I just hung up the phone and I'm crying.

A woman called F.E.A.S.T. to get a copy of our Recipe Book, recommended by her therapist. She doesn't use the Internet, so we tried to work out the details on getting it to her. We got to talking.

I asked her if she had Help Your Teen Beat and Eating Disorder. She'd just ordered that.

I asked if she had good clinical support. She did.

I asked how old her daughter is. "It's me."


"I've had anorexia since I was a child and it's got to go."

She's 60 years old.

And she's getting Family-Based Therapy. Modified, naturally. She's just been told for the first time - after many hospitalizations and decades of therapy - that her illness is not her fault. She asked me about the insula, and the genetic research. She wants more information and recipes and books. She's reading Life Without ED and calling her eating disorder "Ed." She's surrounding herself with people who have a newer view of the illness.

If you're not crying yet, get ready: she thanked me. Heck no, dear lady. Thank YOU. I am never going to forget you. And I know you don't use the Internet but I'm using it to let thousands of people share in your courage and pluck. You are my optimism beacon right now. To you, to your treatment team, to the scientists and researchers and clinicians who are creating a new world of treatment and optimism. THANK YOU.

UPDATE: After I published this post I heard from a wonderful friend who is well into recovery who offered to be a penpal to my phone friend. This was arranged, to mutual delight. I've also spoken again to our friend and she was so delighted to hear of all the positive messages that she got herself an email address and would like to hear from any and all of you with messages of support and information and community! Email me for her address!


  1. Tears of joy here for the dear, sweet, brave lady.
    I wish her all the strength, help and knowledge she needs to kick Ed out for good.

  2. Laura,

    I know this person doesn't use the internet, but I would love to be pen pals with her and communicate via snail mail. I can't imagine how hard this is for her, and how brave she must be. I would love to be what support I can. If you have her contact information, see if she might be interested.


  3. Wow. What a story of courage, spunk and guts. I wish you total success and freedom from Ed!

  4. What a FIGHTER!

    i actually think it is more common then you realize though. Ive been to a few support groups and one of them had a older women (70's) who was recovering for her 'grandkids'. another women in my support group was very old as well...

    Dana xo

  5. What courage she has! I will be praying for her recovery!

  6. Wow, how incredibly moving. Evidence based treatment of ED's is getting out there....one person at a time, word by word. Yes....a word has a great deal of power, lots of words have the potential for enormous power. Even a thought has power to change a persons behaviour. This is proof.
    Think big because your thoughts have power.


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