Life is good

It feels strange to be back blogging again. Reading my last few posts, it is clear I wasn’t in a great place the last time I wrote. I am happy to say that things have changed

I’ve faced a lot of changes in the past couple of months. After having left uni I had a job lined up for six months before going traveling. They told me on the day I was to start that they could no longer offer me the job.

I don’t like it when things don’t go to plan and it really upset me. My back up plan was to do temp work to save money for traveling. I did some waitressing, leaflet dropping (that really was soul destroying after graduating from one of the uk’a top universities) and some other bits and bobs. For some people, this would have been fine but it didn’t work for me. I had no routine and the work was extremely unchallenging. I like having a challenge and I like seeing results. That’s why I work hard. However, that’s also partly how I became anorexic. Having an eating disorder and maintaining an eating disorder isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It’s a challenge. But you see results. You see the numbers go down, you see your clothes getting loose. I used to think this was an achievement. I am grateful I can now see otherwise. Because I had no challenge at work my eating disorder stepped in.

I could tell things had started getting bad again. I was tired, miserable, scared of seeing my friends for dinner, scared of eating and obsessing over exercise. I told myself it wast a big deal and that I could never let it get like it used to. However, deep down I knew something had to change.

My dad always tells me that everything happens for a reason. When I was really ill I found this hard to believe. However, I am starting to have more belief in fete.

A couple of weeks after realizing that things had to change a job offer came up. It was for a digital marketing role which is exactly the industry I want to go into. What’s more, the role was for a company that own 20 gastro pubs and restaurants. The interview process was quite tough and there were a lot of stages. But in the end, I got the job. I still can’t quite believe it.

In the interview process I talked about my passion for food and baking. In fact, I even took muffins to one of the interviews (they were the best muffins I had ever made- I took it as a sign!). Given how much I had been struggling I felt like a bit of a fraud. But f**k it. I do love food. Anorexia isn’t about disliking food, it’s more complicated than that. I am a foodie at heart, not an anorexic.

I am now two months into the job and I couldn’t be happier. I eat out three times a week minimum, I visit about 5 pubs a week (I swear my friends think I just pub crawl for a living) and I spend my day sorrounded by foodies. I no loner have the option to skip meals, I am paid to eat out. But the important thing is that I no longer want to skip melas. I thoroughly look forward to eating there times a day (sometimes more!), and I am reconnected with the foodie inside of me!

As part of my role I also have the opportunity to write blogs. My first blog for the company was recently published and it was a great success. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of this blog too but writing about my love for food, as opposed to my fear of food, was quite an achievement.

The other big change in my life is that I have a boyfriend. Yes, the unimaginable has actually happened and me, the girl who puts up steel barriers to anyone that shows her the slightest glimpse of affection, actually has a boyfriend. This is actually the first time I have admitted it. I refuse to call him my boyfriend and he refuses not to call me his girlfriend… Makes sense!? I am so terrified of the ‘b’ word! I was always the girl who never had a boyfriend and now I am very lucky to be going out with an amazing guy.

I’ve grown up on a lifetime of rom coms and always dreamed of meeting a guy like the films… Cheesy I know, but it’s the truth! People always say you find the right person when you’re not looking. I never got that- I mean when you’re single, how can you not look!? But maybe people are right. I’ve ended up dating one of my best friends from uni. He lived next door to me in halls and I met him on day one of uni. He has liked me for a long time but I always made excuses to not give it a go. However, to say he has played the long game is an understatement and now we have ended up together! Hats of to him! It was infront of my eyes the whole time, but I wasn’t ready before. However, now that I am in control of my life, have a new found confidence, and have the ability to feel emotions other than anxiety and fear, i have let someone love me. It feels great.

