Saturday, 18 April 2009

What's In A Year?

It's was exactly one year ago today that I boarded the plane to New York. I remember how excited I was as the plane took off- naively believing that I was leaving what I've come to discover the inescapable behind. Inescapable at least until I have faced up to it and changed it myself. Running away doesn't work. I remember being full of hope that *this* time, it would work- I had somewhere to live, job interviews lined up, social plans made. I was so happy to be going back to where I consider "home".

I remember opening the door to my new bedroom, feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The sunlight shone brightly through the huge window- a welcome change from the cold dampness I'd left behind in Scotland.

The weeks that followed were filled with job interview after job interview. Nobody seemed to be actually hiring, and I drifted from one company to the next- portfolio clutched closely to my chest. My motivation waned. I spent time with friends, i went to therapy, I tried my hardest to hold things together. I struggled to pay my rent, struggled to keep my eating disorder under control as I was rejected time and time again from one job to the next. I picked up pieces of temp work in between- answering phones, faxing, Xeroxing. The summer heat started to feel more suffocating than welcoming as I grew more and more hopeless and defeated. I sat in my room each night drinking warm diet cream soda, applying for jobs, hunting for somewhere cheaper to live.

My therapist was pressing for me to see a doctor- everyone I spoke to said I needed to go into an inpatient program. I could barely afford my rent with the little work I was managing to get, never mind take several weeks off for treatment. By July, I had given up trying and made arrangements to fly back to the UK. It was okay- i was going to move to London and build a life THERE. It was going to be great. I got a place for college, found somewhere to live...everything was planned out.

One minor detail overlooked: the problem wasn't where i was living or what I was doing- the problem was how I interpreted it all and how I turned on myself when things felt chaotic/disappointing/overwhelming.

I still want, more than anything, to move back to New York. Do I want it badly enough to make it happen? I'm not sure. Last year i really thought, "third time lucky"- I guess I have learned stuff each time I have moved, even if it hasn't always had the end result that I was looking for. I'm not sure how to go about planning another move at this stage- if there is another move, it's going to be the last.

At least I know now that my difficulties come with me wherever I go, and nothing external is going to change things until I have changed what's going on inside of me...

Onto more fun stuff. I finally found it!

I have been hunting for this because I thought I would LOVE it. I was pretty disappointed. I found the flavour to be bland, but overly sweet- not much coconutty taste at all, just a weird sugary taste that i couldn't quite place. I didn't like the peanut butter cookie one though initially so might need to try this again at some point- though only if it's given to me for free!

Last night I attempted to make one of the breakfast cookies I've seen all over blogosphere lately. Using leftover pumpkin and a sample pack of muesli, I came up with this...

I overestimated the absorption ability of oats a little! Pumpkin : Oat ratio = wrong-o!

Yogurt to the rescue...

And that is how the cookie crumbles!!!


Stef said...

I hated the coconut cream pie flavor the first time I had it too! But now it's my second fave, behind cashew cookie! I love all the pics you're adding these days, your internet kicked in? I know what you mean about the problem not being your location/environment...I've mistakenly believed SO MANY TIMES that if I just transferred schools/moved/got a job/quit my job/made some other change that my life would be BETTER, that my ED would calm down. It never did. The change has to come from within. If you're healthy you'll be able to adapt to any surrounding, and you'll be able to LIVE wherever you happen to be living! I'm glad you salvaged your pumpkin oat cookie!

Lexi said...

The breakfast cookie looks so good! Even if it didn't stick together, I hope it tasted great. I love pumpkin so much, I just keep forgetting to buy it when I goto the grocery.

I think that it's great that you've reflected on your past. It seems as though you've learned a lot about yourself and where you really need to be. I'm so proud of you for coming to the conclusions that you've come to.

Anonymous said...

oh ellie...I know exactly what you mean by being fooled that the environment will change you...when I first went into college, still deep in the throes of my ED, I went with the false belief that everything will become ok there. that I would miraculously heal and not let ED affect my college life. but in just one month, I was hospitalized.
the problem IS much deeper than that. but ellie, you've figured it out. you're so much stronger and experienced and mature and wise now. you're already one step closer to that dream you have. but you've got to want to get rid of the HEART OF THE PROBLEM first. even your dream, no matter how big, cannot give you the strength and motivation enough. you've first really got to HATE the core problem here.
on a lighter note, gosh, that bf cookie looks amazing! I love anything pumpkin, so you better hide that from me or it'll be gone in my tummy in seconds!

Snowbrush said...

If you love New York, may you be in New York.

Elle said...

I've never been a big fan of coconut to begin with, but I think any hint of artificiality or weirdness would really turn me off from a bar too.

I think what you said about moving and bringing your problems with you was really insightful. So many people just run and run and never realize that it's not where they are but the "baggage" they bring with them that keeps them from finding true happiness. I know that you have worked so hard and will continue to work to fight ED, and as time passes you'll make peace with a lot of the issues that have prevented you from fully living the life you want to live wherever you choose to lead it.

As for the breakfast cookie - I find that the messier something is, the better it usually tastes :) So let it crumble!

Cacti Don't Cry said...

Like I seem to always be saying... "Wherever you go, there you are!" I also tried doing that -- changing my physical location in the hopes that it would change something fundamental about me. Yeah, didn't work. Of course, a change of environment can HELP, but only if you don't look at it from an external point of view... like thinking that the place itself will work wonders.

Shelly said...

Seriously! I thought the Coconut Cream Pie flavor was also overly sweet... bizarre!

by the way, cute blog! :)