It’s pretty much two years to the day since you breezed into my life; a ray of sunshine breaking through the darkness of my life. Now as I embark on the final stages of my recovery journey, it feels like the perfect time to say thank you.
You came into my life just as the iron fisted grip of my anorexia’s control had begun to weaken, conceding to the equally seductive words of my bulimia. Whilst I’d been unwell for a while, it wasn’t until the monster controlling my life had finally grown it’s two heads that it dawned on me: I was struggling.
We became friends almost instantly, your energy bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to my life. And I think it was your genuinely kind nature (something I found hard to believe was real at first) that enabled me to open up to you about my illness, something I had never dared hint at to another person – including myself.
You were supportive, but not pushy. You patiently waited nearly a year for me to decide that I wanted to get help. And then held my emotional and physical hand whilst I did. The clinic gave me somewhere to seek refuge away from the outside world and the voices inside my head. Through groups and one to one sessions, I started to consider alternative ways of thinking and living – practicing the compassionate voice, meditation, listening to my emotions to understand my needs, experiencing and accepting all emotions, trusting my instinct, managing my expectations of myself and others, accepting if those expectations could not be met, and most importantly, accepting and loving myself. All of which, as it turns out, are a lot harder to learn than how to eat properly again.
Outside the clinic and back in the ‘real world’, I found it difficult to believe and trust in these new ideas when I was surrounded by people who didn’t. But you provided the example to live by. Having battled your own demons, you’d had your own experience of recovery. You were and still are practising these tools. You gave me someone to talk to who understood what I was trying to do with my life and you were my proof that yes there are people (who aren’t therapists) that live life this way.
To this day, we still talk about these ideas at length. The only difference now is that I feel capable to support you in your practice and be there for you in times of hardship, just as you are for me. I’m no longer the ‘young pad-wan’ seeking guidance from my wise (old) master, but I’m living it with you – your zen partner in crime.
But there is something I am more grateful for; over and above the guidance and support. And that’s the laughs and the adventures. Our capacity to have fun knows no bounds. No matter where we are, what we’re doing or who we’re with – we’ll be laughing. I have no doubt that your friendship has been a key factor in getting me to this point, so that I could flourish into the funny, intelligent, strong, care-free and genuinely happy women I know I was always meant to be.
We often say that some friendships aren’t made to last forever. Ours isn’t one of those. As I come to the end of this chapter of my life and enter the next one in wellness, I am so excited for what life has in store for us – because you just know it’s going to be good!
All I hope is that you know the love, respect and gratitude I have for you, the person you are and the friendship you give me.
All my love, Miss B xx