who they leave behind. Oh, I should’ve noticed the signs. Oh, how I should have helped them. But some don’t show any of the signs. I don’t know, I feel like it can do a lot of harm and should be said carefully. The next signs the teacher brings up is a bit silly to me. Are they changing their appearance? Really? I feel like this is so broad, especially with teenagers. I don’t know how I feel about this one. I definitely want to Google signs of depression and someone with suicidal thoughts when I’m done with this episode. I personally feel like there weren’t that many signs or shifts in my behavior. I literally decided that I wanted to commit suicide out of the blue, in the middle of my English class. I had every intention of swallowing those pills after I got home. Before that, I was normal with my friends. Nothing was strange about my behavior.
The first sight of the parents brought some intense emotions up. My mind is racing and I have no idea what to think and feel. I think I’m going to stop and come back to watch the rest later. It’s important for me to take the time and place my emotions before I continue watching it. I need to get my thoughts straight and process everything otherwise it might affect my mental health negatively. On the other hand, I’m at the 7 minutes mark and it has taken me down many roads so far. I’m still not sure if this will do more harm than good. On the one side it’s bringing up thoughts and feelings I didn’t know I had. Which is kind of good, I guess. It’s getting these emotions out but…on the other side, it’s a lot of intense emotions.
A few days have passed and I’ve decided NOT to watch the rest of the episode. I’m still going to share this blog even though I only made it 7 minutes in because this is important. It’s important that I gave it a chance but decided to take a step back when it was too much. I’m not in a mental frame of mind to watch this show and I don’t know when this will change. Who knows when I will be able to watch it? Heck, I might never finish this episode and that’s okay. I still appreciate that they’re trying to open a discussion with this show but I can’t exactly tell you my opinion or experience because I barely watched the show. I don’t know. I guess only you will be able to tell if you’re in a frame of mind to watch the show and only you can press pause and stop watching the show when it’s too much. I’m not really sure what to say. This show brought up a lot of intense emotions and I need more time to process them before I can get my thoughts straight and explain what’s going through my head.
I’m going to round this blog of here. It’s an intense one and I’m emotionally exhausted. Before I do that, I’m going to check out that website that they recommend at the start of the show. Oh wow, I’m fully impressed. You can get all necessarily crisis information by whatever country you’re in. That’s really cool. They truly went the extra mile with educating others which I appreciate.
I wanted to Google signs of depression and when someone is suicidal but I’m not really in the frame of mind to do so. This entire ordeal has been incredibly intense. I’m not sure if the feelings and thoughts it brought up are good or bad. I just need some time to wrap my head around it. I definitely want to come back to this and talk more about it. Suicide is such an important and serious subject that needs to be discussed more. I truly believe it can save a life. If you’re struggling in any shape or form, I encourage you to reach out. You’re not alone in this.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
I’m writing this blog after a really difficult day. I realize that these are my toxic thoughts now but I need to write about this. Writing is my therapy and maybe by writing out all my thoughts, I might gain a new perspective on things. I don’t know but I need to get these feelings out.
Today I found out I weigh 90kg. I feel sick to my stomach. I feel disgusting. I feel like I should go crawl into some hole and hide. No one can see me like this. No one can know I weigh so much. When I saw that number on the scale I wanted to cry. I bit back my tears and told myself, cry about this tonight. I’ve gained so much weight in this last year that it’s been an incredibly hard pill to swallow. After the big weight gain where the scale climbed 2-3kg a WEEK for two months, I thought that was it. I’m 20kg heavier but I will lose it. I was diagnosed with PCOS soon after that and it’s been one ugly mix of emotions since. I felt horrified that I gained so much weight. I immediately changed the way I dressed or constantly tugged at my clothes because I didn’t want people to see the obvious weight gain. Hello, oversized everything. And now, when I’m already so fragile, I find out I’m 10kg’s higher than that. I can’t hit that 100kg mark. I can’t.