The last thing i want to say is that I am writing this blog on the way to Paris. For those of you that have followed my blog for a while, you will know that Paris is a bit of a crime scene. It is in Paris that my eating disorder took over my life and took me to rock bottom. I have mixed emotions with the city. On the one had it is beautiful and I had some great times there with some amazing people. On the other hand, I also had some of the darkest and hardest moments of my life there. Some streets I can’t walk down without remembering the pain I went through. Others continue to surprise me with their beauty. I am looking forward to going back this time more than ever before. This time, Ed is being left behind. I don’t need him anymore. I have real people who love me for who I am. I have found healthy ways to cope with life’s challenges. Plus, Paris is a foodies dream and I am ready to make the most of every second.

I am sorry for not blogging more often. I found that I used this space to get through the hard times and I am fortunate that recently they have been far and few between.

I hope anyone reading this can take away at least one thing: life throws challenges at the strongest of us. At the time we may not know why, but in the end, everything happens for a reason. If you’re in a place of pain right now, keep fighting. Life can be very beautiful when you’re looking through clear eyes as opposed to through the corrupt eyes of an eating disorder. Keep fighting and keep believing and wonderful things will happen.

Lots of love,
X

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A Cry For Help

Last night, unsurprisingly, my parents sat me down to talk. They had read my blog and noticed the change in my behaviour. At first I wanted to run away and not talk about anything. But I knew deep down it was the right thing.

After talking things through and discussing what we should do next I felt a lot better. The whole talk reminded me that whilst I may be the only one who can beat my eating disorder, I can’t do it alone.

Sharing my struggles and fears with my parents reminded me of how important it is to not keep everything to yourself. My eating disorder was the one who didn’t want to talk about anything. And of course Ed would think that. By keeping things to myself I can continue down a path of denial and destruction. The truth is, speaking to other people helps and it takes some of the weight of your own shoulders.

I know deep down my last blog post was a cry for help. I don’t like admitting that because Ed is telling me I don’t need anyone’s help and I can do it alone. The problem is that I can’t recover alone. I can only make myself worse alone.

Today I am feeling slightly better.

One Year Later

This time last year I wrote my divorce letter to Ed with one of my best friends S. Exactly one year later, 2nd July 2014, I am graduating from University. 

The two days are very different. Last year I felt like a child who was unable to look after herself, today I begin life as an adult. However, the two days also have similarities. I consider them both as turning points in my life. Last year was a turning point as I found the courage to make a commitment to my recovery. This year is a turning point because I have finished university and am about to embark upon what I am told is “the real world”!

I considered writing another letter to Ed, but instead decided to reflect upon my last year in recovery.

I can’t believe a year has passed since the divorce letter. It might have been a tough year, but I have started to believe that there really is light at the end of the dark road to recovery. Last year, I was begging for freedom. I was desperate to be ‘healthy’ and I never believed it would be possible to live the life that I am living today.

Over the last year there have been times I have wanted to give up. Days when I questioned whether recovery was even worth it. And moments when I didn’t think I had the strength and courage to fight for another day. However, with the support of friends and family, I have proved myself wrong.

In my divorce letter I said that I wanted to listen to my own advice. At first, I didn’t have the right advice or the answers to my problems. I was too used to listening to Ed’s advice to know the right thing to do. But by spending time in the clinic, reading about recovery, speaking to people about recovery and having weekly therapy, I now believe that I am equipped with the answers to my problems. There is no point in kidding myself into believing that I don’t know what to do to recover. I know full well what to do. I just need to be brave enough to do it.

I also wrote that I didn’t expect the divorce to be ‘easy’. I was right. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. There are still difficult days and there are still times when I look in the mirror and want to cry, but these days are out numbered by times of freedom. I still hear Ed’s voice every day, but I no longer feel inclined to act on his words. I can turn the volume down and find my own voice.

This time last year I was saying goodbye to Paris and preparing myself for a summer in the clinic. This year I am saying goodbye to Bath and preparing myself for a job and 7 months of travelling. There were times last year that I didn’t think I would even be able to go back to university, and today I am graduating with a 2.1. I am proud of myself for that. I am also proud that unlike my year in Paris, I can look back at my time in Bath with Ed only as a shadow in the background, as opposed to being at the forefront of everything.

