Tag Archives: personal stories

Eating Disorders and Mental Health – Jess

It’s Friday, and you all know what that means! Another guest blogger! Thanks to Jess for informing my bloggers about eating disorders and how they are linked to mental health. Please remember to check her out on her social media below and give her a follow.

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I’m Jess and I created a blog last year to continue the conversation about mental health. I discuss my experience with an eating disorder, depression and anxiety, and I hope that by sharing my story I can empower others to talk about their mental health and seek help along the way. You can find me on the following social media as well: Blog, YouTubeTwitterInstagram

 The “I wish I had an eating disorder.”

“I wish I had an eating disorder”, or “I have tried so hard to have an eating disorder” are just some things I have heard from people and even friends, and it has made me wonder why eating disorders seem to be so glamorized when I know the truth – and it is far from glamorous. I am not angry at friends and individuals for saying these things, but it does make me so concerned that there are people out there wishing they could have this life. I think the media is partly to blame for this, people with eating disorders are often presented in the media as young underweight females with this magical ability to restrain from food. Often the media forgets to highlight that many people with eating disorders are actually at an average weight or can be overweight, they can also be from a different gender, and it can affect different age groups. The media does not highlight that eating disorders are a mental illness that can affect anyone, and when you have one it can become one the darkest periods in your life, I would not wish an eating disorder upon anyone.

In Australia, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate out of any other mental illness, is that something people want? There are so many people out there who have no idea about eating disorders and think it’s a lifestyle choice, which it is not. This is not something I woke up one day and decide to do; this is a deeply rooted mental illness. This does highlight for me that there needs to be higher awareness in the media about the true extent of an eating disorder, as well as developing early intervention education programs within schools that educate young people on what exactly an eating disorder is.

For those who do not know, there are serious health risks that come with having an eating disorder.  My immune system used to be so low currently that I would get sick instantly, and when I got a common cold it was not a typical few days still able to function cold, I become very seriously ill which meant taking time off work and missing out on social events. Something a little too TMI but should be told is that you screw up your bowels when you have an eating disorder, I became so constipated at times I have been in tears from the amount of pain and discomfort I was experiencing. I also lost my periods for a while and was told I had increased my risk of infertility, and as you get older this becomes a scary thing when you start to plan your future and consider the possibility of children and realise you may have ruined your chances.

Due to the constant vomiting over the years I would often get tonsillitis frequently throughout the year and have a severely sore throat a lot of the time, I have had an infected mouth and throat which was not pleasant. By the age of 21, I had my first tooth removed, and have been paying a ridiculous amount of money to try and save the rest of my back teeth.  Other people with eating disorders suffer from the ruptured oesophagus, stomach and intestinal ulcers and can develop osteoporosis. Moreover, people who suffer from an eating disorder can also have irregular heartbeats increasing the chances of heart failure, and can also be at risk of kidney failure. Above all, the most significant risk of an eating disorder is death, which scares me so much when I hear people wishing they could have an eating disorder while individuals are dying from the illness.

I could never imagine myself saying I wish I could have depression or I wish I could have anxiety, so why do people think it is acceptable to say they wish they had an eating disorder? Eating disorders are a mental illness that crushes an individual’s self-esteem and confidence. It becomes an obsession and a means of control for people, it becomes someone’s life and energy and becomes utterly exhausting trying to control it. Eating disorders are so much more than wanting to lose weight; it is a mental illness that takes that lives of so many people. So please do not wish you had an eating disorder, because it is not fun or glamorous, it is incredibly lonely and debilitating for people.

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Fences – Glen McKenzie

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Emotional Barriers in Life

Like life, our blog has gone through an evolutionary process over the past while, part of which grew us to Thoughts From The WildernessIts about relating how nature and the outdoors intersect with our daily lives; our struggles; and ways we might be able to triumph over issues that are hindering us. Our desire is to inspire others to: get outdoors; discover yourself; find inspiration.Sometimes the hardest part is simply taking that first step to climb over whatever personal stumbling blocks are in your path. We’d love it if you would like to follow along this journey with us. Our blog can be found at https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com; on TwitterFacebook and finally on Instagram

Everyone has seen fences. We have them along two sides of our property; one wood and one chain link. Just walk down the street and you’ll pass fences of all descriptions. They can simply be for decoration along the front of a lawn; to surrounding a school yard; to marking the perimeter of a farmers field.

The reality is that fences serve two purposes only.

They are used to keep things in or to keep things out. We build them ourselvesor someone else builds them for us. They don’t spring up out of the ground, like dandelions on our lawn.

People also build another barrier or fence – aninvisible one.

These are the mental or emotional fences in our lives to keep things in or out…whether they be people, emotions, hurt, or pain, just to name a few. These invisible fences seemingly provide a sense of protection and comfort, as we live our lives.

