Rebirth: I’m BACK

It’s been a long time since I posted my last article on my blog and I cannot deny that I have spend days feeling quite guilty as a result of my ten month departure. This is not due to ‘writer’s block’ but rather one that extends from my mental health.

Many of you have read my previous posts about my eating disorder and anxiety issues and as part of my learning process to love myself, my blog is a platform for recovery. However, the fact that I have written a blog about recovery should be written from a positive and energetic mindset and I could not help but leave this site to recollect my thoughts and address my emotions. I wanted to take a break from my blog and didn’t want to create a facade, where I present myself as a recovering eating disorder patient who is returning to a healthy life – because I wasn’t, I was falling back to my bad habits. Within the ten months, I returned to my old cycle with eating. I couldn’t open myself up as a happy individual online when I wasn’t and so,  I had to have some form of rebirth. What I mean by ‘rebirth’, I am referring to my mindset, one where I am facing my problems first before I go on my blog – because is it morally right to post articles on happiness and positive reflection when the writer is not feeling well? I felt wrong because although I was telling my followers and audience of both young and old, male and female, that I have recovered, I was still trapped in the process of cutting down meals, feeling alone and isolated. I didn’t want to send you, my beautiful warriors, a false representation of myself. I am still trying to love myself, my body and who I am innately and if I can’t do that, I can’t bring about the same love for others.

Despite the work overload at uni and my own personal struggles with mental health, I still regard blog writing as an important platform for bringing change and something that I will never give up. I want you to know that in all honesty, I have not fully recovered and my breaks from my blog is a way to understand myself more. I love each and everyone of you but at the very core of my heart, sometimes writers will have moments in their lives where they have breakdowns and it is hard to reconnect and spread a positive voice of change. I am sorry for not being able to post as many articles as I had initially promised but the only way to reconnect myself to my happiness was to take a break, and start new, a rebirth.

“To live fully is to let go and die each passing moment, and to be reborn in each new on.” – Jack Kornfield

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Diversity in eating disorders

This is to the girls who stay up, late at night, scrolling through their news feed of beach bodies and fitspiration posts. 

This is to the guys who desire nothing else but washboard abs and low fat percentage. 

You may not be directly impacted by eating disorders but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see pass its singular image of a sufferer: underweight, ribs sticking out, pale skin, female. It is a mentally scarring subject that I, along with many others, have been terrified to speak about. Some have been conditioned to believe that eating disorders concerns only those who are stick thin with obvious signs of starvation. However, eating disorders is more than just a physical disease. I never thought that I could be impacted by my eating disorder because I never saw myself as a sufferer. The more I fell into the hands of this disease, the less I wanted to seek for help. I would tell myself that I wasn’t skinny enough to have an eating disorder. Yet, a part of me knew that my mindset, one that is still of low self-esteem, was a major component.

Both genders are affected by the cruel reality of eating disorders and as a mental health issue, the asset that many ignore is the effect it has on one’s mind. Historically, eating disorders have been associated with young, Caucasian women but that stereotypical image is a myth – eating disorders does not discriminate any race or ethnicity or age. In saying this, eating disorders affects people of all sizes. No matter what one’s weight is, eating disorders can be self-degrading in different ways. For instance, one may be in the healthy range for their BMI but that doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t have an eating disorder. We need to look deeper into one’s behavioural and psychological patterns as well.

Our dissatisfaction with our bodies is a major risk factor for eating disorders and the reason for many to surrender to binge eating, bulimia, anorexia nervosa and EDNOS. One thing that is for sure is that we must not believe that there is one image of an eating disorder. Ultimately, we need to respect that it affects all and like any other mental disease, its root cause stems from our  mindset.

You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart

– Alessia Cara “Scars to Your Beautiful”

 

We’re all in this together

It’s been a long time since I posted an article but this time, I wanted to put a BIG emphasis on self-love. Most of my posts are revolved around self-love, from sharing insights into eating disorders to body image and how we are conditioned to believe in society’s image of ‘perfection’. This time, I want to reveal about the necessity of embracing your personal story with self-love. Your life is not the same as the person who sat next to you on the bus, yesterday morning at 7 am. Your life is not the same as your elderly neighbour. You don’t know what they are going through until you see their world through their eyes.

