At the beginning of my fight back against the relapse, me and mam would get out the scales every Sunday afternoon: mam had suggested it, I had agreed to it; knowing, in my heart, this was the only way mam and dad would be able to ensure that I would not slip back on myself; the only way that I, too, would know for a certainty that I was actually gaining weight. And of course, I... hated it. I hated stepping on to that detested square object of bright blue metal, with its shiny surface and silvery buttons and the harsh, glaring numbers upon the screen at its very top. Numbers, which would jump out at me; as loud and as blatant as if they were painted in neon yellow. They were cruel: so, so heartlessly, pitilessly cruel. And the numbers would stick in my head for days after, taunting me, teasing me. You are gaining weight, the cruel voice sneered. You are going to be...so...
And thus, that was what I would endure, every Sunday evening. The fear, and the apprehension. And then, afterwards, the backlash of insults, hurled against me by ED.
And that's how it felt, at the beginning.
But now, things are different. I have changed.
the tables have been turned; turned by me.
And I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but...I am beginning to learn to not give a damn what the number on the scales is. I know what Mam's target is; I know that I am more or less at that, now. I'll find out today what the exact figure is. And that number....that number no longer terrifies me. It daunts me, a little - but no way as near as much as before. I no longer recoil with horror from that figure. I am beginning to learn, and recognise, that weight for what it really is. A number, and nothing more: save representing a rough idea of the weight at which my body is healthy, and able to function at its best.
To be able to accept my body and overcome the fear of being that weight which is my healthy set point...
This represented, at one time, an enormous, seemingly impossible, unachievable challenge, for me.
But I know I have overcome so many difficult challenges, before now. I gained weight by myself. I got myself back onto my meal plan, following months and months of restriction and starvation once again. I did it. It was me who had the strength. And now I know I have to draw on that strength again. Because I know that it is just a number. A number, nothing more. And it does not mean that I am ugly, or fat, or lazy. This number means nothing to my identity, to the person who is Emmy.
I am no longer afraid, of being at that number. The fear, I have destroyed...
All I need to do now is to find... the acceptance.
To learn to accept, like the little caterpillar must accept these strange new wings upon its back when it emerges from the cocoon, after the long, hard winter, a winter which it thought it would not survive. Am I ugly? It wonders helplessly. No, call the other butterflies, soaring in the sky. These wings are a gift. Your new body is a gift. It will lift you, take you high into the sky. You just need to trust those wings and let them grow and become stronger. You have to learn to accept them, accept the newness, the strangeness, the change.
And then the little caterpillar spreads its wings and flies, high into the sky, high towards the golden, glowing sun.
We can accept this, too. Because a healthy, strong body is one of the most amazing things that God can ever give to us.
One thing I have learnt in this post-relapse recovery, is this. You can and will conquer your greatest ever fears. You can, and will, achieve what you never thought was possible. For me, this meant gaining weight without a hospital admission, getting back onto my meal plan, and learning to accept my body at a higher, healthier weight. And I know that I still have alot to work on, but I know, that I am getting there, slowly but surely. And I hope, that by sharing my story with my readers today, that you will realise that you can do this, too. yes, you. You can overcome an eating disorder; you can and will reach the top of the mountain which is recovery. You can and will find acceptance.