Back to the hospital

Next week, I will be returning to FV in the inpatient unit for the first time in over 2 years. This time around is much different. I won’t be a patient there now (and hopefully never, ever again), but I will be completing the majority of my mental health clinical hours.

My anxiety has gotten pretty high over this. I’m worrying like crazy and trying to calm that down. After plenty of talking with some staff from IOP/friends I do feel a little better. I think what I need most is to write out some intentions so I can hold myself accountable.

What I will do

  • Act “normal.” What I mean by this is pretend that I’m just a nursing student and not a patient. At this point, it has been over 2 years since my one week inpatient stay and 3 for my PHP experience. I feel well removed from those situations and I fully believe I won’t suddenly revert to feeling like a patient once I am back in that place.
  • Cover up my scars – for obvious reasons. This will also protect me from looking like someone who suffers from mental illness. While my professor knows I have a history with mental health (no details there), the patients I interact with are not going to have a clue. I want to keep it this way.
  • Eat in the cafeteria. Gah this kills me. More than anything, food brings up the most negative reaction from things that occurred at FV. I can still picture the trays, being forced to eat things I didn’t necessarily like, those stupid desserts every.single.lunch, the staff “offering” Ensure if you didn’t eat every single bite. I realize this is going to be different. Instead of a room with just ED patients, I’ll be in the cafeteria with other staff. I will not be watched like a hawk. I get real choices to get whatever sounds best. It will be a struggle for many reasons, but I hope that I’ll realize that eating there will be a good thing.
  • Avoid VH aka Dr. VanDouchebag. If there is one person who I would absolutely avoid FV  again for, it would be him. He is the ED psychiatrist aka the guy who threatened me with inpatient, told me i would be tubed, and basically was the most frustrating hardass to work with. I will never be more thrilled that never having to see him again. Even if it was as a student instead, I just don’t wish to interact with him in any way. If only I could nonchalantly tell my prof being on his service isn’t an option, ha!

What I will stay away from

  • Telling my professor about my eating disorder. Maybe this seems counterintuitive. To me, it’s not. I don’t wish to be treated differently because of my past. I hope to have an experience there that will help me learn the most. I think her knowing about the ED would cause her to keep me off of 1-2 units out of 5, which would definitely hinder my experience.
  • Disclosing of my history at FV. I think this would be just as harmful, if not more, than talking about my eating disorder. I have a feeling she wouldn’t feel so comfortable with me doing clinicals there. (Fun fact: I specifically chose this site so I could experience the hospital from a different light)
  • Ask to change placement in the hospital. I don’t want special treatment and asking to change where I am assigned to would do just that. Dr. C is especially concerned with this. After needing it last year with missing classes, she doesn’t want a repeat. She believes it would negatively affect my nursing experience. There is no good reasons for that to happen, except…
  • Let my recovery be jeopardized. If it becomes absolutely necessary, I will reach out. I can’t see that happening at this point, given I’ve been in treatment for a million hours this year and am completely used to hearing potentially triggering things. In the minute chance it does occur, I will find some sort of excuse before I would actually disclose personal information. No clinical experience would be worth slipping backwards in recovery, especially considering all the hard work I’ve put in.
  •  Say hi to staff (unless alone/away from my prof and fellow students). There is one staff member I particularly love. She has worked during IOP as well and was there during the time I got accepted into nursing <3. I would absolutely love to update her and chat for a bit. I do plan on this if at all possible. On the other hand, I’m thankful for HIPAA and the fact that any staff who remember me cannot say a word. It will fully be my choice to acknowledge that past relationship or not.
  • Tell any fellow patients from my time there that I remember them. Unfortunately, these relationships aren’t really protected by anything. If someone recognizes me they have all the rights in the world to ask me about how I’m doing, say hi, etc. This one somewhat freaks me out. While I definitely care about them, talking to them for reasons other than a therapeutic one would clearly let on that I was a patient once too. I really hope to protect that information and not be the broken/unstable student.
  • Provide care for anyone I have talked to outside of treatment. I mostly doubt this would happen. I am not in contact with 90% of those I was at FV with. The ones I do still talk to are not there currently. Even if they became patients again I would probably see it first on Facebook or something. Still, I am prepared for the slight chance of this happening. I wouldn’t even have to disclose why or how I know them here, just that I do and therefore cannot be involved with their care. If there is a case of recognizing them without seeing them outside of treatment, that wouldn’t need to be avoided unless they would be uncomfortable with it.
  • Let my adviser (who isn’t the prof for clinicals) know about my treatment and struggles the past year. She is aware of my eating disorder and the fact that I went to residential. The last time I mentioned it was right after, so around a year and a half ago. I’ve considered talking about IOP, the semester from hell last spring, and the fact that I spent the vast majority of my summer in treatment. While this has been a significant part of my story, it really shouldn’t affect anything if she isn’t aware (at least I’m telling myself that). I can imagine Dr. C’s disapproval if I asked her advice on the subject. She would call that special treatment that would follow me through the next 2 years.

