Dreams. Can they ever become reality? When I was very young I dreamt of being a pop star. But I soon realised that my lack of singing ability meant this dream was never going to happen. No matter how hard I tried to be Baby Spice, I had to accept that pop stardom was not for me. In my teenage years, as I’ve mentioned before, I held the dream of becoming a professional athlete. I didn’t give up on this dream for a long time. Not until anorexia took over. And it is not only my dream of becoming a professional athlete that anorexia has destroyed. My dreams of having friends, a social life, a boyfriend, marriage, children…all dreams that have been shattered. Four long years of going in and out of hospital have made me abandon every dream I had.
|My dream of being Baby Spice in the Spice Girls|
But, in my most recent hospital admission and in the five years I’ve been discharged, new dreams have grown. Things I would like to do, things I would like to be – Hopes and dreams in anorexia recovery. But with every day that passes, I feel more and more disheartened that my dreams are never going to come true. And living my life with unfulfilled dreams is not a life I can cope with without anorexia. That is how it makes me feel. But in reality, it is probably the anorexia stopping me achieve my dreams.
But, Friday night, I had a new surge of positivity, a glimmer of light that my hopes and dreams in anorexia recovery might be achievable. I met up with two friends from my first year of uni who I haven’t seen for years. Many years. Now first things first, this in itself is something I would never EVER have done before. The last time I saw them I was very, very ill and eight years has passed since we were at uni together and a lot of things change in that time. There was the possibility that we wouldn’t get on anymore, that we’d have nothing to talk about. But, as it happens, I had a really nice time, conversation flowed and hopefully, it is the first of more dates to come where we can re-build our friendship.
|Me with my two uni friends on Friday|
For nearly a decade now I’ve been shy and reclusive, living in my own little anorexic bubble. And for some, in a similar situation to this, may feel like doing things like going out with friends, is something they’d never be able to do. I’ve felt like that and, to be honest, most of the time I still do. But I want a life, I want to socialise, I want to have friends. And things you want most in life to have to work hard for. If you never take a risk, nothing will ever change and you will stay locked in your prison cell. And while a lot of the time I feel safe locked in my anorexic prison, ultimately I know this isn’t going to make me happy…to succeed in anorexia is to fail in life. And Friday night inspired me to chase my dreams that I want in life. One of my friends said she comes home every day from work and sets about trying to achieve her dream. And that is what I am going to do. Dreams don’t come to you, you’ve got to go and get them. This applies to hopes and dreams in anorexia recovery too.
There’s no point saying your dreams aren’t coming true but doing nothing about it. Yes, most of the time I do feel dis-spirited and lacking in hope that my dreams will come true but they defiantly won’t come true if I don’t even try. The price for dreaming with anorexia is too high-you are a slave and not allowed to dream. But I have new dreams now and I want them to come true and I’m sure as hell going to fight for them.
And I can’t leave it unmentioned that on Friday I also ate one of my big fear foods which I haven’t been anywhere near for years. Pizza. With cheese on. Now, if you live in my house you would know that cheese, in my eyes, is the ultimate devil food. When you put pen to paper it sounds stupid saying you re terrified of a food. Most people wouldn’t think twice to ordering pizza in a restaurant or takeaway. But for me, the whole idea of pizza, with cheese on, is terrifying.
But I thought to myself, as I’m going to step out of my comfort zone by meeting up with my two friends, I’m going to go the whole hog and jump completely out my comfort zone. So I ate the pizza, with the cheese, and it was actually quite nice. And whilst I am still scared of pizza and cheese, now that I’ve done it once I know I can do it again. And I will. Whilst eating pizza isn’t one of my dreams, eating out, relaxed with friends is and anorexic fears will not stop me achieving this dream. It is another roll of the dice, getting closer to the double to break free from jail.