It has been a crazy-busy kind of weekend with definite goods and bads.
Reunion was great. Getting to see my alumni friends was the highlight. There were lots of hugs and smiles and laughter. But the friend part of reunion was far too short. I think they should end reunion with an open social, so you can just stay and hang out with friends for a while…It is friends who give me the real support and strength and motivation.
The programming for reunion was okay. They had a couple of interesting speakers and then a morning workshop, lunch and an afternoon workshop. The workshops were not as inspiring as I had hoped for. The morning one was dominated by three women who just dumped their life stories and issues on the group and just never stopped talking. Even with the facilitators trying to get the women to let other people speak, it didn’t happened. I could barely get a word in edge-wise, and really, that says a ton. So…that group was kind of disappointing. The afternoon group was better. It was kind of helpful, but not what I had hoped for. However, I did make a connection with a woman who had “graduated” form the program in 2014 and had some really nice perspective about recovery. That was great!
My friend, Biebs was unable to attend. However, I texted her highlights during the whole day. It also worked as a way for me to record salient points. Here are things that struck me as meaningful.
- Courageously approach your emotions
- I can do hard things and I am not alone
- Through connecting with others and strengthening your relationships, you learn to connect with yourself
- What does it mean to give Grace to yourself?
- Give yourself Grace..That Grace for yourself that allows you to say, “I need help.” and ask for that help
- How to move forward through trauma? A lot of help. A lot of support, a lot of therapy. A therapist that specializes in trauma.
- Repeated residential admissions treatment helps refine recovery
- How much am I ruminating on my eating disorder thoughts and how does that effect my day?
- Make recovery a priority and fit other things around it
- Recovery is a full-time job and that’s okay
I am glad that we came down for the reunion and I will definitely plan to attend next year’s. It may not have been exactly what I was hoping for, but it was important to me that I attend.
So….here’s the downfall of the weekend: Food. And I am super anxious about this because I know that Team Heidi is going to be all over me about this. <sigh> I try to do things right, but some things this weekend were just out of my control.
The first food disaster happened when we were driving down on Friday. I was driving and I had a headache and felt kind of over-tired. I figured I was just over-tired as the past few days had been busy. But as I was driving I felt progressively worse and my stomach started to feel really tense. And then about 2.5 hours into the trip, I had to vomit. I pulled the car over to the side of the road and immediately threw up. Did this deter my plans of going to reunion? No way!! But the whole rest of the trip (dh took over driving after I threw up) was me trying to sleep (which didn’t work) and trying not to throw up again. It was a looong 7 hours. I ate nothing for all that time. Once we got to the hotel, I felt a little better and after a while managed to lightly eat.
Breakfast yesterday morning was also really light as my stomach was still not happy. It was nothing like Friday, but it was not interested in food. However, by lunchtime, I was feeling much better and at that point I was even feeling hungry. Lunch was provided at the reunion….And….There was nothing gluten free except the fruit salad. They had hamburgers and tuna sandwiches and pasta salad and fruit salad and cookies. And since I eat vegetarian, it wasn’t like I could dissect a sandwich to just eat part of it. So, I was screwed. Dh offered to take me some place for lunch, but finding places that meet my gluten free/vegetarian needs usually involves some internet research and often a phone call to clarify a restaurants menu….Spontaneous restaurant meals are nearly impossible. So, my lunch consisted of fruit salad and Gatorade.
When we had dinner, I tried to pack in extra exchanges, but it didn’t really work. There is only so much I can fit in my stomach. I couldn’t even eat all the food I had ordered…not that I even ordered a ton of food…I just couldn’t eat it all. I did the best I could, but between Friday and Saturday, I missed the equivalent of a whole day’s worth of food. I am okay with it (of course!) but I have to face the Team and they will be less okay with it. I already got push-back from my PNP about it. <sigh>
So, I was super excited because there is a mall here in Philly that has a bricks and mortar store of the place where I bought my blue dress. It was on my list of things to do and dh and I went last night. It was soo much fun! I tried on sundresses, fancy dresses, light and airy summer tops.. Dh was wonderfully patient while I experimented with different styles and colors. Honestly, pretty much everything looked really nice on me. I didn’t love anything enough to buy…Well, maybe I did…I really liked a particular sundress, but could not figure out how to manage the dress straps and a bra. And no…going bra-less is not an option! But still, the whole experience was fun and positive.
But…I left the store feeling something. I am not sure what. (It’s that damn inability to label feelings again!) I felt sort of empty and sad? I just don’t know…Maybe it was because everything I tried on was feminine and that is scary for me? And I liked the feminine even though it makes me feel vulnerable? Maybe I didn’t feel worth having nice dresses? Maybe it is too much of a shift too fast to be trying on so many things? I don’t know…I just felt hollow and confused and sad. But…I still feel good about the shopping experience, so that is even more confusing!
Sometimes, I wish I did a better job of understanding and expressing my feelings!