Had my first day of school outfit picked out. Had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Had my first fall flashback induced emotional breakdown. Had my first thoughts of dropping out.
Let the begining of a new school year commence!
Leaving Iowa State University before my Junior year began to attend treatment at the Eating Recovery Center (ERC) of Denver left a mental mark on this season. When I close my eyes, I watch the haunting image of my bones peaking out from underneath my tiny blue dress. The lifeless shell that I was throughout Formal Recruitment. Around me the smiles, cheers, hugs. and abundance of love and welcoming from all of my sisters-my smile more closely resembled a grimace. Not because I was unhappy but because I was void of all emotions: except anxiety and self-hatred. I didn't feel good enough to belong to such a powerful, intelligent, humorous sisterhood. Not because of anything that was said or done; this was my own story of feeling like a fraudulent woman surfacing. Constantly waiting for someone to finally announce that I did not belong.
I was so ashamed of what I'd become-I barely told anyone that I was leaving. The few I told were unbelievably loving and supportive, I should have known to tell more. But I didn't.
Packed up my car with every intention of fleeing before anyone could question me. Leaving my roles as House Manager, best friend, and Big in the review mirror. I regretted it instantly but knew I couldn't go back. Not like this.
This is where the memory blacks out-I only remember three things from the drive back to Illinois. Peeing my pants (more than once), screaming while banging my hands on the steering wheel, and pulling into my parents driveway.
Instead of entering into my Junior year with a double major in business management and marketing with a minor in fashion merchandising and design, I entered ERC as a depressed, 102 lb. shell of a human with a brutally bruised lower back from repetitive fainting episodes.
This season is hard for me. Remembering tailgating before football games when I was healthy my freshman year. Remembering being self conscious my sophomore year. Remembering being in a hospital my junior year. So as much as I love PSL, leaves hitting the ground, and the emerging of Vans in place of Birkenstocks - it is an emotional time.
Ignoring the pain that comes with the fall does not serve me. So, amid the start of a new school year in Colorado 4 years later, I tuck my fears, my self consciousness, and my doubts of ever succeeding right into my Mead 5 Subject Journal alongside a semester's worth of syllabuses. The emotional baggage fits perfectly into a small pocket while my ambition to overcome any obstacles overflows through my brother's hand-me down suede book bag.