Sunday, 13 December 2015

'I thought you liked girls though?....'

So this post has been a long time coming......... out... *see what I did there?*

Hi, I'm Rosie and I'm bisexual.
I'm now with a male partner and guess what...
I'm still bisexual.

I 'officially' came out a few years ago, with mixed statements about my sexuality. It started as the truth, that I like all of the people, but that truth got lost very very quickly. The assumption was that I am a lesbian and I allowed this to continue because I had found new friends, a community, support, membership in an LGBT choir and an identity. In these spaces, I was seen as a lesbian and that was great because I was accepted so I carried on identifying as gay, despite the niggling feeling that I wasn't being completely true.

It is so so frustrating that society (myself included, in spite of my own sexuality) deems people to be either straight or gay, depending on the genitals of the person they are dating or sleeping with at the time.

But then (a year ago yesterday) I went on a date with a male. I ended up falling for him. This put me in a right pickle.
Coming out as 'not gay' was harder (in my experience) than coming out as a lesbian.
Deciding to go with my heart and commit to this man was scary.
I had lost people on my way out of the first closet, was that going to happen all over again?
Was I going to be rejected? Disliked? Hated, even? Will I be branded a liar? Attention seeking? Just experimenting until I settled down with a nice boy?
Was I going to lose those LGBT friends and spaces? My identity?

I'm not queer enough.
I'm not straight enough.

Who the hell am I and where do I fit in?

But then, as all my journeys of discovery start, I read. In my opinion, blogs and internet articles have probably taught me more than the education system ever has.
I discovered a sort of uprising, a lot of people are just as frustrated by monosexism and bi-erasure as I am.
It helped me to realise that my bisexuality is just as legitimate as anyone's homo or heterosexuality.
It's still hard though.

In September, I re-joined that LGBT choir and I was terrified.
I felt like a fraud.
I felt that everyone there would think I was a fraud.

I voiced my fears to a couple of the members before my return and I was met with kindness and acceptance from them, which did ease my worries a little and allowed me the courage to take those steps into the building. I loved being part of the group again. It's such a joy to sing with such wonderful people. Although, my stomach would flip every time I had to say 'my partner' just hoping a pronoun wouldn't slip out and initiate the inevitable rejection.

Last weekend was our Christmas concert and I invited my mum and partner along.
Person: 'Anyone you know coming tonight?'
Me: 'Ummmm yeah.. my mum and my partner' *please don't ask questions, please don't realise I'm not gay and therefore in your eyes, straight and a horrible liar*

The choir is for friends/allies as well, but that isn't who I am. I am a part of this. I just don't feel like a part of this. I fear that others don't see me as a part of it.

I must say that everyone seems to have been lovely and accepting so far. I think most of this comes from my fear and anticipation of internalised prejudices, myths etc.

I get told that labels don't matter. Why should it matter that people assume I'm straight?
Well because that's not who I am. I've gone through a lot to get to this point and to have this part of me erased hurts. I don't think anyone can understand the feeling of some of their identity being erased unless they've felt it themselves.

I feel I must say at this point that I have no clue where I am going with this post.
I feel like I have jumped all over the place, not actually making any points...
Maybe that is how my sexuality feels a lot of the time.
It's not secure, it feels fragile.
Not because I'm confused.
I'm not confused.
It's because I keep seeing and hearing the message that bisexuality doesn't exist.

But we do.
I exist.

I'm in a committed, long-term relationship with a man, but I am still bisexual.

Monday, 9 November 2015

My Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa in 3 easy steps (Possible TW)


Um.... Yeah.....

Soz guys, that title is absolute bollocks.
The truth is that I don't know how it happened. 
I don't know how I went from having a crippling fear of uncontrolled eating to being.. um.. well.. can I say 'normal'?? I still don't know what that means. 
Do we even know what recovery means? 
I do worry about what I'm eating and the way I look occasionally, but those thoughts don't impact on my life much at all.
I think that's kinda normal? 
We see countless people everyday having disordered conversations around food, which are deemed perfectly normal and okay to discuss.
I honestly think that I have a much healthier attitude towards food than the majority now! 

I was admitted to an inpatient eating disorder unit in 2010. After the initial excruciating horror of being presented with a compulsory set of meals and snacks a day had eased off to a mild terror, I sank into that routine. This routine became who I was, all I was, for the next four and a half years. 
I ate because the clock told me to.
I had totally lost the ability to follow my natural instincts to feed myself. I clung on to the routine of that meal plan for dear life. Each relapse* meant that this routine was painful to keep to. When my scheduled fodder became less and less substantial, my thoughts were consumed more and more by food. Clock watching, waiting for the next meal or snack and making the seemingly earth-shattering decision of what to eat next was what my whole day consisted of.

The same day over and over and over and over. 

In the end I managed to convince everyone and myself that I had totally recovered. I faked it so much that I convinced myself that the disordered thoughts weren't there anymore. 

I managed to shift my identity to....... SUPER RECOVERY GIRL

I am now finally calling bullshit on myself.
In reality I was blanketed in habits, routine, safety. I would avoid avoid avoid. Numb. Don't think about it, don't face it, dissociate. Avoid avoid avoid.

I missed out on so much because I was so terrified to leave the safety of my routine.

But then...
I eventually started to allow myself to have different foods. I allowed myself to have a pudding when it wasn't planned. I got sick and tired of watching other people eat. 
I eventually allowed other people to portion my food.
I eventually allowed other people to make me a drink.
Actually, allowing someone else to make me a cup of tea took the longest to conquer. To be honest, it still sets off alarms in the corners of my mind.

