A glimmer of hope

I think, what I love about writing, is that it enables you to share. What I love most about reading is that it enables me to learn. More than that, it enables me to feel less alone. Sometimes, it gives me hope. Hope, understanding and insight. Which is what I love about writing the most; that something one person says, might make the world of difference to someone else.

I read this tonight, and it made me feel a slight glimmer of hope. Sharing it seemed better than focusing on the other things that are damaging everything I have worked for.

We never heard music but people made us dance anyway. we were pirouette children, we were fall leaves, we found ourselves floating between things with a vast emptiness that spoke of lacking. we were rarely happy, and when we were, we held too tightly to it. we grew up like this, with rot in our ribs, with sour on our tongues, with weakness in our backbones. we had no idea what we were doing wrong, only that we had to be messing up something, because everything hurt and nobody noticed our struggle.
but we: we faced darkness. we swallowed the nights that ripped us to pieces. we choked down food when we thought it would kill us. we swam laps in the broken glass of their words – we came out bleeding, we came out hurt – but we still stood with our feet on the shore and said, “I am here, I am here, and you cannot hurt me any more”
Lion. You were born of fire. you were born of the savannah wind, of running, of sides that heave, of summer nights that smell of dying. you were born to withstand it. you were born to hold the sickness down until it succumbed to you, not the other way around. lion cub, pelt made in the stars: you have fought to get where you are.
yes. the brilliant cold of winter is beginning to render you numb again. moss is sticking to your bones. mold is growing up from between your toes.
but lion, tired as you are, fallen from the sky, remember this: you are still jagged teeth and claws. your scars remember healing. you are still every ounce of light, of fury, of wild nights. you are still pride.
you are of the wild. it is in you, and you will survive.

End of my undergraduate degree (and a little update!)

I handed in my dissertation last week, and my final assignment this week, and I don’t know if it hasn’t hit me yet or if I’m just not a very emotional person, but it hasn’t bothered me that much! Everyone keeps asking how it feels and I don’t really have a response!

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I also had a final presentation and the transformation with my confidence has been incredible over these three years. I know I talk about it a lot…but in first year I didn’t do my presentations and so I got ungraded for one, and capped at 40% for the other because my lecturer agreed I could hand a paper copy of what I would have said. Second year I did them, I’m not sure how well. This year I have been so much better. I mean my hands shake and I feel terrified but even turning up is a big deal with me! And a friend commented on how I seem like the calmest/most confident person in our group hahahaha if only she could see me inside!!! But it feels so good to see this progress. It means more to me than any qualification or grade, as insane as that sounds.

Today was a big one! I never go out with my friends, but it was one of theirs last day here before they move back home and I went. Not only did I go but I ate waffles!!

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To think that when I was 15 years old I had a crisis meeting with mental health services because I hadn’t eaten all week and then I ate a grape and had a total meltdown, I feel this is a pretty big deal. It is probably the most challenging thing I have done in recovery (oh and a pizza a few months back).  And it was so lovely to see my friends, and I am going to miss them so much.

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I also met my best friend at home yesterday after seeing my psychiatrist. I met her at the anorexia nervosa day programme I used to go to and we’ve only actually been really close for 9 months-ish but she is literally such an amazing person. It sounds cheesy but she brightens up my life so much, she really brings out the best in me. She makes me feel ambitious and determined, happy and just able to be myself. She is probably the most amazing person I have met in my life. I haven’t had someone I can call a best friend in so long, I thought I’d never get that close to someone again, but this girl is like a second sister to me. She is a ray of sunshine even when things are tough. She makes my mood go from pretty damn low to absolutely amazing just by being herself. I am so lucky to have this girl.

I have been struggling a lot this last few weeks. I had an incident 3 weeks ago, which I am absolutely determined will be my last, but it has led to such an insane number of hospital appointments and I might need surgery and I am sick to death of hospitals/clinics right now. I have been to the therapy preparation group twice now and it’s, overall, good. I lost it on Tuesday-Thursday and was adamant it is stupid and I am not interested in going, but I have come through that now ha! There has been an issue within my family that has basically changed my whole life. I don’t want to go into it, but I’ve lost a member of my immediate family. I think I am fine with it, that I am coping, but then there are moments where it hits me and those are pretty tough – especially with things like finishing university and graduating, knowing that person isn’t going to be there. My psychiatrist told me I can get upset, that it is ok. That I won’t disintegrate, and I keep reminding myself of that.

I have been referred by occupational therapy for camouflage make-up and I’ve seen some examples of how amazing it is (this guy with full body tattoos had them all covered and you couldn’t see them at all!) and it is going to be so so life changing for me. I’ve also booked a holiday to Marrakesh at the start of September with my best friend! And I’m going camping in the peak district in a couple of weeks with my sister which is going to be so lovely. I love a walking holiday. I haven’t been on holiday since I was 18 for various family/health related reasons so this is all very exciting.

I guess I am learning that I can be both happy and sad and that is ok.