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Eating Recovery Day 2018: My Recovery Letter to my Best Friend

My Recovery Letter

Today’s Significance

Today is Eating Recovery Day 2018 and this year’s theme is My Recovery Letter. This is my recovery letter to my best friend, Olivia.

To My Best Friend

Dear Olivia,

You are my best friend, the older sister I will never have. You are my confidant, the person I tell everything to. Olivia, you mean the world to me and in case I never told you this, thank you for helping to save my life.

It was fall of 2011 when I was texting you on the best ride home from school my junior year. We were talking about how I’d been doing and how I wasn’t doing well. Long story short, I told you more about my issues regarding my behaviors with food, about my restricting and my trouble keeping up in PE because of the eating disorder I thought I had probably developed. Again, long story short, that day on the bus ride home, over text, you gave me a huge ultimatum.

You told me that either I was going to tell someone, tell my PE coach, tell my guidance counselor, tell my parents, tell someone. Or you would call my parents and tell them yourself. It was my choice. But if I didn’t tell someone, you were going to tell them whether I liked it or not. So I told my PE coach, who in turn told my guidance counselor, who in turn called my mom & told her. That day started a very, very long chain of events that would last 3.5 years until I was able to seek a higher level of care for treatment for the 1st time. 

Olivia, it’s been 6.5 years since you gave me that ultimatum. My 3 year anniversary in recovery & post-discharge from my last times in treatment is this summer. It’s been a rocky ride, full of ups & downs, successes and relapses, and all kinds of treatment environments along the way. It’s still rough. I continue to have my great days and also my days where I struggle more. Through it all, you remain by my side, my sister in crime, as loyal as you’ve ever been, if not more so. 

I wouldn’t be here today without you Olivia. I mean that both figuratively and literally. You’ve saved my life more times than I could possibly ever count just by being there. By being patient and present, calm and rational, and by being you, you’ve helped me re-gain my life. You’ve been my voice of reason, logic, and sanity from day 1 and I really do owe so much of my life today to you. Now a days, I get to speak with NAMI and share my story of living successfully with mental health conditions to people all over the Dallas metroplex. Now a days, I get to write for websites and blogs. This fall, I get to finally graduate with my associates degree. Today, I get to write you this letter with happy tears streaming down my face, because today I get to live. Thank you Olivia, for helping me live.

All my love,

Hollyn 

 

If You or Someone You Know Needs Resources

If you or someone you know needs resources or help regarding an eating disorder or disordered eating, please check out the following links:

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

NEDA’s Eating Disorders Screening Tool

National Eating Disorders Association Helpline and Online Click-To-Chat

Eating Recovery Center

Mental Note Podcast 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

 

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