difference

The Difference A Year Makes

 

Written by Classmate CS

I thought I had tried it all… I thought I was never going to recover… I was going to be alone, miserable, living in this bubble for the rest of my life… that’s what condition wanted me to believe, but I didn’t believe that.

Having now being attending MTC for one whole year, the changes I have seen are ones even I didn’t think I would see. Refusing to believe I needed to attend MTC as I thought I was ‘cured’ from a long hospital stay some years previous, a lot of encouragement from my Dad convinced me to go along with him for an easy life – I haven’t looked back since.

Andrea and Jacqueline have steered me in the right direction from the get go in one-to-one and also Marie in the groups. I feel their empathy so much more as I know exactly they’ve been through exactly what I’m ranting on about!

These are some things that have changed for the better in the last year thanks to MTC and these are leading me closer and closer to being fully free someday:

  • The biggest thing for me was coming off all of my medication which I never thought possible as I was told I would be on them for life. It was possibly the hardest decision to make as I convinced myself I wouldn’t be able to cope, I’d lose control, I wouldn’t be able to handle my emotions, the list in my head went on and on and on….. but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, it was incredibly hard but I’m still here right?
  • Another massive thing for me was crying for the first time in 5 years. I know it sounds ridiculous but trapping all those emotions in for so long was far worse than shedding a couple of tears.
  • The lingo I’ve picked up over the past year is incredibly effective and when it starts to sink in wow does it make a difference. Subconsciously, through a lot of work, my lingo has completely changed.
  • I have given up weighing myself. I haven’t done so since last Christmas and it’s the most liberating thing I have ever done. I no longer use the scales as a way to beat myself up and use it as just another way to make me feel crap. I literally have no interest in what I weigh anymore and don’t even get the urge to weigh myself if I see a scales now. I don’t want to beat myself up anymore, that girl is gone.
  • I now use a mirror to check if there’s not toothpaste smeared across my face in the morning or my jumper isn’t back to front! If thoughts start the creep in, I catch them and immediately try and express what part of my body I’m grateful for starting with my hair, face, etc.
  • I can now go places on my own without depending on someone else as a crutch. I can go and sit and drink a coffee myself without thinking ‘omg people are judging me, they defo think I’m a loner!!’
  • I see nourishing myself now in such a different light. Instead of dreading meals and food, I enjoy it and nourish my body every 3 hours. I liked to think of it initially as just putting petrol in my car – if the car has no petrol, it might chug along for a while but eventually will stop dead.
  • To my boyfriend who I love very much, I now finally accept that he loves me – for so long I told myself he’s just with me for pity, he’s going to break up with me but that was pure condition. He stuck with me through the ups and downs and really showed me what real freedom is which was such a motivator for me.
  • When I encounter people with condition on the street, circle of friends and even in my family unfortunately, I don’t stare and compare or wonder what they’re doing that I’m not, I simply have compassion for those people and hope their suffering will end. I know I don’t want to go back to that dark time in my life so that’s more of a reason to keep looking forward.
  • I’m now a role model for my sisters, a young woman who is working towards her freedom. I do feel often feel guilty about my condition and how I wasn’t present for so many years but guilt doesn’t get me anywhere and I also didn’t choose condition so fair is fair.
  • I can now go for a walk and be so grateful for everything around me in the nature rather than just going for a walk because condition said so.
  • I enjoy going out for dinner (and drinks) whereas before this was a NO GO ZONE
  • Another deal breaker was sleep – I had my first unmedicated sleep for 5 years and now don’t get me wrong it took a long, long time to get my body back into its own natural rhythm, but it felt amazing. P.s Lavender is the best thing ever
  • I can read books again because my concentrating is back sharp as ever
  • I am also still in the process of learning the art of Netflix. I still find it hard to sit down to watch a full movie, but episodes are a good way to start. Condition told me for too long I would be lazy to sit down a watch a movie (jokes on condition – a film away keeps condition away 😉
  • I no longer put ANY value into Instagram. I used to be completely addicted to it and I would compare every single person to myself on a daily basis – it was crippling. I now laugh at these ‘fitspo, blogger, influencers, foodie people’, as it’s such a false representation of them, their lives and what they value most in their lives.
  • The first day in MTC Andrea asked me the question ‘Who am I?’ and I literally couldn’t believe how hard it was to answer her, it was so overwhelming. I have learned so much about myself. I love to sing, listen to music, spend time with loved ones, I love my job and caring for people, I love reading, journaling, yoga, pj’s from penny’s, wintertime by the fire, drinking coffee (even on my own), getting my hair done, treating myself to a new outfit, getting to know new people, develop my skills at work, I love my horse, I love showjumping, I love the beach where I was raised, the countryside, nature, the list can keep going and going but that’s a hell of a lot more than what I knew last year.
  • I now know what my true values are; family, friends, boyfriend, courage, honesty, recovery, freedom, love, happiness, self-care, colleagues, MTC, my health & wellbeing, integrity, down-time, rest, sleep, compassion……..

 

I know there’s probably so many little snippets of things I have left out but these are only some of the changes that have come to mind when thinking about my life over the past year. I am so grateful for all the help and encouragement I have got, I couldn’t have got here without it.

‘Not everything can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced’. James Baldwin

Classmate CSxx