Two Days

I wobbled last weekend. Amidst all the pride at reaching my second year anniversary and after the giddiness of a jam-packed-life-changing week, I had a sudden panic, standing on the beach at Brighton, that the gap between the world and I is still too chasmic to bridge….

It is not the food that has turned out to be the hardest part of my recovery – it’s discovering how far I have removed myself from life.

For a horrible moment, things seemed frozen and I felt myself zooming away, again, from the sea gulls, and the muggy morning air, and the sounds of cars, passing by in the background, to a place that was familiar, and understood and, in some ways, far less overwhelming. Where the parameters were defined, and life was much easier, or so it seemed, to control -

But I promised myself that I would never go back.

On the way home, I realised that in one weekend, alone, I laughed, danced, cried, talked, lived and shared. In two short days, I felt tired, alive, alone, connected, attractive, excited and scared. I drunk my first ever Long Island Iced tea and had my first cake in however many years; danced without caring what I looked like and laughed without forcing the smile. In one 52nd of a year, I visited a new place and met new people; had breakfast at lunchtime, and lunch, at tea; breathed in the salty sea air and felt the sun burn off the morning cloud…and so so much more.

I do not underestimate how many firsts there still are for me, nor how terrifying it will be to start doing the things that I have not been doing for years. I am under no illusions, anymore, that I had sectioned myself off from the world for a long time, and created walls and barriers where they didn’t exist before –

But next time I feel myself teetering on the edge, peering at what seems to be an insurmountable void, I’m going to remember that each journey is made up of a million small steps, and each bridge is the accumulation of all the tiny achievements and firsts. That in two days, I can do a hundred new things and, that if I keep just focussing on reaching the other side, I might miss all the moments that I pass through on the way.

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6 Responses to “Two Days”

  1. Fiona says:

    Hi Melissa

    What a moving post – and yes – it is a journey of a million small steps – each one different.

    Thank you so much for sharing this – it is what life is like moving back towards it.

  2. GirlAnon says:

    I’m not even sure that there ever *is* such a thing as the ‘other side’. I remember a saying about how the only time there ever really is is right now; the past being behind us and the future yet to happen.

    I think it might be the same with recovery. If we continue to expect that one day, we will be ‘better’, we might be setting ourselves up for disappointment. Of course, we can be better than we are now, but the experience has happened and we cannot get rid of it. We might always have wobbles around food, or feel sad for something that happened (or never happened). But we can keep moving and keep trying to make the most of our next moment.

    I guess what I’m getting at is it’s to be expected that the doubts will creep in. Maybe they’ll happen less often and less often, maybe they won’t. All you can do is tackle them as they happen, as you have here, and move on again.

    It is all about the journey, quite literally. The journey is all we have!

  3. I agree, a wonderful and moving post :)
    You’ve so much wonderful stuff to look forward to, and I know each of us can sometimes get caught up in the clouds and its lovely to have a post like this to remind us all that there are great things in all our futures, thank you :)

  4. Claire says:

    love love loved! This post.

    I feel so excited for you

  5. James says:

    So positive and inspiring. You’re right about how you remove yourself from life when you’re in the grip of an eating disorder and it’s the little moments where you feel engaged with the wonder of the world – appreciating things – that make you remember that going back isn’t worth it.

    Beautiful thoughts – there’s so much potential and each little step and moment possibly takes you closer to it. Why bother going backwards?

  6. Melissa says:

    Am ashamedly late in replying to my comments…is a very bad reflection of just how much they mean to me.

    Thanks everyone – I seem to be on fast forward at the moment, and a bit all over the place as I catch up on a whole load of development at the age of 30! It is exciting but it also means I’m a bit scatty and not quite sure whether I’m coming or going!

    There is, however, no going back and this is all part of a journey that is scary but ultimately wonderful…and it feels great to be able to have so much support along the way. xx