This is the begining – Day 25

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So I am starting a business.

I had a chat with my parents and my brother and they are so happy and so excited and supportive. I found a studio last week to rent in a really great area. So they helping me pay the deposit and the rent for the first few months until I get everything off the ground.

So I am officially starting my own label…

Excited yet scared.

Set up camp 

  

 

Walked from Tiberius to Kinneret. Camping next to the Jordan river for the night. This is where Jesus was baptized – just in case. Feeling much more optimistic and courageous than yesterday and this morning. 

Took forever, but managed to set up my tent. Made myself dinner and tea. Spilled my tea all over my sleeping bag so I shall be using my towel as a blanket tonight – lord have mercy! And it’s cold. And there are loud noises – jackals. And screeching birds. And every time a twig moves I get the fright of my life. 

I have bruised my lower back because for some reason on my backpack, there is something hurting me and I can’t figure out what or what to do about it! 

I’m fucking horrified. Horrified. Just horrified.  

The boy from Canada gave me a flick knife. And I hold it constantly. Like what am I going to do – stab a jackal or human? I mean come on…

Ironically I am petrified yet having a whale of a time and feeling incredibly liberated and like I could take on the world. 

Letter to Kibbutz Israel

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Dear Sir/ Madam

I grew up in a tiny village. Since a little girl I was slightly eccentric, a bit of a loner that loved books and anything that was pretty. My parents ran a general dealer and a petrol station. My mom, dad, sister and brother were and are still today my best friends. We did everything together and we shared everything.

At the age of 6 I went to boarding school 400km’s away from home. My brother and sister looked out for me most of my schooling career, drying the tears from missing home and nursing me when I was ill. We raised each other. We raised ourselves.

I was always outgoing at school, had average grades, was in sports teams, had my close knit group of friends and I was always the funny girl, a riot even. Pretty much the reigning queen of fantasy land, try and overthrow me, I dare you.

At the age of 16 I developed an eating disorder. What started out at as a simple diet, in an all girls school turned into a life threatening illness. I lost weight and realised that I was actually good at it, it was a distraction and it became a best friend. I had no idea what was happening to me. All of a sudden the bubbly girl with the scatter brain became incredibly focused and I became focused on food. It consumed me. Calories, diet and exercise. It was a distraction, it was my secret and it was an escape. It was so much easier to fuel my eating disorder than to face the realities of growing up. Finishing school and going to university, my sister getting married and my brother going to university. I have always been terrified of growing up, I’m the baby of the family, it just happened so. So everyone chaperones and looks out for me and every step I take and every decision I make has always been judged by everyone. Everyone is always looking out for me, always ready to catch me when I fall.

When I was 19, the eating disorder had consumed me and developed into an anxiety disorder. At the time I didn’t know what it was, I all of a sudden just found myself wanting to be alone. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Who am I? What do I want from life? Everything scared me. I isolated myself. Whilst all my friends were experiencing university, I was questioning the world. I would go to club and die of utter boredom because I found it so transparent. So I instead nested in my tiny world of the eating disorder, it was safe and it was comfortable being wrapped up in the arms of bulimia. The one thing that would never abandon me and that was all mine – my eating disorder.

I eventually decided I couldn’t live that way any longer. I couldn’t run and run until my body ached. I couldn’t starve anymore and let my survival instinct take over and demolish 3 hamburgers and a cake in an effort to find fuel to make it through another day. I surely could no longer purge every time I ate in hope of releasing all my anxiety and problems and issues. I couldn’t put my life on hold and allow a mental illness to rule everything. So I decided to make a change and I went to therapy.

I went on medication and I booked into a psychiatric clinic. I had enough, I was doing this. I didn’t care what anyone thought or said. I was doing this, I was getting better, I was going to heal and most importantly I was going to live. I was going to claim what was rightfully mine and get the bubbly sparkly green eyed girl back.

I was in extensive therapy, managed to recover from my eating disorder. As far as recovery is possible – eating disorders and depression are illnesses. They never leave you, you just learn to monitor yourself and you become aware.