I’ll admit, I am uncertain about some of these rules I’ve made for myself. It bothers me that I can’t predict the future of what will happen the next month and a half. It could go fine, but it may also mean everything I’ve set up will be challenged. All I want is to get the very most out of my time at FV. I’m trying to believe in myself and my ability to make returning to the psychiatric hospital a nonissue.

The end of summer.

Tonight is he last night of summer for me. I have a myriad of emotions regarding this, and over how I spent my summer as a whole. I want to take some time to reflect on this summer, namely my treatment experiences and what I’ve learned from it.

By the numbers:

  • 33 days in residential
  • 27 days of PHP
  • 10 days of IOP
  • 2 months away from home
  • 1,058 hours spent in treatment
  • 70 total days in treatment/110 days of summer = 64% of summer days

It’s hard to believe that so much of my summer has been taken up by treatment. I never would have wanted this for myself. I honestly didn’t expect my break from school to play out this way at all. I thought that I was handling the eating disorder and school perfectly, and that it would continue seamlessly into summer. That quickly fell apart and residential became the only option. I remember mourning my loss of “freedom” (when I clearly wasn’t very free). At the time, I thought 4-6 weeks and then I would be healed and could return to just outpatient. Every option for a slower stepdown was taken and my last day of IOP was this past Tuesday, only 8-9 weeks later than I originally thought. This time that I once felt was so important now seems trivial. I spent 64% of my 110 days of break in treatment and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, given the circumstances.

I had much guilt and worry surrounding my return to residential. I wondered if I would even be able to accomplish anything this time around. These thoughts continued as I began stepping down. Here’s the crazy thing: I grew just as much, if not more, than last time. I want to share some different things I’ve taken away from this time.

  1. Treatment is scary, no matter how much you prepare for it. I felt this strange confidence about returning. I had done so well before. All I had to do was follow the rules enough to deal with it, right? WRONG. It was much more complicated than that. I wasn’t some pro at treatment who could zoom through the process. I wouldn’t say every single step was near terrifying, but treatment as a whole was. It makes sense, given the goal is to eradicate this thing that’s been controlling me for so long.
  2. Knowing how to put my needs above: other people’s, what I “should” be doing, etc. I could have been away at treatment 4.5 weeks and then IOP for a month. I was not at all planning on PHP, especially not one that involved being away from home. Towards the end of residential, it became increasingly clear that home wasn’t a good option. My therapist and I both had many concerns about returning to that environment. Sure, I had a month of growth under my belt, but that didn’t mean I was 100% ready for the real world. I felt strongly that I needed a better option. I decided this the very last week I was at CFD. Once I was at ERC, I once again put my needs first and stayed an extra week there. I added a month away, one that was absolutely needed. Some people were not so happy with that decision, but it doesn’t really matter. What does is that I stuck up for myself and gained immensely by doing so.
  3. I didn’t truly “miss out” this summer. Sure, I wasn’t able to have the “normal” experience. I do/did regret that; however, I gained so much more. I had many fun adventures during all 3 forms of treatment (and pictures to show of parts!). My time in treatment brought inside jokes, exploring cities, laughs, tears, growth, and more. It was so, so hard at times. Overall, though, I wouldn’t trade it. My version of summer is a lot different than others but that doesn’t mean it was bad or wrong.
  4. I am stronger than I ever thought. I’ve been through countless trials this summer: losing my grandpa while at CFD, a specific weekend where every bite was a struggle and Boost was involved, dealing with family, living in a new city and having to navigate that, losing another family member while in Chicago, choosing to stay longer in treatment, financial issues. Through all of it, I have survived, even thrived.
  5.  I am more than capable of recovering. I have done some hard stuff this summer. I was in treatment a majority of the most trying times, bu it doesn’t discount my progress. I had to choose recovery, no matter what, and I did. Even with struggling a bit being home, I am still fighting because I do believe in recovery. Another reason I have this hope in from being lucky enough to hear Jenni Schaefer speak to us at ERC.

