Pollack "Polly" Ann Williams, who was featured in the HBO documentary Thin, was found dead three weeks ago (February 8, 2008) in her Hixson, Tennessee home. Polly suffered from anorexia nervosa for many years, and was only 33 when she died.
Shelly Guillory,another woman featured in Thin, recently sent an e-mail to the author of mamaVISION. Shelly advised that since the death of her friend, Polly Williams, she will be taking up the fight against eating disorders. She said, in part, in her e-mail:
"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..."
"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...
"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..."
Shelly, please know that we are all cheering you on in your recovery.
And for those who have taken up the fight, like Shelly, to spread information far and wide about the deadly consequences of eating disorders, please continue the fight in memory of Polly who left this world all too soon.
My previous post on Polly is here:
And the entire HBO documentary, THIN, may be viewed in this post:
DYING TO BE THIN...
The link to mamaVISION's complete post on Shelly is here: