I suppose I can say why people move to Vermont. It smells so good and fresh, and check out those views! (To think I grew up just next door and didn't appreciate "the country" at ALL.)

The Rise From Rock Bottom

Date: May 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 56

The nice thing about having a blog is that — if you actually update it regularly — it allows you to look back on the past and quite vividly remember what you were going through or how you were feeling on any given day.

I needed a brain break the other day, so I pulled up a post of mine from May 2013, almost exactly one year ago.

And, as I was reading it, I started to cry.

I would read this poem all the time when I was very sick. The first part would make me cry every single time. It still gets me choked up, but for different reasons.

I would read this poem all the time when I was very sick. The first part would make me cry every single time. It still gets me choked up, but for different reasons.

I don’t know what to make of that reaction. It surprised me. (I made myself cry — as if having a blog didn’t make me feel narcissistic enough to begin with. Yikes.)

I look back on where I was last year at this time, though, and it does break my heart a little bit. I was in so much physical pain and was in the midst of a major emotional struggle. I felt lost and alone and scared and, mostly, sad.

Spring flowers in bloom! I never got to enjoy the spring last year. I kind of missed out on the entire season. Sooo needless to say this time around I'm snapping photos of all the sights pretty obsessively.

Spring flowers in bloom! I never got to enjoy the spring last year. I kind of missed out on the entire season. Sooo needless to say this time around I’m snapping photos of all the sights pretty obsessively.

I had to abandon my much-anticipated trip to Hawaii and instead went home to New Hampshire because I was too sick to take care of myself and, well, I needed my mom.

I was, simply put, at rock bottom.

Fast forward one year.

Today, I don’t feel lost.

I don’t feel alone.

At one of my happiest places with one of my happiest people. (That's Brian on the left and I'm on the right. We were working together!)

At one of my happiest places with one of my happiest people. (That’s Brian on the left and I’m on the right. We were working together!)

I’m not scared.

And, best of all, I am not sad.

Skypeing with Tyler will always bring me the most joy in the whole world.

Skypeing with Tyler will always bring me the most joy in the whole world.

It may have taken way too long, but I have finally, authentically returned to my “old self.”

There were times when I really thought “Happy Ali” was gone for good; that she had died with my immune system.

But eventually, I started to get better.

Warming up with Coach. Just like the old days. Though I don't know that we ever actually warmed up TOGETHER. I think it was more like...he gave me a training plan and I tried not to screw it up too badly. But basically the same.

Warming up with Coach. Just like the old days. Though I don’t know that we ever actually warmed up TOGETHER. I think it was more like…he gave me a training plan and I tried not to screw it up too badly. But basically the same.

I don’t know if it was the methotrexate, or the study drug, or hell, even the placebo, if that’s what I got initially. Maybe it was a combination of all those things.

Or maybe it’s because I made some changes. I have a new job, and with that comes new responsibilities, new coworkers, a new location, a new commute and little things, like new lunch options.

OPENING THURSDAY PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR IT OPENS AT 10 AM AND I CAN'T WAIT AND I'M GOING TO HAVE 12 BLIZZARDS THAT DAY. My favorite Blizzard is chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups. What is your favorite Blizzard?

OPENING THURSDAY PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR IT OPENS AT 10 AM AND I CAN’T WAIT AND I’M GOING TO HAVE 12 BLIZZARDS THAT DAY. My favorite Blizzard is chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups. What is your favorite Blizzard?

Those little things add up to very big things.

I can hardly believe I’ve already been at my new job for one month.

Pulling wardrobe for two days of commercial shoots...AKA shopping and playing dress-up and calling it "work."

Pulling wardrobe for two days of commercial shoots…AKA shopping and playing dress-up and calling it “work.”

More dramatically, I can’t believe how much has changed in the past month, on both the physical and emotional spectrums.

I do little things every day that used to be so monumental, like taking the subway. I don’t even think twice before getting on the subway before and after work now. I’m not scared of getting trapped underground without a bathroom anymore.

NYC in the rain: still pretty, still perfect, still pretty perfect.

NYC in the rain: still pretty, still perfect, still pretty perfect.

And I can do those yoga poses I avoided for so long because the twisting sent me straight to the bathroom. Now, when Bethany tells us to “flip our dog,” I’m flipping with the rest of the class instead of coming down to Child’s Pose or, ya know, bolting out of the room and making that mad dash for the bathroom.

I’m also able to travel!

Oh, Vermont, you luscious state!

Oh, Vermont, you beautiful, luscious state!

Last year, Brian and I had so many weddings to attend, most of which were outside NYC and required a flight or a roadtrip somewhere. I so vividly remember driving up to Stowe, VT, to watch my friends Tom and Sarah get married. I was a complete wreck on that long drive. I hardly moved in my seat because I was so afraid of disrupting my very sensitive stomach, and I was on the constant lookout for roadside bathrooms. Pretty sure I had also stashed some rolls of toilet paper in the car “just in case.” Cute!

LOOK AT ALL THE LIL' SEBASTIANS IN VERMONT! You're 5,000 candles in the wiiiiind. If you don't get the reference, BYE. Go learn it. Google exists for things like this.

LOOK AT ALL THE LIL’ SEBASTIANS IN VERMONT! You’re 5,000 candles in the wiiiiind.

