Monte Nido® Eating Disorder Treatment Center
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.Helen Keller"

Helen Keller

Alumni Letters from Clients

I am so sorry you are struggling right now.  I am sorry for the things that must have happened to you for you to have turned to your eating disorder to save you.  I promise you, you do not need it anymore.  I promise you, there are other ways.  I promise you it is possible to love yourself, even when you find hatred and negativity surrounding you.  I promise you, food can be enjoyable and your body too.  I promise you, you deserve love and life and joy.  Everybody has something to offer to this world, you are no exception to that. Treatment is probably going to be a long process, but stick with it.  You are worth the battle.  Your life awaits…

With all the love and hope in the world,

V


Dear Friend,

I am writing this letter in hopes that it will help make your day a little bit better and give you some hope. Hope that things will get better. It will take a while and lots of hard work on your part but in the end it is so worth it. It is okay if you don’t believe me right now. It’s hard to see the light when all you can see is the darkness. I was once there too. I’m here today to tell you that it is possible if you don’t give up. I believe everyone can recover, even you. I wanted to tell you some things that helped me in hopes that it can help you.

Find people you trust and believe them when they tell you that they love you and that you are worth it.

Always be honest no matter what.

Always do the harder thing even when that thing may seem impossible. It is possible.

Be patient with yourself. Recovery is not just a straight line across. There are ups and downs. The best part of that is knowing that the downs don’t last. Having ups give you something to look forward to and remember when things are hard.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recovering from an eating disorder is one of the hardest things you will do. In the end you will be a stronger person.

Things won’t always be so hard. Over time it will get easier. You won’t know how far you have come until you look back to where you started.

Reach out to people instead of your eating disorder.

If you can’t recover for yourself now, do it for someone you care about.

I want to leave you with these words. Know that you are smart, beautiful, worthy and deserving to be happy and have good things, and love. There is no need to change anything about you as a person because you, all of us, are perfect just the way you are. Keep fighting one day at a time, one moment at a time and one second at a time.

You are in my thoughts, K


Dear friend,

You’re not alone. I know the dark place you are in… when I was there, there wasn’t much of anything that anyone could say that would get through to me. But if you can hear something, hear this: It can get better.

I too have walked the lonely, confusing, devastating road of an eating disorder. Am I better today? Not cured… but yes, better. I sit eating carrots (because I like carrots) and ranch dressing and root beer as I write this… and I’m not counting the calories or thinking about my thighs or planning where I’m going to purge later. I’m just enjoying my snack and the intimate time I am spending with you.

What I have learned is that, no matter how bad off you are, it can get better. I know it doesn’t make sense—here is someone you don’t know, telling you to do something incredibly scary, because you might just get something good that you can’t even comprehend or imagine. At least, that’s how it felt for me. But I was blessed with faith—and I’m not talking about religion here, I’m talking about the belief that this world is a good world, and I am a good person, and in this good world good things are supposed to happen for this good person—me. And good things do not involve obsessing every day about the size of my stomach or the calories in celery or being stuck in a hospital.

It might be hard to grasp the idea that you are a good person. It was and still sometimes is) for me. But there are millions of people on this planet, and we all have light and dark. I am not so uniquely bad
that I deserve bad things—and neither are you. We’re just not that kind of special. For me, it took realizing that hating myself was a kind of self-obsession—not some sort of saintly martyrdom. When I’m hating myself, I don’t have time to think about others, and even more importantly, I don’t have the ability to wholly be myself—the true blessing and gift that I am. When I let go of the hate, I get to see who I really am. When I allow myself food and pleasure, I allow myself to be a part of this world, and I get so much more than I ever imagined… There is so much life to be lived if we are willing to take the chance…

I send love.


Dear Lost Soul,

Hang in there, breathe, trust, and BELIEVE. Not too long ago I was in the same place you were - in the hospital, scared, confused, malnourished of a balance in my life, and clouded over completely.

Several months how it has been and I have my feet to hold me, my legs strong, and my soul found and my life actually one that I am present for. My small, narrow perspective has changed and I am here to tell you it is possible. Each of us has choice and you are just as deserving, worth it, capable, lovable, and special like others. The little girl that you once were is awaiting to be cared for. Now is your time. Take the little steps and just believe me when I say trust in it - people are here that love you, as you - no ultimatums or conditions.

When the road gets hard, that means you are getting better. It will hurt, you may and most likely will cry and or scream and kick and yell, but march on, because this is where the hope lies.

I am here on my journey and thinking of you as you just begin yours. Think of it as a new way of living and experiencing life - a life worth living.


“Turn the lights down low. Walk these halls alone. We can feel so far from so close…… I’m gonna find my way”…… Matkearney

Love and Light,
        J.A.


