Learning to Embrace Change

As I enter the 22nd year of my life, I am finding that my life is changing relatively quickly. Quicker than I had anticipated, and quicker than I had wanted.

I got a job as an editor for an awesome online magazine, I’m planning a really big trip to go to Europe for the first time in my entire life, and I moving to a new place to live.

It’s quite a bit of change. And boy, am I not good with change.

I remember when I was just about to start college and my mom dropped the bombshell on me that she was selling the house that I had lived in for my entire life, up until that point, and would be moving into a new place (as soon as we found one).

I was scared out of my wits.

To back this up a little, I have never, and I mean never, been good with change. Well, I shouldn’t say that I wasn’t cool with change at all, but rather that I wasn’t very fond of rapid change. I wanted the opportunity to get acclimated to the change in my life.

So, I was really anxious and scared when my mom told me that we were moving.

Then, shortly after moving into our new house, I was heading off to college. Not only did I have to deal with the new surroundings at home, I had to get used to an entirely new city and the college I was attending.

During the first night on my own in my dorm room, I freaked out. I mean, like, ready to go into full-on panic attack mode. I called my parents, who thankfully were still in town at a hotel, and my dad came to pick me up just as the sun was starting to come up. I cried and cried, and said how much I wanted to be away from this new place because I was scared and could not handle all of this change.

I went home with my parents for the week before school started and returned more prepared for adjusting to this new stage of my life.

Then, about a year later, my parents told me that we were getting rid of the car, which we had had since, well, forever. I went with my parents to the car dealership and looked at all of the new, pretty, shiny cars. “What do you think of this one?” “What do you think of that one?”

All of the cars just didn’t feel right.

But then, I stumbled upon the newer, updated model of the car we previously had. As soon as I got inside the car I knew that this was the one. The familiarity. It felt like I was back in our old car that we so fondly called “Bessie.” It felt like home to me.

Bless my parents, because they decided that with all of the change I had been through and with how much it had impacted me, they got the new model of the car we had.

But as I embark on this new chapter of my life, with all of these changes coming my way, I have decided that I will not get anxious over this. I will not let it scare me, and stop me in my tracks. I will face it head-on.

Change is never easy. Change means stepping out of that comfortable box that you had become so accustomed to. It means that you have to put yourself in a new position, and that means being more vulnerable that you are used to.

And putting yourself in a vulnerable position can be the scariest thing ever. It’s easy to say no to change because it means that you won’t be affected in any way.

But you know what? If we don’t accept change and let it happen, life would be dull, and we would never get to try anything new. We would never get to test ourselves to see what we are truly capable of.

The only way that we can grow as individuals is if we accept change.

In fact, perhaps the one thing that is more frightening than change itself is if we cease to progress in life all because we turned our backs on change.

I mean, think about it; if the caterpillar feared change so much that it refused to embrace it, the caterpillar would never turn into the beautiful butterfly that we all know and love.

And before we know it, that change in our lives will become the new status quo, and we will find ourselves comfortable with this change that we once feared.

So I accept this new change in my life. Because I know that it will teach me more about life, and about myself.

After all, life is a series of changes; we just have to dive into it and hope for the best.

Emily Veith

Emily has her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and has always believed in helping and serving others. She wants to make the world a better place, and aspires to be a politician someday to do just that. She is an old soul who loves Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Glenn Miller. When she isn’t writing about imperative news- and political-related, she can be found attempting new recipes, playing her guitar or reading a good mystery book.

Punishing Myself For No Reason

I’m sorry.

This isn’t the piece you wanted.

This isn’t the piece I ever wanted to write.

My truth is… I am the reason I suffer so much.

While I detest starting off a piece by directly referencing the prompt, I’m going to do it this time. Two weeks ago, I announced that the prompt for our Project Wednesday monthly challenge would be “Self-Awareness.” As the editor of Project Wednesday, I have the privilege of reading each piece submitted. With this challenge, my heart has soared as I see our staff reaching to do this topic justice.  It would be an insult to their honesty to not lead by example.

This is what I keep inside, this is who I am.

