What I do know, however, is that tomorrow, I want to drive somewhere, and be completely alone, just for a couple of hours. Time to breathe, to relax, to cry all the tears that I have left so that they cannot interrupt me at awkward times anymore. I won’t, but I’d like to.
I’ve had some pretty tough conversations with my friend today, and it’s the first time we’ve had such in-depth conversations for a while. She’s afraid of dragging me down, but what she doesn’t understand is that I’m prepared to be dragged down. For goodness sake, if this is what it takes, then I want to be dragged down. Today however, at the same time that the trust is something I appreciate, it’s a little exhausting.
Recently, at night, I lie in my bed and imagine, just for a second, that she’s here with me. That she’s telling me it’ll all be okay. I allow myself, just for a moment, to believe that it isn’t her that is sick. That it’s someone else who is battling this, and she’s just there by my side as my friend, helping me to breathe, and to hold it together for their sake. I can imagine she’s rubbing my back or holding my hand, and for a millisecond, I can just about feel safe. In reality, I know that I’ll probably never get another hug again. It’s too hard for her to battle the contact, I understand that. It hurts, but I can understand.
But then sleep drowns me and I pray that tonight will be good dreams. Sometimes, it is, but many times, sleep is when the stark reality hits me. Sleep should be a time of escape, but right now, it’s not. You can’t escape your dreams in the same way that you can escape reality, and when your dreams are telling the story of your woken reality, it’s even more difficult.
I just want to run up to someone, anyone, and shout that I’m scared. I’m genuinely afraid for both her and me. I’m afraid of where this is going to lead and although nobody else seems to see it now, those late night text message conversations are our reality. If they saw them, perhaps they’d start seeing the issue, too. Perhaps they wouldn’t write off my tears as those of an emotional teenager. I won’t show them though, I couldn’t.
I’ve got less than a week to make her listen. A week until she goes from having to at least pretend to acknowledge me to never having to listening to me again. It doesn’t matter how amazing a friendship is, distance will only make it easier for the ED side of her to rule her life. There will be nothing that I can do.
Now, as I brush my teeth, I gag. The waves of adrenaline-fuelled nausea are almost too much to handle.
It’s time to face the darkness yet again. It’s time to go to that place where she’s almost here with me. It’s time to try and sleep. It seems, however, that this time of day is the scariest of all. I know that my dreams are simply a continuation of the day, and there is nothing that I can do to change that.
There’s too many things to consider. Too much to worry about. Too many emotions to feel, and too many colours and shapes zooming around in my head.
Please sleep, take me soon. I’m begging you. Sleep is silent, sleep is peaceful, sleep is safe. The emotions that come with the darkness are daunting, but sleep allows us to escape them.
Living. Laughing. Loving.
For me however, whilst there is a faint glimmer of excitement fluttering in the corners of my brain, the thoughts of Freshers are largely terrifying. Moving away, living alone, and growing up are all very daunting prospects, and there are so many things which could go wrong.
I’ve got so many goodbyes to say before freshers, and many of those will be heartbreaking. Not only do I have to say goodbye to family, I have also to say goodbye to my school, my safety, and my security. My favourite teachers, and my fourty minute flute lessons. I have to say goodbye to the music department, my ranger leader, the Rainbows. I’ve got to say goodbye to my friends, the people who have kept me going through the past few years. I’ve got to say goodbye to my best friend. I’ve got to say goodbye to the tags and mental notes that I keep on her, and the safety net that even if she isn’t eating, I can still see her every day and know that she’s okay. I’ve got to say goodbye to the comfort that she provides, and the shoulder that I know I can cry on. Not all of these goodbyes are permanent. For many of them, I simply wish to say goodnight, with the hope that I will see them again in the future, when morning comes. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how temporary the goodbye may be, each one tugs on my heart strings as much as the last, and each will be difficult.
Talking has never been and never will be my strong point. Of course, moving to a place where you know nobody means that you have little choice but to talk. I’ve got to make new friends and meet new people, and I’m hoping that it will come naturally. I’ve always been quiet, and meeting ‘new’ people within school has always been difficult, but maybe when everyone is in the same boat, and I don’t have any pre-existing opinions, it’ll be easy. I hope so.
Although this is largely conquered, I still have a significant fear of alcohol looming over me. I fear getting drunk, and I fear not remembering what happened the night before. I fear hurting someone, or doing something stupid, or having someone hurt me. Without familiar faces around me, I know that freshers will probably be stressful, and difficult. Perhaps I just need to try and try to remember that I am in control. Have a good time, sure, but I make decisions about me. Those fears are irrational, and it’ll be okay.
The unknown cannot always be scary though, and this time, I’m largely excited. I’m ready to make the move, to turn over a new leaf, and to have fun. I’m ready for uni, so bring it on!
