April 8/03

I had no idea that when I started this website people would be actually looking at it. After reading countless numbers of your e-mails I am finding out how many of you have linked on. I'm kind of embarrassed because it really is still so green. Call it a "Rookie site". All I know is that I really appreciate you all taking the time to read what I have to say regardless of it's weak content.

It is amazing to hear all your stories and words of encouragement. Please know that I am no role model or inspiration, I am a person just like you. And boy, I'm still struggling! I know some of you must be frustrated with me for not writing you or e-mailing you back. Please don't take it personal! I read every single word and I can't tall you how much you inspire me! To all you fellow sufferers who have shared your stories and pain, I weep for your words. To those who simply write a hello or a thinking of you, it sure makes my day. To the little children who just write me messages of sincere thoughtfulness - Thank you!

I just have to tell you non of theses things are intentionally ignored. It's just right now it takes all my effort to get up in the morning and make sure my socks match.. This first thing I do each day is read my letters and e-mails from around the world. Call this my breakfast because it sure inspires me to get on with my day and not crawl back into bed. Please keep writing me because it really does help - well it is what keeps me fighting. My grandfather was a baseball player and used to say, "The more people you have batting for your team the better". Thank you all for all sitting on my bench. It may not feel like it, but you are batting for me and helping me keep the score ahead. I've got a lot of things to do, but I'm pretty sure this will be the world series by the time this is over.

Thanks, thanks, thanks for your gratitude. Be patient. My goal is to write back at least five responses everyday, so be patient, I'll get to you! Consider yourself on hold.

The world has shown me that even though we've never met, your outreach has made us such familiar strangers. One couple from my home town sent me a beautiful teddy bear. They have never ever met me, but just sent it to help encourage me. I cannot tell you how much that touched me! One woman sent me a bible, another person sent me a beautiful cook book. I mean cards and e-mails are being sent to me from all over the world! Yesterday I received a letter from a 12 year old boy in Italy. A stewardess I met on the plane ride here sends me a card every single day. All I can say is wow - what a great bunch of people there are out there! Thank you so much - it sure helps keep this difficult time I'm having seem a bit easier.

Thank you from a very grateful fairy.

 

 

It's Eggciting, April 1/03

Ok. Here we are in April and the snow is finally beginning to melt. I love spring, it signifies a new beginning, fresh starts so to speak. Because of my religious upbringing I was never allowed to celebrate holidays. So people keep asking me what I'm going to do for Easter? I've never really thought about it, but now I'm like a little kid - I want to dye eggs, go on an egg hunt, dress up for an Easter dinner, and I secretly would love a giant Easter basket with a huge chocolate bunny! I know that's not what Easter is all about, but the little kid in me is sure jumping around. Boy I can't wait to see me at Christmas - hold on to the holly! So that gives me something to look forward to this month - experiencing something new. Don't be surprised if you hear about me frolicking with the rabbits and donning an Easter bonnet!

Happy Egg Day to you all!

 

 

Once upon a time...or maybe just today, March 18/03

Every day we make a choice; we focus on the positive or the negative. Today for instance, we can fix our attention on the cold weather or we can be thankful for the diversity of the seasons. We can wake up grumbling about having to work or we can wake in gratitude that we are able to earn a living. Some things will always concern us - paying the bills, recovering from addictions, getting along with those we love, or simply planning for the future. But, if this is all we think about, we are missing the sense of deep appreciation that makes us feel full and satisfied with life's gifts.

Lets all take a moment today to begin to make a list of the positive - starting with the fact that today we are alive.

Love,

a fairy honey bee

 

From my Little Corner March 18, 2003

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own fairy tale that I forget about the world going on outside of me. today was one of those days and I really had to put some of those things into perspective. I may be far away from home, but I realized today that my home is about to face a very serious situation and I want to take a moment to say my thoughts and prayers are with you America. Call it being raised by two ex-hippies, but I myself am a believer in making love and not war. That being said I still realize that there are circumstances where we are forced to take on tasks that are painful and hard but necessary. My heart goes out to all of you and your loved ones facing such a stormy horizon. Tough times are ahead and we all need to band together in this time of crisis. As I fight my own personal war I will be thinking of the mighty big one away.

