It’s been almost a week since I’ve posted a blog. I have been immersed in the craziness that is college freshman orientation. Now as orientation comes to an end and classes start tomorrow, I’m trying to reflect on these past five days, but honestly it’s kind of a blur. I’ve crammed a lot of stuff into the short time I’ve been here. I am slowly getting more comfortable though. I even called my dorm “home” today. Home will always be Illinois for me, but college can be my new home as well.
I really was surprised how easy eating was from the start. Cafeterias have been something I’ve struggled with historically because there is just so much food, but I’ve done okay. I just take my time and looked at the options and then pick what I want to eat. I don’t know how well I have been following my meal plan, but I have tried to eat what I am hungry for and make sure it is enough to nourish my body.
I have come very far. When there are moments who I am worrying about ED, I have to remind myself of that. I mean a year ago as I entered senior year I looked like this:
Summer after senior year I looked like this:
It is still hard for me to look at before and after pictures, but they show the visual change. My body was not healthy before. Now it is nourished and functions properly.
But what if I am eating too much now that I am in college? What about the Freshman 15? I probably am more likely to lose weight than gain weight according to my dietician. Since I will be walking so much I will have to eat more. Even though I don’t want to eat more. How much is enough? I don’t know.
This transition is tough. Part of me feels like I am recovered, but yet at the same time I’m not. Now that I am in a new place and away from where my ED happened I feel like it is not so much a part of me anymore. I feel very distanced from that part of my life and it already feels like a long time ago. I guess there is a piece of me that doesn’t want that and a piece of me that does. There is no visible evidence from looking at me that I have/had an eating disorder. There is no way other students could know that I had anorexia unless I tell them. Or I guess if they somehow found this blog! That is weird for me in away. No one here knew me when I was so much skinnier than I am now. Sometimes I catch myself thinking If only I looked like I did a year ago. This is especially true because I am meeting new people. It’s like I want them to see that girl. The thing is that girl is not me. I have so much more personality now. I am more comfortable talking to people. I can be truly and genuinely happy, which I could not be with ED controlling my life. When you aren’t wondering quite so much how people are judging you, you feel more free to just be yourself. Quirks and all.
There are so many things that are uncertain for me right now. What my classes will be like and who will be my friends. How much homework I will have and how many clubs I should join. But it also makes me anxious wondering about meeting with a new therapist. The counseling center is free to me on campus. I just don’t know what it will be like to see a therapist who did not know my through my recovery process. Probably kind of like being around people who did not know me during my ED journey. I am planning on staying in contact with my dietician because that can be done more easily. But even then I don’t know how to make all of these things work. I still do not know what I weigh. How do I get weighed and have that information share with my dietician? When will I be able to deal with the weight of knowing my number?
There are so many exciting things about college. I really am enjoying it, please don’t get me wrong. It’s just that the ED side of things still draws back just a little bit. If I were still in the place I was a year ago though it would draw back a whole lot. I am so thankful that is not the case. And I have many amazing opportunities here. I am going to get as involved as I can (without getting overwhelmed). I already am lined up to be in two orchestras and take private cello lessons. I’ve put my name and email on a lot of lists at the activities fair. There were even two mental health organizations on campus that I think would be great for me to get involved with. I got some cool pins from them too!
I know this post was a little bit more all over than usual. But that’s life. Sometimes life is all over. That has kind of been my life for the last 10 months. Recovery is all over. And now college life is all over. But guess what? If you are living in the moment the all-overness does not matter so much and you can live some amazing moments!