To those kind enough to be checking in on my blog now and again, I am still here! I am here with a mind full of updates for you and ideas and questions and so many topics in between. I realize that months have passed since the last time I wrote to you from Los Angeles International Airport, and I have been distraught by the reality of having to replace my time spent writing to you with piles of school work. Despite this, this new lifestyle as a Temple student is one that I have relaxed into, and even more so, has become one that I am proud of. A year and a half into recovery and I am now a college student who studies in cafés and eats lunch with friends in between classes. This is not to say that my lifestyle as a college student at this point is identical to other students. As an update, I am currently taking two classes in efforts to prioritize my health and continued journey to recovery.
My life revolves around my health now, but only because I want it to. In the past, I constantly had to consult my health before participating in activities because my health faded day by day. My health was not something I could rely on because it dwindled everyday as my eating disorder became more and more intense. Everyday I lived with the fear that at any moment my body could give up on me, but also lived with the rules and regulations of my eating disorder that restricted me from curing that fear I lived with everyday. I was caught in a mindset that contradicted itself: I wanted my health back, so I did not have to gingerly walk through life hoping I would not break, but could not muster up enough control to rule over my eating disorder that ordered me to be more fragile, more careful, more breakable.
The ironic part is this: I still live with my health at the forefront of my mind. But the celebratory part of this is that I make my health a priority because I never want to return to my past. I have a body now that is fueled enough to lift heavy weights and surpass goals I have set for myself inside and outside of the gym. I have a body that is strong enough to try out any new activity I want to try out, like rock climbing (which I have come to have a passion for over the last few months). My brain is now nourished enough to absorb everything I learn at school and support me in excelling. My body and I are now in harmony with one another. Now, this harmony does not dismiss the days I still compare myself to others (because I am also a human being and this is in our nature), or the days I want to hide myself in a pair of baggy sweatpants. This simply means that my body and I now work together. We have the same goals in mind: be stronger than yesterday, be adaptive, be your best version.
I wish I can say that I planned this, but my re-introduction to writing was timed perfectly with the start of a very important week, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I am deeply proud to say that my school, Temple University, is covering this important week in both their student-run women's lifestyle magazine "Refine" and their student-organized newspaper. Over this week, both sources will be releasing articles, interviews, and videos conducted by a group of empowered women attending Temple. And I am incredibly honored to say that I have been a part of this groundbreaking project. This past weekend, I was able to meet with the other women who participated in supporting Temple's coverage of Eating Disorders Awareness Week. These unfamiliar faces quickly became people that I have undoubtedly known for the better portion of my life.
When in the throws of my disorder, I never would have imagined standing amongst strong women in the name of combatting eating disorders. I was convinced that my disorder would define me. But now I can stand as a strong woman, amongst strong women, and be the one to say, "I'm recovering and you can too." I have battled for six years, but I have come out on the other side, and you can beat this too.