As we enter a new year full of new hope and new possibilities, we’d like to share this sweet letter written by a former ERC patient. Her words show us all how important recovery is. Recovery requires many difficult challenges and Madi beautifully explains the gifts she received that make her hard work so worth it.
I went to Guatemala in the beginning of June and it was amazing. Having missed the trip last year because of the ED, it made this trip extra special.
I cannot tell you how good it was to go in with a healthy relationship with food. I was able to connect with people more than I ever had before and was able to be truly present. I was able to gain a bigger perspective while I was there. I was able to step back and remember my values of connection and service; that was pretty cool!
I think I have more confidence in myself and my ability to sustain recovery more than I ever have before. Of course, I am being very cautious and still get anxious a lot, but it feels very different to feel anxious and still feel confident
. It's a good feeling!
I am enjoying my outpatient team a lot! I never thought I would look forward to dietitian appointments but I do! I am currently working on fullness and hunger cues, staying consistently mindful at meals, and social eating
. I have also been doing a lot of social activities as well! It's pretty cool because I really don't have to "try" so hard anymore. It is beginning to come naturally which is nice. Funny to think that only a few months ago I was scared to go to a Starbucks in fear of having to talk to someone
. Being around old running friends is still a challenge, though.
My therapist is really great, too! At first I was unsure if we connected well, but now it is certain that she is right for me. As time has passed I think we are much more comfortable together and things are much more fluid now. Of course, it is difficult to change teams after being with such great ones (all of y'all) but I have adjusted well, I think.
Of course, there have been challenges with leaving the Intensive Outpatient Program
, but I think I was well prepared. I think the hardest challenge has been having to rely on my coping skills (and my voice) for support, rather than going to a "safe place" where I have people constantly encouraging me and asking how to support me.
As I continue to adjust to the "real world," I have found more ways to do that on my own- whether it is asking my parents, going to the barn, or engaging in activities where I feel passionate and at peace (painting, going to plant nurseries, watching Friends, etc.) I am trying to give myself some time every day to do one thing like that. Some days it happens and others not ‑ but the effort is there!!
Anyway, I miss you all so much and I couldn't think of a better group of people to begin this kind of journey. When I think of the impact you all had on my life, I become so excited to think about how many more people you will be able to help. You changed my life, and I know there are a bunch of people who can and who will say the same thing.
I miss you all and love you all so much. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.