“I’m going to admit it upfront. I was apprehensive about virtual treatment. I mean, how could it possibly work? I will also admit that after completing my virtual “graduation” (or rock ceremony as it’s called at Walden) last week, I feel like I have been released. I can’t believe the significance this program has had on my life.

I want to begin with this… if you need treatment, you should commit to it. There is no better time than today.

Before COVID-19, I had been attending an IOP program at Walden, and things were going well. I was gaining insight into myself, learning new coping skills, and things were improving. Then suddenly, like overnight, I was unable to continue my IOP treatment in the clinic. Walden moved to virtual and online eating disorder treatment programming, (as did the country), and I wasn’t ready for it. So I held back… and began to slide a bit.

Then I heard about a virtual evening program, and I felt like I had been given the ‘golden’ ticket. I knew I had done a lot so far, but the isolation felt hard. I knew I needed to continue the work I was doing that felt good.

So I jumped in… again. I got reacquainted with some of the information I had learned in my in-person IOP program, which was helpful as I got used to a whole new way of treatment.

What I realized quickly was how wonderful it was to be comfortable in my own home , no need to worry about packing my meals. I had a stove and a refrigerator right near me. I didn’t have to get dressed up and everything felt a bit less intrusive.

As I settled into the virtual eating disorder program, the info began to resonate with me even more. I was relaxed and comfortable in my home and able to take in what was being shared in a different way, and it was clicking with me. Some of us had already been practicing our coping skills, and we were able to share what was working for us. It was all making a lot of sense and just felt really good.

After a few days, I began to notice that the people who were extremely introverted started to speak up. They, too, were finding their voice from the comfort of their living rooms. We were all in our own settings but somehow more together.

Meals were the biggest difference, but I have to say, it was no less effective virtually than it was in person. I didn’t have to worry about packing my meals and had access to everything in my kitchen. I live by myself, and I don’t like eating with others. Yet, here I was in my own dining room, with the other members of the group in their own homes, and we were all eating together. There was something bonding about all of us seeing the ‘realness’ of each other in our own personal space. For the most part, we all seemed to show up, listen, and participate as we became more comfortable. It just worked.

As treatment went on, I was so happy to see new people join the group. I had been able to understand and evolve in my own journey, and I was thrilled to see others have the courage to join and hopefully have the same positive experience as I was experiencing.

What do I want people who may be struggling with their eating disorders right now to know?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You can do this. You really can.

From your own home, you can show up, do the work, and hopefully, you can feel as I am feeling right now, humbled, grateful for my journey, and for the support I received. I did not expect to feel so ‘released.’ I cannot underestimate the significance this program has had on my life, and I want the same for you.

Virtual programming works. And there is no better time than today to commit to making such a meaningful and necessary change for your own life.”

If you would like more information about our virtual programs, please click here or fill out the form on this page and a member of our Welcome Center will reach out to you. Remember, you are not alone, we’re here to help.