Shelly Speaks

 UPDATED: See post from Shelly on her recovery 5 years after the documentary.


Shelly Guillory from the HBO documentary THIN is ready to have her say.


Since the death of her friend Polly Williams, she has decided to come out fighting. Fighting against eating disorders, and the media that fuels them. Here is an update from Shelly sent to me via email;

So I haven’t been around much on the internet and there is a simple reason for this.  I am getting better.  It is easy to say but extremely hard to do.  As a therapist once told me ,(and I laughed at this and totally used this phrase in a mocking tone on more than one occasion)…”it’s simple, but I am not saying it’s easy.”

Little did I know she would be right. 

I cannot say why I decided to get better, but a few months ago something just “clicked”.  In AA they say a person has a spiritual awakening, but because I don’t like that term and I was never like Moses and saw a burning bush, I am just going to go with my Clicking Theory.  I had hit an all time low.  I was depressed, anxious, malnourished, and I was addicted to benzodiazipines.  I realized I had to do something or I would die.  Honestly, I really thought death was the only way I was going to get over this, I almost welcomed it.  But deep down inside I knew I didn’t want to die, but I deeply believed I couldn’t get better.  I kept telling myself over and over again, “you have tried and you have failed everytime.”  But had I really tried?  Had I really surrendered and given recovery every ounce of energy I had?  The answer again was simple…No, I had not.


Shelly one year after treatment at Renfrew, image source: Lauren Greenfield

So in September 2008, I surrendered and it was quite possibly the scariest thing I had ever done.  I realized I had to put aside my preoccupation with weight, food, body image, thinness and everything else that comes along with an eating disorder, once and for all.  I was terrified because I knew without all those distractions I would be force to feel.  Feelings I had not allowed myself to feel in so long were powerful.  I felt uncomfortable because I had not felt anything for so long.  The amount of anxiety I felt scared me and I several times I thought about quitting, turning back to starving and purging.  But I knew I couldn’t.  This was my time and I knew something greater than myself would get me through it.  My confidence was shaky and many times I didn’t believe I could do it, but I just kept telling myself over and over again that I could no matter what I really believed.  The power of positive self-talk has sustained me in my recovery. 


I ate and I gained weight and I sobered up (6 months clean).  The concept was simple, but the process wasn’t easy.  I cannot say this enough, I was scared out of my mind…sometimes paralyzed by fear.  Even today I still have a lot of fear and anxiety.  Recovery is a slow process and because I am impatient it has made the process slightly harder.  But I realized I would rather feel uncomfortable for a little while than to not feel at all. 


A change is happening in me and I welcome it this time instead of pushing it away.  This is the first time I have allowed it to hapen.  I am slowly finding out who I am, what I like, what I don’t like, who I want to be and so on…although scary, it feel awesome and It feels real.

So I write to tell you it is possible.  I was one who wasn’t supposed to make it. I am going to prove those who doubted me wrong.  And it is going to feel good.  And I win in the situation.  Recovery to me means living the life I want, to not be weighed down by unnecessary worries and irrational thoughts.  It means not putting unrealistic expectations on myself and not feeling like a failure when I don’t meet them.  It means improved relationships with the people I love and care about.  It means I can reach out, tell my story and give people hope.  It means I can truly be the person that I am.


I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with my thoughts and my dreams and hopes.  But I will continue to write because hopefully it not only give you hope, but it will also remind me of what I am working for and what I want to attain.

The freedom I feel from not actively engaging in Ed behaviors has provided me with opportunities that I never even noticed before. I will speak out and I will advocate because I know my story needs to be told.

My hope for you today is to at least have one minute, one hour, or even a few hours where you can step back, take a look a look at who you really are and experience peace and serenity.  It may materialize into something greater and more powerful than you thought possible.


Until next time…


In memory of Polly.


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122 Responses to Shelly Speaks

  1. Thanks so much for posting this, MamaV. I can’t tell you how much I needed these words of hope today.

  2. Heidi says:

    What an inspiring post! I am so glad it wasn’t too late for Shelly. I am so sad it was too late for Polly. What will it be for me?

  3. Kristin says:

    She’s so beautiful. I feel like I know her.

  4. Limafan says:

    Shelly was my favorite person on THIN. I’m so glad she is doing well and she looks really healthy and happy.

  5. kelly says:


    amazing…inspiring…i’m so happy for her…she looks beautiful.

  6. Mrs. B. says:

    Thank you for your message of hope and inspiration. MamaV, thank you for posting it. My daughter has commencement from her treatment program this week. I will take this message to her and I hope that when she feels weak, it can help her to stay strong. Life IS worth living, especially when it is a life focused on life and not on the misery that is ED.

  7. MotherLove says:

    Mathew 5

    43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

    47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Psalm 2

    1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

    2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

    3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

    4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

    5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

    6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

    7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

    8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

    9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

    10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

    11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

    12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

  8. Jen says:

    I’m so happy to see Shelly is finally dedicating herself to recovery–for her and for the memory of Polly.

    While this is not on the topic of your post, visit this website:

    You might enjoy it.

  9. Jamie says:

    Thanks mamv for posting this! It makes me feel like theres some hope for me. I’m so happy to hear that she is doing well!

  10. Mrs. B. says:

    As a Bible based Christian, you are starting to make me angry. You throw scripture up on this board with no specific application to the subject at hand, which turns the Holy Gospel into spam. You should be ashamed of yourself for taking the word of God and annoying people with it.

  11. sara says:

    Mrs. B-
    Take a moment and pull your head out of your faith and see what this post is about- it’s about recovery and finding it in different ways (which a lot of people have issues with the bible and whatnot).
    Praise for the strength and courage and determination that Shelly is showing.
    You should be ashamed of yourself for focusing on trivial (yes I’m saying your Bible worries are trivial) issues rather than the point of this post.

  12. Mrs. B. says:

    I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you are saying?

  13. Jill says:

    Funny since she’s the one that rated on Polly and got Polly kicked out of rehab.

  14. MotherLove says:

    2 Timothy 3

    1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

    10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

    11Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

    12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

    15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    Acts 20

    20And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,

    21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

    22And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

    23Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

    24But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

    25And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

    26Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

    27For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

  15. MotherLove says:

    Why minister the gospel to people with eating disorders, who are also dieing?

    2 Corinthians 4:5
    For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

    Galatians 3:8
    And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

    2. John 8:24

    21Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

    22Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

    23And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

    24I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

    Romans 10:17
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    1 John 1:9
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Revelation 14:12
    Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

  16. Mrs. B. says:


    I spend the first hour of my day every day in the Word. But Christ has not asked us to go into the world to quote scripture AT people. He asks us to feed the hungry and take care of the sick and witness to them. When they see your light, they will want to find the source of it.

    People are scrolling over your posts. I am sure you mean well, but I would be surprised if you are really providing much comfort to anyone.

  17. mamavision says:

    OK motherlove and Mrs. B: I am going to stop y0u right here.

    Please have some respect for this post and the topic at hand, and take your debate to the forum please.

    Thank you!

  18. Josie says:

    This is actually the best post that’s ever been on this blog.

    I’m so glad Shelly is doing well. I’m like the others here in that i feel close to Shelly and Polly and the others, because they’ve shared their intimate secrets with us, lives that are so like our own. It’s wonderful to see someone doing so well.
    She’s also such a good writer, so eloquent. Some of those things i’m reading i’m nodding as i see them in myself. Like the denial that you’ll ever get better, the Clicking Theory (mine was when i suddenly realised i needed 3500 calories to maintain my weight – if i eat that much it keeps me from bingeing. That was all i needed to know to make huge progress), and how when you start recovering you FEEL, feel so much pain, but also so much good stuff.

