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on January 10, 2013

So the day finally arrived. I graduated! Whatever level you leave on, you have a graduation – a sacred ceremony in recognition of far you have come. It’s a space that holds real meaning for the staff. We each write an ‘Eaters agreement’ that we read out during the ceremony. It’s a bit like a contract between my body and soul to abide by from this day forward.I would like to share mine….

I hearby from this day forward agree to accept my body and to love it for giving me back my life. I agree to inhabit this suitcase for my soul and to treat it with the utmost respect. As an eater I agree to hunger. I agree to live in this body that I have been given and to nourish it with the appropriate amount of food to help it function at full capacity. I recognise that as I feed my body and my soul – the benefits of my well-being will increase. I acknowledge that to ignore my natural appetite has monumental consequences in all areas of my life.

The essence of my participation in life is one of learning and exploration. I agree to to recognise that there are a variety of foods to choose from and to deny my natural needs and wants surrounding food is to deny myself pleasure. I deserve pleasure and agree to give it to myself in all aspects of my life and to allow myself to enjoy food and the memories that it can create. I am worthy of nourishment and joy. My relationship with food will be a learning process and I may make mistakes along the way. Those mistakes are not a reason to slip down the path into the dark, they are merely nuggets of information from which to learn from. I agree to accept my mistakes, my humanness, and learn as I go along.

I acknowledge that as my daily life changes, so may my eating process and diet. I must learn to recognise that no meal plan is rigid and that I must grow and adapt accordingly. I understand that my body may need and or call for different foods as the days, seasons and years progress. My dietary needs will also shift in accordance to my lifestyle and my environment and I agree to listen and adapt to fulfill my bodies needs and wants. I agree to let go of manipulating my body to look a certain shape, size or to weigh a specific number. My weight is none of my business, all I need to know and do is to feed it appropriately. I must let go of controlling it and trust that if I look after it, it will take care of me.

As a human being I accept pain. I recognise that life will be full of ups and downs, but it is the downs that make the ups worthwhile. I will no longer use restricting as a way to numb pain and block out my feelings. I will keep food in it’s rightful place – a tool for enjoyment and for creating memories. My days of using food as punishment are no more. I, as a human being on this earth give myself permission to enjoy food. I forgive myself. I further agree to accept a body that is imperfectly perfect and one that is vulnerable and naturally decays over time. I recognise that there may be times when I am incapable of caring for myself. I agree then to live in a body that may need the support of others. I therefore agree to be nourished by others if need be. Eating is an activity that binds me with all humanity.

I recognise that at its deepest level eating is an affirmation of life. Each time I eat I agree somewhere inside to continue to life on earth. I acknowledge that this choice to eat is a fundamental act of love and nourishment – a true celebration of my existence. As a human being, I agree to take up space, to love and be loved and above all else to be an eater. I choose life over and over.  I choose relationships. When I am in my eating disorder there is no room for anyone or anything. This is not how I want my life to be. I want to be a participant in life – a contributor. I will not merely exist or balance on the pin. I will breathe in life. Food is my tool to the outside world – I will not neglect it.

I then got to say a few words about each of the clients and staff before I received feedback from them. It was really very special and made me feel hopeful about the ending of this chapter and beginning of the next. I know that I still have a long way to go, but I have also come on leaps and bounds from the ‘homeless child’ that stepped off the plane many moons ago.I have moved to the transition house now and am loving my new found independence. It’s the small things that I am finding the most pleasure in… being able to get a glass of water when I want one! I have been here a week now and although I still go back to the treatment centre every day there is a lot more opportunity to cut corners if I so choose. I am pleased to say that so far so good. I have had lots of thoughts to restrict or skip something, but I have not acted on them. I think one of the biggest things I have learnt from my time here is that I always have a choice. When I was ‘starved stupid’ I felt as though that choice had been taken away from me, but now that I’ve been restored to humanity, I can see that I am responsible for choosing what action I take.
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president, you realize you that you control your own destiny. Albert Ellis.

10 responses to “Graduation!

  1. Muriel says:

    Well done Laura. You are so lucky to have had this opportunity to find yourself in such an amazing place. Enjoy every moment of your new life as the Laura we all know and love. X

  2. Maureen says:

    Well done Laura. You have reached your goal. Now start enjoying your life once again. All our love. Alan and Maureenxx

  3. Sandra White says:

    Congratulations Laura! Although I haven’t commented on each of your posts, mainly due to being ill, I have read and applauded each one of them. Enjoy your life, and all my love and best wishes go with you. Sandra xx

  4. lizorford says:

    What a fantastic graduation experience and I love love love your agreement. I going to print this and keep it!

    So glad you are enjoying some freedom – keep a tight hold of it.

    Love you tonnes


  5. Maggie Gloss says:

    What an amazing agreement, a lot of people could do no better than to follow those sentiments for more than food! May 2013 be YOUR year! Maggie XX

  6. sue lloyd says:

    Absolutely brilliant Laura – well done !! :O) xxx

  7. edresolution says:

    Well done Laura! You should be so proud of how far you have come on your journey. Me and my mum check our emails every day to see if you have posted a blog and its always a gr8 morning when there is a new one to inspire me on my own journey with anorexia. I hope that I will be in a similar position to you later in the year as I take on my own battle at a treatment centre back here in the UK. Fully enjoy every moment in your life as you gain your freedom back, you so deserve it, don’t loose a minute more:) all the best x x

  8. Chantelle says:

    Wow… You have such a talent for writing. I am so incredibly proud of you and how far you have come. This speech is amazing and I am so excited for you… You have such a wonderful future ahead! You’re amazing and I am sure with the strength you have shown that you will continue your journey to recovery. Lots of love and hugs xxxxx

  9. jas says:

    So happy for you… Keep it up. Ace sends you a big kiss xxxx

  10. Anna Sadio says:

    Well done Laura! Stay motivated and hope to see you back soon!! xx

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