Today my parents went out to a garden centre with my grandparents and returned with these chocolates for me that was a special gift, chosen specially for me by my 95 year old, very much loved Grandad.
Of course my grandparents know about my illness and this was Grandad’s way to show how much he cares and wants me to get well which has touched me deeply.
This left me reflecting on just how much an eating disorder takes from us and how it causes us to place the values of the eating disorder far above the values that we truly hold in our healthy hearts.
Having an eating disorder has caused me over the past decade to isolate, turn down invitations and miss out on maintaining and creating meaningful relationships and friendships.
There are so many opportunities to have formed happy memories that I will always regret missing out on.
I have inadvertently hurt and confused people by turning down their invites or pushing them away as the illness made me prioritise its values of food avoidance, exercise or activity and the little ED rituals over being part of their lives.
And… of course, with my Grandparents I have missed many chances to be present with them for family functions or just to have spent more time with them than I have in the past decade of this illness and that hurts. ……..
I write this though, not to be miserable and depressed but to use it as added motivation to get well and keep pushing ahead in recovery, no matter how hard it is in the moment.
I want a future where my true values can come to the foreground again – of loving my family and friends, being present with and for them and building happy memories with them too, without an eating disorder ever present in the background.
If you are also battling an eating disorder, don’t wait, don’t let a decade slip by and find that you have missed out on more living and love – keep fighting and keep focused on the values you hold, not those the illness does!
And in the meantime – for Grandad and for me and all those I love – I will eat each and every one of these chocolates, knowing it is bringing the real me back to them!