Well, my main intention in writing this post, was to convey something which I hope will serve as an important and worthwhile reminder to everyone; including myself as I strive to move further forwards in my journey to recovery...
We all tend, on those hard, dark, difficult days - those days when the storm clouds gather themselves together to block out the weak, feeble rays of a dying, watery sun; a sun which provides the only source of light in the darkness of a hostile world - to catastrophise; to believe that we cannot move any further forwards; to believe that we will remain trapped, helpless and devoid of hope, in this cold, dark, desolate place forever, or to fall further and further down into the fathomless abyss that has no end. Or to just remain eternally lost, in a maze in which every turn just leads to another dead end: another unpassable and inhospitable wall which affords you no chance of admittance. Round, and round, and round you go, searching, desperately searching for some way which you can escape from this terrible, bleak place in which there is no body but you and that Voice inside your very own head; a Voice which has the power to taint and corrupt every single thing that you love; a Voice which has left you torn and broken inside. The murderous Voice of the Eating Disorder, from which there might appear to be no method of escape.
But it is in times like these when you need to draw upon all that strength and determination and courage which you possess deep inside.
Just think about...all that you have been through. All that you have overcome and all that you have faced. Oh, so there is a voice which is trying to make you convince yourself, that you have not achieved anything, that you have spent your entire life controlled and helpless to the crippling power of fear. Dont believe a word of it. You can and will be strong.
This time a few months ago...
I was restricting every day.
I had completely and wholly abandoned any notion of the meal plan. The days which i would actually eat a proper three meals were few and far between. As for snacks..well, let's just say they were virtually non-existent. I ate, but every single mouthful was monitored and controlled. I was not consuming enough nourishment for my body and my physical and mental state rapidly declined.
I was relapsing...but I didn't allow myself to acknowledge it.
i had cut out so many of the foods which I loved.
But now, it's a completely different story...
I stick to my meal plan every day. This means for me: three meals, three good snacks, three milky drinks, and my favourite dessert. The temptation to restrict is ever present; that much is true. ED;'s whispers are continually in my ear, painting the advantages and benefits of being skinny in the most attractive and appealing of colours. But I have learnt that in fact, I AM strong enough to resist and defy that evil, scheming voice; recognise it as the liar which it ultimately is.
I no longer hold back from eating the foods that I love. Because after all I know that my body needs them and deserves them. I know that there is absolutely no reason on this earth I should feel guilty for having two, three or even four teaspoons of pb on my crumpets or my toast; or having a generous bowlful of Shreddies in the morning with lashings of creamy warm milk.
I recognise that yes, I did let myself down and I did relapse. I was starving myself again and had succumbed, wholly and completely, to the ensnaring embrace of my eating disorder. But I know now that I cannot let fear, and shame, and remorse and guilt stand in my way. A relapse is a relapse; nothing more. It should not be regarded as an eternal lapse or a fatal, unmendable failure; or a complete and total abandonment of recovery. As a dear friend once wrote in the beautiful handmade cared she made me while I was an inpatient: Don't let one stumble in the road be the end of your journey.
And all these steps, all these small but crucially fundamental bricks which make up the road which we call PROGRESS...were ultimately only made or achieved; because I made a conscious and purposeful decision to change. And if I can do it...well. So. Can. YOU. <3 xxx
So I know that what I need to do now is to draw upon that strength and determination that has brought me this far along my recovery journey; to enable me to make the next few steps along this long, winding, difficult path towards the p to allow me to lay down the final few bbricks in the road.
The next steps that I need to take...
- Conquer the "carbs at dinner" fear. A stupid and irrational fear which, oddly enough, only really established itself during the past few months during my relapse..it wasn't something i used to struggle with so much before.
- It's true to say that dinner is definitely the meal which I find the hardest still, and which I know I still need to really focus on. In terms of, engaging in the conversation at the table, fighting the anxiety, not cleaning my plate etc, in addition to the carbs thing too of course.
- Lunch is still something too, which I need to be extra careful on, so I will continue to work on this as appropriate.
- To never, ever hold back from eating that little bit more, if more is what I want.
- In time, I might need to consider upping the meal plan again, depending on how my weight goes. This will be hard I know, but I have to say..the fear of eating more, increasing The fullness and the bloating is the thing which I find the most difficult to deal with.
To face, head on... with the heart of a lion as he roars his defiance at the bars of the cage which has imprisoned him; with the spirit of the darting swallow on the wing, twisting and wheeling across the magnificent, sublime backdrop of that infinite blue sky. Freedom. We are all made...to be free. To be at peace with the world and our bodies. But directly across that beautiful path which leads to that freedom, lies the greatest obstacle of all which could ever possibly stand in my way...