Last year I lived and worked in Paris for a year and I have very mixed memories. On the one hand, it was one of the most difficult years of my life. I faced up to my Anorexia for the first time, began seeking treatment and embarked upon what has turned out to be a very long a difficult journey of recovery. So in that sense, Paris is a bit like the crime scene of my Eating Disorder. On the other hand, I lived with some of my best friends, met some amazing people and had the time of my life.
It was half way through my year abroad that I began seeking treatment and being away from home was obviously a struggle. However, I got through it thanks to some amazing people I met in my self-help group and thanks to a very special friend of mine. My housemate at the time was one of my best friends, and with his help I managed to complete the year. I dread to think where I would be if he wasn’t there and can never thank him enough for his help and support. Although Ed put me through hell and back at times, having my friend with me every step of the way meant that I can actually look back at my year and remember some very happy, hilarious and unforgettable times. And for that, I am forever grateful.
However, despite having fun in Paris it comes as no surprise that Ed didn’t allow me to embrace everything. I have always grown up with a sweet tooth and despite living in the city of fine patisserie Ed wouldn’t let me try them. We lived on a road full of wonderful patisseries and I became too scared to go in. France is also known for amazing wine, and whilst I did enjoy a number of nights with some red wine, Ed eventually stopped me doing that too. I also rarely had croissants for breakfast and never let myself try a chocolate almond croissant which was something I had always wanted to try. I also never walked down the road eating the end of a baguette without feeling guilty and rarely enjoyed french cheese without an unbearable amount of guilt. So en bref, Ed didn’t let me properly live, properly participate and fully enjoy my experience. And for that, I am forever ungrateful.
However, my Dad told me that once I get my period’s back and once I feel up to the challenge he would buy me a ticket to Paris. Today, I booked my ticket! I am going to go back and eat patisserie, drink red wine, try a chocolate almond croissant for the first time, eat baguette and enjoy some cheese. However, the best thing about the whole trip is that my friend (housemate from Paris) is coming with me!
It’s a big challenge and it’s going to take some preparation but it will be a challenge worth fighting for. I can’t go back this time with Ed. If I did, I fear it would be too triggering as I will be in the place where Ed once had full control. So I am going to prepare by trying some of these fear foods before I go and getting used to it.
It is going to be an exciting trip for many reasons. My friend and I will get to go back and visit our old friends, we will get to revisit all our favourite places and I will get to see Paris through my eyes, not Ed’s eyes… à bientôt Paris!