I also want to thank my friends and family for all their help and support this year. While anorexia is a very lonely illness, I have learnt that recovery doesn’t have to be that way too.

To my family, thank you for your never-ending love and support. You have put up with the tears, tantrums, anxiety and fear and also celebrated the success along the way… big or small. It can’t have been easy living with something that is impossible for an outsider to understand, but you have all done a bloody good job. I also want to thank my younger sister. When I came back from Paris I became the ‘baby’ of the house. I couldn’t be the supportive older sister. But you have always been a support to me and I can never thank you enough for that.

To D, thanks for always being there. I could always rely on you for some fighting talk whenever I needed it. But most importantly, thank you for all the laughs. You kept my smiling at the worst of times… Laughter is a great medicine.

To S, we may have spent the last year on the other side of the world to each other, but you never felt more than a second away. You really are my rock and together, we have put up a pretty good fight. I am so proud of us both this year.

So people are right when they say that recovery can be hard, that there are times it doesn’t seem worth it, and days when it all seems like too much work. But people are also right when they say that if you keep fighting and stay committed to your recovery, life will be better. Today I am living a life that I didn’t believe would be possible this time last year. That makes me both proud and excited for what is to come.

I asked last year that I could just walk the path to recovery with my head held high. Today, as I walk on stage to collect my graduation certificate, I will hold my head high and remember that recovery is worth every second.

We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday…

Tomorrow my family and I set off on holiday. Every year we would all get so excited about our summer holiday. Mum would swear to be all packed and ready 4 days in advance and always be up until midnight the night before packing the final things! Without doubt, Dad has a moan every year about something (We now just consider it a family tradition) but he is soon told to shutup because it’s holiday time! As soon as the car was packed with cases, dvd players and extra pillows my sister and I would burst into our favorite holiday song… ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday!’. Sadly my sister grew out of this tradition by the age of 10 but I still try and get her singing every year…!

Last year wasn’t entirely the same. I was anxious and scared. My head was going crazy trying to figure out how on earth I could stick to food plans whilst I was abroad and how I would cope for two weeks without any therapy. We got through it and we had a nice time, but I am relieved that today, I am in a better place.

Most people prepare for their summer holidays with some kind of holiday diet. Everyone at uni was discussing how they were planning on getting a ‘bikini bod’, moaning about how they had to be on a beach in two weeks in a bikini, and desperately trying every single diet fad in an attempt to look good for summer. My preparation has been slightly different. I have baked a batch of cookies, cupcakes and a ginger cake. I have also spent this evening with my best friend having a Chinese takeaway and wine, followed by more cake!

I have learn’t that having a history of anorexia means that I can’t live like other people. At my current stage in recovery, I can’t expect to go on a ‘crash summer holiday diet’ without my Eating Disorder taking over. Plus, more importantly, I am learning to recognise that I don’t need to diet. So I have prepared for my holiday by pissing off my eating disorder and challenging myself in the hope that I can get on the plane tomorrow and leave Ed behind.

Also, this evening my friend gave me a congratulations on graduating card. In it she wrote, ‘Its so nice to have my best friend back to being happy, healthy and loving life’. It is words like these that give me the motivation to keep on fighting. I am not only in this fight for me, but for all my amazing friends and family too.

One more sleep until holiday time…. Bring it on!!

Helpful Reminders

For the past couple of days I’ve been visiting my friend in London and buying new summer clothes ready for my holiday in a weeks time.

As much as I love shopping and love clothes, there were points of our shopping trip that I found really painful. For a start, I am buying bigger sizes in everything. Secondly, I tried to find a bikini and hated the sight of my body when I tried any of them on.

Although I have been finding more freedom recently, deep down, I am still struggling with my body image. A part of me wishes I could go on holiday in all of last years clothes. However, I need to keep reminding myself of the following:

– Last year I had just left a clinic. I was still pretty ill. The clothes I wore last year don’t represent a happy time, they fit the body of a poorly person. Of someone who was struggling.

– Last year I wasn’t free. I was still largely controlled by Ed. Today, I have more freedom. So whilst I may be a size bigger, I need to remember that I am a hell of a lot happier.

