I have achieved a 2:1 in BA English… I am delighted!
I got the email through today and it provided me with confirmation of my grades. I have a degree, I do, I do! It has taken me three whole years and it is only now that it comes to an end. Three years.
Wow, that’s actually a long time and so I really want to look at the bigger picture because -although I am pleased with my grade- it is through looking at the whole scene that my true achievement lies.
Unfortunately, anorexia has been a keen and unwelcome player throughout the past three years. From the first to last day of my degree I have had it infiltrating every component of my life. I’ve had two relapses in the past three years and the second one nearly saw me leave university altogether.
It’s been a period of struggle and of pain… but it has also been one of immense progress, love and strength. And that is what I want to remember from these three years.
I want to remember the friends I made and people I have met, as they have truly kept me together at times. They have inspired me with their kindness and surprised me with their determination to stick by me (I think the quote “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry’ is appropriate here!).
I want to remember the times I laughed- and there were plenty- the books I enjoyed reading – o so many!- the confidence I acquired, the places I visited and the people I met along the way.
I want to remember how I fought back against my anorexic urges, even when I honestly thought I had forgotten how to exist without starving myself. I want to remember how I picked myself up again and again and I want to be proud of that. I refuse to see this period of my life as a failure, as nothing more than a drag through a difficult time.
There was so much light that shone through the cracks… the things I learned!
In and out of lectures, how I have developed as a person and how I have become more and more resilient to the jibes and shouts of my illness. I am stronger now. More independent. I am now hopelessly in love with my boyfriend of 15 months, who has been a sturdy and wonderful source of support and love for me.
I never dreamed I would achieve any of this. I didn’t think I would ever be so happy, but the last three years has shown me how hard work pays off, how life without an eating disorder can be.
It’s natural to reflect when things come to an end and this time, I am choosing to see the positives, to see the light and to revel in the wonder and miraculous nature of my life.
Alongside this, I achieved my 2:1.
So I am not going to berate myself for not achieving a 1st. For not being perfect, essentially. No, I am instead going to celebrate all I have achieved, because I worked so damned hard to get to the end of this degree.
- I ate fairly freely: I put in an extra snack!
- I ATE PIZZZAAAAAAA (yay)
- I also drank o so many drinks (of squash)
- Consequently, I have been peeing a lot (is this even normal haha)
- I also did some self care! I watched an easy to watch tv show and painted my nails and spent some time on my appearance *winning*
The lesson I have learned today though, is that success is not a number, it is not a degree classification… I’ve been successful because I’ve been happy. Those moments of contentment illustrate to me the extent of my achievement.