Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date.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: Holly Patterson

To My Bestest Friends,
Wow! My ninety days used to seem like it would last forever, but what looked like a miserable journey has sadly come to an end. It’s amazing how much I have grown over the last months from the girl that was first reluctantly forced to come here into someone who has become open to the idea that they are of worth. When I first entered the Center, I had only one goal in mind, and that was to be skinny, in the casket, and dead. My goal was almost complete. But somehow, somewhere, someone was looking out for me, even though at the time I cursed my family for sending me to what I believed to be Hell. I look back now and see the miracle it was, and swallow my pride, and thank them.

The light at the end of the tunnel now is in existence, whereas before no light was there and I felt hopelessly lost in darkness. I have to admit that when I first came here, I faked almost everything so that I could convince the therapist and my parents that I was fine so I could return home ASAP. Then one day, the thought came that maybe a better life was possible. Then an over-powering thought struck me that maybe, just maybe, someone like me could have that better life. That was the day that my journey began. On my path I have been through Hell and back. I felt pain that didn’t seem to end. I had disappointments, failure, depression, and sorrow. Believe me, I would not live it over again for the world, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything for it has made me strong. I now have happiness, love, relationships, and joy.

The recovery process is much like a badly broken leg. The first while that we are here, the therapists must convince us that the wound actually exists. Then the pain begins. The doctor digs, scrubs, and washes out the most tender areas, then sets the bone back into the proper place. Then the sore starts to look normal and good again, but needs caution, for it is still very fragile and will brake if it is jumped on too soon. Eventually, however, it will be completely healed again. Take my word for it, the pain is worth the happiness. I know from experience that a life without feelings, even one that eliminates pain, is not a life worth living.

Thank you, everyone, who has been there for me, and for all the support that you have given. You all have taught me the meaning of friendship, the reason for love, and the feeling that I am loved. I am about to enter the next chapter of my life, my Phase V. I am on my way to recovery, and if I can do it, so can all of you. We all have been down the road of changing ourselves for love, acceptance, and the dream of happiness. Changing the true person inside brings nothing but pain. God made us all different and unique for a reason. Who are we to tell Him that He made us of no worth? Who are we to destroy His creation? And more importantly, who is the world to tell us that we are anything less than a wonderful daughter of God? We all have changed ourselves, and what for? To please the people who care nothing of our well-being and are sacrificing the people who do? If I could tell you just one thing, it would be to be yourself. Don’t you dare change yourself just to please the world. All of us are born originals, yet so many of us die as copies. None of you should be a copy.

Be proud of your own entity. Many of us have been taught that we are hopeless, that we are unworthy, and that we have no potential. That is definitely not true. Because I am obsessed with horses, of course I must include them. Like a horse, we are powerful, strong, beautiful, and unique, but we have been taught otherwise. At a young age, a horse is taught that the human is stronger and that they are helpless against them. It is very important to make sure that the horse never wins when it is young and never discovers its strength. So, when the horse grows to its full might, it still thinks that the human, now a fourth of its size and strength, is stronger. Don’t let the world fool you out of your abilities. Discover who you are. I believe that once you discover that person, no one can convince you otherwise. I am working so hard to find that person who I am and put all of the pieces together to make the tapestry. I have come to the fork in the road and have chosen the harder road, but the much more fulfilling road, the road of pain, happiness, loss, and joy, the road of recovery. No one else can recover for me. It is my choice and I have true control over it. It is not by any means going to be easy, but it will be worth it! Choose to recover. I choose happiness, I choose sorrow, and I choose life. All of you can too.

From your forever friend.
P.S. Please keep in touch!