I am the cold draft in the abandoned home you sneak into.  Your trespassing stirs the fragments of my soul. As my presence envelops the room, your animal heart might force you to run; leaving me to settle like dust upon an unloved book.

Still, you may stand there with an outreached hand searching the nothing for more. Questioning if your instincts are broken remnants from a bygone era as you whisper sweet bravery to your heart. For a moment, I question if I am alive. I can swear I feel the blood coursing through my veins. Just as I reach the precipice of speaking, my lips betray me. A surge of tears well up in my eyes, and I remember that this isn’t my world.

With haste, I exile myself back to the miasma of long-forgotten ghosts. Their fate, my future. A mantra of No, with the accompanying howl at the moon as I drown in self-imposed isolation.

I type, “But this can’t last,” and then quickly backspace it into oblivion.

With frustration, I type it one more time and wipe it clean.

It can last.

Perhaps, a fitting afterlife would be a continuation of my life as a ghost.

The spirit who typed, “but this can’t last,” twice shakes. 

My truth is that my sense of self-awareness is warped. I am a child of neglect and an adult of fear. This is my life as a grown woman with depression. The greatest expression of this is Chelsea the ghost.  Beyond flowery phrasing, this is the hell I’ve constructed for myself.

Chelsea the ghost doesn’t date.

Chelsea the ghost doesn’t dream.

Chelsea the ghost will punish herself myself on a near-daily basis; be it, eating too much, not eating for days at a time, forcing myself into extreme conditions, or forcing myself into isolation.  The previous three days, I didn’t let myself eat or drink. Those around me said they thought I looked blue. To be blunt, I only broke my fast because I realized my condition was deteriorating into a point of hallucinations.  Something broke inside of me and for a brief second I broke down in tears and pleaded with myself to fight back.

These rituals of punishment somehow keep away Chelsea the monster. A person I fear, though now, as I am forced to describe my horrific sins, cannot name any. I have sinned, but no more than the average person. Chelsea the monster is not real, but rather a manifestation of the harsh life I have lived.

The fundamental challenge for me to getting a healthier, more realistic sense of self is to face that I’ve internalized my abuse. As a newborn baby, my biological mother neglected me, her boyfriends physically abused me. Later in life, I experienced homelessness and was the victim of multiple occurrences of violence. I responded to death threats, being spit on, and getting jumped by internalizing them as what I deserved.

This wasn’t a conscious choice I made. I never sat down and put that train of thought together. It just happened, and it morphed me into Chelsea the ghost. That concept of self was what I formed to protect myself. A ghost can be loud, scary, and seem powerful…but a ghost is a sad undernourished spirit trapped in time.

I see now that Chelsea the monster isn’t a representation of my evil, she is the primal fear I have of the ball of hurt and rage I’ve developed since I was a newborn. The moments where others see that raw pain is terrifying to them. It’s terrifying to me. I write this as a woman who wants change. A woman that knows I need to soothe Chelsea the Monster and breathe life back into Chelsea the ghost.

My fear is that I don’t know how to bring about this change.

My fear is that I will remain a ghost, and slowly fragment into nothing.







Assess Your Motivations

You want to change something about yourself or something in your life.

So… why haven’t you done it yet?

Why hasn’t it happened?

Ask yourself why. Do you have any motivations? Or do your motivations not feel important enough to pursue the change?

If I asked myself 6 months ago, or a year ago (or at any time whilst I was in denial about EDNOS), I would have said that my main motivation in life was be thin and stay thin. After all, I thought that being thin was the route of my happiness. But at what cost? By damaging my mentality and wellbeing? Just because somebody appears to look healthy, or happy for that matter, it doesn’t mean that they are. If you are happy with every aspect of your life within your control then you, my friend, have won your inner battle and faced your fears. If you are sat questioning why you aren’t, then ask yourself whether you’ve allowed ambivalence to steal your power for too long. Why are you afraid to make the change?