– A size is just a number. I am worth more than a dress size. The size of my clothes is not a reflection of my worth.

– Size isn’t the only thing that people find attractive. The most attractive thing in a person is their personality. Last year, my personality was largely controlled by Ed. An eating disorder steals your personality until you are a prisoner in your own body. Today, I have my personality back. The attention I’ve got from guys has been a hec of a lot higher recently than it ever was when I was in the depths of my eating disorder!! Clearly, what makes someone attractive is when they can be themselves.

– Even when my body image sucks I need to just let it be. I can’t fight back and try and shoot the numbers back down. I need to acclimatise and get used to my body the way it is.

Writing all these things down is helping me gain some clarity and find my own voice instead of listening to Ed. I just want to be able to go on holiday, look in a mirror, and think ‘you look hot!’ I don’t want to look in the mirror and be sad.

I am fully equipped with some new clothes, all of which are a healthy size, and all of which are going to look great (at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself!)

I hope you’ve all had a good week! X

“There are no regrets in life, just lessons”

Given that this week is my last week in Bath, my friends and I have been making the most out of the city. Today, despite the pouring rain, we all set off on a tourist day out. We visited the Roman Baths and then went for a delicious lunch and cake in a new café we had heard about. We then visited two art museums, looked around the town market and then went for a famous afternoon tea. On our travels we also picked up fudge and speciality chocolates for an evening of TV and delicious snacks!

I am pleased to say that I enjoyed the day. Every time I have days like today I remind myself that it wouldn’t have been possible last year. Despite living in Paris last year, there are countless museums I never visited and numerous cafés I didn’t eat in. When I re-visited Paris earlier this year I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of regret for all the things I missed out on. However, I can learn from the past and I am determined to not let that happen again. I never want to look back and think, ‘I could have eaten that’ or ‘I could have done that’.

I was unsurprised that my eating disorder was loud at some points during the day. However, as opposed to letting that stop me from participating, I persevered and succeeded in enjoying myself. My therapist has recommended that instead of expecting to shut ED’s voice out completely and not experience any negative thoughts, I should instead just try and turn the volume down. So if I am ever faced with food challenges, I imagine a volume dial in my head. Then, I try my best to turn the volume down and carry on. I guess it is a bit like when you’re on a train and there is an irritating person speaking loudly on the phone or someones music is playing way too loudly. At first it is loud and annoying, but if you persevere, you can eventually ignore it and carry on with your own thoughts. Eventually, you don’t even notice it.

So for today, I am grateful that I had a day of no regrets with some of my best friends!

Welcome Back!

It feels like ages since my last blog post. In between 5 Final Year exams followed by 10 days of celebrations I haven’t found the time to keep writing. I have so much to say…

Firstly, I have officially FINISHED 4 years of University, I am a Graduate! It feels so strange to be done with education. I have always been a hard worker and knew I wanted to study Management and French from quite a young age. I worked hard during school and have worked my socks off for the past four years at university. For anyone getting through uni is an achievement. Getting through Uni whilst fighting an eating disorder is an achievement that makes me very proud.

Half way through my exams I went to see my therapist for our weekly chat. I shared my anxieties about the end of uni. Whilst I was looking forward to finishing exams, I couldn’t deny that the idea of 10 days of drinking, partying and eating was making me a little nervous. I also admitted that my plan was to enjoy the partying but keep super healthy during my exams. I was then planning on spending a couple of weeks hitting the gym, eating healthy/restricting in advance of my two week summer holiday. Her response was: ‘So you are planning on ruining your holiday?’. She reminded me that if I spend two weeks listening to Ed and welcome him into my life, it is unlikely that I will be able to shut him out when I get on the plane to go on holiday. It just doesn’t work like that. The best preparation for my holiday and to enjoy summer is to keep fighting the eating disorder and do everything I can to stick two fingers up at it!