It took a lot of time and experimentation. A lot of risks. A lot of learning.
I can't give you a step by step of how to recover because even if I did know how it happened for me, you are not me.
The blessing of our uniqueness is the very thing that bites us on the arse when it comes to mental health treatment.

A few months ago, I finally realised and admitted out loud that things weren't perfect; that it was sometimes still a struggle to fuel my body in the way it needs; that choosing off a menu still made me panic; that supermarkets still filled me with the compulsion to examine everything.

Since I accepted that these feeling were there, that it is really flipping difficult sometimes, it has actually become easier. Those disordered thoughts got quieter the less I fought to hide from them.

I am allowed to feel crap sometimes. It doesn't make me a failure. It doesn't change who I am.

Once I realised that it's okay to feel not okay, I was able to accept those feelings and release them.

I've had the persona of  SUPER RECOVERY GIRL for quite some time now, but I think it was just a costume. It has only been recently that I have been living authentically and giving myself permission to feel. I truly believe that in order to move on, we have to feel and experience the hurt. Our feelings are valid. Even if they might seem irrational to someone else, they are very real to us and that is okay.

'Allow - release - let go' -Adriene Mishler

* not that I was recovered before those so called relapses, I just weighed more, but that is a rant for another time

Monday, 17 August 2015

New adventures

The idea of spreading awareness and knowledge of mental health issues has played a massive part of my identity, especially in the past year or so.
I've recently taken some pretty big steps towards becoming more involved with organisations to take my words off social media, and out into the reeeaall world (a place which genuinely scares me a lot) 

With all this in mind, on Saturday morning, I took part in some volunteer training held by Time to Change and Birmingham Mind. We explored and learned tools to engage with the public, have conversations about mental health, spread awareness and challenge stigma. This training was with the aim of us then feeling able to take it to the *insert public area here*, get people talking and, hopefully, listening and learning. 

Of course, this gave me plenty of opportunity to think about the ways that stigma and discrimination of mental health has impacted on my life. 

Ways that I didn't even truly understand weren't my fault.

Like how I spent years in and out of psychiatric hospitals and lost touch with friends. That loneliness wasn't my fault like I've been believing. It's not because I'm too boring or lazy to get out and make/keep friends. It's because I was poorly. However, because I was experiencing mental distress, not a physical illness or disease, I guess that turns the blame onto me for lost relationships. I feel guilty for missing events, not seeing my family enough, not keeping in touch but is it really my fault? If I'd had a serious 'real' illness then I really don't think that'd enter anyone's mind...

I am not in work at the moment. Actually, I have never had a 'proper job'. I did a bit of casual promotional work for clubs while I was at dance school, but I have no previous employer to put on my CV. If you meet me for the first time and really want to send panic to my core, just use that common nicety: 'So, what do you do?' 
I hate admitting that, in fact, I do nothing. 
(Well unless you count a daily battle to recover from a life-threatening eating disorder and borderline personality disorder but that doesn't count, right?)
I get embarrassed, I get flustered, it stops me from meeting new people because of the fear of that innocent question. 
I assume that people will think I'm lazy. That I'm a scrounger. That I'm unsatisfactory as a human.
I've come up with a few scripts over the years to make myself sound interesting. I've never accepted that anyone could like me for me, not what I 'do'.
The kicker is that I hate lying. I have to tell the truth. I stumble through some vague, awkward explanation of me taking some time off for my health and hope that we can move on quickly.

My physical health is constantly dismissed and ignored. I have been to my GP so many times over the past couple of years about my constant fatigue, stomach problems, dizzy spells, blah blah and I've really had to fight to be heard. I've still got no answers by the way. 
All physical concerns used to be immediately put down to low body weight but I've been a healthy weight for years now. So now physical symptoms are always because of low mood and/or anxiety.
Even if that is the reason, it is still very real pain and shitty physical feelings. I am just supposed to deal with it, instead of being helped to figure it out.

Most of the time, I've felt that I can't tell people when I'm really struggling. I'm scared of being accused of being manipulative or attention seeking. A lovely label put on anyone with a diagnosis of BPD... I am a person, you know. Not just this diagnosis.

Have a look at what I came across today. It was written by someone at ' psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and authors...'

Wonderful to know that all the professionals responsible for our care take us seriously.... (Wankers)

I know that a lot of this is 'self-stigma'. I know I do make a lot of assumptions of how people see me because of my mental health.
Again, I feel to blame for this. Me and my crazy paranoia.



Just to clarify, 1 in 4 adults will experience some form of mental health problem in their lives.
That is a lot.
They aren't all violent criminals. They aren't all disabled and 'off their rocker' 
They are your colleague, your neighbour, the guy that served you in Tesco*, the person that cuts your hair....
In other words, people.

The more we talk about mental health, the more awareness we can spread, the more myths we can dismantle, the more truths we can tell, the more lives we can save.

If I've totally confused you, or even inspired you, then please have a look at these websites for better written information and to see how stigma and discrimination affects so many lives and causes real damage:

*I am in no way affiliated with Tesco 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015



I finally did it.

I created a blog.

I've been meaning to do this for a bloody long time now. 
My Facebook statuses are too long and 140 characters on Twitter is just near-impossible most of the time. 

I can't promise correct grammar.

I can, however, promise correct spelling (as long as the spell-check on my laptop works)

I can't promise that I'll make complete sense 100% of the time.

I can promise my honest thoughts, emotions and opinions. There are a lot of 'em. 

If you don't already know me, then good luck in figuring me out.


< :3__)~