Fearless Female Fridays! With Melissa DeHart

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NOTE TO READER : I just found out that Melissa passed away a few days ago. My heart is heavy as I write this on  December 31, 2013.  Once I find out where people can send cards or make a donation in her name, I will let you know. Below is her last blog I received from her in August.God bless you Melissa.  You were and will always be an incredible inspiration to the lives you have touched.  I will miss you deeply.

UPDATE: Amanda Grasser, Melissa’s dearest friend is holding a memorial service for her in downtown Denver on Jan 26th. If you would like to know more please email Amanda at

Fearless Female Friday this week celebrates Melissa DeHart! Melissa is a 17 year survivor from anorexia and bulimia and has been blogging on the topic of eating disorders and related issues for over three years. Melissa’s writing brings us closer from a personal perspective of this disorder from the inside, out.

Melissa’s background is in television journalism and over the last four years, has dedicated her self to writing about the patient’s side to this often complicated world of eating disorders. She considers no topic off limits and sheds humor whenever she can!

On a sunny, beautiful July afternoon in southern California, I sat on a couch, across my boss of five years, the doctor who gave me my first job as a writer and let me launch his company’s first blog on their website.  I believed, he believed in me, but here I was seeing him mouth the words:

“Meliss, we just don’t need you with the company anymore, we feel it’s time we move on and you move on.”Although I could hear him, for an odd reason all I could concentrate on was a small spot on my skirt. I just stared at it and hoping by doing so, his words would just fall away unnoticed, or better yet, be a figment of my imagination, which wasn’t an option this time.My heart was shattered, splintered, and felt beaten by the will of my own pride. “Did I hear him right?” “Did he just say what he said to me?” I questioned, but I walked out of his office calm, cool, and collected while inside it felt as if every single fiber of my being was being blown up. As I I handed him over my keys, my laptop, I felt my last five years of my life vanish. “Could this really be happening”, I asked myself?Not two days after my 39th birthday did this eating disorder treatment center who at one time gave my life back, now seemingly was taking it away.I sat in my car numb, “what do I do know?” I asked myself?  I moved my whole life down here for this job. I was just planning on coming here as a patient in 2008, and who knew five years later I would be working up in Corporate with a very visible and fulfilling job. Suddenly I wasn’t Melissa DeHart Alumni Coordinator anymore. I was that same scarred, very sick girl from years ago who had no life, no hope, no purpose to offer this world.

“I of all people should be holding it together!”,  I thought to myself.   I mean that’s what I would have counseled another girl to do and did a thousand times before.  Why was it so hard to practice what I preached?  Especially now when I needed those supportive pick me up chats. the most?  I’d say to “carry on and keep fighting, because you never know what life is going to throw your way.” “Especially in this financial market. You have to prepare yourself for anything that might come your way, to emotionally not to forget to pack your long winter coat, you may be in for one heck of a  snow storm but you’ll make it out!”  Or something along those lines…nothing worked.  I felt rejected and it hurt, badly.

It seemed like I had lost all my tools, all my healthy coping mechanisms, all my confidence, all the incredible attitude I had built up over so many years. I found myself wanting to just get out of my car and run.

Where to, I had no idea but I wanted to run and run and run and run, to never look back until I got so far away from this moment I couldn’t feel it anymore.

Realistically, I knew I couldn’t do that, so being the addict that I am, I went into my familiar fight or flight mechanism, that I thought I had tamed and had in it’s cage.  But when I found myself pulling into the first liquor store I saw, I knew I was out of control.

You see I had never truly moved away from the house that held all my vices. Anorexia, Bulimia, prescription pill abuse, I had simply moved rooms and in this particular period in my life it seemed the only vacant one left held a substance I hated and used only as a last resort,  alcohol.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been 5 years clean of my Eating Disorder, and pill use, but recently found that if I needed to numb something out fast, vodka would do the trick. I hated booze, it has never been something I enjoyed, but it did become my escape door when times got rough.

I bought my 2 bottles of 35 proof Vodka home and poured half of one straight into a glass. I chugged it like water, hating every moment of it. It ripped through my throat like acid, and if felt as if my lungs had caught on fire. I poured myself more and more and more of the liquid poison until there was no more left to pour.

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  1. Sarah Block  October 6, 2013

    Hey Melissa,
    Its Sarah Block. I was in treatment at Radar and you were one of the people that helped me stay to deal with my shit. I remember you sitting in the room with me while I ate a peanut butter sandwich and was freaking the fuck out. I want you to know that you really helped me that day. I am not sure if you remember me or not but I know that while I was in the hospital you left. Now I understand what happened. Just wanted to send love and encouragement your way, you are a fucking strong, amazing woman and you can keep doing what you are doing without working for Radar. Love you!!! XO Sarah.

    • Emme  October 21, 2013

      HI Sarah,

      I hope this finds you well! I just passed along your note to Melissa and included your email address. She should be in contact with you in the near future.

      With a big hug,

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