So this was it. I had done it. I weight restored by myself, despite the fact I was at college; despite the fact that the past few months was one of the most stressful and most difficult times of my life.
And here I am now at the last and final stretch of this journey. The stretch at which I need to be stronger than I ever have been before.
Because this is the place at which I always fell back down.
This is the place where the real battle is fought; the battle in which there can only ever be one winner.
Me, or ED.
Which one of us is going to lose?
Which one of us will be destroyed?
Me - two years ago and then, two weeks ago. And I'm both the same girl that I was, but, at the same time, different..
This is a place at which I've stood, a good many times before.
I stood here in the April of 2015, the year in which I was admitted to hospital. I remember the feelings of disgust and revulsion that flickered through me back then, the day I realised I was weight restored.
Weight restored. To me, those two words were synonymous with fear and dread and hatred. Weight restored. I didn't look in the mirror and see "healthy," or "better". I only saw what my eating disorder saw. which was, of course, "fat".
Fat. Repulsive. Oh how much better you looked when you were skinny, when you could feel those slender bones.
It wasn't long - a few months later, at the most - I started to restrict, again.
The months passed, flickering by me like moths across candlelight, as I sank ever deeper into the illness which had stolen my youth. Then one day, a hand reached towards me and pulled me up, up towards the surface once again. But she could not pull me the full way. I had to learn to swim again, to fight against the dark, swirling waters in which I had nearly drowned.
I fought against that ingrained belief that there was no light, that true recovery was just not possible, for me.
Slowly, ever so slowly, I inched my way up the long and lonely mountain.
But not enough had changed; not enough to keep me climbing upwards; not enough to send me toppling back down once more, as soon as I returned to college again for my final year at Trinity.
My falls were mainly caused by two common phenomena.
Those being, actually being at college - where I felt lonely, intensely stressed, and unaccepted - and my resentment of my new, healthier body. And each time I became weight restored I always did the same thing. I self-examined, I fostered hatred in my breast. I nurtured self-loathing as fiercely as a mother bird guards her nest. And every time I thought the very same thing. I hate myself. I hate my body. I am fat and repulsive and I am going to now eat less.
But this time I am determined for things to be radically, fundamentally different.
I know I cannot restrict.
But it's hard, so hard, in this diet-obsessed world in which we live.
But at least I can now say that I have two things in my favour which, at one time, I did not possess.
Those being, that I no longer despise my stronger, healthier body. Rather, I am actively working each day to accept it, to nourish it, to value it as my most treasured and most precious possession.
But there's still many so many obstacles standing in my way; obstacles which, I know, I have to overcome to be free.
My relationship with exercise probably constitutes one of the biggest of those obstacles.