Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thank You.

   College. All I have to say is I can definitely tell the difference between my current 400 level classes compared to the classes I took my freshman year. Man, if only I could go back. Between Christmas break where I was trying to get non-school work done, to my current school work, my apartment having to replace 3 pipes in our bathrooms. Yes, I said Bathroom(S), and to top it off my apartment just had a main pipe back up and our toilets, bathtub, and shower overflowed into our apartment with sewage water. Needless to say I've been dealing with a lot of poop lately (no pun intended). 

Enough with the negative stuff!
   I am so happy to be blogging again and to be writing to all of you. I've been able to find the beauty in my days because of so many of you, even in the times of struggle and stress. This is what I want to write about today. Instead of trying to impact you, I want to share with you some of the many ways all of you have impacted me. Beyond sharing them with you, I want to thank you. There are so many moments and people I could mention and thank but here are just a few:

   -To all of you reading this or who have read my previous blog posts, thank you. I have lost count on the amount of people who have reached out to me and told me I’ve impacted them and to keep writing.

   -Thank you to the people who have taken time out of their days to thank me for sharing my story because it helped them see the light at the end of the tunnel in their fight against an eating disorder.

   -To the girls who are struggling with body image that have reached out to me for advice and encouragement! Thank you all.

   -Thank you to my friends and family who have read my blogs and shared them with friends and family.

   -To an Iowa State Advisor for taking time out of your day to ask about Miss Iowa and my platform. I was able to share a special moment with her because her daughter has struggled and battled with this mental illness. Thank you for encouraging and praising my choice to share my story that day.

   -My Tri-Delta Sisters, I want to thank the girls in the house who allowed me to open up while I was struggling. These girls were the first people I ever trusted enough to actually talk about what I was going through. Thank you to those who recognized when I struggling even when I thought I wasn’t and for holding me accountable.

   -Thank you to a couple important guys in my life. I want to take a second to thank AJ for trying his best to understand when I talk about this very uncomfortable topic for most. Your work ethic, passion, and drive motivate me every single day in this crazy thing called life. Your support doesn’t go unnoticed. To the other man in my life, my dad. Even though he probably won’t read this I still want to give him the credit he deserves. When I was struggling he was worried. He wouldn’t tell me but he would show me. He bribed me with my favorite restaurants. I remember one time he took me to a movie and then to Red Lobster just to see me eat. This past year, I told him I wanted a Krispy Kreme Donut at the end of Miss Iowa week and when he couldn’t find one within miles of Davenport, I think he was more bummed about it than I was. His little tough love comments pushed me and motivated me more than he’ll ever know. His continuous love and support is overflowing and I couldn’t be more grateful.

   -Thank you to a friend who recently reached out to be about her friend struggling and asking how she can better understand and help her. This friend of mine stated that she was “sorry” just in case her asking about this subject was “uncomfortable”. This moment made me write this blog and reminded me of something. Something I told her, “This is why I started sharing my story!”.

   -Yes, at first the idea of sharing my story was “uncomfortable”. I was scared people would judge me or think I was just doing this to get attention. Mariah Cary (no…not the singer, but a very good friend) was the very first person to encourage me to share my story. Mariah is the one who told me it was going to be okay. She told me I could impact so many people and I want to thank her for that. 

   -Thank you to my sister, Jenahlee. She was the person that told me to “Go for it”. She was the first person I called when I made the decision to start sharing my story. She was nothing but supportive when I asked for her opinion.  I was still feeling a little uneasy about it and her words that night are what made me do this. Her outside point of view on eating disorders and continuous support has helped tremendously.

   -My Mom was worried about me sharing my story at first but after seeing how far I’ve come I think we can both agree Miss Iowa and the platform it’s given me to share my story has been a true blessing.  With that being said, I want to thank my Mom. Not only for her unconditional love but also for her support beyond what anyone else has or can see. When I was struggling, she was the one who encouraged different ideas that could motivate me to become healthy, the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program for example. She is the one who has held me accountable and supported me. Yes, her tough love was most definitely tough sometimes but it was her who has been by my side every step of the way.

   -I am going to admit even saying the word Anorexia was hard to say with confidence at first. But ever since I opened the book of my story for everyone to read, you all have been nothing but encouraging. Nothing but supportive and I can’t thank you enough. The moments I just previously shared with you are what got me and keep me going. They keep me motivated to find the beauty everyday and to keep sharing about it. All of your support and kind words remind me why I started sharing my story and let me know I am helping and impacting more people than I ever thought possible.

Thank you for that.

With love, JohannahMichale