Here’s the thing about eating disorders – they crop up again when you least expect them. Right now I am supposed to be on a plane to Vietnam, but instead I find myself at home recovering from one of the scariest weeks of my life.
Five years ago I sat in a dieticians office, a month before my 18th birthday, weighing just over five stone. Infertility, brittle bones, a compromised immune system; despite all the warnings I just didn’t care – a stubborn girl caught up in an all consuming illness.
Fast forward and my weakened immune system is all I can think about. Unlike most 22 year olds, travelling on the underground can leave me bed bound with mumps. A heat rash from Bikram yoga can end with an uv drip, and the impulsive nose piercing from Thailand can become a severe infection. After three nights in a and e, as my body failed to fight off a potentially life changing condition, I cannot help but worry about the bigger picture.
So what next? As I continue to repair the damage of my eating disorder those feelings of guilt creep back into my mind. Would I rewrite my past if I had the chance? No way. But would I urge those following in my footsteps to sit up and take note? Definitely.
Sure I’m no longer off to Vietnam, but as everyone keeps telling me, it’s not going anywhere and will be next on my list when I am stronger. As the swelling goes down, the scars it has left inside remain. Karma and positive thinking might not undo the damage of my past, but they will keep me going towards the challenges of the future.
For everyone who has kept my chin up this week – thank you.