It’s been just over a week since Dad and I flew back into Sydney from our week and a half in Scotland and London and I’ve been hanging out to blog about our time over there and the impact the trip has had on my recovery. I’m currently in the process of moving house and finishing my very last assignment before I graduate so whilst I’ve been trying to prioritise those things; my eagerness to write this has finally won out in the end. Continue reading
On Sunday, I discharged from hospital again after a 7 week admission. It was supposed to just be a 3 week admission, but you know how it goes… You realise just how much there is to work on once you’re there. Continue reading
On Monday, I was sitting in my first lecture for the semester for my last year of college. I didn’t know anyone else there – not one other person. No one else in that room besides me knew about my history of my eating disorder, nor did they know I was recovering from one. Perhaps they thought it strange that I sat there at 12pm and whipped out my lunch to eat during the lecture, but I sat there and knew that whipping my lunch out to eat at 12pm was exactly what I needed to do at this stage of my recovery. My lecturer stood up the front and talked for 2 hours about the early church, the fall of Jerusalem, about apostolic fathers and apologists from back in the day. I sat there in wonder at the way my brain was able to retain information (for the first time in years) and noticed my enthusiasm about being there. It was foreign to me.
At some point during the lecture I got a little lost in thought and sat there dwelling on the size of my arms, about how big they may appear to others and about how I perceive them to be. Just before I started to get too carried away with the thoughts though, another thought interjected – no one else here in this room is thinking about the size of my arms, or even cares about the size of them so why am I sitting here doing so?
It was this brief moment of clarity, but kind of a beautiful one and was something I haven’t experienced in a long time. And to be honest, it kind of really freaked the hell out of me.
As the brain ceases being starved and starts being refed, moments like this will happen. They will be brief, and probably not very frequent, at first. You will get glimpses of what life can be like without an eating disorder. You will have more and more moments of freedom and liberation. You will start to realise that there is far too much in your life to lose and that at some stage, you need to stop dancing with the eating disorder. You will see that there are possibilities and opportunities and ways forward – and that you actually have the strength to take these and make real change, despite the difficulty and distress and the tears and the thoughts that come up. I believe this.
The possibility of a future is a frightening one, but so is the prospect of living this way for the rest of my life. My prayer for you (and for me!) is that we can be brave enough to take all these small moments of clarity and carry them with us, remind ourselves of these truths daily and continue to work towards overcoming this hell of an illness that has taken way too much from you.
This afternoon we found out that a beautiful woman we were in treatment with earlier this year passed away yesterday. There are literally no words out there to articulate the sadness of her death, and that are no words to adequately express the shock and depth of the loss that so many of us are feeling right now.
The words I do have are these: when recovery seems never-ending, when recovery seems difficult, when the struggle doesn’t feel worth it… Remember that it is. Remember that there is life and hope beyond this. Remember that you have strength within you to beat this illness, and remember that this illness is unjust and unfair and wrong and devastating and that you deserve so much more than it can ever provide for you. If you can’t fight for yourself right now, please fight for those around you. Ash would be behind you and cheering you on every single step of the way.
Let’s make 2017 our year, and let’s look out for those around us and keep reminding them just how much we care for, love and value one another particularly during this holiday season that so many find so difficult.
Last July after a 3 week admission, I discharged myself from a hospital where I had been receiving treatment for my eating disorder. I believed this to be my last admission. I walked out determinedly – desiring, more than anything, to keep myself on track and get on top of the eating behaviours and overexercise I had been struggling with for the last few years. I left there with a solid plan in place, follow up appointments with my doctor and dietitian and a willingness to do what was necessary for me in order to get my life back.
And I did. Continue reading
I feel like in society, there’s this idea that we can’t ask for help until all hell breaks loose, until we’re in complete crisis, until we’re having a major meltdown, until the shit hits the fan… However you want to put it, our pride can often stop us from asking for help until we absolutely need it. We wait until we’re at rock bottom before asking for advice, asking for a hand with our uni work, asking for a shoulder to cry on, asking for help to follow our meal plan, asking for accountability for something we may be struggling with. This isn’t even specific to eating disorders – I think to some degree, this can be true of us all at various times throughout our lives. Continue reading
This morning I had a cup of milk on my cereal. I know it was a cup, because I measured it. This is not something I usually do. This morning I had to force myself to measure out a cup of milk, as per my dietitian’s request, because this is not something I usually do and whilst I measure my cereal I do not measure my milk. I have always pronounced this to health professionals triumphantly – I do not measure my milk, therefore I am not obsessive and I can be flexible and I am smashing this whole recovery thing. Continue reading
As I sit and write this, I am curled up on my new bed, in my room, in my new house. Next to me sits my new plush chilli, and a copy of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Blind Assassin’ that I bought recently for one single dollar at an op-shop. Across from me, in my new room, is a spare bed. And above that bed are two windows which look over the small courtyard we have out the back. There is an old, beautiful looking tree out there, and it is clear that it has suffered through its fair share of winters, too.
Long time, no blog. I’ve had lots of ideas floating around in my mind about things I’ve wanted to write about, but I haven’t been able to string the words together quite as I’ve wanted to. I figured though, that I may as well give it a crack. This blog post is something I’ve been thinking about recently, something I’ve needed to write for myself and be reminded of, and something I’ve wanted to write for those who may also be at a crossroads similar to my own. So here we have it – a blog about the overwhelming nature of recovery from an eating disorder. Thanks for reading, pals. X
It’s a common misconception – if one is weight restored, they must be better. They must be feeling better about themselves. They’re looking better, so they must be, right? Continue reading