On a brighter note, I am so happy that Elizabeth Smart is back in her family's arms. Elizabeth you are a survivor! And Adam Walsh, you are awesome - keep crusading! It goes to show good things and miracles can happen and it's things like these that give me hope.

Have a fairy wonderful day!

Melissa Lee
The Honey Bee

 

March 12, 2003

Well it has been about one month since I've been in Canada, and I know by your e-mails and letters you are all curious to know how I'm doing. It's funny the first thing people ask me is "Have you gained weight" or "How much do you weigh now?", so lets say I give you a specific number or an amount of pounds I have gained - it honestly wouldn't mean a thing. I'm going to tell you that it doesn't matter if I weigh 60 lbs or 125 lbs, I'm still the same Melissa who you saw at 65lbs a few months ago. I'm still that scared to death, insecure, lonely, sad girl you saw on stage. That number wasn't who I was, it wasn't an indication of my state of recovery. It honestly is just a number, as significant as the sweater I was wearing. OK, so what does all of this mean? That numbers really aren't the important thing here - it is my attitude towards recovery, what my goals are, what my achievements are since I arrived, and where do I plan to go from this day on. So I be happy to tell you that what I have accomplished in this month that has just been really - the beginning.

After the show aired it was like somebody handed me a giant ball of fire. I sat there holding it not quite knowing where to hold on to it for dear life, or throw it to the first person who came along. So all I could do was dribble it for a while. Right now I'm still dribbling and it feels like I have about four giant point guards towering over me and about seven refs ready to blow the whistle. It's like I had all this excitement and encouragement it was like being the star in my own Broadway review. When I got here all the lights and the cameras were gone. Suddenly it was just me on stage and now I have to perform the play for a one man audience - I mean it all hit me at once - I actually have to do this. I have to work now. I mean there is this giant landscape of possibility ahead, but in front of it is a giant mountain that I have to get over. I can't think of any way to more the mountain our of the way except to get my hiking boots on and start trekking.

So, what have I been doing this past month. Well I guess you could say trying to plan my excavation. I'm making out maps, packing my bags, sharpening my walking sticks, and strategizing a way to get not only to the top, but making sure I don't fall off. Sure I foresee some wrong turns, getting lost once in a while, and yes perhaps even sitting down to rest quite a few times. The important thing is not turning around and heading back down when things get rough.

I won't lie to you, I'm pretty tired right now, and the thought of even one step seems somewhat near impossible. But hey, I'm here and I'm determined. This month has basically been one of change. And believe me, the only thing that likes changing is a baby. Change is hard - it takes patience and adjustment, facing fears, and a lot of uncomfortableness. It's kind of like having to sit with wet socks for a while. Mine are still damp but they are drying off a bit.

Right now my biggest challenge is not staying in bed under the covers everyday. I'm getting up and trying to face what I hate so much - life. Even little things like going to a coffee house with another client is like pulling teeth. But I did it! I'm also tackling another big challenge - FOOD. Westwind has a very open food policy so nothing is banned or kept away from me. Sometimes I walk into the kitchen and there are so many choices I run the other way. But I'm realizing that this exposure is natural. Rather than fearing it I'm able to face it now, make some comfortable choices and know that when I do the world will not end, or that I am not a terrible, horrible person. The atmosphere here is so casual and comfortable that eating is just a day to day part of life - like brushing your teeth. We cook things together, but we all have our own tastes and habits that we all just kind of do our own thing. Nobody punishes you or criticizes your actions so you never feel like eating is wrong - rather a natural way of being. Each day is different, but I have to say my fear of eating in front of others is getting better. All the other girls here are terrific and understanding and full of encouragement.

So this is what I will say as far as where I'm at today and now, I'm just beginning and I don't have any great feats or numbers on the scale to give you, but you know what, they really wouldn't mean a thing. Honestly, you can't let a number on the scale weigh your happiness or your success. It is what patterns I am doing and planning on doing to change my future. So consider this first month the preparation in cooking a big meal (no pun intended!). I'm dicing, cutting, boiling, chopping, and simmering while trying to follow a recipe for what I hope will be a great dish. So be patient with me, this is all very overwhelming in the fact that I really have to make a giant change from my world of chaos and unhappiness to one more hopeful.

