Let’s Talk

by tessa8m on January 30, 2012

in Life,Serious Stuff

Good Morning to you all, and here we are again…Monday, another weekend has zoomed by!

Overall my weekend was filled with ups and downs. Nothing in particular was wrong, in fact, I went out both Friday and Saturday night! If you have been reading my blog for some time now, you would know that is a feat in itself and that I am a self-proclaimed grandma more often than not.

However, during the day on Saturday, I felt “blah” for lack of a better term. I tried to understand where these feelings were being fueled from, but there was nothing that I could attribute to… at least nothing I could think of. I spent the day on my own, wallowing in self-pity and holding onto the thought of I am going to feel bad for myself today. Initially I planned to stay in and continue dwelling on my bad mood, but then I saw a person I work with, asked what he was doing that night without really intending to, and joined up with him and some other friends.

It turned out to be a great night, and it was exactly what I needed. *Note to self, when being alone feels like the right thing to and will eventually make you feel better… this is not always the case. Interact, socialize and be with others, your mood could perhaps brighten. I have pretty positive this “funk” will return again, and I will at least have an understanding of how to get myself out of my own head. (if that makes any sense at all).

Alright now, it’s time… time for me to reveal the information I have been keeping from you. The elusive, “forbidden” Internship that I have been nervous, yet exited to tell you all about. Although “nervous” might not be the exact word I want to use about myself when describing this to you, there are traces of nerves.

Maybe it won’t seem like such a big deal after I actually discuss what it is I am even doing…

I understand that this is my personal life and my blog, a space I can write whatever the heck I want, and I also have the free will to make choices on where my life could go. Having said that, I do care about what you all say to me, your judgements, comments, and input and I am rather curious right now what your thoughts will be. As I have wrote a number of times, I read every.single.one of your comments and respond when appropriate because it is genuinely important for me to do so.

Gahh enough with the preface here, let’s get to it!

So last Tuesday was the first day of working at an eating disorder clinic which provides psychiatric in-patient services, while also integrating medical, behavioral and nutritional care. At this particular location, there are partial and intensive outpatient programs for adults and adolescents with eating disorders- anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.

To someone that knows nothing about me and my personal history with an eating disorder, might think this internship is an intense one, but also great! I mean heck if that is what I am interested then go for it!

Obviously this is not the case with me.

Although I have never been “officially” diagnosed Anorexia because I did not meet the DSM IV weight BMI weight requirement, I did have an eating disorder, disordered eating, whatever you want to call it. Oh wait HAD one? Well clearly the ED thoughts are still with me on a daily basis, something I both understand and am 100% honest with.

At this point you might be thinking, what in the hell is she thinking working at a place like that when she is still not completely stable?! And of course, this is where the “nerves” come in, because I can understand that thought and why some of you might voice this. Yes, part of this feeling is of where I am working, I mean it’s a high-stress environment! But there is more to this…

I am having a hard time articulating this… and perhaps I am even putting thoughts into your head! Hmm bear with me here!

For over a year now, I have been battling against this ED, fighting braver and stronger than I ever thought possible, and reaping the benefits of my effort. Recovery has always been the goal, and because of the strength and determination I have put forth, I have been beating this illness that nearly destroyed my life. I have been fighting, winning, recovering.

Slowly but surely, I have gained my life back, and while pieces of the puzzle are still falling back into place, I know I will beat this mofo once and for all. It has been one hell of a year, and I have shown courage and belief that I was not even aware was a part of me.

This recovery process has been a major learning experience as well. I have grown to understand more of who I am as a person, what I like and dislike, who my true friends are, and how much I truly love my family, my main support system through this time. Learning a great deal about myself perhaps is one of the few positives that has come out of suffering through this illness, and the fact that it has led me to the person I am today.

And this is where the internship plays a major part of the transition period I have gone through in the past year.

I have gained an understanding of the path I hope to lead in my life and that is to help people. Specifically, I want to help people with this illness- aid them in realizing and understanding that although having ED feels “right” and the way things need to be, managing your life without the safety-net of the Eating Disorder is both possible and truly amazing. I personally know the horror of what this illness can do to your existence, and no one deserves to live a life subjected to the rules of an ED.

The past year of recovery has enabled me to realize my passion, and honestly, it’s both exhilarating and terrifying. Like holy crap, I finally “get” what I hope to do with my life!

I want to do everything I possibly can to help people beat this. I desire to understand why this happened to me, why it happens to others, why it is increasing in our society, why people can die from it and most importantly, what can be done to counteract the horrible effects of an eating disorder. (On that note I am also taking a nutrition class focusing on Eating disorders!)

After I graduate this spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health, I plan to enroll in Nursing School in the fall. (Just have to get in first, more on that later!) Nursing has always been a career goal of mine (that is why I went to UVM- I was in that program but when I transferred to UMASS, I could not get into the one here), and I still wish to pursue this path. However, emergency care or labor and delivery will no longer be the goal, but coupling my RN status with eating disorder care is the new objective.

Perhaps I am being a bit presumptuous when I say this, but I have a fairly strong feeling that I truly could help people suffering with any sort of eating disorder. I have an understanding, an insight into how the mind of someone with an ED thinks and functions. That there is way more to this mental illness than meets the eye, and in fact what is underlying the surface is the core of the disorder and must be treated. Because I have an ED myself, I get it.

Again going back to the Internship and what i said before… what am I thinking working at place that could be incredibly triggering? Well it’s a valid point and one I am fully ready to address. For months I thought about whether or not that sort of environment could negatively effect me, and I have come to the conclusion that while it could and will “bother” me to an extent, there is no way it would force me to relapse.

I have come way too far, have learned way too much, and realized the extent to which the benefits of recovery rule over the holding on to the eating disorder. When I work at Walden, I am going to see first-hand, young women still suffering with their personal EDs, and that is even more reason for me to keep on fighting toward a peace of mind with food and my body. I can then pass on this knowledge and HELP people.

I am doing this Internship to gain experience, the legitimate reason you are supposed to partake in one. I want to see if a place like Walden is one where I want to be the rest of my life, or what other options I will have once I am a registered Nurse. Pairing the Public Health degree with the RN title has the potential to lead me to a career, but one I am still working to understand and then establish.

Perhaps I am getting way too ahead of myself here… I mean I have not graduated yet, have not yet been accepted to a nursing school (waiting on that), and still have no idea if this Internship will even be a good one. With all of that said, I have know from the bottom of my heart, that my passion in life is to continue personally healing from this and to help anyone out there I can because again, NO ONE deserves to have this.

My first week at Walden has been well, fantastic and exactly what I am hoping for. I am there 16 hours per week- 11 hours in the intensive outpatient program which treats Anorexia specifically, and then 5 hours at night, when Binge Eating Disorder is the focus. I am still quite new to the philosophy and methods of the facility, but will be reporting back and telling you all more about it as I gain experience.

So there you have it, the big “secret” has been revealed!

I don’t mind if you think this is a completely terrible idea and again, the thought that it has the potential to trigger me into a relapse.. it is a valid point after all. I am not looking for anyone’s approval on this necessarily, but more just letting you know what is going on. I have realized what I hope to do with my life and it feels liberating, exciting, and almost unbelievable.

Of course, I still have a long way to go in this recovery process and I understand that. Victories and failures, set backs and triumphs, good and bad days, will all continue to occur. It is still going to be really hard at times, and even moments where I want to throw up my hands and give in… NO! I refuse to let it happen and now part of my goal in life is to help others out there too.