I studied psychology for two years (it feels as if I am constantly being drawn back into this field) but I dropped out after the second year as I needed to be fuelled by creativity. I went on to study fashion design – and I dominated. I was top of the class in second and third year and I won the final fashion show award for best designer. I excelled as I have always been incredibly passionate and driven and once I set my mind to something, not only will I achieve it, I will dominate.

When I was 22 I did an unpaid internship with a fashion house, Guillotine, and went on to work there for the next 3 years. It was incredible, I loved my boss and I loved my job. I learnt so much about the fashion industry and every day was a challenge and a dream.

Then my world once again was shattered and tested.

On the 20th of December 2014 I stood in a church in front of a priest, my closest friends and family and God and I committed myself to the man of my dreams. Until death do us part I would love and care for my husband. Well no one says in the vows ‘until we emotionally destroy each other and death does us part’. No one thinks of your emotional, psychological and physical death, where you basically just a shell. I was 24, was I ready for marriage? Yes, I believe I was.

He was my best friend, my soul mate and the man I wanted to spend and cherish every moment with. Until he told me on my wedding day that I was a child, was not a wife, that I hogged the lime light and that I was self absorbed. On the 25th of December he asked for an annulment because he had made the biggest mistake of his life marrying me. I blatantly refused, we committed our lives to each, we loved each other so we were going to fight. Well at least I was going to fight.

Things crumbled in what felt like a blink of an eye. By February I was having anxiety attacks and I was back in the familiar arms of the eating disorder. It was my way to cope. We’re holistic beings and we tend to gravitate towards what we know, and for me that was self sabotage and self blame. How could I have ruined my husbands life this way? How could I be this vain, superficial person that obsessed about their weight? Well I wasn’t, I had an illness and it has nothing to do with weight. In his ignorance I was judged and called weak and attention seeking. (Honestly, if you going to judge mental illness, I suggest you use better adjectives). I was a loving and caring wife and I soon realised that I was not enough for this man as no matter what I did, I was always wrong. He was hard working and I was lazy and spoilt and so on – it bores me to speak about it.

Again I was forced to take control of my life, in May 2015 I went to see a psychologist and a psychiatrist because I refused to fall even deeper into the eating disorder and the depression. Eventually after a month or so I made the decision that I could no longer live with myself and my husband – I had to make a change. Despite being told by my husband that he had been thinking about being with other woman and that if I left him he would kill himself. I left. We are only responsible for ourselves. If he wanted to kill himself then that would be unfortunate. I was going to choose me. I was going to be selfish for the first time in a long time.

One day I woke up and half my life was gone. I naturally got very depressed but I did the work. I thrived for 6 years after I was hospitalised at the age of 19. I didn’t drink medication for 6 years and I didn’t attend therapy for 6 years. So I fell and I got depressed again- So what! I caught myself and I am picking up the pieces. It is what it is. I’ve been here before, I can handle it. I’ll get out of this and I’ll reach the other side a more mature woman.

I moved out and I stayed with my best friends for 6 weeks and then moved into an apartment with a single bed and no stove. My clothes are packed in my kitchen cupboards and my socks are stuffed into a drawer that traditionally would hold knives and forks and I eat on my floor. Believe it or not, I’m happier than ever now… but it took work and the amount I have learnt and grown can never be taken from me.

So where am I now? I am in a coffee shop writing to you. I am 26 years old and I am divorced. I have depression – I don’t see how this defines me at all, it’s not a character flaw, its a chemical imbalance. I am not sitting in a catatonic state of shock and sadness. I am stable, some days its difficult to wake up and face the world and there are moments where my eating disorder tries to lure its way back. But I’m getting there. I am recovering and I am putting every shred of my being into this journey. I’m doing good and I’m grounded.

On the 19th of December 2015 I resigned from my 3 year long job because I was no longer growing, I needed a change. I loved my boss and I enjoyed what I did but I know I was stagnating. I have to grow and I have to learn.