And I’m scared. I want to lose weight because I want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin but I’m terrified I will become obsessed with fitness again. It was truly horrifying that the pressure of maintaining the weight loss or fitness journey did to my mental health. I get so overwhelmed these days. So much extreme thing has been happening to me this last year that I’m barely keeping my head above water. I can’t add that weight loss pressure onto my shoulders again. I will break. I’ve found a system that is taking steps towards the right direction but it slow and forgiving. It’s all that I can handle at the moment but it’s not enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m still gaining weight and I’m disgusting. I need to starve myself. I need to drink just smoothies for months straight. I need to eat, drink and sleep fitness again. I need to eat nothing and just drink water. I need to make myself throw up when I eat candy. I need to. I need to. I need to. These thoughts are disgusting. I look at my body and I hate it. I hate how that is just another thing in my life that I can’t control and I hate how it doesn’t feel like my body anymore. I hate how I’m scared someone will point out my weight gain out and I hate how I no longer feel beautiful. I hate that this weight gain makes me feel worthless. Like my life has no meaning because I have back rolls. I hate that I feel this way and I want to change but I don’t know if I can handle it now. It’s a constant toss up of 1) go big or go home or 2) one day at a time. I’m struggling to find a middle ground. I’m struggling to get out of this ugly and toxic loophole. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I don’t want to be this big anymore. I tell myself I will be happy when I’m back to my fit body but the truth is, I wasn’t fucking happy back then. I still thought I was fat and worthless. I still bit back tears when someone pointed out my stomach. But now…it’s worse. Back then I felt confident and proud at least 70% of the time. Now, I feel like a worthless human being. I don’t really know what else to say. I think I’m just going to go to bed now. Maybe I will feel different tomorrow? I’m just so tired of feeling like this. It’s too much. Life has been so much. When am I going to catch a break?
It’s the next day and I don’t have clarity. I don’t really feel much better. I realize that I’m inching into a depressive state and what I thought yesterday wasn’t entirely true to what a really think deep down…but yeah. I still feel the pressure that I need to do something. What I’m doing isn’t enough and I’m scared that it will all get too much. I woke up, hungry. Already, my thoughts are like sit the fuck down you fat fuck. You’re not worthy to eat. It’s ugly and toxic. These feelings will pass and I refuse to surrender and do anything I will regret. I will fight these thoughts and feelings. I will fight this negative voice and when I come out of it the other side, with a clear and positive mind I will make adjustments to my way of life that isn’t anything too crazy. And eventually, over time, I will lose some weight but who knows? Maybe I will never weigh 60kg again and that’s okay…I guess. It’s baby steps.
Sorry that this blog is all over the place. I just feel like it’s something I should share. Maybe someone who struggles with the same thing or has struggled with the same thing will have some advice. Who knows?
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
PS, I’m adding this as an afterthought because I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about their bodies. I’m not saying if you weigh 90kg you’re ‘fat’ and ‘worthless’. Nor if you weigh more than that. THIS is how I feel about MY body because of my weightgain.
I thought long and hard about what my first review should be on. These days I’ve gravitated towards books, movies, and series that touched on serious subjects and left the user to think about a few things. To the Bone was a film that made you think. I watched it for the first time just a few months ago and my mind reeled long after the credits rolled onto the screen. It’s such a powerful movie and incredibly well done. I have so much to say about this movie and I’m going to try my utmost best to touch on all the points I want to touch on. I just want to be clear from the start that I didn’t simply just watch the movie and made a few notes on it. No, I went deeper than that. I didn’t just want to slap my opinion of the movie on this blog and call it a day. In the beginning, I couldn’t really put my thoughts into words. This movie stopped me in my tracks and it made me think. It took me some time to get my thoughts straight and for that I think they did a great job with the message they were trying to send with this movie.
My first action when I opened up this word document in order to write this review was to search for the movie’s IMDb details. I learned a lot while reading this page and there are a few key things I want to share on here. As usual, parts from this page will be italics. The first and natural step with this review is the summary for those who have yet to watch the movie. What I found incredibly interesting and very telling was that on the IMDb page, users had the option to write their own summary of the movie. By allowing this you could sense how others interrupted the film which I absolutely loved.
On the main page, the summary read: (1) Ellen is a 20-year-old woman struggling with anorexia nervosa. In the midst of family problems and her own fears, she is accepted into a group home run by an unusual doctor. Through the people she meets and the journey she takes, Ellen follows a path of self-discovery and acceptance that will lead her to a surprising place she never would have thought possible. Although the next two summaries by IMDb users say almost the same thing, I still want to share it. “A young woman, dealing with anorexia, meets an unconventional doctor who challenges her to face her condition and embrace life.” Written by IMDb user: fannyelisabeth. The third summary on the page is as follows: “Ellen or Eli is a 20-year-old woman suffering from anorexia nervosa. When her stepmother & absent father run out of options, they manage to get an appointment with a very successful but unorthodox doctor. When Ellie accepts the help she’s placed into a group home with other people suffering from eating disorders. Because she’s with people just like her, Ellie finds herself facing the truth of her disease. Will she find herself before it’s too late or will death come knocking faster than expected?” Written by IMDb user: Carrie DeCosta.
