Hey, hello, hiiiiiiiiii.
Soooo it’s been nearly six months since I last blogged and shared the news that I was entering residential treatment for severe anorexia, orthorexia, and over exercise. A part of me feels like I need to apologize for going off the grid for most of 2017. Then another more rationale part of me doesn’t feel like I need to apologize at all. Going off the grid was exactly what I needed to do.
It’s not for lack of things to say, I have PLENTY to say and share.
Actually, that’s part of the problem. I have SO much I want to say that I haven’t known where to start. Then my other problem has been that when I thought I knew where to start, I’d second guess myself. Again.
I was convinced that I had to find the “best” angle, narrative, or aspect of recovery to share first.
Typical, right? #perfectionistproblems
Thank you for giving me the space to recover and the opportunity to share my experience with you. Thank you for loving and supporting me with your kind words, letters, cards, voicemails, texts, emails. Thank you for your patience, forgiveness, and understanding while I continue to recover and figure out what to do with the blog, dietetics, and my future.
Before I invite you to take a deep dive with me as I share my recovery process, experience, insights, and resources in future blog posts coming SOON, I want to take some space here on the blog to holla at a few people in my life that deserve a shout out.
THANK YOU TO MY HUSBAND TRISTEN
Thank you to my husband, Tristen, who has shown me infinite kindness, compassion, grace, patience, love, acceptance, support, forgiveness, and unwavering loyalty. Thank you, Tristen, for loving me even when I was hard to love. Thank you for trusting me, believing in me, and us. Thank you for your devotion and strength. Thank you for visiting me every.single.weekend no matter what or where (even when it meant spending 9 hours in a car one way, usually in the torrential California rain, to only see me for an hour).
Thank you, Tristen, for spending the holidays in a hotel room in Malibu so we could have a few moments together at Christmas and assuring me that it was worth the sacrifice, sadness, and loneliness to ensure a lifetime of future holidays together. Thank you for giving more instead of giving up. Thank you for your deep and steady presence. Thank you for never once making me feel awkward, weird, ashamed, or embarrassed for having an eating disorder and for embracing my recovery process—privately and publicly. Thank you for being courageous and vulnerable, honest and transparent. Thank you for honoring our marriage in sickness and health.
You are my true north.
THANK YOU TO MY PARENTS
Thank you to my parents, who humble me with their generosity, empathy, compassion, support, and forgiveness. Thank you both for the willingness to share your own vulnerabilities and participate in my recovery even when it is uncomfortable and difficult. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to ensure I received the best shot at recovering. Thank you, Dad, for never giving up on me and for writing me a letter every single day I was in treatment—I cherish our relationship. Thank you, Mom, for always answering the phone and listening to me—really listening to me—and for participating in my recovery process. Thank you for your humor, insight, and friendship. Above all else, thank you for accepting me, loving me, and for your own strength, tenacity, and courage.
Thank you to my family and extended family for always loving me unconditionally. Thank you for cheering me on and commending me for seeking help. Thank you for embracing me–flaws and all–and encouraging me to be no one but true myself.
THANK YOU TO OUR DOG ARCHIE
Thank you to our beloved and deeply missed dog, Archie, who passed away from lymphoma on March 6, 2017. For nearly nine years, you made Tristen and I laugh every day with your silliness and endless energy. Thank you for being my snuggle buddy when Tristen traveled. Thank you for literally stopping traffic with your cuteness and charm. Thank you for stealing socks, making nests in sheets, howling at Bruce Springsteen’s harmonica (or any excessive beeping noise), and for giving me a reason to leave the house on days I did not want to leave.
Thank you for reminding me to find joy in small things and the value of a good nap. Thank you for being there for Tristen when I had to leave you both to enter treatment in Malibu. Thank you for waiting to leave us and this life until I was home from treatment and we could be a family again, even if only for a few precious weeks. Thank you for the deep, unconditional love you showed us. You were always so much more than a pet or a dog and not a day goes by that we don’t think of you.
THANK YOU TO MY FRIENDS
Thank you to my friends—new and old, near and far—who remind me that community and connection is far more valuable than these earth suits (a.k.a. bodies) our soul’s wear. Thank you to those of you who loved and supported me through the first time I was anorexic and who have stood by me for more than half my life. Thank you for showing me that true friendship is blind. Thank you for laughing with me, crying with me, trusting me, and above all else for sharing your lives with me.
THANK YOU TO MY READERS & ONLINE INSTA PALS
Thank you for telling me I was and am brave and courageous to share my struggle and story. Thank you for sharing your own stories of battling body image, obsessive thoughts, food fears, insecurities, and anxiety. Thank you for sharing your recovery wins, resources, and successes.
THANK YOU TO MY BODY (a.k.a. my Earth Suit)
Speaking of Earth Suits…Thank you to my body. Thank you to my body for surviving, enduring, and adapting. Thank you for your resiliency, determination, stamina, and forgiveness. Thank you for your patience and grace. Thank you for healing and continuing to heal. Thank you for recovering. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for being my home, holding my heart, and letting me experience this strange and wonderfully imperfect world.
THANK YOU TO PIZZA, ICE CREAM, AND RAINBOW SPRINKLES
Thank you for making weight restoration (a.k.a the only slightly gentler way of saying weight gain) delicious, tolerable, and possible. Thank you for welcoming me back with open arms. I owe you my life. Literally. 😉
THANK YOU TO MY TEAM
A huge thank you to my California dietitian, Barbara, for insisting on residential treatment. I would not be alive today without your persistence and patience. You are an inspiration and show me that a truly recovered life is possible. Thank you to my treatment teams. Thank to my therapists for holding space for me, validating me, challenging me, and above all hating my eating disorder.
Which brings me my last and certainly not least expression of gratitude…
THANK YOU TO MY EATING DISORDER.
Thank you to my eating disorder.
Yes. I am grateful to my eating disorder.
Thank you to my eating disorder for helping me cope with change and anxiety. Thank you for making me feel safe and in control. Thank you for comforting me and protecting me from uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Thank you for pushing me to be better and making me feel accepted. Thank you for giving me a sense of security, certainty, and success. Thank you for wanting me to be perfect and for setting the bar high. Thank you for being there for me when I felt alone, scared, sad, angry, disconnected, unworthy, unlovable, lost, lonely, and anxious. Thank you for giving me a purpose and sense of self (albeit a false one).
Thank you to my eating disorder for trying to make me happy.
Thank you to my eating disorder for trying to make me healthy.
Thank you to my eating disorder for trying to protect me.
Thank you to my eating disorder for giving me a chance to really, truly pause and evaluate what I value most in this world (spoiler alert: it’s not being skinny, having abs, clean eating, counting macros, or wearing a certain size jeans). Thank you to my eating disorder for the privilege to reevaluate my life and choose a different one.
I now have a crystal clear vision of the kind of life I want to live, the kind of daughter, sister, wife, friend, aunt, and person I want to be and have always been at heart.
And guess what?!
That life does not include you. #sorryimnotsorry #pissoffed
I know. I know. You ain’t going down without a fight, but neither am I.
While I did not choose to have an eating disorder, I DO choose to recover.
I choose to recover.
I have fought and continue to fight hard for my recovery and when it’s really hard to do (which is often), I remember how lucky I am to have the opportunity to fight it at all.
Ya feel me?
Because this life? It is a gift. That I know for certain.
More soon. Cross my heart.