This weekend I saw a great friend of mine from my time as an inpatient at the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders at Seacroft.First of all, I want to say I’m so proud of the people who I saw at their worst in that place who have come through to have careers/children/happiness. Such strong, brave women who I will always have the greatest respect for. Whatever else happens in our lives – we can all be proud to have overcome such a horrendous demon.
Secondly though – my friend had found some videos we made on her phone in hospital and they were awesome to watch. They were of friends giggling and having fun despite the surroundings. OK, we really shouldn’t have been filming on the ward because there were some very sick people in there who had a right to anonymity – but the memories were so happy. It was like watching teenagers at boarding school – though we were older and lacked many privileges. We were hugging each other, showing off our bedrooms, posing, laughing, racing wheelchairs – just finding fun and happiness in a difficult time.
I’m not glamorising being hospitalised for eating disorders. Believe me, I have some grim memories too – the fear, the depression, being watched in the shower, having to use a potty, not being allowed outside, the pain and humiliation…but I’m just in awe of the strength of people. The ability to find joy in unlikely places – that we can endure and we can push ourselves through so much crap. We can overcome trauma and we can still smile.
Sure, people can be horrendous to one another, but people can be amazing too. Thank you to everyone who gave me sunshine in that time – you know who you are. 🙂