Why did I share all of these summaries when it’s so similar to each other? The answer is simple: even though the words were slightly different they all concentrated on one thing. The main character is suffering from a serious eating disorder, an eating disorder that could very much so steal her life, but she embarks on a journey where she challenges her condition. Before this movie, my knowledge about eating disorders was limited. I knew what society told me. Although deep down I knew this was a disease, something that you need to fight every day so you can live the life you dream of, society almost tied a neat little bow around it. What I mean with that is simple. You’re congratulated if you lose weight. You’re congratulated when you can wrap your arms around your stomach or when you can play the harp on your ribs. You’ve congratulated if your wrist is smaller than a coin. You’re beautiful if you’re skinny. You’re ugly if your body fat percentage is over a certain number. You’re begging for attention when you starve yourself or bring your food up soon after eating it. The list goes on. It’s such a sick cycle. They want your body to look certain why but they also belittle those who suffer from an eating disorder. Although I know things are slowly changing, we still have a big road ahead of us.
While exploring the IMDb page on the movie I paused when I saw this new user review. It was posted on the 14th of July 2017 by the user: satin. I feel that his words are incredibly important to read.
“When I heard about this movie I was skeptical. I am a male who has suffered from Anorexia since I was 14 (I am 25 now) and have been in 2 inpatient units during this time. I have gone from a weight that literally caused my heart to stop to one that is normal according to society and have recently graduated to become a doctor.
To The Bone starts off with an all too familiar look into the life of someone with an eating disorder in an inpatient unit. Once she is ‘let loose’ into the world she is clearly nowhere close to recovery. We get some degree of insight into her life struggling with her condition. Lily Collins is perfectly suited to this role given her eating disorder history. I am slightly concerned that this role may have set something off in her mind to trigger a relapse (if not now, then in the future), but as long as she has been able to cope I am more at ease. The attention to detail into her character’s daily life is incredible. From being able to recite calories in foods to the countless hours spent doing sit-ups in her room, I was amazed as to how accurate they wanted this movie to be. In my eyes, it was in no way an exaggeration and could be considered an under- representation as to the daily life of someone with an eating disorder. As the story progresses the tone becomes a lot more serious. It makes it quite hard to watch at times because you do feel concerned for the well being of the main character and her family. It certainly made me emotional at times because it resurfaced memories of things I put me and my family through. Again, this just highlights how eerily accurate the film portrays the condition. I could literally put names of people I met during recovery to the faces of the characters (patients, doctors, nurses, and family members included).
Aside from being concerned as to the well being of Lily Collins in this role, the other problem I had going into watching this movie was that it may glamorize eating disorders. However, after the first 10 minutes of watching it, I knew this was not the case. It felt a lot more like seeing the world through a real anorexic’s eyes. The other obvious problem I had was that this may be potentially ‘triggering’ for people with eating disorders. I still have this reservation, however, I cannot conceive any way a film like this could not have been triggering. Every person experiences an eating disorder differently and has their own personal triggers. Anything in this film could have been triggering for different reasons. What I know is that those without the condition will receive invaluable insight into the life of someone with an eating disorder. In a world where awareness for such disorders is certainly on the up, many people still think eating disorders are a ‘life choice’ and that sufferers should just eat. I hope this film makes people realize the daily struggles of sufferers and that it offers sufferers ambition to recover.”
After reading that user’s review I wanted to learn more. I will be straight with you, I’ve never really struggled with a serious eating disorder. Yes sometimes I would challenge myself and see how long I can go without eating but it never became something big. After I watched this movie, I realized how serious an eating disorder truly is. Although I can’t say I understand everything, I can see where the characters are coming from. It changed the way how I view people who suffer from the disease and my view on my own relationship with food. This movie really made me think. Before I deep dived into the internet to learn more about the disease I saw a very interesting did you know the trivia section on the IMDb page. When I watched the movie for the first time I wondered how realistic it is. How much research did they do? How close is it to the real thing? This trivia section answered those questions. The main character and the director/writer of this movie both suffered from an eating disorder in the past. Suddenly it made sense. The reason why the movie felt so real was that the driving force came from a place who understood the disease from a personal viewpoint.