Living. Laughing. Loving.
The knowledge that I’m moving out in three weeks is scary. Although people have been calling me an adult for a long time, and since eighteen, I’ve had to be a grown up, moving out feels like it really is the end of childhood. I’ve left school and so have nobody there to guide me. My parents will no more be looking after me, and I realise that there are many important worries as an adult.
A friend in an eating disorder clinic rang me today and begged me to visit, I’m waiting for an email that might determine the future of my best friend, and I’ve got new friends to make when I move. I need to cook, clean, wash clothes. I’ve got to work hard to do well at uni and get a good job. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in worry.
And yet the kids I sit for, for them, the biggest worry is when the Wombles will end and trying to decide if we should play twister or trains next.
I miss being a child. I miss being innocent. I miss not understanding all the terrible things that happen in the world.
They decided to play with Lego.
I dream of my graduation from university. I dream of my job in cancer research. I dream of helping to find a cure that saves the lives of millions.
I hope that I will have children, specifically two girls. If I were to have them now, I’d call them,
Charlotte Matilda (Lottie)
Isabella Rose (Bella)
And if I had a boy,
I dream that I will have a beautiful wedding, and I know who would be my maid of honour if I were to marry today. I hope that I will attend my best friend’s wedding, and see her kids grow up.
I pray that I will tick every item off my bucket list, and that I will laugh a million times before I die.
I hope to run my own Rainbow unit, changing the lives of girls. I want to train as a monitor for ATE.
Finally, I pray that I, my family, and friends will be happy and well. I hope that we can be healthy and live long lives together.
I hope to share ten million memories.
I dream of taking as many photos.
But even then, I don’t wish for much. I just hope that whatever happens, everything will work out okay, and that I do not leave this earth until it is okay. Only then, can it be the end.
Living. Laughing. Loving.
What you cannot see, however, when you are at that crossroads, is what lies at the top of the mountain or the steps. You cannot see what’s at the end of the straight path, either.
Right now, I’m struggling. I’ve reached the crossroads, but I find that there are obstacles in my way. On the mountain, there are hurdles, and after a hundred meters, the steps become a rickety rope bridge. These obstacles were put there by people who say that ‘this is not your problem’ and ‘let’s wait until Christmas’. Even my best friend said that she doesn’t want to ‘drag you down’. I’m no athlete, it’ll probably take a hundred years to climb over all those hurdles. I’ve got a fear of heights, and the rope bridge looks like it could collapse at any moment.
Of course, I still don’t know what lies at end of the paths, but I can make good guess. Past experience shows me that the straight path results in something that is usually grim. In this case, I fear that my best friend will deteriorate and eventually that will result in death. I don’t know yet what is at the top of the mountain or the steps, but surely it can’t be worse than that? I wouldn’t want to miss the beautiful lake or the sun kissed meadow.
I’m not sure just yet if I will take the left or the right path. I’m out of ideas and am yet to find a solution. You won’t stop me though, because I don’t care what you say and think, you don’t understand friendship. I will never ever keep walking along that straight road. You can try any way you like to make me give up, but you won’t succeed. My friend deserves more than that, and I will fight by her side until the very end. I’ll climb that mountain a thousand times and I’ll keep walking along that rope bridge even after we reach the depths of space which are still to be discovered.
I will never give up.
If you doubt me, or fight me, I’ll just say it again.
I’ll never give up
You deserve me to fight with everything I have.
I’ll never, ever, give up. That’s a promise.
Living. Laughing. Loving.
I didn’t do this to fish for compliments, I did it because I care about someone. Yet that care has come to nothing, because it appears that all the important people in this situation are either too busy trying to tell me that I’m amazing, or they’re blinded by other things to see how serious this really is.
It appears that you’ve all completely misunderstood not only me, but my best friend, too. You think you’ve grasped the ‘serious’ and ‘important’ things, and now you’ve given up on us. Instead, you try to pacify me, telling me that I’m an awesome friend and that she wouldn’t have made it this far without me. You’re not going to pacify me, you will simply anger me. You have no understanding of our friendship, and trust me, if it wasn’t a genuine concern, I would take no interest in voicing it to you.
The most heart wrenching part is one particular person. The rest are allowed, I guess, to not understand for a minute or two, but don’t tell me that you understand where I am, and even where she is, if you don’t. I was hanging onto the hope that maybe you’d see sense. Every time you say it’s not for me to be worrying about, you throw a dagger into my heart. Four years of building this amazing friendship, and then you tell me that I shouldn’t give one about what happens to the girl who I trust more than anyone? You tell me that I’ve done everything I can do, yet it seems that what I have done will achieve nothing, so where does that leave me? You’re essentially telling me that our friendship is nothing, and that I am not a friend. BANG. It’s a bullet this time.
