Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date.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

On August 8, 1996, I came to Center for Change because I knew I needed help and treatment through inpatient care to overcome my bulimia. I realized that I couldn’t overcome it on my own, but was very skeptical about checking in. As I look back over the last 6 weeks, I remember all the mixed feelings, trials, experiences, and people that affected me while I’ve been here.

The first night I went to bed thinking these people can’t really help me. I’ll never be able to change. This program won’t work. I had no hope and no faith. I wanted to get better, but didn’t know if these people here knew enough to help or understand. But quickly, I started to find out I was wrong. These people knew more about me and my “real” problem than I did. Every rule and requirement was to help me recover. The doctors here, especially Dr. Hardman, helped me get to the root of my eating disorder and helped me look at the other issues. They made me realize that my eating disorder was not just about the issues of food and thinness. This helped me a great deal and I learned more about why I was doing what I was doing.

The staff here at Center for Change are great. I’ve gotten so close to them and they’ve helped me feel welcome and at home. They always talked to me, encouraged and congratulated my progress, and even put their arms around me or let me cry on their shoulders when I was down. It’s like having a second family full of people that love and care about you and give you the support and encouragement you need to get better. We shared a lot of great laughs, good conversations, and special moments together.

The program itself is a wonderful program. It’s so nice to have the opportunity to express your feelings with other girls who understand because you’re going through the same thing. I’ve enjoyed our everyday group therapy sessions, art therapy, movement therapy, recreational therapy, and especially my individual therapy sessions with Dr. Hardman. It’s all been full of some emotional or painful times of expressing but also been full and relieving and has helped me so much. It’s also great to go out on passes to overcome fears. I definitely needed those times to help me progress. Our education classes were helpful as well. They either taught me a lot or reminded me of things I knew and needed to focus on.

As I now get ready to leave my “safe place” and venture off again on my own I feel a great sense of hope and pride within myself for getting help. I can now take real control of my life thanks to the people here at Center for Change. They gave me the tools to help me cope and handle my life in a new way. I may be a little nervous, but I have faith in myself because the people here have faith in me. I owe my life to them and now I can say that I know this program works. I’ll always be thankful for them. They gave me my life back and now I can be the real me!