I love my bed. It is six feet wide, with a feather duvet and heaps of feather cushions and pillows. It has fairy lights wrapped around the iron bedstead. And it is where I feel safe and rested. Best of all, it is where L comes sometimes to rest from anorexia. After our terrible breakfast, she sobs under the duvet. I wrap her up, with blankets and arms and pillows. After a while the sobs go, but we stay there. We are both so, so tired. I wish there could be a cure for anorexia which involves you staying in bed all day, with a loved one, being brought meals and sleeping or reading or knitting in between. Perhaps we might watch a movie on the iPad now and then. Or get up for a bath, so that new crisp cotton sheets can go on the bed. We would sleep and while we sleep, comforting sounds with subliminal messages would cure the anorexia, banishing the voice of Ed.
But recovery isn’t like that. It is like climbing a steep, slippery muddy slope while rain lashes down on you, soaking you the the skin. You are bone-achingly tired, but have to keep climbing and ignoring how cold you are and how much it hurts. You think you are at the top, but actually, it is just a ledge and you have to climb all over again. Most of the time, it just feels too hard. It would be easier to give up, but that means being trapped on the mountainside in the cold and rain for ever. So that is why those on the recovery journey need us to grip,their hands so tightly and keep pulling them upwards. Even though it often feels just as exhausting, cold and impossible for us too. We don’t make this journey by smiling and sprinkling inspiring quotes around – it is with gritted teeth, muttered swearing and trying not to lose sight of the hope that the sun might start to shine again soon