- 3 months out of hospital
- 3 days post finishing my degree
- (hopefully) not long off graduating
- preparing to start my Masters in July
- moving out (!!!)
- happiest cat mum to a Bubbles
If you had told me this time 3 years ago that I would have finished my degree, be on the way to potentially graduating (I hope) & getting ready to start my Masters course in July I would have either laughed or just stared at you in disbelief. This time 3 years ago I had spent 3 months out of hospital and I was scared. Scared of all the potential life has to offer. Scared of life outside of the structure hospital offers. Stuck in the same routines and patterns. Scared to break them. Petrified of gaining weight but scared to lose weight in the knowledge that hospital completely destroys life as you knew it.
Fast forward to now and I’ve just finished my degree. Providing nothing goes catastrophically wrong, I’ll be graduating alongside the rest of my cohort, with my parents, sister and boyfriend next to me. I have been accepted onto the Masters course that I have wanted to do since I found out about its’ existence in 2016!! I’ve got a baby Bubbles.
If you had told me that I would…
- go to my boyfriend’s grandparents Diamond Wedding anniversary weekend away less than a month before my final exams, I would have laughed at you
- spend time with my 2 closest friends at a BBQ 2 days before my dissertation was due, I would have ignored you
- feel moments of happiness and joy amidst the stress of final year, I would have (definitely) stared at you in disbelief
- not use my eating disorder to cope with stress, I would have questioned what on earth I was meant to use instead
- carry on with my job 3 days a week
- have the energy to apply for a masters whilst studying for my final year and working
- go out for drinks… stay in for drinks. Drink alcohol…
- complete my degree (whether I pass is still another issue)
- go out for coffee with my best friend & her son less than a week before my exams began
… I wouldn’t have believed you.
Recovery has enabled me to enjoy life. Recovery has given me independence and freedom. Recovery has given me the energy to fight despite the challenges life throws my way.
But recovery hasn’t fixed everything.
My final year has also included:
- crying (and lots of it)
- catching Covid & suffering from post-Covid headaches
- migraines (on top of the looooovely Covid headaches)
- feeling stuck in a cycle of uni work & ‘work work’
- losing friends that I thought I would spend my life with
- crying some more
- picking up Bubbles’ poo (IT STINKS)
- stress, and lots of it
- grades I haven’t been happy with
- feeling hopeless
- feeling isolated
- not keeping up with my friends
- technology mistakes that have made me question why my degree was worth it
- falling asleep at 9pm before making it under the duvet
- sore feet (I subconsciously pick the skin on my feet when I’m anxious)
I think what I’m trying to say is:
Recovery has given me a lot but it hasn’t given me a perfect life.
I haven’t created a perfect life out of recovery.
So often there is this ideal that with recovery comes all the solutions to everything life has to offer but that’s not true and unrealistic.
Life is not perfect and it shouldn’t have to be. Life is for living and experiencing and feeling.
Recovery has allowed me to experience just a snippet of what life has to bring and it’s difficult but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the fight.
The truth is that with recovery comes all the responsibility that has been taken away from you when you’ve been ill. Recovery means facing all of the demons that you’ve used your eating disorder to numb and that can be terrifying. But losing your life to an eating disorder is 100 times more terrifying.
Recovery, from anything, is an uphill fight. It may take years & 100 different battles every single day but things do get better & there is always hope. Life is worth fighting for.
I don’t know where I will be 3 years from now but I am determined that it will not be a future dictated by what has happened to me. I am not my past.
Ps! Bubbles is also pretty worth the fight:
Love E x