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So I'm back. Alive, healthy and happy. Who would have thought? Just a little problem.

I just I can't believe that I am here again in this place. My world is perfect, compared to falling apart at the seams. And I am, in every sense, happy.

My life is so different to less than 5 months ago. I no longer have a BMI threatening to dip below the 13s. I no longer live in fear of collapsing multiple times a day, have the energy to do what I want, the ability to go out to social situations and even to eat (*fairly* comfortably) in front of others at gatherings. Instead of being worried that I wouldn't be able to hold down a summer internship, I've just signed with a Bulge Bracket investment bank despite the job market being intense beyond belief. I'm working really well and the first class I had was one in which my supervisor made it clear that I was doing damn well. I feel like my instinct is back and guiding, instead of being a zombie doing absolutely nothing enjoyable or of value ever. I am dating a Boy who, although early days and my paranoia provide uncertainties, I very much adore. And for the first time in a long while, I am happy with how I look from skin to shape to make-up to clothes. Literally the only concern I have at the moment is a temporary cashflow problem, that should be rectified within a couple of months when I receive a substantial corporate scholarship.

And yet, why do I wonder - and feel occasional twinges of regret - at not taking things further than I did? I know that there is nothing glamorous about being threatened with a section, spending months in a hospital ward as a dependent and void of any identity but sick. But it's alluring. I know why it was at the time, having dug myself into a physical hole in which I couldn't think and a directional funk from which I saw no way out. Now, I don't know.

I spent the summer slowly becoming accustomed to eating, from being neurotic but consuming the right amount to gradually a little more normal in my choices and actions. Yet back at university, something once again has clicked. I stepped on a scale for the first time in over a month, expecting to maintain my (already extremely low I know) set point. I was ecstatic that I was under, a little puzzled, then realised that I'd been subconsciously undershooting again by a lot the past few days. I need to go to my doctor tomorrow for an infection, yet the thought that I was 22lbs lighter last time I saw him cannot escape my mind and negate the sheer embarrassment I feel, although I know there's nothing wrong.

I don't want to lose what I have, everything I've worked for and the pieces that for once, luck has thrown together - yet either I go crazy with the thoughts in my head, or I ignore them and realise later that I'm sinking again. All I need to do is survive one more year in this city and environment that triggers it all. In the real world, I survive, succeed and live. I just need to make it out again in one piece.
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At midnight, something changed. Torn between two opposing paths for a number of years and tormented by the mediocrity of ambivalence, I have chosen one of them.

This life is mine to lead, the choices mine to make, the privacy I want and desire at this time mine to guard.

Some of you will know how to contact me. By all means, please do. But do not expect replies with details of how I am. If I choose to divulge, it will be in my own time to individuals I choose, and nothing can influence who and when these will be. I ask you to respect that.

This journal will no longer be updated.
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In the depth of our winters, we sow our dreams. They nestle deep in the confines of our heart, they overwinter in its leaden furrows.

And then without warning, they germinate. They radiate and lift our souls with the illumination of hope and purpose.

And today outside - today it is undeniably spring. Obfuscating clouds have left the sky; maternal trees, on being stripped of their dresses, give birth to new garments; birds dance like the waning sycamore in fall.

I am an ordinary girl in an unusual package, trying like any other to make it through this world. I am no siren, no being of ancient legend. I cannot make sailors exploring the depths of this world listen to my words and sacrifice themselves as teardrops into the sea. But what I do have is persistence, imagination and belief.

This journal is the blossoming of my dreams.


(Part friends-only. Comment.)
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Turns out I'm not even maintaining.

3lbs since this time last week; my home scales are obviously a little wonky.

Well, it's imminent. Goodbye freedom...
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So the boundaries changed. I am so, so upset.

I got called up yesterday and asked to come in with less than 24 hours'
notice. I am being asked to go medical IP at the very least under threat of
section. I have two to three weeks under which it can still be voluntary,
or *gain* weight. Not maintain. So, not quite the same arrangement as on
Thursday any more. I wasn't prepared for this, I was working on the
assumption that Thursday's notice held true.

All I can think about is losing more and accepting at the very last moment
because, hey, if the choice they give you isn't immediate, you can't be at
much risk, right? Roll eyes. At least I've been promised I'll get out in
time to start my job...
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The days melt into each other.

I want to be with my parents on holiday. Instead my week consists of sleeping, long walks, supermarket browsing and being prodded by doctors as we work out the way forward.

