I am having trouble getting the contents of my head into coherent sentences today! I keep typing and deleting, typing and deleting… 😛
As pretty much anyone who has read my blog for the last year or so will know, the eight months since I moved up to Newcastle have been really challenging for me – as would be expected given that every other of my attempts at independent living in the last seven years have ended in either a depressive or anorexic crisis. This time around I struggled to avoid an ED relapse during the weeks when I kept catching virus after virus and couldn’t eat properly, felt horribly homesick when my sisters couldn’t visit me as planned in October, became depressed when my housemate drama was going on and I felt so lonely, had a massive PTSD attack from November until January when I moved into a new house by myself, and briefly lapsed back into self harming behaviours for a week in December. I didn’t expect the move up north to be easy, because a lot of people moving away from home for the first time struggle with homesickness and loneliness for the first few months – but I may have underestimated just how much this would be exaggerated in someone who is already vulnerable to mental health problems.
For the last few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve finally come out of the other side of all that. I didn’t want to put that into words before now because I was scared it wouldn’t last, but I’ve been in a consistently not-depressed mood since the beginning of February. It’s such a relief, I can’t even begin to tell you. I feel really optimistic and excited about my voluntary work and the prospect of starting my foundation degree in counselling in September. I enjoyed seeing my mum and sister last weekend – mum said it was lovely to see me looking so healthy (and if mum says I look healthy it MUST be true 😛 ) and Claire sent me a text when she got home to say that I seemed happy and that made her happy. I’ve also been far more anxious to get out and DO things, like when I spontaneously bought tickets for Jonathan and I to see Iron and Wine last week (brilliant concert by the way! I think I already said that but it needed saying again!)
Today I went to a local high school to speak to the sixth formers – all eighty or so of them – with one of the ladies who runs the ED charity. I was terrified beforehand as usual, and felt awkward while I was talking, but I got really good feedback again and it’s such a boost to my confidence to know that I CAN do stuff like that without chickening out and buggering off in an uncannily accurate impression of Brave Brave Sir Robin. It makes me feel like I actually have a future ahead of me. I have spent the last two years HOPING that I have a future worth living for ahead of me, but this is the first time that I have really started to believe it. I can actually see myself qualifying as a counsellor, continuing to speak in schools, staying involved with charities and doing everything I can to improve understanding and treatment of eating disorders. I can see myself loving my time at college and university, making new friends and hopefully developing my very fledgling social life. Keeping myself healthy and stable, increasing my stamina when it comes to functioning and socialising, becoming more confident and sure of myself. And of course I want to include my Jonathan in all of this too 🙂
I don’t feel like I’m just struggling to keep my head above the water today. I’m still pretty anxious, as usual – you know me, being happy scares the crap out of me because I keep thinking that something will come along and spoil it if I relax and let my guard down. But I can’t even remember the last time I felt so…good.
It’s weird, but I could get used to it 😉
* ETA: Thank you so much for your responses to my last post – if anyone has any more ideas please feel free to add them! The draft of my new post-weight restoration section is already 3150 words long, I think I’m going to have to split it into two pages…