One client's journey to eating disorder recovery – an ocean away!
One of The Emily Program – Cleveland's adolescent clients traveled internationally to Cleveland seeking eating disorder treatment, taking on challenges not just in her recovery, but in the simple logistics that most in treatment take for granted.
Through her journey, she has learned the skills necessary to recover and has made it work, even from an ocean away! We hope her incredible story about her recovery from an eating disorder will be an inspiration to you.
"You never really know the value of what you have, until you lose it."
This is the adolescent's favorite quote that helped inspire her during her road to recovery.
Living in Africa, an ocean away from the United States, has definitely made my recovery process more challenging. I had to travel thousands of miles at least three times a year, leaving behind my school and home country, and my parents had to take leave of absences from their jobs for months. Not to mention, my family did not have insurance.
I remember finding The Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders on the Internet and reading about it. Like most patients, I was very afraid of beginning my road to recovery, not only because it was scary to get help, but also because it meant having to express myself in English, a foreign language to me.
It was extremely difficult not having residential or day treatment programs back home. Yet, every time we boarded the plane to Cleveland, I always felt joy somehow. And, I think that is the one thing that made me different from all my friends in treatment.
I remember praying my family would move to Cleveland just to be closer to The Emily Program. It is the one place I feel safe; I feel taken care of and I feel happy there. It saddens me that people take it for granted because I myself cherish every day I get to spend here.
Meeting my goals in treatment was not easy, especially because to me it meant meeting them here in the states and then having to maintain it while I was back home — in a country that did not know eating disorders existed. My family tried everything to keep me healthy back home, scheduling therapy sessions on "facetime" and tele-psychotherapy appointments. These were a few of the ways we tried to continue my recovery.
I guess that is what they mean by making the best of what you have. It is not the same, though, and I always wished I could have been in my family therapist's/individual therapist's office. This is the reason I wish that everyone at The Emily Program how lucky they are to have this program near their homes.
I'm proud to say that I love The Emily Program - Cleveland, and that I'm so thankful for everything they have helped me overcome. The Emily Program is truly a place I consider home.