So stick with me and keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I'm going to need a lot of road guides, signs, compasses, and maps to get through this journey. And with that I wish to say thank you to the countless amount of letters and e-mails I have received from all of you. It honestly is one of the reasons I get up in the morning because of the support I have received. I will honestly tell you that I have read each and every work, card, letter and e-mail. Not one letter has gone unread and everyone has touched me to my heart. I promise I will get back to you someday to thank you for your generosity and loving spirit. It really keeps my spirit high and I'm amazed at how generous and genuine people really are. I know I wouldn't be here right now without those dear letters and words of encouragement each day. People are really beautiful and the world can be a wonderful place - you have shown that to me.

God Bless you All!

Melissa Lee
The Honey Bee

 

Maury and Co

I have to take a moment to tell you about the people from the Maury show. These people are outstanding! You will never meet a nicer, more genuine, more sincere group of human beings. Everyone from Maury himself to the people who got me coffee, are just so warm and giving. They are all so kind and happiness just rushes through the hallways. The excitement of television is seen on everyone's face and they dedicate themselves to each show like an artist to a masterpiece.

I have to take a moment to give sincere thanks to each and everyone one of them. While the list of names is too long to write, I will give a giant hug to them all!

Next time you watch the show, know that you are watching sincere people doing what I can only coin as a "fantastic job". I wouldn't be at Westwind if it were not for the generosity and kindness of these now familiar strangers.

Thanks Maury!

Melissa

 

March 4, 2003

My Recent Trip to the Big Apple!

On February 25th, Lynne, Public Awareness and Marketing Director for Westwind, Bryan and I took a whirlwind trip to New York. We did a taping for Maury Povich, a kind of "this is where I am at" show.

Lynne and I had one day loose on the city. We tried to jam as much as we could into 24 hours. Lynne made me promise before we left, for that one day we would be "eating disorder free". Just two girls having a good time. As hard as it was it was so refreshing to shed my "anorexia identity" for a few hours. We shopped, went to Central Park, shopped, went to Broadway, shopped, saw the Empire State Building, and did I mention shopping?

Tuesday was tape day and that is always so exciting for me. The people at the Maury show are my New York family. It was so much fun to see all my new friends who have become near and dear to my heart. With a very special surprise and tons of well wishing we were done by the afternoon - and back to the cold winds of Canada.

I had a wonderful time and I have to say Lynne wasn't in much agony after visiting "Godiva Chocolates" for the first time. But it was good to be home at Westwind where I was able to crawl into a warm soft bed with tons of memories from the big city!

Thank you New York for making us feel so welcome!

Melissa Lee, the Honey Bee.

 

 

February 22, 2003

Hello World!

Greetings from Canada! Well I finally made it to the land of the Mounties and the Moose. I really didn't think I would ever get here, it was quite a long journey from little Durango, Colorado to here. I arrived the 16th of February and cried with joy as I walked through the doors of Westwind. The minute my plane touched Canadian soil I knew I was safe and on the road to recovery.

Westwind is a wonderful sanctuary, there are no sterile hospital beds, or nurses stations, no locked doors or foreign spaces. Westwind is a beautiful old Victorian house. There are five bedrooms all decorated with a different theme. I'm in what Bryan calls the "Purple Room", mainly because there is a lot of purple! The bed is very comfortable and although it is quite cold outside Bryan keeps it toasty warm. I'm here with four other girls from various places. I find each of them delightful because they all have very unique, fun personalities.

So right now I'm just getting settled in. Bryan gave me my first homework assignment last night. He asked me to make out a list of things I enjoy doing or things that made me happy before my eating disorder. It took some time, but I'm slowly coming up with some. Here's a sample:

Children, dancing, hot bubble baths, towels fresh out of the drier, Seinfeld, Woody Allen movies, flowers, fairies, butterflies, fluffy clouds, music, jelly beans, amusement parks, good friends and my dog Cosmo. It's a short list now, but I've got six months to add to the list. Maybe some of you could send me some ideas of what brings happiness to your lives.

I know I wouldn't be here without all the support and encouragement I have received from all over the world. Thanks to the wonderful staff at the Maury Povich show, the staff and Westwind, and all the prayers, letters and support from all over. I now have faith and confidence in myself. I now feel the desire to fight so that I can live life without the agony of an eating disorder.

I know it is just the beginning, but I am determined to win this battle. I'll keep you posted but until them keep thinking of me! Melissa Lee "The Honey Bee"