This next part I want to insert was on the main page under the trivia section. The 28-year-old actress opened up about the moment in an interview with The Edit about the time she was complimented on her weight loss while filming the film. “I was leaving my apartment one day and someone I’ve known for a long time, my mom’s age, said to me, ‘Oh, wow, look at you!'” Lily said. “I tried to explain [I had lost weight for a role] and she goes, ‘No! I want to know what you’re doing, you look great!’ I got into the car with my mom and said, “That is why the problem exists.”
It’s so heartbreakingly true. At this point not only did I want to read and learn more about the disease, but I also wanted to learn what I can do to help. I wanted to learn what thoughts I had that was completely off and what I could do to change my words in order to prevent and help the disease. I wanted to learn how I can be sure to prevent this disease from those I love. I wanted to learn how I should word my sentences when it came to this. I wanted to learn how I can prevent saying the same damaging things to my own daughter one day that was said to me. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t one of the people who is adding fuel to the fire. So I dove deep into the internet.
Early on my search, an article popped up: 5 Things To the Bone Gets Rights, According to Two Survivors. This article was incredibly informative and answered some of the questions that still lingered in my mind. One of these questions was about the purpose of the movie. What did they want to achieve from this? (2) “Having struggled with anorexia and bulimia well into my 20s, I know firsthand the struggle, isolation, and shame a person feels when they are in the grips of this illness,” Noxon says in her director’s statement. “My goal with the film was not to glamorize EDs, but to serve as a conversation starter about an issue that is too often clouded by secrecy and misconceptions. I hope that by casting a little light into the darkness of this disease we can achieve greater understanding and guide people to help if they need it.” The article continued in its review with so much information. It was a different viewpoint of my own and I loved every second of it. I definitely recommend you read this article. The link will be listed at the end of this blog.
Another article that was one of the first to pop up is: Don’t watch Netflix To The Bone. I read it because I was so desperate to understand the disease and although I finished the article, my thoughts were still all over the place, I did learn something important. That with any complex mental health issues, there are so many different sides to the story. Every person that experiences this doesn’t fall into a set picture and sometimes the reason isn’t simple. It’s complex after all. The same can be said about depression, anxiety and etc. Although nothing stood out that I want to quote from this article, it’s important to read it if you’re not sure what to think after watching the movie.
I wanted to move away from other opinions and learn the technical side of the disease. The first website that popped up was the national eating disorders website. It was a very eye-opening experience. I didn’t realize how many eating disorders there is and how serious they are. The movie opened my eyes to this yes, but seeing an entire website dedicated on so many serious eating disorders…it’s shocking and heartbreaking.
The more I’m learning about this disease, the more I can connect and understand the movie. I’m not going to ever stand here and say that I understand eating disorders because I have barely scratched the service, but in the same breath, I kind of do. As someone who suffers from depression, I realize that the mind is a very complex thing. We’re all fighting our own demons. We need to be more gentle and caring with each other. We also need to educate others. For so many years the serious mental health issues were taboo to talk about, and still is, but we need to change this. We need to open the dialogue. We need to talk about the pain and those demons whispering into our ears. Finally, after weeks, I can put my thoughts into words and sentences. The truth is I still don’t know much about an eating disorder. I don’t know how to prevent it or how to help. I still have so many questions but I know now that nothing is simple. Eating disorders aren’t simple. Depression isn’t simple. Anxiety isn’t simple. We just need to be caring for those around us and learn about the disease. I’m not sure if this is helpful. One minute I think I understand the movie and I’ve straightened my thoughts and feelings on the matter and the next I’m still questioning everything. But writing that now, I realize that’s a good thing. We need to always question things. Without those questions, there isn’t a change.
The movie opened up the dialogue and for that, I would recommend the movie. Although it touches on such a serious subject and can trigger those who suffer from eating disorders, it will leave the viewer thinking and in return open up the conversation with others. In this regard, I’m finally going to watch 13 Reason Why. A series I’ve avoided since it aired as I feared I might be triggered by the suicide. Although I know the experience won’t be easy, I might learn something. It might change something. Maybe after watching the series, I would be able to take another step forward in the healing process. I also realize that mentally I need to wait a bit longer before I watch the show. And that’s the most important thing to note. If you suffer from any mental illness, you need to realize that some things are toxic for your mental health. Although I realize watching 13 Reason Why should be an eye-opening experience when it comes to suicide, I also realize that I’m in a vulnerable place in my life now and the series will do more damage than good. So I will wait. The same thing can be said for those who suffer from an eating disorder regarding this movie. Take your time with the healing process. Every journey is different.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!