So there was that. And then...there was the college work. Which, once again, I could not do.
I sat there in my favourite little study spot...the comfy settee in our conservatory where I could prop up my sore foot and my bad leg...I sat there with my laptop and papers and I could not, literally, do anything.
Benny comes running up to me, snuffling me and wagging his stumpy little tail. He wants to go for a walk. And of course, I can't take him. I bury my head in his soft fur and let the tears fall from my eyes onto his black velvety head.
20 years old...20 years old and I literally can't do anything. Anything...I can't study, I can't write these shitty essays, I can't walk, cycle, move properly without shuffling or dragging my feet...And only two days before I have to go back to the doctors...
It was one of those horrible, black moments when life really did seem pointless. There didn't seem any point in anything...especially not eating. I had absolutely no appetite and there was no pleasure whatsoever in the food I placed in my mouth.
In fact I became angry and hateful at one point...of everything, including food...you are what has made me unhappy! I hate food! But this quickly passed and I ended up just full of loathing and disgust for just one sole thing: myself.
I just had one horrible and awful thought yesterday...something which I never, since I started to work on recovery, have ever encountered or allowed to enter my head before. This might shock you...it shocked and appalled me and writing this now I can't really believe how I allowed myself to consider it...
That things were better, when I was ill..when I was starving, and so thin that I could feel all of my ribs and see my hipbone sticking out of my body. Things are much worse now. I've never felt so miserable before...
No, no, no..NO. I know I was wrong. Things may seem hard for me at the moment...so incredibly, awfully hard. But I know that I must go on.
Don't I have a right to live a happy, healthy life, too? Where my mind and anxieties all revolve around food, weight gain, exercise? Where I can fully realise my full potential. Where I can discover there is much, much more to me than these crushing, overwhelming feelings of worthlessness...I can't do this...I am unable to do that...I am useless...I am stupid...my existence is an unnecessary one...
Of course there is. I just need to reach out and touch it...I need to push myself that one bit more.
I suppose...I just thought that recovery would never be this difficult. Everything is changing... and it seems as if I am just letting my life slip away through my hands like autumn leaves being swept off by a rushing stream.
Perhaps I have completely ruined my chances of succeeding at college. But if I can't achieve in that...well, I can prove to myself that I AM strong in other ways, can't I? I can fight - and win - against one of the most awful and destructive human diseases that are out there...my eating disorder?
So many pictures...so many memories. And I can tell you now, in each and every one of these photos, that girl who is smiling and grinning away as if she doesn't have a care in the world...well, behind each one of those smiles there is something hidden and concealed...something dark and destructive. each picture sparks off a particular memory for me...a painful and poignant memory.
In the pic with the ducks, I had cycled to Emo Court one gorgeous summer's day last year to meet one of my closest and oldest friends from primary school. We fed the ducks and climbed trees and hay bales. We rolled down grassy hillocks, laughing till our sides ached, and then we ate a picnic by the lake like proper little schoolgirls out on a field trip.
But then...then I cycled home with a heavy heart, with a desperate, overpowering anxiety crushing down upon me from all sides. The idyllic, carefree state of happiness and tranquility I had felt that day evaporated with each push of my bike's pedals. Why? Because...because I was convinced I had overeaten. My friend had made us some lovely little sandwiches but in my head having those two pieces of bread with the chicken and mayonnaise was way, way too much. And we had opened a packet of Cadbury's chocolate fingers. which I love. But I hadn't counted how many I had had...I had been so caught up in conversing and laughing with my friend I had forgotten to keep track of each and every one of those chocolate coated biscuits that had entered my mouth. The thought that I might have eaten MORE than the GDA recommended on the box... (what is it, a meagre 4 fingers?! )...was enough to drive me into a state of pure and uncontrollable panic.
And in the pic below that one...this is me and my sis in Mallorca last year. On this particular evening we were heading down to Port de Pollenca for a family meal in one of the quaint little restaurants by the sea. Me and Liz had put on two of our most pretty dresses and had posed together for a pic. As I stood next to Liz and felt her arms around me I thought about how much she meant to me. I hugged her back and told her that I was the luckiest girl in the world to have a sister like her.
And then off we go down to the restaurant...and I felt the familiar dread and anxiety creep back all over me. I can't remember what I ordered but all I do know is that when the food did come, I paniced. I made a half-hearted attempt to eat it, picking at it with my fork and pushing it around my plate. I only managed less than half of it. My mam was upset and through my behaviour the evening, once again, was ruined.
Why can't I just look upon these photos and recall memories which consist of nothing but pure and genuine happiness...untouched and uncorrupted by a mindset which has been twisted and manipulated by an eating disorder?