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Scenic routes

on July 16, 2012

So this is my first post… I have pondered for a few days now about how to introduce my blog. Perhaps it would be good to begin with the title.

My nanny was one of the most inspiring people to have walked through my life, and so when I was trying to think of a name for my blog, I instantly thought of her. She was a real character and she won’t mind me saying, but a complete show-off! She loved nothing more than to be the centre of attention. She was a keen dancer and was always involved in drama and stage throughout her life, but what I remember most about her though is her passion for life, laughter and love. I came up with the title because Nanny used to say this frequently – “a little bit of what you fancy does you good”. She used this quote in all areas of her life, but I do remember it specifically to do with food. When she was getting a little frail (she lived to the ripe old age of 92) she would buy a block of dark chocolate, and because it was quite hard to break, I would cut it into squares and then put it into a tupperware container for her. She would enjoy a few pieces each evening. I remember thinking that this was remarkable, she would allow herself that pleasure each evening on her own. She never felt the need to deny herself nor indulge – she was the perfect balance. Something I have always inspired to be like. I am far too black or white for my liking!

Anyway this blog is hopefully a place where I can document my progress in my recovery from anorexia. I really don’t even like that word, yet it has become very much part of my identity since it decided to take up residency in my head twelve years ago.  I have spent almost half my life living with what my therapist likes to call, the “terrorist”. It has taken me hostage and despite daily, and even hourly or minute by minute fighting, it is reluctant to leave. It feels as though over the years I have spent a lot of time trying to find a way to defeat the terrorist, but it has become more than a persistent bugger, that seems hell bent on staying put. Well I have decided that enough is enough and I want to win this battle once and for all. The constant fight has left me exhausted and feeling more than hopeless, and I have been questioning whether I am just not fighting hard enough. From the outside I can understand people who must think “if she really wanted to get well, she would, she just doesn’t want it enough”, yet I have in recent weeks come to accept that it is not my fault. I do not want to be living in this prison inside my head any longer, and I wouldn’t wish this illness on my worst enemy. I guess it is a little bit like depression, when people say “oh please just snap out of it”, as if that person chooses to feel the way they do. I did not choose anorexia – it chose me.

So I am going to a treatment centre in California in the next few weeks, thanks to my incredible family and nothing short of a miracle man who has made it possible. Having felt like I have tried everything possible, I have finally given in and decided that this terrorist needs an army to win the battle, so I am hoping that my time away will help to equip me with the armour that I need. A recent analogy that I liked was… imagine you drive to work each day and you take the M4, you know there are several alternative routes you could choose, yet you stick to the same one because it is familiar and feels safe and you are unsure where the alternative routes will take you. Well I feel as though I have been stuck on the M4 for too long and it is time to take a deep breath and try one of the more scenic routes… whilst this is quite terrifying, I am certain that wherever it takes me, it can’t be any worse than being ‘stuck’ on the M4.

I have largely kept my eating disorder on the periphery, and it has at times been the elephant in the room… everyone can see it, but no one knows what to say or do about it. So in the last few weeks, I decided to be a bit more honest and tell people I am going, something that I so nervous about. It is difficult to gauge how people will react, but I have been totally overwhelmed by the love and support that has been shown to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have such kind and encouraging people in my life, and it has meant the world to me, so I want to thank you all.

So this blog will be about me trying the more picturesque routes, I may get lost, or even have to turn around on occasions, but I will keep going, taking in the sights and smells along the way. I don’t really know where I am heading, and I am not too bothered about getting anywhere really, I am just hoping to find some contentment and peace in my life.

I do not want this blog to be a negative read, but one of exploration and discovery to a better place. I am in no doubt that this is going to be the bumpiest ride I will ever take…but I hope that you will enjoy travelling with me.


3 responses to “Scenic routes

  1. Alan & Gillian says:

    We were all moved by your Blog and hope that you can find peace at the clinic in the USA. We will be thinking of you and hoping you can at last find some release from your demon.

  2. Julie Neal says:

    You had me hooked at ‘So’ … Already willing you towards wellness.. You can do it xxx

  3. Miranda B says:

    Laura – I was so moved when I listened to you today on Radio 2 as I have also battle the terrorist that is anorexia. I will be thinking of you so much when you head to the USA. You can beat this terrorist but it will be hard. You are a strong and intelligent person so I have every faith that you will do it. I love your blog and will follow it closely – I also write one and it is so therapeutic. Wishing you so much love and luck xx

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