I’m on my way home after two weeks away in Turkey.
The last time I came on holiday to Turkey was last September, a few days after two months in the clinic. I am pleased and proud to say that this year, Ed’s presence was considerably lower than last year.
We were staying in the same villa and visiting the same restaurants, and so there were lots of reminders about how different life was this time last year. This year I chose what I actually wanted and didn’t spend my days counting calories in my head. I didn’t make my family eat at regimented times and I had more nights out drinking than ever before!!
I was speaking to my friend who was with us last year, and she said how nice it was to be out with me and not see worry all over my face. By being able to turn down the voice of my eating disorder, I was able to fully participate, smile and have fun.
Another difference this year was that the guy who I had a holiday romance with last year now has a girlfriend. I didn’t think there would be any feelings for him this year, but it turns out this wasn’t the case. I think that because I met him last year at quite a turning point in my life when I had just left treatment, he played quite a significant role. He helped me begin to believe that a man can find me attractive and have feelings for me. He was also really kind and taught me that maybe it will be possible to find a respectful, nice guy to love me! I took him having a girlfriend as rejection which I know wasn’t the case… It’s not like we even stayed in touch and I don’t know why I expected him to have stayed single in the hope that I may come back one day! At least now I can realise that and not let it be an excuse for my Eating disorder to come back into my life and tell me he’s the only ‘man’ for me. I deserve a better than to spend my life in a relationship with Ed.
I am so grateful to my wonderful parents for taking us on such a great holiday. It’s been a fantastic two weeks with friends and family and it was sad to say goodbye. Plus, while we were away I got my results and will be graduating on Wednesday with a 2.1. I always put too much pressure on myself and there was a part of me which was disappointed in not getting a first. However, I reminded myself that the important thing is to do MY best, and not THE best. I worked my arse off all through uni, did my best and have now accepted that a 2.1 is good enough!
Whilst I am excited to graduate and see my friends at home, part of me is anxious about my eating disorder. It is fair to say I ate and drank a lot this holiday. Despite people telling me that that’s what a holiday is all about, I am still not totally fine about the whole situation. I fear I may land at the airport to find Ed waiting for me holding a sign with my name on it. I am hoping I can be strong enough to fight him away and not spend the next few weeks trying to compensate for what’s been an amazing holiday.
I bought myself a bracelet while we were away called a circle bracelet. The message is to keep the circle of life full of love, peace and happiness. I am wearing it on my wrist alongside my serenity prayer bracelet: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’.
I can’t change what I chose to eat this holiday. However, if I have the courage, I can try and continue living without Ed when I am back home. I don’t want to punish myself for having a fun holiday and I don’t want any regrets. So I will keep using my bracelets as helpful reminders and work hard to keep fighting and keep life full of peace, love and happiness.