I am so thankful for all that has made this summer one of healing. I know I can continue this and have a better semester than ever before. Tomorrow is a new beginning!

(So many) tears of happiness

Last Thursday, I happy-cried the entire 50 minute drive to my school before IOP. I could stop for no more than a minute, then I would get thinking and waterworks started over. It seems pretty weird, right? What’s so amazing about a quick errand to school before going to eating disorder treatment for the day? The answer: everything because today, I picked up my scrubs and equipment for nursing.

If you would have looked at me a year and a half ago, as I dropped out of my first semester of school, there’s no way you could have seen this day coming. A year after that, I once again had to take time off school, this time just a J-term. Then came the absolute worst semester possible. Looking just at my academic performance and participation in school spring term, no one would think I could be allowed into the nursing program. Here I am anyways.

The first couple weeks at residential were brutal for many reasons, a main one being that I didn’t have my final grades in yet. I was accepted into the nursing program, but I had no clue if that was jeopardized or not. I was not proud of the semester and this kept me up at night. I was a wreck. I went over every moment, every mistake from the previous 4 months. The day I logged in and saw my GPA was one of the happiest since receiving my acceptance letter. I had hung on, but only by around a tenth of a point.

I am not ashamed. I never thought I would be saying that; however, I cannot keep focusing on what I’ve done wrong. I’ll admit, I’ve been a terrible student for a good chunk of my time at Calvin. That isn’t all on me though, because I wasn’t really there. Instead, my eating disorder was in control. I have spent too many years trying to live with the eating disorder when I only end up barely surviving.

I am proud of myself. I am proud of my recovery. Without this hard work I’m putting in now, there’s no way I would be starting classes in 3 weeks. I don’t know where I’d be. What I do know is that I’ve spent too many years trying to live with this disease. Now is my chance to change that, and treatment this summer is only the beginning.

I am going to become a nurse. It still feels surreal, and probably will for a while yet. I thank God everyday for all that has gotten me to this point. I know this is my calling. I almost lost the opportunity, but I am never going to stop fighting to make my dream come true.

Where I’m at / where I’ve been

It feels like ages since I’ve updated here, really “just” 3 weeks, and it has been (at least by my standards). Technically I last posted 3 weeks ago, but I also have drafted at least 4 posts since then. I am a serial drafter, I believe. I only have 36 currently. My ideas for topics are never-ending, so I start one post only to succumb to perfectionism and quit early. Anyways, I don’t have a great reason as to why I haven’t pulled the trigger and published something. Most likely, it’s a combination of writer’s block, feeling overwhelmed, and low motivation.

The past three weeks have been ROUGH treatment-wise. I feel for the staff at IOP, because I have been stubborn as hell and somewhat defiant. I feel pretty bad looking back at some of the conversations I’ve had. There are multiple factors behind this, which I will explain in a post soonish. A quick rundown: fear , being stuck between full recovery and Ed, lack of motivation, depression, and plain not wanting to give up my eating disorder. I am doing somewhat better now. I am trying to trust this process and not my disordered thoughts. Easier said that done, but I think/hope it will happen.

Last week was my first back at school. I am taking psychopathology, american literature, world history, and spanish. I am most excited about psychopathology. Lit seems like a great class too, especially with a friend (and fellow nursing student!) and wacky/amazing prof. My psych prof is also wonderful. I actually don’t mind the history class content-wise and the lectures and are relatively interesting. Spanish is with my same professor (thankfully). Overall, it isn’t crazy yet. I am beginning to feel more stress and worry over how things escalate the next few weeks. Hopefully I can keep my sanity, but time shall tell.

Because of school, I’m obviously not able to do IOP 3 times a week. My schedule wasn’t exactly made with that in mind, so getting there is kinda tricky. On Monday’s, my last class ends at 2:20. I am able to get there within 20 minutes and get to attend half of process, snack, and art therapy. I stay until 5 and head back, usually stopping at Meijer first. Tuesday’s I have class until 1:20. I again leave right after and arrive at 1:40ish. This is halfway through the first group (typically this is experiential). We have another group following which is activity therapy of some sort, sometimes an outing. Process group is after snack and we’re done at 5:30. Thursday’s I only have 2 classes, psych in the morning and spanish 12:30-1:20. The issue with my schedule is that I wouldn’t be able to attend the full day of IOP at all, unless I skip spanish. After advocating for myself I got approval to do so. After last week, I am appreciative of my professor’s support of my treatment. I need this, at least for now. I am not ready to step down entirely yet, and now I don’t have to.

