Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date.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

Author: Julia

Wow, ladies- I can’t believe that I’m actually writing one of these! From the moment I stepped through the doors of CFC, discharge seemed surreal; some days I honestly never thought I would make it here (although I was good at hiding my desperation). However, upon walking through those doors, there were a lot of other things I never dreamed possible: a love of myself and confidence in who I am, a fulfilling connection with my higher power, peace with food, a future without my eating disorder, but most of all- a voice of my own. I have lived my past 21 years for everyone else in my life; my friends and loved ones were the bases of my decisions, my beliefs, and my emotions. The only thing I solely possessed was my eating disorder, and it was tearing me apart.

Thankfully, in my time here I have begun to find that voice, to figure out who I really am. And guess what- she’s pretty freaking cool! I can honestly state that I am not the same person who walked in those doors on January 17th, and that on Thursday I will walk out someone stronger, someone real. This is my hope for all of you, a self discovery beyond the ED and havoc it wreaks; because you all, you are honestly the strongest, most compassionate, and most beautiful women I have ever known. I will truly, truly miss every one of you. Please know what a special place in my heart each of you holds. You are my sisters- we have a connection that surpasses many of the relationships I’ve had in my life. We’ve shared our struggles, our dreams, and our pasts; we’ve cried, laughed, passed the water, and spent pretty much every waking moment with each other! There’s no other group of women who I’d rather share this time with. I genuinely love you all and I will never be able to tell you enough how much you mean to me.

While here, I have discovered and learned so much about myself and my life. I have learned that I don’t need to be everything for everyone to be worthy and loved. I have learned that love doesn’t mean giving up all parts of yourself, but giving to others while still caring for your own needs. I have learned that asking for help does not make one weak. Some more thoughts I will take away from here (that I want to share with you all) include:

We are all average people “destined for mediocrity” (as so beautifully noted by Chelsea the tech). Yet we are loved all the same. We don’t need to be perfect or extraordinary to deserve love and acceptance.

Ice cream is the perfect food- a balance of fat, carbohydrates, and protein!! Yay!! The world does not exist in black and white; there is a lot of gray!!

Remember, we all came here because we couldn’t do it by ourselves anymore. Therefore, we won’t be able to do it alone when we leave- ask for help!! Be vulnerable and flawed- be real.

I am always here for any of you if you need help- seriously!! Because chances are, I will probably be calling you sometime in the future needing to talk. Just remember (as we so beautifully sang to the Alzheimer’s unit) to “Lean on Me”!!

Okay, so I’m off- ready to start living the life that my ED has taken and kept from me for too long. I’m leaving as someone ready to laugh and kick and cry and scream. For I now know that I (just like the rest of you), am worth fighting for.