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When you find yourself lost

lost-woman-beach-mirror-movement-amanda-stokes

When you find yourself lost

I don’t think I’ve written a blog for at least 6 months.

Somewhere along the way, I started believing that I’d run out of things to say, and perhaps more than that, I stopped believing in myself.

When I left my job back at the end of 2017, I jumped head first- or rather heart first, into my Mirror Movement business. I had such grand plans…

Looking back, I feel like I made one mistake after another. I think I focused on the dressing instead of the ingredients, and along the way I got lost.

Was my story about eating disorders, was it about the impact mothers have on their daughters, on body image, or was it about ditching diets and learning how to become positive role models who are intuitive with food?

Even I was confused, but I’d built my website, I had become branded and then I sat in my little dingy as I floated further and further away from the shore, and wondered what on earth I was doing?

I regretted leaving the safety of paid employment, and I found myself wishing and hoping that my next move would be the one that got me noticed, but it never came.

At 20 I wanted to be a motivational speaker, but I had the maturity at the time to know that I needed years of experience behind me to become someone credible and worthy of listening to.

I always believed in the power of positive thinking, and from an early age I’d developed the ability to find the good in difficult situations and I wanted to share that with others.

When I developed bulimia at the age of 22, I lived the life of a high functioning addict. As the years passed, I got better and better at keeping my dirty, little secret hidden. There were times when even I fell for my deceit. I can recall one occasion where I was trying to work out the last time I’d purged, thinking perhaps it had been some time, only to remember shortly after that I’d done it the night before. These events had become almost like black out moments for me, once it was done it was done, and I refused to spend my time dwelling on it.

When everything finally came to a head in May of 2017, when my bulimia was terrible and I was exhausted to the point where I knew I couldn’t carry on living the way I was for much longer, I believed I’d found my calling. I was going to become the voice of survival and I was going to share everything that I’d done to find recovery with anyone who would listen. I visualized myself standing on stage in front of a big audience, almost exactly like I’d imagined I would when I was in my 20s. I felt so excited, and so grateful that everything I’d wished for was on its way. I had amazing support from my family and friends, and I felt the world was mine to conquer.

Two years on, I feel like my story so far is about how to fail at business.

I suck at getting my awesome ideas off the ground, I lack commitment, and I lack drive. I am a person who needs people, and I’ve found this solitary work challenging to say the least.

I’m tired.

So, what does one do? Do I throw it all away, or do I write this chapter into my story?

Self-belief is such a mind f*ck.

I believe in myself yet I’m so scared and so confused. What is my story exactly?

I feel people recoil when I mention the word bulimia, or eating disorders in general. People become uncomfortable, but it’s so important we talk about these things.

From the youngest age I knew my mum was unhappy with her body. She never sat me down and said she hated her body, but her constant dieting certainly gave it away. My mum was a binge eater and I too became one, only I discovered a method that gave me the best of both worlds in the worst possible way.

Very few people these days are not trying to lose a bit of weight. Most people are on some sort of eating plan, whether that be keto, paleo or perhaps a nutrition program that you’ve been given at the gym. Either way, most of us are completely screwed up when it comes to our relationship with food. Eating should be easy, yet all the rules and philosophies have made everything so much harder and so unclear.

As someone who has been diet and bulimia free for two years now, I know how hard it can be to give up the rules, to eat full fat when you’ve only ever eaten low-fat, to honor your hunger with food instead of a drink of water.

Maybe I don’t need to know exactly what my story is. Maybe I just need to keep speaking, to keep writing, to keep sharing. Maybe I need to stop being so scared of failure….

This gig is hard, but if I can help one person… then maybe I haven’t failed that much after all.

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