A journey to health, happiness, and higher mountains

Shredding my Way to Recovery (Hopefully)

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So, maybe it’s important that I address the question fully. Why snowboarding? Obviously, I’ve already mentioned my desire to do it for a long time, and I’ve briefly gone into detail about needing to for the physical benefits on my about page, but it’s actually a lot more complicated than that.

I have a plethora of both physical and mental health conditions, some of which I have been struggling with for almost six years to date. PTSD with depression and anxiety, a dissociative disorder, digestive problems, and I’ve more or less destroyed my body through struggling with an eating disorder since I was 14. I faint constantly due to problems with my blood pressure and my heart, and I was told by the doctor that if I don’t start to build muscle and do some physical exercise to improve the situation, this might not get better.

In this last year alone, I’ve tried to commit suicide multiple times. I was admitted to a psychiatric day hospital for a month to be stabilised so that I could get back to at least functioning somewhat again and being able to attend university. Every day is still a struggle with flashbacks, chronic insomnia, suicidal ideation and either the desire to either starve myself until I no longer exist or the overwhelming impulse to binge and purge. When I have a particularly stressful period, I end up places with no recollection of how I got there and I forget chunks of time. I have to live my life on a schedule or else I don’t stand a chance of staying on top of things, and I am often too scared to leave the house or socialise unless I’m somewhat intoxicated.

At the end of the day, my trauma cannot be reversed and perhaps some of my conditions can’t, but I’m tired of being a violinist who isn’t physically fit enough to perform, I’m tired of being scared and I’m tired of living so stuck and alone and miserable. I am not what happened to me, and I can and will take as much control back over my own life as possible.

By taking up snowboarding and throwing myself into a fitness and diet regime to gain muscle rather than lose weight, I’m hoping that I will slowly but surely take control of my physical health again so that I’m able to continue at university, and also that this will encourage me to beat my eating disorder once and for all. I know that being seriously underweight would put me at a higher risk of injury – I have a friend who broke her ribs due to jumping into her boyfriend’s arms while severely underweight – and I know that not eating and letting myself develop nutritional deficiencies again would mean more fainting.  I’m hoping that enjoyment and desire to become at least of a basic skill level will encourage me to continue to fight and improve not only my physical health but also my overall happiness, because God knows I simply can’t live like this anymore.

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