Every.single.day is a battle in itself and by looking at the larger picture, what is important to me, and what I want my future to look like, I am given even more motivation to keep on going. Again, I do not deserve to suffer with this debilitating illness anymore, and neither does any other single person out there. We must keep on fighting.

I mean it when I say this… I would love to hear from you,

-I suppose the most obvious question I could ask, what are your thoughts on this?

-Do you know what you are truly passionate for?

-If you do, are you taking steps to pursue this passion? And if not, what is holding you back?

-On a 100% completely unrelated note, how was your weekend?! Share something you did :)

Phew… majorly wordy and if you read the whole thing, well major kudos to you and I also really appreciate it and I thank you.

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{ 158 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo January 30, 2012 at 5:16 am

Firstly I saw your tweet that your posts are wordy and just wanted to let you know that I always look forward to them and find you articulate yourself so well!

Congrats on the internship! That’s so great you’ve found your passion and are following through with it! Your blog alone has been an inspiration and savior to so many and I have no doubt that you will help many other girls in the clinic! As I’m sure you know, I am highly passionate about food, fitness and nutrition and I definitely want to immerse myself into a career in this field. The one thing holding me back from setting a business up is the fear of failure. The thing is that I KNOW it’s something I would excel in and am constantly expanding my knowledge base! Over the last few days, I have been considering it strongly and have decided that by this summer, I want to/need to get the ball rolling!

Looking forward to reading more about your internship!
Khushboo recently posted..Body for Life

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2 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Fear of failure is definitely a huge factor for me too… but failures and victories are what help to shape us and that is what we both must remember!

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3 Kaitlyn January 30, 2012 at 6:05 am

Tessa, I think it is WONDERFUL that you are taking this opportunity. You (along with anyone else who had ever experienced the horrors of EDs) can empathize the most effectively with these patients. I’ve always believed that if you can find a way to empathize with someone (whether you have been through their experience or not), you really have a shot at helping them. I think this will be a challenging but wonderful experience for you, and I can’t wait to hear more about it! :)

I found my passion in college – teaching! I absolutely love love love it. I’m currently in graduate school to get my master’s in special education, which I hope will lead me to a career helping children with special needs. When you find your passion, you just know!

Have a great week!
Kaitlyn recently posted..Motivation Monday #2

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4 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thank you Kaitlyn and that is wonderful you are involving yourself in your passion as well!

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5 meg January 30, 2012 at 6:44 am

Tessa I just wanted to say that I think this is incredible am an really excited for you!! The reason I want to be a gastroenterologist (digestive doc) is because of all the digestive issues I have had myself. I think having experience with the patient side makes you a much more compassionate caretaker and much more able to make patients comfortable and relate to them. I think you are going to fabulous at this and I think you will be able to touch so many lives. Congratulations!!!

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6 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Yes exactly Meg! You really can relate to what the patients are going through and then be able to treat them on a much more personal level

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7 Gen January 30, 2012 at 7:09 am

I think that it is a great opportunity! Congrats! :D
I really am considering going in to physical therapy some day in the future…..I love anything and everything nutrition/fitness related and even though my ED made me obsessed with that, I still want to work in this field!

About the weekend, my sister and I made homemade eclairs for the first time ever!
Gen recently posted..Back With a Bang

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8 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Umm eclairs sound both tasty and tough to make! haha… very impressive :)

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9 Hollie@lolzthatswim January 30, 2012 at 7:15 am

Wow that is really interesting. I think you working there is somewhat good-you know? You have the experience to work with these boys and girls that maybe some others don’t have. You know how to connect with them. Honestly-I think this working there will only help you and you are going to touch so many lives!
Hollie@lolzthatswim recently posted..Weekend Jives & Dudes Acting Hardcore vLog

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10 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Thank you for your thoughts here Hollie… it will be a good thing overall, I just know it

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11 Tara January 30, 2012 at 7:27 am

I can see why people might disagree, but I think this could make you stronger. It will definitely remind you why you wouldn’t want to do that to yourself – I’m sure the patients are in really uncomfortable, scary positions, and that’s just a place you would never want to put yourself. I think you’ll also have the benefit of knowing exactly what the patients are going through and maybe helping them achieve health will just make your mind the stronger force against your ED! It sounds like a really interesting opporunity and I think it will provoke a lot of interesting blog posts!
Tara recently posted..Four for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco!

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12 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thank you Tara… and I am glad you see why people might disagree as well, because as I said in the post, it is a valid point. I just feel I can help people and am psyched to at least find out if I can… in this type of setting i mean

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13 Alaina January 30, 2012 at 7:36 am

I think that this will be such a great learning experience for you! Working at an internship like this will just prove how strong you are and how far you’ve come.

I’m amazed by your accomplishments and determination Tessa!!! I’m crossing my fingers for you that you get into nursing school! :-)
Alaina recently posted..Sunday Stuff

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14 Sarah @ feeedingbrainandbody January 30, 2012 at 7:51 am

Wow, I’m sure you are going to learn so much at this internship and be a great help there! I can totally understand why you are worried about being triggered, hopefully the experience will have the opposite effect! Good luck with getting into nursing school :)
Sarah @ feeedingbrainandbody recently posted..Crumpets > Toast

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15 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Thank you Sarah… I am going to need the luck!

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16 Alexandra January 30, 2012 at 7:56 am

Wow I honestly think this is going to be SUCH an amazing opportunity for you friend! You’re going to be able to help so many struggling by being able to say, “hey, I was where you are, but recovery is possible.” By having someone to talk to and relate to, the patients may even blossom more! :) I am so excited for you to be able to learn from them while you pursue your own recovery as well as your job!
Looking forward to hearing all about it, you rock sista!
Have a fabulous week!
Alexandra recently posted..Looking Back: Jamaica March 2009

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17 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count January 30, 2012 at 8:21 am

Tessa! I think this is a wonderful opportunity for you and a wonderful idea. You know what these patients are going through. You’ve experienced it and I think as you see other people struggling you will gain strenghth because you are so much further along all on your own strength of will! They need someone like you who has experienced this. I’ve compared my situation to yours before, me never realizing in the past how they are two sides of the same coin. To work for Weight Watchers, you have to have gone through the progam and reached your goal. You have to know what it’s like in order to help others. I think this is a terrific idea, I think it will be very good for you and I like your plan to approach this as a stepping stone to your career. So happy for you!
Fran@ Broken Cookies Don’t Count recently posted..Sunday In Slo Mo

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18 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Oh yes of course… this is very much the same thing! You are able to help people out too because you have been there and show people it is possible to get through the program and succeed. Thank you for your input here Fran!

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19 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake January 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

Congrats on making this big decision! I wish I had thought more intensely about my career path when I was in college. Now, I’m almost 26 & still trying to figure it out!
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20 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm

You will figure it out though….. I mean I THINK this is what I want to do, but who knows, it could change through the experience!