    Right now i’m waiting for the crisis team to come to my house. Failed suicide attempt, again. Might get admitted, i’m not sure. I spent most of the afternoon screaming. And i’m scared because my dad is in Germany, so he’ll be worried and angry, especially because it’s just me and my little sister here. Hope for me.

  19. n says:

    shelly rides the c train! that’s my train.

  20. MotherLove says:

    Mama V
    I respectfully disagree.

    I was just quoting scripture that was relevant to
    help souls of those with eating disorders?

    Mrs.B is offended.

    Who isn’t?
    Even Squash can be offensive.

    I was not debating with her.

    I spreading the good news.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  21. MotherLove says:

    Please allow me the privilege to spread the gospel on all topics, for God’s word is always relevant concerning your topics.

    If not, I shall go in peace…

  22. Mrs. B. says:


    Happy to observe your preferences on your blog. I really enjoyed your post about Shelli. It gives me hope to see her reach such a courageous point in her recovery.

    Josie……Be well, you know that I’m thinking about and praying for you. Please take care. Maybe an admission would be the best thing for now. Love, Mrs. B.

  23. Jen says:

    Motherlove, maybe instead of relentlessly posting Gospel, instead offer this: a contact email for you saying if they need some spiritual guidance, you will be there for them. As Mrs. B said already, posting it in large doses makes the beautiful scripture seem like spam. Or, turn it into something small like you did above saying things like (Act 10:36).
    At least in small doses you won’t offend a lot of readers and you give a glimpse for others to contact you if they want.

  24. Mrs. B. says:


    More gently said. Thanks.

  25. MotherLove says:

    It’s a sad thing to hear that.

    It is not in scripture.
    No, God does not say that I must ONLY quote a few chapters and verses as not to offend those who don’t want to see God’s word.

    People die teaching God’s word…
    they give their lives….
    preaching ALL of it…

    Titus 1:9
    Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

    Cyber stoning exists.

    This is humbling.

    It’s sad if that is what it actually comes down to.

    God’s Word and Spam similar?
    Truth is, the comparison is wrong and horrific.

    If I am not welcome to share the whole word,
    I am just not welcome.

    My only concern is the God be Glorified.
    and by golly, I see this happening either way…

    Thank God for that….
    1 Peter 2:12
    Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

    May God guide you to be even more faithful
    to do His will.

  26. mamavision says:

    Hi Motherlove: I have never censored anyone in a year and a half on this blog, you are now the first.

    No issue with having your say, but to be honest it’s getting a bit lengthy and inappropriate.

    I deleted your last two posts pertaining to biblical scripture, please feel free to repost these to the forum where comments of this type are always welcome.

    Thank you for your understanding!

  27. mamavision says:

    Josie: I am concerned about you, please let us know that you are ok.

  28. Julia Stone says:

    I’m very glad to see this post. I am thrilled for Shelly but I wish Polly had been able to recover as well. What a loss.

    (And I agree. Shelly is so beautiful!)

  29. Josie says:

    Well, i’m still here. The crisis team are coming to my house every few hours to check up on me. Bit pissed to still be here, i had a plan but it fell through. I’m giving myself a week, one week to find a reason to stay alive. Like a double challenge – find the reason, and manage to cope for so many days.

    There’s a bizarre irony in all this, because the crisis team asked if i wanted an ED referral. Stupid really considering i’m alright in that respect, but taking ODs, slicing my wrists, threatening people with knives, paranoid, suicidal, and all the other shit… priorities a little wrong there.

    I’m in a strange place. Whatever.

  30. Mrs. B. says:

    What are you feeling and thinking when you have these crises? Can you feel them coming on? Do you know why you have them?

    Most of the time, you sound so fine and you had been so excited about art school. I looked at your studio. Your work is really nice. My daughter likes oil pastels a lot too.

    I worry so much about you.

  31. valid-i says:

    Dear Josie,
    Art can really make life worth living. My mind and body are formed out of nothing but disorders, yet painting FEELS GOOD.
    If you don’t want to save the exceptionally bright young woman in you, then please save the wonderful artist you are!
    For your encouragement:

  32. laura says:


    I am just returning from watching my 22 year old friend be lowered in the ground because he to didnt find a reason to live. his outlet was heroin.

    dont do that to your friends and family. get help ask for help talk to someone.

    all i have left of him is pictures.

  33. Mrs. B. says:

    Oh, Laura.

    I’m so sorry. That is heartbreaking.

    Josie, I know that you work very hard at your mental health. I do believe that you find a lot of solace in your art. I will tell you this, too. I picked my daughter up for a home visit today and she talked my ear off on the 1/2 hour drive about her faith and philosophy. Like you, my daughter has a brilliant and active mind. Faith is incredibly compelling and comforting for her. She is finding great joy in it. She was lucky to find a really authentic church that she loves, and she has been in a spiritual program for her ED with other brilliant seeking women.

    I care a lot about you, Josie. You are amazing and have a life of promise even though it feels clouded for you.

    People are praying for you.

  34. Monica says:


    When you are in such a dark hole, it’s so hard to see outside of it. It’s also hard to see how you affect other people. But look–your depth, courage and insight have affected so many. People you don’t know, but are rooting for you and your recovery. I would never say “do it for them”, but encourage you to find a way to live a moment at a time; break it down into seconds, and don’t pressure yourself to do any more than you can in a single moment. Continue to get the help you need and know that you deserve life. YOU DESERVE LIFE. Love, Monica

  35. Josie says:


    How’s it going…I think putting a time frame (1 week) on finding happiness isnt going to work. Had the thousands of people in recovery only given themselves a week very few would still be alive. I feel like you are putting too much pressure on yourself when you only give yourself a week. Trust me, It takes a long time and a constant effort to heal. There are definately ups and downs and there is not a magic cure. In my expereince I coulnt find anything that would make me want to live, I had to live for myself.

    It saddens me to hear people talk about ending their lives. The pain you might walk through when you choose recovery will sometimes feel overwhelming, but the pain others will feel is even greater. I know that there is a way out and that you can get your suicidal. paranoind, depressed, and other negative feelings under control. I would guess that you are feeling hopeless to contemplate ending your life.

    Please reach out…even if it just here. It is a start. Be honest with people around you. Have you tried any meditation, relaxtion, or cognitive therapy?

    Please know that you can do this…


  36. shelly says:

    oops..i dont know why the name josie is on my post…It isnt josie…it’s shelly. my bad.

  37. Mrs. B. says:


    What is amazing about Josie is that she has beaten her ED. (She laughs when I say she “licked” it. Haha.)

    But Josie struggles with a whole host of other mental health issues. She is a survivor, a hero and a great encouragement to others.

    Josie, please keep up the struggle. We all feel blessed by your presence here.

  38. Josie says:

    Still here, another day down.
    All i want in this next week is a reason i should stay, simply a thought in my mind that suggests my plan is not a good idea. Haven’t really found one today, though today wasn’t so bad, if the definition of “wasn’t so bad” means absence of tears anyway.
    I’ve talked and talked, the way i feel isn’t a secret. I’ve been on a large dose of anti-depressants, been on them for over 2 years now, take anti-psychotics, have had therapy, CBT, worked through holistic things too. No changes. And things have been wrong for most of my life, so what’s the likelihood that it will end soon? I’ve been letting time pass by challenging myself to make it just another hour or day or week, but i’ve been doing that for such a long time now. Too long.

