The Best Before and After Stories

Primary Therapist Bertha Tavarez, Psy.D. (below) shares a moving and inspirational story about an Oliver-Pyatt Center’s alumna truly experiencing the joys of college, gaining friends, and appreciating life.

This morning, as I was sipping my morning coffee, I heard the “BING!” of my email alert. I was prepared to open my email and scan the latest recovery coach update report. Instead, a familiar name appeared. It was an email from a past client with no subject line. The young woman wanted to share with me a very miraculous before and after story. She attached two very striking pictures taken exactly one year apart. She explained that the first picture was taken during her first week in college a year ago. She was so entrenched in her eating disorder that she had to leave school and enter treatment one week after setting up her dorm room. We met on her journey to recovery, and experienced many winding and rocky points along the way. She progressed valiantly through residential and PHP treatment, and eventually stepped down to an IOP program close to home. 

She shared that the second picture attached was taken recently. In this photo her face was beaming with joy as she embraced her new roommate. She shared she had attended her first ice cream social, because after all, it’s a great place to meet new friends! She said her walls are now decorated with artwork she created while at Oliver-Pyatt Centers and that she still has a recovery necklace I gave her hanging over her bed.

Her beautiful words of gratitude are such a reminder of my life’s purpose. I work with young women with eating disorders so they can have fun on their first day at college, enjoy ice cream socials, make new friends, and have the best before and after story. 

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