Tuesday, January 4, 2011

one year ago today...

...i was the wide-eyed new girl walking into Magnolia Creek Residential Treatment Center for Eating Disorders for the first time.

i had butterflies and goosebumps and a zillion thoughts flashing through my head. i was freezing cold, but my palms and my armpits were damp with sweat.

i kept starting prayers as i made the 45 minute drive out there, but i couldn't keep my composure long enough to continue any of them.

i remember walking inside and feeling like my head was spinning. my nutritionist walked out to greet me and told me to have a seat on some tan couches in what looked like a decently cozy living room.

i sat and stared all around. first at the surrounding couches and fireplace, then at the purplish-blue walls, then at the floor. there were notebooks everywhere. i saw them but i don't really remember thinking anything other than that i hoped i wasn't going to be the fattest girl there.

a kind woman appeared and looked over at me from the back of the couch. she introduced herself and escorted me to a private office where we went through about a million pages of intake papers.

next was breakfast.

a woman with blonde ringlet curls pressed her lips into a sassy smile as she put a tray with a bowl of cereal, an apple, and some toast on the glass kitchen table. her name was angela. she had a strong voice and an even stronger presence. she was the kind of girl who's hand was on her hip more than it wasn't. she gave extra emphasis to all of her consonants. "This is your breakfast. and this," she said, "is my table".

i remember not knowing how to react, and so i sat down and gulped at what {at the time} looked a massive amount of food.

"you're not gettin' up til you eat that," angela said.

once i felt ready, i started with the cereal. the apple was next, then the toast. i began tearing it into tiny pieces. angela shot me a stare and raised her voice, "NO tearing at my table!"

once i'd gotten breakfast down, i joined the rest of the girls for group therapy, which was where i would spend the majority of my time.

i spent the rest of the day fearfully eating whatever was put in front of me, and half getting-to know, half competing with the other 8 the girls in my position.

it was almost like a game to me. i remember, at the the end of that first day, feeling like i'd finally succeeded at something. i was sick enough for someone to have to sit by me at the table and force me to eat. i had no idea who i was, but i knew that i'd done something right- that i'd dedicated myself to my disorder to the point that i'd been sequestered to a treatment center in Chelsea, Alabama.

my life was not mine, and it wouldn't be for another while.

fast forward to today, 365 days later.

i woke up to my dad poking me at 3:30 am. "get up," he said, "you've got to make this flight."

i stumbled out of bed and showered and shoved last minute items into bags and by sheer miracle itself, made it to the airport even earlier than we'd planned.

By 5 am, I'd checked my bags and it was time for Dad and i to say goodbye.

we stood a meandering few feet from the security line and held on to each other while he told me a couple of times to be safe. I assured him i would and told him to try and get a nap later on.

by 9:30 am, I was in houston, texas having starbucks oatmeal and coffee.

by 12:30, i was looking out of a plane window over Honduras.

Now, at 5:09 pm, one year after my first day at Magnolia Creek, i am resting in a dear friend's home.

tomorrow i will wake up and eat breakfast and drink some of the best coffee this world has to offer. next i will begin some design work for a women's program here called Mi Esperanza {Mi Esperanza means, "my hope". full post on this program and all that they do and what i'm doing while im here is coming up in the next couple of days}

i've worked with these women before, and they are truly my heart. i can't wait to work with them again, but even more so, i can't wait to love on them.

thanks to the journey that began one year ago today, i know that i am worth the fight that's taken/ing place.

it's the fact that i know i'm worth caring for that enables me to care for others.

on that note, i leave you with this...

{DISCLAIMER: please do not judge the content of the video that accompanies this song. sadly, it was the best that youtube could offer...it's incredibly cheesy although somewhat relevant. just don't look, okay? close your eyes if you want...but please listen to the song.}



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