The last time I saw my best friend alive, it was 9:00pm at a house party at The University of Arkansas, and I stood there, in the front yard of someone’s house, backing away from him because I wanted to finish a run.
18 years old – our first week of college – he was visiting on his way to a Mississippi school.
Linds, he pleaded, reaching out for my shoulder. Just stay. Christ, don’t run.
In December 2013, I was gearing up to go to treatment in Florida after 8 years of living in the eating disorder cycle.
In my mind, I had this notion that rehab was gonna be this all-knowing descent into radical self realization.
More or less, I expected to come out of it being Basic B*tch Gandhi… or at the very least, Mother Teresa’s sinful pseudo-daughter. Meditating on the reg – zen-like in feeling, and – of course – still thin because in my jacked up head I thought the weight I felt was “extra” was only there because I binge ate about as much as I starved.
I’ve been a slacker on the blog this past month and some. Tis’ true.
I’d love to make 100 different excuses as to why (and will totally take this as an opp to shamelessly plug the fact that my partner and I are engaged as of a week ago!) but the truth is I have really just allowed myself to overextend commitments.
Whether it’s recovery meet n’ greet coffees or planning recovery speeches or my 9-5 job or traveling for my 9-5 (and recently for a recovery speech) I am at the point where I can no longer give a present (and meaningful) amount of time to any one email, Instagram direct message, or phone call.
Someone told me once that I needed to create boundaries in my advocacy work or I would get burned out and be of no help to anyone, least of all myself. I ignored this for another two years.
Of course I can, I told myself. I cherish ALL conversations and emails. (I do.)
But, it’s dawned on me since that that person had a point.
While I cherish all connection, I also cherish the privilege to show up and genuinely give my invested time, energy and presence.
I simply cannot do that in unstructured ways.
Over the last year, I have received daily emails that range in various needs: from assistance in finding local resources to treat eating disorders, to starting a personal recovery blog, to general recovery coaching, to parents asking about how to talk to their children.
In the process of moving this month from Denver to Boulder (wahoo!)
Between periods of biting my partner’s head off because he didn’t like the same rug I did – to eating at strange times because I’m in between homes and packing boxes, etc., it led me to reflect on some of the initial recovery situations we face in the beginning- throughout.
Originally posted this on Instagram, but felt it calling me to post here.
Was out last night, wandering the Boulder streets for dinner.
It was Boulder Creek Fest so people were fluttering about – groups of women in their summer gear. 88 degrees at 7:30pm. Doesn’t get much better than that.
I thought about how it’s turning into that part of the year where heat dictates how little or much clothing we wear. And how difficult that can be to transition out of the eating disorder safety of winter.
A reminder on this social media-bikini-posting holiday weekend that when you’re scrolling your feeds feelin’ like shit:
For the sake of the headline, I left out the ‘read AND listen to‘ because it seemed too long. (It’s the public relations career in me.) So, to clarify, I thought it might be handy if I put a little list together of resources I’ve seen circling around the web this week, speaking to eating disorders and recovery.