Going from complete boredom and feeling stagnant for over a month to a hectic schedule is stressful, to say the least. I haven’t gotten a hang of this yet. I’m hoping to move and grow through this period of change, not become overwhelmed by it.

There is much more to be said about my thoughts now and even more so my time in IOP. I promise that will come soon!

 

It’s over (!!) and will be for a while

As of this past Monday, I am officially done with school for the semester. I doubted the entire last 2 months that I would even finish it. I wanted to give up. Sometimes, I wish I would have. No matter what ended up happening, I did make it and I didn’t fail any classes or do bad enough for it impossible for me to make it into the nursing program.

This was my hardest semester. It isn’t easy to complete homework, study, or take tests when your body is malnourished and brain lacking the carbohydrates it needs. No matter how much I know logically, Ed still won a majority of the time. I spent more time taking naps and thinking about food than all of my schoolwork combined.

My whole treatment team has told me the same thing: you have to be stronger in your recovery if you want to successfully complete nursing school. Dr. C talked about how I can’t be so used to lying and cutting corners as I enter into the program. It isn’t okay to hide my struggles and carry it over to my schoolwork then eventually my job.

I will go into this in a future post with my thoughts on everything, but as of Tuesday I will be on a forced medical leave for the interim (J term) semester. I honestly was pretty shocked when Dr. C told me this. She was very close to forcing me inpatient or residential. For now she is agreeing on IOP, assuming I can make progress . This next 5 weeks or so are going to be spent in treatment 3 days a week. I will be able to stay on campus still (which isn’t typically allowed but Dr. C set that up right away).

I have to work my butt off if I want to start classes again for spring semester. It’s scary and hard and I’m not sure I can do it, but I am going to try. Goodbye fun interim class; hello, all of the groups, appointments, challenges, and (hopefully) growth.

 

Finals week.

It’s upon us and I may feel like death until I take my last exam. Once I’m free of all of that stress I’ll have time to post more again. I have an exam tomorrow and Thursday so by the weekend I will get a little break. I have lots to update on! Until then, here’s some memes that explain my life right now.

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stress-everywhere

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What this year has taught me

My first year at Calvin went nothing like I expected or wanted. Last September I was 100% confident in my recovery after a bandaid week inpatient. I would finish out all of my pre-reqs in one year to enter nursing the next fall. Not long after relapse hit, then worse relapse, and soon I was left with failing grades and really no choice but residential. That was the best choice for me and part of why I am in a good place now, but even after has been a huge rollercoaster. This unexpected year has taught me so much more about myself and what I can do.

  1. I don’t need to be perfect. I’ve struggled with perfectionism since I can remember, but that has been challenged constantly this year. I had to quit halfway through a semester, changed my entire timeline for classes, was late to class, forgot to do assignments, let down friends, and in general messed up a million times. Was I a failure because of it? Not at all. I make mistakes but that’s just part of being human. I can’t spend my life believing it isn’t.
  2. Disappointment is okay. There have been so many areas where I’ve felt disappointed in myself or the situation going on. Its okay to feel sad about the way things have happened but dwelling on it as I have in the past only makes it worse.
  3. My grades aren’t as important as my health. I would never have left college without being pulled out if I didn’t believe this just a little. Ever since coming back from residential I’ve done my best to put my recovery first. If I needed more time to relax or use skills or do yoga, I made time. My grades aren’t what they could have been, had I created more stress for myself and possibly even slipped more into the ED. I would rather never have an A again than cause more harm to my body and mind.
  4. I am strong. I have been through some really hard shit this year. I wanted to give up so many times. I easily could have. I didn’t because my will to fight is stronger than any hopelessness I may face. How else could I come back from my recent relapse on my own?
  5. Others help, but I am the one who makes the changes. I could go to therapy 7 times a week and still not get one step closer to recovery. Anybody else can put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get me better but unless I do, its futile. The progress I’ve made has been possible, in part, due to others but mostly because I took each baby step to get closer to where i want to be.
  6. I determine my progress. I know I’ve said this over and over but it has been an important part of my process. Ever since week two of residential I haven’t allowed anyone else to determine whether I am doing well or not. I know when I’ve made positive change and I can give myself that praise instead of relying on others to do so.
  7. I can feel joy. I never though I would be this happy again. I figured I was meant to be miserable until I died. That isn’t true at all. I’m filled with more joy than I ever thought I could experience. Its all because I’ve been finally working hard enough in recovery to see how beautiful life is and how much I am blessed.
  8. Everything is better when you have good people to do it with. I love having my people at school. We played euchre and other card games, had Survivor nights, ate together, did homework, and enjoyed each other’s presence. Friends have made my day go from terrible to fun and light in just a few minutes. I was always a loner but now some of my happiest moments are with others.
  9. Sharing my story is amazing. I have been completely open about my struggles on social media, here, with my friends, and when people ask questions. I was so ashamed to suffer from mental illness and my ED before. Instead, now I tell my story so I can help others and feel free. Its the bet decision I could have made.
  10. I CAN and should love myself. Self-love has become a part of my daily life. I’ve never felt that before. I can’t really explain how it happened, but at some point I began to accept my flaws and realize I am worthy of love. Now I see no reason why I shouldn’t!
  11. Life is so much better without being held back. I used to avoid so many things and let my ED/MH issues control my life. It was dull, I felt trapped, but now I am free. I can go eat random foods at parties, actually want to hang out with friends, feel confident, and be spontaneous. I can do anything I set my mind to.

