Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Aspen

Last night I was going through old pictures, which typically is not a good idea for those of us recovering from an eating disorder. Old pictures can bring back triggering memories and be
unwelcome reminders of how much weight has been gained. 

For those of you who don't know, I did my internship in Aspen, Colorado a few summers ago. For a small town girl, this was a massive opportunity. Not only was I working in one of the most beautiful cities in the entire country, but I was also working under a James Beard Award nominated chef. Bill Clinton and Bill Gates were guests at one of the many dinner events I helped prepare for. American Idol auditions, Food & Wine and X-Games events have all been held at the Aspen Meadows Resort, where I worked.

All of that aside, the views were simply breathtaking. 

Aspen Meadows Resort
The Dining Room

This internship was a once in a lifetime opportunity; however, there's a part of this experience that nobody knows about. After having somewhat of a nervous breakdown, I texted, because I didn't have the guts to call, my boss and told him I was leaving two weeks early without any notice. The same day, I packed up my things, got in the car and began the 26 hour drive home.

I remember crying on the phone to my mom that I could not do it anymore. They had me working long hours, I was homesick, and I remember specifically saying, "my hair is falling out." This summer and trip to Aspen is when my eating disorder really began to spiral out of control. Prior to this, I was underweight, but it was not nearly as noticeable as when I came home. 

Ever since then, I have felt a huge amount of guilt for not being strong enough to handle such an awesome opportunity. My "I'm not good enough" thoughts really get to me when I think back to this time. This isn't something that I have ever really talked about with anyone, thanks to the amount of shame involved.

Last night, however, after going through those pictures, I realized something for the first time...


Me at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and me now

I was sick. Although I was still in a state of denial, deep down I knew I could not continue on working. There were nights at work where I literally would have to go sit in the bathroom and just cry because I felt so alone. Most nights, I couldn't focus on doing a good job at work because I was too busy keeping myself from passing out.

Today as I look at that first picture of myself with a much healthier outlook, I can finally see that it was actually a good thing I came home early. The guilt I have carried for years has lifted. I might not ever know why I was given such an amazing opportunity, but that is okay.

This morning I feel grateful for my health and ability to finally reflect on this part of my past with a little self compassion.

Progress.


Photo Credit: Aspen Meadows Resort Website

10 comments:

  1. Your progress is so amazing to me, and sometimes, it makes me overwhelmed because I compare myself with you for recovery... I know this is not good, but you are just amazing. Hands down, Kelsi. You are beautiful on both picture (especially your smile), but you have glow and shine on the right one. Thank you for your post. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, this was not meant to make you feel badly in anyway and I'm horribly sorry if that's how it feels. My recovery journey has been a LONG one. I have been in the exact same place as you are right now, but please know that you can have your life back. Thank you for always commenting and all of your kind words. I am glad we are doing this together! <3 xo

      Delete
    2. oh no... Please do not apologize to me. It is my issue, Not yours! I am glad to follow you, and get some inspirations! Because I want recovery, whether I am willing to do all the work today or not... Thank you and please keep posting! xoxo

      Delete
  2. You are beautiful inside and out Kels. And such a strong lady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much, Becca! I hope you are doing great! :)

      Delete
  3. This is so awe-inspiring and raw. I love, love it, and you of course!
    The fact that you shared the most raw, personal part of you makes so much progression. This is beautifully written by a beautiful lady!
    Love you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comments always make me tear up a little. Thank you so much, Kenzie! You have been such a big part of my recovery.
      Love you, too!! <3

      Delete
  4. This made me cry!! I'm so happy for you Kelsi... you're amazing. This is just one more reason to why you are my inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, happy tears I hope! Thanks so much Emily! xo

      Delete