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Patients speak about EDs, recovery and what they want families to know...

Although F.E.A.S.T. is an organization focused on parents and caregivers, our reason for being here is love and support for our loved ones with eating disorders. This page is our celebration of our children, recovered and recovering. Here we listen to the voices of the ones who bring us here. Are you a former patient with a message for parents? Please email us at:

September 2013, from J.B.

"I was diagnosed in the days when parents took the blame, and children were taken away for treatment. I came out of that treatment with no idea how to live, and no desire to find out. If my mother had not intervened - against all the 'expert' advice - I would not be alive today."

January 2013, from "nomorean01"

"The AN is so strong - it robs his victims of any sense, of any realization that they are ill, of any recognition that there might be something wrong. That is why YOUR CHILDREN NEED YOU. It is not that they just do not want help - it is the ED filling their head with ridiculous demands. They cannot see that they are ill. I could not see how sick I was. I was dying and I did not know it. BUT MY PARENTS DID."

September 2012, from LM

"I would tell her to leave me alone [my Mum], while inside I was crying out for her. When she did leave me alone (as I had asked) it proved to me that I was unloveable etc. So please moms, do not give up on your daughters. It is so very much part of AN."

August 2012, from E.W.

"Although outwardly I must have seemed insane, inside I was secretly relieved that I was finally getting the help I needed to get my life back, and that the choice to eat was being taken away."

September 2011, Essay by Hannah

" had asked the class to write a “Who am I” [essay] and I sat there for hours not knowing what to write. I was completely lost at the time, I didn’t know who I was and I asked for an extension and told you about my situation. About a week later I was sent home on a medical leave of absence and began my journey towards recovery."

August 2011, from Jess

"While there may be a definite choice made to lose weight or change eating patterns, no one affected by Anorexia Nervosa makes a conscious decision to choose the constant barrage of tormenting thoughts, or to slowly die of starvation. I know what an incredibly persuasive voice anorexia has – it cajoles, it tempts, it tricks. It is not an innocent, passing or harmless phase which is to be expected in the lives of most teenage girls – far from it."

May 2011, "Dear Kate from Anna", a letter from a former patient to a new patient

"I remember how the illness at times made me hate my mum when she was refeeding me, and think she was trying to ruin my life and make me miserable by forcing me to eat. It tries to destroy your closest, most special relationship, and take away the person who loves you and cares for you the most, who's willing to do anything to get you better."

May 2011, from Emily C, in honor of NEDAW

"All I need is someone to believe
that within this stark vision of
protruding bones and swallowing clothes
are the stifled pleas of a girl,
once rosy-cheeked and twinkling,
a girl,
once fearlessly free,
a girl,
once in denial, 
now trembling awake and in dreams,
caught in her reality,
finally tired of suffering."

May 2011, from "A"

I have found it [ATDT Forum] beneficial in helping me learn more about this disease and that it may not be entirely my fault. It has helped me realise that I am not alone in this struggle and that I can come out the other end of the tunnel. The forum has given me strength to finally kick ED out of my life; for good.

February 2011, from "K"

"Although resistance and denial are key features of the disease, often we'll reach a point where we want to stop somehow or at the very least understand how we got sucked into the hell that is ED. And when I read about the belief that this is a biologically based illness and how the mindset takes hold with starvation, I was so relieved. It was an OMG moment to realize that I'm not to blame, I didn't choose this, and I'm not crazy; I'm sick but I can get better."

Two letters from "J"

December 2009

"Although I am an adult with a masters degree and a solid career, on the inside I am actually very fragile. I would give anything for my parents to fight my disease alongside me, because I'm honestly not sure if I'm strong enough to fight it myself."

January 2011

" anyway, there I was, reading your website and thinking, maybe there is something to this full nutrition thing, and this "rip the bandaid off" idea. So I proposed, by myself to my team that we up my nutrition so that I was where I should be, eating a full meal plan. I said that I don't want to use supplements as a crutch anymore. I want to eat real food. And I will kick, scream, cry and crawl my way through every meal, but I am going to DO this, no matter what it takes."

Two letters from "L"

April 2010

"Despite the fact that I sit here, fading in and out of denial, a REALLY BIG part of me just KNOWS that I have to say "yes" to honesty and "yes" to support and "yes" to my therapist/nutritionist/MD talking to my parents practically more than they talks to me. I can't yet find a good reason to say "no" to all of this support... so I'm saying "yes.""