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21 Daybelis martinez January 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

First of all let me tell you that you look so beautiful in these pics…you look fit,healthy and you are glowing girl.Beating this disorder isn’t a walk in the park and it certainly requires alot of will and determination and I think you have it.Of course you still have those days when you feel ‘ fat’,when you debate on whether to eat bread or just a salad but these days are part of the process.I strongly believe that your internship and interest towards working in walden is far from being a bad decision, I thin it’s the best thing you could do.Tessa your blog, all of your posts contain so much helpful information,so much insight and they are all bluntly honest.You might not realize it but your words have helped so many girls out there battling this disease in fact you helped me. I could assure you that regardless of your downfalls you are capable of pursuing this dream you have, don’t hesitate in doing it…I am so proud and happy to hear these news

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22 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hi lady,
First, thank you for the lovely compliment… that was nice for me tread :) You wrote such kind and supportive words here and wow.. just thank you, this comment just made my day :)

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23 Daybelis martinez January 31, 2012 at 8:48 am

You are very welcome and I’m glad my comment made your day it was from my all honesty …p.s I emailed you :)

24 CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com January 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

girl i thnik this is a fantastic opportunity and could potentially help you immensley in your own recovery by seeing others who are completely consumed and stuck in a program…especially since many are repeat program goers and adults who have been battling for a very long…it could inspire you to never ever return to that way of life…
ON THE OTHER HAND i know i personally have learned a lot of my bad habits in treatment facilities and even though i did not intend or necessarily want to, it is just so easy to pick them up.
please just continue to talk about your struggles and listen to you intuition as far as if you are being triggered.
whatever you do i know you will do well. you are an amazing person, Tessa and I know you will help so many people!!!
CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com recently posted..Why Can’t You Just Eat a Cheeseburger?

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25 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I really do understand what you are writing here… and trust me, it is something I am considering. I will remain honest with myself and I will identify myself slipping if it ever starts to happen

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26 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 30, 2012 at 9:01 am

I love your posts!! I think its awesome what you want to do :)
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27 Amy Lauren January 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

I actually think this is a great idea if you’re planning to go into a career as an RN and possibly help those with EDs. Whether or not you “met some criteria”, you know what kind of issues you’ve experienced and that’s not to say that someone with a lower BMI is “sicker” than you or anything like that. Disordered eating is disordered eating, some people just weigh less and more than others, and it really has nothing to do with it.

And honestly, the medical profession needs people trained in dealing with things like this. I’ve had doctors who told me “well, you just have to eat more, and gain weight, and you’ll get better” and nurses who actually said things like “oh wow, I wish I could eat less like you!” or “you need to gain weight? Wish I could give you some of mine!”… you realize just how aloof some medical professionals really are.

The only thing is, I’d caution you in how much you say on the blog because of HIPAA regulations and just because a lot of people are self-conscious about being in treatment in the first place. I’m sure you know all about HIPAA and that good stuff already though, but it’s just something to watch out for. Your name is on the blog, and I don’t want anything to come back to haunt you when you apply for nursing school or a job, if a potential employer was to see this.

I had a pretty awesome weekend- ran a 5K and enjoyed a nice dinner out with my husband :).
Amy Lauren recently posted..Polar Bear Race Recap + Weekend Fun

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28 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I definitely appreciate you reminding me about the HIPPA laws and confidentiality! I have worked in a hospital setting before and I just know not to ever discuss patients, and other private things here. Nevaaa evaaa… but it is always good to be reminded!

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29 Amy Lauren January 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Cool cool- I didn’t even realize you’d worked in a hospital before :). Glad you know about it though, I just know social media can get people in trouble, actually one of our applicants here (that was why they were not hired).
Amy Lauren recently posted..Polar Bear Race Recap + Weekend Fun

30 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Oh dear, what happened… did they discuss particular patients?

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31 Amy Lauren January 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Oh no, I don’t work in the medical field.

I work in the technology field- which is almost just as bad, because people here know how to dig ANYTHING up.
Amy Lauren recently posted..Polar Bear Race Recap + Weekend Fun

32 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Wait no I am slightly worried? What did they dig up? And what should I Never ever say? I mean I do know about HiPAA, but would love any advice or input from you!

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33 Josie @ happycorredora January 30, 2012 at 9:12 am

I think thats great :) You are obviously passionate and caring, plus you bring your personal experience which I think makes you perfect for the position. Congrats :)

I am still figuring out my passion. I feel I am taking a lot longer than most people but I guess there is no exact timeline.

Also relating to your first point, I tend to lean towards alone time too and wallowing in feeling bad. If I make an effort to meet up with people, sometimes I feel better. Not all the time, but certainly its worth a shot :)
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34 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

THere is definitely no exact timeline… finding what is important to you is the goal because then you will always be happy doing it!
Oh and yes to the needing alone time vs. being with others.. sometimes it is beneficial to be alone and sometimes being with people pulls me out of my poop mood!

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35 Joy January 30, 2012 at 9:18 am

I think it’s great if you can be successful there. Every ip I’ve been to the most helpful people were those who had lived it…
I’d love to do something in the psych field if I could ever get my act together enough
Joy recently posted..Where everybody knows your name

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36 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life January 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

Wow girl! I admire your bravery, strength and heartfelt words. I think you would be amazing at helping others to overcome their ED. You are honest and relatable, which I think is so important to be when helping others. I think the internship is an amazing opportunity for you and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes!

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37 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Thank you Jana, I will certainly be reporting back!

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38 Colleen January 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

Amazing!! What an incredible opportunity for you and what an asset you will be to the clinic. Your passion should be your career–it’s the only way to be happy at work (in my opinion). I believe that nursing school is a great stepping stone and valuable degree for your future plans. Only you know what is right now you do go with your gut. You don’t need anyone else’s approval.
My wkend “home” was wonderful. It was great relaxing, sleeping, and shopping!

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39 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I agree, it is rather helpful to follow your passion because then you actually enjoy work! I know I don’t need any one else’s approval, but I do still like to consider what others say :)
I am glad your weekend was great! Sounds like you did ideal activities to me

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40 Kat January 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

Chica, you are one HOT mamma with your hair all done up and looking sassy! (not that you arent usually, just trying to point out the obvious here!)
And to be honest, I would LOVE to work with girls who have either suffered through an ED or poor body image. And theres nothing wrong with that!! Its what we can relate to. We have that special bond. And we can stand there in front of them and honestly speak from experience and say YOU CAN WIN. Even if we still struggle with it, we are REAL. And I think girls will appreciate that fact. Cause its NOT all roses and sunshine all the time. It can be HARD. But you can show them thats its worth fighting for :)
Kat recently posted..Early Birthday Present

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41 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Yep you hit the nail on the head here… we do have a special bond.. an understanding! Thank you for your thoughts Kat :)

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42 KAILA January 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! Seriously, you are going to be able to help SO many people. You are so insightful and have such great perspective on the disease/disorder, so I know that the people there will be able to benefit from your presence. While some cases this experience could be triggering I’d assume, I think you are right in how far you’ve come and that you will be able to use this experience as further motivation for your recovery. So proud of you Tessa for taking on this challenge! You will be an amazing health professional no matter what area you choose to go in to.

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43 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Hi Kaila,
Thank you dear! And yes exactly with the triggering… if I were in a different place then hell yeah, it would be a bad idea. But I have learned so much, fought so hard to reach where I am!

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44 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes January 30, 2012 at 10:15 am

I can’t imagine who would but don’t let anyone give you crap for this. I think it’s a wonderful position and an amazing opportunity. Going after something like this only proves that ED is NOT in control of you!
StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Microwave Bran Muffin

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45 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thank you, this is a great way of looking at it!

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46 Alex January 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

Wow, Walden is a tough place to work, I have had many friends I know go there for treatment. I am truly impressed by your willingness to help others and I do agree that recovery is something to share with others. I know for me when I reach out to help others it helps me.

I am continued to be amazed by your pro-recovery decisions and helping others is only part of that process. I wish I could go back to my home state and do something like that. Where I go to school there is no opportunity to do that at all.

