More from one who knows


We are going to keep rolling with Shelly, from the HBO documentary THIN, because I can see you are all relating quite well. This dialogue is good for Shelly and for all of you.

I want to highlight the paragraph below because it strikes at the core of what I believe is a major issue for many of the girls of this community. My hope for each and every one of you, is you can reach the place Shelly has achieved, the place where I live as well, because this is a place of peace and contentment beyond compare:

“I guess I was scared to really look at my life because I was afraid that I wouldn’t like the person I was growing up to be.  Actually, honestly, I guess I was more afraid that people wouldn’t like the person I was.  So I hid behind an eating disorder and a raging addiction so I would have an excuse for why people didn’t like me.  I always had some disorder or dysfunction in my life to blame.  And now, since I am I am recovery I don’t have those things to fall back on and if people don’t like me or what I do, I know have to realize that it is their choice and I don’t have to take responsibility for them or their feelings.”


If you take away anything from Shelly’s statement it’s to live your life for you.

The take away from me is to pound this mantra into your head – life is not about making people like you.

On to Shelly’s thoughts for the day;

So finding out who I am has become the priority in my recovery.  Trading in the identity I have lived with for so long for an identity that more accurately reflects who I am is daunting.  Sometimes I wonder where I fit in this huge, scary world.  While in the throes of my disorder I knew I fit in the world of eating disorders and I was comfortable there.  I could relate to people who were struggling and I am sad to say I shared tips and thinspiration.  I fed off the energy that others with ED had and often I became competitive with others.  Every part of my day revolved around my eating disorder.  Everything I did during the day was focused on how to get thinner and keep myself sick. 

Now, here is where the difficult and fearful part of my recovery comes into play.  When I finally resigned to the fact that I would give up my eating disorder, my addiction, and any other self-destructive coping mechanism I was left with 24 hours day to fill with things to do.  I felt lost, confused, and extremely afraid. What was I going to do?  I had no idea.  When I voiced this concern to others they would tell me that I could do anything I wanted.  I tried to believe them but deep down I was frightened and didn’t know if I could really play this whole recovery game.  But I decided I would at least try it.  I felt like there was no harm in trying and if I didn’t like it then I could always go back to my disease(s). 


I have to be honest… at first I didn’t like it.  But I didn’t dislike it as much as I disliked being consumed with negative thoughts all day long.  Negative thoughts did come and they still do, but I treat them differently.  I don’t listen to what they tell me.  I just notice them and let them go.  Accepting them and being aware was the first part of my recovery.  When the thoughts told me that I shouldn’t eat that french fry…I ate more than one.  It was difficult, but as I became more and more aware the thoughts became less and less powerful.  I kept fighting and I made a commitment to not give up until I tried my absolute hardest for at least a year (I usually don’t like putting time frames on things but I did this time to keep myself going.) 

It was so difficult that sometimes I would pace up and down my hallway because I was so anxious.  I was trying to find things to do.  I read, I knitted, I walked outside, I cried, I cleaned,  I made my meals and then when my husband came home from work I spent time with him. The most important thing I did (and am still doing), however, was to look deep within myself.  I started to figure out how I liked to spend my time, what my morals and values are, what makes me happy, what pisses me off, what stresses me out, how to handle it, etc. 

It was overwhelming because in ten years I had not let myself look at things.  For the past ten years I was merely surviving and I realize now that my ED and my addiction were merely distracting me from doing anything, especially finding out who I was. I guess I was scared to really look at my life because I was afraid that I wouldn’t like the person I was growing up to be.  Actually, honestly, I guess I was more afraid that people wouldn’t like the person I was.  So I hid behind an eating disorder and a raging addiction so I would have an excuse for why people didn’t like me.  I always had some disorder or dysfunction in my life to blame.  And now, since I am I am recovery I don’t have those things to fall back on and if people don’t like me or what I do, I know have to realize that it is their choice and I don’t have to take responsibility for them or their feelings. 

Slowly, it is staring to get a little easier and I am grateful I didn’t give up. I am now trying to find a job.  The nursing field is stressful and because I am now just starting to take care of myself I don’t feel I am ready to take care of people in that environment just yet.  Plus, I might go back to school because I am healthy to do so.  I guess I feel like I CAN really do anything I want to do.  I hate to admit when I am wrong, but I guess everyone was right…again!