I can’t help but smile and cry tears of joy considering all of the positive change I’ve had this year!

TFHR 5/10/16

So my first TFHR or Thoughts, Feelings, Happenings, and Ramblings. I wanted to have post series where I can just write about what’s going on and how I am and whatever else is on my mind. This will be sporadic and random, but hey so is life 🙂

Holy shoot. I have two days left of classes, a long weekend home, and then exams Monday, Wednesday, and two Thursday. Then I am done(!!!). Whoa.

Thoughts

  • How the heck did my first year at Calvin go by so fast??? Well I guess taking half a semester to go to residential probably helped
  • I can do this!!!! This is part truth but mostly hoping at this point, because there is a ton to do.
  • I cannot wait to get back to work and see all of my favorites again!
  • Olive 24/7 is only 9 days away
  • I have to do ____ (insert studying, packing, exams, projects, etc)
  • About a billion other things I’m too lazy to write :p

Feelings

  • Bittersweet. Its going to be hard leaving school and my new friends/life here, but I’m also really looking forward to being at home again.
  • STRESSED. Does this even need an explanation?
  • Excited. I get to see J, my home therapist in two weeks ❤
  • Sad. This also means I have just 2 appointments with S left until next fall 😦
  • Annoyed. Both times I was at the dining hall they didn’t have protein options for me to eat! For lunch I came back and had an early afternoon snack of a smoothie with greek yogurt. Dinner it was supposed to have mashed potatoes and gravy with turkey, but no turkey was left. I was so done that I just had an ensure back at my dorm.

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Happenings

  • Last Monday I was rock climbing with my friend for an entire hour, no problem. She left for a meeting and I stuck around and joined a group who was bouldering. Basically bouldering is climbing without a rope and the routes go maybe 20-25 ft up highest. I was on a bouldering route with my feet 10-15 ft off the ground, and then I slipped. On my fall down I hit my elbow super hard. Being me, I completely ignored the pain and kept on climbing for another half hour, untill the people I was with freaked out about how swollen my elbow was. I spent the next morning in two doctors offices and found out: a) I didn’t break it, b) it was probably dislocated the day before but popped back in while sleeping, and c) I bruised my bone (basically this means the outer layer of the bones is inflamed/cells are broken and it takes weeks longer to heal than your average bruise). So now I have been wearing a super annoying wrap and have been using my new ice pack and otc pain relief like there’s no tomorrow. Gotta love being injury-prone!

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  • Sunday I went out to lunch with my dad! He was delivering my meds and decided to come for lunch since my brother and mom were at the Tigers game. We went out to Arnie’s and I had a chicken philly sandwich with fries. They also give you a free cupcake! I had it later that day and they never disappoint. I convinced him to go to my favorite exotic pet store and grab me a slurpee before dropping me back off too 🙂

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  • I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the nature preserve the past week and I love it!
  • I went to the last Calvin Improv show of the year last Saturday and it was beyond amazing. They’re a very talented a hilarious group!
  • Random college craziness: a boys floor running outside and playing in the rain; huge dance party in the turnaround outside my window; Star Wars day themed dinners in the dining hall; watching Sid the tailless squirrel videos (he eats out of your hands and will come into the apartment over in upperclassmen housing); stories of campus safety being called when someone couldn’t find their bike in the bike room of their dorm, leading to campus safety finding their bike in said bike room; teaching two kids to play euchre; dorm cookout where 1/5 of my floor awkwardly sat in the middle of the cornhole field because they didn’t have near enough chairs; prayer tent with someone praying all/most of 24 hrs; people “mocking” everywhere, including triple bunks and 20ft up in a tree.