Dear Soul Sister,

Only a few months ago I was in a similar place as you. In the literal sense, I was exactly where you are.
My life and my body were falling apart; I had truly lost all hope and will to keep fighting my anorexia. My eating disorder was self-taught. I had been sick too long to get well, I was too damaged mentally, physically and soulfully. My healthy self questioned if there was any healthy - self left at all. I was too fatigued, too broken to keep up the never-ending fight. I did not want to go through treatment once again, just to get out and relapse.

You are faced with a tremendous question, a task of a lifetime. Are you going to fight for your life? You are worth fighting for; life is worth every monumental effort that is placed in front of you. Living in the eating disorder is not truly being alive. I promise you, from someone who has been there.  Life in recovery is real, possible and within your grasp! Today, moving forward, each day in front of you, you have choices. These choices are small, some my feel impossible but you have support, along the way. Use this opportunity to make life - changing hurdles. Heal your body now, then healing your soul will follow. Use this time and knowledge to empower yourself. The time for you is now, to move toward the light, to move away from illness and entrapment and into a life of goodness.

I went to residential at Monte Nido, in California. I wanted to take the fast track. Spend a month in treatment, get a quick fix, and then go home to life. I have done the so-called quick fix in the past. It did not work for me, as I would relapse and become sicker, losing hope for the future and losing my will to live. I spent five months in residential. I am sure that sounds like a lifetime to you now. However, thankful beyond my wildest imagination to those who I trusted at Monte Nido.

At home now in New York City, I am alive, truly alive, and living life without my anorexia. After Monte Nido I transitioned home and am currently attending an intensive outpatient program. I have been home for a month and my physical health is restored to a place I thought not possible. I function in the world and feel all my emotions, the good, the bad and the ugly. I respond instead of reacting, I use words instead of starvation. I cry and I laugh, I am in relationships, rather than in the prison of anorexia.

I have tough moments yet, that is part of life. I still eat my food; I do not use eating disorder behaviors, to cope. I know I still have to stay vigilant. Eating Disorders look for a way back in, they try to get you in their grasp again, when your guard is down. Each day, I remember how much better life is, how much more present I am, how much love I can give and receive from those relationships in my life.

You can do this; you can walk this road. You can feel the sun shine down on you again. I felt broken beyond repair; I thought recovery was for others but not for me. I am so appreciative to be an example that life beyond an eating disorder is not a fairy tale. I wish I were there with you today, to hold your hand and help you through the steps. Every step forward you take, away from your eating disorder, is a step closer to life in recovery. I am most certainly there with you in spirit. I am cheering for you, reaching out to you, offering my embrace and my love. Let people in, relationships are vital to fighting the eating disorder. Relationships can help you change the story; help you fight to change the ending, to change the script. You are fighting for your life.


“At Any Moment, You Have The Ability To Dramatically Change Any Area Of Your Life, Or Follow Your Heart’s Deepest Desires. It’s Yours To Create, Any Way You Want It.”

-AG


I wish that this letter was finding you in better circumstances, but I have faith that one day you will be writing your own letter to someone who needs some hope. If someone had told me 4years ago that I would be writing a letter of hope to someone with an eating disorder, I would have laughed at them. Its such a bitch isn’t it? However, I’m here to tell you that it does get better if you don’t give up. Its hard, and I can’t give you a time frame as to when it will get better, I can only tell you that it does. It used to piss me off to no end when people would tell me “it gets better, I swear, just stick with recovery and you’re life will improve.” So if you’re anything like I was, you’re probably rolling your eyes at that statement and I don’t blame you. It feels like your best friend, confidant, the thing that will never leave you…but when it tells you that, its lying, and I know that now. So I want to say to you, just try it. Try recovery, keep the friends who don’t hurt you close, instead of the one that is trying to kill you. Reach out to people instead of your eating disorder when you need comfort. Cry. I know, I know, I’m writing this like its easy to do. Its not, but life with an eating disorder is much harder. Just try recovery, you can always go back to your eating disorder if you decide its the life you would rather have. But see what kind of a life you can have without it first and then make that decision. That’s what I had to do and now I wouldn’t go back to it for anything. If you can’t recover for yourself right now, do it for someone else. Also something I had to do because I didn’t think I was enough to get better for, but the people who inspired and loved me, were, so I did it for them for a LONG time. We get better in relationships with people and eventually you will see that the person worth your recovery most, is you. Just give it a shot, your eating disorder will yell and scream at first, scream back. When you feel like it’s fighting so hard that you can’t throw another punch…kick. Its had its time with you, now its time for your time to be your own. I promise you it will be worth it in the end. I didn’t know my life was waiting for me after having an eating disorder for 16 years, but it was, and so is yours. Go out and get it.
CR


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