Looking for eating disorder support in your area? Visit HelpFinder

Believing you can get there, but feeling frightened of the journey

Today, for the first time in years, I can almost picture what it will feel like to be fully recovered and I want it so badly. I'm determined to get there, to finally be free. For a long time now I feel like I've been living but not taking part in real life. It's like watching from the sidelines. Being there but not taking part in the game. Watching others enjoy the good times, and even go through the hard times, but not feeling any of the emotions involved. For years I've been there in person, but not in mind. Outwardly present but inwardly there was nothing – I was empty physically and mentally.

I made massive changes in my life. I became free, a single mum, able to make my own way.  It was an amazing feeling and certainly helped me to begin on my journey towards recovery. But it wasn't long before I realised that though I felt free on the outside, inside I was still as trapped as ever. It wasn't going to be as easy a journey as I'd hoped. It was like having a chain around my leg reminding me that I’m not good enough, brave enough or competent enough to succeed. That freedom is a myth.

I am physically getting stronger, but suddenly all these emotions are knocking at the door. I can feel them there and I want to open the door; I want to feel again, but I'm scared. I know that to feel and enjoy all the good things, I have to experience all the harder things. The feelings come as a package, a two for one deal. But I only want to feel happiness, freedom, love and joy. I don't want the sadness, anger, hurt or fear.

But I don't want to go back. Back to that place I was. Feeling like I'm in an empty room with a tiny window, watching others get on with living. Watching my daughters grow up but not experiencing it with them. Seeing their emotions but not feeling, not really connecting.

So I've been asking myself if I want to experience the good feelings. If I want to go back to living a full life enough to go through the more difficult parts. And if I'm honest, to start with, I didn’t know if I did. I feel scared. I can see now, more than I have in such a long time, that I want to be playing the game. I want to join in with everyone else on the pitch and not just stand and watch from the sidelines. But I guess I'm terrified that I'm not good enough or brave enough to make that team.

But today I know I have to go for it. I've nothing to lose and everything to gain. I have to try. I've not made it this far to give up now. I'm going to join in with this game. I'm no longer going to sit and watch from the sidelines. I know I'm lucky, I have people to support me. But equally I know that this is something that I need to do myself; I have to make this choice. I have to want it enough to face some difficult times. And I do. I want it so badly. So right now I'm ready, I'm waiting on the pitch to join in with this thing called life. I'm scared but I'm determined and I'm going to give it my best. At the end of the day that's all anyone can do.

Contributed by Melissa