Over the past 10 weeks of treatment I have had moments of despair. I have felt like running away, giving up, throwing in the towel, or moving to another country. I have questioned what the point of all this hard work is. One night I planned an entire escape route during a bout of insomnia. It has felt like a never ending battle.
One thing that has kept me going are cards of encouragement from loved ones. At first, I was embarrassed that my loved ones even knew that I was struggling. The amount of shame I have felt has caused isolation and abandonment of some of the most important people in my life. So, when I started receiving get well cards, it upset me, rather than raise me up. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?
As the weeks have gone by and I have continued to make progress, those cards have gotten me through some of my darkest days. My roommate, Carrie, and I have an entire wall in our room filled with cards. It is a daily reminder for both of us that people do care and we are doing this for a reason.
My Aunt Robin has been sending me 2-4 cards a week! Her cards and words of hope have inspired me to keep pushing. She has inspired me to start my bucket list. It has been an ongoing process, but I think I'm getting close to completing it.
In one of our groups this week we discussed being alive vs. living. During the years of actively participating in my eating disorder I was barely alive. I regret missing out on so many different things in my life; I wasn't LIVING. So, as a way to start living again and a daily reminder of why I'm putting myself through this hell, my Aunt Robin has pushed me to finally putting my Bucket List in writing.
I want to LIVE my life. Sure, being skinny is "glamorous" and proves I have control, but it's not worth it. At all. During my stay here, I have had moments of uncontrollable laughter and silliness that have kept me going. I can only imagine the joy checking off things on my Bucket List will bring in the years to come. :)
Visit all 50 states
Visit all 7 continents
Get a tattoo
Swim with dolphins
Ride an elephants
Have a piece of my writing published
Visit the Grand Canyon
Fly in a hot air balloon
Go to the airport & take the next random flight somewhere
Take one photo everyday for a year
Fly in a helicopter
Dance in the rain
Learn to waterski
Eat at Thomas Keller's restaurant, The French Laundry
Educate others about eating disorders
See a show on broadway in NYC
Swim in all the Great Lakes
Spend some time in my birth city- Sarasota, FL
Have my mom teach me to windsurf
Go to a world series game with my dad
Go to the little league world series with my brother
Sleep under the stars
Learn to make bread and butter pickles with my Grandma Cronkright
Become a yoga instructor
Find a career that truly fulfills me
Grow an herb garden
Watch every movie Audrey Hepburn ever acted in
Try chocolate covered bacon
Take his last name :)
Own my own espresso machine
.... & learn to make coffee art
"Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live." - Henry David Thoreau