In honour of my ani-blogoversary, I started to read over my early posts. Some of them have surprised me in their level of introspection, others have surprised me by how hidden my true feelings still were. There are posts that read like there’s a real bounce in my tone, yet I remember the level of despair I felt at the time of writing. I've spent so much of my life bottling up my feelings in food, I guess it's hardly surprising I'm only just starting to learn how to let them out.
This time a year ago, I was a newlywed, married four months, living in Perth and preparing to move interstate. It was a spur of the moment thing, we'd applied for jobs the other side of the country and decided that if we got them, we'd go for it. We both got them.
My new husband went ahead to Melbourne, he started his new job and had begun to look for a place for us to live. I was serving out my notice period at my own employers, arranging for our cars, motorbike and cats to be picked up, our furniture and belongings to be packed up and our house to be rented out. I was also slowly imploding.
For years up to that point, I had been losing weight and working through my food issues. I had gotten down to 84kg from my all time high of 159kg. But now I was starting to unravel, and unlike the stress I put myself through in the run up to the wedding, I could no longer keep it totally under the surface and the weight was creeping back on. I started the blog to keep me accountable. Things looked up for a week or two but before long, my lose grip loosened even further. The blog entries disappear.
A month or so goes by. By then I had moved to Melbourne and since flown to Seattle for a month's worth of training. While there, I continued to implode, this time a little less slowly.
I was bingeing badly and drifting into depression. My anxiety levels had gone through the roof, I swore f-ing and blinding at a poor post office worker for heaven's sake (any one who knows me will know how crazily out of character that is). Two more blog posts then again I disappear.
By the time I find my voice again in December I was in a deep dark pit. I had now regained over 30 kilos and the potential reality of re-gaining every one of my lost 75 kilos was looming overhead. Something inside of me knew to click into self-protective action. I started posting again, I ventured back to the gym and I called and reconnected with my old counsellor from Perth. The bingeing continued for a while but eventually I started to get a handle on my food intake and turn myself around again.
The rest, you know already. I'm still here. I've had my bumpy moments but I've blogged through them and I'm still finding my way. I still haven't learnt what it was that helped me turn it around - the magic formula that got me out of the pit and back on track again. Even though I wrote most days, I don't see it. I can't bottle it up for future use.
Life surely has many more twists and turns ahead for me. Stresses are in store that will be far greater than getting married, moving and starting a new job. I still don't know if I am strong enough or well equipped to get through them without resorting to my food demons. What I do know though, is that with the help of this blog, any time I start heading down that wrong way again I no longer get so far that I can't find my way back.
This blog has been more than just an outlet for my thoughts. It's a level of accountability and the doorway to a support network of loving and wise people, some of whom have become very dear friends. You've never let me down.
I would love to have written a wise retrospective of all that I've learned over the last year, but I just don't yet have the distance or the clarity to know what that is.
Whatever it is, it's working. I plan to keep on doing it.
p.s. how's this for a freaky coincidence? At my first blog weigh-in I report being 97.3kg having lost 1.7kg. Meaning my blog starting weight was the EXACT same weight I am now: 99kg. Spookiness!