Small Steps Really Can Take You Long Distances

1st walk 2016
The edge of the grounds at Temple Newsam, taken roughly halfway around the route I walked.

On Tuesday I walked 20km with no fainting, kept myself adequately fuelled, hydrated and fully enjoyed my time in the sun. This is a pretty big achievement when you consider that not so long ago, back when my health was so terrible that simply walking could be at times nearly impossible, when everything was only about calories and how I could lose them, and when I was far too miserable to even try to appreciate what was around me, this would’ve been unthinkable.

Admittedly, since being mostly recovered from my eating disorder it’s more been standing still that’s become the biggest problem, and lately I’m pleased to say I’ve actually also noticed some improvement in this area – shown both in the slight increase to how long I can play my violin for before the dizziness begins and also with the definitely shorter recovery time after it does inevitably hit me.

For months I found myself convinced that I would end up having to drop out of university because I wasn’t able to stay standing for long enough to even play a full study, and because of the fact that a lot of things were just getting worse and worse and I wound up having to miss, reschedule or distance learn a lot of my course. For the first time, though, I can now confidently say that I don’t think I will have to drop out. If I can continue to access the help I need and to improve my mental and physical health and fitness over summer, I think I might actually have a chance of succeeding academically, musically, and in my life generally.

That’s not to say I think it’s really going to get much easier though. In fact, I think I’m going to have to work twice as hard to get to where I want to be and to catch up, but if I break things up, continue to take my baby steps forward and, most importantly, ask for help to get myself back on track, I no longer believe it’s completely impossible.

Shoutout to the people in my life who’ve stuck by me and helped me get this far. It’s been a hard enough road to this point and I’m definitely not going to give up now, not when I can see the distance I’ve come already and the distance I have the potential to travel right in front of me. And the next achievement scheduled? That’s handing in my university work and finally finishing for the year.

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