Lobbying and Orientation and the Best Day Ever: NEDA Conference 2013

Today has been unbelievable.  I am blown away by the incredible, amazing people I am surrounded by and the absolutely astounding things that I have done and it is only day one.  This is even more than I had expected.  These people are much more than I expected.

Our day today was focused on lobbying congress for eating disorders.  It was truly an incredible experience.  I shared my story with five staff members of my congressmen/women/senator and even was able to meet two (the senator and a congresswoman).  How amazing!  I even discovered I knew one of the staffers, which went to my high school and graduated with my brother!

Not only that, but, while on the hill, I managed to run into Charlie Rangel from New York and, more importantly, the Al Franken!  Regardless of politics, meeting the man from SNL is beyond amazing.  He was so gracious despite us being on the “senator-only” elevator.  I think me freaking out over meeting him helped that situation!

I have met so many amazing individuals and professionals here as well.  I have networked with so incredible people that I have only dreamed of meeting.  I cannot wait to see where these connections may lead in the future.  There is so much hope in so many of those relationships.

No matter what, I am touched by each person.  Everyone and their stories are so helpful.  It is amazing the feedback and the exchange of ideas I have received from simply speaking at random to others.  There is so much to learn and so much to understand.  I want to consume all that I can.

I have also been so incredibly touched to see former treatment team members from both of the treatment centers I have been to.  It was incredible to see someone from the treatment center I attended for a mere 26 days over 3 years ago remember me and ask me how I was.  I am so happy to be able to say how well I am doing and what I am doing with my recovery.  I also saw once again one of my treatment providers from my most recent treatment center.  I adore this person.  I am so happy to be able to see them once more and share how well I am doing and be able to say once again that I have improved.  Not only that, but I am in the place in recovery I am now and doing the things that I am doing at this time.  It makes me feel so good inside to be able to say, without lying or stretching the truth, that, yes, I am doing very well and I am solid in recovery.

Tomorrow we start with the sessions and the conference really gets going.  I am so incredibly excited.  I cannot wait to continue to see and meet people I know and do not know and learn more and more.  I am so excited to be here and to be in the place I am at in my life and that has never been more true than in this moment right now.  I know I am doing the right thing with my life by writing this blog and sharing my recovery.  There is no doubt in my heart that I am meant to be doing this and that this is what I am supposed to be doing.  I feel it so deeply right now.

I am so very happy I cannot express it any other way except through this and an incredible amount of adjectives!  I hope you all are well, too.