Over the years with my mental health I have racked up a bunch of habits that live with me still whether the certain mental health issue does as well is another story. I thought I’d share some because I think it’s totally normal to hold onto some of these habits because your mental illness was a part of you for so long, my mental illnesses as awful as they have been have shaped me as the human I am now.
With my eating disorder I have some habits I have kept and some I have no fucking idea why and some others that stick with me too:
- Savoury food before 12pm makes me wanna eat my HEAD – this one is bizarre and I’ve had this for longer than my eating disorder has been prominent in my life, which shows that I’ve had issues with food for much longer than I thought. I cannot physically do it without feeling anxious and weird, I hate it. My boyfriend is always saying how good cheese is before 12pm and I’m like enjoy it pal, I’ll have it after lunch THANKS. Even bacon rolls in the morning make me ~uncomfortable~ and it’s very annoying.
- I can’t eat from buffets at work and hate the smell – The smell of a buffet honestly makes me angry and uncomfortable, so weird. So when people at work bring in food for everyone on a special occasion I wish I was not there, I never go and eat anything although sometimes I do want to try one of those sexy looking cupcakes. BUT I CAN’T. I can’t fucking do it, no matter how much I want to I just cannot bring myself to do it. People question me and I haven’t really got an answer, I just can’t. Something is still stopping me.
- I hate eating food from coffee shops and sandwiches from supermarkets – Again, another I have no idea why but ever since my eating disorder took over I still cannot do this without feeling strange. If I manage to do it I feel like I’ve accomplished something massive. This is a habit which makes my family and friends think I’m still controlled by my eating disorder, honestly in that moment perhaps I am.
- Touching wood – So when my OCD was extremely bad I was touching wood constantly all day. I was walking along the streets and purposely going over to trees to touch them and saying “touch wood, I’m okay” – it was fucking consuming. Thankfully I am not like that anymore. However, on the odd occasion I will still do it if I am feeling anxious about something or I feel something bad is happening I stick to that little habit to keep me going in that moment. ~weird~
- REASSURANCE SEEKING – the big fucking daddy of my mental health habits, without reassurance seeking I don’t know how I would get through anything. But note to self and everyone else, IT DOES NOT WORK. It is a short term fix for a long term problem, it does not help so is essentially the most pointless habit of all. I am always in a rut of reassurance seeking and it annoys me so much. I’ve tried over the years to break the habit and to just help myself instead, but it’s the hardest one of all.
Basically, the message here is that if you manage to break one of your habits then pat yourself on the back because they are hard to get out of. Trust me, I know! Give yourself the credit you deserve if you do break a habit. I always do if I manage to eat in a coffee shop or if I don’t ask for reassurance that one time.
Be proud of your progress, big or small!