5 Lessons I Learned On My Trip To New York City
For those of you who follow me on social media, you’ll know that I spent last weekend in New York City with my mom. Originally, we had planned to go last June, but we needed to postpone our trip because my health wasn’t optimal. Although I am still kind of in the same boat I was in last June, we didn't want to lose our airline tickets, so we booked a last minute trip to Manhattan.
I learned a lot while I was there, even though we had a short stay. I’ve compiled a list of the 5 lessons I learned on my trip to New York City because after all, life is all about lessons learned and what you do with them.
1 - It’s important to have friends who support you
When I was in the city, I met up with two old friends - one from my first treatment in New York in 2014, and one who I know from running track back in high school. Going for dinner and drinks with people who understand and support me was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. It felt good to talk about difficult issues but it was also really nice to see both of them living their lives in spite of personal challenges and obstacles. It showed me that recovery is possible even when things aren’t picture perfect. Plus, I was able to let loose a little and really get in some good laughs!
2 - My treatment team in New York is still rooting for me
I made a quick stop at my old treatment centre, which I always try and do with each trip to NYC. I go and say hi because I owe my life to the team there; they supported me when I was at rock bottom and taught me skills that I use to this day. I go because I love seeing familiar faces and I like to update them on what is going on in my life. It makes me feel good. I know I will always have their support, and this was reiterated to me when I visited the unit. I can’t describe how good it feels to have people rooting for me back home but also in New York. It makes me feel a little less lonely and isolated in all of this.
3 - My favourite part of the trip was…
It may surprise you, but one of my favourite parts of my trip was eating breakfast in bed every morning. I’m not someone who typically takes vacations, and because I wake up for work at 5:45am every morning, my morning routine is pretty rushed. It felt so incredibly good to wake up without an alarm, go downstairs to the deli across the street, grab coffee and breakfast for my mom and I, and eat in bed while watching Good Morning America. While I whole-heartedly enjoyed seeing the sights of New York, the little moments like breakfast in bed were also so very appreciated.
4 - My mom is one of my biggest allies
As an adult, sometimes we forget the impact that our parents have on our lives. Although I get frustrated with my mom at times, she is such a fun person to travel with. She was very laid back on our trip and always made sure we were doing everything I wanted to do. She didn’t complain about the walking and the stairs at every subway stop, even though I knew it was difficult. She didn’t get angry when I had a panic attack at The Plaza when I couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner. She let me go see my friends and made sure to prioritize the social aspect of this trip for me. She is someone I can consistently turn to, and this trip proved that once more.
5 - I can do hard things
I was a little bit apprehensive to go to New York because it meant leaving behind all of my food rules and rituals. I wouldn’t be eating in the comfort of my own home and I would be eating at new places without knowing exactly what ingredients were being used. But you know what? I did it. I ate all my meals at delis and restaurants. I had snacks. I tried new things. I ate with people. I did all of the things that my eating disorder was telling me not to. And I survived. Going away and stepping out of my comfort zone showed me that I can do hard things, and that I am much more capable than I give myself credit for.