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Sunkissed In Spain

I’m a week into my first proper holiday in a good while.

Since I left treatment 7 years ago, I haven’t taken a break for any period of time.

Life got pretty busy, finances didn’t allow, and I used up my annual leave doing unpaid work for various organisations (which I love and feel honoured to be a part of).

But these past few days have been enlightening in many ways. It’s taken a week to adjust to doing not a lot. I’m pretty much in the middle of nowhere in the Southern Spain. No TV, no bars, people or distractions. At times it’s left me feeling anxious. I have nothing to distract me…from me.

Life in a city is full of noise and my head is always full of ‘stuff.’ It’s easy to be distracted from what’s going on inside. Maybe that’s why people feel safe in a city. For me, I adore being in the outdoors and in peace and quiet, but this has been an intense quietness I’ve not experienced for sometime.

I haven’t got a list of things I need to do, so it’s allowed room for other thoughts to enter. Whilst it’s been hard to sit with them with nowhere to hide, it’s also been a welcomed wake-up call…that taking a break shouldn’t be a once in a while thing. It’s a fundamental part of taking care of myself.

Without having the space in your head, you can blissfully keep running on adrenaline, not taking the time to reflect on where you are in the here and now.

When I was ill this kind of holiday would have been impossible. I couldn’t sit with myself or my feelings for more than 5 minutes, without wanting to restrict or exercise them away.

I’m grateful that those urges are no longer with me, and whilst it’s not always that easy being with myself, I’m glad that I can actually connect as a whole person and not two separate selves; my eating disorder self and my healthy self that I completely abandoned.

As a little girl the Spanish sun always warmed my soul. It’s a very special place to me for reasons I’ll save for another day. But as I begin to unwind, I’m going to saviour every last drop of my time here, and make a deal with myself to not let another 7 years go by without taking a timeout.