Skip to main content

From the Hottest Fire, Comes the Strongest Steel

Let me fill in some gaps.
Everything has been so strained and emotional lately that I haven't had time to talk about my life - not my head - my life.
It's just been depressing, emotional, despondent post after post without a word on what has been actually going on around me - outside my swirling mind. So I need to tell you what has been happening.

I didn't do my exams. In fact, I didn't do a day of revision.
So, nearly two weeks ago, at 9am, as everyone else in my class opened up their first exam paper, I was sitting waiting for my first interview. 
I'd had enough. I couldn't do it. Weak. Yes. I was weak - I had no intention of fighting or trying. I was too exhausted by everything. I had stopped caring about myself and my life.
Alex had been doing his exams for the two weeks before this, I was on 'revision leave', and I was sitting at home, dying. No really, really, just dying. I let it be. Yes, I let it be. Sit and rot. Do nothing except watch yourself die.

But something took pity on me.
God
The ghost of my father
Some unknown benign spirit
Luck
Coincidence
I don't know...

but I've been given a chance;
Something has given me a lifeline that I probably don't deserve. And despite everything, I woke up and took it with both hands.


Let me explain.

I took a gamble. Someone recommended me to a graduate recruitment company. So I sent a CV. And on that Monday morning, as my exams began, I had my first interview...and on Friday afternoon, twelve days later, as exams ended, I got my job offer.
I got my job offer.
I stuck two fingers up at law school and law and took my original degree in English Literature and excellent CV to people who cared...
I should have done it when I graduated this time last year, but I wasn't ready - I was too ill, I was too fragile, too desperate - still a giddy teenager in so many ways.

But you know, I've got Alex now - and you are all so right - his love is too strong and potent for me to ignore it, no matter how loud Ana screams at me. He gives me something... a desire I suppose - a desire to live, a desire to thrive, a desire to be someone for him to be proud of...
I went in to all those interviews and became another person - outgoing, confident, punchy, intelligent, hungry, tough and ambitious - and I did it - I beat the competition - I got it - something amazing - the opportunity to turn my whole life around - the opportunity I had dreamed of as an ambitiously hungry child - to be something great, something successful - to be something.
"Yes, I like her - a gutsy girl".
At first I felt like a fake.
But then, with every interview, every time they asked me back, every time I got great feedback, I began to believe... and then, finally, after the final interview, she came back with a smile and a job offer. You know why? Because I am all those things I felt I had to pretend to be in my interviews; outgoing, confident, punchy, intelligent, hungry, tough and ambitious. Whatever this eating disorder has destroyed, it has given me something more: From the Hottest Fire, Comes the Strongest Steel: All the hell, all the pain, all the torment - it all kept strengthening the sinew holding me together, making me want life and happiness and success more than anything.
And I start on Tuesday. Something. I owe it to something out there - for giving me this amazing opportunity - for not letting me rot.


I start on Tuesday.
In the centre of the great City of London
amongst the towering investment banks and roaring double decker red buses
I will go to work every day
mentored by one of the most successful women in her industry
"I want to offer you the job. You're going to come with me to meet heads of international finance. I was the top biller in my last company, and I'm going to teach you everything to make you the top biller here."
I went straight to Alex's place and cried tears of joy over the glass of champagne he poured for me.
"I have the two things I wanted... I can't believe it, Alex, I finally have the two things I wanted more than anything for so long - I have you, an incredible man by my side, and also, I've been given the opportunity for a successful career. They were the two things I wanted at the start of the year. And I actually have them."
It never occurred to me, that I wanted to be thin and beautiful. It didn't even come to mind that I didn't have the one thing I had been killing myself for for so long. I was too happy and too safe for those terrible things to even haunt my mind.



But now it's up to me.
I cannot fuck this up.
For the first time in years, my father would be proud of me right now, and I am not going to let him down ever again, for all he ever wanted, was for me to be successful.
I am not going to let Alex down, for he gave me so much love and support.
I am not going to let my employer down, for she had the faith to hire me and believe in my ability.
I am not going to let my mum down, for she has born her pain for so many years.

And I am not going to let myself down. For I am good enough for this.
I am good enough for life.


To all the Ophelia's out there... I know that more often than not, living is more painful than all the torment of drowning. But I believe, more than anything, that living must be worth it, and that still, I can have it all, I can be a super woman, I can be thin and strong and successful...



As God is my witness...
...


