Thursday, December 16, 2010

Intro: AFRICA

Hi everyone! Sorry I have been so MIA. Writing is something I love to do, but if I am not consistent with it, I easily get distracted with other things. However, the blog is about to be 100% revamped, as I leave for Malawi, Africa in 29 days. <3 I will be teaching children English- not sure what grade yet, but it will probably be around 3rd or 4th- and will have roughly 100 students.  I can honestly say I have never been more excited for something in my entire life, for I know this is going to be a completely life-changing and eye-opening experience, one in which I really need. 
I have started getting all of the school supplies for my students; I found a 100 pack of bubbles- like the wedding favor packs- which is perfect because now each of my student can have their own set of bubbles. It's amazing how something we look at as so simple, and rather boring, is beyond fascinating to children of a third world country. It's beautiful, actually. I also got 3 800-pack stickers, construction paper, disposopal cameras, crayons, pens and calculators for the students. It's so hard trying to get things for 100, but I want to make sure everyone has an equal amount of supplies. There is a school store there to get supplies, but they don't sell "fancy" things like colored construction paper or stickers. I guarantee, though, that I'll still manage to spend a grand on supplies there- I'm going to want to give them everything.
My goal, simply, in going to Africa is to make the children smile each and every day.  To help them see the beauty in their youth and the spirit in themselves.  To teach them to the best of my ability, but more importantly, make them feel smart and accomplished.  To make sure that when I leave, I have absolutely no regrets and have a secure sense that I made a crucial difference in these children's lives. That is why I am going to Africa, now let's just hope that when these children run up to my van upon my arrival (picture attached from previous years) that I don't immediately decide to stay there forever. Peace. Love. Africa.

My story.

The whole reason I created this blog was to talk about my recovery, and hopefully help others who are also trying to overcome this powerful false identity, one's "ED".
For those of you who aren't in recovery, and have no idea what I'm talking about, I am in recovery from an eating disorder. Yuck. My junior year in highschool I was hospitalized, against my will, for anorexia weighing a whole 89 pounds. Attractive, I know. I was in complete denial that I needed help, and I was completely in admiration of myself for being so "strong" to lose over 40 pounds in less than 6 months and only manage in faint in school a mere two times. Finally, my parents and my counselor at school forced me into treatment, where I BS'ed my way out so that I could return to my highschool in time to hear all about the Prom 2007 drama.. which I had missed.


My "ED" continued running my life for the next 3 years, and eventually transferred from allowing "Ana" to control me, to giving "Mia" all the power. By my freshman year in college, I was completely miserable and no longer knew what a normal relationship with food and one's body consisted of. I kept telling myself "tomorrow you can start over", when in reality I didn't want to start over: I wanted to be anorexic again. I didn't want to be healthy, and it still is challenging trying to find myself desiring to be healthy. I admitted myself back into inpatient hospitalization at Sheppard Pratt, this time for bulimia, and this time with complete hope to better myself, and my health. I knew that this was something I needed to, or else I wouldn't make it to my 21st birthday based off of depressive symptoms, or failure of my organs.
Anyways, long story short, I am now celebrating my year and a half recovery and stand as a keynote speaker at Virginia Tech for eating disorder awareness. Every day is a challenge, but it is an uphill battle that I continue to conquer. I try to seperate my emotions from my ED, so that I don't allow my sadness, or anger, or frustration to be taken out with food. (Hence, why I'm starting this blog!)
These are pictures of me when I was sick, and the sad part is, this is me months after I got out of treatment the first time for anorexia. I probably weigh about 95 pounds in these pictures, and a size 00, for I refused to keep the weight on that I had gained in treatment. I now am a size 6, and don't know how much I weigh. Yet, I don't care because numbers don't define ANYBODY, and if people believe that, then they are not worth my time.  I can't say that I don't look at these pictures, and still wish I looked like that, because I do. However, I now have the power to know that I WON'T let myself get to that position again, because "ED"'s are never-ending, awful cycles. I have people in my life right now that love and support me for who I am, and think I'm beautiful at the healthy size 6, about what I was before my eating disorder.




Throughout these blogs,  I will refer to "ED", and now you know what that means and the significance in holds in my life, in which it only took. I believe everything happens for a reason though, and sadly, my ED made me the strong willed, determined, genuine person that I am today. I also met two of my best friends in treatment, Mel and Kaity, who hold a very dear place in my heart. We only see eachother but a few times a year, yet nothing ever changes and they know a part of me that noone else will ever completely understand. They are beautiful, both inside and out, and I'm so thankful for them in my life. I've learned to always think on the bright side of things, and always see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Without experiening this journey with them, each step of the way, I would not have been able to see that light. I might both Mel and Kaity in treatment for anorexia, yet our friendship extends way beyond that. The journey of Mel and my experience with ED is so similar it's scary. Yes, we may have egged eachother on in our symptoms, but now we egg eachother on in our recovery.  I love you girls!
                              

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bromance

I forgot to include these videos; these are the people, and the memories, that get me through the trying times (thanks Joey). DSP, the true definition of bromance? Truth.

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ME :)

For starters, I thought I'd share some picture's that sum up my life. I belive that expression through pictures and writing are two of the most special and accurate forms.  They are the best portrayal of past memories, both good and bad, and they remind you of how far you've come and what you're living for. So get ready for alot of pictures, because if I can't express my feelings completely, hopefully they will.



Well, this is me.  Some may view me as a bitch, some may view me as the sweetest girl they've ever met. You are entitled to your own opinions, and it won't effect me.  I have grown confident in the person I have become, and that is all that is important.





The most important aspect of my life are my family and my friends. I put them above myself and my priorities, and I will always do so. (Yes, this includes my puppy).  They have helped me through the worst, and believed in my when noone else did.  My brother, Joey-23, is my inspiration and my idol.  My sister, Grayce-14, is the most beautiful and strongest girl I've ever met. And my parents, well none of us would be who we are without their amazing influence.
        These two girls here are the best friends that anyone could ask for.  Maybe it's the fact that I have grown up with them since the time we thought boys had coodies.  From kindergarten to 14th grade (woahh!), our friendships only continue to grow in strength and sincerity.  Izzy, on the left, is my twin.  We have so much in common, and have so many of the same outlooks on life.  Michelle, on the right, is my hero.  She's the smartest and most caring person I've ever met.  Both girls complete me and have taught me the real meaning of friendship.


  Do I go to school? Yes, and it happens to be the most amazing University ever. (Virginia Tech, even though I know you already assumed so.)  I am in the most beautiful, wonderful sorority, Alpha Phi, filled with girls who have taught me so many things and opened my eyes to what's important in life.  However, I have made sure to expose myself to people outside of my own sorority, and here is where I have found some of my best friends.  Kristy, on the left, is my rock.  She smacks me when I need a good smacking, and lends me her shoulder when I feel like giving up. My college experience without any of these people would not be the same.