To those of you who are fighting don’t give up no matter how hard it gets…you have already made the commitment to at least start to fight.  For those of you contemplating recovery my hope is that you try before it is too late. 

Nowadays I go to bed so tired and drained.  And it is not because I haven’t eaten or purged all day…It is because I working my ass (not literally) off to get better.



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49 Responses to More from one who knows

  1. sim'One says:

    wow that makes me feel warm inside!
    how old is she? 26? my age.
    i’m comforted to know that someone my age is starting over w/ school and trying to get a job. i feel so behind socially compared to everyone else. sometimes i want to give up because it’s so much to deal with. jobs, interviews, people, school, decisions..
    i’m scared i’ll choke. but every day i make a little effort..

  2. Kelsey says:

    she gives me so much hope = )

  3. Josie says:

    Such an eloquent writer. She’s described things i found in my recovery.

    Filling the void an ED leaves is difficult. I know Vanessa and Lily are pondering a little over this one. I filled mine with art (obviously!), and books. And then little things like going for walks, sitting in the garden with a cup of tea, returning to my instruments, going out for coffee. I find it hard to believe that i used to think i’d turn into an empty shell without my ED! In fact i turned from a nearly-empty shell to a bloody rainbow.

    Fighting against the ED-thoughts was tough, but felt quite good after a while. I started with little things like “today i will eat 17 grapes not 15” (it always had to be 15), and then onto big things like “F*ck off ED, i’m having a BIG slice of cake!”. It was like rebelling, except the person you’re rebelling against can only hurt you if you let them.

  4. Mrs. B. says:

    Thanks for coming to Mama’s blog. You offer such amazing hope.

    Josie, I LOVE this:

    “I find it hard to believe that i used to think i’d turn into an empty shell without my ED! In fact i turned from a nearly-empty shell to a bloody rainbow.”

  5. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    I guess thats partly what I’m doing, insted my eating disorder more for approval and controll and so so many things. I’m happy for Shelly and really glad that Polly death wont be forgoten by anyone. I’m going to movitate myself to get better for all of us who are dying like flys. Another thing, i was thinking of starting a vlog on youtube about these kinda things because i think on these post im a tad unheard and maybe I’d be able to get things out better, anyone think i should go for it?

  6. withlovebyli says:

    *nodnodnod* Excellent post, Shelly. I think the majority don’t bother to self-reflect. They go about their daily lives without looking inside and asking the deep questions. It’s like living in a coma. I find I’ve reached a point where self-reflection is now a habit and it’s not that scary to look within for answers.

    Yeah, go for it Amber! I would start using YT again but I’d feel people would judge me for having gained “too much weight” in recovery and wouldn’t take me seriously since I never got to the emaciated stage.



  7. Mrs. B. says:


    I’d love to hear more about what’s on your heart. If you think you could express it more on video, then I think you should do that.

  8. Lily says:

    Your post is so inspiring, I am so glad I came here and read it. I have been struggling with my ED for 10 years now. I started dieting when I was 12, and this slowly progressed into obsession. I developed anorexia, got treatment, and then moved quite quickly into bulimia in the second year of university. Right now I am sitting here with my stomach stretched right out with food. I need to vomit but am scared, as I always am these days, that my oesopghagus will tear, that the nose bleed I get won’t stop blah blah. Every night I go to sleep with the fear I won’t wake and I’ll be found dead in my bed with sweet wrappers hidden in the cupard. I have nightmares about the shame I feel from what I’m doing. The only way I can understand it these days is to see it as addiction. I’m 23 and cannot remember what life was like without food obsession.

    So much of what you wrote hit home with me-
    “if people don’t like me or what I do, I know have to realize that it is their choice and I don’t have to take responsibility for them or their feelings”
    This is a big problem for me, I find it so hard to deal with people not liking me and am always trying to please others. Only in my online life do I ever dare to express a controversial opinion, and even then I get scared of rejection.

    “It was overwhelming because in ten years I had not let myself look at things”
    I am the same, I avoid everything, am scared I won’t like who I am, and when I feel the pain that I’m running from come over me I race to food just to be rid of it. I’m too scared to look inside.

    “I felt lost, confused, and extremely afraid. What was I going to do?” Any time I have tried to stop I have felt the way you describe. I feel totally at sea, its not that there aren’t things to do, its that I can’t put myself to any of them and become so restless and anxious.

    I’ve tried to keep my life going, I made it through university and have had various jobs between treatment, but I’m not living, I’m just like you said, ‘surviving’.

