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!
I have realised that I am awfully good and recognising all my bad days and slip up’s but don’t always give myself credit for my successes. I guess it’s because a success for me is very normal to my friends and family. So I am going to use this space to start celebrating my successes… however big or small.
Last night was a big one. I had been working all day and wanted to keep working all night. Uni work is so stressful at the moment that I am finding it very hard to switch off. I am also finding that I sometimes use work to escape from some of life’s difficulties, in the same way I used to use food. However, last night I put the books down and went out for dinner with my friend. I felt Ed had been lurking around a bit too much recently so I conjured up the strength to fight him off with half a bottle of wine, a burger and dessert… it felt great!
Today, despite feeling a bit shaky this morning following last nights dinner, I managed to kick Ed away again this afternoon. Even though I had already had my afternoon snack, I was still feeling quite hungry (I am finding that I do get hungry now before meals which is great!). Instead of ignoring the hunger I managed to have an extra biscuit. I felt it sounded to weird to tell my friends ‘Guess what!? I was hungry and so I managed to have a biscuit!!’… I think they would find it hard to understand why having some food when you’re hungry is a big deal. But the truth is, having an extra biscuit outside of the food plan took courage.
I’ve been on holiday for the past week and I haven’t been writing as things haven’t been going perfectly. As this blog is a space for me to only track my positive steps in recovery I figured I couldn’t write because Ed has been featuring a bit in the past few days. But then on second thoughts I realised that I was once again setting myself impossibly high standards by expecting a ‘perfect’ week in recovery.
Sure things may not have been perfect this week but I need to remind myself that the road to recovery will never be perfect. More importantly, while there will be ups and downs, it is important to celebrate the ups and recognise the success, not always dwell on the failures.
So putting ed aside, I have been able to go out for drinks three times so far this holiday, eaten out in a restaurant over seven times, and sat in a bikini!
So while this week may not have been a clean victory, Ed has taken a bit of a beating and I will try and keep up the fight for the rest of the holiday.