  39. shelly says:

    Hi Josie,

    I am sorry you are having a really rough time. I know what it feels like to be in that dark lace where there seems to be no escape. I know what it is like to look for anything that will make me want to live, make me feel better. I too tried everything, I think I have taken every medication out there (seriously), i have spent thousands in therapy and even had ECT. Nothing seemed to work. I dont know exactly how you feel but your posts echo a sense of despair.
    I guess the thing that helped me most was acceptance. (I am not saying this will work for you, I am just sharing what helped me). I just accepted the way i felt. I just became aware. And I didnt try to fight it instead I just noticed it in my body and mind and tried to let it go. It wasnt an easy process and I thought therapists were crazy. I felt they and everyone else didnt understand that I felt so incredibly bad and that suicide was on my mind twenty four hours a day. So I just started accepting the way I felt. I dont really know how to explain it.
    Please keep fighting. Is there anything out there that gives you meaning in your life? I know when I was in this state I didnt care about anything. But eventually I had to make myself care about one thing, anything, or my life would be lost.
    I also want to say it is amazing that your have beat your eating disorder. That truly amazes me. I applaud you for that.
    Keep taking it one hour a day, one minute if you have to. That is what I did in the early stages of my recovery. I have agoraphobia and a major panic disorder. It has been so hard because I cant rely on medication to get me through it (I abused my medication). I have to look deep inside myself and not be afraid of what I might find and that is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I still struggle and each day is a challenge and sometimes the thought does pass through my head that it would be so much easier to end it all. But I try to notice why I am feeling that way.
    I am not trying to be a therapist but your story saddens me and I just wish I could give you a hug and sit with you through this difficult time. someon once told me “the most dangerous place is right between your ears and it is even more dangerous to go there alone” Most of us walk this journey to health alone and that is what troubles me.
    please keep writing.


  40. mamavision says:

    Hi Shelly: I wanted to let you know that Josie is a total regular here, she is a major part of this community, very well respected. I was so glad to log in and see you sent a response to what is going on in her life right now.

    Josie: Did you recently have an changes to your meds? Did you feel this coming or was it sudden?

    This struggle is a great one for you, and it seems endless and hopeless at times. But you have come out fighting before and I hope you will this time as well.

    Are you there alone or do you have someone by your side? You know the girls of this community are hanging on your everyword, so please keep posting.

    I’ll keep logging on throughout the day,

  41. Josie says:

    Thanks for all your kind words.

    Shelly, i have panic disorder too, and used to have partial agoraphobia (i could only go to ‘safe’ places, with ‘safe’ people).
    Are you THE Shelly?

    This isn’t like a new sudden thing. I’d been working on my suicide plan for weeks but it was only in the last few days, which have been one of my lows (my moods bounce a lot), that i decided i wanted to go through with it.
    I don’t know if i will or not. I don’t know. I’ve tried so many times before, the last time only days ago, but they always fail spectacularly, i think mainly because deep down i want to live, which i hate.

    Right now i’m at home with my little sister. The crisis team came to visit me earlier. Ironic that they asked if i’d eaten or purged today eh?

  42. shelly says:

    If by THE Shelly…the one from THIN…yeah, that is me, but I do try and disassociate myself from the film as much as possible.

  43. Josie says:

    I thought so. Just wanted to check! It feels weird because of how familiar the film is to me as it was discussed amongst my ED-friends so extensively.
    I think it’s good you dissociate from the film, because that’s only one part of you, and it’s in the past now. You’re doing so well.

  44. TraceyZ says:


    It’s wonderful to hear how good you’re doing. Having only recently seen the film you were in for the first time, and so much relating to all of you because I’ve been there, I was so distressed to hear about Polly. It really made me wonder how the rest of you were doing. It’s really gratifying to hear how far you’ve come.

    Having recovered myself, I understand exactly what you mean about that lightbulb moment, that click when you suddenly get it. It’s so hard to explain it to those who haven’t yet experienced it. Like you, before it happened to me, I would get so angry at therapists because they were telling me that recovery was about changing my thoughts, not my feelings, and I thought they were either nuts or just didn’t understand. But now I know that they were right. It’s very hard to describe how that shift happens, though I think you did a better job of describing it than I could.

    In any case, I’m glad that it happened for you and you can begin the slow process of getting your life back. In light of Polly’s death, I think that your reaching out and letting people know you’re OK, and that her outcome doesn’t have to be the only one available, is both courageous and very inspirational. I know you want to (understandably) distance yourself from the film and have a little privacy, but because you were brave enough to do the film, your words can carry a lot of weight and you have the ability to help so many who have related to you.

    And to Josie: Hang in there please. Though I know how you’re feeling right now, it’s still very frightening to hear you talking about it. Hang in. It is worth it, and the darkness will pass. You’ve come too far to let go now, and you have a lot of people here who care about you. Just keep talking when you need to and keep reaching out.


  45. vive42 says:


    what shelly said about acceptance is something i’ve found in the past as well. working on just accepting things and spending time just being in the moment was one of the most powerful tools i ever had. actually, just as i’m writing that it’s an amazingly good reminder to myself that “recovery” wasnt this amorphous time of goodness that i can’t recapture but that there were real tools that used to make that difference. so, wow, need to think more on that…

  46. Mrs. B. says:

    That post made me want to jump for joy.

  47. christy says:

    so happy that you are doing so well, shelley. it gives many hope!! got a question for anyone out there. what in the world does a person do if they need help and have NO MONEY, lost their job and have no insurance or are underinsured? are there any scholarships or any special groups that can help someone get into inpatient care? From what I have seen, most places want money upfront.
    thanks – we need some info!!

  48. Mrs. B. says:


    There are some places out there that offer help.
    You might want to look at the website in the treatment finder section.

    Hope that can get you started.

  49. shelly says:


    This is the most frutrating part of ED recovery. Often treatment is way too expensive for people to afford and many times insurance will not pay for it anyway.

    Are you (or the person who this is for) in college? Many campuses have free (or low-fee) counseling. Not always the best but it is better than nothing.

    Also many cities have public menatl health centers that offer counseling. Like Mrs. B said may be a good place to start.

    Mrs B: when does your daughter come home?


  50. shelly says:

    also…Josie… How are you doing today?

  51. Mrs. B. says:

    She comes home Friday and I am both excited and terrified. She was supposed to spend the day yesterday “processing” and doing homework….at home. Come to find out, she went an hour and a half to campus to visit with friends. She said that she kept to her mealplan, and she was home on time. I felt misled and once again, I am feeling like here come the lies. You’ve been there with your own family. How much “accountability” can we expect? Her dad is just feeling spiralled out of control by the first lie.
    All in all, so many things have changed. She is energetic, has regained her hope and faith. She is a joy to talk to again. I know that the ED will be hard, but her therapy will continue.

    Shelly….ugh. The lies. This was a small one, but a lie nonetheless. When I asked her about it, she says she doesn’t know why she didn’t feel like she couldn’t tell me the truth other than she knew that I wouldn’t have wanted her to go.

  52. Josie says:

    Hey I’m still here.
    I had a lightbulb kindof moment, idly flicking through a Van Gogh book and thinking sadly that i won’t get to go visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
    Lets put it this way – i want to go to Amsterdam.

