To I.

I woke up this morning. Later than usual.

I looked at my phone. She had received my email! Not only had she read, but she had enjoyed the reading, and this blog could also help her!

Later on, Slack #daily-discussion:

Who are your dream party guests?

I am not sure what follows is my dream party. Actually it is not a party, but a celebration of friendship and life.

I will have many party and unforgettable diners, so I don’t have to pick any as my dream one. But this is the one I would like to have tonight.

I would love to have a free diner with a very dear friend I met in a conference in South Africa. She is a professor in Edinburgh, working in neuroscience, and has been sick for too many years. She was relapsing when she arrived to the conference and right after she took the bravest decision she could and now she is recovering in an inpatient treatment.

She is a real warrior. She is one of the strongest persons I know, and listing her qualities and what I admire in her would be too long. I just feel now that I miss her, and that I think about her every day.

I look at the sun, and its orange colour is like the mangoes in her tree. And there she is, here I am.

Since our first chat together, she gave me a new inner strength, as I changed my view on our problem. It had accepted it, and I had resigned myself to living with anorexia forever. Talking freely and rationally about it for the first time is a really thrilling experience. I put scientific terms into it, and understood I could become the master of my brain again to get out of it. I would  be healing and devoting myself to my finally found research career direction, neuroscience!

She introduced me to the best resource for recovery I can think of, the wise words of Emily T. Troscianko,  that are simply delectably full of knowledge, experience, truth and compassion.

She also gave me the final resolution I needed to practice mindfulness and meditation, with who I walk hand by hand since then.

She gave me one of the treasures I hide in my room, a precious book to cultivate courage and compassion with a lovely note, that I read when I need fresh motivation.

After the first time we spoke together I wrote:

I think it was the most eye opening conversation I ever had. I really needed a scientific insight into this torture. I feel I will understand and accept myself better. 
To which she replied:

Since our conversation, it seems to me that you have been radiating strength and commitment. You have inspired me, and given me strength to deal with my obsessive thoughts, and I wanted to thank you.

You are a strong, creative, intelligent, inspiring and caring woman.

I felt I was a meagre naive image of herself.  She is strong. She is creative, She is intelligent. She is inspiring. She is a caring woman.
I am just… me. Wishing I was like her.
Two days after the revelation, she suggested going out for lunch together. i had never had a “date” with another sufferer. Was she going to eat anything at all? Was she going to observe me? To force feed me, as I sometimes do with others?
I was afraid. this lunch was full of unknown and uncertainties. But exactly for that reasons it could be a memorable experience.
We went to the Cafe de la Creme, such a luscious name.
We had a memorable lunch together in a gorgeous cafe where we fought for each other. We discussed our lives, our issues, our aspirations. We smiled, we ate, we battled.
I had the most tasty hamburger I ever had. Of course, I had told the waiter I wanted it without cheese, bread and sauces was already challenging enough. Salad on the side, please.
She had a halloumi wrap. She was amazing. I had just discovered that cheese and my eating disorder didn’t like that I loved it, all the grilled crunchy salty fat in it. But she ordered it!   I admired her, period.
I want to repeat that with her, but daring to order apple pie with ice cream after, with a milk tea too. One for each. Getting really full together.

We would dream together. About our plans for the future, and our common quest to understand the brain. I would tell her how much I would like to finish my PhD successfully, and join her in the lab to unravel the tricky minds. We could understand, we could prevent, we could stay strong by each other.

Enjoying a victory diner together.

Please I. you must thrive for yourself, believing you are great, worthy and able to do it.

When you feel weak, please remember me, half a world apart, and fighting to be as great as you are.

“Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that’s what you’ve wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that’s what’s on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, how are you going to handle it? In other words, “Now what?”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are


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