This type of thinking got significantly worse when I started at Trinity. When I was at school, my eating disorder was kept in a state of semi-containment: i had a goal, a specific aim, in my head the whole time, which kept me off, to some extent, that bloodstained path of self-destruction upon which I suddenly found myself stumbling upon, that day when I left my home in September 2012. the day when I was all set to embark upon a new chapter in my life, away from the insular, warm, safe world of my home.
I have to eat as little as possible, now. Because being skinny is the only one thing, that I have left.
I am not smart, intelligent, beautiful, funny, athletic, studious, talented in any kind of way...
And now, you have lost that one thing that you did have...
you're no longer the grade a student...everyone here is a hundred times better than you.
being thin, being the skinny one...that's all that I have left.
This was the kind of thing...that I told myself every day. And which I fully believed, heart and soul...which I recognised and acknowledged as the ultimate truth.
And so the two years dragged on, two difficult and painful years full of panic, anxiety, tears and relentless restriction. Because by this time it came so naturally to me; and not once did I stop to consider just what the consequences of my actions could be; stop, to contemplate for one instant, just how much damage I was wrecking upon my own body. And I no longer had that goal, that drive to propel me onwards. I looked no further than the present day, and perhaps, the day following that. And for one single, abominable purpose. my mind was wholly bent, on how, each day, I was would go about eating as little as possible; and how I would conceal my actions from the eyes of the world, and my loved ones. It fills me with shame to write this, but I know that it is the truth; that, for me, was my reality, every hour of every day. Whereas other girls my age in Trinity spent their time planning their future career prospects, perhaps, or where they would choose to go for their getogether on Saturday night... every thought, every priority, every motivation that ever really occured to me...it wasn't my own, it was Ed's. I didn't think about my future; as far as I was concerned, there was nothing really there, anyway. I didn't see where I was going. I didn't realise where this path of self-destruction really led.
Now, things are different. But yet, in a way, some things remain the same.
It's true to say that the realisation of just how much damage I actually caused my body...
What remains unchanged, though, is the fact that I still don't really know where I am going; I still dont really know what I am recovering for...
Because I still see myself, as a lost cause. I feel like a little scrubby dandelion weed, growing precariously upon the steep, barren slope of some beautiful yet cruelly hostile mountain. The dandelion struggles desperately to grow; but the elements are too harsh, the ground too hard, for it to grow. Further away from the slope grow the other beautiful mountain flowers: tall red poppies and glorious purple foxgloves, regal and exquisite, dainty bluebells. They are strong and successful and flourishing. But I am not, and never will be, one of them.
Perhaps, in another time and another place, I would have blossomed; but this is the modern world, and it breaks my heart to say it, but...I will never be like the others. I'm 21 now, and have been for several months, but to be honest, you would not know, if you were to attach a camera to me, and monitor what I do and how I conduct myself on a daily basis.
I still need mam, to look out for me. If it was not for her, i don't even think I would really be here, right now. She was, and still is, to a great extent, the backbone to my recovery... without her, I know it would have crumbled long ago.
I still need mam to sit with me at dinner, because I know that without her I wouldn't have enough and that i would stop eating before I was full. And though I don't really think she is aware of it,in that I haven't really told her...but it is for her and through her that I manage to beat off the Voice and win my little victories with my meal plan. When I had my scone last Sunday, for example...I don't think I would have managed it, if it wasn't for Mam being there. And at that moment I was so, so torn...I wanted to have that scone, but even more than that, I wanted her to get it for me - I didn't want to have to be the one to perform that one simple thing...that simple thing, as small and as insignificant as a speck of dust on a windswept plateau...but yet, at the same time, as huge and as vast and as overwhelming, as the massive gulf that surrounds it on all sides.
Why am I so dependent on others...
Why am I so immature...
What am I really recovering for? Will I ever be able to find my way, in life? or will I just get lost along the way?
Because that's how I feel, at the moment. Just so lost...lost in a never-ending, disorientating maze. A maze which I see others passing through, from time to time. But they, unlike me, manage to find their way out. Some might struggle and some might falter, but in the end, they succeed. But I just stumble on, and on, and on, trying desperately to follow them out...not wanting to be, the little girl who got left behind.
All I know is...I have to keep searching, trying, and struggling up this long and lonely mountain. For my recovery journey is proving very long, and lonely, and hard. But I know I have to keep going. I know that I have to try.