Written by Cher
It was a dreary, cold Tuesday and I had just settled into a sit in the back of the room, in front of the radiator, scents swilling from candles, woolly jumper on; ready to hear some reaffirming tales and advice regaled to me by excellent women.
So far, so standard.
The topic was ‘Feelings’. I felt a little twinge of something uncomfortable around my gut. I have always loathed talking about my feelings. Oh shite. I started to sweat.
Suddenly staying still didn’t seem like a possibility; my body was physically reacting to the discomfort.
So far, more interesting.
As I twitched, and fidgeted, constantly reaching for water or soft mints (and re-evaluated my decision to quit smoking about eight times) – a beautiful sharing made me stop. This wave of realisation swept me up as I listened and I could feel my brain spinning trying to connect the pieces. It could have been the heat, the smells, the lack of nicotine; but there was one formalised thought.
I am grateful for my Condition.
The logical part of my brain quickly sought to argue it’s way out of this notion – the Condition? The thing that clawed its way into all areas of my life and made it impossible to find even the slightest moment of peace? The little gremlin that ate away at my soul leaving only an anxious little girl to fend for herself against the terrifying world?
Was I absolutely mental? Had I, in fact, instead realised that I am a lunatic?
It took me the entire group of listening and trying to remain present to see my realisation clearly.
So now; here, I try to vocalise it.
I am not for a second trying to glorify ED, nor advocate it as anything other than a villain. However, takes a deep breath, it has unintentionally created something beautiful in its stead. The Condition has allowed me to experience the journey of Recovery. Bare with me, I know this sounds very incandescent and spoofy.
Recovery, and my delving into who I am or could be, who I want to be, how I want to behave and how I want to see things, has become an all consuming project of self. Finally I reap the benefits of practical application.
The relationships I now have; that of my closest friends and family have never been more open and fulfilling. I can say ‘I love you’ to my sisters; this before Marino, would have been akin to a suicide note. I can chat to strangers without needing to impress or alienate them – depending on what the Condition wanted that day. I am so calm and settled into my own personality.
It is something I never thought I would say, but I no longer fear my own inadequacy. I am excited for my days, I like spending time getting to know myself. Without Condition, I would never have reached this stage of self, of actually liking, even loving, myself rather than merely tolerating my own existence.
It was a weird one, this realisation. I felt like something heavy had been struck from the suitcase of emotional baggage I berate myself with. I skipped home. I wanted to ring everyone in my phonebook and let them know that there is no such thing as being broken, only a fear of being less than enough.
So not a lunatic after all, just a bit in love with myself. Who knew that could be such an enlightening prospect?