Keeping Busy

What a busy week it’s been. I have been out Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday night, as well as going out for the day on Wednesday and doing four shifts at work. It’s the busiest week I have had since…well, since I can remember! And as much as it makes me feel tired and I often get home from work and think I can’t be bothered to go out again, I do much prefer being busy and having things to do.

Me and my two work friends out for dinner
Tuesday and Thursday night I was out doing running with the athletics club, Wednesday night I was doing work experience which I started in January, Friday night was the start of some new work experience I am going to be doing on a weekly basis in London, and on Sunday night I went out for dinner with my two friends from work.

I do find it difficult to make myself go out and do things. This is not exclusive to me, I think a lot of people often would rather be able to stay in than have to go out. Staying in feels safe and routine…and I am a stickler for routine. But actually, over the past few years my strict, rigid routine has been wearing me down. Anorexia’s rules making me do exactly the same things at exactly the same times day in, day out. It’s tiring, it’s a chore…and I have grown to hate it. Although there is a comfort in routine and what you know; making you feel safe…it doesn’t always make you happy. And it certainly wasn’t making me happy.

Me and my two friends in London
Last week, whilst it did seem appealing to stay in every evening, I know in the long term this isn’t going to make me happy and isn’t actually what I want. All the years I spent in hospital I would imagine myself, when living life again, going out lots and doing things. I am still far from living this sort of life but rather than sit in the house every evening feeling miserable that I haven’t got the life I want, I am now forcing myself to get out there and do things. Yes, it takes effort but once I am out doing stuff I am always fine and I enjoy it.

Me out in London
Having friends to go out with is what I have longed for. Sticking to my routine doesn’t make me happy but going out with my friends does. Take Wednesday for example. I spent the day in London with my two old friends from uni and I had a really lovely time-walking along by The Thames, chatting, being normal. It was such a nice day. As was Sunday night, going out for dinner with my two work friends for the first time since before Christmas. Anorexia is such a reclusive and isolating illness and has made me feel lonely for so long that occasions spent with friends feels incredible.

By being busy I haven’t got time to think about my weight, my size or food and exercise. And it feels liberating to have not only moments, but now I can even have an hour, when I am not plagued by the stresses and worries that encapsulate anorexia. So this past week I have hardly given anorexia a thought. When I reflect on this anorexia does creep in and make me worry and feel guilty for daring to have time when it is not my overbearing, fore frontal thought. But actually, having the time without it in my mind enabled me to join in, participate and enjoy myself. I don’t want anorexia to be the most important thing in my life and this last week shows it doesn’t have to be. Life is for living and I am starting, slowly but surely, to unlock the door of my anorexic prison cell.

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