I believe the time has come for me to re-introduce myself…

For someone who rarely struggles to find something to write about, I’m finding it really hard to know where to start this post… If you’ve been reading for a while now, you’ll know that I’m struggling a bit at the moment. I’m not the same person I was 18 months ago when I started writing here, and given that this space is more or less my “journal” of sorts and I’ve always written my way through hard times, I think that’s something I need to acknowledge here.

Before I go on, I realise that the honesty in the post might lose me some “followers,” and that’s OK. If some of what I write about makes you feel uncomfortable, or you’re just plain not interested in it, that’s perfectly fine. That said, I also can’t ignore what is increasingly an enormous part of myself and my life, and I’m pretty sure I can’t keep faking it to you guys either 🙂

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So, allow me to re-introduce myself…
Hi, I’m Jess :)I work in corporate travel by day and moonlight as a food & travel blogger.
I love to travel, I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to write.
I live in Melbourne and love this city to bits.
I’m a bookworm, a tea enthusiast and a market fiend.
I’m a classic shy little introvert, and as such have seriously honed my skills in “faking it” and keeping up a happy, confident facade in public.
I’m currently dealing depression, anxiety and disordered eating.

Depression has been part of my life since I was about 16 years old. I think anxiety has been around for a while as well, I just haven’t known what to call it. The disordered eating is relatively new to the party. They’re all really hard, in their own ways.

It’s hard to wake up some mornings feeling as if a dark cloud has formed over your bed while you’re sleeping. It’s hard to get out of bed at 5.30am after only a few hours broken sleep so you can exercise before work, every morning, no excuses. It’s hard trying to explain and defend over and over again why you can’t just “be happy” when you have a perfectly lovely life, and there’s really “nothing wrong” with you and so many other people have it so much worse than you do. It’s hard wondering what the hell is wrong with you and having no rational reasoning behind it.

It’s hard to come home feeling miserable and flat with absolutely no explanation for your husband other than “I’m just having a blue day…” It’s hard knowing that you’re putting him through such a hard time. It’s so hard to feel like such a burden to the one person who’s been through it all with you for the past eleven years and still feel like you’re no closer to being “better,” when all you want in the world is to be better for them. It’s incredible to see how strong he always is, without hesitation or complaint, which makes it harder still to have one of those days; you just want the pressure to be taken off him from now on. 

It’s hard when your family don’t know or understand what you’re going through. It’s hard to realise that you haven’t got many friends left, because not many people are willing to stick around when you’re going through this shit. It’s hard to keep up a brave face in front of the amazing friends you do have left even when they do know what you’re going through. It’s hard driving to meet a friend for brunch and panicking the whole way there. It’s hard sitting in the cafe with your “happy happy food blogger OMG I love all of the food!” face on when you’re freaking out inside. It’s hard sometimes to post happy and upbeat writing on my blog when my heart is breaking. It’d be harder not having this space and place to write at all though – it’s a big part of what keeps me sane on the bad days!

It’s hard to be so scared of food some days when you’ve always loved it. It’s hard to be invited to lovely meals out that you can’t totally enjoy because you’ve spent two hours studying the menu for the “healthiest” option, then freak out completely when you get there and order the “unhealthiest” option possible, plus sides, plus dessert. It’s hard to come home feeling like a failure, and continuing to eat because you’ve already ruined everything anyway. It’s hard to feel so ill you can’t sleep. It’s hard to throw it all up. And as if that’s not all hard enough, throw in lactose and fructose intolerance!

It’s hard to realise that you really just can’t handle it on your own anymore, and that if you really do want that happily ever after, you’re going to have to enlist help. It’s hard making that first contact with a “professional.” It’s even harder turning up to that first appointment. Hardest of all is looking at a complete stranger, kind as they may be, and still trying to smile through the tears as you tell them that you just don’t know what to do anymore. That you’re depressed and anxious and you really don’t want to be. That despite your degree in exercise science and decade working in the health and wellness industry, you’ve still somehow become one of “those” women who hate their bodies and often binge and throw up and “restrict” calories. It’s really, really hard to own that. And it’s really hard to share that to God-only-knows how many strangers.

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I think it’s silly and unfair and dishonest for me to keep writing here as if there’s nothing wrong, as if my life is a shiny, perfect bundle of travelling and adventuring and cooking and eating (side note: it feels unbelievably good getting all of that off my chest! I’ve hated the last few weeks feeling like an imposter here!); that’s what I’m working towards, but we’re not quite there yet 🙂

I also wanted to tell you guys that while I may start to write a little more about this side of my life (now that I’ve actually acknowledged both to you guys and to myself what’s really going on), this is still going to be first and foremost a food and travel blog. Writing is my solace. Travel is what sets me free. Food can go either way, but I’m hoping that with a bit of help, I’ll be able to add that back to the “good” column! So if you’re just here for recipes and suggestions on places to eat at and things to add to your bucket list, don’t worry; those posts are gonna keep on coming!

