What I really wanted to reflect upon in my last post (and ermm...well, that post before that originally, too, actually) was the factors which played a role in my transition from relapse to recovery once again. Because it's true to say that I was trapped, that I felt like I was drowning. That the world was moving on, without me, hurrying along in its usual bustling, breathless pace, one which I could not keep up with if I tried.
Better to stay where I was, enmeshed within that enormous hole that ED had dug for me. He then coaxed me into it and left me there for dead. Just like he always does, and has done in the past. Countless times of tripping and falling, tripping and falling. And I remember thinking last year, When I was back at Trinity and sitting in a lecture. The words cast upon the board glowed luminously in the sickly fluorescent light, but I could only stare at them, seeing nothing and understanding even less. What was she talking about...? American Noir Fiction, of course. Focus, Emmy, focus. But no sooner had I weakly attempted to fix my brain on a certain point, that very point seemed to collapse, to disintegrate into nothingness. Leaving me suspended again, forever floating in an endless, deathly void.
Is this really it?
Is this really all life has to offer me?
I was so exhausted of it all.
The endless sways of failed recovery, and then relapse. The rows with mam over how I'd lost weight; over how I never changed anything, despite all my claims that Iwas trying so hard to get better. All those bitter words and accusations which cut me right to to the bone. The feelings of worthlessness, utter uselessness, and above all, the guilt. Guilt over being the failure daughter, guilt over being the cause of so much discord and unhappiness.
And there was a point when I very almost gave up; gave up this long and lonely fight which I had been engaged in for so long, I could not remember what it really felt like; to be able to lay down my weapons.
But something changed that month that enabled me to turn things around. To pick up my weapons once again and grasp their handles with renewed vigour and strength. To ignite the few sparks of defieance shooting upwards in my breast, causing them to amplify into palpable, red-hot flames.
Ed, this is war..
It wasn't just by chance that the tiny spark was initially kindled. A few things happened, looking back at it now, which caused that flame to take light. It's fairly possible that I'm forgetting something here, but these are the reasons that stick out in my mind. And the first is the one which is very much still of relevance to me now: the fact that, at that time of the year when goals are made and potential changes are recognised, it was long, long past time for me to change and change for good. Or to let this year be the same once again, spent in ED's arms. Arms which cling and fondle and grope in all the wrong places. Arms which pinch and won't let go when you struggle to break away.
It's a deadly embrace; more so more because it is so seductive. You're seduced as well as repulsed and horrified, but because of that seduction it's so hard to pull yourself away from it. Like a reluctant lover trying weakly to withdraw from the bed. So much of you is screaming in defiance, telling you to remain where you are, to not move. It's easy and more pleasurable if you stay right here with me, Emmy.
But we all know that courting ED is a act that might bring one benefits, for a certain time, anyway. But then the marks of abuse begin to show.
For too long had I subjected myself to that abuse without fight. Right until that day in May almost four years ago. And since then I had fought back, but looking back now I know it was not with every fibre of my heart and soul and mind. I want that to be my new goal for 2018. To give my recovery every single thing I have got.
I want to be a changed girl in 2018...
And another moment of beauty came to me, drifted timidly into my line of vision as if it were nothing of consequence. But yet despite its modesty I was transfixed, in both the eyes and the heart. Last night, following a spell of heavy rain, the temperature had dropped below freezing, meaning that the bog was like something of a frozen sponge, still soft and swampy but yet with thin sheets of ice lining the ground. And, on every quivering branch and twig of the dew-laden trees, suspended droplets of frozen rainwater; hanging like glassy tears poised on the rim of an eyelid. It was as if the trees had donned their own jewellery in order to honour the beauty of this crystal clear morning.
And, as I have been inclined to do of late, it seems, I found myself pausing to gaze upon the delicate beauty of this scene; and, in doing so, reflect upon the ways in which an indiscernible similarity could be made with my own life path. And it came to me almost instantly: No more tears, Em. It was time to let my sadness, my melancholy go. Not to force it out; or to hold back the tears if, for whatever treason, they come - as for all we know, that never works - but to actively work on it, to make a conscious effort to drive those clouds away, and work on being positive, more confident. To foster belief in myself that I am able to do this, and to let go of all the fears and anxieties that, for so long, have held me back, kept me hanging in the same place, much like the frozen raindrops on the branches.
So here's what I'm going to let go in moving forward, in this brand new year, of hope and promise and change.
Let go of the fear of eating too much, because I know, all to well, I still need to gain a bit more weight.
Let go of the fear of the stomach distension. It's normal and expected in recovery and will only get better if I don't restrict and keep on eating well.
Let go of the belief that it's "okay" that I'm still technically a bit underweight. A bit underweight is not good enough for someone who has had anorexia for as long as I have. My body is too fragile to be eternally locked in a state of even slight malnutrition. No. It's time to say goodbye to that part of me that says I have to be "skinny Emmy" for eternity. I know now what is best for my body and I am going to take active measures in order to achieve it.💕