I decided it's time to update some things here, since I have been too busy to write many posts in the last month or more.
I've been thinking about 'topics' to write about, and it's very hard to narrow them down and decide what is most pertinent. So today, I plan to bring you all (and myself) up to date with what is going on in my life...a journal entry of sorts.
Beginning about this time last year, this Blog brought me the opportunity to begin writing a bit on another website, EatingDisordersOnline. I simply wrote a few posts from time to time, until the company who owns the site launched a new site, which was supportgroups.com. If you have never checked out either site, you really should!!
I began moderating the support site for eating disorders in June of 2009, which exploded into numerous experiences and opportunities for me. I can go no further here without sharing that the women (and a few men) who I have 'met' and become close to through this site, have brought indescribable joys and inspiration to my life. Because I am a deeply compassionate person (to a fault at times), this has also been a learning experience for me in separating my concerns for others from my own daily existence...at least in terms of allowing this to pull me into that cycle of trying to save everyone. I have learned to care deeply and share honestly, while not sacrificing my own needs or energies. This in itself has proven to be an experience of growth and healing for me.
Coincidentally, as I began to take on these challenges, another more personal challenge presented itself. My Mother-in-Law moved in with us shortly after my Father-in-Law passed away last May. My world became centered here at home, for the most part, as I did my on line work, and cared for 'Joy'. The 9 months following, while she lived with us were 'interesting', to say the least, with the challenge being much more emotional than physical. It was hard to witness her demise into her dementia, knowing there was nothing I could do to make it different. But it worked. We made it work, but not without it being a joint effort. Dave made sure that I got out by myself as often as possible. We had to move Joy out to an assisted living facility on March 1, this year. It was a tough decision, but one that has been best for all of us.
Late summer/early Fall brought even more opportunities, which was a huge surpise!
I was awarded a full-ride scholarship to attend the NEDA Conference in Minneapolis, which led to meeting and getting to know and love the Spencer family! The Conference allowed me to network and meet many other people in the field of eating disorders and those who are working to recover.
I was asked to help with website expansion for the River Centre Clinic (river-centre.org) at about this time, in terms of drawing in testimonials from other people who have found help through treatment there. This also led to increased efforts on my part, to 'market' and make others aware of the supreme treatment available there. My life is a testament to that.
As the Fall weeks flew by, I began to consider taking on the coordination of the first annual NEDA Walk for our area, which was just completed one week ago!! I learned a lot during those months of planning, and I am looking forward to making next year's Walk even bigger, with the help of my group of great volunteers, and with more press and advertising!!
In March I attended the IAEDP Conference in Orlando as a volunteer, which added to my 'contacts' in the field, and increased my desire to be involved in an even more 'hands-on' way.
What I have noticed since the beginning of 2010 is a much more balanced and settled peace within myself. I feel secure in my recovery, like I never thought possible. Fear is not a part of my life anymore, in terms of facing each day.
What has and continues to amaze me is the number of people who correspond with me, and who are seeking help. The fear of asking for help is monumental, I think, because of the stigma associated with eating disorders, and...the already low estimate of themselves that those who suffering have. I have come to know women all over the world, some more intimately than others, but nonetheless, they all bless my life.
The hard things have included separating myself from some in my life who are toxic, for whatever reason. I cannot nor will I tolerate manipulative or dishonest people who refuse to help themselves. It's one thing being 'unable', but another being 'unwilling'. Setting boundaries with others has never been easy or enjoyable, but I am realizing the value of it for all parties involved.
I began facilitating a recovery support group in my area in January. This is something that has been lacking in this area for a long time. Through this, I have met even more brave women who continue to fight for their freedom from an eating disorder.
Three weeks before the NEDA Walk took place, I took a position at the River Centre Clinic, doing intake and marketing. Being able to be instrumental in a very hands-on way is something that fills me with joy.
So...I am busy, with many things, most of which involve eating disorder support. I am blessed to have the most amazing, loving husband on the planet. I cannot believe how much love I hold in my heart!
I look forward to more experiences and more travel in the coming months...Houston (yeah!), a delivery to KY (hehe)....and back to the NEDA Conference in October. In the meantime, I continue to value my life, love with abandon, and I do it all,