I keep on hoping that I will have a Damascus moment. That I will wake up suddenly and be able to do everything an average, healthy person takes for granted. I stretched beyond my confined boundaries of safe foods yesterday. It took me hours to eat a small tin of water chestnuts and suppress the physical urge to throw up. My reward for my efforts was just confirmation that my digestive system is utterly fucked. Plus 4lbs gained over a single day from oedema.

I want to curl up and cry and for A. to hold me and stroke my hair and tell me that everything will be a-okay, rockabye, and that I can just.fall.asleep and wake up three months later *CLICK* better *SNAP* normal.

Or failing normal, just happy and healthy.
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The ultimatum: I either maintain over the next two weeks or I get admitted.

The wonderful thing is I have no fucking clue HOW I am going to maintain given that I currently am terrified of anything but ice lollies, Diet Coke and hard candy. I've been losing on average more than 2lbs a week. I don't see that slowing, especially because dropping below 95 makes the weight fall off.

On the plus side, my GP measured me wrong. I AM actually 5'8, I haven't actually shrunk.

2 more lbs and I'm back in the 13s.

Terrified.
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Dear World,

I am scared.

(92lbs and still losing. It's not even conscious anymore.)
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I never knew that this relapse would be so fast and so hard. 18lbs in just under 7 weeks. Plus a host of physical complications that make me realise: this is not as manageable as I thought.

I may once have been able to function in the 13s. I may once have been younger and less broken by successive relapses. But it is pointless to cling to these memories of a different person, a different body and a different time.

Warning bells sound. Concussion after a collapse. A night in A&E, hazy after twenty lapses of consciousness in less than two hours out. The odd tight pinching of the chest during the night and the furious grope for the pulse.

In just over two months, I have exams. I don't want to take the year out. Vocationally, it casts a huge hole in my plans; culturally my family would never understanding; personally it would give me an absence in my life and no goal towards which to strive.

My lack of physical stability worries me the most. My weight has been lower, but has crossed the threshold of moderate risk. I have orthostatic hypotension. My rate of loss is worrying and my method more terrifying. For the past two months, I have slid into eating almost nothing, passing through checkpoints of liquids only, involuntary purging and now, a full-blown phobia.

A week ago, I furthered my restriction to three types of food a day. After twice almost choking as I involuntarily threw up and throwing a fit over nutritionals in Sainsbury's, I now only have one: a single brand of individually wrapped hard candy. What better than an item that gives instant energy and melts before it hits one's stomach. Preservation of that emptiness and can't be rejected.

I need to work on a lot, I know. My priority right now is to be stable enough to take exams, no matter how that is best achieved. Hopefully from there, the motivation to work on the others will fall into place and, for the first time in ten years, I'm hoping to be on the way to normality. I can't imagine a better birthday present.

I have an assessment and meeting to discuss the way forward next Thursday. Think of me. I'm as ready for recovery as I'll ever be, and I just want the very best shot possible offered :)
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I have always tried to distance myself from the majority of this six-billion world and distance my emotions yet further. My glee, glossed over. My pain given a sheen, almost glamorised. Determined not to become another one of those angsty teens. Writing about it all with a more mature edge seemed to make these emotions so much more valid.

But these days, I feel like a little girl again. Hugging my knees to my chest for comfort. Talking to my teddies. Ever-more attracted to the comfort of pink, glitter. There lies a desperation to shrink away from attention. I sleep against the wall, arm and leg dangling into that tiny gap between the wall, almost hidden from view. I venture outside when necessary but pace quickly to remain but a blur - eye contact: fat chance. I sit in my closet with my duvet in the dark and cry.

From passing for mid-twenties last summer, I now look early teens. A small comfort to think that some passers-by will just think me lanky and juvenile, although Cambridge's status as a university town seals my fate as a lost anorexic to most pairs of increasingly wandering eyes.

My left arm is sore from constant pressure when I collapse, daily, upon it. My inner knees bruised like a peach from the compulsive knocking together, so I can be certain that there is still visible bone. Spine hurts from sleeping, hips from continued knocks. Head fuzzy from ephedrine, adrenaline and increasingly regular syncope.

Hard to admit, for an alpha-femme. One determined to assert her ability, her achievements and potential as just fruits of her independence and own merits. But until this is over, I just want to be cradled, held and never let go.
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