Anyway, a huge thank you to everyone who is still following my adventures on here – it still amazes and humbles me so much to know that there are people out there who are still interested in what I have to say! And the online blogging community is amazingly supportive, which I’m super grateful for 🙂 To anyone else who’s fighting their own battle right now, my thoughts are with you guys – never be afraid to reach out for help, because there’s something better out there if you do! But right now, I’m kinda tired so I think I’m gonna try to get some sleep… Here’s to more tea, more travel, more books and better days coming!

xoxo

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25 thoughts on “I believe the time has come for me to re-introduce myself…

  1. Here’s the irony: Now that you are finding yourself, you will also find YOUR happy. You are not alone. May we all muster the kindness needed to accept ourselves, happy or unhappy, but never numb. Much love to you. Keep writing.

  2. I could write some lengthy comment about how it’ll all be ok and just keep smiling, but I know how hard that can be on a ‘down day’. I’ve got massive respect for you for putting it out there, and while there will always people who don’t understand and think you’re just being sad or silly, there will also be people who understand, empathise or even don’t understand but are willing to learn. Just keep in mind that with every bad day, there will be good ones too 🙂

    • Thank you so much Becky, truly; that’s a lot more comforting than “it’ll all be fine!” 🙂 and you’re so right, there are always good days too, and more to come! xoxo

  3. I have come across your blog as I was looking for ‘recovery’ tags. I have overcome those problems you face. Work hard in your treatment and life will be even more freeing at the end. All the best in your recovery journey xo

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave this message – it’s always so amazing to hear from people who’ve managed to get through it! Congratulations & thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  4. Hi Jess, this is a beautiful post…I can only express my support and gratitude for your courage and honesty. I am already looking forward to your future posts and your intention to explore some of these more complex issues – it sounds intriguing for us and potentially (hopefully) cathartic for you. All the very best xxx

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  6. Hey! It was this side of your story that drew me to your blog to be honest, since as you know my blog is about documenting my overcoming disordered eating. I’m not brave enough to put my true identity alongside the blog though for fear of losing my facade in my personal life… I admire the courage it takes to be so open about your struggles with depression, anxiety and disordered eating meanwhile not allowing them to consume all the writing you so love to do. And I totally relate with the feeling like you’re letting your husband down, no matter how much he objects! I hope you continue to post openly about what you want to write about, regardless of whether it fits the reasons any of us followers have chosen to follow you.

    • Thank YOU for being brave enough to stop by and leave such a beautiful message 🙂 It’s not always easy being so honest about it all, and I’ve certainly lost friends over it, but I also figure that I’d rather true friends than fair-weather “friends!” I’m so sorry you’re struggling too, but grateful to hear that you too have a good man in your life to have your back 🙂
      And keep writing; everything you post hits home with me and it’s so comforting to know we’re not all alone in this!

      • That’s true, real friends stick around through tough times as well as good! Thanks for what you said about my writing, it is great to know that my entries bring at least a little comfort to others. Sometimes all that has made me not get back to dieting is the thought of people like you who read my blog in empathy whom i feel I would be letting down! Thank you.

  7. I think it’s incredibly brave of you to share this with your readers. Thinking of you and keen to catch up for a cup of tea sometime soon. S xxx

  8. Hi Jess,

    Thank you for sharing. I feel like your blog has pararelled so many things in my own life. I myself have and are still going through issues with anxiety and depression and I think talking about it with others and sharing your story is so brave and brings more light to the fact that we are all going through something in our own life. Hang in there, and just know that this time will pass. I try to tell myself the same thing. Keep writing, your food pics and stories are so great and inspiring!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by Elise, and for being brave enough yourself to contribute 🙂 I’m sorry that you’re having a hard time too, but you are right – the bad times do pass eventually! I’m so glad you enjoy the food and stories as well, that’s made my day! 😀

  9. Hi Jess. It’s great to articulate things that are at the depths of your soul, even when they are most painful. Where else did great literature, music, and art come from?

    The compacent and self satisfied please only themselves. Those who care for/about you will continue to listen, and those who don’t are probably on another planet anyway.

    You have some really significant positive circumstances, beliefs and interests. Focus on them. When I veer into a darker mood, I try to recall how lucky I am: not hopeless in Syria, or Iraq, or Palestine, or denied any chance of a life in so many other places….

    Travel should remind we Aussies how lucky we are.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write such comforting and encouraging words, I really really appreciate it 🙂 and thanks for sharing how you look at life when you feel the darkness coming – I think it’s something a lot of Aussies know (how lucky we really are), but we don’t take the time to acknowledge and be as thankful for it as we should..

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