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Friendships

on July 28, 2012

How lucky am I – VERY! I have been so overwhelmed by the love and support that I have been shown since I opened up about my anorexia (I’m trying to get used to saying that word) and told those around me what I am doing. The final hurdle was telling people at work. I wrote the email weeks ago, but wasn’t able to send it until Thursday. I hit send and then promptly left the office! I have had some wonderful responses already, and I feel so blessed to have such kind and warm people in my life. My illness has been something that has really stalled my career prospects, which has frustrated me greatly. I have missed out on doing a lot of things with my job, because I have not been strong enough mentally or physically. The fear of being away, out of my routine, and out of my comfort zone has discouraged me from pursuing many opportunities. I love my job and the people who work there make it a very special place. I feel indebted to them for all the support that I have been shown. I have a wonderful boss, who has been a tower of strength and encouragement to me over the years, and I hope he knows how grateful I am to him.

Last night I found out that I have a date to go to the clinic, and it’s soon… really soon and it totally freaked me out. I panicked and burst into tears down the phone to the admissions lady. I think the reality is sinking in, there is no going back now. I felt as though I needed a few weeks to get my head around it, see my family and friends etc, but I knew it could be anytime, so I guess I just have to get on with it and get going. As it is I have managed to delay it a few days, so I do have a couple of weeks and can see my dad which was really important to me. I tend to like things tied up in pretty bows and have everything as I would like it, but I realise that, that is part of the illness itself – to want everything to be perfect. Part of it is fear – fear of letting go of something that has served me well over the years. As much as it is my enemy, it has also become my friend, and is a bit like being in an abusive relationship.

Once I calmed down, I decided that I wasn’t going to mope around at home, so I went to a friends Olympic Opening Ceremony party and had a brilliant time. Again, the girls were so lovely to me, the fact that I can now talk to them about it is a huge relief to me and I hope it is for them too. I have known them all for so long, yet never been able to open up. One friend said that she and others often wondered whether to invite me to dinners etc as they weren’t sure whether I would want to come if it involved food. That made me feel really sad, I hate the fact that people might decide whether to see me or not based on my eating disorder. It is so isolating and totally disengages me from life. I carry an enormous sense of guilt with me, at the stress and pain my eating disorder has caused my friends and family, it is very selfish and at times, self-indulging. I do not like the person I am when I engage in it’s behaviours.

As I looked around at the people at the party last night, I felt truly blessed to have some wonderful friends and to feel loved by them. It has meant all the difference to me to have their support, so I would like to say a massive thank you to you all.

This morning I had another wonderful time at the stables with the special Ace. He is so loving and I get excited everytime I know I will be seeing him – we have connected so well. It’s as if he knows what I am thinking and feeling and is so responsive to love and cuddles. It is hard for me to explain the relationship between a horse and a human, but it is truly unique. The relationship is one of trust from both sides, and once that has been established, it is the most incredible feeling. Horse are non-judgmental and are always happy to listen, I think some of my most honest and open relationships have been with horses! When I was younger my first pony Cocoa undoubtedly got me through some very unhappy times, when I was being bullied at school and when I was adjusting to living with my step-dad and in a new area, he was always there for me. He is sadly no longer around, but I think of him all the time and owe him an awful lot. So this morning my friend and I went for a lovely ride through the fields and then gave the ponies a bath and a make-over! They looked super smart, and I again I felt very lucky to have some wonderful friends at the stables.

I told my wonderful mum today how fortunate I felt to have such amazing people around me and she said “I bet you wished you had told them all years ago”. I thought maybe, but I obviously wasn’t ready then… by opening up, it is pushing the eating disorder away and weakening it’s strength because I am choosing to pursue a better healthier life, and it now feels threatened.

I figured that since I have told everyone now… I may aswell go the whole hog and share my story with the nation, so I for anyone that maybe interested I will be talking to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio Two on Monday 6th August. I may also appear on BBC online at some point too. Having kept my illness largely a secret for so long, this is quite a big step for me, but one that I feel ready to make. Over the past few months, I have realised just how much ignorance there is in dealing with eating disorders. I have spoken about this in my earlier posts, but there really is very little help available on the NHS for people who are seen to be ‘managing’. I can tell you that if you are like me (and I know there are many who are) then we are not really managing, but existing and how can that be right?

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2 responses to “Friendships

  1. David says:

    I just heard your interview on the Jeremy Vine show. You had me in tears at moments – you are so brave to share your experiences. Good luck with the clinic. You WILL beat this, and you will help so many others on the way.

  2. Gay Jacqueline says:

    Hi Laura,
    You may have gone public, but your private dash for the finishing line is tough , you are brave beyond measure . Please remember you will succeed with your wishes, and its thumbs up everyday from us in Switzerland. Matt Rosy and I , we think about you everyday, we will light a candle in the monastary in Engelberg where we live. The origins of the monastary building dates back to the time when the angel came and sat by the monk who was contemplating the world and its immense beauty. the monk took her prescence as a sign that he should stay and build his life with others in this holy place mission accomplished Engelberg became a place of healing and learning peace and happiness.
    All our love to you
    Gay

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