It feels familiar, while at the same time, totally, completely alien. A planet I have been trying so hard to reach; but which I knew that I had stepped on; once, some time, before...
And as I step onto that planet there is an immense sense of relief, of joy. I've done it. I reached my target weight. But then...then at the same time, there is this fear. Not the fear of actually being here, walking on this strange soil. But rather, what lies ahead waiting for me, in the darkness. I am scared because I don't know what lies ahead. Weight restored. I no longer need to gain weight. But...what if I do, anyway? What happens if I continue to gain?
How on earth do I even eat now? I had thought to myself, in confusion. They didn't tell me how to do this, in the hospital: the focus was purely on what and how to eat when you are gaining weight. But now I am here in this strange, but somehow familiar, new place. What do I do now? What will happen to me? I feel so lost, confused, disorientated. Ahead of me lies a vast, deep gulf. Delicately I step upon the only way across: a narrow, sharp-edged precipice.
So easy now to fall off that edge, off the edge of this place, to be swallowed by the darkness. But what lies ahead is just as terrifying as what lies below. The obscurity, of the future. Shall I cross that edge? Or shall I let myself fall? Fall, into where there is, essentially, a familiarity, for me...
Familiarity, because I have lived in that...other place for almost half of my entire life: in the prison of my eating disorder. And yes, it was familiar. But it was, more than anything, a living, breathing hell.
Because that's what living with an eating disorder is...
Nothing but pain, and loneliness, and fear.
And no matter how scary and unfamiliar the future is for me, I know that I have to keep on going...forward.
On the morning after I looked at the scale and saw, recognised, that I was actually weight restored. I woke up and then I just lay there for a few seconds, my thoughts revolving like meteorites streaking across a jet-black night sky.
What do I do now? How do I eat today? Do I restrict? Do I eat less? Do I compensate? Do I pound the roads for a good hour this morning to burn off the calories I will consume?
This time, things will be different. As scary and as terrifying as it is, I am, for the meantime, going to keep on eating to my meal plan. Rather, this was what I have been doing, for the past week. It is like walking out on that precipice with my eyes closed. It is blind faith. But I am going to take that step. I am going to follow the advice of my loved ones, rather then listen to the Voice which tells me that it's now time to restrict, or cut back.
It is hard. It is so, so hard. For the battle is far from over for me. I have to continue fighting on: as hard as, if not more than, I was when I was eating to gain weight.
This time, things will be different. Because this time, I am not going to just stop and give in halfway. Around this time last year, things were alreeady beginning to slide backwards. I had started to cut down on my intake. I was beginning to tell the odd lie to my loved ones about what and when I ate. The little habits which I thought I had long since destroyed were slowly but surely creeping back in. Basically, I had given up in my fight. I allowed myself to fall.
But this time, things will be different.
The road continues on.