“The months leading up to that night, I had become terribly unhappy, so much so, that I had developed an eating disorder and had used alcohol to blank out those feelings of unhappiness – despite my many friends, I felt lonely and so indescribably lost. I only realised that months after Mark and I had got together.”

These feelings that I was experiencing were not a direct product of being in the religion, they were an culmination of many things. More than 4 years previous I had started a relationship with a guy in the religion, and 4 years on he still did not know whether he wanted to marry me or not – I tend not to over analyse this one, as I feel, this was not a direct result of the religion.

Why was this a problem? The religion prohibited sex before marriage, and as a consequence pretty much everywhere we went we would need a chaperone, to avoid being led into any kind of ‘temptation’. This meant that in terms of our relationship, once it reached a number of months I became increasingly frustrated that the relationship could not naturally grow and we could not share experiences and get to know each other on any other level.

We broke up and got together about 3 times, and I felt I was no longer in control of what was happening. For him it was such a huge decision, especially with the religious belief of living forever; if we got married it would be forever. For me, I loved him and wanted to be with him – it was that simple. With the beauty of hindsight, we clearly were not right for each other, and perhaps I mistook love for a special bond we had formed during a very traumatic situation some years back.

It was those months leading up to me finishing the relationship that I had sunk so far down, that I couldn’t even help myself. I started to believe there was something wrong with me, why didn’t he want to marry me? Was I not good enough? Was I too fat? I’d been overweight until my early twenties and suffered low self esteem thoughout my teenage years, so this was easy for me to believe.

Food was the easiest thing to control, I would starve myself in the quest to be thinner, the sign of any kind of frustration or feelings of not being wanted I would binge on anything I could get my hands on. I would even walk to the local shop to buy bagfuls of junk food, just to satisfy my emotional attachment to food I had formed in my childhood – this in itself is a whole different post! The only way I can explain it, was like a switch being triggered and as soon as my brain had made the decision that I was going to eat then vomit it all back up, I would go to any lengths to make it happen; I felt excited. As soon as I had ‘finished’ all I felt was guilt, emptiness and hated myself even more. Alcohol was my saviour, so I thought!

I would often sit alone in my flat with a bottle of vodka or wine and cry. The alcohol gave me a false sense of confidence, after several drinks it gave me feelings of depression and anger. There were times I would phone my boyfriend, after several drinks, and get so extremely frustrated I would shout at him – I felt completely out of control! I would wake up the next day feeling guilty and annoyed with myself; the whole cycle would begin again. I did not know how to break the cycle.

I’m not proud of that time, or the way I treated my boyfriend and friends in those last few months – I had got to the point whereby I could no longer help myself and I certainly could not accept help from anyone, I just blamed myself. I know now that what happened wasn’t about me, things rarely are!

So what was it about?

It was his issues, his limiting beliefs that he was dealing with that did not enable him to make a decision. This was NOT about me, and looking back I was arrogant to think so! I kept telling myself there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the relationship so we would have to try ‘to make it work’. I know now that you do not have to work at a relationship, if it’s not working, then there is something fundamentally wrong! Yes, you have your challenges you both face, on a day-to-day level Mark and I don’t have to ‘work at’ being friends – we just are :)

This was one of my biggest breakthroughs; the realisation that what people say and do is never about you, it is whatever issue, feeling or limiting belief they have. Needless to say when you use this filter it is easier not to take things personally and make them your issues.

The emotional attachment to food, being overweight, low self esteem and the drinking, however, WERE my problem and something I had to deal with.

Yours in an emotional battle,

Sarah xXx