I have some really great people in my life, and, when I say really great, I mean really great. God has truly blessed me with some strong, kind, compassionate and diligent people, and I could not be more grateful for them. After all, they saved my life. I hope that I have already shown them how much I appreciate them and all they have done for me, but, just in case I haven't, I want to write this letter. I hope after reading this that my supports and so many others know how much their love, care and support mean to me; I hope that all others battling mental health illnesses can see or find the love, care and support in their worlds, as well.
To my professors,
Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for treating my mental illness like a physical one and not pushing me when I had already exhausted myself. Thank you for being patient with me and encouraging me to never give up, even when my options for seeking help seemed non-existent. Thank you for giving me a hug when I came into your office, eyes swollen from crying, telling you that I just couldn't do it anymore. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I gave up on myself.
To my peers who listened to my story,
Thank you for listening. Thank you for sitting there in bible study with me and crying, not because you felt pitiful for me, but because you felt my pain. Thank you for encouraging me to continue to lean on and trust in God, even though I did not feel Him at all during this time in my life. Thank you for asking me how I was truly doing when you would see me in the halls. Thank you for understanding that sometimes I just could not make it to events because I was so stressed. Thank you for believing me.
To my roommates,
Thank you. Thank you for loving me wholeheartedly, even when I was hardly there, physically and mentally. Thank you for believing me when I first told you that I thought I had an eating disorder. Thank you for telling me that it was okay that I ate four cookies. Thank you for asking me every day how I was doing or how programming went. Thank you for hugging me without saying anything when I would come home crying, because I didn't even recognize who I was anymore. Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for listening to me. For letting me have my space when I needed it and not leaving me alone when you knew it wouldn't be safe. Thank you for hiding every sharp object in the apartment, so I would not hurt myself. Thank you for supporting me in my battle against my illness. Thank you for telling someone that I had a plan to kill myself.
To my friends,
Thank you for picking up the phone when I was driving and thought about crashing my car and telling me that no matter how hard life is, it is still worth living. Thank you for loving me, supporting me and standing by my side through all of this, even when I was so ill that I wanted to get sicker. Thank you for always having my best interest at heart, even if it meant me getting mad at you. Thank you for being honest with me, checking in on me and calling me out on my disordered behaviors. Thank you for accepting me, even when I hit rock bottom. Thank you for praying for me and fighting with me. Thank you for bringing me to the crisis center, twice, and visiting almost every day that I was there. Thank you for not letting me kill myself even though I told you that I wished you would have.
To my parents,
Thank you for supporting me, for telling me that it's okay if I don't finish school. Thank you for bringing me to residential treatment for my eating disorder. Thank you for paying for my things when I did not have the resources to do so. Thank you for everything that you've done for me, not only when I was going through a crisis, but for every single day of my life. Thank you for loving me regardless of my mental state.
To my fiance,
Thank you for loving me unconditionally, for seeing me, the real me, even when I could no longer see myself. Thank you for loving me, even when I was nothing but bitter and angry towards you. Thank you for telling me that God still loves me and showing me light, even though all I was surrounded by was darkness. Thank you for forgiving me for all the ways that I hurt you, by hurting myself. Thank you for telling me that we are a team, the two of us together, no matter what we face. Thank you for arguing with me for a half hour about whether or not one single muffin would make me fat. Thank you for eating literally the exact same thing as me so I would eat. Thank you for seeing me as more than my illnesses. Thank you for not giving up on me, even when I gave up on myself.
I can honestly say that I would not be here if it weren't for the people who are in my life. They kept me moving through the darkness even though I was so tired, hopeless and drained. My supports believed me, validated me and, most importantly, did what was right for me, even though I became upset with them. My supports kept me alive, and, for that, I will forever be grateful.