Things that you should never take for granted but may not think much about
"I wanted to no longer be a 'burden' on my family, I no longer wanted to be 'nothing' and 'worthless', it was much easier to be dead, emotionless and numb. However only now I realise that in fact, I didn't want myself dead, I wanted my anorexia dead".
This blog isn't anything to do with eating disorders, but then again its hidden message is a lot to do with recovery. In recovery - gratitude is key. In order to embrace all the brilliance and beautifulness that you, others and the universe behold, you must feel first feel grateful. Once gratitude runs through your every day life, recovery will be a million times easier. Here are a few things to be grateful for today which we're all (probably) guilty of not thanking enough.
No, really; just think about it. It's not just that you are lucky to have them, because it makes life easier and you can do your buttons up better, type faster or hold your pencil more steadily... you see, the opposable thumb is a crucial component of almost every human invention. It's vital for the judicious use of a screwdriver and the perfect tool for finger food (very important).
I'm sure you're thinking, 'yes I always think about the sun'. However, is it when it's shining, summer or daytime? Are you thankful for the sun when it's hot and light outside? Are you thankful for the sun when it's beaming and you can go out and bask in it and get all brown and sexy? Now I wonder if you are thankful for it at night time, when you go to bed when you can't see it but know it's still there? Are you thankful for it then? Have you ever thought about it? The wonder of the sun you see isn't only the light it gives to us in the daytime but also the fact that even when we can't see it and when the moon takes its place, it's still there, except it's just shining somewhere else? The sun unlike us doesn't sleep, and that's something we should be thankful for - not only for the light it gives us but the light it gives the world. Another astonishing mere fact is that the sun is at the exact distance that is required for life on earth. If for some reason the sun decided that it was hired and sailed away to another galaxy, we would all fall victim to the dark- both literally and metaphorically. The sun never leaves, even when it's not shining directly on you, so even at night time when the moon and dark sky is all you can see, give thanks as the sun is still there.
The feminist revolution.
It's not perfect, for the women. I would never say that, as perfection for either gender will never exist. Change is still needed and the fight for equality among genders is still going strong. However I am pretty sure that your daughter, my (future) daughter and the generations of daughters to come will be able to do whatever they please, and that is thanks to all those women who came before and made a noise and created an echo.
Endless thanks must be given to the women who were tied to railings, being sneered and being faked unnatural. Without the strong women of the past who stood up for woman's rights, we still may not have been allowed to vote, or have a seat in the House of Lords, or be recruited into armies, have women's football teams broadcasted on television! While perhaps the seats may still be unequal and the paycheques too, they may still show male football more frequently than women's and we cannot rewrite history to make the woman the first human to land on the moon, but we can all agree that equality has improved and is continuing to improve.
The human being is the only mammal who laughs, with the possible exception of the hyena. Laughter is a thing of wonder, its ability to diffuse tension, cements friendships, drives away demons, restores sanity, creates memories and bring back old ones. It gives the diaphragm a fine, inexpensive workout and can even make us cry with happiness. Always be grateful for our ability to laugh.
The night sky.
The starry heavens above. What better to endlessly gaze upon.
We had a power cut the other day, and the whole of our neighbourhood was wiped out of electricity for almost two days. We couldn't cook, boil the kettle, work at our computers, watch the television, keep warm or switch a light on. Electricity, you know, it's a bloody miracle.
I think you get the point with this one. But water, as simple as it is, is also a daily wonder. It's clean, clear, cold and with some snazzy taps we can even have hot water immediately... but water besides what water is, is there for us to use instantly. Instead of walking ten miles each morning carrying home a bucket of water on our heads because we don't have a tap - we are the lucky ones who can have it at the turn or twist. That is something we must be grateful for and we must also try to help everyone in the world have, as water is essential for not only good health but life as a whole.
Simply being able to breathe is something to be celebrated daily. Your pulsing heart rate is delicate and not to be abused or forgotten. The dark ED bombed thoughts in your mind can be washed away with the colours of gratitude. Being grateful is all about being positive. Now finding and feeling positivity can be a very challenging task for a mental health/ed sufferer, but the more you encourage gratitude in your life, even just for the smallest of things, the more you will encourage positivity. (Another key to recovery).
On the deeper side of being grateful for life, I am well aware that a large majority of ED/mental health sufferers express how they 'want themselves dead'. Many times I thought and spoke the words, "I want to die". At the time I meant this, I really did just want to vanish. I wanted to no longer be a 'burden' on my family, I no longer wanted to be 'nothing' and 'worthless', it was much easier to be dead, emotionless and numb. However only now I realise that in fact, I didn't want myself dead, I wanted my anorexia dead. It wasn't Margherita that I wanted to vanish, it was Ana I wanted to vanish and leave. I wanted it all to stop, I didn't want to be anorexic and ill anymore, I wanted the pain, the guilt, the hunger, the lies, the tricks and games that Ana played with me to be over. I wanted it to end, but she tricked my mind that it was my life that I wanted to end. But it wasn't, no matter the number of times I said "I want to die" the real truth was that I wanted to come back - I wanted Margherita to come home. Simply feeling grateful that Margherita was still there, alive and breathing behind the shadow of Ana was something to feel positive about. I was lost, but I wasn't gone, I am grateful that I didn't die and that I am breathing alone in my body now... Ana is gone. My pulse is mine and only mine.