December 2010

"I didn't even know it was possible to feel this alive! I feel marvelous! I keep telling my therapist and dietitian how wonderful I feel, how alive, how present,..."

Two letters from "Borrower"

July 2009

"Treatment of EDs is grossly inadequate for adults and "chronic sufferers." I say this to implore all you parents out there to keep fighting for your child's recovery. I have faith in this [Maudsley] method!"

December 2009

"If I hadn’t been able to hear the science behind the ED thinking and starvation, I don’t think I actually would have recognized it when my thoughts started to change. I certainly would not have realized how important it was to get full nutrition ALL THE TIME in order to eventually combat the ED demons in my brain....I think working on trauma and emotional issues is a BIG part of treating an ED--but I don’t think i would have known to look beyond that part of the puzzle if it were not for this forum. So I am really grateful."

March 2010, by Carrie Arnold,

"Ten Things I want Parents to Know About Anorexia" (en Espanol)

"Ten Things I want Sufferers to Know about Anorexia"

September 2009, from David

"We have been a very close family but this was something that tore me away from them for a very long time."

September 2009, from "Dancer"

"I know...part of us yells and cries and hates you for doing it, but there are brief moments when the actual "self" surfaces and becomes aware of how ed is ruining our lives. There are moments when we realize how much everyone is suffering for us and we want to change so much, we even make up our minds to change...until faced with food again."

July 2009, from "H"

"It's hard to say this as I'm not all the way better yet, so it's scary to articulate it. But it's important....
I got lots of (useless) 'treatment' in the hospital. But the thing they didn't seem to realise (which I find pretty odd) is that all I really needed for them to do was to completely remove any choice I had about eating. To make that not even an issue - to just make it utterly impossible not to."

May 2009, from "Anonymous"

"My relationship with my parents now is absolutely wonderful. I love them more than anything in the world. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me when I needed it most and for seeing through the anger and hatred I spit at them. I wasn't able to tell them at the time, but I needed them like crazy and I appreciated every bite they made me eat. They dug in beside me and refused to leave me alone with the eating disorder. They were willing to give up their relationships with me just to make sure I was healthy... but the thing was, our relationship is actually better than ever now."

May 2009, from "LV"

"No one in the eating disorders world seems to know what to do with an anorexic (and yes, I was every bit anorexic, after losing nearly 40% of my body weight) who is not severely underweight according to their charts. When I explained to the doctors that I had always been heavier, stronger, more muscular than “average,” they said that it was clearly due to bingeing and that I would see that my weight would drop. Excuse me? I had not eaten in 9 days; did you just say that I’m bingeing? A doctor cannot possibly help when he is not even treating the problem that actually does exist."

October 2008, from "S"

"mentally speaking, i understand my disease very well - yet this intellectual awareness can keep a person trapped as she spins outside of herself finding the Reasons and spouting off wisdom to others while she exits stage left and nobody even notices."

July 2008, from Emily

"As my strength returned, I built Happy Day Cards"

July 2008, from "J"

"...for the first time, i can say honestly that i am in recovery...the inspiration i have been able to draw from this forum has finally, finally made it possible for me to make myself eat. i think it is the faith i have that everything will be okay. reading your posts, i feel the triumphs of your childrens' good days, their successes. i feel the sorrow of the steps backwards, the dark times. and i know everything will be all right because they have you."

June 2008, from "M"

"for the first time in my 20 year treatment history, a treatment provider is absolutely insisting that I eat full nutrition every day"

2008, from "Tara"

"There really was not much information available at all in the early 1980's."

2008, a long-term patient tells how research on organic differences and biological predisposition makes her feel:

"I am among the "old" brains, chronic patients (with the triple whammy of having a trauma issue/PTSD and bipolar disorder ... also family history and a sister with an ED), and have labored for years/suffered for years from believing that I was not "thinking hard enough"/trying hard enough to get out of this. It didn't feel like a "choice" (though I know that behavior and action *are* choices, however difficult) but a drive that I constantly try to override and overwrite."

December 2007, from "cool chick"

"I am way too cool a chick to let something as vile as an eating disorder to nip me in the butt"

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F.E.A.S.T. (FAMILIES EMPOWERED AND SUPPORTING TREATMENT OF EATING DISORDERS) | US +1 855-50-FEAST | Canada +1 647-247-1339 | Australia +61 731886675 | UK +44 3308280031

F.E.A.S.T. is registered as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Information on this site is meant to support, not replace, professional consultation. Unless otherwise noted, content is edited by F.E.A.S.T. volunteers with assistance from our Professional Advisory Panel.

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