A place upon my path leading up the mountain...a moor, where there are flowers trying to grow, but, beyond that, there is a precipice...a precipice I have to cross.
When I was at this place a year ago now, I was, as I am today, weight restored...
But I was, and am, something else, too, something which other people cannot see. That being free; free from my eating disorder. I was not back then; and I know, that I am not now. Weight restored. A state of being which means that my body is now relatively healthy. But am I cured of an eating disorder? No, I am not. People might look and see a girl who is recovered; but that is where they are wrong, so wrong. How much I weigh is totally inept in measuring how healthy I am inside.
And the last time that I stood in this place, of weight restoration. there was a wretchedness; a bitterness which twisted deep inside my heart, unseen and unfelt by anyone else but me. And a hatred: a hatred of my new body. a hatred which was as audible, as palpable to me as the harshest of sirens: which could not, would not, be silenced.
The compliments that people would give me back then, would burn in my ears like acid upon the surface of the tongue. The words would roar sonorously through each and every passage of my mind; reverberating and echoing, repeating themselves over and over. No matter where I went, no matter what I did, the echoes were there, taunting me. The kind, loving words of my friends, my family: translated into the cruelest mockings by the cunning whispers of E.d.
She said that you looked well today...
she meant, of course, that you have gained weight, that you are fat.
And I believed it. I believed what it told me. And little by little, ed crept up behind me. It's ok to miss lunch, every now and again. You are weight restored, so it doesn't make a difference. It's ok to cut down on your carbs, Emmy, don't worry. Even better if you just eliminate them altogether.
And that is where I fell.
Fell into a place, which I had once sworn to myself I would never fall into again. But Ed is, and always will be, a trickster, a deciever, and a liar.
But now here I am again, at this place. It would be so so easy to fall, I know. The way ahead is as slippery as a glacier. As slippery, and equally as treacherous.
One false step, and I will slip, and fall over the edge. Just like I did the last time.
But since then I have changed, and grown...
The storm might blow over the tender little flowers, at first; seizing them and tossing them mercilessly to the ground. Because they were not ready, or strong enough, for those winds. All that is left then is a barren and broken landscape. Upon which, it seems, nothing can grow...
But there are some things that even a storm cannot touch. That is life, and hope, and the ability to start again.
And even though I fell before, I made myself get back up again.And I changed and grew and learned from my past mistakes. And now I know I am strong enough to face the storm. To stop it from causing me to fall.
And now I know that I do have what it takes to keep me from falling off that precipice...
And that this time, at the place where I last fell, I can be stronger than my eating disorder.
For starters, despite the fact I am weight restored, I am still eating the same amount, roughly, as I did when I was gaining weight.
I'm not going to try to pretend that doing this really scares me...but that, I have learned, is what true, real recovery is really about.
I have pledged to myself to listen to my loved ones, over the manipulative whispers of the Voice inside my Head. For I know what will happen to me if I let myself give in to that Voice. Now more than ever, I have to fight, and stay strong.
And in addition to that I am focusing on my weak points and feel motivated and determined to confront them. I am aware of exactly what they are; and that it will require true commitment and effort from me if I really am going to change. But I know that all I can do is try. If I do not try then I wil never be truly free from Ed.
So this is where I fell.
The same place; roughly, the same time of the year. The leaves of the beech trees are tinged now with the gold of early autumn. The flowers in the garden quiver gently in the soft wind. Their petals are vibrant, but some are already beginning to droop ever so slightly. The brink of another autumn: a time of change and transformation. And soon those golden leaves will shrivel, and fall.
But watching them now, my heart will not ache as it did last year, when I felt like one of those falling leaves; those wilted petals. No: this time, I see beyond the decay. I see instead the infinite beauty of nature; of a cycle which, in its never-ending rotations, there is always new life, new growth; and always, always hope.
So this time I will not fall. I will stand tall and strong and will not falter. I will keep my head up and my heart strong, and I will continue my ascent of the mountain.