So why Israel? Why the kibbutz? Honestly I cant answer that. There’s just something that made me decide that that is where I wanted to be. That is where the next chapter of my life is going to take place. Every time someone asks if I am sure about this, am I not going to change my mind? I am not. This is what I am doing, it’s happening. Come hell or high water it’s happening.

There is just something that keeps drawing me to Israel and to the Kibbutz. I don’t know if I am waiting on a miracle or a spiritual awakening when I get there. All I know is that I’m being drawn there. I’m opening Pandoras box and God alone knows what I am about to discover, But I’m doing and I will tackle it.

So here I sit. I am going to book my ticket and I’m coming to Israel. I need to take life into my own hands and walk this path right now. Sorry I cant wait much longer, if there is one thing I learned in 2015, it’s that time is fleeting. I’m coming to Israel and I’ll be backpacking around and I’ll be exploring and most importantly I will be living and I will be free.

So by the time you get this, I hope to be walking the streets of Tel Aviv and you’re welcome to contact me if you want me to be a volunteer and enjoy what I have to offer.

Until then.

Kind regards

Danielle

Wanted not needed – Day 14

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The funny thing is that I realised that I don’t need you.
I want you.
Well I wanted you.
You needed me and it was parasitic, you literally sucked the life out of us so that you could live. When you used to say you need something I would always joke and say ‘no, you need air’
Only now do I realise that it really was all you needed.
You didn’t need anything and you didn’t need me.
You were addicted to me.
‘Every time I hear from you, it’s like a shot of heroine’ you said once I had left.
I didn’t need to be needed.
I wanted to be wanted…

Depression is a liar – Day 20

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When people think about depression, they think about sadness. They don’t think about the bully and they don’t think about depressions best friends that tend lurk around every corner.

Depression has called me, worthless, ugly, lazy and rotten. His best friend Eating disorder always chimes in that I’m fat and that I have no control over myself or over my life. Depression has told me that I have no direction and that I will amount to nothing. I am a burden on everyone, my family and my friends. Anxiety always has to say her part as well, she brings on this uneasy feeling that makes you want to climb out of your own skin. Scream, run away, cry, self medicate and just find peace and calm.

Depression and anxiety are the complete opposites of each other. Depression is numb, it’s state where you feel there is no way out and you sitting in the dark and you waiting, waiting for what. God alone knows. Anxiety is his evil sister that despite the fact that its dark and empty, something keeps tapping you on your shoulder. Just freaking you out. Half the time you are unsure where anxiety came from and the rest of the time you trying to figure out what it’s trying to say to you. In the dark, where you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, you feel alone and miserable, you have anxiety freaking you out even more and making the darkness more unbearable.

Closing time – Day 12

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I woke up nostalgic and fragile and sad.

Yesterday was my last day of work, 3 years and its an end of an era, it was bitter sweet. Saying good bye to your colleagues and your comfort zone and embarking on a journey that you have absolutely no idea where it will take you or where you will land up.

Sitting on my single bed, 112 days ago, I lay in this bed alone. For the first time in four years I was going to sleep in a house that I shared with no one but myself. No one but myself to take responsibility for and no one to answer to and no structure.
Embarking on a journey that I had no idea about. Dealing with a divorce and the eating disorder, cutting for the first time in 6 years. ingle and feeling alone but liberated and free. The world in my grasp, right in front of me.

I made it.

This year I went back to the city a wife. I cried and I cried and I hid away and I was isolated from the people I love. I grew cold and distant. Lost all my confidence. I had no hope and I was scared, scared of myself, scared of my husband, scared of the past and scared of the future.
I’m ending this year and going home to family today, my loved ones who came in and lifted me like a cavalry out of this mess and carried me through.

Today is bitter sweet.

My dreams were crushed, my innocence and naivety lost and life revealed itself to be a dark cloud. Plans turned upside down and I realised that life is fleeting.

Never looking back.

Tomorrow will be my 1 year wedding anniversary. It will be tough and I know that. But I am never looking back, I remember every detail of that day and this year has been painful. But I am content with where I am now. I could be that scared girl I was in May, hiding away from the world, but instead I am me.