    I have been trying for recovery for so long. I feel I’ve tried everything there is. Its hard to keep up hope, to believe this will ever come to an end. There are times when I acknowledge it will probably kill me.

    Thank you so much for writing to MV Shelly,reading what you wrote makes me think there could be a way out of this slow suicide,

    Lily xxx

  9. Jamie says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! I could relate to every word she said. It gives me so much hope!

  10. Alex says:

    Great post!
    Loved every word of it, thanks Shelly for giving such inspiring words. 😉

    Hugs Alex

  11. vive42 says:

    mamav- i have to say you having shelly on your blog was a thouroughly good idea and i approve of her wholeheartedly.

    now don’t say i never say anything positive- everyone take note now because it probably won’t happen again for many moons.


  12. shelly says:


    u make me smile….

    actually, everyone on here does


  13. ntg says:

    MamaV thanks for the wonderful post. It is a nice reprieve.

    Thanks Shelly for telling us your story it is very inspiring and provides hope.

  14. Josie says:

    Oh V, critic-approval all round :)

  15. Katie says:

    This was a really good post. I am enjoying Shelly’s story. She’s a very inspiring writer.

    I often wonder what I would do without an ED. What would I think about all day? What would I do during Chemistry if I can’t write numbers–calories, weight, etc–in my notebook? I do keep a journal and I have a lot of trouble writing about anything other than food and weight. (And I do try.)

    Anyway, yes, very good post.

  16. Josie says:

    For anyone here with depression, this article is quite uplifting i think:

  17. Heidi says:

    I hope she keeps writing! So inspiring! Especially on down days! Thanks MamaV!

  18. melissa says:

    Hi Shelly, I wanted to say that I think your involvement with this board is great. Though I don’t feel that I’ve completely recovered from my ed yet, I am currently at a healthy weight and everything. You help inspire me to continue with my work towards recovery, thanks for letting mamav share your story :)

  19. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    thanks you two i think il start and post what channel im on YT in ze tips later once i think of a good name!

  20. Tiptoe says:

    First off, it is great to get an update on you and that you are recovering! The two posts you’ve shared here were written beautifully. You expressed what many of us feel so honestly, and for that I thank you. Keep up with all the good work you are doing. It is paying off, and you are reaping the rewards.

  21. twistsis says:

    Shelly – I think its great that you are sharing so much with everyone on here, you are a strong woman and I hope that you have everything you need and want from life and that you enjoy it to the fullest, you deserve it!


  22. chelsey says:

    thank you so much for your involvement with this group shelly!

    truly, seeing your hope and your courage, gives me hope and courage in return. your story has shown me that recovery is possible– even though its a hard, emotional road, its worth it. you have given me back my faith that i can overcome my eating disorder, and so can everyone else who is struggling.

    thank you!

  23. Nats says:

    josie Hun,

    I know your in a bad place at the moment and I want to help, please feel free to contact me and maybe we could have a chat xxxx


  24. Arrie says:

    This is by far one of the best ideas you have ever had. When you say, “I think all of the girls relate can relate with Shelly”. I don’t even think you realize how much I truly do… So, thankyou, for giving me the opportunity to have read that.

    Thankyou so much for posting on here. There are days when I really think that this disorder is going to just take hold, & it will be the cause of my dying. I’m 13, will soon be 14 & have been struggling for about a year and half. Doesnt sound long, but im in way over my head… And ive come to realize that its affecting everything. The way I think, what i say, relationships, friends, family, health, ect.. the list could go on. If you get a chance to read this, THANKS. I dont think anyone has ever inspired me so much. Glad to hear you are doing well with & staying strong with recovery. I would also like to let you know that I send my thoughts your way, as grieving over the death of Polly must be tough.

  25. kelly says:

    first off let me just say that i think shelly is an amazing writer. she is able to articulate what i feel.

    this is what bugs me…”I want to highlight the paragraph below because it strikes at the core of what I believe is a major issue for many of the girls of this community”

    wait mamaV…you spend so much time blaming the fashion industry for putting the idea of perfection in peoples minds and then they take that image and out pops an ED.

    what i got from shelly’s post was the ED is about the intense fear of who she is and the deep belief that she was bad…the ED was a reason for people to not like her and gave her a distraction from the ever present pain.

    it isn’t that media images don’t provide a good comparison for the ED mind but you make it seem that the fashion industry is the biggest part of this problem and not fear of self discovery and self loathing for deep reasons.

    i really think you play up the media involvement a lot. models are at risk because of the standards but they know that…and i don’t see it changing any time soon…why don’t you try finding more ways to promote what shelly writes about? the need to feel grounded and secure in our own skins, and the way ED is a way out from the intense pain many of us have probably encountered.

