Paris was wonderful!
I’m not sure how else I can describe it. I have had the most amazing time and sometimes I wonder if maybe I made it all up…that it was not possible to see such beautiful things, feel contented and laugh as much as I did…but I did. I’m knackered for it but it was so undoubtedly worth it that I don’t even care. I don’t think I’d realised how much I’d needed this trip or time to just spend uninterrupted with my best friends…but I really did.
For the last four days all I have done is wander round the streets of Paris looking at the beautiful sites, visited, the Louvre and had many picnics in the various gardens and parks. Although I must admit I never realised just how big Paris is. The wandering started on the Thursday when we got there and got horribly lost looking for the place to pick up our keys for the studio we were staying in. Eventually we found it, only to realise that it was actually 2 minutes from the metro that we got off at and that the loops that we had walked were in the opposite direction. We made it though and got to the studio fairly easily. The first hurdle came when we called in at the supermarket to get some supplies. Neither me or my friend really speak or read French – our limit is GCSE level about 8 years ago – so it made choosing food really difficult. I was being influenced by the eating disorder whilst trying to check labels and she has a severe nut allergy, needless to say we were in there for a while. We got there in the end although none of it was very exciting. Once we’d eaten we headed straight over to Notre Dame to meet our other friend for our first reunion in 2 years. It was just bloody fantastic to see her! We sat outside as it turned dark, half watching the fire performers and the other half talking. It was weird too seeing her. She has changed (as most people do) and it was a shock seeing her because she has lost a lot of weight too as a result of travelling in Asia and being a vegetarian. I admit that it does always scare me when I see others losing weight because there is a part of my brain that worries that they won’t know how to stop, that somehow an Eating Disorder will work in to their lives too. I know though that that is more about me than anyone else. Those fears are not a reality.
It was late when we got back and I was worried about sleeping because of the whole anxiety that I was going through before I left, but I think I was just so tired that once I had taken my meds, I was pretty much out for the night. On the Friday we walked for miles after meeting at the Arc de Triomphe and ended up in the park round the Eiffel Tower. We spent most of the day there, going backwards and forwards between there and the shop. Lunch again was a struggle and I ended up buying the same as I had the night before. That was pretty much a reoccurring theme. I wanted so badly to let it go, to eat crepes or pastries or at the very least try the cheese (even if I’m not a cheese lover) but every time I got close, I backed away. I let the eating disorder win out. I was trying so hard to keep my energy levels up and at the same time not make the voice overly angry with me. Yet even though it was a challenge I refused to let it alter my mood and make me miserable. It didn’t matter as long as I was eating enough to sustain myself physically and be able to enjoy myself without feeling like I was about to collapse. Of course there were a few wobbles when my body began to protest because I didn’t really factor in how much of a demand I was putting on my body to get me from the different places and the countless of steps that we walked up and down. I think though that I was pretty quick to correct where I could.
On the Saturday we went the Louvre and it left me absolutely speechless. We didn’t even get to see all the exhibits we wanted to see but what we did was absolutely breath-taking. I never knew such beautiful things could exist. We then had yet another picnic in the gardens and shockingly I had the same thing again. Saturday night though was sheer difficulty. It started with one of my best friends wanting to steak. That was the only thing she asked for when we booked our tickets because she likes it raw and apparently you can’t really get that in the UK ( I wouldn’t know as I’m not a steak eater). We searched for an hour in two districts looking for a restaurant before finally giving up and heading to the first one that sold steak. We ordered food and mine was not something that I actually wanted. It was safe and fine but truthfully not something I would have ordered if it wasn’t for Anorexia. Afterwards though we met up with a friend of my friend who was going to take us round Paris as there was a music festival happening. This was all fine so far but it didn’t turn out to be much fun. We walked for hours, them stopping to buy alcohol, me trying to figure out what the hell I ever stopped drinking. Finally I had to say we need to stop. I needed to sit down, my body was going into some kind of shock from tiredness and the likelihood that I had not eaten enough and certainly had not been drinking enough over the last few days. I wanted to go back to the studio but I didn’t want them to end their night either. One friend walked me back and the streets had turned pretty frightening as everyone was drunk and loud and there were so many people. My anxiety was off the charts but I managed to get it under control and once I got to the flat I thought I was fine. I had something to eat, my friend left and then that’s when the longest night ever started. Suddenly I was afraid. Afraid that someone would get in. Afraid that something terrible was going to happen. I had no phone service and so couldn’t call my friends. My friends had their mobile data turned off so internet wasn’t plausible either. By 2:30am I couldn’t take it anymore. I messaged a friend in the UK to get her to call my friend and ask them to turn on their data. It worked and mobile data was turned on (I had wi-fi) so I could message her that way. She said she would be back in an hour. 2 hours passed. The metro wasn’t running as often as they thought. By 4:30am I was climbing the walls. I hadn’t slept. My friend was no longer replying. At 6am I fell asleep and half an hour later I woke up and my friend still wasn’t back. That’s when I started to panic about her. Luckily she walked in 10 minutes later. Her phone had died and she has gotten horribly lost. She went to sleep but I couldn’t. I got up, made coffee, organised, wrote. I became this hive of activity to drown out the tiredness.
I have this thing that when I get such little sleep I get really hyper the next day. I laugh, I talk and get loads of crap done then I crash the next day. So we went to the Sacre Coeur which is unbelievable. Mostly we just decided to put the previous night behind us and forget it ever happened. It was such a small thing in the grand scheme of how epic this trip had been. We stayed there for a good few hours, mostly sat on the grass talking and then sadly it was time to go. None of us wanted to leave. It was too beautiful, too protected from our real world dramas. It was the only time in such a long time could remember being that happy for that long.
We flew back last night and honestly it took a lot not to cry when we crossed over the channel.
Although I still had a crap load of energy last night, today I have had the major crash. I am so tired and yet it is fine. I will get some more rest tonight and then tomorrow I will get back to being productive and re-enter the real world. I am feeling motivated though after spending the days with my friends to carry on fighting against this eating disorder and getting to be the person that I was supposed to be before it all got messed up. I know that all the things that Anorexia makes me think matters, don’t. All the things that I love and adore can only be reduced if I don’t recover. I’m not prepared to give up on those things.
I hope your weekend has been good to you.