Sunday, September 23, 2012

Changing me, changing blog. For the good! :)

This blog has changed so much as time has elapsed.
It started as my recovery blog. I wrote on my own anorexic thoughts and behaviors that were apparent to me, and I tried to correct and/or eliminate them.
Somehow I gained a group of followers, mostly from the eating disorder community, and we all made the transition to recovery together. *Btw, this group of people was and continues to be tremendously influential in my life and journey towards recovery*
As time wore on, I noticed changes in myself, specifically when it came to my mental and physical health.
I was no longer numb, hiding behind my skeletal frame and the abundance of nutrition-based knowledge I had attained.
I became exposed to the world as is.. No, it's not all morning sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. But the real world also doesn't come close to resembling the dark, bleak prison my mind had become with anorexia.
I don't really know where to insert these random, recent pictures. So they'll just kinda be scattered throughout.
Anyway, an old picture from summer vacation, but it was great :)
As I progressed in recovery, I noticed things that once interested me no longer had the same effect.
While I once watched food network (and just thought of food) constantly, I now hardly turn on the television, let alone watch any show having to deal with food or health. *Exception: the past few days I have been slightly addicted to the show 'Breaking Bad' which is no bueno considering I'm in the middle of the school year AND grad school applications, but still. It's good stuff. :)*
I also went through exercise compulsion while in the midst of anorexia. However, the fact that I was on the track team allowed for this obsession to be seen as nothing more than extreme dedication to the sport. Compare this exercise routine to the one I have now (which lately has basically been nonexistent) and you would be surprised to learn that I am the same person.
I scream for ice cream, especially when it comes in a 3 gallon tub.
I was also in a very serious relationship throughout my journey of entering and exiting the mindset of a person defined by anorexia and/or binge eating disorder. And there is definitely something to be said about everything I put that boy through. He was the most supportive, loving, and patient boyfriend I could have asked for. But I used my relationship with him as a buffer for the real world. I put everything I had in that relationship, and so when it fell apart, so did I. Yet, after all is said and done, this breakup/breakdown was for the best because it meant that I had to pick myself up and put myself back together in whatever way, shape, or form I pleased.

So these past few years I have been defined by these things: eating, running, and my relationship with my boyfriend. And now that I am finally separated from these things, I feel as if the world has truly opened up for me. I have no limits on who or what I can be. I'm not a runner. I'm not a young woman in a painful battle with herself. I'm not Connor's girlfriend, either. I'm Haley. And I've had to find out who that is.
It's a frightening yet strangely liberating feeling to be the navigator of your own path.
P.s. I love baking. And then eating what I bake ;)
This was supposed to be a short introduction, but of course I've rambled. Anyway, this is all to say that I don't really know what the purpose of this blog is anymore, other than I like to post things from time to time. I don't deal with too many issues with eating these days, and I'm not out running super crazy fast times. So I feel like some of the people that once enjoyed checking my blog to read about these things will no longer care. But that's okay.
I just wanted to point out that I have changed, and my blog is probably going to change with me.

Now, I know I have to play catch up a little bit because some of you want to hear about what's going on in my world these days!
Hmm.. well I am no longer on the track team, as I mentioned in a recent post, but I am still busier than ever! 
I am in a club called Students for a Sustainable Campus, and I was recently elected as Media Team Leader for the group! I am really excited about it. I love the mission of SSC and I feel like our goals are definitely attainable in making Mississippi State a green-friendly campus. :)
My roommate/"biffle" Teresa is also in SSC
I am also writing for LIBERO NETWORK, a not-for-profit online magazine and resource site that brings awareness to and support for those recovering from eating disorders, depression, addiction, anxiety & abuse. I love this organization! I submit 1-2 articles per month, so it's not too big of a commitment, but I feel like I'm doing my small part in the fight against mental illness and abusive thoughts and behaviors. I also manage the tumblr page for Libero, which is no problem since tumblr is basically my favorite thing next to peanut butter and Joseph Gordon-Levitt ;)
*P.s. I am still freaking out about last night's Saturday Night Live episode. I'm not ashamed to say I want to have Joe's babies.*

Along with Libero and SSC, I am in a clinical psychology research lab at school, and I do about ten hours of work per week with various projects in the lab. It's exciting, and it makes me anxious for graduate school next fall!
Speaking of which, the major stressor of this semester has to be the grad school application process. I have decided that I want to get my PhD in Clinical Psychology, specifically studying and working with eating disorders.
I know that many people would be weary of entering an environment focused on eating disorders considering my history, but I feel like it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I find so much joy in helping others, and it must be so comforting for those struggling to know that someone has been in their current situation and has come out as the victor. I want to be that person.

Another reason I think it's fine that I am involved in the eating disorder recovery community is because I have finally separated thinking of anything eating disorder related when it comes to my day-to-day life. I have found an identity separate from my eating disorders. Sure, sometimes I remind myself that I am Haley, the recovered anorexic and binge eater. But I am proud of where I come from because it's made me who I am. And for the most part that is the bubbly, smiley, crazy Haley. I am the roommate that laughs too loud when others are trying to do homework or sleep, and that's a problem I am happy to have. *Although I am supposed to be working on my volume control when in these giggling fits ;)*

So that's my mini life update. I hope you find it to your liking. But if not, that's okay, too. :)
<3 Haley

P.s. You can always contact me through facebook or if you ever need (or just want) to chat! xoxo