The sunlight slants through a canopy of leaves the colour of candlelight.
Flowers fall and blossoms wilt. The branches of the slender-limbed hazel shudder gently in a chill breeze which cuts into the flesh like a knife.
The rowan and the hawthorn hold aloft their garlands of deep scarlet berries. Some of the berries lie crushed upon the face of the earth, shining wetly like droplets of fresh blood.
And though the whole world changed around me,
It's been a while since I last wrote. Not out of choice, of course; I would never willingly just abandon my blog and cease my weekly writings. But that week two months ago, there was a sense of change in the air; hanging heavy like winter fog in front of my eyes.
And ahead of me, the new college term loomed ominously over my head like a threatening storm cloud upon a grey winter's day.
And so my Morokia notes were tenderly gathered up and put away in the depths of my wardrobe; whereas my various favourite "reading spots" - which ranged in location from the front seat of Mam's Nissan to the petal-strewn table at the rear end of the conservatory - became frequented, not with my dog-eared copies of the Wheel of Time, but with college books and endless piles of refill pad paper covered front to back in my messy, spidery handwriting. The beautiful, golden summer finally had come to an end.
And on a breezy morning in late September, I found myself standing before that familiar arch in Dublin City Centre, the wind tugging sharply at my long unadorned hair as I gazed upon the structure's stony regalness.
Back again. But I don't feel any different.
I'm still that little lost girl at the gates of Brigidine, watching all the people hurry past me, feeling; so hopelessly inadequate, stupid, inferior.
And as I walk these bustling halls and corridors, I have never felt quite so alone.
I sit in the classroom and listen to the chatter of the other students around me. But it feels to me as if I am perched upon the pinnacle of the most desolate, lonely mountain. A mountain from which I can clearly see the signs of human life below me. So close, but yet; so far.
The one companion that I know is here with me - who is waiting for me, at every corner which I turn - is Ed.
Ed was here the first day that I stepped through the Front Arch of Trinity. Ed's been here with me ever since. Sitting in a lecture hall, trying to study in the library; walking through the bustling arts block and trying to avoid every stranger's eyes. Ed is there with me, breathing down my neck. I can feel its hand upon my shoulder, turning me to where it wants me to go.
And this year, I know, is no different.
There are times when I want to be like those falling leaves...
To be blown away with the chill autumn wind, to float gently across windswept moor, to be swept into the surging river, to be carried away, forever...
But no. I know that that is my depression talking; that somewhere deep inside there is a little seed waiting for the light to shine upon it so it can grow. I need to realise that I am not a helpless case. I need to realise that I can nourish that seed, let it push itself upwards, and let it...blossom...
How do I do it??
Well. I guess it's back to basics...
To nourish myself. And to hell with getting upset about college work I cannot do. Normal reaction: I cry, I weep, I berate myself and label myself as an imbecile. And then? I don't eat properly. My head becomes clogged up with thoughts like I cannot eat that because I know I will just think and think about it excessively afterward and well you will be sitting in that lecture room for a good two hours..you must eat less to provide for that, Emmy. Cymbals, crashing in my head. What I would not give, for them to be silenced.
Ed. Yes. It's time I talked to you. I starved myself for the whole duration of my teenage years and beyond. Because of you, Ed. And now what do you do? You tell me that I need to keep on eating less. That your body no longer needs this food, because you reached a healthy weight, and -
I know it's me and only me who can fight this fight; who can defy and resist these endless, endless lies.
I know that I have to keep on fighting.
Stumbling blindly along this long and lonely road.
So I know that now I need to be open and honest and reach out for support to my loved ones and my readers. To stop avoiding the scales and face up to reality.
And to remind myself, once again...
of why I chose recovery; and why, I chose to fight.
- Get back onto my meal plan, properly, with no little missed bits or exceptions.
- Check my weight once a week, no more, no less.
- Make goals and weekly challenges in my notebook as I know I still have many fears to conquer and disordered behaviours to overcome.
- Get involved with something not to do with college which I think I might enjoy..and which will enable me to meet and interact with other people..hard and scary but I know I need to get out of my comfort zone and I think too that it will help distract me from the anorexic thoughts.
- Be open and honest and seek help and support.
- Help myself by weekly journalling and self-checks, and try to use some of the tools which I learnt in hospital, but since then have long since completely forgotten about. But it's past time to dig out those tattered sheets and put them to good use.