I took her advice on board and identified all the little things that are still tying me to Ed. For example, when I don’t have dessert, Ed wins. If I gym more than a set number of times a week, Ed wins. If I avoid fear foods, Ed wins. I pictured all these little things as strings that tied me to Ed. By facing my fears, eating dessert, and sticking to my exercise plan I can cut the strings and move myself further away from Ed. This is what I did during my two week exam period. I enjoyed dessert every night, stuck to my food plan, faced fear foods regularly and avoided the gym. Not only did I have the energy to work long hours, it also kept me more focused. I didn’t waste time thinking of what to eat and when to eat it. However, more importantly, by fighting my eating disorder and making my voice louder, I was also well prepared to enjoy the post-exam celebrations. And my God we had a good time!

We had a flat meal and champagne on the final exam day and then I went to a festival all weekend with the girls and consumed a copious amount of Cider! We then had a course night out, another girls night out and the Summer Ball which was a night to remember! In the day time we went shopping, fed the hangovers, made sushi, watched films and enjoyed time off. It was an amazing week and I am so so happy that I will always be able to look back at the end of my final year and have brilliant memories.

In some ways it makes me sad to think that if it wasn’t for my eating disorder, more of my time at university could have been like last week. But I know that there is no point in having regrets. I am just going to use this as motivation to keep on fighting. Experiencing how fun life can be without Ed is just making me more and more determined to live the rest of my life without him.

With the celebrations over I now have a few weeks off before we go on our family summer holiday. We are going back to the same place we went last year. The only difference is that when we went last year, I was fresh out the clinic. I had a good time but I plan on doing things differently this year. I most definitely will be having wine with my dinner, I will not be packing my own cereal in my suitcase, and I will not be taking scales. I also intend on getting ready with a G&T in my hand instead of my afternoon milkshake. I won’t insist we eat at regimented times and I won’t plan every lunch 5 days in advance. I won’t be packing last years ‘anorexic’ wardrobe, I will be packing a new summer wardrobe in clothes which make me look great! Unlike last year, I am not nervous about the holiday. I don’t feel the need to sit down with my parents before we go and talk about coping strategies and I won’t be discussing it for hours on end with a therapist. Instead, I am just excited. I am excited to be in the sun, eat amazing food and most importantly, spend some quality time with my friends and family.

After my holiday I will be starting a new job for 6 months before I go travelling. In between last weeks partying I managed to get into work for a couple of handover days. The job sounds great and I am really excited to get started. Plus, one of my best friends works at the same office which is going to be great! One thing that surprised me was that nearly every woman in the office spent their lunch breaks talking about their latest slimming world class, weight watchers group, diet pills or latest exercise fad. Most of the women are in their early 30’s and it seems that not one of them was happy with their body… And they didn’t mind talking about it! It got me thinking… Firstly, there is no way I would have been able to cope in a workplace like that last year. It would have been seriously triggering. Secondly, although it has been seriously shit having an eating disorder and it has stolen years of my youth, I like to think that going forward, I won’t be hung up on diet fads. I tried the fads and it went seriously wrong. I got very ill and learnt the hard way. But in future, I believe I will be able to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle and love me just the way I am!

So all in all, looking back on the last month or so makes me very proud. I have finished uni, had an incredible time celebrating and am the closest to ‘recovered’ that I have ever been before. Everyone always says the journey of recovery is a long one, and they wern’t wrong. But like every journey, there is a finish line, a final destination, an end. I feel as if I now know what I need to do to reach the end. At times I try and tell myself I don’t know what to do, but I am lying. I know when Ed is winning and I know how to turn his voice down. I just need to be brave enough to do it.

I feel as though I have just got to the top of a huge hill on my journey. It was one hell of a climb but the finish line is now in sight. It was hard work getting here, but now the road isn’t looking as rough. It is a smoother ride, I’ve just got to be brave enough to keep on marching forward. My eating disorder stole my 20th year, it got hold of my 21st but I am turning 22 in July and I am ready to say goodbye. I feel as though I am getting my life back, learning how to life and discovering so many amazing new things that weren’t possible when I was living life with Ed. So I am proud to welcome myself back, wave goodbye to Ed, and keep marching forward!

