I am writing this blog while trying to get over the tail end of some kind of flu. I’ve been sat in a boiling hot bath, uncomfortable as hell trying to sweat out all of the toxins.
That’s kind of like what my blog is to me- A hot bath that is almost unbearable to sit in at times but I know in the end it will be worth it. My mental toxins are being released so they can’t tug at me, trying to pull me down, anymore.
This takes us back to the chapter of bulimia, for now. Embarking on a getaway that turned out to be the last celebration I would ever have with Kim, a dear friend (almost second mother). Instead of spending the whole time celebrating, for me it was a weekend filled with me grabbing on to as much junk food and other toxins as I could possible take in. It was a free pass to blame being hungover for any vomiting. Where pretty much every other woman was someone to compare myself to and I always came out the worst.
There were glimpses of the old me, the me that wasn’t controlled by an eating disorder that weekend. I always managed to shine through just enough so that my non blood family would think I was okay. But for the majority of the time- I once again wasn’t present. Not really.
I found one of my journals from this time earlier today and in between all of the gratitude lists which include being grateful for “slimming world”, “my will power” and “losing xx lbs today” (yes- daily monitoring) there were words of gratitude for Kim and her family, for the weekend. I am relieved I found the time to be grateful.
This might sound like I am being harsh to who I used to be, but I assure you that I am not. If I could, I’d scoop her up and tell her that she is amazing, brave, strong, beautiful. All the things that meant nothing coming from anyone else because I didn’t believe them. I’d tell her to be more present and to cherish every single moment she had with the people she loved.
A few months after the weekend away, not long after Christmas- Roxanne called me with the news that Kim was ill. It broke me because my best friend sounded genuinely terrified and I trust her instincts as much as I do my own. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor, crying my heart out and shoving every little piece of food I could find into my mouth. I wanted to shove the fear and the hurt down and then purge it all out.
I didn’t know that emotion cannot be controlled by food.
A few days later I got the news that my mothers fiancé had passed away. I travelled home for his funeral, hoping to also see Kim.
Heartbreakingly, I didn’t get to see Kim and my trip was extended to accommodate another funeral. A funeral that broke me to pieces and gave me the clarity to rebuild.
I am so grateful that I could spend the time in Wales with my family (Blood and non blood) but I won’t go into the details of that time as it’s very personal for me and others.
One thing I will say is that after the funeral it struck me that I was ruining my own life striving to be thinner. Not one person at the funeral spoke about achievements in dieting, weight, clothes size, food, etc. Basically, none of the things that owned my mind were talked about.
What was discussed were achievements in love and life, career, funny moments, moments that touched peoples hearts and changed peoples lives. I wasn’t there saying I admired Kim for her beauty, even though she was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, I was talking about how she helped to raise me, how she never judged me and how she saved my life.
I didn’t want to be how I was being anymore, I wanted to be more like Kim. But I had to try to remember how.
I’d never gone to the doctors for my disordered eating as I’d never become severely underweight. I was embarrassed and thought I’d even failed at bulimia. Which is bull, by the way, you can’t fail at something you’re not in control of. Also, my body put up a hell of a fight to keep the weight on.
Not going to the doctors meant I had to try to heal myself. To me, in my warped mind, this meant joining Weight Watchers. So, when I returned to Newcastle, I signed up.
At the same time, I started to read the Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells for the first time. Anyone who has read this knows that Weight Watchers does not go hand in hand with this book.
Something had to give.