Emotional fence building starts early in life. Unfortunately, these fences get re-enforced and strengthened as time goes by. They get built a little higher on a daily basis.

In as much as physical fences can be made of wood, concrete, brick, or wire, the emotional or mental fences and barriers we build can be constructed out of:

  • fear
  • self-worth
  • trusting others
  • the past

Fear

The building supplies needed to construct the emotional fence of fear can be found all around us.

For many of us, there were two or three things about fear we figured out, or conversely didn’t get a good grip on.

  • we never learned how to overcome fear
  • we learned that if we avoided making mistakes there was nothing to fear in life
  • we learned to never take any risks due to the risk of failure.

Because we feared failure; we also learned thefear to try.The hideous part of all of this is the spiral of “fear to try and fear of failure. This corrals us into a never-ending cycle of mind-numbing conformity of living life on a treadmill.

Fearing What?

We may fear starting a new career or asking a special someone out, or being in a long term relationship. Perhaps it’s the fear of success as it is unknown how life could be changed as a result.  Are you afraid of being pushed out of yourcomfort zone?

It is fear that tells us that we don’t have the correct skills for a new position; when in fact we do. Fear convinces us that our new colleagues may not like us. Fear also convinces us that we are comfortable where we are; that life is good enough.

We fear intimacy or to be in a relationship. We may have been hurt in the past and the fear of rejection or being hurt again whispers to us; don’t go down that road again.As a result of this fear; we don’t. We turn down an invite for coffee, afraid it may go further. We come up with every excuse under the sun, when that perfect someone shows interest in us. Even if we get into a relationship, our subconscious sabotages it because we fear the emotional intimacy.

The fears we have can appear to be real. Nevertheless, fear can pin us down like superglue.  This results in us being stuck in a place we truly don’t want to be. We desire to move on in our lives; to grow and live life full-out, but fear holds us back.

The fear of failure leads to the fear to try; which leads back to a fear of failure.  It is a vicious cycle.

Fears are personal — people are afraid of failure, rejection and possible conflicts.

Self-Worth

Self worth (how we view ourselves) is often tied directly to the level of self-esteem we have. At some point early in our life, we started to build those emotional fences, because we may have felt unloved, awkward, or incompetent.

This can be a life-long construction project. The materials needed to construct the fence of self-worth can get delivered right to your front door by the truckload. Perhaps they show up on a daily basis. People with low self-worth are hyper-sensitive to the criticism and actions of those around us. The greater threat, however, in the construction of this emotional barrier can be found within.

We don’t believe in ourselves, like everyone else does. Everyone encourages you saying, “you have got a great talent for this or that,but you don’t believe them, so you never try.

Every time that happens, you add yet another board to the fence of low self-worth. It slowly gets constructed higher and higher; year after year, until it becomes almostimpossible to knock down.

The nails holding the boards together become stronger each time it happens. The boards become thicker and heavier.

You may hear negative comments, so you choose to never try. What might have been your destiny in life had you not allowed others to erect your fence.

We come to believe we don’t have the talent, ability or skills to succeed in various areas of our life; while those around us believe we are capable.

Poor self-worth keeps us penned in from entering into meaningful relationships. Why would they like me? How can I love others, if I can’t even love myself?

Like fear; negative self-worth and low self-esteem are personal…real personal.

Trusting Others

Like the boards on a wooden fence rotting away over time, so does trust.

I read some place that trust is a “fundamental human experience”necessary for society to function and for any person to be relatively happy. Without it, fear rules. Trust is not an either/or proposition, but a matter of degree; and certain life experiences can impact a person’s ability to trust others.”

Issues of trust may come from experiences in childhood, such as inadequate love and affection, mistreatment or abuse. Perhaps you experienced bullying during your school years. Whatever the reason, these experiences have culminated into our adult relationships. It is harder to trust people if your self-esteem has been kicked out of you over time.

As an adult it could be a traumatic life event such as the loss of a loved one, an accident,  illness or perhaps you have been the victim of physical violence. These issues could very well lead to your inability to trust in the goodness of others. It might have been with a partner who broke that trust bond with you.

It could be all of the above. Trusting others, as well as trusting one’s self-care becomes a major issue.

It can be helpful to remind yourself that your current circle of friends/family may not be responsible for past events. It isn’t fair to them to make assumptions based on the actions of someone completely different from your past. It can be a hard process, but building trust is a choice, and building trust in any relationship takes time, especially if your trust has been shattered.

The fence of “trusting others”can be hard to change and renovate. But, it can be done.

The Past

The past often creeps into perceptions about the future. Unfortunately, the past gets carried into the present as the “baggage of life.”And we allow it to happen.