I spent the majority of Tom and Sarah’s awesome wedding reception in the bathroom. Always a top-notch wedding guest! I’m either stealing everyone’s cake while they’re on the dance floor, or I’m hogging all the bathroom stalls. There’s not much in between there.

But fast forward again, and I’m currently fresh out of the van from a trip to Vermont. Brian and I spent the long weekend up there for a bike race (well, he raced — I ran my cowbell with vigor and visited with a very special little someone).

Brian did this all weekend. (That's him, nabbing third place in the sprint, and his teammate, Ken, taking first!)

Brian did this all weekend. (That’s him nabbing third place in the sprint, and his teammate, Ken, taking first!)

Look who I met this weekend!!! Baby LBC, AKA Millie! She's so cute and so teeny and quick question, moms, are all your arms absolutely RIPPED? Because I held that bitty girl for all of six minutes before my arms were straight-up SHAKING. And then I was sore the next day. I mean, shiiiiit.

Look who I met this weekend!!! Baby LBC, AKA Millie! She’s so cute and so teeny and quick question, moms, are all your arms absolutely RIPPED? Because I held that bitty girl for all of six minutes before my arms were straight-up SHAKING. And then I was sore the next day. I mean, shiiiiit.

I never thought twice about the drive up to Killington. I wasn’t worried about what I ate before we hit the road, I wasn’t on the prowl for rest stops and I certainly got comfortable with my feet up on the dashboard. (Sorry, mom — she never used to let me do that because “What if we get in an accident and the air bags go off? They’ll blow off your legs and you’ll never dance again.”) It was so fantastically stress-free.

Maybe not ENTIRELY stress-free... We got the rental (a bright-ass-blue minivan) stuck in the mud after day two of the race. Brian and his teammate had to push it out while I hit the gas. Brian also faceplanted in the mud while he was pushing the car and it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. I wish I were wearing a GoPro at the time so I could have captured it all.

Maybe not ENTIRELY stress-free… We got the rental (a big blue minivan) stuck in the mud after day two of the race. Brian and his teammate had to push it out while I hit the gas. Brian also faceplanted in the mud while he was pushing the car and it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. I wish I were wearing a GoPro at the time so I could have captured it all.

Last year, Brian and I were supposed to “celebrate” our two-year anniversary together while we were on vacation in Hawaii. Buuuut he ended up taking that trip alone while I was sick and loathing in New Hampshire.

This year, we rung in three years together with a fabulous dinner and separate desserts (I do not share, except that I will always let my mom have a bite of my Blizzard if she wants).

I'm not usually one for "dating anniversaries," but I sure wasn't complaining about getting this dessert. (We went to dinner at Buddakan. Deeeelish.)

I’m not usually one for “dating anniversaries,” but I sure wasn’t complaining about getting this dessert. (We went to dinner at Buddakan. Deeeelish.)

I do big things every day, too.

Running is a very big thing to me right now. Running wasn’t part of my life for many months, and now it’s back in a big way.

I ran a little race

Pre-race at the Spring Duathlon at Smolak Farms. A great day all around.

Pre-race at the Spring Duathlon at Smolak Farms. A great day all around.

…and I ran a bigger race

Shamelessly screenshotted (screenshat?) race photo. Sorry.

Shamelessly screenshotted (screenshat?) race photo. Sorry.

…and two weekends ago, just because I finally could, I ran 15 miles.

I finished my run and there was my teenage idol and the inspiration behind my decision to go to journalism school: Katie Couric. We talked for about 15 minutes and she was just delightful. I love her forever.

I finished my run and there was my teenage idol and the inspiration behind my decision to go to journalism school: Katie Couric. We talked for about 15 minutes and she was so delightful. I love her forever and I am very glad I somewhat sheepishly asked if we could take a photo together. I have already printed this as a life-sized poster and it’s getting framed and hung over the bed in our bedroom. Brian will love it.

I run a few days a week now, usually in the morning, and while my runs are rarely stop-free, I appreciate being out there and, frankly, I fucking love it. (I really do try not to swear on here, because my parents read this blog, and my mom hates it when I curse. The family rule is that I’m allowed to swear only to my dad, and only if I’m very very sick and sad about Crohn’s. I try to abide, but I sometimes slip. I can’t help it. I’m so enthusiastic.)

While most of my local runs are planned around bathrooms, just in case, I’ve branched out quite a bit lately, too. During this weekend’s Vermont excursion, I went for a few runs having no idea where I was. I just bopped around, hauling my husky legs up and over those massive Vermont “hills” (mountains) and practically skipping around the state. I was always aware of where a bathroom may or may not be, but it wasn’t an all-consuming mindset.

I suppose I can say why people move to Vermont. It smells so good and fresh, and check out those views! (To think I grew up just next door and didn't appreciate "the country" at ALL.)

I suppose I can see why people move to Vermont. It smells so good and fresh, and check out those views! (To think I grew up just next door and didn’t appreciate “the country” at ALL.)

Is life perfect?

Nah.

It never is.

But I’m floating around so high on Cloud 9 these days that I can’t even see rock bottom. I’m really digging this view.

Someday soon I will write a post that isn’t just reflective and sappy and overly grateful. Today’s just not that day.

Comments (56)
 
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