Think of something in your life that you aren’t completely happy with. Make a list of what motivates you to change it. Now write down all the reasons why you haven’t started to make that change yet. Are the reasons listed in front of you actually good, or are they simply just excuses? What are you afraid of? Something in your brain is telling you what might happen, what might go wrong, how it’s not possible. Stop listening to ambivalence and take note of what you could be faced with, what you can overcome, how you will pursue it. It is possible.

If I ask myself what motivates me to get over this eating disorder I could say several things. My partner is the main one – I don’t want to lie to him anymore or cause him any more upset. Our relationship is better than ever. I don’t want my hair to fall out again now it’s started to repair itself. I want children at some point and considering I now don’t seem to have periods and have been recently diagnosed with polycystic ovaries (PCOS), I realize how important it is to keep my body healthy.

I could go on, but my list would still be missing one significant thing at the top. ME. You can’t change yourself for anyone or anything but yourself, no matter how important the other factors may seem. You have to want to do it for YOU. Yes all the other motivators are an important part of the change but ultimately, if you don’t actually want to do something, you’re never going to do it and it will never change. You must be driven from within. I will learn to defeat ambivalence and I will change.

It’s hard to picture a new way of life when giving into your ambivalence is all you’ve known for so long. I’m still coming to terms with it myself. But aren’t we stronger than that doubtful voice muttering inside our head? Think about it…what do you really have to lose? There is so much more out there if you open yourself up to the possibility of something new. Make a new list of what you WILL achieve with change. Happiness is only the very start of it.

Amy Whittle

My name is Amy, I’m 22, and I’ve been living with an eating disorder on and off for 9 years. A few months ago I was finally honest about it with my loved ones. I am now on my challenging journey through recovery and have started an online blog to help aid me along the way and hopefully provide some positivity and motivation for others who are going through a similar thing.

The Unsocial Reality of ‘Social’ Media

What’s actually social about ‘social’ media?

Sitting behind a screen and flicking through other people’s lives is far from ‘social’, and if you’re anything like me, I feel far from sociable after a fair few scrolls.

Another night of half watching TV whilst numbingly swiping through my Instagram and Facebook feed and I’m wondering why I’m feeling low all curled up in bed on an evening…again.

It’s taken me a long time to realize there is a pattern establishing here, but tonight, as I’m reflecting more on my thoughts and feelings, I’m 99% sure that I’ve seen a skinny girl in an amazing dress and that has triggered my current pit of despair.  Oh yes, there she is. Wow, and another angle.

Either consciously or subconsciously I’ve probably done this more times than I can even remember and I know I’m likely not the only one. You can’t help but compare yourself to these people online. Whether it’s a mate, or a celeb, or simply someone you haven’t seen since school, for some reason we feel the need to follow their life publicised via social media. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising these people for uploading body shots. Hey, who doesn’t enjoy posting the odd selfie? But it is this readily available platform for comparison and self-criticism that enables individuals’ body image and self-esteem to plummet day-in-day-out. It’s a force of habit. I don’t even flick through these ‘stories’ out of interest, (the art of scrolling seems to have become second nature), so why am I letting it impact on my self-esteem and body image so much?

I’ve decided to help myself on my journey of recovery. I’m putting down my phone and I’m banning myself from the torture of scrolling through endless feeds every night. I need to take back control of my emotions and start accepting that if I can’t stop comparing myself to every other girl out there then how am I ever meant to accept myself for who I am. We should embrace individuality and learn to love ourselves for ourselves. I should be able to appreciate other peoples’ attractiveness without feeling threatened. I should be able to walk into a bar, confident with my appearance, without feeling intimidated by every other girl in sight. Stop comparing your ‘likes’ to hers. What the hell does a pixelated number count for anyway? Your thoughts are what makes you, and with the right set of positive ones, you might just start to recognize how amazing you really do look today, and every other day for that matter!






Amy Whittle

My name is Amy, I’m 22, and I’ve been living with an eating disorder on and off for 9 years. A few months ago I was finally honest about it with my loved ones. I am now on my challenging journey through recovery and have started an online blog to help aid me along the way and hopefully provide some positivity and motivation for others who are going through a similar thing.