  26. Mrs. B. says:

    I think it is a complex issue. There are many cultures where this is not the way that women struggle. Our culture does place a high value on the idea of thin as perfection. I do believe it plays a part of varying degrees.

  27. lanidujour says:

    While I agree that’s it’s a multi-faceted, complex issue, I’m inclined to agree with Kelly. I have been surprised to find increasing body image issues, disordered eating, full-blown eating disorders in Morocco and now, Thailand because of what appears to be the influence of westernization- glossy fashion ads with svelte models, billboards for gyms to lose weight (because obviously pain and diligence leads to some sort of success in the end. duh), diet pills etc. Thin begs the question, though. Kelly is right. What is really behind the guise of this quest for skinniness? I agree that the fashion industry, media, flawless appearing celebrities don’t help the matter, but I also think that in their absence, people would find their inferiority in the mirror of something else. Why not address the root of the problem in these posts? Probably because the reasons behind each person’s devolution, due to the parasite known as an “eating disorder,” are too varied and specific. However, I guarantee that at each of their roots, they share more similarities than differences.
    Here’s to not begging the question!

  28. lanidujour says:

    Rats. I forgot to re-login. Lanidujour is Lauren, by the way.

  29. Mrs. B. says:

    Lauren, Interesting post. Maybe it isn’t just the westernization of body image, but the westernization of pressure for performance and everything else that is western.

    I wanted to give everyone a short post about my daughter. She is truly doing great. We have such a great relationship again. It’s changed, but better.
    We’ll have bumps. But we’ll have better skills for dealing with them.

    Over the weekend, her first weekend home, she went down to her college town and visited with the few friends she has who are still there. An awful lot of them have had a really bad freshman year. Freshman year stinks, in general, I think. She went to the library and read and journaled and then headed over to her old dorm to see her friend.
    Unfortunately, she had forgotten her phone in the car. I had called her and gotten voicemail and had gone into my usual panic about her not answering my calls, of course. She apologized for not calling sooner and explained that she had not had her phone with her and told me about her afternoon.

    She went to a jazz concert Saturday night with friends. The boy that she had a crush on went too, but she “dealt with it”. She says she danced her “butt” off (she loves to tell everyone how cute her butt is again – and it is). She went back to the dorm with her friend and cried a little, and went to sleep.

    Sunday morning she called me first thing and told me she was going to hang around awhile. Sunday was beautiful in Indiana. Sunny, breezy and about 65 degrees. She sat outside, read her Bible, journaled, ate her meals on plan and came home.

    She’s trying to process her feelings now about school. She loves her old school. She felt as though she didn’t really make the kinds of friends there, thought who would help her stay on track….so she is considering a transfer to a Christian school (with a good liberal arts reputation) near her treatment facility. She loves Bloomington, though. And I understand why. IU Bloomington has the most beautiful campus you can imagine. Unfortunately, they have no faith-based programs for her ED there and it is a big big party school. She has said that if she goes back to IU it will be in her own studio apt., rather than the school’s biggest party dorm….and she will want to start attending church at a church she heard about and she will want to find a group of Christian kids to be involved with.

    I told her to go ahead and put in her application to the other school as well. Be accepted both places so that she can make her choice when she feels more sure about the decision. If she is firmly in recovery, then she might be fine in Bloomington. If not, maybe she should stay closer to her therapists and in a more sedate university environment. We’ll know better after she completes her IOP and continues her treatment into the summer.

    She is doing so well. I’m so excited about her future. I have no idea where it will lead and we will face some tough times together. But she is beautiful and miraculous to me and she is starting to find herself – defined by herself. Not by me. Not by my husband or her friends or by ED. But by HER.

    I pray for this peace for all of you.

    Mrs. B.

  30. Josie says:

    Mrs B – that’s so awesome about your daughter. I really hope things continue to go well for her. Looking back at my recovery experience i noticed i started getting sloppy with the little recovery things and missing those led to a bit of a downfall. My advice to her would be to be careful to not let herself forget to do all the little things she’s doing right now to be doing so well.

