My journey began some time ago. But I remember it as if it were yesterday. I remember the tears that I cried as Mam looked at me, the pain and denial in her own dark green eyes striking daggers of steel into my own weary, bleeding heart.
I remember the sense of self-hatred, the shame. The guilt that felt like a lead weight in my chest; threatening to pull me into the unfathomable abyss of despair. The recognition which we both felt, then. That I had anorexia.
But yet, most of all, I remember the warmth of my mother's arms as she enveloped me in a hug, holding me like she would have cradled me as a baby, when I was so young and innocent and untainted by the world's cruel pressures: when I knew nothing - and cared for nothing more - but the palpability of that love which is a mother's love for her child. The scent of Nivea lotion, wafting gently off her skin; entering my nostrils to soothe my thrashing heart. The words that she whispered to me, gently and softly as if I were no more than a baby girl still. It's ok, Emmy. We are going to get through this. After 8 long years, we finally knew it all. That I had anorexia, and had been actively starving myself, on and off, ever since that fatal first day at secondary school, at the tender age of twelve years.
And that's when my journey began.
Upon that day a tiny seed was planted inside me. A tiny, minute, miniscule seed: so small and weak and non-descript; so easily, blown away by the wind. But then that seed took root and started to grow. Now pulsing and vibrant, it pushed its tender shoots toward the weak sunlight above.
So many times though the growth of that brave seed was hampered, impeded, damaged. There were storms which bore rain, soaking the tiny seed's weak, newly developing tendrils, forcing them to curl backwards and turn back into the soil. There were weeds which wrapped themselves around the budding stem, pinning it down to the ground with their cruel, unyielding tentacles. There was cold and ice and jail, beating down upon that tiny, vulnerable shoot.
But yet, despite all the odds...that seed did not stop growing.
Recovery is just like that. There will be countless storms; countless setbacks. But know now - as I do - that you are capable of anything. That there is no limit to your strength, your courage, your journey.
I am now approximately 1.2 kg off the "minimum" healthy weight. (But as I said before I do not want this to be my target at which I feel as if I should make myself "stop" at.) As I've mentioned before, this relapse wasn't as severe as that which I fell into last year - I lost about 3 kg, at the most - but I'm not going to write it off as not being a relapse, because I know myself well enough to know that, before I checked myself short - I was falling back into some very, very bad habits and behaviours; and had thoroughly slipped into the mindset of oh, the little, the better. So no: it was a relapse. But I - through the help and support of my readers, my Mam, my Gran and a couple of my dearest and closest friends - managed to get myself firmly back on the right track. Leaving up the mountain, and not back down. And now I feel as if I am finally, finally climbing, rather than just inching my way slowly along the rocks and crevices. No. This time I can be the stronger one. Like the mountain lion which prowls the stony mountain path. Though the way is steep and drop beneath her immense, she is not afraid to fall. As she believes now in her own strength; her perseverance. And with courage in her heart she leaps and scrambles her way up the slope.
Now today I made a plan. A plan to further help me to get to the summit of this mountain. As I mentioned above I'm..well, almost there, sort of, if you are judging recovery from a purely physical perspective. Point is though that I'm not. I want to do this thing right this time. As I outlined before in several blog posts...throughout my weight gain, I found it too hard, too scary to make a concrete reduction of my exercise. Everytime I attempted to reduce it, I panicked. The anxiety hit me like a punch in the face; I found myself tottering, and, in the rush and fear of the moment, I gave in. So much pleasure, but yet, so much sadness and bitterness and frustration. Because I WANTED to do the weight gain this time the proper way. As in, eat 3000 + cals, and consciously reduce my walking/bike rides. The eating I have been managing, sort of: I don't calorie count, but I've been sticking to the meal plan which I was on when in hospital, with my own little alterations, of course ;) . And just over the past couple of days I upped it a little more by adding in another toast at breakfast (yay!! 😊) and some extra protein at lunch or breakfast.
But the exercise..ahh, that remained a stumbling block. But today I sat down here at my kitchen table, and instead of spending an hour doing college work, I said screw that for today I'm going to fix my mind on something which is going to benefit my health and my future. What did I do? Well, I made a plan, of sorts: a little day plan for a typical day at home/college (even though college is nearly over...four more weeks of lectures, and then study weeks and exams....)of how I am going to allot my time in order to successfully manipulate ED and reduce my exercise, for now. This is something I've been meaning to do for some time now, but which I kept on putting off - but no, no longer. And yeah, I know I don't have that much left to gain, technically. But. Who said the minimum is my target? ED? Well, since when was that fecker ever right about anything??
So no. I'm going to keep on going. I'll post my "plan" in my next post, and also my meal plan with all the increases (I hope that doesn't make it too boring for everyone 😞) and if anyone has any comments or feedback or suggestions about either I would be so, so grateful 💓. Now. Before I go. I just wanted to extend my thanks to a number of people who inspired me to write this post. To my two dear friends who have helped me so, so much with their advice and support over the past few weeks (I hope they know who they are 💚) and also all of YOU - you, my readers. Your comments and helpful advice means so, so much to me. I want to thank you with every piece of my heart. It's because of you all that I have made it this far in my journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And now I am going to go outside with Benny and Daisy, my camera in one hand. Not for a powerwalk, no: not for now. A gentle 30 minute stroll in the golden sunlight of the sweet new morning.