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47 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I know people that have been through Walden too and yes, it is a tough place to work. But I am more than willing to try and help people out of this in anyway I can :)

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48 Errign January 30, 2012 at 10:51 am

I think it AWESOME that you’re doing this, while recognizing that it might be a struggle, but also an epic learning experience! Good for you!

One of our study abroad companies is in Northampton :)
Errign recently posted..Things.

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49 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Oh very cool! Yay for connections!

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50 Dorsa @ Running Thoughts January 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

I think this is a wonderful thing for you. Not only will you be able to help others out, but I think that this will help you along your own healing process. I believe 100% that you can do this, and that you will be awesome at it :) Congrats!
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51 Sonia the Mexigarian January 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

Congrats ;) If you feel the call of helping other people deep within your bones and soul, then it’s meant for you. In some way or another, you already do help people with this blog. Perhaps, this internship, is just another part of your healing process.
Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted..Can I Sleep Yet?

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52 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I like to look at it that way Sonia… and I agree with you!

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53 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions January 30, 2012 at 11:33 am

I think it’s awesome that you’re working at an ED clinic. Obviously I see how it could be triggering, and I guess that’s something you’d have to judge for yourself–if it seemed like it was doing you more harm than good, it probably would be best to get yourself out of that situation. However, I really think you bring something special to the table given your past. I’ve been through counseling twice in my life for my anxiety disorder. The first time around it was one of the greatest things to happen to me. The second time around was horrendous. I went to the counseling center at my school, suffered through two terrible appointments with a counselor here that I literally have never heard anyone say a good word about (didn’t know that ahead of time…alas), and gave up because she was literally PULLING TEXTBOOKS OFF THE SHELF AND READING THINGS ABOUT ANXIETY TO ME. I was like really?! Could you possibly be less helpful? I know WHAT anxiety is and I know what “they” say you’re supposed to do to make it better…but that hasn’t been working for me! That’s why I’m here! *shakes head* I felt absolutely no connection with her, like she had no CLUE what I was dealing with and trying to overcome. I would’ve been much more interested in talking to other people suffering from anxiety than her, because at least they would get it on some level. That’s why I think you could be extremely helpful at an ED clinic. Yeah, there’s some risk involved, but the benefits could be SO great.

I’m really glad you’re enjoying your experience so far, and I hope it continues to be great for you!
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions recently posted..That Awkward Moment…

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54 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm

What in the heck kind of a counseling place was that?! Boo I am sorry you didn’t know anything about the person before hand, what a pain! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal story here… it gives me more encouragement to continue this path!

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55 Kellie January 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

It really bothers me that the BMI is a criteria for AN (although I heard it was changing). I actually was the sickest when my BMI got back up to the “normal” range. That is why recovery is so hard. I put on weight so people thought I was better. That is when ED gets the loudest.

I think this will be good for you. I can see where people think it might be triggering, but to be honest when I see a girl with an obvious ED I feel less triggered. I know I never want to go back to that place again. I also know the hard work it took/takes to get out of that place.

I wanted to make an off-topic comment, but I know you are still waiting for your period. I finally got mine yesterday after two full years without it. Keep following the plan you are on and eat ALL your calories. I thought I would never get it and that maybe it wasn’t ED related since I had been weight restored for awhile. Sure enough, when I actually followed my plan to the letter and didn’t restrict or over-exercise for a couple of months, it showed up! Take care of yourself and be patient and it will come (although fair warning, the cramping is not so fun).

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56 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I have heard it is changing too though… it’s just a matter of when now!
And congrats on the period… seriously I am beyond excited for you and reading this just gave me both hope and motivation. Thank you Kellie, I mean that

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57 X January 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Kellie, if you are ever open to chat about your journey, please email me. I’d love to hear about your experiences with dietitians, calorie counting, no exercise, etc…any depression and lack of motivation (?). Thanks.

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58 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health January 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Wow, Tessa, seriously I am so incredibly proud of you and happy for you! I definitely think that you are at a point in your recovery where doing this will be awesome- not only can you help others in a situation that you are all too familiar with, but this will probably be beneficial to you because you’ll see what you don’t want to go back to! And your career goals sound perfect for you- it’s something I think you are absolutely capable of, and not only that but something that you will excel at. I hope that you talk more about your experience with this internship, because I would love to know!
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59 Vanessa January 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I think that’s its avoid idea. I would love to help others with ed. I think it will help u as well. I know that when I talk to my two coworkers who also still struggle like me, it helps. I don’t really think anyone will be 100% cured, because of the thoughts, but one can recover and I know it helped me to relate to someone who was in my shoes. Can’t wait to hear more about it! U will touch many lives.

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60 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thank you for your thoughts Vanessa! I want to show that recovery is possible because I truly believe it

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61 Anna @ The Guiltless Life January 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

First of all, good for you for getting out on the weekend – it took me a while to learn that I needed to really be around people to break out of my funk. I eventually learned to be by myself without beating myself up but that took a few years – definitely at your age I was needing to get out and socialize with people to break out of it so major kudos to you for doing that!

Second major kudos, working at a centre with people dealing with what you’re dealing with must be extremely challenging but also very rewarding, so I am majorly impressed by that decision!
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62 Katherine January 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Wow, gotta say, props to you. I know I couldn’t do this without it being an incredible struggle. Best of luck!

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63 Sally Anne @ PaleoRunnerGirl January 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Thank you for sharing this! And SUPER congrats on the internship. I think that it is SO important to do something that you are passionate about and you clearly are! Also, I think the fact that you are VERY aware of your own feelings and the potential problems means that you are in a good place to take on this challenge!
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64 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Exactly! I do feel confident enough in my progression to know this will be okay
Thank you for your support!

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65 annie January 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

This makes me so happy. This is perfect for you. It would be an understatement to say your blogging has not positively affected every individual whom visits your blot,myself included!

You will be an amazing asset at this center! I know you will help all those there grow strong! Also I think you will equally gain & grow from this new community and patients

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66 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hi Annie,
Thank you so so much for telling me this! It is reassuring and helpful to know I continue to help readers out there… it is my determination that keeps me going, but also the support from this community and people like yourself!

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67 Emma January 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I only know you through a computer screen, so there is absolutely no way I can say if this is the right call or not. I will say that, as someone currently struggling with anorexia and wanting to go into psychiatry to help people with EDs, I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m not going to lie though, this is really, really concerning. I know there is absolutely no way I could go on to help others with EDs right now as I’m recovering… I find going to group therapy triggering enough! And have you ever heard how some people really discourage others from going IP, because it can “make you sicker” if you pick up “tricks” from other patients? But I will say in your credit, you do seem absolutely hellbent on recovering, and I’ve never really seen the defeatist attitude I’m so very used to in other people in recovery…

Also I think it’s really important to make sure your employers (is that the right word?) at Walden know about your history with an ED.

Oh, also, just because you were never technically “anorexic”, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t suffer and that your struggles didn’t mean anything. You still had an eating disorder, one that could easily have taken your life if you didn’t do anything about it. It took a lot of strength and courage to stop it before it got worse.

Ultimately, your life, your decision. Just be careful, please, okay?

