Side Notes: The Long Road

Side Notes: The Long Road

As 2013 comes to a close there is so much that has happened that it’s hard to know where to start.  Every year I create resolutions, or what I deem “goals” (because resolutions seems to put too much pressure on me/us) and it always includes making leaps and bounds towards recovery.

And for once, in the last ten years, I can say I successfully accomplished one of my goals.

In 2011 I said this for 2012:

-Work as hard as I can on my recovery: Moving to a new place is always an adventure to me and I love discovering new things, but my biggest factor that I always have to fight is the loneliness.  When I get lonely I end up eating emotionally which always backfires on me and makes me feel guilty, starting the vicious cycle all over again.  I won’t have my counselor to talk to while I’m up there, so I think this is going to be a test of sorts to really see how much I have recovered, which I know is a lot in the past year.”

In 2012 I said this about 2013:

3. Staying on the Road of Recovery

Notice that it doesn’t say TOWARDS recovery, but OF recovery because truthfully I finally think I have gotten there.  FINALLY. I has taken almost 10 years of some serious hard work in every way shape and form (which you can always read on my Side Notes Page). I probably won’t be writing too many Side Notes now but I’m sure they will pop up occasionally.

It is finally done.  I have finally reached a point where I believe I have 99.9% recovered.  No longer (almost) are days where I worry about every single morsel of food that enters my body, how many calories I’ve ingested and how many miles I’ve run to burn as many calories as possible.

Now, I’m sure you noticed that it does not say 100% and that I ALMOST have no days of these guilty thoughts.  Obviously there are days where I don’t feel completely 100% amazing and wonderful because really, who the heck does?  Uh, no one.  I’m a real person and I’m not going to deny the fact that I have my off days.  I had a few a few weeks ago that had me going a tad bonkers.  I was worried about everything and anything.  I had put so much pressure on myself about how I would look for certain events and performs certain activities that it exploded in my face.

But the difference is, I saw what was happening and stopped it in it’s tracks. I’ve talked in length about how I now have the ability to realize what is going on, how I’m reacting and how to correct in the right way instead of beating/torturing myself over it.  Yeah, I might end up feeling like a fat-a$$ on some days, but within a few hours, I feel fine again. It may come back, but I just fight it off.

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2012 was the turning point for my recovery and had some real impact. I can’t talk enough about how gaining those 10 pounds in Peru helped me realize how my train of thought had been so messed up for so many years.  To finally, FINALLY be able to realize that people will love, care and help you no matter what you look like, how much you weigh, and what you have the ability to accomplish is such a relief! It sounds vein, to believe that everything is about looks and weight, but with our society conforming to the norms we have today, and all the pressure we encounter, it’s hard not to.

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The road to this level of recovery has made me realize how much was taken from me by my eating disorder.  I missed out on so many opportunities and most importantly friends, in the past ten years that it hurts my heart just thinking about it.  There were so many missed opportunities because I was afraid of eating something, not feeling beautiful enough, or believing I simply wasn’t worth it.  My friends have all been amazing to me through the thick and thin of this disease and I literally owe them my life.  They deserve so much more from me for what they have kindheartedly given me over the past ten years.

That is why, this post is for you.  You my readers, many who have become such close friends who I have connected with in real life or only through the internet.  Never have you let me down and let me drag myself back through the dirt to the sad sad place where I used to bury myself. You have always been there to encourage me to get back up on my feet, wipe off the dirt and look up in to the sun and see the birds (haha) and light that I so deserve.  You all deserve just as much love and support from me that I have yet to provide to you and I owe you.  My life would not be what it is today without you.  You may have only commented on my posts once in your life, but been reading for the almost 7 years I’ve been blogging, and it made I difference.  Every comment or email I ever got to encourage me to keep going was so powerful.

You have allowed me to step outside of the box and be who I really am; realize who I can be. Without you I would not be attending USC to earn a professional certificate (maybe even Master’s Degree??) in GIS, making new friends through birding and running, and experiences new place in my new home.  And of course realizing what I have already with who I am is amazing.

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I thank you all for all you have done for me. So this year, the blog is for you. I plan on being there for you and letting you see what my life is now like without the holds of a debilitating eating disorder that kept me from you for years.  I plan on bringing you more enjoyment through the blog rather than what horrible feelings may be developing.  I hope to make you smile with my crazy adventures and anything else I can muster up.  And of course there will be birds. Don’t think I’ll take that away from you.

Thank you again.  I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

Happy 2014!!!!!!

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16 Responses to Side Notes: The Long Road

  1. itzyskitchen says:

    So happy for you <3

  2. Karla says:

    This is amazing, as are YOU, Melissa. What a powerful post by an inspirational lady—and what wonderful way to wrap up 2013!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Mara says:

    Love you my friend!!!! So proud of you <3

  4. Krista says:

    Congrats Melissa! I’m so happy to read this post. :)

  5. Amy Lauren says:

    I’m really happy for your Melissa and glad you accomplished your goals. You are so right, things like this are way different than a “resolution” that someone keeps for a few weeks or month. Your recovery is something for the rest of your life. You’ve definitely made a ton of progress in the last few years and I’m so proud of you for overcoming the ED, going to Peru, running, working at the running store, and now pursuing the degree :).

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Amy! Your comments over the years always reminded me that I could overcome this and realize all the potential out there for me!

  6. sarah says:

    So happy for you, and I look forward to reading more about your life in recovery in the coming year. Happy new year!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Sarah! You have influenced my recovery more than I can put to words and can’t thank you for all the kind reminders throughout it. Also, you helped me focus more on my love for the environment and how much better it can be to experience without my ED looming over my head!

  7. Really pleased for you and have loved following your journey. All the best for 2014!

  8. G says:

    You have really helped me stay on track myself. It is so refreshing to read a blog that doesn’t claim perfection in recovery because as you say, it is impossible. This has been the most helpful and honest blog in my recovery and often the advice or comfort I try to give you is what I need to hear too. So thanks! Happy 2014!

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you so much for your support and comments over the year G! I know you can stay on track too because there is no pretty side to recovery and we have to be real about it! We can do this! Have a great 2014!!!!

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