A Letter To All My Friends From Treatment
I walked in the door the other evening, dropped my bags on the floor, kicked off my boots, and took a look around my apartment.
This place has been mine for 2 and a half years now, and I still get excited every time I come home from work. Why? Because this apartment is mine. All mine. It is the result of my hard labour both professionally and personally, and I’m so proud to call it my home.
But this apartment has seen a lot, too. It has seen my best friend from treatment come to stay with me all the way from Wisconsin. It has seen me sitting in my bed on Skype calls to my treatment friends from New York. It has seen me sprawled out on the floor texting the girls (and guys) I have met along my eating disorder recovery journey.
The other evening, I felt sad as I reminisced about all the friendships I had made (and maybe lost) in treatment.
I keep in touch with some of the girls, but others have come and gone in my life. For no reason, really, other than because people grow up and move on and lead their own busy lives. But thinking about that made me sad. Sad and nostalgic.
I really wish I could have stayed in contact with everyone. Because you see, treatment friendships are one-of-a-kind. Inpatient treatment requires that you live with a bunch of girls (and again, sometimes guys) for long periods of time and under the most stressful conditions, and the bonds that form can be irreplaceable.
Who is going to be there when you are having a meltdown after a 6am weigh-in? A treatment friend.
Who is going to encourage you when you are crying over your meal? A treatment friend.
Who is going to motivate you when you are feeling as though all hope is lost? A treatment friend.
Now, treatment friendships can be difficult to navigate. I wrote a post all about this in 2017, and I’ll link it here:
But treatment friendships can literally get you through the toughest of times. Although they are rare, treatment does have its finer moments. Scavenger hunts, hide and seek, outdoor games, indoor mischief… I swear I’ve done it all.
Going back to that evening in my apartment… I felt sad. Why? Because I don’t talk to a lot of these girls and guys anymore. Life has taken its course and we have drifted apart. But I want you to know, treatment friend, that I remember you. I remember you and I miss you. But more than that, I am proud of you.
I see you out there, conquering both your eating disorder and the world. I see you graduating high school and graduating college and working on your postgraduate degrees. I see you building relationships and getting married and having babies. I see you starting new jobs and landing dream opportunities. I see you continuing to fight the eating disorder demon in your head. And I couldn’t be happier for you.
I am not writing this letter so that magically all of my friends from treatment write to me and say they miss me too. I just want you to know that I miss you and if our lives don’t cross again, I will have to learn to be okay with that. But I remember you and I wish nothing but the best for you.
Treatment friendships can be a tricky thing. But I wouldn’t change those friendships for the world.
I see you. I’m here for you. I love you.