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68 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Hi Emma,
As I wrote in this post, I really do understand and respect what you are saying here. I put this out there to let people know what is going on with me and also that yes, this is a really big deal in my life, and one that could potentially be a mistake. Having said all of that, I know myself quite well at this point and am honest with myself and those that are in my life. I feel very confident with the fact that, while I still have not fully recovered and do have a long way to go, I know a relapse is not going to happen. I am self-aware and very conscious of the choices I make, especially with this ED… all very important and necessary to be able to handle a situation like this.
And yes to answer your question, the people at Walden do know I have had my own eating disorder and that is why I told them I wanted the opportunity, to pass on my own experience and recovery.
Again, I appreciate what you wrote here, seriously, thank you for taking the time to do so. What you are saying is completely legitimate. I will of course take care and report back here as well… yet another way to stay honest :)

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69 fitpeanut January 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Im truly passionnate about nutrition but I have an master degree in aerospace enginering … so right now I follow the “aerospace path” =) and I’ll see what happens next =) Go with the flow ^^
I try to live one day at a time, enjoy the present and if I want to switch my carreer one day, I’ll find a way.
Moreover, nutrition is my passion but if I’m engineer that doesn’t mean “nutrition and fitness, wellness, healthy living” is out of the equation. If you want it, you can have it all. That’s what I believe =)
I can keep my passion and work on something else.

About your internship, I think it’s great but also risky for you. Of course you can help others because you know exactly what’s going on in their mind. Helping others can help you (because giving to people is wonderful). But on the other hand, being with people suffering from anorexia, bulimia can be triggering for you. But you are the only one who knows if you can go through it !
I truly believe that being a nurse is a wonderful idea !! I thought about it a while ago, and I’m sure you’ll do a great job !!!

Good luck for you internship, it will be a wonderful experience but take care of you, and “listen to yourself” =) !!!
fitpeanut recently posted..New job, new life, new city…

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70 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You are right and it is what I considered for a long time before actually making the decision to do this. It can be triggering but i feel confidently that I have reached a place where I will not relapse… I have come too far and am way too honest with myself to let that happen.

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71 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries January 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

first off, i just want to say that i completely agree with you about getting out and socializing when you’re feeling in a funk or down for no particular reason. forcing myself to get out (especially when i was in college) helped my not-so-good days SO much!!

second of all, congratulations on your internship!! what an awesome opportunity! i personally think that people in a specific profession who can RELATE to those they’re helping are able to do the BEST job at it. they (in this case, you) will be able to know what the people are going through that you’re helping because you’ve been there! and i see no issue with that! we all have our crap we have to deal with… it doesn’t mean you’re not qualified to do a great job at helping change other people’s lives. i’m excited for you!
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72 Liz @ Southern Charm January 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Tessa, I think it is absolutely amazing what you are doing!! Werk that Internship!! And you’re right, it’s a great way to see if it’s right for you! You’ve gotta try, right?!

And I took the steps towards my passion .. I went to law school and sucked it up an extra year for my LLM in tax law. Worth every second of my time! I absolutely love my job! If you love it, it will happen :)
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73 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile January 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

You know what? I don’t think it is a bad idea, AT ALL. If anything, I think it is amazing. If anyone were to help those girls with eating disorders recover and teach them all they need to know to get better, it would be someone who understands it. Sure, someone can study it all they want but they have not actually gone through it so they don’t know feelings, emotions, and everything on a deeper level that could really help those other girls. I think you know what you are capable of and you know that you will not relapse working in an environment like that. Who cares what anyone thinks anyways. You will make a change in so many girls lives and if that is what you want to do with your life, GO FOR IT. You will be amazing at whatever you do and I am supporting you the whole way :) Congrats girl!!!

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74 Jen H. January 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I interned there last spring – loved it! :) I think I was their first intern… I guess I must have not deterred them from getting another one ;) I’m so excited for you!!!

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75 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Yes I remember when you told me that! I had actually had it in the works already when you did write that here! Great minds think alike :)

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76 Hayley @ Oat Couture January 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I can see why it might be worrying for some and also damn challenging for you yourself but honestly I think it’s a great opportunity! And it says a lot about your character that you are willing to take it on! There is a saying that goes something like ‘Nothing in this world thats worth having comes easy’ and that really applies here. This internship and your future career could be (and will be!) amazingly beneficial for you and those that you are helping, yes it will be hard at times but it will be sooo rewarding and you are definitely up to the job!! :) Wishing you the bet of luck with it all!!

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77 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm

That is a fantastic quote and one that I love too! I appreciate you sharing it here Hayley and reminding me, because that is so true!

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78 Kathryn @ Flopoodle January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

There is absolutely NOTHING terrible about this idea, I think it is fantastic. Who better to be there for these girls than someone who has experienced their situation first hand and is even still in the midst of it? You will be so easy for them to relate to because you get it. This is such wonderful news and I am so happy that you are enjoying it so far! And nursing school! How awesome!
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79 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Kathryn, thank you for your encouraging words!

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80 Carrie @Shrinking Carrie January 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I love your passion! It is a maxing to be able to go into a field that you are truly passionate about. Good luck!

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81 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Thank you Carrie!

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82 Steph @ StephSnacks January 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

YEAH GIRL!!! GOOD FOR YOU! What a fabulous next step — I did the same with my career passion… set out to do as many internships as I could during college. It really helped me learn where I wanted to be. I can’t wait to read more about your time at Walden.
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83 Laura @ LauraLivesLife January 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I think you know yourself and your capabilities better then we do – so if you feel ready for the internship, then I think you are ready. I believe that you will be a great inspiration to these individuals, and I also think that you can learn from the therapy (almost like being in therapy yourself) to continue to recover. I think it is very brave, and I admire you for it.
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84 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Goodness Laura, thank you for these kind and encouraging words!

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85 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie January 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I think this is a completely awesome experience for you, considering that it’s the field you want to pursue! And I really think that if it works out, this would be a really good career for you, because your posts always hit home for me as far as what I’ve experienced with my own ED. You have such an incredible understanding of the issues behind disordered eating and EDs that I think it’s a perfect fit for you. I can’t wait to hear more about your experience there!

Oh and about the weight requirements for anorexia–I think they’re a load of bull! I met them, but that doesn’t invalidate people who don’t meet it and if anything, sometimes people who are diagnosed with EDNOS can be in an even worse place than someone at a lower weight. I think that because you come from a place where you weren’t diagnosed specifically with AN, you can relate even more to others being treated in the same situation and let them know that their problems are just as real!
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86 Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense January 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Tessa, you are following your heart and that’s what’s important!! If you feel lead to help people then that is what you should do and you’ll be so great at it!! Like you said… you’ve experienced an ED and people going through a similar experience will be able to relate/connect to you. Congratulations and I can’t wait to hear more about it =)
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87 Eleanor@eatinglikeahorse January 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I think someone as strong as you are, who’s done so brilliantly in coming out of it will be an inspiration for other people. Also, I don’t think it’s a bad idea because of where you are in your recovery; it might just be that working with people still in the grip of an ED will help you too because you’ll realise how far you’ve come…?
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88 Alexis January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Congrats I’m so happy for you!!! This is EXACTLY what I want to do with my nursing degree but there aren’t any places in Delaware for me to achieve this goal – so for now I’m thinking of psych :)
Nursing school is tough! I won’t even try to sugar coat it. Good luck! But I know one day you will be a FANTASTIC nurse and I truly believe you can help so many girls. You have already helped so many of US! You are amazing. keep up the wonderful work
Alexis recently posted..5 stages of “grief”

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89 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Oh yes I know it’s tough… but I am ready (I think) haha :)

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90 Kate @ Chasing It January 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

AAAH omg Tessa this is FANTASTIC!!!!!! Seriously I totally know where you’re coming from here – back when I was thinking of going into nutrition, I wanted to work with either ED patients or athletes – because I am or have been both!! It really brings a whole extra level to the treatment a patient is getting when their nurse or therapist has been through that themselves. I know personally I never trusted a sports dietician until I met one that also was an accomplished runner – and I probably never trusted the “ED” dieticians I saw because they hadn’t experienced that. Your experience gives you SO much more power to help other ED patients and I am SO SO GLAD you’re going to use it, however difficult it may be at times!! And I think that it’s also going to make you stronger in your recovery. SO PUMPED FOR YOU!!! Congratulations!!

