Written by Nicky
I randomly came across the photo above yesterday as I was looking through some old messages on my phone. When I saw it, I found myself being transported back in time….
It was taken in April 2019. It was day two of my first trip to Lanzarote. I don’t remember taking it and I don’t remember sending it. I had made the trip over there to work on my recovery with Marie. A friend had messaged me to see how I was doing and she wondered what it was like! And I responded with the above photo with the caption “Too lazy to even stand up to take a picture!”
Last night when I saw this photo I was overwhelmed with memories. Memories of how it used to be for me. Memories of how different my life was in the not so distant past…
At the time, I was deep in condition. I was exhausted all the time. Exhausted from the lack of food, the over-thinking and from the fears! I was disconnected from the world and from my body! Looking back now, I am not sure, I really understood or was really aware of all of this at the time. All I knew was, that life seemed to be getting more difficult by the day and I wanted it to change! I guess I must have known somewhere deep within me that things could be different! I wasn’t sure what needed to be done or how I was going to do it! All I knew was that I couldn’t take the tiredness and the heaviness for much longer…..
When I look at the photo now, it is a reminder of what living in condition was like for me. There I was, on a beautiful island, with beautiful palm trees that rustle all day in the breeze! The beach was down the road and the sun was shining and the world was bright yet, there I was, sitting in a dark room, too tired to get off the bed and walk out to the balcony to take a picture! ED and all that that entails was preventing me from enjoying any of it! And it was not only in Lanzarote where this was happening! I see now that little by little the fears had gotten so strong that eventually it had pretty much taken over my life! No matter where I was or what I was doing, ED and fear was in control, slowly but surely sapping the joy and peace out of my days.
At first, looking at the picture…
I felt so sad! Sad for that past me, who was not, like the caption said, “too lazy” to take a picture but too physically and mentally exhausted to get off the bed and step out on to that balcony. The past me who was too overwhelmed to enjoy such beauty that surrounded her in that wonderful place. The past Nicky, who felt lost and confused and who just wanted to feel better! Who wanted to be able to laugh again! To feel deserving and worthy of her place in the world!
I felt compassion and love! I felt compassion for the past me who was sick and undernourished! That past me who didn’t feel worthy or good enough! The past Nicky who was so full of fear that it seemed to have seeped into every bone and muscle and joint in her body! Who walked with her head down looking at her feet! And who was so on edge most of the time, so much so, that she nearly jumped out of her skin when Marie even looked at her too closely and almost had a heart attack when she put her hand near her!!
I felt so proud of my past self! Proud of her for deciding to even go on that trip! Thinking about it now, I have no idea how she even managed to get herself on to that plane and to that bed, in that apartment, on that island! It was difficult and she was so afraid but yet she did it! Despite the fear and the tiredness she did it! Despite the exhaustion she was determined to get help! Determined to find a way to make it all better!
As I sit here and look at that image, I feel so much gratitude! I feel so grateful for all that I have learned and for how different it is for me these days! I feel grateful that my connection to this world and my body is so much stronger! I feel grateful that I nourish my body and that I managed to let go of so much of my fear! Grateful that now I can feel peace and contentment!! Grateful for the energy! Grateful for the lightness! And grateful for the journey so far!
I think I’ll print out the photo and I’ll stick it on the fridge or on the wall, somewhere I will see it often! And when I notice that voice, that tells me, I will never fully free myself from ED, (as despite the lightness I can feel these days, sometimes I still hear it!) I will take a moment to look at that photo! And I will be reminded of how it used to be! And I will take some time to remind myself how far I have come! And I will remember to be proud of all of the work I have done since that first trip to Lanzarote!
One last thought…
Sometimes I wonder how I managed to arrive here in this place! I wonder what I did to change it all!!! And to be honest with you I am not really sure I know the answer! But, I think, that by taking little steps and by having hope and doing the best that I could at the time I somehow got stronger and my days got brighter! The fears began to melt away and I felt my worth grow!
And I just know that, never again, will I be back in that dark place, looking out at this beautiful world through a door way! I realise now that I somehow learned to step into the light and it is the most amazing gift I could have ever hoped for!