    Half of me wants to live, half wants to die. I’ve returned to my balance. I don’t want to half want to die anymore. I don’t know how to make it go away.

  53. Mrs. B. says:

    We all, I think on this Board, breathe a sigh of relief when we hear hope in your posts. You inspire so many of us. Do you believe that you do? You do. Please plan to have a future where you get to live a life and do things just like visiting the Van Gogh museum or going to art school. You deserve all of that. I believe that you will, like Shelly, arrive at a place where everything doesn’t hurt all the time.

  54. shelly says:

    Mrs B: I think that maybe your daughter actually thought you would not want her to go and that is why she told you. I dont know…I cant read her mind. And yes little lies arent good. I was once told that “secrets keep you sick” and I, of course, didnt really believe it, but it is true. even little ones can keep a person stuck. I know I had to re build the trust of everyone around me everytime I came home from treatment and it pissed me off. I wanted to be too perfect and so there was my downfall. what made me even more mad was that sometimes I felt like people were always watching what i ate or didnt eat and that bothered me. Sometimes I thought “if they want to worry, I will give them something to worry about.” and usually I relapsed.
    Coming out of treatment is frightening. Treatment is so structured and safe. the world, unfortunately, is not. Sometimes I felt like I had made some big miraculous change and everyone was still the same. Are you in therapy? this is really a family recovery, not just hers. Everyone has been affected by her disease and so everyone needs help, not just her.
    I think the biggest thing I would want to say is maybe you are scared that she will mess up and relapse. I understand this, but how can you not be. But people with ED’s are notorious for being sensitive and we can usually pick up that scaredness, that fear, that anxiety, and that worry you might have.
    Just relax, realize this is difficult for everyone involved.
    Things will seem and probably will be different. Your daughter may be different because she isnt in that sick role anymore so dont treat her like she is anymore. We learn a lot in treatment. Usually (if all goes planned) we find our voice, we learn to feel again, and we learn not to keep it all inside. And this is usually something those around us arent prepared for.
    Know that everything will be ok and if it isnt then you will fix it. We must not worry about what hasnt happened. be in the moment and cherish your daughters new found health. you both deserve it….


  55. shelly says:

    Hey Josie-

    I went to amsterdam a while back…I went to the Van gogh museum…It was quite awesome!! I also went to a few other museums.

    Try not to focus on why the feeling will not go away, but flip it around and let yourself know that at least you in a slightly better place than you were a few days ago. Give yourself some credit…you are stronger than you think.

    I strongly believe that one day you will be ok…

  56. vive42 says:


    do you have anything to say, any advice, for someone who feels like they threw everything they had into recovery LAST time, and failed anyway? how do you even begin to let yourself hope again, after repeated cycles of try and fail?

  57. Mrs. B. says:

    We are all so glad you are here. Really. The girls who are in recovery really give a lot of hope to the Board, and I think they alone are a big reason why MamaV has this Board. Hope.

    Family therapy week was a good week. We covered a lot of territory. Frankly, the food piece is going to be the easy piece. I don’t mean easy like it will be easily fixed. I mean like easy in terms of family “forgiveness”. We learned that my daughter had been severely abused in a relationship that we knew had been bad. We talked about the crazy impulsiveness issues that we had been dealing with: drugs, laxatives, excessive spending, accidents in the car, lack of concern for her property, our property, etc. We covered a lot of ground.

    The first home visit actually went really well.
    The second one involved another (small but significant) lie.

    My husband just laid out about $80,000 cash for her this year and the lies are starting up right over again. A small lie. One I’m willing to talk through and ask why and process. My husband just spiralled and said that he’s going to need to take away her car and ultimately ask her to leave…..etc.

    I spoke with her primary therapist today. She told me she thought we should establish some boundaries and consequences with the help of a therapist she knew of, who specialized in patients with EDs. That’s what I want to do. My husband feels like a lie is a lie and just needs to stop. That simple. No excuses.

    My daughter is calling my husband tonight to talk with him because she knows that my husband is unhappy with her….and he always wants to talk through me, rather than directly to her….which we talked about stopping in family therapy. So I’m proud of her for taking the step to initiate that direct dialog.

    My husband has a way of softening his stance after he thinks things through, but his immediate anger can be scary. But he knows that his daughter is suffering more than an ED. He also remembers that our household was chaos before she went to treatment. He’s not willing to let that happen again.

  58. mamavision says:

    Hi Josie: I am glad to hear you are half back. That’s progress.

    I also wanted to tell you that I love you and love having your voice here, no matter how much we disagree. I am not just saying this because you are down in the dumps, I mean it.

    You are one unique person. We all saw your potential when you wrote about starting college, exploring new things, and facing your fears. I know you will get that back, it just may take some time.

    Keep the glass half full. Keep that head of yours filled with as many positive thoughts and influences as possible. Grab on to those glimpses of hope, and try your best to extend them.

    You have a great deal of good vibes being sent your way you know….I think they are working :)


  59. Pingback: More from one who knows « mamaVISION

  60. withlovebyli says:

    Say what? Shelly recovered? That’s monumental! And absolutely awesome! And are those pictures of you in your travels? Ooh, so lucky!

    Very true point on consistent, positive self-talk. I talked and talked for a whole year to that negative voice until it finally died. Wow, to be alone in your head. It’s an under-appreciated marvel. :) Brings you one step closer to inner peace—and that’s priceless.

    But enough of my rambling. It’s so good to hear from you, Shelly. Here’s to continuing on a healthy path! Muah!



  61. shelly says:

    i cant tell you how many times I said, “but i really tried last time and I still couldnt do it.” I would be a millionare if I recieved a dollar everytime I said that. I know i was using it as an excuse for not getting better. Kept telling myself, “If I dont get it this time, i will never get it.” and I almost gave up a few times. I guess I was putting too many demands on myself. i was really oppositional to the whole treatment scene. i did just about everything wrong when I was in a facility. This time around, I went at my own pace. i still have an outpatient team and they are wonderful. And I could never ever have done it without my family and my husband. They kept encuraging me. Sure, they got upset on many occasions and I can understand why. i just want to say never give up. so what if you tried and fail…try again. and again and again. If I would not have tried the second, thrid, fourth, fifth, (twelve times) time I wouldnt be were I am today. Dont be too hard on yourself either. That is where I would get myself into trouble. I HAVE to get it this time. and I focused so much on that I didnt have time to actually recover. I started small this time and worked my way up. I am still recovering and if I fall again I will just pick myself up and try again. I personally think that we all learn at least one thing (many times more than one) very important thing everytime we realapse. But we learn even more after we recovery. My only advice is to keep trying even if it sucks hardcore.

    Try Again
    Fail Better


  62. vive42 says:

    hmm. i’m pretty sure some of thats just a line they use to keep you paying for their fancy clinics 20 million times in a row. no offense, and obviously some people recover. but i’ve been IP and heard that crap about how you learn something every time- yeah and they get tens of thousands of dollars every time, too!

    not that that resentment helps me recover in any way, of course. and 12 steps are different of course, all they get is $2 if i choose to put it in the basket 😉

  63. shelly says:

    this past time I did try the twelve steps. More for my addiction and i related to a lot in the rooms. Some of it I didnt like though. I do support AA and I still go on occasion. It can be applied to just about everything in life.

