Side Notes: Ten Years Later

Side Notes: Ten Years Later

A lot has gone on in the last ten years in regards to my eating disorder.  Hell, almost 10 years ago to date was when it started when I was a freshman in college. If you have been reading my blog since I started to really post back in 2008, you have been here for the majority of it.  There is still a huge part of my eating disorder that I have not talked to anyone about, as all those thoughts and emotions are currently sitting in 7 journals in a box at my parents house.  Those seven books, they are how everything was going when my eating disorder first started.  Oh so long ago…

It amazes me what I’ve gone through in the past ten years:

I went from a bubbling high school graduate…


To a stressed out college freshman…


To a very sick young woman struggling to figure out where she belonged and who she was…


To fighting to bring myself back from killing my body and helping it recover…traveling the world and seeing all that it could teach me…



To years of mental battles and successes with the helps of my friends and family…

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To a huge move to ultimate recovery 9 years after it started.

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It has been a very tough ten years. I can only imagine what everyone around me was thinking as I continued to battle this disease, but they were always there for me.  This disease is stubborn, burying itself so deeply inside of you that you forget how to think like a normal person…especially about food, but also about exercise and what you see in the mirror.

It’s much easier today. Today, I don’t worry about how much I weigh and think more about how I feel. Running is no longer done simply to burn calories, but to train for bigger and better races.  I don’t revolve everything about what I’m going to eat that day, how I’ll be able to exercise, and what everyone will think when they see me.  I can no concentrate on birds, ecology, school, friends, family….I have my life back. I finally have it back from my eating disorder.

It amazes me still that I have been able to get to this point in my recovery. Ask me a year ago if I’d ever get to this point and I would have told you it felt impossible.  Absolutely out of reach.  So far off in space, that it may just not exist.  But it does. There is always a turning point.  ALWAYS.  I have gone to the edge and back with this disease and felt so hopeless at times that I thought I would be forever plagued by guilt about food and everything else in between.

But here it is. Recovery.  I’ve finally taken the road and I’m so glad I found it.  It’s been there all along, I just had to figure out how to walk down it.  I talk to many of you ladies personally about how to get to this road, and it’s not one I can just direct you to. It’s one you have to find and walk down yourself. It may feel like an earthquake underneath you while you’re walking on it, but that’s when you run. You run as fast as you can and the light at the end of that road, it’s filled with everything you’ve ever dreamed of.  None of those dreams ever left you, they just…went into hiding for a bit.

So ladies, and gentlemen if you’re out there, don’t give up on recovery.  It took me almost ten years to get there.  It was a long, hard and what felt like an impossible journey. But it’s there.

I’m always here to help. ALWAYS. Because I know what you’re going through, and I know what lies in the future for you as you work hard to recover.


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25 Responses to Side Notes: Ten Years Later

  1. itzyskitchen says:

    So happy for you :) :)

  2. <3 this makes me so happy. you're amazing!

  3. kristaskravings says:


  4. Amy Lauren says:

    Loved reading this :). I’m glad your happy and it’s good to read a positive side notes- I’ve been reading a long time and remember when so many posts were more about struggles than triumphs. Obviously we all struggle with various things sometimes, but it’s great to read almost all positive stuff and stories of overcoming things :). Way to go Melissa!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Amy! The triumphs are so much nicer to talk about for sure, but it’s those struggles that get me to those triumphs of course! always the hard road to go down to get to the smooth one! :)

  5. Such a great positive post!

  6. Your story is so inspiring. You are to be commended for your determination and strength. Never giving up is an important lesson for us all. Lots of love your way!

  7. Beautiful post, Melissa!! You are such an inspiration and it makes me so incredibly happy to read about how far you have come in 10 years. I’m also so grateful for what your friendship has given me — that’s one of my favorite pictures of us. :) Love ya lady!

    • Melissa says:

      I love that picture too; I have it framed on the wall in my room with a few others from our trip, your wedding and Ragnar! :) <3

  8. Julia G says:

    I’m SO happy that I stumbled across your blog… I have just started recovery and to see you so positive and beautiful and happy… it gives me so much hope. Please keep writing :)

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Julia! I plan to continue writing and have some features coming up probably in the new year about my early years and recovery. I hope you’redoing well and wish you the best in your recovery!

  9. G says:

    I am so happy for you. Hugs from across the interwebs.

  10. Kim says:

    It’s been really awesome to have followed your blog so long and to see you doing so well. Congratulations, Melissa!

  11. Pearl says:

    It’s great to hear that you’re doing so well. Thanks for the reminder that recovery is possible :)

  12. biz319 says:

    I am so proud of you Mel! I believe I have been reading your blog since 2008, or at least 2009. I am so happy that you are able to see the beautiful woman I always saw. Hugs!!

  13. Gena says:

    You’re amazing, Melissa. I’m so proud of you, so glad we met, and so excited to watch you move into new phases of your life. <3

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  15. Josh says:

    Thanks so much for this. As many times as I hear hopeful stories like yours, it’s still hard to believe that I’ll ever completely escape the monstrous grips of bulimia. Though I’m doing better currently than I have in the past 10 years that I’ve lived in my bulimic hell, things are not perfect by any means and it’s often hard to find hope. It’s hard to have hope that there will come a day when all of my time and energy will not be spent thinking about food. And not on fighting the insatiable urges to binge and purge. Despite it’s awful impact on my life and relationships, it continues to haunt me every moment of my existence. I have to remind myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and blurbs like this make it a little easier to do that in this moment. So thank you for that.

    • Melissa says:

      Josh, it’s there. I swear to you, recovery and a life away from bulimia is there. You’re right, it’s one foot in front of the other, every single day. Just ask yourself, when you take that step everyday, how do you want it to fall? With grace? With happiness? Will it have life and a jump to it? You have the choice on how that step, and every step after that, will go. You can do it. Myself, and many others, are always here for you to encourage you on. I am on the other side pulling you in buddy!

      • Josh says:

        Thank you so much. Your words mean so much and your example means even more! Thank you for living my dream so I can believe it’s possible for me!

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  17. I wanted to tell you how inspiring and empowering your story has been. I have passages from your blog on my desktop that serve as reminders of the importance of recovery. I have a blog “Tales of a Recovering Recoverer” and would love to hear your thoughts sometime. Feel free to email me directly through the blog:

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