Every month or so we do this thing in group called “Stories,” where everyone gets a chance to speak to the group about how they ended up in treatment and what their lives have been like living with an eating disorder. It’s always an intense experience and it brings the group so much closer afterwards. It’s freeing, like a verbal shedding of clothing; we’re left exposed, open. It’s really beautiful.
Tonight we did Stories and I’m still reeling from it. It’s amazing what people go through, the weights that they carry: hate and torment, self-loathing, pain; trauma, unstable childhoods; suicide. These women have taken the brunt of others, have manipulated and hurt their own bodies, have faced death… and they’re still here. When they spoke their voices caught, wrenched with emotion, but they kept talking: they needed their stories to be told.
After each person finished we sat in silence, and then our voices rose in a wave as we thanked her, enveloping her: Thank you.. for sharing, for being here, for staying so strong.