    Like you, I was the same way, “these people say the same shit to me everytime.” and I didnt believe it, but the place I am in right now I actually agree with some of it.

    When I say try again…I dont mean you need to go to treatment. I certainly did not. Not everyone can afford it and yeah it doesnt work for everybody. It actually didnt always work for me. When I say Try again I mean you could always just try a different way. If that doesnt work try another way. I guess it is finding out what works for you. That is eventually what i had to do.

  64. Soledad says:

    I am lying in bed with an ear infection feeling sorry for myself. I too am an (bulimia). I was really moved by the picture of you sitting near the fire. At first I saw it and I thought to myself, “Wow! She looks so comfortable with herself, sitting there in all the quiet splendor. She must be so comfortable with herself because she is so beautiful. I wish I could be that beautiful, then I would be comfortable with myself and enjoy that sort of thing”. But the more I looked at the picture the more it seemed that how you look was the furthest thing from your mind. That you were focused on the experience and not on how you appeared to the outside world. I found this comforting. Thank you. It is a small thing, but it made my day a little easier and gave me some hope:)

    I think you are a real suvivor and a real hero!



  65. shelly says:

    I hope you feel better…
    Funny, I am roasting a marshmellow in that picture (you cant really tell). In the past I would have been freaking out that people would expect me to eat that marshmellow. The freedom I feel to be able to eat a mallow is amazing…

    Trust me, it took a long time and hard work to be comfortable. And I do feel ugly and insecure sometimes but I have learmed that the more I look at who I truly am the more comfortable I am becoming.
    I used to be so preoccupied with how people viewed me. Sometimes I still do, but not as much. I realized that as I grow older I look at people’s character more than I look at their outside apearence. So I usually give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they do the same. Their is nothing more boring to me than having someone looking “perfect” on the outside, but having not an ounce of personality.
    just believe in yourself. Find out who you are and trust it. It will happen if you work hard. I know you will be able to do it.
    once again, I hope you feel better


  66. kim says:

    josie, i want you to stay in this world. you are so young and you give so much strength and hope to others, i hope you can give yourself some of it too. i think your plan didnt work for a reason, you are not done in this world yet. love you, xxxkim

  67. Nats says:


    Babe it hurts me to hear you are struggling, you have always been there for me and now I am here for you!
    Its you that I keep in my head when I am trying to get the strength to fight babe, I am stuck in ICU and I dont know how long I will be here for, but because I know you have beaten all this before, it gives me hope that I might do the same.

    If you want a reason for living, let me be that reason, I will not let you down. I will fight right along with you with the ed and the mental issues, god knows I have those!

    Love you babe


    Shelly – Well done on recovery! I am currently trying to sort my own head out to try this!

  68. mamavision says:

    Hi Everyone: Has anyone heard from Josie? I am concerned about her.

    If you have her phone number please send it to me at


  69. Nats says:

    ive spoken to her by phone mamav i have emailed you!

  70. Mike says:

    I watched “Thin” last night and it brought such sorrow. I’m 44 years old and have no children, and have been alone much my whole life. I can’t speak for the women in this documentary but something did press on my heart. We are all looking for acceptance and to be loved. I was “saved” several years ago, and found love. I what it sounds like. Here’s my experience: God calls us to love one another. However, in this fallen broken world, we never achieve 100% the feeling of the true meaning of love. We strive to obtain it, but there is always a hole. Oh, we love that new car, until the first time it breaks down, or when we have to fill up the gas tank. We love that song, until we have heard it one too many times. We love that man or woman, until they let us down etc. We long for this relationship or that, until we have it and find that it doesn’t totally quench our needs. I’ve thought about this concept of love that God commands us to have with one another. Its Gods greatest thoughts he has to you and me. He loves us for who we are and will keep us in his presence for an eternity. To have it 100% now, would mean nothing when we receive it totally in heaven. God loves you Shelly, and all those who feel inadequate. Our God, who loved the world so much, could have His son take on the form of mankind and die for our sins. That love I can’t possibly understand. I realize that I don’t have that in me. I love but not to that extent. It dawned on me, we can’t know what real love is because that is unique to God; something that He has to give to us. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, He made me and Loves me for who I am. There is nobody or thing in this world that can provide that kind of unconditional love. Now, I’m not trying to preach (Ok, I am with a smile) but I felt that the people in this doumentary needed to be loved. We all need to be loved, but this world can’t provide it. To Hell with the world telling you what beauty is!!!!! Remember the saying: Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder? God made us, let Him hold us and his definitions for beauty and love, I’ll take anyday.

    Love yourself Shelly
    and Love others
    and Love God
    because he Loves you!


  71. Mike says:

    I’m gonna leave this site. I feel creepy being on here with all you women. I really wanted to let you know how a true guy feels. Whenever I catch one of those cat-walk/runway model (whatever they call them) shows, I feel so sick in my stomache for the women I see. Thats is NOT attractive. What is attractive is seeing life in a person’s smile, warmth and radiance in the fullness of a happy person’s face. Life! Life!

    Choose life,
    Its only here once.

  72. Mike says:

    I’m really leaving in a second. I’ve talked to a Christian female friend of mine earlier (I told her about my watching “Thin” last night) and she revealed her struggles with the concept of thin. She gave me a website to look at and reminded me that it deals with weight issues but one could substitute any problem (gambling, drinking, porn etc) into its premise for helping people. Its

    Choose Jesus, Choose Life
    and live a life for Him, yourself, and others
    We just get one shot at it!


  73. Mike says:

    That was a website that is helping her in her quest to lose some weight to be healthier. My view is that you girls are beautiful because God made you. Being healthy (mind, body and spirit) is what I wanted to leave you with, from a caring man’s perspective.


  74. Nats says:


    Its not weird that you are here and there is no need to feel that way.
    I think its good to have a males perspective on things because with the ED (for me anyway) comes selfishness and I cant see past myself and how I am feeling, does that make sense?
    All I want is a family who love me for who I am and someone to call when I need them, I have found people on here that I can text or call and they have become a family but its not the same, I am 22 and have no mother, no father, no anything and then when someone comes along to help me, I push them away.

    Welcome to the site Mike, I hope to read more of your posts and talk to you more often.


  75. Mike says:

    What I’ve found reading these posts is the beauty within each one of you. I know that sounds like a cliche, but I’m trying to be honest. My brother had to have this lady who, to him, was beautiful. Yeah, she looked like those fake smile girls on the cover of those magazines and he got her. She was just young and wasn’t ready to settle down, but he let her stomp on him because she was miserable. I watched and marvelled until I had a realization sweep over me: She looked ugly. Oh, the hair was done up nice etc , but she truly was ugly. It was like the mean women within came seeping out and that was all I could see. As I grew, I realized what was going on inside her. She was unhappy. She dressed up the outside, to hide what was inside. I don’t know all about what you women are going through, but I can only share my thoughts and feelings with you.

    You made me smile today ; Your comments towards others are quite the opposite of a selfish person. That’s another example of the beauty inside……..


