Uuff...I don’t even know where to begin with this caption. But seeing as it’s #throwbackthursday
, I wanted to acknowledge that it’s been a whole 3 years since my hellish #mentalillness
Although I suspect my disordered behaviours and beliefs had been present for a while prior to the autumn of 2015, it was then that they began to manifest with a bang. As cheesy as it sounds, it really was then that my whole life changed.
So, fresh from her year abroad, this little bean in the photo arrived back in the UK, full of optimism, excitement about starting her third year at Oxford, and determination that she would, this time around, achieve that elusive work/life balance that had so far evaded her grasp. Unfortunately, within mere weeks of being back at uni, the ED had well and truly entered her life, and the rest, as they say, is history... I couldn’t possibly condense my experiences over the past 3 years into one short paragraph, and perhaps documenting my various stints in treatment, my relapses and my attempts at recovery isn’t a constructive way of processing it all anyway. Neither, I suspect, is reliving the starkest memories I have from that time, though they continue to haunt me anyhow. So how do I acknowledge the passing of this rollercoaster 3 years, without a) dragging myself back into the darkness or b) shunning those experiences that have undoubtedly informed who I am today? And how do I look back on the years prior to this unfortunate milestone - with nostalgia, with regret, with “what if”s?... Because I want to acknowledge this marker - I need to grieve for all of that pain and suffering myself and my family have endured, and celebrate all that we have overcome. And I need to learn to identify not only with the girl in the photo and the girl I am now, but also the girl in the middle - the one who went through so much, who facilitated the change I so desperately craved, the one who feels so alien to me now.
I am not her, but she has helped define the woman I am becoming. I am not my last 3 years, but they have led to my standing where I stand today. They did not break me. They did not make me. But they are part of me. ...