    I attempted suicide as planned. Well, twice. And, well, not “as planned” because i’m still here. Slit my wrist first and ended up in A&E (ER), and was back there again within 2 hours after an overdose. Spent the night in the cardiac unit, and now i’m home wondering what the hell to do with myself. I don’t think i really want to die. But i can’t live like this anymore.

  31. kim says:

    josie, i feel how you do about not being able to live this way anymore. i am very happy you are alive. i cried when i read you tried to kill yourself. i wish you could see you as i do and you looked at yourself through my eyes. you are so much stronger then you give yourself credit for and i am in awe of your love and compassion. josie, god wants you in this world, it is not your time to go. find your passion, i think it is your art, and hopefully soon you will see gods plan for you. please dont give up, i really need you. i really love you!! xxxkim

  32. Mrs. B. says:

    I need to take some time to compose my thoughts for a post to both of you. For now, please just accept that I love both of you. Do you hear how you support one another and everyone here? The greatest gift in this world that we have for one another is love. Thanks for giving so much to others.

  33. Mrs. B. says:

    I think some of our friends could use some experienced counsel about how to pull back from the dark places. Do you have any wisdom for how you drove yourself toward a more positive place?

  34. shelly says:

    Hi Mrs. B, Josie, Kim-

    I have a hard time with this and I dont want to act like a therapist, but I will tell you my experience.

    When I was in those dark places I thought about suicide all the time. I wanted to die because I didnt want to deal with anything anymore. I was so tired of it. But at the same time, I REALLY didnt want to die. I guess I just wanted to escape and I thought dying was the only way I could do so because I couldnt/didnt know how to ask for help. I had asked so many times and I had failed everytime help was given to me. I guess I felt that the only way people could see how much I was truly hurting would be to commit suicide. Then they would finally get it.
    I didnt know how to get out of those dark places. I thought medication would help me, but I had tried every med…literally every med. I even tried ECT (which was a nightmare). I guess I was relying on something outside of myself to make me feel better and I can say that is where I went wrong.
    I think a big turning point for me also was to get off of benzo’s (valium, klonopin, ativan, Xanax, etc). I found that when I got off of these I wasnt nearly as depressed as I was before. Even at therapeutic doses they made me an entirely different person. I guess I was willing to trade in living in hell with an extreme amount of anxiety.
    Once I decided to get better I slowly started to pull out of that dark place. I still find myself going there sometimes but I try to pull away as much as I can.
    It is hard and I think this is the trickiest part of an ED. At least for me,I got stuck in that place and could not get out. Funny thing, I could tell everyone else how much I admired their strength and their recovery. I could tell people how beautiful they were how much I loved them, but I could never tell myself that. I still have a hard time telling myself that and although I dont believe it sometimes I trust that others or telling me truth and not just blowing smoke up my ass. It is a long slow crawl out of that black hole and the reality is some dont make it. Since Polly’s death it has really hit home for me and I had to make a difficult desicion to post here because I knew I would meet people that I could ultimately lose and that is hard for me.
    Kim and Josie, I am so glad that you guys are posting. I would think that is an important step. Even though we only have contact through our screens at least you guys are talking.
    You two are intelligent and “know” what to do to get better. I looked at Recovery through an intelligent point of view, but emotionally and mentally it was too hard for me. But I finally took on the challenge.
    Josie and kim-Please hang in there.
    shelly g.
    Im sorry these posts are so long.

  35. Mrs. B. says:

    They are long, but really helpful to us on all sides of this. You are the only person here who has truly experienced the depth of this….now from all sides.

  36. kim says:

    thanks mrs. b and shelly. i do understand what shelly is saying, it is just really hard to do anything right now because it does feel like im at the bottom of a hole and alone and dont have the energy to do much of anything. i feel like ive lost my voice in this world and im just really tired and honestly dont know if i can do it. i know my eating is going down and that makes my thinking worse. i dont really know what is a good next step right now and as shelly said it is hard because i do think of suicide all the time and kind of am seeing it as the only real option to get out of this. i feel like i have let everyone down, i have failed them and i have failed me. im sorry. i am just trying my hardest to make it through this month. to finalize business stuff and to see my parents leave on their much deserved trip. i am here now though and am taking in all you say and trying to find strength or hope somewhere. thank for listening and being here. xxxkim

  37. Josie says:

    Thanks Shelly & Mrs B.
    I’ve done okay today. Well, slept through most of it. I’m so tired, emotionally and physically. I’m struggling to move around, like climbing stairs or walking, i think because my heart is still not right. I’m going back to college tomorrow. One day at a time.