Comments

  1. Good luck!
    That is amazing and wonderful, and you totally deserve all of it. I hope the job goes really, really well. You deserve Alex and that job so much!
    :]

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Gone With the Wind... what a book. What a movie.
    You just need to channel your inner Scarlett O'Hara :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post is amazing. I love this empowered Ophelia. You really really deserve to feel like this. Hold on to it. And if it fades, look back at this post and remember, this is possible. x

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is inspiring, I am so happy for you, through all the fighting and weakness you have made it, and you can see that you are worth it, you are good enough. I, I wish you all my luck, even though you don't need it. I know you can do this. You show them, you strong, beautiful girl :) x.

    ReplyDelete
  5. considering that scarlett was in love with someone who never loved her (but made herself believe the opposite) and lost her daughter and the man she could truly love and who wanted to be with her... i'm not sure...

    ReplyDelete
  6. You go!! Well done times a thousand!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so fucking STOAKED right now!!!

    Such awesome news! I toast you with an imaginary glass f imaginary champagne!!

    :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats! That is amazing. This shows you just how worthy you are. Everyone deserves to be happy-I didn't believe it myself either until I met my hubby and knew I'd be stupid to walk away from the chance at happiness and love in favor of misery. I may be some random poster to you and I have commented on your blog before to follow your heart and follow love out of the darkness AND I AM SO GLAD YOU DID!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey, I hope you don't mind but I quoted from your blog in a recent post because I loved the sentiment you expressed. Just let me know if you want me to take it down. x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so happy for you, darling. :) You're absolutely right in believing that you're strong. And you're also absolutely right in fighting to make yourself someone for Alex to be proud of. In fact, that second part has inspired me to work harder to be someone for my Jacob to be proud of. We can do that--and obviously, you can; you're well on your way. Of course you're good enough, love. I've always known that. Stay strong, and keep getting stronger. I'm so proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congrats, lovely.
    I hope to soon follow in your footsteps.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my god, this post made my day. This is wonderful news! Remember you've got a whole crowd of cheerleaders, cheering you on! You'll keep making us proud - every time you make yourself proud.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As a long time follower of your blog I just wanted to say how excited I am for you. Strong as steel, I know you can do it!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Don't be anonymous, leave a name at least so I can identify you back :)

Popular posts from this blog

2017

I have wanted to come back for a little while. So much has happened since my last post. Work colleagues mostly, a trial run with a boy from an app. Arthur, Francis, Gregory, Vincent, Russell, Simon R. Shoes that didn't fit. There are pages about them of course, not here, but in notebooks and scribbles on my phone written on my tube commute. Some indifference, some annihilation, all part of my continual journey.

In February, I met Thomas, and the turn began. We began dating in April, I was labelled his girlfriend in August, and he is the kindest man I have ever let into my life.

I went to Bali in March. Like the healing of the Nile, the energy pulsed deep into my cells and blood and I have not let it go yet. The vibrations of the gong still echoing in my ears, the sunrise still glowing in my heart, the peace and tranquillity in the silent hum of those green fields... I came back with a deep, divine knowledge, that I treasure, every time I am close to forgetting.

And now, I am train…

"Here I am, sane and dry"

"I stayed there, staring at myself in the glass. What do I want to cry about?.... On the contrary, it's when l am quite sane like this, when I have had a couple of extra drinks and am quite sane, that I realize how lucky I am.
Saved, rescued, fished-up, half drowned, out of the deep, dark river, dry clothes, hair shampooed and set. Nobody would know I had ever been in it. Except, of course, that there always remains something. Yes, there always remains something....Never mind, here I am, sane and dry, with my place to hide in. What more do I want?....I'm a bit of an automaton, but sane, surely - dry, cold and sane. Now I have forgotten about dark streets, dark rivers, the pain, the struggle and the drowning...."
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight

Love. Sick.

And finally, today, I cried; soaked the tissues and pillowcase like I had been longing to do for weeks. The most I had been able to manage recently had been dry crying with a scrunched up face and aching heart. Such relief now to be able to physically release emotions other than vomit.

What words do I use to write about the last few weeks? Crippling, torturous anxiety, studying for finance exams, exercising and exercising, bingeing and vomiting, seeing Gareth, fucking Gareth, hating Gareth, exercising and exercising, bingeing and vomiting. Overcome by the fear and confusion and heartache. Studying for finance exams, but really just exercising and bingeing and vomiting.


The exams are done now and I have been free from those chains for a week - definitely alleviating a great deal of the pressure from my mental crumbling. I was close to slipping back under into the darkness. The darkness of having complete loss of control, complete loss of everything to the sickness in my brain.
days …