Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date.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

Dear Girls:

I just want to start by saying how much I love and appreciate every single one of you. You girls have made my stay here wicked awesome! Without all of you I don’t think I’d be where I am today. You all have helped me grow in ways I never thought possible. I want to thank you for the constant feedback I got in order to help me kick ED out of my life. It feels so good to not have him by my side anymore haunting me day and night. It’s so nice to just go out with family and friends to eat and not worry about what I have to do after. Girls, life is so much better when you don’t have ED in your life. I can’t stress this enough.

I’m so excited to go out into the “real world” and fight my battles as a new, strong, independent woman. I couldn’t have found and gained myself back alone. I owe a lot of it to Heavenly Father and the Center. This program is such a blessing from above.

I love who I have turned into. I had forgotten myself for the longest time, but now I remember, and that is the greatest feeling above all. Be true to yourself and “stay the course” and you’ll remember who you are too. I realized after being here a couple weeks that Heavenly Father can’t help me until I start helping myself first. That’s when Heavenly Father will reach down and carry me. The rest will follow.

I would like to share with all of you a couple of poems I wrote during my stay here at the Center and then an excerpt from a book that I found:

The pain I feel inside fills my whole being
Sometimes I feel betrayed
From this I lost trust
From this I lost hope
From this I lost myself

As I gain myself back I am comfortable with who I am
With this comes hope
From this comes self-confidence
From this comes speaking my mind
From this comes clarity of soul

This brings contention
Which leads to loneliness
But in the end I have still gained myself back
Which is the most important thing of all

A person’s crying
Can you hear them?
Are you really listening?
Or are you deaf to the cries for help?
How can you block out the pain?
Are you filled with disdain?

But silently you can relate and pride gets in your way.
Are you going to allow it to stay?
Are you going to run away?
No! I’ve let pride get in the way for too long.
It’s time to now listen.

by Douglas Pagels