  76. shelly says:


    I have to admit I sort of tuned out when you started talking about God…but you are right. I wish women today could see the beauty they hold inside and focus less on the outside. I think that ED’s show what we feel on the inside, however. They show the hurt we feel and the hatred of our body. We were it on the outside and the starvation accurately shows the hatred we feel. I think that I used my worn down, tired, emaciated, lifeless body to show that that is how I felt on the inside. I was tired, I was worn down and I was lifeless and that is how I viewed living in this world. Someone who can put so much strain must really hate themselves.
    I am starting to see that it recovery means finding out who we actually are. But it is hard when we carry around a huge amount of guilt, shame and hatred. It is very hard to get out of and unless we somehow start to believe it then we will not recover. People with ED’s can find the beauty and amazing qualities in others but rarely, if ever, see them in themselves. that’s the sad part.
    With so much media attention on thinness why wouldnt we feel we have to reach unrealistic ideals and then the cycle of self-hatred and self-destruction starts. It is hard to change because many of us have been entrenched in our disorders for so long that we stat to listen to what our crazy minds tell us and we start to believe it. Like any habit, it is difficult to break.
    I wish people did start seeing how beautiful they are on the inside. I wish the world didnt focus so much on the outside.
    Like Nat it is great to have a guy on here. thanks so much


  77. Mike says:

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that meanings I held for certain words were wrong. Beauty isn’t what the fashion world portrays it is to be. What’s interesting, when I was growing up, bell-bottom pants were in during the 70s. Then they lost their fad appeal. Now, they are starting to come back again. The definition for what a beautiful women was different back then and even different a few hundred years ago. Who keeps defining what a beautiful women is to be? As I matured, I realized that our bodies are just a storage place for the person within. As I looked at your newer photos,and seeing others post comments on how you look, I’ve noticed phrases like “Shelly looks, so beautiful.” You do, you look “happy and alive” and that to me is “so attractive” Now, don’t think I’m getting all weird. Have you ever heard of how guys think pregnant women are attractive in a certain way? Of course, you women, being women, will think we guys are lying. But, a warm decent man does. Do you know why? Because, we see such life and vibrance in a woman who is carrying life within her. I found this later in life to be true for what I came to know for the word “beauty” It’s about life and happiness. Whether its the beauty in a sunset, or watching a horse give birth and watching the baby fole being gently nudged by the mother to study it on it’s feet; or the newborn kitten (birth fluids) being licked/kissed by its mother, who is purring with delight. Or the ora of happiness in the smile of a woman’s face ,who is at peace with herself. I had seen that too in your picture above Shelly. Its about happiness of life my friends. Shelly, I can see what you are saying about not being happy with oneself; that this shows up in how one views their body. I guess, I was looking at it from the point of view as to whether the reason for ED was an acceptance issue. But I do want everyone to know, when you women look at yourselves and think your body is heavy etc, you are listening to a lie. I’m like, “What the heck, that girl is so skinny and she thinks she is heavy” and I watch your torment. It really rips my heart.


  78. Mike says:

    I’ll stop back every now and then. I have to do some chores of life. Hang in there and know that God created you (even me: though I think he was a little lazy that day; laugh a little; I laugh at myself all the time!) and Loves you.


  79. shelly says:

    …very well said.

  80. Mike says:

    Because I bable so much and the more I write, the more often my spelling errors go up, I’ll keep this short:

    If and when you want, read this:

    Hopefully, I spelled the link corectly :)


  81. Mike says:

    Can someone explain where the saying “Sweet 16” came from?

    I’m reading Psalm 139 verse “16”

    The psalmist is writing his thoughts to God

    “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (Man, doesn’t He know it); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them”

    The whole context is our being formed: Before the womb, In the womb, and After the womb. We were never made to be perfect, and perhaps that helps us draw closer to Him. To hell with trying to please the world and feeling guilty over things beyond our control. For me, I had to have a forgiving heart. Once I understood that God, through Jesus, forgave me, my forgiving others, and myself, became possible. I’m thankful to God for making me, a mut. I think that is the key for me. I realize that He made me and Loves me; “warts and all” Maybe, He could have spared some of the warts part!


  82. Mike says:

    Have a great night folks. Stay there for one another. You people are beautiful.


  83. Diane says:

    Hi Shelly,

    I’m middle-aged and have lived twenty years both sober and recovered from any active eating disordered behavior but I still have healing to do. Your honest posting has made a significant difference to me. The ‘Thin’ documentary–especially the book–spoke to me and now your report about your evolving changes helps me meet my own emotional and physical challenges. I look healthy and attractive on the outside and may look like I have it “all together,” but I have maintained a shadow anorexic judge (semi-retired) within me that notices what I weigh and stokes anxieties. I have been working on changing this through meditation, therapy and the love of a remarkable husband and at last I am getting to really know and accept myself. Reading what you face is exactly what I needed to read. A sponsor used to say to me that if I weren’t making mistakes, I wouldn’t be learning. I never wanted to make mistakes before–she was so right. I appreciate deeply your bravery in speaking out. You give such hope.

  84. courtney says:

    Shelly, I am so glad that you are doing well. I am not sure if you remember me, but I was at renfrew when you were there. I had worked very hard to overcome bulimia which I did for two years and then fell back. I am now back in recovery and like you feel so much better than when I was acting out on symptoms. I have better relationships and a healthier life. I can ride my bike with energy and not hide in my house from life. Granted, I still get depressed, but not to the degree before just because my body is nurished. You are an inspiration and I remember your struggle. I remember Polly too and it is such a reminder that this disease kills.

    Courtney Trabon

  85. Mike says:

    I live in upstate New York and it’s cold!!
    I’m getting a little sick of winter. We had rain, sleet, mushy snow last night and its pretty much gray skies here through winter. This morning, the sky is blue and all the tree’s have been blanketed in white. The sun is shining and the shadows of light cast off those branches is glorious. I say this because that is the beauty that comes after misery. I was so sick of the weather yesterday, but I never would have had such a beautiful sight this morning. For me, it’s a good way to look at life. You women have been, and are being forced, to deal with unpleasant feelings but I’ve noticed that the beauty of you inner being shines through. Love yourself, OK? Hey, a female Christian friend of mine gave me a website of a center that she had discovered. Check it out if you want at We Christians aren’t always rattling out Bible verses :)


    They have two ranches and the one in Arizona looks good about now. Enough of the snow :)

  86. Mike says:

    Please be kind to me over my spelling; or lack thereof :)

    We need a SPELL CHECK feature here.

    And don’t you even say it: You are probably thinking we need a FILTER MIKE OFF THE SITE feature added :)

    Smile Today, Please


  87. shelly says:


    stop with the “we need a mike filter”
    I like what you have to say.
    I was just driving to the bookstore and it is incredible weather today. The sun is shining i had the radio turned up and I was smiling out of control. It finally is starting to feel like spring..thank goodness. I love when I catch myself smiling…sometimes It catches me off guard.
    my psychiatrist told me a month ago that she was worried I was smiling so much…What the hell?
    anyway-Hope everyone has a good day

  88. Mike says:

    You made me laugh a huge smile Shelly :)

    I still think we need a SPELL CHECK FOR MIKE feuture though.

    Keep on folks!



