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
As A put it to me – “New year. New experiences. New opportunities.”
New Years Eve isn’t a night I particularly want to recall. ED got a one up on me and after almost 2 months of no purging, I threw up dinner (nachos – one of my very scary foods). But perhaps it was symbolic of something – that ED will not be brought into the New Year; that it will just be one of those big, life-changing things that occurred in 2009 and 2010 and 2011 but will continue to be changed in 2012. Watching the Sydney fireworks on tv was very, very surreal – I’m so desperate for a better year than the last but at the same time am terrified that nothing much will really change.
I am surrounded by wonderful people. Wonderful people who want to see me achieve my goal of being eating disorderless. Wonderful people who have seen my very good days and my most terrible and love me exactly the same regardless.
2012 is the year I turn 20. I start bible college. I move into my own place. There is no way that I want any of this year to be marred by the eating disorder, and it’s definitely not my intention to let it happen. So I will continue to challenge myself. Maybe one day very soon I will tackle those nachos again.
I will continue to write my brave lists
And be happy
And when I am sad or worried or stressed, I will always make myself a cup of tea
I just want to continue to make change in 2012. I don’t want to carry any of these unhelpful habits into my adult years. And that’s something worth being stubborn about!
Happy New Year to all of you – I hope it’s a wonderful year full of new opportunities and big changes that you both learn and grow from!
Love, Rebekah xo.
On Saturday night, I went with L and A up to Newtown to ‘Jazz in the Graveyard’ at R’s church. It was cool. We had dinner (a very late dinner) at a pub nearby and gelato for dessert (hokey pokey flavour). It was a new thing for me. And a big deal. Pub meals are just huge in general, and thus frightening. Plus the whole eating out thing is still a little scary too. Then dessert! The last time I went out for ice cream was when I attended the day program in Sydney and we really had no choice in it. So it was probably a brave night, overall.
The thing for me is that if someone doesn’t confirm it was good or brave, I start to second-guess myself a little. Or the eating disordered thoughts start creeping into my head, to be precise. Thoughts like “you really shouldn’t have eaten that” – ie, feelings of guilt.
So I’m wondering when I’ll get beyond that. When these things will become second nature. When I’ll give up control of that area of my life and say “no, the eating disorder is no longer a part of my life” and just let go of it. Because the longer I hold onto the whole “please recognise my bravery” thing, the longer the ED hangs around. I don’t think I’m quite there – but I am working on it, be assured.
I’m not one to take risks. I like knowing what’s going to happen. I hate feeling uncomfortable emotions. My eating disorder provided this a lot of comfort – didn’t have to feel things, do things, I could organise things … but life isn’t like that. Life is chaotic. Things happen that you don’t expect. The eating disordered expectation of this neat and tidy life is irrational and absurd. So I’m trying to work on being spontaneous and it’s hard and difficult and I figure the struggle through it will not be comfortable in the slightest. But still, I’m willing.
Ate a nashi pear after lunch. It was tremendous.
So today, I’ve been risky. Done a few brave things, I think. Hoping people think they’re brave too, so I can be 100% certain that it’s good.
And soon I am going to drink a cup of coffee and do something spontaneous. Like … fly to Melbourne.
Needing a change of scenery.
Some things never change…
But a lot does, particularly in a year. Somehow, one begins to eat normally again. One stops fearing food. One stops making themself throw up. One gains required weight and somehow learns to feel okay about it. She learns to enjoy food. She stops stressing about her weight 24/7. She stops biting her nails. Food is no longer classed as good or bad. She stops measuring things – measuring food, her body … She stops weighing herself every day. She somehow summons the courage to tell her brother she has an eating disorder. One week later, she tells her mother.
You read it here people! I went out with Mum today and as we were driving along I said: “Last year … did you know I had eating problems?”
The conversation went from there.
Real courage is this: using a tablespoon when every fibre of your being is scared of the consequences. It’s taking a breath and telling someone you have an eating disorder and want to help others. It’s saying “I feel mad/angry/sad”. It’s being honest. Bravery is doing the right thing, even though it’s hard. It’s wearing a dress and not caring what others think about your shape or weight. It’s feeling okay about yourself, and not conforming to what the world says you should be like. Bravery is in you and in me – we just suppress it far too often.
In the past, I’ve talked myself down a lot. Always telling myself I was stupid or fat or ugly – something negative anyway. I’m not. I’m brave. I don’t care if that sounds narcissistic or stupid, because it’s the truth. And I think maybe I’m not an awful person like I used to think. That I have a purpose in life and living, and that is to continue to live in and for Christ day by day, each day, for the rest of my life.
And I will.