because I know, of course, that there are still so many remnants of ED present in my life, clinging, like some sort of hideous, malignant, toxic fungus, to my identity. But there is no longer any part of me, which wants those remnants to remain. Rather, I want them all to be destroyed: wholly and completely, without one single spore or strain remaining.
This time last year, it was nearly the end of Christmas 2014: a year which had been so, incredibly hard for me, in a number of different ways. But the one thing that I had to hold things together, as the sparkling lights which had been lit in my heart by the joy and excitement of Christmas gradually began to dim to fade and die to be replaced by the heavy, oppressing darkness of January - a January which promised, for me anyway, assessments and appointments ,and, very likely, imminent hospitalisation - was that one slender, flickering hope, that 2015 would be the year when I would be healed, completely and wholly, of my eating disorder. That the hospital would cure me of my problems and I would never, ever again allow myself to lapse into the deadly embrace of ED. I know that this was unrealistic and wishful thinking on my part. But it was all I had. I clung to my little, fervent dream like a drowning man hanging onto a piece of driftwood, in some wild, grey, hostile sea.
I read somewhere, though, that the gritty, hard, real work of recovery doesn't take place until after hospitalisation...which I can really relate to, in many ways. Because after all, that environment of the hospital, is one which is altogether unrealistic. I was cared for in there, made to gain weight, gently or not so gently prompted to eat my dinner, like a good girl. And so in I went, and they did what they had to do to me, what they were supposed to do. And then suddenly I was out again, in the real world: This was where the real work was supposed to begin. For this was the environment where my eating disorder had first been enabled to develop and evolve; and of course, here, there was no nurses watching my every move, no monitoring, no one constantly looking over my shoulder, making sure that I doing what I was supposed to do, eating what I was supposed to be eating, conducting myself in a way which fitted in with the hospital and their rules. No, it was just me, little lost Emmy, pitted against her eating disorder. Which the hospital, of course, had not magically whisked away, as I was hoping, so desperately, that they would.
No. ED remained, lurking in the darkest corners of my mind, awaiting its opportunity to slip silently from its hiding place like a lethal viper emerging from its lair, intent upon sinking its poison-soaked fangs into its helpless, unsuspecting,vulnerable prey.
Because yes, I guess that's the truth of it, even though to say so fills me with shame: I was vulnerable, I didn't suspect anything, and I was pretty much rendered helpless, again. What chance did I have? The hospital had pretty much given me a new body, a body I was unused to and could not bear the sight of. The comments made by others - oh, you've gained weight, you look well - were unbearable to me, as were the ones which made it sound as if I was fully better. Because deep down inside, I felt as if my heart was breaking. As I knew, without one shadow of a doubt, that I was no way near recovered. People would look at me, and smile, and make their comments, and see a girl who was recovered: but they didn't know, they didn't feel, they couldn't see the storm that raged deep inside.
But that was a year ago now. It's true: somethings, unfortunately, do remain the same. That being, principally, that I am not free. ED is still part of me, and ED still talks to me every day: pouring its poisonous lies into my ears; lies which, I know, are jut what they are - pure, senseless, lies. But at the same time, ED makes them so believable, reasonable, to me; and at times, when I am caught off my guard and let myself down. And then ED grabs onto that victory, shaking it in my face, telling me that there you have it, there's the proof. Proof of your own stupidity!! You are just worthless, you are never going to recover!! You might as well give up, right here, right now.
But this is when I stand up and say...No, ED. No...
Never, ever again, ED....
No matter how many times I fall over...
This time, I will never again allow that fall to break me...
I will never again turn back.
At least I can say that is one thing...that has changed; That being, my determination to beat this...thing, which has taken so, so much away from me. And that, whatever it takes, I won't ever allow myself to just give in, ever, ever again. Maybe I will struggle forever. Maybe I will relapse again. Maybe I will never get to that beautiful, distant mountain top, the one to which I can see, in the furthest corner of my mind..so bright, so beautiful, but so, so painfully far away.
But I am going to give it all that I have...I am willing to fight with every single breath.
And I am wiser, now. I have come a long, long way from the frightened little Emmy of a year ago. It's true to say that I still feel so afraid, so uncertain, so confused. But. I know that I am, in a way, alot wiser, maturer, stronger. I have proven that I can be strong. I have overcome so many obstacles and fought so many fears...and although I know, that there I still have a long, long way to climb along that hard, rocky road winding its way up that steeply sloping mountain; I know that this time...I will not give in. No matter what ED may say or what ED may try to do to me, I know that it will never, ever be able to rob me of the inner strength that I possess deep inside.
Yesterday I mentioned, how I was going to do some reflective work on what, specifically, I need to do and achieve, in order to make this crucial change.
- I need to develop my self esteem...Because after years of branding myself a worthless and useless failure, ir's now proving so, so hard for me to want to recover, as I continuously let this voice drag me back down. You are useless, you are worthless, noone cares about you. You are stupid and selfish and pathetic. What do you have to recover for? One thing I know for a certainty now is that, if I am to make a full recovery, I need to completely destroy this Voice. But how, essentially, am I going to accomplish this? I have a few ideas..more on this in my next post. ;)
- I need to separate myself from the "skinny identity". I need to recognise that being at a healthy weight for my body (ie around that which I was at on leaving the hospital) did not make me ugly, repulsive, fat, or unattractive. Rather, I need to find peace with my body...to fully and wholly recognise that ED's promises of the benefits of being skinny - that it will bring me happiness or fulfillment; that being skinny will mean that I look just a wee bit prettier...you will still be ugly, but maybe, not quite so ugly as you would be, if you were at what people call a "healthy" weight" - for exactly what they really are: nothing but manipulative, non-sensical, distorted and corruptive lies.
- I need to follow my meal plan and get back to healthy, strong Emmy, who enjoys her food as much as she enjoys cooking with it. I know that I love food. Food is awesome!! Why should I let a stupid voice spoil my enjoyment of it?
- To break every single one of the ED rules, in their various forms. I'm currently working on this long and detailed list which I will definitely share with you very shortly.
- And all the other various Branches of my Recovery need to be properly tended with equal care and attention. Some are harder than others, but I am not prepared to neglect a single one of them.