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Letter from Tara (2008)


I just wanted to write and say I think you’re pretty wonderful. The way you’ve helped your daughter and all the work you do to help others and try to prevent eating disorders from further destroying lives.

I wish there were more information available when I first started struggling as there is now. I’ve been struggling w/ anorexia since I was 8 yrs. old, and I’m 31 now. There really was not much information available at all in the early 1980’s, and as information became more available, all the info. was saying for parents to back off. Now that that’s changing, and Maudsley is becoming more accepted, I’m too old for it to be effective and my family is too afraid to even attempt to help or say anything at all.

I’m lucky in the sense that my life hasn’t been completely destroyed by the disorder, like others I’ve met who have struggled their whole lives also. There was a point where I just couldn’t function at all and was in and out of hospitals about every two months; but now I have a wonderful career, am much closer to my family, and have wonderful & very supportive friends. But the anorexia is still here. It still affects my every day. I still am in and out of the hospital, just less frequently. I want so badly to be able to enjoy my life more freely and not constantly be ruminating and anxious over food related things and exercise.

I wish I were able to do Maudsley. I wish somebody could make me eat. I wish somebody would make me get to a normal weight and ignore all my rationalizations for a lower weight. I wish professionals wouldn’t settle for low weights just because those weights are much better than my lowest weight. I wish 2 hrs. of exercise a day wasn’t okay just because it’s less than my previous 5 hrs. I really do like food, I’m just afraid of it. I really do recognize I should weigh more, I’m just afraid to. I really don’t want to exercise so much, I’m just afraid not to. It’s all too much to deal with in my head.

I’ve read all the research that says a lot of the obsessions and behaviors will go away once maintaining a normal weight for a while. I REALLY WANT to force myself to do the right thing, and sometimes, for a while, I’m able to. But once the anxiety reaches a certain point, I fail miserably at doing what’s right.

I hate when I hear of young girls struggling. I hate when I meet them in hospitals. I want somehow to save them, but I know there’s no way I can. It’s nice to know there’s treatment available now that allows their families to save them though…

If you ever hear of effective treatment for adults, let me know. 🙂

I think FEAST is wonderful, by the way. Your determination is inspiring!

Take care,


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