I returned home on Wednesday evening and I was feeling pretty confident. I had had a good week at Uni food wise, and despite all of the Christmas celebrations at the end of term I managed to stick to the trusty food plan. However, I am really struggling with body image at the moment. I am finding it hard to cope with the feeling of being heavy and since being home I know I have been restricting. Part of me doesn’t even want to write it on here, as I know my parents will read this (Ed really doesn’t want them to know). And part of me doesn’t want to admit it, as Ed is telling me I need to start loosing weight again.
However, this week I am one year in recovery. I was home this time last year from Paris and I had my first ever therapy session to try and figure out what was going on with my “eating habits”. No one had uttered the ‘A’ word and I don’t think I really knew the severity of what I was doing to myself. As well as my first therapy session, I had a doctors apt to go through blood tests etc. I vividly remember the doctor telling me “Its an issue but it isn’t really a problem”… little did he know that that triggered me to return to Paris and drop weight until it really was a problem… a f****ing big problem. It was a problem all along. I also clearly remember locking myself away in the utility room last boxing day because I was so anxious and withdrawn and isolated that I didn’t even feel capable of holding a conversation with my own family.
I guess it is interesting to look back at this stuff because I know that in the last year I have made massive improvements. I have come further than I ever believed was possible and I am a lot happier. This time last year I would not have gone for a champagne dinner last night to celebrate my friends birthday! I guess I want to look at the improvement and also look at how horrible my life was this time last year so I have the motivation to keep on fighting. I have been finding this week difficult and so it is important, in times like these, that I look back at the hard times and ask myself, Do I really want to go back there? Is the few pounds I could loose by restricting really worth it? Was Ed telling the truth when he said my life would be better if I was thinner? The answer is no. I know that. When I think rationally it is a no brainer.
Before leaving Paris I also wrote a Divorce letter to Ed (see Divorcing Ed: The Divorce Letter). I wrote this so that when I have difficult times I can read it and remind myself why I am in recovery and why this daily battle is worth the fight. I would recommend anyone suffering with an ED to write a divorce letter to their Eating Disorder when they are feeling in a strong place and look back at it when you are struggling. There is something very powerful about reading advice you have written yourself – there is no excuse to believe it is bad advice, or from a bad source, as it is you who has written it.
What I am going to hold onto from the letter today is “I don’t expect this will be an easy, happy or clean divorce. But day at a time I am going to keep fighting my battle against you until I win.”. -I need to remember to keep fighting, even on difficult days. And secondly I want to remember that, “This path [to recovery] isn’t a path to size 0. Walking the path won’t mean that i’ll still be classified as underweight. But you know what ED, there is more to life than being thin. Being thing doesn’t make me more special like you’ve tried to tell me over the years. It doesn’t make me a better person and it doesn’t make me more beautiful. “
So tomorrow is a new day and I am going to try even harder to win.