Testimonial Author, Libbi Giuliano
My name is Libbi Giuliano, and I consider myself to be in recovery today from anorexia, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
A History of Depression and Anxiety
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression ever since I was little. I’ve always put pressure on myself to be perfect and have people accept me for me. Growing up, I put all my time and energy into volleyball. I played in school and in club, which had me traveling most weekends. I loved volleyball. However, with it came several expectations when it came to my body and how it looked, as well as my ability to be physically fit. Once I went to college, I had an overwhelming sense of feeling out of control and scared. I turned to food as a form of control, which quickly spiraled into a full-blown eating disorder.
A Couple of Incredibly Difficult Years
My first time in treatment was in 2016. I was scared and in denial that I even had an issue when it came to my eating disorder, my depression, and my anxiety. Between 2016 and 2018, I was in some of the darkest times in my life. I felt extremely hopeless and helpless and questioned whether life was worth living. I was scared. I just want to validate those who have brought themselves out of that dark place and have continued to fight. I see you and am so proud! I have learned those scary thoughts and feelings are temporary. And sitting with the discomfort is challenging and totally worth it.
I developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to a sexual assault in 2018. This fueled my eating disorder as a way to cope and feel safe in my body. In 2020 COVID hit, and I spiraled even further. The world seemed so scary and out of control that, once again, the eating disorder felt safe and something I could turn to.
My First Stay at Selah House
I came across Selah House’s website at the end of 2020 and wanted to try something different. I wanted to focus on my relationship with God, and had only heard positive things about Selah. I was also interested in their equine therapy because I love animals, so in January 2021, I admitted to Selah’s residential treatment program. I immediately connected with the staff and made so many lifelong friends. I worked on some incredibly difficult and uncomfortable things while in treatment. And being with the horses was such an amazing experience. The staff helped me learn to fight for myself and helped me grow closer to God. They really showed me that I matter and I am enough just as I am. They helped me learn to turn to God in times of trouble and worry and that He will always be there for me. After I discharged from Selah for the first time, I was doing well. I went back to work, continued to be a dog mom, and spent time with my family and friends.
My Second Stay at Selah House
Then, at the end of 2021/beginning of 2022, I relapsed again due to feelings of hopelessness, a bad relationship with an ex that turned into harassment, and other triggers in life. I was admitted to Selah for the second and hopefully last time in April of 2022.
I could not imagine myself going anywhere else besides Selah. The staff truly saved me more than once. They care about every single client that walks through the doors. They treat each client like a human and not just another number. I can’t even put into words how much I would recommend Selah to those who are struggling. The staff makes each client feel seen, heard, validated, understood, and valued. I can’t thank them enough from the bottom of my heart for helping me fight for myself and my recovery.
As of today, life is so beautiful!! I found a purpose in my life and my passion. I started cosmetology school in November of 2022, which wouldn’t have been possible without Selah. This jump in life has given me so much motivation for recovery. I can’t wait to hype my clients up, help them feel better about themselves, and help them feel accepted as they are.
Thank you to the Selah staff. I will forever be grateful for every one of them. They taught me how to live for me and that I’m not only important but am also worthy of recovery. Selah will always hold such a special place in my heart.