Help Me With My Recovery

In December 2017, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. At the time I was attending Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, a place I loved and was able to meet many lifelong friends. In December, while I was home in the Twin Cities on winter break, I started intensive outpatient programming (IOP) at the Emily Program. As break went on I was determined to return to Mount Holyoke for spring semester, and I did, while attending an outpatient eating disorder program in MA (and going to class full-time and working). 

In February 2018, it was decided that I was not able to handle the severity of my eating disorder and I left school to return home and start intensive day programming (IDP), a 5-day a week, 7 hour program which I hoped would help me find recovery. After 2 weeks of this, however, I started residential treatment at the Anna Westin House in St. Paul. I was there for 4 weeks and discovered much about myself and began to learn that my eating disorder was not truly serving me in the ways I thought it was. After 9 months of treatment (going from residential, to IDP, to IOP), I "graduated" from the program, and began the hardest part of recovery, being on my own.

I began fall semester 2018 at the University of Minnesota, where I plan to graduate from with a degree in Psychology. I had a successful semester, and went on to begin spring semester at the U. Unfortunately, I had a relapse in my eating disorder, and had to begin IDP once again. I was in programming for 5 months, and thought that it would be my last time needing treatment. 

Fast forward to today, I find myself in need of residential treatment. I have an official recommendation from my team of professionals including a therapist, dietitian, and psychiatrist, who all agree that without residential treatment, I will not be able to get better. Anorexia has a mortality rate of approximately 6%, and I need help so that I can find recovery. 

I am asking my friends and family for help paying my rent. I have been taking a break from school and working full-time this semester, but since I need to go to residential I will not be able to work and support myself. I will likely be in treatment for at least a few months, but I hope to be discharged from residential in 1-2 months. Since I will not be working during this time, I really need help with my rent. Without finding a way to pay my rent over the next couple months, I will not be able to go to treatment.

Since moving in in August, my apartment has been a safe haven for me. I live in a tiny studio in Loring Park, Minneapolis, with my sweet cat Lila. We love living here, and having to give up my apartment would be devastating to me. 

I am grateful that I have been able to get the help I need, when I have needed it. In treatment I have met lifelong friends who have given me incredible support, and I would not have made it as far as I have gotten without them. I am asking for support on my journey to recovery. If you aren't able to donate, any type of encouragement or positive thoughts would be so appreciated. 

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I'm an open book.

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Olivia Arco 
Minneapolis, MN
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