Oh and just to let you know, I changed my blog URL, and, epic fail, didn’t notify anyone beforehand so umm now I get to leave these akward comments haha. But here’s the new URL, http://chasingrunningdreams.blogspot.com/
Kate @ Chasing It recently posted..Shoot for the Moon

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91 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Yes yes I agree… it is helpful to know that the person that is working on you completely understands! I know I have felt that way in the past.
Thank you for the well wishes and I am off to check out your new URL.. and am updating it on my reader!

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92 Kate @ Chasing It January 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

AAAAH OMG TESSA!!! This is such an incredible opportunity for you!! I totally know where you’re coming from too – back when I was contemplating studying nutrition, I wanted to work with either athletes or ED patients specifically because I am/have been both! I didn’t ever trust any kind of dietician I saw in outpatient therapy because I knew they hadn’t actually gone through anything of the sort. And I never trusted a sports dietician until I found one that was also an accomplished runner. Your experience gives you SO much more power to help ED patients, and I’m so glad you’ve decided to use it!! SOO pumped for you!! :-D

OH also, I changed my blog URL aaaand forgot to post about it so now I’m getting emails that are like “omg are you okay?” hahaa soo I will just leave everyone akward comments, my new URL is: http://chasingrunningdreams.blogspot.com/ :-D
Kate @ Chasing It recently posted..Shoot for the Moon

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93 sarah January 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, never commented, and I can relate to EVERYTHING you say and find your posts sooo helpful, as I am in recovery from anorexia…. Anywhooo, I just wanted to say that I think this is an amazing opportunity for you and you’ll be able to help soo many! I was in an inpatient program for a couple months and RN’s and the techs helped me sooo much when I just wanted to cry and vent, or laugh and goof off and be “normal.” They also served as awesome role models. I’m an adolescent so I was with the RNs, LPNs, or techs all the time, and they helped me to get through and I will be forever greatful to them! Just wanted to let you know first hand how much people will appreciate you! You’ll be such an asset ( lol I had to say it!) especially because you will so relateable to the patients. You go girl, I know whatever ends up happening you’ll be great!

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94 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Hi Sarah,
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Now I can say I have “met” you :)
That is wonderful you had a positive experience in an environment like that, and I hope to be like one of those RNs one day
I appreciate the ASSET reference too, made me laugh girl :D

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95 Julia January 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I actually think it’s the PERFECT internship for you. It’s always nice for someone to be able to relate and I think you out of anyone would be a great resource for people dealing with eating disorders..congrats girl :)

And I am SO excited you are joining the nursing field…welcome to our club :) LEt me know if you have ANY questions!
Julia recently posted..10 things I wish I could tell myself @ age 16

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96 tessa8m January 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Well I am hopefully joining the nursing field! Just have to get in somewhere first :) After though, I sure as heck will hit you up for help!

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97 Sarah (Every Day's a Picnic) January 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Good for you! It sounds like you have found something that you are passionate about and want to pursue, which is half the battle. Once you get your RN, if you decide specialising in EDs isn’t for you, then you can always change your mind later down the line (I am a huge believer in this having changed careers).
It sounds like you are aware of the pitfalls involved in terms of your own recovery, but I’m confident that you are strong enough to avoid them and that this could really help you personally too.
Good luck x
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98 Kiah January 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm

This is a TERRIBLE idea. haha, kidding ;-) Honestly, there was NO part of me that was surprised. It seems like something you will totally KILL at–evident in the way you can articulate the experience and challenge of conquering an ED here at Amazing Asset. I am SO proud of you! Look me up next time you’re in Noho :-)
Kiah recently posted..lying down to get up

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99 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:30 am

Yes of course! Perhaps after a day of working there we could get GO BERRYYYY or something haha… I still have my obsession with froyo.. along with everyone else in the HLB community ha

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100 X January 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

if u are open to chat and share some of what u learn/see regarding those underweight and with binge eating …let me know…

i’m binging

and i’m still so hung up on not doing this “right” …eating junk and crap food and too much …my poor body
and not exercising…

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101 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I will Jane.. shoot me an email if you want to talk.

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102 Melissa @TryingtoHeal January 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I’m so glad to hear you’re loving your internship and if it’s what you want to do and love doing, then do it! I’m also glad you were able to get out this weekend to pull yourself out of your funk; I tried to do the same exact thing, but mine didn’t work out as well! Oh well, every day is another to improve!
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103 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:29 am

Exactly Melissa.. I am actually somewhat surprised it worked because sometimes being with others makes my mood worse! Not always the case though :)

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104 caloricandcrazy January 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I think it’s wonderful you are doing this internship! And to be honest, I’d rather have a nurse who had the insight for whatever I need care for than a nurse who just works for a paycheck and doesn’t CARE for the patient (I have seen those…)

I can’t wait to read about your experiences later on! :)
caloricandcrazy recently posted..The ABCs of Me

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105 Lily January 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Your new internship sounds AMAZING! It’s funny you just blogged about this because I have to find an internship for the spring and I’ve been doing some major researching lately. I’d love to work someplace that deals with sports nutrition but I know as a high school student, that isn’t easy to find. Hopefully I can work something out though! Congrats on the internship & I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! xo
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106 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:28 am

I am sure you will find something Lily! You are right those, it does take a lot of research… good luck to you as well :)

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107 Krystie January 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm

What a great oppurtunity! I think you are strong enough to take on the challenge even if it can get triggering, I know when I first got out of treatment everyone said I shouldnt work at the gym but I did it anyways and it didnt effect me, I knew my limits and I’m sure you know yours! I want to get into nursing school as well for PT school thats my dream, I think it’s great you have it all mapped out! You can do it girly!
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108 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm

What a great dream you have too Krystie! Good luck with your goals as well :)

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109 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I could not think of a more PERFECT position for you Tessa – you’re going to do an amazing job at this! :D I think having the ED background is actually so helpful for that kind of job because it lets you be able to truly empathize with the patients and understand them. You are so inspiring for taking your ED past and using it to do so much GOOD! <3
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110 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:43 am

Chelsea thank you for your words here! It’s nice to hear your thoughts :)

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111 Turtle-speed Runner January 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Wow there’s a lot of comments on this one! I found my passion after suffering from my eating disorder too – which is why I’m studying a double degree in Nutrition & Health Promotion :) I’m unsure yet which direction I want to take with it though, but I know this is 100% the area I want to be studying, and it’s exciting!
I’m excited for you doing your internship too. I bet you will learn a lot from it, and I don’t think it will be too triggering. On the contrary, maybe seeing people still at their worst will put you off ever going back?
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112 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:27 am

I think that could be the case… seeing people at their worst could make me want to help them out even more

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113 Mary-Catherine January 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I’m so excited for you and what this new opportunity and life chapter holds for you!

I think your honesty, openess, and geunine desire to consider the pros and cons are a true sign of your progress in recovering from ED! My only advice would be to continue to be aware of what triggers you, maybe to keep a journal, and don’t be afraid to talk to your supervisors or therapist about what is triggering or bothersome!