I’m angry that nobody will listen to me, and that instead you choose to start every email, every conversation with yet another compliment. No, I’m not an awesome friend. I’ve done what any other single person who loves and cares about another would do. I’m not brave, either, this should have been done a long long time ago. All I’m asking is that you listen to me. I’m serious.
I’m watching this, in two different people, from both ends. I can see what happens when people don’t take another’s eating disorder seriously, do what you are doing and simply blame it on other things. I’m trying with every bone and muscle I have in my body to make you understand because I’m determined not to watch someone else that I care about go down the same path. Don’t tell me to give up. Don’t tell me to be a failure. That’s all you’re doing right now. I don’t need to be told to give up, I have always been the pessimist. I can give up on my own back very easily. But I won’t, not this time. My heart keeps beating for a reason, and I’m not going to let it stop, until the very very end.
Maybe you’re right. Perhaps it isn’t my problem. Perhaps it is one man fighting the world, but I don’t care. Are you even listening? Why don’t you get the idea yet? I don’t give a damn what you think. I’m choosing to make this my problem, and I’m going to continue to do so. She’s my BEST FRIEND. Do you people not understand friendship? Maybe this is all just showing me exactly how special my best friend is. She’s worth every second of worry, I don’t care what you say. I’ll fight until the end, even if you’re not on side, and even if I am out of ideas right now. David beat Golliath, right, so why can’t i?
Living and loving, today.
I was really worried about today, but at the same time, I awaited it with anticipation. I was waiting for an email, which I was expecting to come today. Low and behold, it arrived in my inbox just after five, while I was babysitting.
Bizarrely, it didn’t cause the panic reaction that I had been expecting. I was happily bouncing on the trampoline, I heard the bleep, checked the name, put it back in my pocket, and carried on. Although my heart rate increased significantly for the remaining hour and a half of my stay, the panic was nowhere near the level that it has been over the past few days. At seven, I ran to my car, took a deep breath, and started to read.
There’s no point in worrying about what tomorrow might bring, because you’ve got to live for today. Tomorrow is a new day, and we cannot make predictions about what tomorrow might bring. Tomorrow always comes, so there’s no point in wishing it doesn’t. You may pray for sleep to overcome you so that the time seems shorter, or fight the wash of sleep in order to make time feel slower, but tomorrow still takes the same number of hours and seconds, regardless of how badly you want to see the light of dawn.
Living. Laughing. Loving.
Wow. What can I say? For the past four years, you’ve been teaching me flute, and I have come on leaps and bounds. Just fourty minutes a week has completely transformed me as both a flautist and a person. I’m sure you remember just as well as I do the girl that first walked into your room four years ago, desperately clutching her grade five book, silent as a mouse, and shaky. The questions you asked me, and I couldn’t even answer. It wasn’t that I didn’t know the answer as much that I had been so afraid of my previous teacher that I just couldn’t answer.
Somehow though, you drew the confidence from within me, and four years on, four solos in four flute concerts, and two grades later, I’m a changed person. Okay, I’ll admit even the latest concert was daunting, and I don’t even know how I managed to make it through the second piece of my grade seven because I was shaking uncontrollably, but four years ago, I wouldn’t have even dreamed of trying.
Someone asked me a few weeks ago to list off the things that I have achieved outside of school lessons and exams this year. Of course, being me, I wouldn’t just say what I’ve done, but when the person in question asked about music grades, I couldn’t help but break into a grin. I’m so proud of my grade seven merit, and I certainly wouldn’t have done it without you.
In many senses, you were the first adult I ever learnt to trust. You’ve always had an amazing ability to figure me out, and to do exactly the right thing in each situation. That’s meant that I feel like I really clicked with you, I look up to you, and that I can trust you. I feel like you understand me, and so this year, I have told you things that I haven’t told anyone else. You know me a lot better than many people, and I know that you know what to say and do in each situation.
You’ve been much more than a flute teacher to me this year, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Thank you, so much. I’m sure going to miss you.
*This is part of a personal summer challenge that I have set myself to write ‘a letter’ to a different person or thing every week. I plan for there to be nine letters in total, and if anyone would like to join in this summer, even if just for one letter, or a letter to a person of their own, please link back to my blog, as I’d love to see it!*
‘Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.’
Right now, I’m waiting. What I love about that book though, is that it teaches us that no matter what happens, we will succeed in the end. Perhaps the email that I’m waiting for won’t say what I’m hoping, and maybe that email will never come, but we should try not to rest our whole lives on simply waiting for it to happen.
Somehow, it’ll be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s simply not the end yet.
Living. Laughing. Loving.