Yes, I know it has been a very long while – and I am guilty of ignoring this blog, but I suppose, in a way, it’s a very good thing. The idea that this fixation on getting over/through my eating disorder and back to normal life is slowly receding also presumes that I am getting better.
And I am. Unbelievably so.
Since that cruise in July, since I got jobs in Ukrainian NGO’s and dedicated my time to something more worthwhile than whining and feeling sorry for myself, since I stopped thinking in terms of me and moved towards we, especially in my personal relationships, things have changed drastically. I know it’s very selfish of me to think this way, but the Ukrainian crisis has really helped jar me out of this state of me-me-me and into the real world, with real problems. Not to mention the fact that it leaves me little spare time to dwell on my so-called problems. I know it may not work for all of us, but it did work for me – and it still does. Remove this mental fixation on I am sick, I am still so sick, despite all of my efforts, why am I still sick? and miracles do happen.
TW: I will be talking about weight here.
When I started out with (unsuccessfully) trying to get out of my disordered loop, I weighed about 36.9 kilograms at my lowest. I had all the classic symptoms of anorexia nervosa, including lanugo, horrible skin, hair and nails, anemia, you name it. I was a walking textbook sample of the anorexic population. Gradually, with the help of my friends and family, I got through my sophomore year with minimal losses (and even some gains, weight- and health-wise). It was painful, stressful, emotional, as my hormones were also all over the place.
The changes started happening for real in the spring, when fecal matter hit the proverbial fan and the conflict in Ukraine began growing, what with the annexation of Crimea and combat in the East. At that point I was already working as a translator for a Facebook group to spread the word to the English-speaking world. When I came back home for the summer, I started working more seriously for the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. I had an actual job. It was exhilarating. Slowly, very slowly, I began to realize that there are worse things to be afraid of than food. Like war, for example.
Such things change one’s perspective.
Together with that, my mom and I went on a cruise vacation (see my previous post) with food galore, visiting beautiful places and just enjoying the hedonistic side of life. That made me realize that there are more fascinating things in life than food. Like Venice, for example.
During the cruise, we went to some yoga classes onboard the ship, and as cliché as it sounds, that brought about another revelation. That made me realize that there are more gratifying activities than obsessing over food. Like mindfulness, working on my body and loving my body in whatever shape it took on.
After that, in August, came the trip to Georgia, which further solidified my newly-found conviction that there are things in life that just have to be enjoyed. Including food.
Long story short, here I am, sitting in the same apartment in the university district of Madrid. Same apartment, same name on the post box, different girl. I like her. This girl goes to the gym almost every day, but she knows when enough is enough. This girl takes yoga classes and has become bendier than she’s ever been before. This girl is more open to people, she actually talks to her fellow students standing outside during break time instead of just gloomily attending yet another date with a cigarette. This girl just bought new jeans because her butt doesn’t fit into the ones she was forced to buy last summer. This girl has the energy to take all the classes she wants, sing in choir, sing solo, work on a double major. This girl’s boyfriend is no longer a shoulder to cry on (although he’s that as well), but he is a true partner, finally, the relationship is based on mutual support without one of them acting as a crutch for the other.
This girl has gained 10 kilograms. This girl has muscles. Legs that she secretly admires whenever they do the downward dog pose in yoga class. She has her C-cup boobs back. An ass. A real, damn ass that does not fit into old jeans.
There is nothing more liberating than not being able to fit into old jeans.
Didn’t you know?