It’s a little ironic that you posted this today, because today I also made the decision to do my dissertation research on the relationship between eating disorderd behavior and negative career thinking (e.g., perfectionistic, impulsive decision makers, etc). Given my ED history, I also debated on my motivations for wanting to puruse this topic. However, like you I know that I want to be an advocate and I want to help others fight and defeat ED, so I am also taking an opportunity!

Know you’re going to be amazing and can’t wait to see what happens this semester!!

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114 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Thank you so much lady! Your advice is spot on.. I do have to be aware of what could potentially trigger me and if it starts to, tell someone asap!
I am so glad you are considering your own position in life too! We are certainly on the same page here

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115 Jessica @ rerunrunning January 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I think this is a perfect internship for you! I guess I can see why there may be some concerns… but mostly I just can’t think of anyone better to help these people than you! Think how compassionate and understanding you’ll be. Think of all the insights you’ll be able to share with them… and they will love and trust you because you totally get where they are coming from and your care will be so genuine. I seriously love that you’re doing this! I know you’ll be so incredible and change so many lives… you will probably be exactly the answer to their prayers and their parents/loved one’s prayers! You’re amazing! I LOVE it! :)
Jessica @ rerunrunning recently posted..Believe in the Run

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116 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:25 am

Aww wow Jessica, what amazing words you wrote here, thank you :) I am so excited for this and I hope to be able to help anyone at all in this situation!

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117 Alyse January 31, 2012 at 2:03 am

Congrats, Tessa, on finding your passion and on following through with it! I am quite sure that the people you work with will gain so much from a caregiver as knowledgeable and as passionate as you are. You’ll empathize with their situation in a way that people without your experience wouldn’t be able to, and I imagine that will be so infinitely helpful to them as they recover. Good for you!!

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118 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Thank you Alyse!

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119 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! January 31, 2012 at 3:39 am

I think it is fantastic that you are following your passion! Nobody but YOU can tell you what you want to do with your life – if you want something, you do it, and I’m so proud of you for taking this rather difficult step. I think you will only get stronger because of it.
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120 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:33 am

Thank you for your thoughts here Rachel!

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121 Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee January 31, 2012 at 7:09 am

First of all, congratulations on getting an amazing job! :) Good job for finding a career you enjoy and pursuing it. I think it would be so cool to help others go through something that I went through myself.
Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee recently posted..Gotta get down on Saturday.

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122 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:24 am

Thank you for your well wishes Maria :)

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123 Living, Learning, Eating January 31, 2012 at 8:09 am

What an awesome goal! I really think you could be a really powerful support to these young women in their recovery and think it’s awesome that you’re planning on devoting your career to helping people with something so awful! On the other hand, I agree – it is a bit dangerous. Don’t be triggered! Haha, that sounds so easy, I’m sure it’s not. Still, stay strong and stay honest to yourself – if you come to find that it’s too triggering at this point in your own recovery, there’s no shame in putting it on hold until the time is right. Good luck and you go girl!
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124 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I do just have to stay honest with myself and that is how it will be okay working there :)

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125 Julie January 31, 2012 at 8:18 am

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and am now in nursing school and am loving every second of it! I hope you will too! Best of luck!

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126 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Oh wow we are the same people haha… where did you get your bachelor’s and where are you at nursing school now?

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127 Julie February 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

I’m from Ohio… I got my public health degree from Youngstown State University and am at a community college in Cleveland working on my ADN. Although an Accelerated BSN would have been much faster, I do like the ADN program since I have a little more time to work as a nurse aide and gain some clinical experience. I would definitely recommend working as a nurse aide if you can just to feel more comfortable working in the hospital environment with patients and their families!

YAY for public health! Because there are so few public health bachelor’s degrees available, it’s so fun to run into people with the same education and interests!

128 Nikki January 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I think this will prove to be a great and challenging experience for you! Look how strong you are for even considering this position!! I can’t wait to hear all about it. And going into it knowing how much you could benefit from the internship will make you work that much harder to pursue your goals!
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129 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thank you for the input Nikki! I am so psyched for it and I do think it will push me harder too :)

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130 Karla @ myhighonlife January 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm

This is incredibly exciting lady! I think you can do it, you just have to stay strong and remember why you’re there… to work! You are not a patient. I have faith in you. =)

My weekend was so exciting. I posted all about it but in a nut shell: I’m a Maid of Honor, I ran 14 miles and I am now in a relationship. Yikes!
Karla @ myhighonlife recently posted..A Weekend to Go Down into the Books

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131 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Oh wow you have a whole lot going on! Off to check out your post on all of it :)

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132 Kat @ a dash of fairydust January 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Personally,I think it’s absolutely awesome that you are doing this intership and want to help people who suffer from an ED!
Of course,a certain “risk” will be an omnipresent part of this opportunity,but I believe in you and your strength; you can do it! :)
I perfectly understand your wish to help others because that’s my greatest passion,too. After graduating in summer,I will start an apprenticeship as a nurse in October and I can’t wait for it already! :D
I am so,so proud of you,Tessa,you have come so far!
Kat @ a dash of fairydust recently posted..Another change… for the better?

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133 Jentry Nielsen January 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm

That is so exciting! I am so thrilled for you!!! I am working on towards going into nursing myself and at first I wanted to do labor and delivery or obgyn care. I have recently switched paths and want to go more in to nutritional care, including working with disordered eating patients! It is such an intense field as sadly many will never fully recovery, but I think it will be so rewarding! To help them love themselves again and find a balance.
I was so excited reading this post!!! I can’t wait to hear how the internship goes, I am so jealous! I would love an opportunity like that! I am so excited for you and hope it all works out for the best! I think having gone through it yourself, you will only be able to more understand the patients and help them better! :)

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134 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I am glad you are finding your passion too! It is so important of course and I am sure we will both have future successes :)

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135 Rach January 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm

You know, I can definitely see both sides of this. Why people would say that someone struggling with an ED shouldn’t be working with people who are dealing with the same struggle. But it just depends on the person, really. For me, I found that the more I could focus on someone OUTSIDE myself, the easier it was for me to deal with my own stuff. My thoughts were occupied with someone or something outside my own issues. And the even more… you can empathize with someone struggling with an ED so much more than someone who has never been there. You understand the disease so personally. Aaand finally… this may not be the case for everyone, but for me, I found that when I counseled someone in the lowest point of their ED… I didn’t find myself dragged into it, but instead I realized that I could see how far I had come and how much I didn’t want to return to that place. Anyway, this is a lot of rambliness, but I definitely think this is a great thing for you, lady! :)
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136 Lea January 31, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Tessa,

I think it’s awesome that you’re taking this opportunity. I had a similar opportunity in college (to do research on why people engage in dieting with an awesome grad student) I let someone talk me out of taking that opportunity because of my ed history, and I regret missing that opportunity it to this day.
I also think it’s great that you’re exploring this interest in an internship setting- the experience will shed light on whether you want to take the next step towards pursuing helping others with an ED as your career path. Your passion towards helping others already shines through on this blog, so I think you’ll be great at it.
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137 tessa8m January 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I am sorry you still regret that decision.. but perhaps one day you could pick up the pieces from your past and pursue that dream? You never know :)

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138 Nicole January 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Aw, that’s all great stuff! As a nurse, I would have loved to help with people who suffer from eating disorders. However, where I live, we don’t have a very good program. Often, girls with eating disorders find themselves in a psych hospital with people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. It’s almost impossible to treat them! Although I don’t know what your area has to offer, you’d be surprised that this type of knowledge could be very benefical in labor and delivery, or the ED (emergency department, not eating disorder. Weird, but I felt the need to clarify haha) because you meet with all sorts of people who may or may not have actually gotten help already. Anyhow, just some things for you to consider. But I support ya 100%. We nurses have to stick together!
Nicole recently posted..A sad day in happy valley.

