So I’m nearly 3 months into Uni…I’m definitely back into the swing of it, with work coming out of my ear holes! It is still very stressful and there are many times when I feel I can’t do it, but I desperately want to make it to the end of the course so I’m going to keep slogging away. I really like the people on the course and it’s nice to have that social interaction again-to feel part of a group and have things in common…I like it and I like them.
It’s a million miles away from my last experience at Uni in Loughborough when I was isolated, with no one talking to me…or even smiling to me. Now I’m involved in conversations, laughing and joking. I have become a lot less reclusive than I was at Loughborough, I have changed a lot since then and I have worked really hard to do so-to make myself more sociable, to be able to just talk to other people.
|Me and my friend out for dinner
Other progressions have happened recently as well. I met up with my friend in London last week and we went to the pub and a few weeks ago I went out shopping and for dinner with my other friend which was good…something little but of big importance to me-to go out with a friend and have fun. I have mentioned before how cheese has been my fear food for years and that last year and that last year I did try eating again on the odd occasion when I went out for pizza. So, when I went out with my friend a few weeks ago, I faced the challenge again and I had Halloumi! And it was delicious! This is not to say cheese doesn’t still scare, it does, and it scares me that I liked it. But I have to accept that it’s ok to like it and just because I like it, it doesn’t mean I’m going to end up eating masses of cheese every day and gain lots of weight.
That is my mind thinking all or nothing again. Either I don’t eat it at all or I will end up eating it all the time. But as my Psychologist is trying to teach me, there is middle ground…everything isn’t always one extreme or the other. But that is exactly how I think-everything is either perfect or awful. And because most things in my life aren’t perfect, I think they are bloody awful. This is a thought process we are working on changing.
Me going out with my friends these past few weeks is evidence of that. When I was at Uni in Loughborough, I would spend all my spare time studying, never seeing anybody or doing anything. A classic case of me doing ‘all or nothing’. I either had to study every spare minute of the day because otherwise I was convinced I would fail. I do still have that thought but I also don’t want to go back to that old routine and lose touch with the few friends I have managed to get back.
So I’m trying to find a balance…that ‘grey’ middle ground, studying enough but not overly excessively and certainly not to the detriment of friendships. Now that I have these couple of friends and can go out occasionally and enjoy myself, I’m not willing to sacrifice this. So here is the start of the search for middle ground and trying to accept that middle, average, normal…is okay.