It's true that I go to the NEDA conferences every year to stay on top of the latest research and findings, but after so many years of going, the main draw for me is to see all of my friends. Many of them, I've met before, but this year was especially nice because I got to meet so many new people.
It's odd, meeting people you've only known over the internet, people who know more about you than 90% of your "real life" friends. Yet I couldn't pick some of these people out of a police lineup. It was just lovely to be able to put names and faces together after (sometimes) years of online correspondence. I'm sitting in the lobby of my hotel next to the lovely Melissa of Finding Melissa . I spent a lot of time with Laura and the other moms of Around the Dinner Table --you know who you are! My mom and I got to meet Marcella , who first met my mom back in 2001, shortly after I was first diagnosed. They had been friends for years but never got to meet.
I also got to be with the ED recovery Twitteratti, which included Kendra , Rachel , Jenn , Claire , and Julie (among others). I had more than a few laughs with Susan Ringwood of B-EAT and her charming husband and Becky Henry of the Hope Network . I also saw David again, and finally met Sarah Ravin in person.
It was a lovely time, being with everyone. I truly felt at ease and comfortable in my own skin, even in some overwhelming and demanding social situations which doesn't happen very often! It was nice to have my blog and all of the work I've done here over the years to really get some good recognition. I didn't need it, and I would have been fine without it, but it's always gratifying to know that my work has impacted others.
I fly back to Virginia tomorrow, and this will be the last time I see a lot of these people until the AED conference in Miami next April (if my proposal is accepted) or next year's NEDA conference in Los Angeles.
(Sorry if I forgot to mention anyone- my brain is pretty much frazzled right now!)