  38. Julia Stone says:

    Shelly’s commentary is really quite refreshing.
    I just wish I could make it make sense to me. I still don’t understand how I can apply all the rules of logic and health to everyone else, hope everyone else recovers, and yet completely not see recovery as possible or even a good thing for me.
    I’m sure I make no sense. Maybe I shouldn’t make sense. I just purged again and I think I might actually be getting sick after months of being surrounded by people with all manner of infections.
    Sorry, ranting…
    Thank you for speaking about it, Shelly. Someone has to be a voice for us.

  39. Josie says:

    Aaahh, so positive on wedsnesday when i last wrote.
    I went to college on thurs but had to be rushed from there back to hospital as i had chest pains, i took another ED and my liver was failing. I’m home again now (saturday). Mad.

  40. Rachel says:

    Vanessa, I love you! You rock! :-)

    Shelly, thanks for coming to post here. You truly are a fantastic individual, and I’ve watched the documentary and I’ve silently stood behind you (Polly, and the other two as well!) in hopes that you each find your way out of the black hole. Unfortunately, Polly didn’t make it. I’m so sorry. She was a wonderful individual, even though it was difficult for her to see it.

    Thanks again for coming here, Shelly. I always enjoy what you have to say!!

  41. noorsaw says:

    I am feeling rather lonely right now. I am struggling with contradicting thoughts…about eating well and trying to get back on track…and about cutting back even more because everywhere I turn, I hear hurtful comments about weight. I am just stuck.

    Shelly, I am so glad you’re doing well. I know there are rough days but it sounds like you are well armed now. This is wonderful and admire you very much.

    I am so sad that Polly didn’t make it. It is hard for me to even talk about this because she and I were at the SAME point in February. I made it and Polly didn’t, and to be honest, I don’t know which one of us is victorious.

    I want to live, I really do. Things are better now then they were during what I call the “February of Doom.” But I still feel like I am struggling more then a middle aged woman should. I should be OVER this by now. But here I am, at the eternal beginning again. It is very frustrating.

    I am new here so I’m not sure if I’ve said anything I’m not supposed to, or if I’ve simply said too much. But this feels like a safe place so I just thought I’d release a little bit of my soul…see what happens.

    Thankyou for listening.

  42. shelly says:

    Hi norrsaw-

    Considered yourself victorious. and I am being serious. I have been affected by someone killing themselves twice in my life. When I found out Polly killed herself I felt so incredibly devastated and desperate for answers. Polly and I had our fall outs many times in the past (we arer both really strong-headed and opinionated), but she has never hurt me so much as she hurt me the day she committed suicide. I have made peace with it and I know she is in a better place but I wish she would have kept fighting.

    I think the biggest thing you need to focus on is not beating yourself up for where you are right now in your life. You said you SHOULD be over this by now. Well, your not, so quit focusing on that. You are were you are and you can only go forward from this very moment.

    I know it is hard and I know it is frustrating. I am not were I am in my life right now either and I am actually in recovery. I am beating my ED but I have agoraphobia to deal with. My therapist just challenged me to sit with where I am for the next month and so I am trying my hardest to do so. It is hard and very very frustrating, but life is. and it is even harder with an ED.

    Keep writing and keep reaching out, it will really do you some good.


  43. noorsaw says:

    Thankyou for responding to me…I’m sorry it took so long for me to write back. This week has been busy with school and work, so I am pretty much reeling. Not to mention the fact my school put a hold on my accout because they say I owe (get this! A whole $54! I don’t owe it, but this third shift girl has to stay up to deal with it AGAIN today, before my classes fill up.

    I think you’re right…writing and reaching out will help. I also need to get more honest in therapy. The past 2 sessions I’ve had have been very “surface” and it’s time to take another plunge.

    I do know I am victorious. I’m glad I’m alive…it just amazes me how quickly a good day can turn. Sometimes my mood changes so often I feel overwhelmed.

    I can only imagine how much you hurt when Polly took her own life. I don’t know if it was as sudden as it seemed (surely it wasn’t to her) but I just wasn’t expecting it. Strangely I found out about it after one of the worst days I’ve had in YEARS. I think that explains the confusion. On that very day I thought of all the pills in my cupboard and how easy it would be. How easy yet how incredibly hard. Because I, too, would devasate the ones I left behind even though I had convinced myself I would be putting them out of my misery. Now I am glad I am still here, fighting the good fight.

