In just a few short weeks, I’ll be saying goodbye and heading to the elevator to descend to the lobby of the world. The real world. The world not coated in acceptance and care. Although, truly, that’s not the hard part. I’ve been taught how to handle the, sometimes cold, real life outside of treatment. But over the past year and a half that I have been in intensive treatment, you neglected to teach me how to say goodbye. I mean, how do you? How the hell do you say “Thanks for over a year of endless support. Bye now!”
You, you specifically, are the hardest person to say goodbye to. I swear to God, I have never experienced so much anger as I have towards you at certain times. Step ups, ER trips, exposures, you name it. Sometimes I was playfully angry, usually to avoid, and sometimes I was so furious I had no idea how to cope. You helped me feel that. I also have never felt so much validation than I have with you. Even when I was irrantional, you validated the fact that I still had a right to feel.
I’m not leaving just yet. However, because of how much you’ve helped me, I had to get a head start on your goodbye letter. I was on the train and I started. I literally just wrote your name and it hit me; I used to be mentally writing a much different type of goodbye letter. After a year and a half of truly, genuinely, thinking I would not have lived to graduate the program, I am writing the most heartfelt thank you to the woman who saved my life.
I don’t mean that lightly. I was very determined to either end my life or let this disorder kill me. Now, I’m still alive and I’m happy. Happy.
I’m nauseously sad. My stomach is twirling and I know that a few months ago, maybe even weeks, my response would’ve been to self sabotage. Start restricting, purging, self harming, wind up inpatient. But I don’t want that.
I’m almost hurting because I’m not sick. This is hell, feeling emotions. But this is life and this is recovery and this is beautiful.
Suffice it to say, thank you.