People who think they know me think I’m super sensible all the time. People who really know me, know that there is a very ditsy side to me. Recently, ditsy Emily fractured her foot (the fourth metatarsal of my left foot, to be precise) by doing a front flip off a bunk bed at a hostel in Sweden. “Don’t tell people that!” a friendly stranger in the street said to me when I went for a slow stroll into town earlier today. “Say you did it skiing; that sounds much more glamorous.” He’s right. But unfortunately I didn’t glamorously fracture my foot while playing a sport. I stupidly fractured it by not getting down from a bed sensibly. #adultingfail
Before I went to Sweden, when my left foot was in tact, I decided to turn my efforts to making one final big push to fully recover from my eating disorder. Research suggests that only 46% of anorexia sufferers make a full recovery. The remaining 54% either learn to manage it, remain chronically ill, or die. I am determined to be in that 46%. But if recovery wasn’t a hard enough task already, by injuring my foot I’ve now gone and given myself something else to fix. Sigh. Nice one, Em!
I’m feeling pretty frustrated.
For the next six week…
- I can’t drive which means my weekday working routine is pretty much scuppered – and I love my routine.
- I have to rely on other people to give me lifts to places – and I love my independence.
- I’ve got to wear a super sexy – and by sexy I mean hideously clunky and uncomfortable! – walking boot thing. (And if I’m not wearing it I have to hop so I don’t put any weight on my foot. Trips to the loo in the middle of the night are… interesting!)
I’m an enthusiastic ‘get up and go’ kind of person; but because of my foot, I’m restricted by how far I can go and how much I can do at the moment. Taking it easy does not come naturally to me. I get bored very easily so I’m purposefully finding interesting things to do to pass the time, mainly: writing a book, watching lots of Doctor Who, and trying to learn all (yes, all) the lyrics to the musical Hamilton (man, those raps are fast!). But even with those fast raps, life just feels soooooo slooooow at the moment. And it’s annoying!
But do you know what? This fractured foot may actually be a blessing in disguise. The fact that I’m a ‘get up and go’ kind of person may partly be the reason why I’ve struggled to recover from my eating disorder in the past. I’ve never properly stopped to give myself enough time to rest and recuperate. I’ve always pushed myself onto the next challenge, the next adventure. But now I’ve been forced to slow down.
You’ve all heard this expression, right?
“You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”
In other words, in order to achieve something, it is inevitable and necessary that something will get damaged. I think doing my foot in is, in an odd way, helping me to recover from my eating disorder.
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about wanting to cocoon myself away to recover (see The Very Hungry Caterpillar blog post). Maybe this six-week period of ‘inconvenience’ while my foot heals is just the cocoon I need!
“You are being called to heal yourself, not to agonise over your mistakes. Quit overthinking; this is what surrendering really means. Don’t focus on your problems and don’t obsess about ‘fixing’ things. These thoughts can be psychological irritants. Just leave yourself along! When you pick at things they never heal. Simply relax and give yourself some time.” ~Bryant McGill
With rest and calcium, I have no doubt my foot will make a full recovery. But more importantly, I believe I am also actually (finally!) overcoming anorexia and healing from it mentally, emotionally and physically.
For example, I got my period back after six years of not being a fully functional woman! (See my last blog post A Period Drama! if you want to read more on this not-often-talked-about subject.) Never ever have I been more excited about something so inconvenient and disgusting! But it’s a HUGE recovery milestone. I celebrated it with my friends while I was in Sweden by having a burger. A proper big burger which I voluntarily chose from the menu. I devoured it. And I loved it! For me, that was a really significant and special moment. Then, when I got home from Sweden I offered to make my family dinner. I suggested a fry up. A proper full English. It tasted so good! As well as all the delicious flavours from the bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomatoes etc, it tasted like freedom. That sounds pretty pretentious, I know. But deciding to have that for dinner was a free decision. Something I, and not my eating disorder, had chosen to have. I felt normal and free! That is what I want in my life – I’ve had enough of control and restriction.
Anyway, I could go on sharing my small victories with you, but I’m sure you’ve got much better things to be reading about. So I’m going to hobble back into my cocoon for now. If you do see me over the next six weeks or so, please don’t feel sorry for me and my foot. Just laugh at the ridiculousness of my behaviour. I did. And so did the doctor.