Because basically this is as far as I have ever managed to go. It's not recovery. True, getting here in itself was a hard and gruelling battle. One in which stinging wounds were inflicted and blood and tears were shed.
True, also, that this place is a far outcry from that which I initially started this journey.That being the cold, dark abyss in which I remained wholly immersed in the depths of my anorexia.
But this place is not recovery.
And I am not recovered.
How I long to go further, now: to keep on striding forwards, with the heart of a lion and the spirit of a prancing gazelle.
But the thing is...
It took enormous strength to get this far up the road.
Yet I remember the time when I stood at the very bottom of the mountain, staring upwards with fear and despair in my eyes. And I remember believing that I would never make it. Even taking that very first step, and then the second. I believed, with all my heart, that I would not be able to do it.
But yet, I did.
And so my journey began.
After a difficult week - one which was filled with the usual bloating, anxiety over exercise, and persistent feelings of depression and loneliness, yesterday felt that one bit different.
travelling home from university and watching the sunlight dance upon the glistening rivers and streams of the sweet, dew-soaked countryside.
Sitting and drinking hot chocolate with Mam, running my fingers through Daisy's soft, jet-black coat, and laughing till my sides ached at Mam's raucous Cap'n Poldark impersonations.
And then talking to my sister on Facebook; sharing with her my current, newfound feelings of motivation; as well as my fears that it will ultimately not last. My beloved sister's furiously typed reply brought a spontaneous smile to my face and a warm tears of gratitude and love to my eyes.
When you feel your motivation going, Em, tell that f***er ED that Lizzy is going to kick its ass if it even tries to creep back in.
I'll never get there..
Why does this has to be so...so lonely?
But today reminded me that I am not alone. There are people who I know, no matter what, are here for me. Even if I cannot see them, or feel their hands physically touching my own. Even if I cannot literally hear their voices. I know what they are saying to me. Don't give up, Em. Carry on.
Carry on. Past the halfway mark. Up the mountain, scrambling over sharp-tipped rocks and pebbly slopes. Over yawning abysses and coal-black caverns. Towards the valley. The valley where beautiful flowers grow wild and free; reaching towards the sunlight above: sunlight which spills upon every leaf and every vein and makes their petals shimmer with dancing, sublime beauty.
As that is how I envisage true recovery...
A place in which I feel totally alive, and free, like a budding, blossoming flower.
A place in which I feel totally at peace with myself: a feeling, which I have never felt for so, so long, not since I was that small girl with the long blonde hair who danced and laughed and lived a life that she loved.
And this is how I am going to do it...
By taking small little steps which are also known as goals.
Follow my meal plan and get to a healthy weight.
And by a healthy weight, I do not mean simply just the minimum healthy bmi.
Write down all the eating disorder habits and behaviours and work on picking them out.
It's quite an enlightening activity to do this - to actually sit down and have a really, hard look at just what it is your eating disorder makes you do day in, day out. I can literally think of dozens, and so this is going to take up a whole blog post in itself so I won't blah on about it too much here.
Compose my reasons to recover list and read over it constantly, reminding myself of just what it is I am fighting for.
Go to a few counselling sessions at Trinity, while I try to finish off the last semester of my degree. Then, when all this is over, I will hopefully have the time to dedicate myself to proper eating disorder therapy, probably at Marino in Dublin or somewhere more local.
I proved to myself in the past that I can manage to get myself physically well, witht the help and support of my family, friends and readers. But deep down I know that, in order to make the full and complete recovery from an mental illness that has already claimed half of my life and the entirety of my teenage years, that I will need to seek some extra support in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy. When I am finished at Trinity (Hopefully :/) I am going to do some proper research and take stock of all the options which are available to me.
Facing fears and anxieties.
These include specific foods, meals, and also - yes, the exercise thing, which I still regard as one of the hardest things that I am yet to achieve in recovery.
Start making plans - both short and long term - so that I have something to work towards and keep my mind focused on why it is so important now that I do not waste any more of my life drowning in an eating disorder's depths.