like walking upon a windswept beach, a beach which is strewn with rocks and sharply edged pebbles; a beach which seems to stretch on and on and on towards the distant horizon. The tide rolls in as you walk along, white tipped waves crashing down upon the grey, gritty sand as the rushing waters advance towards you, roaring and pounding itself against the rocks of that lonely shoreline with all the wild, untameable ferocity of some monstrous, terrible beast.
And still the beach stretches out ahead of you. On and on and on, without end.
And as the waves break upon the shore at your back, icy waters surging towards you with terrifying velocity, it is all you can do to not let yourself be drawn back by the powerful, surging currents that are suddenly sucking away the sands to every side of you. Those waters are all around you, now; and your skin becomes drenched with icy spray off those furious waves. And those waves are so powerful, so strong. They will bear you away with them, out into that depthless sea.
A few months ago, this was what had happened to me. I was the leaf lost in the gale; the tiny little stone which has been plucked away from the rocky path upon which it was precariously attached, to be tossed remorselessly away into the icy wilderness beyond. I was the little lost girl who had allowed herself to be carried away from that lonely beach with all its sharp cutting stones. I had lost the strength to carry on. Those cruel, terrible waves, seizing the opportunity and revelling in my weakness, had swept me pitilessly away, out into that terrible grey ocean.
And that's how it remained, for months. Me trying desperately to swim back for the shore, but my weak and feeble attempts were powerless against the raging, irresistible torrent which forced my body further and further into the depths. I was sinking and crying out for help, but noone, not one soul of this earth could hear me; or reach me. My desperate fingers groped desperately, searching for an inivisible hand which would stretch out to me and pull me from this abyss. The sea, the ocean, the abyss which was my eating disorder...it had, once again, claimed me for its own. And that long, hard, lonely path along the shoreline, the shoreline which had been my recovery...now seemed to be a hundred miles away from me, separated by these endless expanses of cold, stormy, grey waters.
It was just...so tiring, so painful, so hard. And there did not seem to be any end to it. It felt like I had been walking for ages..ages, without getting anywhere. And there were so many sharp, cutting rocks. they were tearing my skin and leaving me bleeding; reminding me, over and over again, just how painful and difficult recovery really is. And that shore was just so, so lonely. at times; for I was the different one, the odd one; the girl who was isolated and cut off from the society into which she had been born. And so, when those cruel waves came, I found myself all too easily surrendering to their cold, coldembrace. Recovery is too painful, too hard. I am not strong enough to do this. I am useless. I am hopeless. I don't...I don't have that strength, to keep on walking upon the sand. I do not have the strength to reccover.
But the past few weeks I finally found the strength to push myself upwards through the cold, icy, raging stormy waters. I have finally found the strength to break free.
And as this newfound strength courses through me, I know I am becoming stronger and stronger; and I can see the beautiful light which burns upon the surface of the water. And though the waves still roar and crash all around me....
It is now my turn to be the stronger one. And I am learning to glide across those waves.
I am nourishing my body every day by eating and enjoying delicious, yummy food that I love. I am bloated and full most of the time, but I am not letting this get in the way of what I know I have to do. I tell myself, every time the anxiety threatens to kick in, that my bloated stomach is my body's own way of protecting the vulnerable organs within, and that when, in time, my body is starting to trust me again, the bloating will not be as bad and I will not constantly be feeling so full all the time. I recognise and acknowledge that my body is trying to protect itself and accept that this is a direct consequence of undereating.
I opened up to my Mam about how much I have been struggling. There are now no secrets between us: everything has been laid out in the open. There is no more concealment, no more pretending, no more secrecy. Mam is helping and supporting me with my meals and snacks and we are going to check my weight every Sunday.
I am giving my recovery everything that I have.
I am getting stronger and stronger every day.
I have found my way back to the shore...
And I know now that not only do I have the strength to overcome those waves that tried to overcome me. But I have the strength to keep walking, too. And so do you. We CAN do this. And one day...one day, we will get there, together. At the end of that shoreline lies a beautiful, sunlit lagoon; a lagoon where peaceful waters flow.