Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

By: Jenn Smith

I want you to know that I believe in you and your great strength. I believe in your recovery and your ability to recover. We have been given a great deal of trials to overcome. We have been given such trials because of our ability to overcome and be triumphant. I hope that you all will have the power to find the strength that is within you.

I have the desire for you to not be afraid anymore of life. We have been so afraid of life that we have hidden it with our eating disorders that have destroyed us. I give you, as well as myself, a challenge. I challenge us to not let our fear take over us. Instead I desire that we not walk behind our fear, but with our fears. I desire us to take our fears by the hand and walk together. Let us not be afraid of life. Let us not be afraid of a world free from what binds us: our eating disorder.

I believe that each young woman that walks through the doors of Center for Change is so precious, vulnerable, hopeful, and so scared. My hope is that as each one of you, and all of the others, walk out those same doors that they will see their power, strength, courage, and faith that has been with you all of the time. You have what it takes and you always have. It does not matter if you felt “forced” by family, or if you came on you own, you have so many hidden values. I hope you can see them, and if not, I encourage you to search for them. Reach inside and take hold. Fly as high as you can to your freedom. The stars are yours, reach for them, grab hold of one of the stars, and claim it is as yours, because you deserve it.

Like the light house will guide a ship, lost in the dark and stormy night, safely to shore, your treatment here will do the same for you. I encourage you all to take hold of what is inside you. Take hold of the tools you are given here to be your light house on your dark and stormy nights and days.

I love you so very much. I will miss the trying, as well as great times that I have experienced here. But I am so happy to be going into the world healthier and stronger. I am looking forward to walking out these doors with fear in hand to brave my new life. A life that I know that I am so deserving of. A life that you all as well are deserving of. So no matter why the reasons you’ve come, know the reason you leave with. I wish you so many great things.