Almost a year ago, I submitted an application. I thought I was just another name on an application. Basic stats: female, late 20’s, African-American, dying, please help me. They only had my words that were typed with trembling hands, and a phone call or two to base their decision on…and they, Project HEAL, gave me a chance to save my life. Being selected for the Project HEAL treatment grant has been like seeing colors after only seeing in gray, hearing music for the first time, smelling the sweetest folds of the earth, tasting myelf smiling, and touching all the atoms that make me who I am and confirming that I am a soul that is worth saving. Project HEAL says I am worth saving. They have made one of the biggest differences in my life. Because of their belief in this “name on an application”, because of their strong belief in recovery, they gave me the gift of starting my own recovery journey. One that I thought was never going to happen, that I thought was impossible. The exquisite and fierce founders of Project HEAL, Kristina and Liana, turns impossible into I’M POSSIBLE. They chiseled me from the concrete grasp of my eating disorder’s suffocating arms, and placed me in the perfect treatment facilities for residential and outpatient, just as the darkness of despair was about to completely engulf me.
I feel very strongly that if my path had not aligned with Project HEAL, I would not be typing this testimony today…in this month of February, as a proud Black woman during Black History Month. I am alive! Without Project HEAL, I would not be able to say confidently that: Yes, recovery is possible. I have a ways to go. And when I begin to question myself, I know that Kristina and Liana believe in me…and that is worth staying in this fight for. Project HEAL, I thank you for constantly opening up recovery doors for me, never shutting out faith and hope, your consistency, your transparency, and challenging this disabled health insurance system. This corrupt health insurance system that told me they did not care to cover any type of eating disorder treatments for me. But you did and do. Project HEAL, you are a positive and motivating force. Thank you for believing in me. I am forever humbly grateful.
Bonita is Project HEAL’s 51st treatment grant recipient.