Come back to me – Day 9

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I’m not admin, I’m a human being. I wasn’t admin when you were coming in my mouth, now I’m clingy because I want to spend time with you before I leave? I was there with you when things were hard and then you went off to New York, you came back, something happened while you were away. When you came back I wasn’t with you in that space, you shut me out and you didn’t let me be there with you. You shut us all out. I wanted to be next to you, feel with you, if it was something you had to do alone – I wanted to be there still so that you knew when you come out from underneath it all, I would still be waiting.

Now I realise, I was convenient.

I came into your life when we both needed healing. You came alive, you were with me every day and you were hanging out with friends again. You came out of that dark room that you buried yourself in for two years. You were back and everyone welcomed you with open arms and everyone was so happy to have you back and I was ecstatic about us meeting. It was all so beautiful.

I know you want to be here with us, you were happy and you were free again. Playing with your dogs and going for walks, cooking meals together and sharing our dreams. You were happy there. What changed in New York? Did you come back and realise we weren’t good enough, that you in fact didn’t want to be with us?

You came back and all of a sudden you isolated yourself again. Yes you are busy. We know you so busy making money out there and making a name for yourself. Your scheduled is packed and there isn’t a slot for us. You’re back there again and there isn’t space for us.

I know in the beginning it was real, but when things became too real, you backed out. Now its about convenience for you. Now you’re busy packing your things and getting ready for your new life, wrapping up things on this side and there is no time left for the rest of us. No time for me, and no time for your friends. It’s not convenient right now, you don’t need us right now. You have your new dream and your new life now.

Side note – Day 2

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My brothers dog went to the parlour and looks so cute and white and fluffy like snowy from tin tin haha

Also, remember that guy Rick. The one I had the magical 6 hour date with that then decided I was crazy? And no matter how lustrous and desirable the relationship seemed, he didn’t think it would last?

Well we have been chatting and he wants to go out when I am back. I am excited, we have been chatting every day since Sunday. In a way I feel like saying ‘fuck off’ but I actually do think he is great and I am willing to give it another shot.

You are never “recovered” from an eating disorder, always in the eternal participial purgatory of “recovering” – Day 2

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Work went much better today.

My relationship with food and my body however is slipping. I found myself in front of the mirror this morning bending over trying to see the ribs on my back – which are hardly visible anymore. I say I found myself in front of the mirror because you slip into these habits so instantly that you are on autopilot and all of a sudden you realise what you are actually doing.

I miss my ribs and I miss my protruding hip bones and I miss my slimmer thighs. The sad part her however is that when I am at my thinnest I still need to be thinner and I am still not happy with my body. I keep trying to remind myself that I have to love myself, my body is just a shell and no matter what my shell looks like it actually does not affect my love for myself, its all on the inside. I need to love the inside.

Working on it one day at a time.

I haven’t spoken to him since Monday and this makes me sad I will admit.

I had a good day until lunch and then afterwards I had a slab of chocolate – there I go, labelling the day as bad. I will skip dinner now. Or I can force myself to have dinner and be calm and kind. Skipping dinner is easier, listening to ed is easier today.

PART IV – – – I’m so tired of misconceiving what this could be – Day 1

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Day 1 is always so weird!

So I confronted him and told him that I feel he is shutting me out and that he is being distant. I understand he is under a lot of pressure at the moment, I just wish he would be open about it. Just say to me ‘Danielle, I feel I need to just reflect and process by myself for a while and sit and cry and write and think and so on’ because I am completely open to that. As ironically I feel the exact same way, there are days that I feel I want my space and I need to do therapy and really think. I just don’t appreciate it when you distant, just be open and honest and don’t isolate yourself.

So I have realised I feel insecure in the relationship with him, because I don’t know where its going and where I stand.

I can’t guess whats on his mind, there have been so many missed signals. He has told me he can’t wait to see what our relationship blossoms into, jokes about me going to New York with him, jokes about how we make a good team and how he sits staring at me and says he is admiring. I think I’m a little frustrated…

I feel he is just being guarded and holding back.

I don’t even know if I believe everything he is trying to say to me anymore. P