Ramblings

  • I heard “The Nights” by Avicii today and every. single. time. it comes on all I can think of is the dumb dance they made us learn (over and over and over) at freshman orientation. Since we’re the Knights the orientation team thoughts it was SO clever to use this song. Cheesy as can be but admittingly I may or may not start dancing to it when I’m alone.
  • I have gotten so terrible at procrastinating this semester but at the same time I feel like my best work gets done at past midnight the night before. Am I the only one? I always attempt to get at least part of it done (research, outline, etc) but every time it just ends up in the same scenario. Maybe next year I will learn to get to sleep before 2am but also maybe not because I kinda love it.

That’s all folks!

If you have any thoughts, feelings, happenings, or ramblings you’d like to share, I would love to hear them!

The Freshman 15

We’ve all heard of it. Many teens going into college have this as one of their biggest fears, right along with how hard classes will be and getting along with your roommate. The first mention of the “freshman 15” was in Seventeen magazine in 1989. Back then there was absolutely no medical proof to back it up, and that stays true today. This is a complete myth that so many allow to rule their lives. In fact, the real average weight gain (if there even is a gain) is around 2-3 pounds, not even 20% of the false belief.

Freshman year and getting adjusted to living away from home is hard enough on its own, yet so many go above and beyond and make weight maintenance or loss top priority. Lets examine that for a moment. Is gaining weight really the worst thing that could happen to you, even while knowing that it most likely would be less than the infamous 15 pounds anyways? I know it seems like the end of the world. I’ve been there and I’m still trying to shake off the lies. For me, making a list of all my priorities/goals for the year any other than weight loss has changed my focus significantly.

You may be wondering what’s so bad about dieting and exercising in order to keep those pesky pounds away. The most serious and very common consequence of trying to lose weight is developing an eating disorder. The average age of onset is 19, right around freshman year of college. Students are at the highest risk of eating disorders with 25% struggling. Adding to all of this, a huge chunk of eating disorders begin with the innocent act of going on a diet. Beyond the risk of eating disorders, restriction takes it toll on the body and mind. If you’ve ever seen the Snickers “hangry” commercials portraying what its like when you skip eating for a while, you know what I mean. You are left with little energy, poor concentration, feeling week, moodiness and irritability, and the risk for mood disorders like anxiety and depression. We simply cannot function well missing body’s essential nutrient requirements.

Having the facts about the freshman 15 is just the beginning. Everyday you’re going to hear people talking about diets, restricting, and complaining about how “fat” they are. Instead of focusing so much on size and weight, we should build an environment where confidence comes first. Believing it yourself and measuring your worth by who you are and not your appearance is just the start. Also think about this: do you pay attention to whether your friends or anyone else is gaining weight? Is their size even something that crosses your mind? Do you judge them by it? If the answer to those questions is no, its safe to assume that no one else is judging you either. College is supposed to be an amazing time so why would we want to waste it on some myth made by a magazine nearly 30 years ago?

This is what dreams are made of.

Two months ago, I sat in residential with the assignment of writing my goals for treatment and the future. I had so many hopes. I would have been absolutely elated if only a few ever came true.

College was something I so desperately wanted to change. I lost all of my fall semester to the eating disorder. I didn’t get to build friendships, learn deeply, or simply have fun. My days were centered around food, restriction, deceit, and exercise. I honestly don’t know how I managed to go as long as I did. My hope was to one day experience college for real. I dreamed of staying up with friends late at night, engaging fully in my learning, enjoying random food, and being totally carefree.

Well, tonight and Saturday night I checked off part of that dream. Saturday I went skating with the floor at 10 pm and then out to get donuts and hot chocolate(!!!!!!!). Tonight, my friend and I spent our bonus bucks and drank hot chocolate together.

Never did I think back at CFD that I would have been able to do this by now. I allowed myself to enjoy the time with friends. I didn’t freak out even a little over the spontaneous food (and one fear food). Just like my other friends that were with me, I ate and drank and soaked up every moment.

Sometimes progress in recovery is big, but often its the little things. Warm drinks, good company, and a little hot chocolate with sprinkles.