Monday, October 22, 2012

"What a difference a year makes.."

So ya know how people say 'What a difference a year makes'?
The past few months when I have seen or heard that phrase, I have sadly thought, yea.. it sure does.
A year ago I was running fast times on a team with the only people I had really known in college, I was in love with a serious boyfriend, my family wasn't in the financial situation we now face, and I wasn't freaking out about being accepted to a PhD clinical psychology program.
So I obviously chose to focus on the positive aspects of my past and the negative situations of the present when confronted with this statement.

However, this past weekend I was in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia with an environmental group called "Mountain Justice", and I had a good bit of time to think about things.
The cycle of life for a tree is so beautiful.
First of all, this time last year I was not at all involved in any type of environmental movement. I was vice president of Earth Club in high school, and I have always recycled and urged others to do so, but I haven't done much at all in my college years to help with preserving this beautiful earth we live on.
That has changed over the course of just a couple months. I have gone to two environmental conferences, and I am really passionate about Students for a Sustainable Campus, our club at school. I have met so many awesome people from it, and I feel like I'm standing for something that really means something and can possibly change the world. I feel whole when I'm engaging in activism, and I love it.
Fellow environmentalists just hanging out in the mountains :)
Another key difference between this year and last year is the fact that a once overwhelming fear of food is now completely diminished, and with that the fear of living life to it's fullest!
At the summit this past weekend they served things like diced potatoes and eggs for breakfast, sandwiches and fruit for lunch, rice with lentils and greens for supper, and pumpkin pie for dessert. And being true to my character as a food lover, I had first and sometimes second helpings of all of them.

However, even last year at this time I would have been very anxious eating most of this food because while it may be 'healthy', it is not low-calorie or 'diet friendly'. And for so long that was how I lived.
Even in recovery, I bought 100-calorie english muffins rather than the whole wheat english muffins that were a mere 20 extra calories. Not until this summer was I able to say, *excuse the obscene language here* What the fuck am I doing?! What does it matter that this piece of bread is 120 calories rather than 100? It is better for me and it TASTES better!

Anyway, things like that held me back for three years. If I had gone to this conference any other time in my college career I would have hung back when they rang the bell for meal time.. I would not have been okay with stopping at Burger King on the way home because we were running late for our bus and that was the only food available by the gas station.. And most of all I would have spent all of this time preoccupied with the stupid, completely invalid idea that I do not deserve to eat like the rest of the population, thereby crawling deeper and deeper into these self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.
On the way to WV :)
So yea, I have much to be proud of in regards to this past year. I have opened myself up to all kinds of experiences. I left the only social circle and life that I knew. I have met new people, most of them wonderful. I have allowed myself to love and receive love in return, and sometimes I ended up hurt, but that's all part of living.
You see, it took completely leaving my eating disorder behind to accomplish all of this, and I have not once regretted my decision to recover.

As for the stressful situations lingering over me these days, what are they compared to what I have gone through (kicking a mental disorder's ASS in order to win my life back)? I'd say not much.. :)



  1. You have definitely come a long way in your recovery Haley. I have to, but I don't know that I'd be okay with Burger King. Actually I don't think I ever will be, but that might come from just being a foodie in general... I digress.

    I love how you didn't just crawl up in a hole without running and the team, you got involved in something, something that other college students who aren't athletes do. Really you get the best of both worlds because you got to experience both lives, the athlete life and the regular college student life. I'm glad you get to do that, I think it has made a difference and your conference looks like fun. The mountains are so beautiful this time of year and I'm glad you got to really ENJOY and EXPERIENCE them instead of just being there physically, but also being fully present :).

  2. Congratulations! I can tell you're proud of your achievements, and so you should be. :-)

  3. You are such an inspiration! It's wonderful to know that you are following your passions and open to go where life pulls you.

  4. I'm so happy for you! What a wonderful post!

  5. This is such an inspiring and positive post! Thank you for sharing! :-)

  6. I could cry with pride angel.
    You are so amazing and you have turned things around in a way that I cannot even articulate.

    I want to say I am truly sorry about your friend and you know where I am if you need someone to talk to <3

    And, I am hoping, to maybe, do my PhD Clinical too.

    I love you so much <3

  7. So, about a year ago I commented for the first time and told you I was proud of how you were able to " take these broken wings and learn to fly". You are soaring. I am filled with love and awe. I am grateful that you took the time to share your soul and journey with the world. I cherish the girl I have grown to love and the friendship I have gained. Lots of love!