Since the day I had begun my puberty years, acne has been a major part of life that I can’t completely control, but with the help of my acne medications. However, regardless if my acne were to be cleared, my face is still scarred by its remains. I have dark spots on my face I cannot remove. I have lingering memories of self-deprecation, standing in front of the mirror and telling my reflection names I wouldn’t tell others. Never. Useless piece of crap. Those hideous blemishes. Full of pimply crap. Crap – just crap. 

Sadly, I continue to do so. Self-deprecation is something we all do, calling out every flaw we have and degrading our self-esteem to the point we feel worthless.

To some, acne scars are not a big deal. I was talking to a friend of mine, several months ago at the beginning of this year, on the topic of self-esteem issues. I said one of mine were the blemishes on my face. Yet, she said that there could be worse things to happen to someone, worse than the scars that still haunt me to this day. Yes, there could be worse things than acne scars, but not everyone has the same mindset when it comes to self-esteem. We all have different journeys and we all must respect that. Acne may not impact your life but it could be big aspect of another’s, a drop in their ability to love themselves because whenever they see their reflection, they don’t see their unique beauty, but only the spots that reside on their face.

I have a long road to go to love my acne and acne scars. I still pinpoint my flaws in the mirror, rather than accept them as who I am.

However, every flaw you come across should be recognised; not to degrade your ability to self-love but rather to help recognise your unique beauty, even though it may be insignificant to others. Because, the first step to self-love is to recognise that we shouldn’t generalise our identities to be the same as everyone else. We all have little sparks of light inside that makes us who we are.

There are people who share the same concerns as you do and that is okay as well. When you find someone who understands what you have been going through, you can then know that you’re not alone. We are all in this road to self-love. You have a say about your body. You have the right to feel confident in your own skin. Don’t let your imperfections overshadow your ability to love yourself.

There will be moments you hate your flaws but once we have the courage to embrace them, we shouldn’t be feeling worthless. We shouldn’t measure our worth based on these flaws. Everyone has moments of worthlessness and no singular journey is the same.

Next time someone tells you that there could be worse things than having this or that personal struggle(s), tell them this: if you have a personal struggle, wouldn’t you want the right to recognise the importance of your journey? – because your journey is just as important and worthwhile to share as that person you sat with on that bus.

Let’s talk about mental health

Mental health is in need of a voice to speak out from its shallow isolation. We have the must to step out of its black and white enclosure. This caged up topic is viewed by many as one of shame. Just because it is not a physical issue, we mustn’t avoid such matter. Just because society fabricates it as an ‘attention-seeking’, melodramatic façade, we mustn’t listen to these morons of the world. Instead, our insights into mental health can only be achieved with a sense of respect and true honesty when we are opened up to or when we open up.

Mental health is not something we can eradicate completely. It isn’t a mistake in the body system which we can fix with simply a Band-Aid, thinking that mitosis can do its job by producing new cells to replace those ‘impacted’ by ‘negatives’. It is not something we have control of. It is not something we have the intention of seeking attention. We are human beings, impacted directly or even indirectly by the horrors of this disease, which many are still scared to voice about.

We do have the potential to speak pass the barriers society often builds. We do have the potential to step out from the shadows, to step out from the isolation that we might fall into. This can only be achieved if we have awareness. We have a voice. Mental health should not be a factor that interferes with one’s beauty. It should not define you. Yes, you may have a mental health issue but those voices in the back of your mind can be released. You are a volcano, capable of unleashing the energy that is being hauled back by society, by a lack of help. Help can achieved by awareness, by voice. Your mental health may distort your image of perfection but if you reach out and if we reach out to you, your mental health can be conquered. The scars you carry because of your mental health makes you beautiful. You are beautiful. You have the strength and courage to conquer those mental demons.

However, if we were to have everyone believing in who they are, we have to voice our opinions first. We have to accept EACH and EVERY voice. We need change and the only way to achieve change in the stigma that is associated with mental health, is awareness.

To all people-pleasers:

Making someone happy doesn’t necessarily make you happy.

Being happy is to be of self-appreciation and love for being who you are. I will be honest with you but I am a PEOPLE-PLEASER and to see somebody smile, as of what I have done, gives me the satisfaction to know others are thankful because of me.

