What A Trip

I’m back from my weekend retreat in North Carolina. I don’t think I posted much here about the details of where I was going or why. I was asked by someone in one of my 12 step programs to be a guest speaker at a retreat. I also posted this on my recovery blog, so if you’re subbed to both, sorry for the duplicate content.

The retreat was incredibly uplifting, amazing, exhausting, and emotionally draining all at once. I had to really keep my ego in check, though, since I was one of the focuses of attention for the entire weekend. I just kept telling myself that it was the power of recovery people were impressed with – not how incredibly great I am. Here’s a little recap of my adventures.

I left my house around 8 AM on Friday morning to head to the Philly airport. My plane was slightly delayed leaving, but it was a direct flight to Charlotte, so I wasn’t too worried about it. Once I got off the plane, I was really hungry, so I went right to a restaurant in the airport before even getting my luggage. I was re-thinking that decision after I ate when I had a hard time finding my stuff! There was a brief moment of panic, but all was well after a few minutes when I found them. From there I caught a shuttle bus over to the rental car place where I was issued my very own Pimp Mobile. I asked for a standard size car, but they were out, so I ended up with a Grand Marquis. I felt alternatively like an old lady and a pimp. In both cases, I was very much missing my brand new car that was sitting in the economy lot at Philadelphia International.

The drive to the retreat grounds was tortuous. I hit a bunch of traffic and an hour and a half drive turned into double that. At least it was a scenic drive, and I was well rewarded when I reached my destination since the grounds were just astoundingly gorgeous. The weather wasn’t so great for most of my time there, though, so the pictures don’t really do it justice. As soon as I pulled up, I went to the main building to check in and find out where I would be bunking. I signed into a cabin that was empty, half hoping it would remain that way, and headed over to it.

Here’s my Pimp Mobile outside of my cabin:

PimpMobile

The cabins across the way:

Cabins2

Cabins

The cabin front door:

FrontDoor

Where I slept for two nights, inside my black and bright pink sleeping bag:

Bunks

The water fountains leading into the bathroom area. I claimed that counter as my own once I got unpacked and did my hair and makeup there the whole weekend.

WaterFountain

Walking in, the toilets are straight ahead:

Toilets

And the sinks are on the opposite wall:

Sinks

Further back are the showers:

Showers

I was nervous about spending the weekend that rustically, but I actually ended up doing just fine. That’s pretty amazing considering I am a total hotel kind of girl. It really wasn’t that rustic, though, truth be told. Still, though, it was different than what I’m used to.

Soon after I got unpacked, I headed towards the dining hall building and ran into two women who were coming to room with me. I knew the solitary thing wouldn’t last. I was still grateful that I had the chance to explore the place before any one else got there, and picked out which bunk I wanted. So I got to dinner, where the food was really clean – I was so grateful for that. I sat with the guy who asked me to speak at this retreat and a whole bunch of people I never met before. The amazing thing was that it was completely not awkward. I felt immediately at home and at ease among everyone there. I think a lot of that has to do with the growth in me. I am secure enough with myself today to just be me no matter where I am and that makes it so easy to go to new places and situations. The comfortableness also has a lot to do with the fact that I just feel so at home with other people in recovery – it’s amazing how strong and instant that connection can be. I was relieved, too, because I had to tell my story that night!

The telling of my story was fine. I always feel like I leave stuff out when I’m done, but other than that, I think it went well. People were amazed that I ever weighed almost 300 pounds and that I used to do all the things I did. There were several newcomers there, so it felt good to be able to pass on a message of hope to them – to let them know there is a solution and I am testament to that fact thanks to this miraculous program.

This is getting to be the longest entry ever, so I think I’ll finish the rest of the weekend in separate posts.

[tags]recovery, food addiction, retreat, spiritual retreat[/tags]

2 Responses to “What A Trip”

  1. Karen says:

    That sounded like a wonderful time and you were great to give people hope like that. Do you look back and wonder it ever got so bad and now it is so good? Kudos to you Amy!

  2. Julie says:

    That sounds wonderful Amy, and not nearly as rustic as I pictured it in my mind ;)