The tricky thing about emotional fences is that we may not even know we’ve built them. We don’t realize we allow the past to build yet another fence of emotional baggage when we get involved in a new relationship. The hideous part of this is, if we haven’t dealt with issues from our past, we are potentially sabotaging this new relationship; which just may be the one that has long-term potential.

If we never deal with past events, our feelings of fear and hurt continue growing until we somehow crazily justify the whole mess…and the cycle continues.

We do the same thing over and over and wonder why the results are always the same.

Fences that went up in the past don’t have to define our future.

So…..

Some fences we build on our own; some get built by others.

Regardless of who constructed them, complex structures require complex solutions.

We travel through life and convince ourselves we’re comfortable. We tell ourselves this is all we deserve. We base this on the fences and barriers we have built around us.

We build fences made out of our insecurities; our fears, our self-defined inadequacies, our lack of faith or our approval from others. Other fences get built to protect a broken heart, or to hide who we really are. Maybe we build a fence so we can’t be wrongly defined by society.

Board by board; wire by wire; higher and stronger the fence gets built. Thus; we live within the fences created.

A good reminder when we build fences around our emotions, is that it doesn’t just keep people away from us, it also keeps us from moving forward. Fences keep things in and inhibits us from moving forward. Like fences surrounding a prison, we become emotional prisoners.

Often, fences have a window that looks out at others. Every so often we peek out admiring those who appearfree.  They walk freely, run freely, love freely, seeminglywithout any walls stopping them.

How can I be like them?”Our window to the world opens in the fence WE ourselves have built.

What Now?

There is good news. It’s not all doom and gloom.

As physical fences can be torn down, emotional walls and barriers can be knocked down and overcome.

Yes, it will likely be difficult. Speaking from my own experience, it is and was a difficult and challenging process to go through. But, a necessary process.

In fact, it may well be very difficult at times and you may need help. If we tried each day to punch a brick or take a board off the fence, someday there would be no fence at all.

Even if the fence only becomes smaller, we’d still be better off. When the fences come down, we can be like those walking freely, running freely, and loving freely.

How?

How do we start dealing with the complex, difficult, and painful issues surrounding those emotional barriers in our lives?

.Im just going to say this and only because it relates to me and me only. This may not be you or you may not be in a place right know that reflects this.

Decide

First, you need to makea decision to start; a real decision. That is what I did. With fear and anxiety in making that difficult choice, it was a decision I needed to make. In fact, it was the only correct decision.

Identify

What are the fences or barriers made of?

A critical component is to identify what is keeping us a prisoner. Identifying and exploring what those barriers are helps to give us perspective, self-compassion and thus the catalyst to start the healing process. Remember, when you were born, you weren’t worried about building walls to keep from getting hurt. All that came later; much later.

Once we identify them, the work starts to destroy those false beliefs, and to get rid of them so that you can move forward in life. If we thinkwe’ve dealt with thembut have only done so on a superficial basis; we can easily fall back into them.  We revert to what is familiar to us.

You can’t escape from behind these barriers and move on in life if you keep retreating back into what is familiar.

This may not be an easy process, it certainly wasn’t for me. If you know you need to deconstruct these emotional barriers, remember you are not alone.

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Ask for help

A good therapist can help you put in the effort and work needed into tearing down emotional barriers; barriers that can hinder us from a more fruitful life.

Therapy can help us with:

  • rejecting irrational beliefs and self-defeating thoughts
  • learning how to become empowered
  • learning to identify and deconstruct harmful emotional fences

Remember, we are social beings; we were not made to go through life alone. There are plenty of people out there to support you and to be with you along this journey.

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Finally

My wish right now would be for all of us to move outside of our comfort zones.

I don’t know what may be involved to move you from your comfort zone” to that place where the magic happens. In reality, you may not be in the right place to start the work necessary to deal with the emotional fences in your life.

If that’s where you are, that’s okay. Tomorrow, however, may be your day. Regardless of where you are at the moment or where you want to be in the future, there is hope.

Fences are broken down one post at a time.

As I wrote in the beginning, our desire is to inspire others to: get outdoors; discover yourself; find inspiration.The hardest part sometimes is taking that first step to climb over your personal stumbling block.

Perhaps today, you can take that first step.

Thanks for reading!

Huge thanks to Glen for writing this and wanting me to help promote this post on The Unsanity. I feel it’s a perfect representation of what we all may feel from time to time. I think we can all learn something from this entry, so please, I hope you took the time to read this. NAME

Favorite Fall Autumn Dishes – AdelineOnlineLife

Good afternoon bloggers and welcome to another Monday post with another guest. Adeline is a new friend of mine, and has an awesome blog that can be found here. If Instagram is your thing, you can also find her there at Adeline.A.Williams.

