Written by Classmate
The thing about wanting to be recovered, and free, is that you’re going to have to let things go. Lots of things. Things like how you thought your life was going to be. Things like how you thought you’d look or live or speak. You have to let all the weighty unhelpful stuff go. Literally let it go, and move on to brighter things.
I read a quote the other day that jumped off the page. “Your new life is going to cost you your old life”.
That’s the thing really, you can’t live a free life and yet hold onto some of the condition. You can’t be a free person who connects her value as a human being, to the size of her body. Because the two just don’t go together. I can’t embrace a free life, if I’m still clutching tightly to My Story of the ‘sick one’ who had the ED. I can’t embrace a free life if I keep telling myself and other people that I can’t cope, won’t cope.
And actually, NOW, I see freedom as letting it all hang out a bit. Being more relaxed about everything. Letting myself be imperfect, but supporting myself through it all.
I don’t like throwing around the word ‘can’t’ because it tends to get the rebel in me all fired up. Tell me I can’t do something, and I’ll show you my best effort to prove you wrong… I’m sure you relate haha. I have tried to be free while still holding onto some of the ED… it doesn’t work. It can’t work, won’t work.
I hate to be doubted or denied anything, because I know that I can do most things in life if I really, really, REALLY try. But sometimes the ‘trying’ would cost me too much. I could try to become president of Ireland. But ugh, imagine the effort that would cost me!!! I’d much rather focus on my relationships, have some babies and learn to make strawberry jam in my kitchen.
If I want to have a light mind, one filled with hopes and possibilities, then how on earth could size-ism be helpful? How could I raise tiny little free people if I’m poking my belly in the mirror and shying away from challenges for fear of not succeeding?
If I was to die tonight, at least I can say I tried. I really did. I got out there and I attempted things. I threw myself into life and I gave it my best shot. Ok, I sat on the sidelines for a while, nursing an ED and struggled to let that go. But I sought out recovery. I sought out the help to change the way I was living. I chased my dream to join the profession I wanted. And when it went arse-up the first time, I attempted it again. I genuinely have tried to ‘face my demons’ or whatever way pop psychology would like to portray my condition.
I would hate to die knowing I gave into the condition. I would hate to die knowing that I let life slap me in the face, and I turned my face for more. I would hate to die knowing that I settled for a life of misery, poor me and victimhood. Because at the very core, ED is about being a victim. It’s not pleasant to acknowledge that concept. But do you want to live your life in victim-mode? I certainly do not!
It’s been pointed out to me that at times I can put a layer of perfectionism onto my definition of ‘freedom’. Yea, I probably do imagine I might be a bit more ‘perfect’ when I’m free. I probably do glamourise it a bit. When I’m free, my house will be so clean and perfect. When I’m free, I’ll never use dry shampoo. When I’m free, I’ll never curse or behave immaturely or forget my manners or get things wrong or skip a shower or have hairy legs or be late… or be anything less than a shiny ‘upgrade’. Puh-leeeease.
I am already good enough, and have been seen the moment I popped out into the world. So are you. It’s just been our own beliefs that have convinced us otherwise.
Years ago I made a traaaagic list called Things I Hate About Myself (I do not recommend doing this!!!!). That list is the longest list I have ever written in my life, and I love writing a good list. There were hundreds of things on that list. This morning that memory popped into my head. And I realised that I can’t think of a single thing I hate about myself anymore. Not one. There are things I’m not too fond of, but I see them as little quirks rather than a reason to beat myself up or resign myself to the Reject Bin. And yea, sometimes I make mistakes that I’m not overly proud of, but at least I try and do and live and learn and experience.
I don’t want to scare anyone, but life is really short. If you’re reading this, you’ve been given an opportunity to recover. This is your moment. The time is NOW. Embrace it. Turn up. Commit. Because we truly do not know how much time we have on this planet, do you really want to spend the rest of your short life on a hamster wheel of self-loathing, fear and avoidance? I certainly don’t.