I asked one of our recent graduates to write about her experience at Magnolia Creek. I am inspired by her words and hopeful that she will continue to use her experience, strength, and hope to impact others.
“I recently had to leave Magnolia Creek after two months of residential treatment and I can honestly say I was not prepared for how hard it was for me to walk out of those doors. I never dreamed that as hard as it was to go to treatment, it would be that much harder to leave. I still cannot wrap my mind around telling the people who literally helped save and changed my life ‘goodbye,’ but as I reflected back on my experience at Magnolia Creek, it is obvious why these were some of the hardest goodbyes of my life.
When I first arrived at Magnolia Creek, I was so incredibly blinded and consumed by my eating disorder that I was unable to see anything beyond it. Even though it was my decision to go to treatment, I was stubborn and resistant to all the help and support being offered to me. I was tricked by my eating disorder into believing that I was not ‘sick enough’ to be in treatment and felt as though my story was inconsequential compared to other clients. So, I tried to do the exact same things that enabled me to become so consumed by my eating disorder: I withdrew, isolated, and tried not to take up too much space, however this time the results were different. My efforts to hide and disappear were all ‘seen,’ which meant I was being seen and that was terrifying. Throughout my entire life I felt as though I was unworthy of being noticed or taking up space. This meant that the only option now was to trust those around me, face my fears, allow myself to take up space, be noticed, and have my story be heard. I began to understand that my story was important because it was just that: MY story. By sharing it I would help others discover things about themselves, just as their stories had done for me. So, with the help and support of the therapists, the staff, and my peers at Magnolia Creek I was able to open up, find my voice, use it to tell my story, offer support to my peers, and reach out for support anytime I needed it. The road to recovery is messy and is full of twists and turns, hills and valleys, and peaks and pits; but it was through this struggle, and the support of everyone at Magnolia Creek, that I was able to find my strength, embrace my worth, accept myself, and believe that there is more to life than the life I was living with my eating disorder.
Everyone at Magnolia Creek made it possible for me to continue on my road to recovery each and every day. The therapists are absolutely phenomenal at what they do. They each offered support and guidance in unique ways and someone was always there if I felt I needed extra support. The PCTs went above and beyond to be supportive and were there for me anytime I needed anything. The dietitian is awesome and was one of my biggest supporters when it came to food and meal outings. The chefs are amazing and often helped lighten the mood on even the most stressful days of treatment. It is evident that the entire staff truly cares and I can honestly say that during my time at the Creek, I felt as though I was part of a family.
My experience at Magnolia Creek is one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Everyone at Magnolia Creek touched my life in such a profound way and will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am grateful for all the memories I made with my entire Creek Family and the friendships I made during my time there. I am so thankful to everyone there for believing in me, supporting me, changing my life, and providing me with a safe place to explore myself, tackle the uncomfortable, face my fears, and discover hope that recovery is possible.”
(Used with permission from former resident)