I bumped into a friend on Clapham High Street last night. Mid flat-hunting panic, when it felt like the city might swallow me and I was feeling scarily alone, she walked past and invited me to come along for dinner.
I hesitated (because I had planned my supper already) and scrabbled around for an excuse (because they were going for pizza, and I haven’t faced that challenge yet); and then realised that it was more important – given the loneliness – that I was fully available to life.
An eating disorder does not let you be fully available to life. It is amazing how pervasive food can be. How it is not just the actual eating that shackles you but the everything else that gets swept up along the way. Not only have I been unavailable to things that have involved food. I have also been unavailable to those that interrupt my “stuff” around food; those that might contain food; those that might make me feel something that will lead to a food-related encounter; those that might effect any of the bzillion things that I have loaded with food significance…
Oh yes, and the food thing. It wasn’t just about the food in the first place: it was also about my response to life. There’s lots of other stuff that I’ve been hiding from by keeping the focus on what I do and don’t eat.
Anyway, as you might have noticed, I’m now big on making myself fully available; which means that I took a deep breath, last night, and said “yes please”. (It was lovely).
For a long time, I’ve been trying to bridge what feels like an abyss between myself and the rest of the world, to work out what I need to do to catch up and plot the steps that will take me from A to B. I’m beginning to think that it doesn’t work like this. That the most important thing about this whole adventure is being available to opportunities and dismantling the obstacles that get in the way –
Like the eating thing.
Or the little voice that pipes up with a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t get involved.
Or just the fact that something deviates from my normal routine.
This doesn’t mean that there are no boundaries, nor that I should tumble, head first, into every opportunity or possibility that passes me by. It doesn’t mean that it will suddenly become easy. No. It just means, I think, that life is going on all around me, as it probably always has been, and rather than theorising about how I get re-engaged with it, maybe the most important thing is removing the obstructions -
And being available to whatever comes along.