Remember that South African girl that went to Israel to find herself. With no plan and a tent on her back. She hiked around the sea of Galilee, slept on either side of the Jordan river. Hiked in the desert.
I hardly remember her.
It feels like a different lifetime.
The adventure, the blisters on my feet, the depression, the laughs, the trees and the smells. It all seems like a lifetime ago.
I was so lost and confused I thought – but I was just me all along. I never lost myself. I just discovered new fragments of myself. I just learned and I suffered and I cried in ways I didn’t imagine possible. Not crying tears, but literally crying in my soul.
But I left all the horrors there.
My last night in the desert – I left all that horror and that pain and fear in the Rhamakesh crater at Mitzpe Ramon. I left it all behind.
Its been a year since I’ve been living alone and the separation and so on.
Only now am I starting to feel like myself again.
I feel as if I have completely moved on and let go of the past. I’m starting to fall in love with myself again and respect and nurture myself.
And I’m focusing on my career and my dreams again.
It’s all coming together.
My relationships, work, my future, the world – its all more important now and its what matters.
There was a time where what I ate and how much I worked out ruled above everything. feeding my eating disorder was more important than spending time with my loved ones and more important than the creative work I produce.
When I thought about who I was – the only thought that came to mind was fat. And my goal was thin. It breaks my heart to think that for so many years I found being thin more important than everything else in my life.
Forget the mirror. Forget the folds when you pinch your sides, the days you spend wishing some parts of you will melt away, or disappear, pinch your neck, your arms, your thighs, take everything out. As a young girl you wished you could use knives to make it all disappear.
But you were always meant for so much more.
You’re a woman and you can do anything and achieve anything and be anything you want to be.
Its the century where we have the world at our hands and we chose to be thin and we chose to be pretty. Intelligence, kindeness, perseverance and strength didnt appeal because Anna and Mia defined strength as something else.
Forget them. Forget the mirrors and the whispers form others. The magazine covers, the false idea of beauty and strength. Forget them.
Clench your fists and tighten jaw and take it back. Be the woman you were born to be.
Life is too short to live one life and it’s way too short to waste. It’s too precious and its too special to spend all your energy on hatred for yourself. Life is a gift and your body is the only home you have. Why destroy your home?
Forget what they say because it doesn’t matter.
You can be whoever you decide to be. Take back what the illnesses stole and be the woman you were born to be.
It was so hard saying bye to A.
It’s funny, it all started as friends, then there were benefits and now I find myself in love, spending time with him every day. Meeting all the family and friends, making plans with him.
I’m starting to get so attached that its hard spending one night apart.
If you told me a year ago that I would be this happy right now. I wouldn’t have believed you.
I knew I would recover from the divorce and the eating disorder. That I would adapt to living alone in a tiny apartment, that I would love myself, that I would love again and start new relationships. I knew it would happen. But at the same time there were times where I felt paralysed in the pain and stuck and I felt scared.
I knew I would never be the innocent girl I was. I knew my views would change and that life would be different. I got divorced at 25, was accused of having affairs, harassed and slandered. Things were never going to be the same again and I was never going to be as carefree and as naive. I knew things would be different.
What I didn’t know was; That things would be so much better.
That I would grow so much. That I would know myself better than ever and that my relationships with friends and family would become so much more meaningful and magical. That I would be confident enough to start my own business and be excited about the future.
And never would I have thought I would be in a relationship. I knew it would happen, but I could never have imagined this.
There are of course moments of insecurity and fear, but the belief and confidence and drive that I have gained is incredible.
I never imagined that it would be so much better…
So much more magical than it was…
And so much more magical than I could ever have imagined.
So this weekend is my friends wedding and my arms look like giant sausages. And I just have to shrug it off. Because despite the way I feel – I’m still going to the wedding and my arms will be seen and they will look massive so I might as well just accept it and get over it because the alternative is to sit hating myself all night. And no way in hell am I going to miss out on another fun occasion because I hate my body.
So I’m going to rock that dress and rock these arms.
So I am the biggest I have been in about 5 years at the moment and its horrendous but I seem to be handling it well. The support from A is tremendous – mainly because he never ever mentions my body or weight and he didn’t mention anything when I got back from Israel 6kilograms heavier. Because he never focuses on my body – be it good or bad – I have never felt uncomfortable about my body around him.
I purged tonight for the first time since being back from Israel. Simply because I ate too much and I was full and I didn’t want to deal with that feeling so I just purged – not a lot even, not all the food, just until I felt more comfortable. Then I shrugged it off as if nothing had happened.
I haven’t been alone in such a long time. I am either with friends or with A or I am working and I am too exhausted to write. Tonight is perfect. Me, my notebook, laptop and wine.
It’s really tough when for as long as you can remember, you have placed all your self worth on your body. If you aren’t thin then you aren’t worthy; but you aren’t worthy so you will never be thin enough anyway.
I feel like a stranger in my own skin, when I am at the gym I often want to stop mid workout because I get repulsed by my body.
I have studied my body extensively over the past ten years that I know exactly what it looks like at all times. I am painfully aware of the amount of space I take up and the way my thighs look when I sit, the way my arms look and the way my tummy looks when I sit or stand. Now I am confused. I don’t recognise the person in the mirror, when I look down, the size of my thighs upset me and the curve of my bum makes me shudder.
But we have to keep on moving on and on…
I have to keep on loving myself no matter how challenging it may get.
This is me in this body, in this shell that I call my home. I love it now and I love it then and I will love it forever, it’s really all I have and I have to cherish it and care for it. No matter how difficult it seems.