Recovery isn't about just getting rid of an eating disorder, it's about rebuilding a life and university was such a significant part of this process of rebuilding for me.
There were days when I excelled and my degree got me out of shell and around people on a daily basis. I had to eat more than I had in a long time simply because I HAD TO to be able to concentrate on my studies and manage the workload. Slowly the forcing of myself to eat became a thing of normality; I just did it regularly again. Mostly, I loved learning academically and some teachers really inspired me intellectually.
There were the days where I really struggled and hid away by myself because the ED's negativity made it impossible to 'be completely in lecture rooms'. I had to at times really knuckle down with the things I have learnt along the way to maintain my recovery and myself and to keep up with other students. Thankfully, this became easier with each time I did this.
The only regret I have is that all this fighting with the remains of this illness put me at a disadvantage and affected my grades. I got good grades but I know I could have got better marks if I was in absence of the ED. That’s the perfectionist in me talking. Haha!
The biggest gift of this time is that made me realize I am capable of a lot more things than I thought I was. An ED can still be around in a ‘quiet way’ but it can’t stop me anymore in what I want to do in my life. I have flown out of its cage and it is truly splendid.