Today is a day of culmination and celebration for me.
If you all remember, this past Saturday I told you all that I decided to work on my last and final newspaper story for my university instead of workout.
Today that story ran on the front page of the last paper of the semester, as well as getting almost 300 Facebook shares to date and it also left multiple newsstands empty on campus.
It was a story that talked about major changes that would be taking place to the university graduation ceremonies such as everyone only being allowed 4 tickets per graduate and college ceremonies being combined; changes that students didn’t get to have their opinion heard about.
Had I been assigned this story a year ago, I would have looked at the facts, which were the changes that are being made, and I would have looked at the universities reasons behind them, and I would have left it at that.
It wouldn’t have made me a bad reporter to do that either, as that is a reporters job; to report the facts.
But being on this journey to recovery has done so much more than make me just physically healthy again, and it has done so much more than help me build a healthy relationship with food for the first time in my life;recovery has changed the way I look at people and the way I look at the world.
I no longer see the world in cold hard facts and reasons. I no longer just see people as people. I no longer see just see myself as just a body.
Throughout finding my voice during my path to recovery and regaining it back from Ed, I have also found the importance in being able to give others a voice. That’s actually my favorite thing about this blog, is that it has given others a safe place to express themselves, ask for advice and expose their Ed’s.
When I started investigating this story, no one wanted to talk with me.
They were either scared they would get in trouble or they were scared they would look bad the university. But the majority of them didn’t know what I was even talking about.
After Friday, students were starting to be notified of these changes. Yesterday I went to a student government board meeting where there was an open forum for students to come voice their opinions about these changes.
Some students cried when they said they could not choose only 4 people to give tickets to come watch their graduation.
Some of them were the first to graduate in their entire family and they didn’t know how to choose only 4 people to come be a part of such a huge accomplishment.
One of them cried because he wanted to walk across that stage to get his diploma and invite the stranger who once paid for his first semester of college because he didn’t have the money, and now he can’t.
One of them was from a foster home and said he wanted to invite all 30 of his foster brothers to come see him graduate, and now he couldn’t’ do that either.
The point is, every student had their own voice and their own story.
Because I have learned to value my own voice so much throughout my recovery, I have truly learned to value the voice of others too.
The story that ran today was not a story that was founded only on hard facts, although that is it’s foundation; it’s a story that gave a voice to the voiceless.
It’s a story that give a megaphone to these student’s voices.
It’s the story that gave their voice power.
I know how amazing it feels to experience my own voice having power against Ed, so I can only hope these students felt that same thing today.
When I woke up in the morning today, I felt huge-huge beyond measure.
I have been eating a lot of sweets the past few days and I haven’t been working out, and today was also the last day I will work with my trainer; needless to say, I was freaking out.
But I stood in the mirror and I told myself loud and clear, that Ed will not ruin this day for me.
I worked so hard to give other people a voice and to make this last and final cover story of mine the best that it could be, that there is absolutely no way Ed will take that away.
He’s taken away so many wonderful moments for me already, and this cannot be one of them.
Thank God there was no number on a scale for me to see today, because with all assurance, I know it would have ruined my ability to appreciate my story’s success.
Today, more than celebrating the culmination of being a senior reporter for my university newspaper, I celebrate the power of people’s voices-including my own.
On that note, Ed is still not allowed to ruin today–the rest I will have to figure out tomorrow.