Now that I can honestly say the eating disorder is behind me and I can happily guzzle a box of chocolate seahorses without being paralysed by guilt or getting sucked into hours of calorific arithmetics, I am finding that all the crap which was starved or smothered out of my system had been waiting for me all this time. This is life I guess. Things that are unresolved or misunderstood trip you up at some point.
Five years on and after I have fought so hard to create some semblance of a normal life, it is frustrating to find myself battling the things that I could have battled twenty years ago. I can grieve for the lost time, for the missed parties and weddings and friendships – they are gone and can’t be undone. The other stuff haunts me.
It is with both frustration and relief that I have realised this. On the one hand, I feel cheated of the happily-ever-after life that I was sure was at the end of a very black period. On the other, I know that, after surfacing from said very black period, I can surface from anything.
I also know that this is the normal shit. The stuff that knocks you over when you’re figuring out how life works and the stuff that you can only understand once you’ve walked in those shoes.
I have long given up on wondering why we don’t just learn from those that have been before us.
And so, again, and probably not for the last time, I am on the search for Melissa. I am trying to learn to recognize the times when I’m being tugged backwards because something I didn’t work out then is still lurking somewhere now. To draw a line in the sand while still recognising that everything is so complicatedly linked up and sometimes you have to realize that the beginning was a long time ago. Sometimes you can go back and unravel it all. And sometimes you can’t.
Sometimes you just have to pick yourself up, work out what you’ve learnt and start again.