Saturday Nights

Now that I’ve made some space for a life, I am enjoying the Saturday night experience.

After the loneliness of an eating disorder, you don’t take anything for granted: a night in with friends may be commonplace – but after years of me and my food, even the mundane is strangely precious; even the smallest of pleasures is noted as an achievement –

Because Saturday nights still feel like a novelty – and friends are proving far better company than food.

Stopping binging was not something I entered into lightly. I thought that I’d covered all bases before I made the leap: I had a plan for each eventuality and a strategy for any food related pitfall.

The only thing I didn’t really consider was time –

I hadn’t realised quite how many hours the whole shop-cook-binge-purge cycle consumed until I found myself staring emptily into the endless hours of an unfilled evening.

I had been so focussed what I was stopping – rather than what I was starting; that it caught me unawares.

At first, the spare time seemed to stretch forever; and was filled, distractedly, with clock watching and inane activities and an acute awareness of the tick tick tick ticking of a snails paced minute hand.

For months, the void seemed insurmountable; the gap between my life – and what the rest of the world were filling their evenings with – felt too wide to bridge and too unfamiliar to see…..

So I started with the bigger things; because it’s easier to have something to hold onto, and it helps to have a good plan. Trips to a show and a night at the cinema and the knowledge that, at least once or twice a month, the time that I would be struggling with would be filled.

Then I added in some back up plans for when my head pointed out the loneliness or a plan fell through or the rest of the world was already busy. A couple of good magazines and a stack of my favourite DVDs and some positive phrases for when the laughter drifting through the flat walls became a little too raw.

And I asked other people what they got up to, because the things that they took for granted were the things that were priceless to me; and plans are great – but human company’s a whole better –

Because, even though I now have too little – rather than too much – time on my hands; and even though the solitary nights have become a blessing (every now and then), rather than a sore; nothing beats a night in with friends….

So, if you’re spending a Saturday night slumped in front of the TV with a glass of wine and a couple of special people; this time is precious and this relationship is a gift. And, if you’re looking to a night in – rather than a night out – then enjoy the moment –

Because a Saturday night in with friends is priceless -

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