It’s good to be back.

A Week Away

This week I have been staying at D’s house as we are revising together for our finals (2 weeks to go!). 

It is the first time in over two years that I have stayed at someones house for more than a night and had someone else cook for me. I guess it must seem totally normal to most people, like an exciting week away. However, for someone suffering with an eating disorder it is quite a challenge. The loss of control can be frightening.

All in all, I think I’ve done pretty well. D has been really great and stocked up on some food that he knew wouldn’t freak me out. I also coped well with dinner apart from on one occasion. One night dinner was later than I was expecting and I didn’t really know how to cope with it. Although the right thing to do was to have an extra snack, eating more than my food plan before dinner is really difficult. As a result, I just made myself endure the painful hunger pangs and try and carry on revising. Unsurprisingly, my standard of work was poor. I achieved nothing. Ed was happy, I was in pain. 

The second most challenging task was eating cereal from a different bowl. This must sound absolutely bizarre, but since I stopped weighing my food I have become comfortable with having my cereal from a certain bowl. I made sure we had the bowls at home and I also took some with me to uni. I have eaten out of them for about 10 months! In these bowls I can tell when I have about the right amount of cereal and so they’re a safety net. However, I have learn’t that they are just another way of seeking control. Sometimes it is hard to break out of these safety nets but it is really important not to let things as silly as a bowl control the way you do things.

I guess every challenge presents an opportunity to learn and over the past few days I have learn’t some valuable lessons. I learn’t that you can always rely on your good friends to have your back (I knew this one already!). I have learn’t that I can hand over control and I will survive. I have also learn’t that I need to let go of my safety nets, even if we are just talking about a bowl! I have also been reminded that the brain and body can’t work properly without fuel- so fuel it. 

Thank you D for putting up with me this week. As always, you’ve been a great friend.

 

“Admitting your weaknesses doesn’t diminish your strength’s: It shows your courage”

I’ve been a bit quiet since I came home last weekend. I haven’t known whether to blog or not. On the one hand, I am really struggling and I know it will help to write things down. On the other hand, I am under the same roof as my parents, my sister and D… All of who will receive a copy of this post after I hit ‘publish’… It is times like this that I wish they were not subscribers.

I am worried that if they know how I am really feeling, they will all be staring at me, checking on me, watching me, making sure I’m ok. If I am struggling whilst I am at university, all my parents can do is send me a text or give me a call to see if I am ok. I don’t want my parents to start worrying about me, trying to fix it and treating me like a child.

Over the Easter weekend I did well. I enjoyed family meals and ate chocolate and didn’t feel bad about it. Since then, things have been going downhill.

Ed is loud. Deafening. Screaming in my ear. However, the worst thing about it is that I am letting him. I feel as though, despite how much I hate, detest and loathe my eating disorder, this week we are holding hands and living life together.

Despite the countless hours of therapy and treatment I have had over the last year and a half to try and understand my eating disorder, it is during weeks like these that I have no answers. I hate the person I become when I am listening to Ed, and yet I find it so hard to let it go. Part of me wants to be Ed’s friend this week. I want to use it a bit to loose the odd pound. I seem to think that I can just dip in and out when I please.

According to my BMI Index, I am ‘normal’ now. As a result, I find it hard to believe that I still need a certain number of snacks, carbs in every meal and a pudding every day. Normal people don’t have a dessert every day so why do I need to?

Lunchtime today was a particularly bad meal. Trying to choose what to have was painful. I didn’t succeed in choosing what I ‘wanted’. I had what was safest… what Ed would like. Although it wasn’t particularly restrictive, I’m not sure choosing something you don’t want to eat is what a normal person would do? Plus, because Ed’s voice was so loud during my meal, I was unable to lift my eyes from my plate. I couldn’t speak to D or my sister. It was me vs the plate. At least I won.

