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
We all struggle with something right? Speeding, drinking, watching too much television, smoking, lying, overeating, under-eating, worrying, not reading our bibles or praying as often as we think we should or need to or as often as we like … the list is endless. Our struggles are as unique as we are. The thing is, the only way that we can begin to change these issues we battle is by facing them head on. And that seems scary. And often, it even seems impossible. But we resolve to change anyway, because we know we should and we will be A Better Person because of it – and perhaps then we stick with it, with our new changes, for a few days or a week or a month or a few months – but we fail. We inevitably end up back where we started and we very dangerously say “Stuff it, I’m clearly incapable of making change long-term.” And so we give up. We give up and we stay stuck in our behaviours.
I’ve been thinking about this in recent times and thinking about how I have actually managed to avoid a huge eating disorder relapse and thought it was important I wrote some of these thoughts down. These are not only applicable to eating disorders; you might find there’s something written here that strikes you as relevent for your own life / situations you encounter etc – hopefully you do! These are a few things I have found helpful in the last 10 months. Continue reading
I’m sitting on my bed at the moment, casually eating chocolate, yoghurt and an apple for dinner / supper (I’ve been sick this week, no judgings!) thinking about the exam that I really need to be studying for that’s occurring tomorrow but getting epic urges to be blogging and song-writing and laying down horizontal in my bed sleeping away festy infections – so I’m shoving the studying and the sleeping aside for the next half hour or so and getting rid of the writing cravings and dropping chocolate crumbs on my laptop in the meantime.
Oh, by the way. This is one of those epic, ranty, stereotypical “I hate ye eating disorder!” *waves fist angrily* letters, yeah. Grab your own chocolate and make sure you’re comfortable and your brain is in gear – blog post may contain ramblings and chocolate crumbs and a wee bit of joy and perhaps a pinch of sadness.