  89. Mike says:

    I feel bad today. I don’t know if it’s because I physically have a bug, or it’s cloudy outside, or it’s because I spent time reading some sad postings here. Maybe, it’s all the above. This whole ED thing is so complex. I wonder if people ,who suffer ED/related diseases, are distracted from dealing with their inside emotions by way of their war with the outside. That isn’t so hard to comprehend. The hard one is this: If one is battling an inner conflict (suffering the emotions of being harmed and trying to figure out the “why s” over the reasons these things were done to you) by projecting a perceived inadequacy onto your outward looks, then why attack your outward looks? Thinking you are ugly, when actually you become less beautiful in this process? I’m sorry, but a skeleton near death is not making you look physically “beautiful”, but less so. I don’t like death. I know this, we live in a “fallen world” full of sin, where only God can truly love and forgive us, but only to those who accept this gift through Jesus. Now don’t tune out here! Keep reading please… I look at myself and marvel that God can forgive and love scum like me. With that Happy realization, I also have understood that I live in a world with others, who equally need to be loved and forgived, both by God and by me. Maybe, just maybe, if you can forgive those who have harmed you, love them and let them know what they did to you and that you forgive them, love yourself and those around you, then maybe, just maybe, you will start to see the real beauty in this world. That’s deep inside and never ever in the package that we think it is in.

    I want to share God’s definition for womenly beauty that I found in the Bible. Nahh, maybe I won’t because it makes us men sound lazy. You women sound better than we do :(

    I won’t write it out because I don’t want to be a Babling Bible Mike today. So, you read it: Proverbs 30 starting in verse 10-31. See how that works? I got out of writing this. Man, I am lazy :)

    Remember to pay special attention to verse 30 (I’m not trying to get you to gloss past the stuff that makes you beautiful and makes you wonder where the guys are; Maybe, laying on the couch: Please Love my stupid humor. Someone has too) because it warns not to look to the world’s definition for the favor of beauty, but be in God’s favor/view on beauty. Gal’s that’s on the inside! Also understand that God expects us to fear Him and this means to obey what he expects us to be and do: Such things as to Love and Forgive.

    So, I got God on my side for this posting. Nahh Nahh. You got to “forgive” me. Start there , because Loving goofy mike is a bigger request.

    Smile today,
    God’s creation of a woman is truly something!


  90. Mike says:

    Sorry its PROVERBS 31 verse 10-31
    I mistakenly gave wroteProverbs 30, when it was Proverbs 31

    My mistake, I’m flawed. I think I need eyeglasses


  91. Mike says:

    Please read it:

    I spent 2 hours writing this out. The first time, just when I hit the “Submit Button”, I realized that my internet discconected me (Spent too much time, I guess, with proof reading my spelling) me and I lost all that I had typed. Then, I had to write this out on paper, to save time with most thoughts already in place before I set to type. Then, i went back and found that I quoted the wrong Proverb. Maybe, the evil one was trying to stop me from getting God’s word to you. The evil one (you know the name) always wants you to be deceived, so I don’t doubt I had this problem. Ha Ha, he lost. Except for where you guys found any of my spelling errors, he might have won there. That little creep.


  92. noorsaw says:

    Hi. I’m new here…

    I just wanted to start by saying, Shelly, I am so happy you are strong in recovery right now. I have been sober for 10 years and I know how hard it can be to let those addictions go.

    I am struggling with eating disordered thoughts right now but I’m trying to remain strong. It’s harder some days then others. I’m middle aged, a full time law student, and employed full time. You’d think I wouldn’t have time to be lost in these thoughts. :)

    I am not very familiar with this site yet but it seems as though this is a very supportive group of people…I need that right now.

  93. Lynn says:

    Hi, my name is Lynn…and I came across this site and felt a peace come over me and I had to write. I am 28 years old and have suffered from an eating disorder since I was 10. I have been in too many treatment centers to count….remuda ranch, laureate, shades of hope etc. Along with the eating disorder I battle with cutting, depression, ocd….and I firmly believe all of this stemmed from my childhood. My father sexually abused me for years… During my first hospital stay I was terrified….all of this ‘treatment’ stuff was new to me, plus I was so young (13) and had never been away from my mother for more than a week. The pressure to just eat….I was admitted to Millwood…I live in Dallas and there are no eating disorder facilities close by and at the time I was on the verge of death. I wanted out terribly…. anyway I could. I ate….I learned to purge….then how I thought of this I do not know…but in group one day one of the therapist said…you should really press charges against your father…. not thinking ANYTHING could come from this…I thought okay…maybe if I did this, they would let me out. This was the beginning of a true nightmare…things happened. To make a long story short….I went to court twice, my case made the newspaper, and radio…thankfully I was not identified. I had not seen my father for years… To rewind a bit….my therapist from the beginning of this Ash….after a long period of time passed, I developed a very close bond with her. To this day she is the only one who knows everything….. She was the only one that proved to me that people DO stay in your life, and not all leave. I held on to our relationship tightly. After five years of counseling with her in person and over the phone while in other states at treatment centers…she revealed she was moving. I spiralled downward….after thinking that good things CAN hang around….and now this one flies away as well. Times were hard. We continued phone therapy for a couple of months after she moved….until I entered treatment again. To this day I write her and often wished she was here with me… guide me and to lay her hand of peace on me. Fast forward a bit….out of the blue last week I received a phone call from her. Writing was okay…because it was only paper and words, talking on the phone after nearly 10 years was different. She caught me off guard and I didn’t know what to say. During our time apart…by the grace of God…I brought in a beautiful daughter into the world. My time was and IS occupied with her…so my thoughts were not so glued to Ash. After hanging up the phone I have fallen again. I have never won the battle with the eating disorder…but have learned to accept it- which I know is not healthy. I do not know how to handle all of these feelings….I guess I should also mention that many of the therapists at the centers band me from talking, writing and even mentioning her because they felt, and I do know somewhere within, that our relationship was not healthy for me. The following day after the call….I became very suicidal…it really scared me. Yes I have attempted numerous times but nothing as ‘strong’ and ‘powerful’ as these feelings and drive were. I called my doctor and asked for help….
    Sorry this is so long…. but I wanted to reach out on this board for help…not only for myself but for my daughter that I would leave behind if this horrid disease continues.

  94. Lynn says:

    I also wanted to say hi to Shelly!!! This is going to sound pretty odd, I know and please forgive me. I recently saw Thin (and I apologize for connecting you to the film as I know you want to part from that period of your life) and I felt a connection to you. I wanted to talk to you or write you…. I saw myself in you….and during the film at times it scared me. I want to get better so badly, but I feel like I have had this for 18 plus years….whats the chance I will win this? I’m getting scared…..I was just hospitalized due for problems with my kidneys and digestive problems…the doctors said they can not fix the damage but can only attempt to mend these to make them manageable. I don’t want to leave my daughter behind because I know that emptiness that one is burdened with.
    Shelly I commend you and YOU TOO should be so proud of yourself…. I wished I was by your side to give you hug!!!!
    To everyone else…I hope this day in April finds you all with peace and smiles.

  95. shelly says:


    Wow..sounds like you have been through a lot. I have to but I cant look back and dwell on all that crap. I know somewhere in you there must be some desire to get better or you wouldnt still be here. you have to believe you can do it and even after eighteen years…who cares? you dont want to spend the next eighteen years in the same cycle and your daughter needs a healthy mom to guide her in this crazy game of life.

    I commend you for the efforts you have made and you can t give up!!!

    youve made it this far so keep pushing through.

    keep fighting.


  96. Lynn says:

    Shelly thanks for writing back…. You are absolutely right….it would be a waste to throw it all away. Hope you are doing well and having a great day.