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139 X January 31, 2012 at 7:50 pm

That where I was forced at 25 years old..in a psychiatric ward with people with bipolar, schizophrenia, and worse. It was the WORST experience of my life …I never breathed fresh air for about 4 months…i brought them to court too….i dont even to talk about how traumatic this still haunts me today.

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140 Kristen @ notsodomesticated January 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I just wanted to send hugs and support your way. I think you’re a great writer, and I really hope all goes well on your internship! :)
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141 Paulina (One Smile Ahead) January 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm

When you first mentioned an internship I actually thought it might be something like this. I personally think it’s amazing that you’ve found your passion in life! :] Like you said, having a personal experience with EDs will definitely give you a better perspective of how the patients are feeling. I hope it’ll all go well for you! I think you’re way too strong now to let the internship affect you in a negative way. Good luck!
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142 tessa8m February 1, 2012 at 7:30 am

Thank you Paulina… I feel my insight can help them out too :)

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143 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Okay, 1) I felt the same way on Sunday, just in a funk and wanting to be alone! I hate days like that, and being around people helps! and 2) I think it’s very brave of you to work there. You could have a great impact on the people that come in, but I do have to say that you’ll need to be very careful and aware. I thought I’d gotten past calorie counting and disordered thinking about food, but then my friend started talking about how she was trying to lose weight and how much she was eating and I lost it. I completely reverted to my old ways in almost a competitive sense.
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144 tessa8m February 1, 2012 at 7:26 am

Definitely staying careful and aware is the key for this being a great experience. I do understand what you are saying here and certainly appreciate and am listening to the caution :)

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145 Meg January 31, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I completely support you Tessa <3 If it is YOUR dream follow it. If you don't you will always always regret it. I too want to help people beat this horrible disorder, so I completely support you. A BIG congrats to you girl <3 I love you so much :)

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146 tessa8m February 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Thank you Meg :D

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147 Cheryl @ eatplayluvblog.com January 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I can relate to you so much! It’s ridiculous sometimes when you look back and realize stuff…for so long I wouldn’t let myself want food but that’s not what was wrong. It was me not letting myself want (or have) anything, really. My ED took away my desires for food and for life. Sad. But getting better meant wanting things and giving them to myself and it also means figuring out my passion! I think it’s writing so I dropped out of an unhealthy nutrition program (FOR ME) and finished my kin degree, working as an editor at the newspaper at my school and taking lots of writing classes. I still don’t know if this is IT but in the meantime, it’s good to want something. Applying to grad school and deciding to go for it was HUGE in showing me how far I am in my recovery!

Thanks for the post — and sorry for the novel of a comment.

You’re really inspiring. I SO appreciate your honesty and this blog. <3

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148 tessa8m February 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

You described this well.. that you wouldn’t let yourself have anything positive or “good” for you at all! I am so so glad to hear you are continuing to get better, the fact that we both are is just awesome :)

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149 Laura Agar Wilson February 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

I think your experience with ED’s would make you perfect for that role, your clearly passionate about helping people who are suffering from them, good for you! My passion is now to help people lead healthier lives and I’m hoping to work with communities and young people, its pretty scary as it means setting up in business for myself but I can’t wait!
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150 Allie February 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

AMAZING “secret”! And there is nothing wrong working in ANY form of recovery if you are recovering too–it means you are more understanding of people’s struggles and can provide real experience advice. Of course you can help people without “relapsing!” So WAY TO GO you, and way to have such a solid idea for what you want to do in the future!
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151 tessa8m February 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Aww thank you Allie! What kind words and appreciate your support here!!

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152 lindsay February 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

TEssa, this is so great! you have already helped a ton of young women out there with your boldness on your blog and this is just the next step. Please keep us posted, so PUMPED!!
lindsay recently posted..Fitness for the Mind

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153 tracy February 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Well done, When i first moved to Boston I was really interested in working at Walden. I have worked in both out patient and in patient settings and treated many clients with eating disorders. I have heard great things about Walden from both co-workers and friends. Good for you girl. make the most of the internship!

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154 Stephanie February 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I have all the faith in the world in you, friend. You can do this.
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155 Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn February 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

I don’t think this is a bad idea at all!! I think you are perfect for this sort of work, you can genuinely empathize, understand and help people suffering from eating disorders. I really really admire you for doing this as I’m sure not all of it is easy for you! You are truly an amazing person Tessa :-) And I wish you the absolute best of luck with it all, I am sure you are going to gain lots from this experience and I really hope you achieve your goals! By the way, you look absolutely stunning in that photo of you, seriously you’re looking hot!!
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156 Beth February 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

I’m currently getting my MSW (master’s in social work) and one of the first things they drill into our heads is that we can’t treat ourselves through treating our clients. I know I’m part of the minority here, but I think this internship is a terrible idea – because, at least from what I’ve read, you’re still having disordered eating thoughts (& possibly actions), and by doing your internship with people suffering from eating disorders, it almost sounds like a way to continually compare yourselves to them (which seems like a continuation of the disordered thoughts). I don’t mean to stand up on a high horse and tell you what you’re doing is wrong, but, in my own opinion, it isn’t a good idea, especially if you’re using the clients to think thoughts such as, ‘oh, well she’s eating ice cream for a snack and she used to be anorexic…so I can too’. It isn’t healthy. Again- just my opinion.

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157 tessa8m February 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi Beth,
I read this the day you commented, and I kept meaning to get back to you! I apologize for this delay.
I first want to thank you for taking the time to read this whole thing here and also that you do feel that it’s important to add input here. As I said in this post, I do welcome any and all reactions and I stand by what I said. I respect you for going against what many people are saying here and voicing your opinion.
You are right, I do still have disordered thoughts and actions, and i would be lying if I said I was all free and clear. I even wrote that here. However, I do not think that working in a clinic like this is a bad idea, BUT I completely understand WHY you are saying it is. Trust me, I thought long and hard on this, whether or not this could potentially be a terribly idea, make things worse, trigger me, or even be bad for the patients. After pondering these thoughts for quite some time, I did come to the conclusion that while I do still have ED thoughts/actions, I have reached a point where a relapse simply is not going to happen. I have come too far and learned too much about myself in the past 18 months or so to let an internship like this fling me back into a relapse.
I will say it again, I both appreciate and respect your opinion and I am not saying it is completely wrong… it’s something I have thought long and hard about and know it’s the right thing to be doing.

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158 Molly@hungryhungryrunner.com February 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Wow – lots of exciting news in this post! Your internship, plans for nursing school…these are all great things! I understand why you would hesitate to publicize your internship – it makes sense for you to cautious and I’m sure some people have or will respond negatively to your choice. If there is one thing I know, one thing I’ve learned through my own struggles – both with eating and just life – it’s this: You only get one life. And you know – you really, really know – in your heart what is best for you. If this is your passion, then you owe it to yourself to honor that passion and pursue it – no matter what obstacles stand in your way. You really are a talented and strong individual and I know whatever path you choose to take with your life will be amazing!
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