“Through stressful water to relief” – EDAW 2020

It’s coming to the end of Eating Disorders Awareness week and I’m taking the time to reflect on the past year, like I’ve tried to do many times before. I tried at a year past leaving hospital, and the new year, and every time I try to reflect, I have sometimes, but very often not a lot of positive to say. So this blog may be a little different.

Last year during EDAW, I posted a blog with this sentence at the start:
“This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I don’t need an awareness week, I am so painfully, ridiculously, exhaustingly aware of my eating disorder every single day.”

And I was. I was exhausted. I was in pain. The way I was feeling felt ridiculous. I was constantly aware of all of those things.

And yet this year, even though I’m aware of my eating disorder, I’m aware of my strengths and skills as well.

I am aware that my body shape is different. It takes up more space than it ever has, or should I say it commands more space. It needs more space because it is filled with health and happiness and light. It is filled with so many things that it’s not been filled with for a long time – like hope, joy and life.

I am aware that with time, I have learnt to trust my body. It tells me what I need and when I need it. It tells me when I need rest, when I need food, when I need my weighted blanket. I am aware that my body tells me what I need physically and mentally. I know it is hard to listen all the time, but I know when I don’t listen, my body won’t function, mentally or physically, as it should.  

I am aware that wobbles happen. I am aware that a very wobbly wobble did happen quite recently and that it felt like it would never end but it did. I know now that it doesn’t matter if I can’t see an end in sight because I have to fight anyway. I know now that even if I can’t see it, there are people who can, who can guide me in the right direction, who have hope in me when I don’t have it in myself.

I am aware that there are so many things I have yet to learn, so many skills to acquire, so many strengths I will discover in time, but they’ll come. They’ll come just like the wobbles and the good days and the bad days. I know recovery is not the goal I am aiming towards, but the journey I’m taking. It is a decision I make every day when I wake up but it’s the best decision I have ever made, that I’m lucky enough to keep making.

I want to say recovery is possible – not just say it, shout it from the rooftops – but I won’t because the term recovery has a different meaning for everyone but I will say one day the good days will outnumber the bad days. One day, you’ll be able to swim through the ebbs and flows and not feel like you’re drowning at every turn. One day, you’ll be able to thank your body, trust it, cherish it. One day, you’ll be telling someone else “one day”.

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