I’m finally glad that I didn’t die

I waited for death for years. I didn’t want to die. Not really. I just knew I wanted to escape. For this mental torture to fade into silence. All I wanted was a sense of calm and I couldn’t find that anywhere else. People threaten you with the possibility of death if you don’t stop, try to scare your anorexia away with the figure of the grim reaper. The strange thing is anorexia had a fascination with death, and in an even stranger way, saw it as a fair outcome. Death didn’t scare anorexia, it excited her. I wasn’t looking for a way to die, I was looking for a way out of my brain. The only place I could find silence was in an unconscious state, so I ran with that. But I never wanted death. I simply felt like I didn’t have any other options, and slowly the idea of dying didn’t scare me either. Anorexia is a form of slow suicide.

I am sat here with the sun setting and casting a glow the colour of October across the fields. The air has a chill that sparks a nostalgic excitement in my soul, and I can feel my favourite time of year filling my heart again. It is a sense of a home that I forgot existed. I have never wanted to be alive more.

My life is not an option. Fading away in a hospital bed, hooked up to a monitor, is not an option.

The way my mind works is out of my control. But I choose life every day. I choose it at every meal. Every time I pick up a fork.

I choose life when I leave my house. Maybe not the way you would think. Staying at home is not a death. It is certainly not a life either. I find life in the fragments of each day, the way I laugh, the way my dog leaps at the gate when I get home. When Mum makes apple crumble and Dad physically gags at the acting in shitty soap dramas. When Abbie makes me coffee and when I sit with Anjali and cry with laughter at the mention of boiled rice. I find it in the strength of the girl who struggles. Seeing pumpkins being sold and the smell of cinnamon. The plans to take over CAMHS with Layla and zip-wiring with OCD youth. Dancing with my old partner and finding peace and familiarity in the music. Being flirted with by John Lewis technicians and replying by questioning whether or not they have watched Bodyguard. Long walks filled with chatting and cafes filled with snapshots of caffeinated joy. Smiles at strangers and stumbling across a shop you’d never noticed before. My life doesn’t hang in the balance anymore and I am finally ok with that.

I am so glad I didn’t die.

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