This is it. The final one. I waited a long time to write it because I wanted to be sure it really was and is.
I have not looked back since eating that midnight snack all those months ago. It was the start of a radical shift. It was the necessary revolt – statues were toppled, walls were torn down, bus seats were not given up – and it made the way for true recovery.
The defining recovery moment was when I legit failed an assignment at uni. A first for me. I’ve failed whole units in the past because I couldn’t muster the energy to write assignments. But this one I wrote, submitted and FAILED. And not even once did I try to regain control by trying to shrink myself. I found out where I went wrong, agreed and accepted it.
Gloria (remember her?) did not get one second of my time. She isn’t even here to pass judgment. And I did not seek her out for critique. I have (finally) learned self compassion and now that voice has been replaced by one of kindness. I can actually be kind to myself. And it’s not weakness. It’s not giving up or giving in. It’s also not just non-specific meaningless words. I can see the good things I manage to do, I see the things that could have been done better and acknowledge both truthfully and, I hope, rationally.
You know what’s awesome? Butterscotch pudding. Pancake breakfasts with friends. Playing frizbee and chasing my kids around the local sports field. Going for a walk because I want to go somewhere. Turkish delight and Cherry Ripes.
I can say truly that I am recovered. But I am not the same Hannah who went into this. If I were I’d end up back there. The Bible talks about refining fire. Fire (trouble) burns up the unimportant stuff and when it’s over the solid, valuable stuff is left behind. In this time I have lost a lot of junk and discovered what’s of true value. God is faithful and kind.
I have a few people to thank as well. Tony. I chose good. I love you. Phoebe and Tim. You amaze me, and I’m so privileged to be your mum. Andrew and Kylie, my friends and pastors. Your love, kindness an support have been so precious. My sister Laura. Thank you so much for looking after us and kicking me in the pants when I needed it. Jeremy, my doctor. Thank you for all your help and support and for putting me touch with other professionals. Sara, my psychologist. Thanks for your help in sifting my thoughts. Lisa, my dietitian. Thanks for guiding me and not letting Gloria get the last word. Russel, my psychiatrist. Thanks for helping me get to the real problem, my sessions with you were the real turning point. I thank God I have had you all in my life, I don’t know where I’d be if you weren’t. And you, the people who read this. Thanks for reading, and for your encouragement to not give up. Writing this out has helped me so much.
So where to now? I’m only a year away from finishing my degree and chasing my dream for real. I can’t wait.
Much love to you all from the girl who knows that
Gloria is not me.