Rachael's Words: Facing My Fears Amidst a Pandemic
The following is a first-person piece written for Wednesday’s Child by university student, Rachael Hoare:
2020 has changed so many people’s lives within the space of a couple of weeks.
Even people who have previously not experienced struggles, are finding it hard adjusting to the new way of living.
Whether that is coping with limited interaction, or the fact that our routine of going to work each day have been interrupted.
For me and many of the people who will be reading this, Covid 19 added another challenge when it hit our lives.
After recently being discharged from the eating disorder services, I found myself in an even scarier world to manage my recovery than expected.
No-one would have dreamt that this would be our new reality and for many who have not had an eating disorder experience, it can be hard to understand how one can affect the other.
Well, for me the new world that I had been thrust into, was a great environment to allow behaviours and thoughts to creep in without even noticing.
I realised that in this period, running back to a place that seems safe and that you can control, might feel like it would be the best option….but I promise you it is not.
This may feel it would help in the short term, but in the longer term it will cause more damage, going back to a life that we have worked hard to exit.
Within the first few weeks of Covid 19, I admit that my recovery took a few turns down a path I no longer want to walk.
I felt the comfort of my anorexia in the crazy world but know that I cannot and will not accept myself to be pulled backwards.
After working up the courage to reach out to people in my support network, it was clear that I was not alone. Others felt the strain of surviving lockdown too.
Keeping in contact with others, whether it’s family or giving a friend a video call over a coffee, can help to make a hard day or week seem more manageable.
I have started to work on making a new routine, so that even when it’s a tough day I can work toward my goals and try to ensure that I am taking care of my body and mind.
Making sure that within the current situation, I don’t allow myself to fall into familiar habits which in the long run will prevent me reaching goals that I can only experience with a recovered mind and body.
Some of these goals for me are seeing the world and helping others. We all have dreams that once Covid 19 has settled, we can continue to reach for and achieve, having been able to ensure we have kept these in our minds over these tough months.
Someone recently asked me ‘when the lockdown is over who do want to be A) a person that is stronger for what I have been though or B) someone who has gone down a path to relapse’. I know which one I will be aiming for.
KEEP GOING AND REMEMBER YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
**Our huge thanks to Rachael for this wonderfully honest insight. If you’d like to share your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Apr 2020