“The more you pretend to be strong, I see your weakness. The more you bare your fangs, I see your pain”

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I went home over the weekend. I seem to be going home a lot lately. I don’t know why. My excuse this time was it was my sister’s birthday, mother’s day and I had a dentist appointment which I couldn’t avoid because I’m on wisdom teeth watch right now. Also my father was home for once, which meant I could spend a bit of time with him. I went home on Friday and my father picked me up from the station. I spent the evening quietly talking to my parents, and then doing some work. The next day my father took myself, my sister and her boyfriend for a walk/climb up Shutlingsloe. This is a walk we’ve done as a family many, many times. In every weather but sunshine. It seemed like it would be a good day on Saturday so we were optimistic that for once we wouldn’t be battling the elements – well, my father was keen to tease me about ice and wind anyway but I was optimistic. We set off late in the afternoon. The walk started with a steep climb on a narrow country road, entering gloomy forest and carrying on steadily upwards. The path is lovely – the pines are thick and tall all around and the ground is coated in fallen pine needles – it’s complete fairytale woodland. The smell of fresh pine is delicious too. The walk isn’t too challenging either. At one point the walk opened up and the path turned to wooden boards and I just burst into a run, for no reason other than I could. I’m fatter now and not anaemic, and I can run if I want to. I can run and then hike up a steep woodland path right after. It felt pretty great. My heart was racing and I felt slightly out of breath, but I wasn’t in pain or feeling faint. It felt amazing to be this capable. I just grinned at my dad and said “I can run!” and I’m sure he thought I was a little crazy. Nevermind. Every time I think I hate my body I will try to remind myself of how great that feeling was.

The walk eventually opened up onto grassy fields, the woodland becoming sparser. The views were amazing from our height. I have recently discovered that I can take panoramas on my phone and I was like a child with a new toy on Saturday, stopping at every viewpoint to play with it. I think I got some good ones. I think my family was annoyed with me lagging behind to take them. I think it is fiddly and time consuming to get the photos to align in high winds, and it’s awkward when half way through your panorama people end up coming behind you and you end up looking as if you are trying to photograph them.

As we got higher and more exposed it became colder and windier. So far it had been a pleasant day and I had been regretting not wearing a t-shirt. Well, I had to layer up then. We eventually came to the bottom of Shutlingsloe. I was a little nervous – I don’t like the climb up Shutlingsloe. It’s steep and exposed. I have experienced hill walking in such high winds that you literally couldn’t stand up. I was very nervous. I started off OK but near the top I ended up standing still, too scared to carry on. My sister had to hold my hand and guide me the rest of the way. It was nice on top of Shutlingsloe though, as it always is, with pleasant views of the countryside. It was crazy windy though, which was pretty typical too and I don’t know why I expected it may be different. We tried to take pictures of ourselves by the white pillar- signifying the top -and I’m sure there was a lot of stray hairs and squinting. I’m glad to have photos though. I currently have a photo of my dad and myself on Shutlingsloe in my windowsill from several years ago. I’m too skinny, and my smile is forced. I think it would be interesting to compare the two. I want to see how I’ve changed.

Of course, once up we had to go down. This was also a bit nerve-wracking, and I had my dad hold my hand this time. By the time I got down though I was fine. I was feeling pretty energetic, up for running all the way back, all flailing limbs like Phoebe in that FRIENDS episode, but I paced myself properly and let myself enjoy strolling back. It was getting late, cold and a little gloomy. But it was still pleasant, and it was great going downwards. We took a different way back so we could visit our (my father and I’s) favourite view point – the second to last picture shows the view from up there. It’s always quiet and there are some nicely placed benches to sit for a while and just soak in the scenery and fresh air. Which we did. Then we got back to the car and went home. I made supper for everyone, then retreated to my room to chill out, too tired to work.

Nothing much happened on Sunday. Just spent it at home with my cat and my dad mostly, although in the evening I spent time with my sister and her boyfriend. A little awkward, but I tried to be nice and enjoy myself and not let anyone know that actually, I wasn’t feeling very comfortable with it. My sister is very grown up now. I am still struggling to adjust.

On Monday my dad drove me back to Uni after a morning dentist appointment, and this was awkward as my room hadn’t been cleaned and the medication my parents don’t know I’m on and the chocolate I’m not supposed to be eating were all on full display. I felt very embarrassed, awkward and yet I’m hopeful that I atleast managed to hide away all the medicine packets before my Dad saw. My dad sat with me and helped me with some work then dropped me off at uni for my Japanese. I wish I could have spent longer with him – perhaps gone out with a meal with him, like we used to. I missed my dad when he was away, as he has been for a great majority of this year, and I wanted to spend time with him. Japanese isn’t going so well either. I skipped last week’s lesson because I just couldn’t be bothered, and I could hardly concentrate on Monday. My heart is no longer in it. I’m just so tired at the moment, that it is hard to really care about anything.

Nonetheless I made Tuesday and Wednesday OK days too. I went back to work on Tuesday and everyone was so nice, they didn’t tell me off for my sudden time off at all and they were all interested in what I had been up to and congratulated me on my new job. I was thisclose to quitting and I’m glad I forced myself to go back. It has been a really good thing for me volunteering. Anyway, I managed to wake up today and attend my 9am lecture, and spent some time in the library doing work. So it’s not too bad. I’m still struggling, but I am making positive steps to improvement, I guess.

I want to go back home and laze about with my cat, to be honest, though.