So, this is it.
All my backs are packed, I'm ready to go. Well, as ready as I'll ever be, anyway.
I watched my two darling boys Toby & Finley today one last time. Then, I had a splendid dinner on the porch with my parents--baked salmon, rice/quinoa, and steamed broccoli/cauliflower. Then, my dad and I packed up my little Volvo S40 with as much of my stuff as we could fit! (My parents will bring the rest of my stuff--like my mini-fridge--on Saturday).
Tomorrow, I drive myself the 2.5 hours to Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, to move myself into my on-campus apartment for my last semester of college--hopefully EVER.
I am feeling nostalgic about the past 5 years of my life. So much has changed for me. There have been so many ups and downs. A year ago, I moved into college for what I thought would be my senior year. Little did I know, 3 weeks later I would be coming home, going into the hospital, and then staying home for a full year to attend treatment and get back on track.
So, am I a little nervous about going back to school tomorrow? Yes, of course. It will be the first time I've lived independently, without my parents around to check on my meals and make sure I do all my supplements. Yes, I lived independently my first 3 years of college, but the first 2 years were before my eating disorder, and the third year I quickly spiraled but was in denial. This will be my first time since attending treatment and gaining weight--and health--back that I have been living by myself and going to school full-time.
Luckily, I still have a lot of support. I have a therapist at school, as well as a nutritionist, plus I have my team here at home that I can call/visit at any time. I also will be keeping in frequent contact with my parents and friends from home. However, I am living in a single room, although I will be in a suite with 3 other girls--but I don't know any of them! I have a couple friends in nearby buildings, though, and they will be there for me if I need them.
I know that it is going to be incredibly difficult, and I know I'm going to have to keep my guard up, especially the first couple of weeks. It is so easy when no one is monitoring me for me to make excuses and cut corners, because that's exactly what happened a year ago. However, I think I'm in a much better place right now. Not only am I physically well, but I am mentally out of the obsessive-compulsive exercise/calorie-counting stage. I can't remember the last time I counted my calories, and today when I was packing up my car, I realized that it was the first time I've broken a sweat in months! Besides stretching and walking around the mall, I honestly have done ZERO activity. So, I know there's a state-of-the-art fitness facility at school where I can run for hours, and plenty of places where I can eat a salad with no dressing for dinner, but I know that I won't let that be my life again. Will I learn to handle light exercise a few days a week for wellness and health rather than calorie-burning? I hope so. Eventually. Can I still enjoy a salad with fresh vegetables sometimes? Yes, of course. But I know for a fact that this time around, I'll be hitting up that dessert bar too--free cookies and ice cream, here I come!
And as for my social life. I'm a legal adult, and there's nothing wrong with a shot of tequila now and again.
Anyway, I'll post again once I get settled so I can show you my new digs. Wish me luck...
P.S. Thought you might wanna see the evolution of me in college...especially my junior year in 2008-2009, when I started to spiral into ED's deadly grasp....
(*NOTE: If you are easily triggered by images, PLEASE skip this section)
August/September 2006: beginning of Freshman year, with my roommate Chelsea, who was British! (I'm on the left)
September 2007: beginning of sophomore year, with friends before going out (I'm on the far left)
September 2008: beginning of junior year with 2 of my 3 roommates (I'm in the middle). Still healthy at this point.
December 2008: End of 1st semester. Restricting & exercising more, but still a "healthy" BMI.
January 2009: Beginning of 2nd semester. Exercising daily & dramatically reducing caloric intake.
April 2009: End of junior year. Reach a scary low weight. Miserable and unhealthy.
June 2009: 21st birthday. Still underweight, but in beginning stages of recovery.
September 2009: Beginning of senior year. Rapidly lose weight. Shortly after this, I go to inpatient treatment.
November 2009: After being released from inpatient treatment and during intensive outpatient (IOP). This is on a family trip to visit my brother's military base (hence the flight gear).
March 2010: Me and P (yes, the one I've been sporadically emailing) at a wedding. In a good, solid point in my recovery. Completely outpatient.
August 2010: me a few weeks ago at the beach, with Toby on my lap.
So, It's been very up and down, as you can see. But, I think I'm ready.
No, scratch that.
I know I'm ready this time.
I won't come home (ok ok, I'll visit--duh!) until I have that diploma in my hands in December.