“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
After 4 months of being in hospital and not allowed anywhere on my own for any reasonable amount of time, I cannot tell you what freedom from feels like. For the first few days I felt on a high. I felt like I was dancing in the clouds. But like every good feeling it came to end and I was propelled back down with the harsh realisation that I now have to actually live my life. In hospital, your life is on hold. You don’t have to deal with bills, shopping, cooking, cleaning, working…anything really. And that’s good and bad. Good because you have the space to focus on yourself and getting better which is so important, but at the same time it can be incredibly overwhelming when you find yourself having to do all these ‘normal’ things again. It’s been a hard adjustment. These last couple of weeks have been a blur as I’ve struggled to get myself together and in a routine. At first I threw myself back into the gym, but I soon came to acknowledge that, what can be the perfect outlet for some, was just another way for my Eating Disorder to try and jump in. I love the gym though. I love the endorphins pumping through my veins and the satisfaction I get when I reach my distance goals. But I don’t love how there is always a part of my brain, however big or small, fixated on the calories burnt. So it’s a no to the gym for now, at least until I can find a happy balance.
I therefore currently find myself with an abundance of free time and nothing to fill it with. I guess I was under the illusion that when I left hospital things would be magically perfect and I would be 100% cured. Unfortunately, Mental Illness doesn’t work that way. I’m coping better than I could have hoped though, and every day gets easier to manage. I have amazing support workers, a great therapist and a fantastic social worker all doing their up most to keep me going. I’ve seen friends, been out for drinks and spent time helping out at my local church. These are things I love doing and things I’ve missed while being in hospital. Yet I still feel like there is something missing. I feel like my life has no direction. And I’m beginning to think it’s because I have yet to decide what to do about going back to university. I need to figure out what I want because being in this limbo does not sit comfortably with me. But all in good time. At the moment I have good days and bad days, productive days and lazy days which is all healthy and all ‘normal’ – which is ultimately my aim of course. So for now I’ll keep muddling along, trying to keep my head above the waves until something clicks and things start to fall into place again.