Why can't I be perfect?

I have issues. I have lots of them. How will I survive?
This is the story of Bryony James. A 16 year old girl who is struggling with anorexia and depression.
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20. Near Perfection

It's the day. Becca already text me Good Luck and when I was with Dr. Wakes yesterday. Daniella and Margaux dropped by to say they hoped I passed with flying colours. I hope I have too. I couldn't bear to have to retake the year, especially with people I don't know and all my friends abandoning me so that they can go to the sixth form area.

 Mum made me a couple of scotch pancakes with banana and a blackberry compote on the side for breakfast this morning. It was very low fat which kept me happy and in positive spirits too.

 We drove to college for half past nine which was when I had arranged to meet with Victoria, Libby and Apeksha.

 "Hi!!" we yelled.

 Libby ran over to me and hugged me tightly.

 "Bryony, are you alright? You look so pale. But Apeksha said I do too, it's probably down to nerves over the results. I know you said they'll determine your future!"

 "They do for whether I repeat Year Eleven or not." I replied.

 "It'll all be fine. You're always fine. All of you!" Victoria grinned at the three of us, "Fear not. Come on, I can't stand this stress when we can actually get the grades and calm down!"

 "Oh, Vikki! Always the peacemaker." I smiled at her and she began to march towards the hall.

 We passed some of our other friends from our old science group. They stopped to talk to us and so many of them had got A*'s that it made me, Libby and Apeksha feel more confident that we might have done enough to get an A* too.

 In the hall I searched for a brown envelope with my name on. It wasn't difficult to find. I looked around the hall and saw my friends had all just discovered their envelopes.

 I picked up the brown envelope with my name on the front and headed out to the courtyard area at the front of the college. My hand shook, my whole body was trembling.

 I pulled the sheet of paper out and turned it over so I could see the letters on it.

 I scanned the letters. Panic and horror and delight gripped my brain, my nerves stood to attention. There was not a single U nor an E or a D or even a C. I had passed. I wouldn't have to retake the following year.

 "Bryony, are you okay? It looks like there's an earthquake happening beneath you, you're shaking so much."

 Libby laughed at me as Apeksha spoke.

 "Yeah. I'm fine." I breathed slowly, "Just give me a moment."

 I scanned the grades again. There were two B's, three A's and eight A*'s. It couldn't be true. But it was.

 History A*

 Geography A*

 Product Design B

 Creative Writing A

 Maths A

 Science A*

 Additional science A*

 English language A*

 English literature A*

 German A*

 Further maths A

 French B

 R.E A*

 

I stood gazing at the grades for a long time. Victoria came over and asked to look but I refused, I wanted to know hers first. They were bound to be awesome. And they were. Seven A*'s and six A's. But mine were good too. At least I wouldn't have to retake the year. I could do my AS levels instead!!!

 After picking our GCSE results up we had to go to the sixth form area and sign up for Year Twelve. The woman I saw was very congratulatory of my success.  She told me any options I chose would be fine so I went with the subjects I had decided on doing previously, the ones I loved the most, which were History, English Literature, German and Geography. When I went back to Apeksha, Libby and Victoria I discovered Apeksha was going to be doing Geography, Libby was taking German and Victoria was doing History and English Literature. I hoped I was in their classes. I couldn't wait to begin but I knew I would have to clear it with Dr. Wakes first. He wanted to check my meticulous, conscientious, perfectionist streak could be kept under control. I knew my results didn't show this. I'd done the work when I should have been relaxing and re-cooperating. It had been against the strict hospital orders but I hadn't cared then. I love work and I had such a strong desire to pass with flying colours.  He'd probably struggle to believe I got these grades whilst suffering a severe mental disorder which is meant to restrict concentration levels and the memory pathway in the brain. But I did work hard and refuse to listen when I was told to stop or calm down. I just pray Dr. Wakes will be kind and allow me to take year twelve now. I can't wait. It sounds as though I'll be doing more of the things I love and be given more freedom and independence again. No one can ever understand my obsession with getting freedom and independence but then, they haven't had to live in a hospital for almost a year.

***

 I've been in year twelve for a month now and it's really exciting and interesting and fun. I haven't relapsed once yet although I still have to visit the hospital for check-ups every other week.

 I still see Becca occasionally although it's harder now as she has also been discharged and its twenty miles between our hometowns. We email each other and write letters which makes our correspondence more interesting.

 Dr. Wakes seems pleased with my progress and can't believe he ever doubted my recovery. I don't think he realised how strong I could be when I put in nearly all my effort. It's true that I've surprised myself as well. I didn't think that I'd ever escape the grip of Ana and EDNOS but I have.

 Since I started Year Twelve everything has improved, partly due to my strict work ethic which leaves a minimal amount of time for the previous thought that went into my food and exercise regime.

 I love my subjects and I don't want to be in fear of failing again so I will work hard consistently to achieve. It's tough. I always feel tired and I still look like a stick. It does please me when I look in the mirror because Ana hasn't left completely. I think she'll always be a nagging voice in a dark and dusty corner of my mind. I have heard many people say that you never recover fully from an experience with an eating disorder. Dr. Wakes and Benjamin aren't concerned about my appearance because my mental health is much better and my weight has stabilised at a healthy level. My friends are helping with my mental situation as is my monthly session with Jem. She's awesome. I see her for personal sessions now and we discuss whatever I feel like talking about. Its fun and a different approach to therapy.

 Soon exams and trials will start and I'll be so busy and stressed again. Mum has booked me onto a yoga class because Dr. Wakes said it helped to relax and meditate when going through stress. I'm looking forward to starting. Apeksha and Libby are going to come too. Life is better with friends, freedom and true happiness.

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