To the strongest people I know,
I met you during the weakest point of my life. I had given up on life, myself, my faith, and my happiness. I met you during the time where I genuinely lost the will to live and to keep fighting. I had been through hell and back, and so had you.
When you go to therapy, especially in a group setting, you sometimes feel intimidated. It’s unfamiliar and you’re forced to open up in front of a bunch of strangers who you have no idea what they’re like or why they are there. At first you always compare yourself to one another. Oh, she’s skinnier or prettier. Oh, she isn’t messed up enough to be here. Her home life seems fine. Maybe it’s because I’m the most messed up. I have to be more messed up than them to prove I belong here. And you have a lot of questions: Are they going to judge me? Are they going to make fun of me? Are they mean? God, I hope they aren’t mean. Will they like me? What is this place even like? You worry about who you are and what you look like or what they think of you, even in the place where you should feel the least amount of judgement.
I had hit my rock bottom. Nine hours a week, you’d all sit in a room with me. We, together, suffered, cried, broke down, got angry, hurt, learned and most importantly, healed, all while being strangers at first. We survived. We always have, no matter how many times we didn’t want to. We would do stupid things, or laugh to much, or challenge authority too much, or talk over one another. I’d bang on the walls to try to get my friends attention in the other room. Meal time always made us #triggered, but we made it fun. We would do our mindfulness activities to try to ground us after a huge laughing fit, only to laugh again the moment we made eye-contact. We made the most uncomfortable and hard topics fun and entertaining because we knew that that’s just how we’d do it. That’s how we got through.
In such a short amount of time, we all got to know each other so deeply, so intimately, more so than any of our home friends. We got to see sides of each other we didn’t share with anyone else, sides we were ashamed of, sides that scared us. We were our most vulnerable with each other. We became good friends. We became each others rocks, our biggest supporters, our ultimate venting buddy, our validating companions. But it was more than that. It was family.
And family sticks together through thick and thin. Keeping in touch after graduating from therapy is great, until things get scary. It gets so hard when you watch your closest friends suffer. It gets so hard when you watch them relapse. It gets so hard when you hear them talk so poorly of themselves. It gets so hard when you have to stay up with them all night because you don’t know if they’re going to make it through or not. You’re constantly on high alert because you’re never sure if you’ll lose them. But like I said in the beginning, we always do make it through. We come out stronger, as individuals and as friends. We learn from each other, we admire each other, we offer our support and advice and our help. We’ve been there. We know what the pain is like. And we know you’d do the same thing if it was another one of us.
There’s so many amazing memories and jokes I have with these girls. Like, no physical contact. Or things like, “stop teaching people to whiten their teeth with banana peels”. Or, who the employee of the month is and which therapist we hate the most, which we always agreed on. And we can’t forget the drama. Who likes who? And who did what with who in the bathroom? Who’s dating? BRB I got to go pee in a cup. Who texted who last night? Oh, I mean, we don’t have each other’s contact info. Of course not…
I have met the strongest people I have ever known through therapy. I have grown with them and I have grown from them. I have met my closest friends as we bonded over topics people usually don’t talk about the first time they meet. They have seen me at my lows, at my highs, and when I’m actually almost stable (but am I ever really?). These girls have become some of my closest friends, and I love them to pieces. I am so thankful for them in my life. I wish we met under better circumstances, but I think God put us together when we needed each other the most. I think that things happen for a reason and I think my journey through life, leading to recovery, would not have been as rewarding or successful without you guys. Even if we lose contact over the years, I will always be your shoulder to cry on, your companion, your friend who will drive to your house at 2:30 in the morning just to make you laugh. I will be that friend who relates to you, who cares about you, who listens to you, who validates you, and who loves you.
You aren’t my friends. You guys are my family. And I can't thank you enough for all you did and do for me.
The person you helped the most