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Check out the latest issue of Connections, our alumni newsletter!


Creating Space to Grow

By: Ruth W., Renfrew Alumna

If you would have told me six months ago I would make it to this day, I would have almost certainly given you a look of disbelief, or laughed with great doubt, or said, “Yeah right, I don’t believe you.” In fact, I said and did all those things. Many, many times, especially to kind and patient therapists who walk with us through this journey and who, through it all, challenged me to add a “YET” to the end of it…or an “AND” to the middle of it…or a “PAUSE” to the now…

And so here we are; a pause. Six months ago I was literally running away from the anxiety and pain and confusion consuming my body… stealing my belief in the possibility of healing and connection… and keeping me from trusting, and speaking, and being supported, and even at times, wanting to live. I could barely put a sentence together, let alone imagine a different way. But there is a different way, and it’s possible. Don’t let anyone fool you. It sucks to start, the middle is a b*tch, and the end is exciting and sad all at once, but it is possible to take back your life from a dysfunctional, harmful relationship; from a broken reality; and from a hellish disorder that doesn’t get to have the final say.

I cannot express enough gratitude to all the providers who so patiently and kindly held hope for me, talked me through wicked panic attacks and brutal places of darkness, and who helped me return home to myself. Thank you for being people I could trust. Thank you for helping to repair a deep, human part of me that was broken. And thank you for honoring me and my journey.

Lastly, I can’t thank you all enough as a community, for walking with me and for sharing your stories and experiences and truths—for however long or short our paths happened to cross. I tried to believe I could do this alone a lot, and you all helped to prove me wrong again and again. Regardless of where you are in your own journey, please know you’re not alone. I will leave a bit of light and energy here with you, the same light and energy you have all given to me, and I will take each of you with me as OUR recovery continues; one step, one meal, one day, one word, and one moment at a time.

Don’t forget that whatever it is—a victory, a plateau, a trip and a fall, a face plant—every step is the way; and it’s never a failure, it’s always a lesson…especially if you’re curious enough to pause and take an honest and humble look. And then find a way, inside or outside of the box, to create space for yourself to grow.

Thank you all for being on this journey of growth and healing with me, and please take good care. You deserve it. WE deserve it.

<3 Ruth W.

Ruth W. is an alumna of The Renfrew Center of Radnor, PA.

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