    I also need to stop beating myself up…you’re absolutely right on with that. I have spent a life time doing this. In fact, I often catch myself cringing with guilt over things I did over 30 years ago! Come ON! It’s time to move on!

    This has gotten long so I will close…but not before saying thankyou again for your response. I am so glad you are here…and I hope you stay. Because you seem like a wonderful woman and I’m glad you’re kickin’ a– and takin’ names. :)


  44. shelly says:

    funny thing…about being more honest in therapy. I got busted at my last session for dodging talking about real shit. I just was touching the surface and I knew I was doing it but my therapist caught on. So I am glad because I realize I do it automatically, subconciously. So I need to work on that myself.
    I still beat myself up but what is different is that I am more aware of when I am doing it and that has made a difference. Before I would beat myself up and believe all of what my crazy mind was telling me. Now I dont believe as much, but it is a work in progress. Such is life.
    I am glad you are here as well. Good luck with figuring out that bill for school!! I am in the same boat because I have sooooo many bills because of my Ed. Eventually I will pay them off, but it is definately a stressor.

    Hang in there….Keep Fighting…and never ever give up!!


  45. noorsaw says:

    Hi Shelly!

    I do the same thing…I talk about school, or classes, and before I know it the session is over and I haven’t really “said” anything. I need to work on that…I always tell myself I will write things down as I run into them, but thus far, I haven’t.

    Things did work out with school…and I got into all of the classes I needed. This is my second to last term and I was afraid the classes I needed would fill up while the powers that be and I wrangled over a $54 hold.

    Such is life. That is SO true. I am my own worst enemy. My sister (I’m a twin too, by the way…) once told me that my “whole life was a guilt trip” and she was right. I sometimes find myself feeling great pangs of guilt over things I did 20 years ago…and they’re not even major things. I am a much better friend to others then I am to myself.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

  46. Jay says:

    Hi Shelly,
    It’s been awhile since you’ve written this, but I still wanted to respond.
    I watched THIN when it first came out, and have struggled with my anorexia binge/purge type for 6 years. I am currently inpatient for the first time ever, and thus can only now relate to so many of the things you and the other girls went through in your stay at Renfrew.
    In trying to find reassurance and comfort in the fact that others have been through what I am going through at the moment, I found myself thinking about the documentary I saw over a year ago.
    Like you and others, I am fighting the system and doing all these “incredibly sick crazed anorexic” behaviors [such as faking my weight, exercising in my room, purging here, etc… :(] that I thought I would NEVER do.
    I thought I would be able to enter treatment and not have it be *easy*, but that I would be able to give myself permission, so to say, to eat and gain weight. I came here with all this motivation, and it keeps getting lower each day.
    Before I came in here, as sick as I was, I didn’t even fully identify myself as the ED. Now, paradoxically, with the treatment focus all on the weight and the food, my ED has become a much greater part of my identity. This is a bad thing, not only do I dislike it, but it’s completely the opposite of being conducive to recovery.

    I’ll stop rambling now.
    It was incredible to read the things you have written here, especially given that the last time I heard of you online you were not doing so well.
    I sincerely admire how far you’ve come in your journey to wellness. Seriously, you’re to be admired for many things, NOT the ed, but instead how you have chosen to fight it and to cope with it and life.

  47. Bella says:

    I am so in love with Shelley, now more than ever. It is incredibly sad that Polly died – I can only hope for her that she is in a better place. To Shelley I wish all the strength, hope, joy, love and beauty in the world. I commend her on her decision to reclaim her life and wish her all the best.

    And thank you to mamavision for giving her a safe place to share her story ♥♥♥

  48. Laurie Garrow says:

    hey shelly,
    YOU are a huge inspirtaion to me. I have battled with an eating disorder since I was in high schoool. I to have relied on like every med out there and I just recently took myself off everything I was on you name it I was on it. I watched your story on utube and then I rented the movie from netflix and watched it last night. I just seem to be struggling lately. My mom passed away almost a year ago and my aunt passed away in novemeber. I would like to keep in touch with you. you can always email me at
    Keep up the good work

  49. Pingback: Shelly from THIN documentary...five years later | Eating Disorder Resource Anorexia Bulimia Help

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