As a people-pleaser, we would be guilty of not being able to make others happy. As people-pleasers, we are overwhelmed by the fear of what others will think of us if we make them annoyed or angry or if we do something wrong. We want to help others for their best and ensure that all daily duties are carried out to perfection. We have that fear of rejection, thinking that others will ignore us if we don’t help them or say yes to their favours. What people-pleasers don’t realise is that they do have a choice. You are allowed to choose for your own benefit and your happiness should not be defined by what others think of us. We should be happy because of our achievements but our happiness should not be perceived as means of making others satisfied.

So, learn to say NO. Say no to people who trigger your stress. SAY NO if you don’t have the time to do something for someone else. SAY NO if you are feeling uncomfortable carrying out others favours. It gives you the empowerment to achieve what YOU want to fulfill in your bridge to HAPPINESS.

Raise your voice. Be proud of who you are. The choices you make should be made in the comfort of your mind and heart, and not the will of others, if they are pressuring you in the wrong direction of your happiness. Live your life in such a way that you are morally driven; take risks, here and there but, ultimately, by knowing both the good and bad, we become stronger, more matured individuals at the final step to our happiness.

Don’t let that shine fade.

 

You know, introverts are cool too

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Honestly, over these past 17 years of my existence, I have felt locked in my prison of negative thoughts. I feel so hopeless about my shyness and the fact that I have no desire to be too social, in any way, my identity has gone through some mood swings in order to ‘fit in’. Being an introvert does not mean you have an attitude problem, as some have spoken about my failure to interact more with the ‘cool kids’. Being an introvert is purely an aspect of who you are and your personality should not be changed, regardless of what the ‘cool kids’ say. You don’t have to be loud and outgoing, popular and social, in life.

The lovely words of Dr Seuss, in the quote above, are what I stick by, as my moral compass, and I urge you to do the same. Your social life may not be as ‘exciting’ and ‘enthusiastic’ as an extrovert but that does not mean your worth doesn’t matter. This taste of your introverted personality is what makes you unique and different from others. Introverts, for one thing, are great listeners and to be one as a constant motivator and support in someone’s life, is sign of your respect and understanding for their perspectives on various matters. Your worth means so much more than just your social life and there is nothing wrong to be in a deep thoughtful trance. Solitude is a way of learning and appreciating your innate self. Once we start to recognise our strengths, rather than flaws, as an introvert, we gain that self-satisfaction of independence and freedom. If you want space to think, don’t give a damn what others say and use this as means of your happiness. If taking your time alone is your happiness, just stick by it because those who really love you, will not degrade your introverted soul.

By all means, however, being extroverted, or even in the between, is completely fine. As long as you are doing your thing and enjoying life through self-acceptance and freedom, just be you and embrace that wondrous personality of yours. If you are quirky and talkative, you are more than welcome to be who you are because we want that balance in our community. If everyone was the same, life would be boring and to have a mixture of different personalities creates that balance in order to live with unity and acceptance, rather than monotony.

 

Love Yourself

When it comes to achieving your happiness in life, the first and most crucial step I urge would be to love yourself. Loving yourself, before placing your heart into others’, means that you are respectful to yourself and you have the ability to recognise your inner goodness and light. Your light symbolises who you are and to love yourself means that you have accepted the light inside, releasing any form of shadow that inflicts negativism.

Negativism, as I have mentioned in my other posts, is the constant voice in our heads that perpetuate the feeling of being worthless. Your worth is limitless. It is infinite. You are worthy of all the goodness life gives through love, education, health, family and friends and even job prospects. You are more than capable to achieve your goals and ambitions but one can only fulfill this when you have fully accepted self-love.

When you love someone, you have this radiation of excitement and joy which remains in your stomach as a swarm of butterflies. This love for someone can only be temporary when you don’t have the capacity to love yourself. Do you agree?

When you love yourself first, then can you have a permanent sense of happiness for that person, be it your partner, mother, friend or uncle. If someone hurts you, in any way that rubs negativism into your mind, you can then have the ability to strengthen and overcome the words that were used against you; simply because you have accepted to love yourself.

So, my advice to you all, when it comes to your happiness, is to go love yourself. Remind yourself of your worth, your capability, your energy and potential to achieve great things in life. Remind yourself that you are not a worthless mess, you are a hot mess because nobody can take a warrior’s shield without permission.

 

 

Happiness 101: Relationships

We cry. We learn. We forgive. We move on. We discover who we are through our personal connections with the people we are drawn to.