Reading everyone’s stories and advice tips for depression/anxiety and life stress so far has been a real eye opening experience for me. Learning more and more how to help others on MY end, has been amazing and I hope to continue learning more of your stories to share with the world. I thank each and every one of you for opening up to me and trusting me with whatever you are presenting.

Hello everyone!

I am Adeline, I am 24.

On my very first day of high school, I made it a few steps out our front door and turned around with tears in my eyes from the anxiety. At that time I didn’t know truly what was happening to me, why the thought of being in a sea of people frightened me. I was diagnosed with anxiety at 14. My heart does not take loss lightly, and in my second year of high school I lost my grandmother. I fell into a depression that continues to bubble to this day with the loss of both of my mother’s parents, my father, and his father.

Since those dark days I have learned to cope. Learned to focus on other parts of my life, like my pets, my blog, my boyfriend or my cooking.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes I make for fall/autumn.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Simple and easy to make recipe, super filling. Perfect on it’s own, or served with roasted vegetables. 

  • 1 lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1 lbs Ground Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 2 – 24 oz bottles of Francesco Rinaldi Tomato Garlic Onion Pasta Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Oregano
  • 1 tsp Tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamon
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium Onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup of Rice, whichever you prefer. (I used long grain jasmine rice)
  • 4 large sized Bell Peppers, cored and rinsed
  • 2 metal bread pans

In a 2 to 3 quart sauce pan add the garlic, onion, and your preferred cooking oil to medium low heat. Stir occasionally to keep from burning. Cook till onion is soft and aromatic (around 5 minutes or so).  Then add oregano, tarragon, cardamon, salt, pepper and pasta sauce to the pan and bring to a medium heat. Stir continuously to keep ingredient from burn/sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 7 minute or till sauce mixture is hot.

While sauce mixture is cooking. In a separate pan or rice cooker, add rice and 2 cups of water. Cook rice per the instructions on the packaging. Once sauce mixture and rice is done set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 degrees C).

In a skillet add sweet Italian sausage, ground turkey, and 1 1/2 cup of sauce mixture, mix together either with your hands (using cooking gloves) or with a spatula. Once mixed together, bring to medium high heat. Stir occasionally to keep from burning. Cook for 12 minutes, drain any excess oil. Once done, in metal bread pans add meat to bottom of pan (to keep peppers sitting up). Stuff each pepper with meat, leaving a small gap at the top for sauce. Once all pepper are stuffed and in pans take any leftover meat and distribute between the two pans. Then take sauce mixture and cover peppers and meat liberally with sauce mixture. Cover with aluminum foil. Put in preheated oven and cook for 25 to 35 minutes till peppers are cooked and meat is at food safe temperature 165 degrees F (or 70 degrees C).

Lemongrass Chicken with Rice

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This is such a yummy dish, you can substitute the rice with whatever grain you prefer.  

  • 4 Skinless Boneless Chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp Ground Lemongrass
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Lime or small Lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 cup of Rice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt & Pepper

In a large bowl add lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, lime/lemon juice, honey/agave salt and pepper mix together with fork or whisk. Once mixed together add chicken thighs and stir till all pieces are covered. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour or over night.

Heat a large oiled skillet at medium high heat, add marinated chicken, save marinate for later. Cook chicken for 30 minutes, till chicken is at food safe temperature 165 degrees F (or 70 degrees C). Turn chicken over occasionally while cooking to keep from burning. Add marinade to pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring chicken to keep from burning.

In a separate pan or rice cooker, add rice and 2 cups of water. Cook rice per the instructions on the packaging. Serve chicken while warm with rice.

Turon – Fried Banana Lumpia

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These are a household favorite, they never last the day. Serve it with a side of ice cream for extra yummy goodness!

  • 5 Bananas or 4 large Plantains
  • 1 can of Jackfruit, drained
  • 1 to 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 packages of Nasayo Egg Roll Wraps
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of Water

Cover plate with brown sugar, set aside. Peel bananas/plantains, cut in half lengthwise (or thirds if using plantains.) Cut drained jackfruit into strips.

Roll banana/plantain slice in brown sugar, covering completely. Place banana/plantain slice onto wrapper corner closest to you. Add strip of jackfruit along the length of the banana. Fold both sides (left and right) of the wrapper inward towards the banana. Now roll it towards the other end away from you. Use water to seal the edge.

Heat vegetable oil in frying pan or deep fryer (do not use an air fryer) to medium low heat. Place a few piece of wrapped bananas/plantains in frying pan or deep fryer. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes till golden brown. Place on plate or cookie sheet once cooked. Do not use paper towel to drain, these get super sticky. Serve while warm.

I hope you enjoy these recipes, let us know which were your favorite!

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