How Binge Eating Can Mask An Eating Disorder

Occasionally binging on what felt like mountains of food in one evening is what allowed me to hide my eating disorder not only from others but also from myself for so many years.

Binge eating in itself is an eating disorder probably not widely recognised by the public. I imagine if a room of people were asked to draw someone with an eating disorder then a similar image would be replicated from person to person – a tiny stick of a human with the word ‘anorexic’ flying about in conversation. I think the biggest thing in today’s society is to step back and acknowledge that eating disorders don’t just present in the form of an overly thin individual. An obese individual that over indulges on a daily basis is suffering from an eating disorder. A person who starves themselves either daily or a few times a week, or makes themselves sick from time to time, is also suffering.

The one thing I have hated hearing over the years, and still to this day hear from time to time (when I am brave enough to be honest to open up to someone about my situation), is ‘so which disorder do you suffer from, is it anorexia or the bulimia?’. This is not a phrase I want to hear after opening up to someone – it casts doubt in my mind that I am actually suffering at all. For years I have thought ‘well hang on, I’m not thin enough to be classed as ‘anorexic’, am I? And I’m not making myself sick after every thing I manage to eat, so I can’t be bulimic. So I mustn’t have a problem at all! How embarrassing that I have even told someone about my ‘disorder’, I won’t be making that mistake again.’


If any of you out there are like me – you yoyo between depriving yourself of meals, starving yourself, living each day calorie obsessed, then the next you spend an evening binging on your favourite snacks – consciously aware in the back of your mind that being sick will ‘erase’ all the ‘wrong’ you are doing or for the next few days you know you can just avoid food to ‘make up’ for all these calories you’re consuming – then please Google ‘EDNOS‘. ‘Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified’ is the biggest eating disorder out there – it consists of a cycle of starving then binging then purging (check out my previous blog entry for more). Believe me, I was as surprised as you probably are right now that it is actually a thing to not fit into one specific well known eating disorder. Instead, you’ve conned yourself and others around you that you do eat ‘normally’ – ‘I had loads of chocolate last Friday so I’m not suffering from anything at all‘ or if you’ve heard someone say to you ‘How do you manage to eat all them biscuits without getting fat? I wish I could eat like that‘ … Phrases like these are what allow you to get away with this vicious cycle. Everyone (including your own self) seems to comment on these times when you’re eating loads. There’s been times when I was low and desperately wanted to share what I was facing in my own mind day-in-day-out but stopped myself just thinking ‘God if I tell them now that I have an ‘eating disorder’ they’ll think I’m such a fake…they saw me eat all that chocolate last week and I’m not even skinny enough to be taken seriously…how embarrassing, I’m not mentioning this to anyone. Infact…there’s not even anything wrong with me’.

It’s still incredibly hard to openly admit that I do have an eating disorder and there are only a few people I have trusted with my circumstances since I opened up 5 months ago. I still binge from time to time and the same thoughts enter my head of how to ‘undo’ it all the next day. It’s hard not to listen to my mind as the ideas start ticking over and the guilt sets in as I feel my stomach and think how horrendously fat I’ve become. But I’m learning not to act on these negative thoughts as I once did and I hope CBT will help me erase these thought patters from my mind for good one day.

I feel it is so important that people out there understand how binge eating can mask disorders and how it can play a huge part in EDNOS amongst other conditions. Binging enables easier vomiting and therefore plays a massive part in bulimia. It is the master of all disguises to everyone around. After all, who would second guess someone who ate all that food at the party the other night? They’re not starving themselves or suffering are they? Yes..they most likely are. Infact, they’re probably sat down now feeling horrendously shameful and guilty of their actions and have likely already began their next task of undoing all their previous ‘wrongdoings’.

Amy Whittle

My name is Amy, I’m 22, and I’ve been living with an eating disorder on and off for 9 years. A few months ago I was finally honest about it with my loved ones. I am now on my challenging journey through recovery and have started an online blog to help aid me along the way and hopefully provide some positivity and motivation for others who are going through a similar thing.