Relationships come and go. Some stay and those that do are what makes us want to get up in the morning and carry on with daily struggles, regardless of the effort it takes us. These moments of love, bound by trust and understanding, is what molds our perspective on life and are the catalysts in our journey of maturation.

However, relationships should not be the defining factor of your identity. Yes, they educate us about the human experience on love but the fact that you have gone through a relationship break up, does not mean it should degrade your identity and happiness.

There’s so much more to life than just personal regrets on relationships. Your family and friends. Your education. Your travels around the globe.

Every step we take in life is to be of full experience: to live with enthusiasm, challenge and acceptance of flaws. Erase the people in your past who have sneered and mocked you and continue to strut your walk with confidence.

Your happiness shouldn’t be degraded by past jerks.

Stay strong, wonderful warrior.

xx

 

What’s in my bucket?

Our bucket lists may not be the same but it is the fact that they are all so different, makes us who we are. We need to embrace these human experiences of love, ecstasy, thrills and comfort to learn more about the soul we have inside. Remember that in order to embrace our identity, we need to step out of our comfort zone and experience life to the fullest; take risks, challenge ourselves.

Here’s my bucket of dreams and aspirations; my top 20 wants and desires:

  1. Become a Pediatrician
  2. See my parents with their true smiles
  3. Sleep underneath the stars
  4. Visit the Great Canyon (basically visit America)
  5. Dance like nobody is watching (like in the middle of the city or some park)
  6. Meet Bill Nye the science guy
  7. Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum
  8. Surprise poverty-stricken towns in third world countries with books
  9. Go on a road trip around Australia in a caravan (after I graduate from high school, which is in five months)
  10. Have a bonfire at the beach
  11. Learn how to play the ukulele
  12. Visit the Stonehenge
  13. Carve a pumpkin
  14. Go bungee jumping
  15. Volunteer (as a doctor) in Africa and South Asia
  16. Publish a science research paper
  17. Drink Butterbeer (and visit Hogwarts)
  18. Sponsor a child through World Vision
  19. Write a book
  20. Have a healthier mindset

You are capable of everything and whatever you want to achieve, can only be achieved if you have the confidence. Unleash your inner self and take flight into the future with the confidence in knowing who you really are.

Stay strong, wonderful warriors, and don’t let that shine fade.

#you’reworthit

 

Thinspo? We’re perfect without it.

What angers me the most when I am on the internet is the never ending streams of ‘Thinspiration’ posts. Post after post, users, who deem themselves as ‘writers’, are using slogans and ‘inspirational’ quotes about being skinny. Why do such ‘writers’ use their words to abuse our body image with the notion that ‘thinness’ is our goal to be happy in life?

I had actually, only a couple of days ago, come across several blogs that promoted ‘thinspiration’. I was appalled to read poetry on the notion of striving towards thinness and how this mentality is perceived to be healthy. Then, I came across images after images, of girls with their faces hidden but the bones of their skin shown to viewers. We cannot see the faces of these models. We cannot read the emotions off their faces. Only their bodies  matters to Thinspiration; not how they feel, not how they live their lives.

This objectification of the female body does not give me the security Thinspiration seeks to give, to promote that ‘thinness’ is equal to our happiness. Rather, it gives me a sickening feeling of disgust.

Our body image should be of self-love, gratitude and pure comfort. We should be accepting of the body we have, regardless of what shape we are. No matter your size, you are beautiful and, whatever Thinspiration writers believe, should not be enforced into our minds. Because, they don’t bring the same inspiration as other blogs about health and fitness, which aim for building a happier life based on nutrition and active lifestyle, do.

They are internet hurdles we need to overcome and refrain from.

Do you really think that by starving yourself in order to achieve whatever the images portray, will make you healthy? Will it make you happy? It didn’t make me happyDon’t you feel overwhelmed with fatigue and that constant feeling of body-hate?

Don’t strive for what Thinspiration writers present. In fact, I believe that these are not writers. True writers use their words to provide us with their different perspectives and inspire. Thinspiration writers don’t inspire. They fill us with negativism. We start to indulge in bitter musings towards our body image. What we see from Thinspiration writers is one message: Be thin and you will be healthy.

Thinspo? Nah, more like take-me-out-for-pizza-po.

Don’t let your shine fade away, warrior.