  97. Lynn says:

    Hey Shelly…just was thinking about you today and wanted to see how you were doing? Hope all is well with you….. It may sound odd, but the past couple of weeks you have gotten me thru…just knowing where you began and where you are now.
    Thank you

  98. Brianna says:

    Hi shelly I just wanted to say thank you for posting this.I could relate so much to what you were saying.Although I have never had a eating disorder similar things have been happening to me lately also.So I’ll share.I went on a 14 day fast diet and from their it just became a obsession,a way of being in control e.t.c.So recently when my 16 birthday arrived I realized how much I truely hate food.I restricted calories usually 120 and sometimes I would purge,and excercise.

  99. Katie says:

    Hi shelly I just wanted to say thank you for posting this.I could relate so much to what you were saying.Although I have never had a eating disorder similar things have been happening to me lately also.So I’ll share.I went on a 14 day fast diet and from their it just became a obsession,a way of being in control e.t.c.So recently when my 16 birthday arrived I realized how much I truely hate food.I restricted calories usually 120 and sometimes I would purge,and exercise.Anywayz I lost nine pounds.I have to say it felt nothing like I expected.I thought when I lost the weight it would make me happier about myself,but it only made me want to loose more.So once again thanks for writing this….It really made me think and realize maybe this is not the road to go down…..either way it will definetly be hard.

  100. lynn says:

    Katie!!! Its great that you can recognize that this is not the way to go….yes it will be hard but please please fight it now before it gets any worse.
    I’m here if you need me and commend your courage.

  101. thankyou very much for posting this.
    thin has really healped me and ALOT of others.
    thankyou shelly for the words of wisdom your a real inspiration…
    good luck and best wishes… xox

  102. Katie says:

    Hi shelly first of all sorry for sending the same message twice I was conflicted at weather or not I should put my real name.Anyways I wanted you to know that you are in a youtube video called anorexia music video at 1:58.Dont know if you knew that or not.Well I thought you should know.

  103. Kat says:

    Shelly is so beautiful, she was my favourite in THIN and i love her heaps because i can relate to her in so many ways, After reading this it has made me feel strong as a person.
    thank-you for posting this mama v, i appreciate it.

    take care Shelly

  104. Sharon says:

    I am so happy that this link popped up on Google. I searched for updates on Shelly’s health for a long while, and was sad I couldn’t find some. I knew that she was avoiding the internet to get better, and focus on recovery, and I am relieved to hear that I was right. Yay for Shelly. Now for Alissa… (Brittany I have access to her profile online)

  105. ollie says:

    I know this is a bit out of date, but your hbo story touched me and made me cry. I have struggled so much these past couple years being bulimic, and I ended up in the ER a few weeks ago due to a Klonopin overdose. For the first time though, watching your story, I did not feel alone. You’re so pretty and so skinny (I still wish I was as skinny of you) but you really inspired me to get real help! Best of luck and thanks for having the courage to do this hbo story; I appreciate it!

  106. Julie says:

    I know that it’s been a few weeks since this was updated, but I am sitting here watching the DVD copy of THIN, and I am so proud of you, Shelly. It’s NOT easy, and the strength that you’ve shown here is amazing. You CAN do it. Much love. Julie

  107. Geo says:

    It looks like the thread has ended? I was lead to this post after watching “Thin” on TVO 30 October, 2009 and subsequently being curious about how the cast was doing. It appeared Shelly had the best chance against relapse. Indeed, I thought she was completely cured, but then, what do I know? I told my home care nurse about her since she is also a nurse.

    I thought nearly being killed last year and deciding to quit a morphine addiction from injuries, cold, was difficult. I had no idea what misery an eating disorder could bring. I suspect that only a woman would understand what this is about. Men have their own issues to contend with, but in my view, much less complicated issues. I do not pretend that I will receive a reply to this post, but it would seem this thread would be beneficial to those in need. P.S. I would not recommend this movie to anyone involved in the peak withdrawl stages of morphine addiction; it is just too depressing.

  108. Nats says:

    Geo, Threads here continue to go on as people can comment on them at any time and the most recent comments get posted on the right hand side of the blog, this is how I knew you posted :)

    I hope you are doing ok, I do have to say that men have the same emotions as females do in some situations including with eating disorders so its not just a woman that would understand this subject.

    I am glad you find this post would be beneficial to others in need, this is why posts arent deleted, people can come and read them whenever they want to!!

    Hope your ok and things arent too hard.


  109. Geo says:

    Thanks for the reply. I would be lying if I knew what the right hand side of the blog or the right side of anything was at this time.

    I have heard our species have eating disorders as you mention. Personally, as a veteran with experience regarding morphine withdrawl, the only disordered aspect I have encountered was not being able to eat when out in the field and not having the desire to eat at all.

    In my view, if the so-called male of the species who watched “Thin” deserved the title, then they would have felt like rescuing Shelly for instance, as in ‘the handsome knight in shining armor’ concept. Sadly, this is the 21st century and the folly of that notion does not exist in reality, which may be one reason why society today is just a tad disconnected.

    However, it was refreshing to read your post as it is a pleasant experience reading comments from caring, sincere people such as yourself, who I believe are in decline relative to the population volume today.


  110. Nats says:

    Hey Geo,

    Just because you yourself have no experienced a full on Eating Disorder does not mean that they do not happen to men. But having said that, for some reason people believe that females are more prone to have them which may be true but this does not mean that we should all believe that men are exempt. Dont mean this to sound harsh, its just my opinion.

    I hope that you comment more on this blog, there is an open forum if you would like to post more about anything other than Shelly’s post (not saying you cannot post here but I just mean if not on this topic), the open forum is where we can all talk about anything and everything and not be judged xxx

    Hope your well


  111. Geo says:

    I agree, especially since logic dictates the error of my generalization. What would have made more sense is to admit that if I had an eating disorder I would not be smart enough to recognize it. And, it may be evident I don’t associate with any people who look like me that have an eating disorder. However, this does not mean that ‘it’ could not be masked in some other form. So, even if people assume females are prone to eating disorders, it would be academic since one could argue that the male of the species’ eating disorder would be grain-based.

    What is the open forum?

    Thanks for the reply,


  112. Geo says:


    You should know you are dealing with a military mind here so I can handle “harsh” and sometimes I forget my civilian manners i.e., thank you for your concern about my condition.

    Methadone was invented by the Nazis during WWII for good reason – it lasts longer which therefore means withdrawal is brutal. Heroin detox is 5 days, but Methadone detox can last 5 weeks to several months.

    I am amazed I can write and of course since the internet can last ad infinitum, I may live to regret it.


  113. Nats says:

    Geo hun, if you scroll to the top of the page you will see a tab for the OPEN FORUM, click on this and you can read what others have written and then comment yourself to others or just say hi and introduce yourself x

    Yes, I guessed I was dealing with a military mind, I only got that because at first I had no clue what you were saying lol sorry but you write alot better than I do xx

    Keep it up with your detox and I hope it is going well for you x

    Always here if you want a chat.

    NAts x

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  115. RobinMarie says:

    Shelly, thank you so much for being a true inspiration to all of us that have doubted ourselves and the chances of living without an eating disorder. I have yet to this day been able to look at myself in a mirror and am ashamed to get dressed daily (after four kids) the physical part of my ed is gone (purging,laxatives) but what I’ve found the most difficult is being able to just look in a mirror and be ok

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  121. Lisa says:

    I was wondering if Shelley is still a nurse or not? Was she able to keep her nursing license?

  122. Luisa says:

    This post if from 2008. I’m glad to see any kind of update from Shelly, but I hope she is STILL doing awesome!!! Praying for ya Shelly!!! Please update for 2015 if you wish. :)

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