In truth, I have been up for the majority of the night. I'm a bundle of nerves (hence why it's 7 am and I'm writing this blog post). Today is the day. It's the day where I share my story with upward of one hundred individuals. Doctors, psychologists, nurses, teachers, dentists, first responders, other health care practitioners, students, patients and families. Today's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week workshop is featuring two first account experiences with eating disorders. As I've mentioned, I am one of those speakers. I have a speech prepared, and I will be taking a period to answer any questions those in the audience may have.
Writing the speech was really difficult. For someone who is such a stickler about deadlines, starting and finishing projects with ample time, and practicing til personal satisfaction I certainly slacked. I put off the writing of the speech for days and days. Mind you, once I started to write, the story flowed effortlessly. Before I knew it I had 20 minutes of material! It was difficult to write. This shit is emotional, yo! I mean, yeah, this blog is my story. Most of what I've been through is featured somewhere in blogger land, but this is the first time I will be going public about it. I think I'm scared of the vulnerable position this talk puts me in. I know, I know "But Heather, aren't your blog posts vulnerable?". Yes, yes they are, but as weird as it sounds, there is a comfort in the fact that even though many of my readers know the girl behind the story here, I still am able to"hide" behind the screen of anonimity that the internet provides its users. It's pert of the reason cyber bullying is such a big deal nowadays. It's a lot easier to type a word than say it to someone's face. When you hit enter, what's done is done. You don't have to gauge others' reactions, you don't have to leave yourself open, you don't even have to attach a name to your face. That's a different topic altogether, however. Fact of the matter is that in a few hours I am going to be standing all by my lonesome in front of a group of people, staring at me, waiting to hear about my experience with ED.
Holy Fuck. The only thing that would make this more scary would be if I had to do this thing in my underwear... Or a dress.
However, as amazingly terrifying as this is, I am excited to meet the other speaker and get to know her. I am excited to be in an academic environment. I am excited to hear the presentations from the other professionals attending the conference. I am excited to share my story of hope. I want to inspire one person, that's my goal. If one person can take away something, anything from my speech, then I will be happy. As well, seeing as advocating for recovery and eating disorder education happens to be what I want to do with the rest of my life, I should probably get the first gig out of the way.
So I would like to acknowledge all of the fighters out there. All of you currently battling, thinking about battling, or waving goodbye to the remnants of eating disorders or disordered eating. You are all fucking phenomenal. Living a life of recovery is beautiful, but it isn't easy. Kudos, you're pretty much batman.
After the conference is over today the mama and I are heading to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for my Birthday celebration dinner (which we are having tomorrow, on a far less stressful day). I am having a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings (including GRAVY). My brother and I are going to bake a cake as well. CAKE!! Banana coconut cake with cream cheese honey frosting. Now tell me that doesn't sound like a birthday dessert worthy of the gods!! This is refreshing. I am EXCITED about my birthday dinner. I am excited about my birthday (which I am celebrating today with a special birthday baked oatmeal breakfast and some Olympic sport watching, as well as an early bedtime because I know I will be exhausted). Oh, and I changed my hair (again) as a birthday gift to myself. It's deep brown and BRIGHT orange. I am the girl on fire.
|Surprised? Me neither.|
This is all quite a change. My past few birthdays have been dark. Last year I wasn't even sure how I made it alive, the year before I pretended I was sick, ended up going out, and threw up all the food I had eaten before I got home. Having a real birthday dinner, spending time with my family, and eating a proper birthday dessert is a real change. Jess is even making it in for some cake!
Other happy things I can look forward to is the return of The Walking Dead on Sunday, and packing for my trip on Tuesday. I'm scared as piss, but the person waiting for me in Saskatchewan is more than worth a little nervous flying. I've got my packing lists all prepared, and I'm pretty sure I have a handle on things. Check back again on Monday night when I'm freaking the fuck out about it.
I'll be posting a copy of my speech to this blog. I've had many followers ask me whether or not the even will be taped.This cannot happen for confidentiality reasons, but I will be happy to make a video blog and post the transcript of the speech here for you all.
Have a beautiful Friday. Keep kicking ass.