I hate the person I become when I listen to Ed. I am not a relaxing person to be around. I am not a chatty, fun person to be around. I am anxious, tetchy, distracted. People act differently around me when they know Ed is around. I find that really hard to deal with because sometimes I feel as though it isn’t my fault. I can’t help it if Ed turns me into a difficult person.

Also I might be going to D’s house next week for 4 days to revise. It will be the first time in about two years that I have had that long eating in someone else’s house. D obviously knows a lot about Ed and his parents know about my eating disorder (not that I have ever discussed it with them). Since I have been struggling this week, D was obviously concerned about how I would cope with the food at his house. He rang his parents and they said they were more than happy for me to stay and they asked what kind of meals I would like.

It is very kind of them to be looking out for me and I really appreciate it. However, I can’t help but get upset that I am still, to some extent, defined as the ‘anorexic’. Normal people wouldn’t need to ensure that certain foods were in the house and know in advance what kind of meals would be served. Especially not for four days. It upset me that I couldn’t just go round and be comfortable with whatever was given to me.

So all in all, the past few days haven’t been great. I always said I would never blog unless I was posting something positive about how my journey to recovery is giving me a new life. This post doesn’t seem to be particularly positive. It’s more of a muddled, rambling mess of a shitty week listening to Ed.

However, the positive thing about this post is the fact I have written it. I am admitting the last week has been hard. Although some twisted part of me wants to carry on listening to Ed, I know that isn’t a good decision. By keeping all these thoughts and feelings to myself, I am pleasing Ed.

So this post is a reminder that although I am the only one who can recover, perhaps I can’t do it alone. Maybe people need to know about my struggles and difficult days. 

As I once said myself in my Divorce Letter to Ed, “I’m worth more than anorexia. I’m worth more than Ed. I deserve to start living”. It’s about time I listened to myself. I know better than Ed. 

 

 

Dinner Time

Yesterday I returned home for the Easter holidays. Last night I had a celebratory welcome home dinner with my Parents. This afternoon my Sister returned home and so we had a belated birthday meal to celebrate my mum’s birthday. Tomorrow I am going for an Easter Lunch at my Grandparents house.

It got me thinking about how much my family uses food to celebrate and how much we all enjoy it. Whenever there is a special occasion or something to celebrate, it is celebrated around the dinner table. Every time it is someone’s birthday, we have a special meal. For my graduation meal, the restaurant was the first thing to be booked. Every year when we get exam results, we go out for lunch.  

I also realised that for my whole life my family have always had dinner time as a family around the table. It was a way to catch up and share stories about our day. Even if Dad was late on the way home from work, we would wait until he got in before we started eating. I even remeber the times when my sister and I would try to drag out meal times by making my parents play games… Who Want’s To Be The Weakest Link was often a favorite! Tonight my sister even managed to get us all playing a game of Guess Who! In sum, dinner time was a happy, family time.

When Ed came into my life, meal times were no longer fun. I no longer looked forward to mum calling us down for dinner. I dreaded it. I couldn’t just run down the stairs when dinner was ready, I would wait anxiously in the kitchen to make sure my mum weighed out the exact, precise amount. There wouldn’t be laughter or smiles. Instead, everyone would sit anxiously in the hope that I would finish my meal. I can’t even remember what we would talk about as the only thing I would listen to was Ed’s screaming, torturing words in my head. 

Sitting at the table with my family this evening made me realise how much more enjoyable my life can be without Ed. Being able to engage, laugh, talk, chat and eat a meal in peace is refreshing. This evening as I was baking a cake for my mum (it was the best cake I have ever made), my sister came over and gave me a hug. She said how nice it was to have me home. It was lovely to hear her say that because this time last year, it wasn’t nice having me home. I wasn’t a good sister or a fun person to be around. Instead of catching up on stories we would cry about the pain we were going through and desperately try and make things better. I am grateful that so far this time round, there has been no tears, apart from my mum crying because she loved her birthday gift (My family are right softies).

I hope that as I continue to fight my eating disorder every day, I can continue to enjoy meal times with my family.

ps. I was so proud of the homemade caramel sauce I made to go with my Banana bread that I had to upload a picture!

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