Thursday, June 25, 2009


Okay, so to make sure that all parties understand what isn't allowed in the Pen Pal communications, I have compiled a list.

No Tip-Sharing: Basically what it sounds like. Don't tell or ask for tips pertaining to any unhealthy behaviors. This is a RECOVERY based program. 5 points
No Glorifying/Encouragement of Unhealthy Behaviors: Do not make your problems seem 'cool' or encourage others to engage in them. Again, this is a recovery based program. 5 points
No Put-Downs or Personal Attacks: If your Pen Pal/Letter Writer tells you that they have slipped up, do not yell at them or put them down. In that same line of thinking, do not put down your Pen Pal/Letter Writer or yell at them for any reason. 5 points
No Emotional Blackmail: Do not threaten that you are going to kill yourself, self-harm, do drugs, etc. if your Pen Pal/Letter Writer does not do what you want them to do or say what you want them to say. 10 points
No Discrimination: Hey, I really don't care if you hate gays, blacks, Jews, etc. Just keep it to yourself when it comes to this program, because for all you know, your Pen Pal/Letter Writer is gay, black, Jewish, etc. 10 points
No Putting Down or Mocking of Politics/Political Figures/etc: I think that this is pretty self-explanatory. We are here to recover, not argue our political beliefs. 5 points
No Pushing of Certain Religious Beliefs:
This goes for all religions. Don't try to convert anyone. When someone signs up to get a Pen Pal, they put in their form if they would like to talk about religion. If they say they do not want to talk about religion, don't talk about it. 10 points

Now, we are going to have a fairly simple system pertaining to the rules, okay?
If your Pen Pal/Letter Writer breaks any of these rules, you are not to yell at them. You are simply to inform me by writing to, telling me what was said in the letter (please quote the text exactly, do not summarize), and I will take appropriate action.
You will notice the red point values next to each rule. Each time you break a rule, you get the amount of points specified.
Pen Pals are allowed to receive 20 points before being removed from our lists. That means four breaks of the 5 point rules, two breaks of the ten point rules, or a mixture.
Letter Writers are allowed to receive 15 points before losing their positions. Letter Writers are only allowed to receive 15 points, because they are supposed to be farther along in their recovery.

I highly recommend keeping the relationships formed strictly as Pen Pal/Letter Writer relationships. I will not remove you from the program if you do choose to take the relationship farther, but
I also will not take responsibility for any fall outs that occur outside of the letters (over the phone, on IM, on email, etc).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Letter Writers

These are our Letter Writers:
Laura (me) - Founder. Otherwise, a fun person who loves animals and writing to people.

And I'm sure the list will grow as we do, so please keep your eye out for any new additions!

Get A Pen Pal!

So, you would like a pen pal to write to during your recovery? Great! Please fill out the following form and email it to

What are you recovering from?
Are there any things that trigger you that we shouldn't write about?
Are you at all religious?
If so, would you like to talk about it in letters?
What are your biggest interests?
Favorite colors?
Anything else we should know about you?

Apply To Be A Letter Writer!

Right, so if you would like to become a Letter Writer, please fill out this mini-application, and send it to

What have you struggled with (if any)?
What do you think you can be most helpful with (self-injury, drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, etc)?
Can you stay positive, supportive, and recovery-oriented in your letters?
Anything else I should know about?

About Pen Pals For Recovery and Laura

Hey, I'm Laura, the founder (and a Letter Writer) of Pen Pals For Recovery.
I'm 17 years old. Since I was 11, I have struggled with self-injury. Since I was 13 or 14, I have struggled with an eating disorder.
On June 28th, 2007, I was sent to a treatment center in Utah. I had just turned 15 two weeks before. I was in Utah for almost exactly 14 months; I left on August 27th, 2008. I know how difficult it is to try and recover from an addiction all alone. I never had anyone to write me letters of encouragement. Sure, I got cards from my mom, and they always made my day. While treatment didn't truly help me as much as it could have because I was not willing to change at that point, I have since stopped cutting and am receiving help with my eating disorder.
The reason I have decided to start Pen Pals For Recovery is mainly because so many people have helped me through my struggles, and I feel like I am at a point in my recovery that I can help others. I know how great it feels to get mail, and how nice it is to know that someone actually cares.
The point of Pen Pals For Recovery is to help encourage people to commit themselves fully to their treatment. And hey, once you're at a point in your recovery that you feel up to it, you can apply to be a Letter Writer if you want to help others in the way that you were helped!
Anyways, I need to write more stuff, so I will update this if I think of anything else

How To Help

Right, so I am only one person, and I'm only 17. I also don't have a job. I can't afford to buy a ton of stamps. So, I will give you the list of things you can do to help me out!
1. Send me a check so I can buy stamps and maybe in the future can send care packages and such.
2. Sign up to be a Pen Pals For Recovery Letter Writer. (See here for instructions)
3. Send me stamps, if you don't feel like writing checks or something.
Anyhow, that's really all I need right now. As this grows, the list might grow with it, so check back often.