Death and Anorexia

June 28, 2010 Laura Collins

I have tried to write another blog post, several times, but can't get anywhere. This happens when I'm trying to avoid something: I stumble over it anyway. There is no avoiding it: I went to a funeral this weekend of a young woman killed by anorexia and I'm sad and I'm mad and I'm sad again and I don't see how to think about anything else.

Anorexia Nervosa: Deadly and Difficult to Treat

I'm sad for my friend and her family. I'm mad at anorexia. Anorexia is a wretched, horrible, cruel illness. It doesn't just starve the body. It steals the vitality and health and individuality of its victims leaving them trapped and isolated and drained. Most horrible, though, is that anorexia blinds its victims to their own state of mind, health, and loved ones. They become dependent on others to see them, save them, act on their behalf - if those around them understand the illness and have the power to act.

At times, I wonder whether the illness that I'm looking at, this anorexia that has ripped away from another family their beloved daughter and sister and cousin and granddaughter and niece, is the same one that others see. The anorexia I see has relentlessly pursued this woman and her family until it won. It used legal, social, professional, and personal triangulation to get its way. The anorexia I see didn't leave its victim a choice to get free, nor did it leave her family a choice to stop it. It wasn't a choice or a mistake or a failure on her part or that of her amazing, brave, heroic, patient, adoring family.

This is not a time for recriminations but a time for resolve. My resolve is to work handsharder. My resolve is to fight for and with families for earlier, better eating disorder treatment and a society that supports families through the process. My resolve is to refuse to be divided or silent IN the eating disorders world, even when it offends or hurts. My resolve is to take my place among those who have had good fortune and bad and keep going. I don't know what else to do, and it is difficult to think of anything else.

APA Reference
Collins, L. (2010, June 28). Death and Anorexia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Laura Collins

August, 16 2010 at 3:14 am

Bridget, I know how you feel. My daughter is also 20 years old and it is discouraging. We thought she was on the road to recovery and there has been a setback. It's very frustrating. And heartbreaking. I will remember you and your daughter is my prayers. Please hang in there. And remember, you're not alone and neither is your daughter.

Laura Collins
August, 10 2010 at 10:08 am

It is terrible, isn't it? I am so sorry for the suffering of your daughter and yourself.
What helped me a lot was to see that my daughter COULD NOT help herself - and stop expecting her to do. Anorexia is an anosognosic condition - until they are in recovery they need others to do the thinking and protecting to the best of our ability.

Bridget Bonham
August, 9 2010 at 7:03 am

I am just so discouraged dealing with my anorexic daughter for about 5 years now. And now she is close to 20 and refuses to come home. I am so scared. She is so tiny and isolated. I pretty much feel kind of hopeless now. And I hate that. I just don't know what to do.

marilyn mills
July, 12 2010 at 12:49 am

I have been fighting anorexia and bulimia for 20 years now. At one time, I weighed less than 70 pounds. I've been involuntarily committed 4 times for mental illness. I am now 96 pounds, which is within my ideal body weight. My range is 90-110 pounds. I have advanced osteoporis, and have lost an inch in height, my lower jaw and upper are half the size they were 2 years ago. I work with a certified dietician and counselor who was able to overcome her eating disorder and now helps others. Her name is Mary Jo Briggs and she has her own web site.
Since working with her I have been able to eat foods other than toast with peanut butter. It is due to her that I can eat a variety of foods and have gained 8 pounds. I think the only people who can truly help those of us with eating disorders are those who have experienced it first hand. I am back in college with a 4.0. Food is now longer the enemy or my friend. Although I still binge and purge some days, I'm learning how to love myself and take care of myself. If anyone would like to contact me feel free and I wish all of you health and love.

July, 6 2010 at 6:44 am

Not only do I applaud your resolve to fight this hideous disease in whatever way possible but I would like to help you in that endeavor. I was one of the lucky ones in my battle against Anorexia and I now have the pleasure of helping others in their battle. Please let me know what I can do to support your efforts!

Kerry Prater
July, 2 2010 at 2:43 pm

In your fight, if there is anything that I can do to help, let me know. I am VERY good at research. If you get a hint of a direction, drop me a line, and I will pursue it for you. If you just need a shoulder, I can do that as well.

June, 29 2010 at 2:40 am

I support and join you in your resolve. It is the only thing we can do.

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