I just returned to Baltimore last night after a 2-week trip back to Michigan. It was wonderful. The trip was comprised of time in my hometown, West Bloomfield, and time “Up North.” We were surrounded by family and friends the entire time. Our family stayed in Charlevoix, overlooking the infamous drawbridge and water that connects from Lake Michigan to Lake Charlevoix. We took a ferry to Mackinac Island, and visited Petoskey and Harbor Springs. My kids had an absolute blast between the boats, playgrounds, beaches, and biking. The weather was ideal, the lake was calm, and the people were as friendly as can be. The fudge was exceptional, the gourmet taffy was a treat, the whitefish was fresh and delicious, and the cherries were juicy and sweet. A perfect, nostalgic Michigan vacation.
There was one glaring element that clearly stood out during my time home. I realized very quickly that I had not been back since the launch of my blog. It became obvious when everywhere my family went, someone would quietly seek me out, and whisper their amazement and the significance of my story. Don’t get me wrong – I completely appreciated every single encounter. The reality is that the topic of mental health and eating disorders still has such a stigma that people are hesitant and reluctant to approach me and openly discuss it.
But, please – I urge you to come up to me and offer your thoughts, kind words, and feedback about my blog if you so wish. Even if I am in a large group, or next to a stranger out in public – do not, for one second, shy away because you think I may feel uncomfortable. If you have a personal or specific question, ask me! And who knows, someone may over hear our conversation who could potentially benefit from it.
I am writing, speaking, and sharing my story for those exact reasons – to educate, help others, and relate to people who may have similar issues. You may know a friend, or a relative, or you may have no connection at all. But, the more we talk about these topics, the more we are helping those in need. I am sure whatever questions you have, someone else has, too. So, break the ice! You never know where a conversation can lead or who it can help.
Again, I thank each person who reads and follows my blog. This significant time in my life has shaped me into the person I am today, and will forever be a part of me and my story. I will continue to encounter comparable struggles, just in other facets of life. It will be an ongoing battle, and I am up for the challenge!