"I've been reading your blog off and on for a while now, and I just wanted to say how pleased I am. It shows the reality of eating disorders to its readers - whether or not they listen.
I wonder if you've done any reading/gotten any stories about sufferers with generational links? I've always wondered about that, and you seem to have almost Too Much Information about these types of subjects! You see, my mom died a few months ago from complications from her anorexia (extreme hypoglycemia leading to coma and brain death) - and I too have suffered from anorexia and bulimia (at different stages in my life) for the last 13 years (I'm 21).
I'm not sure if I just want to know that there are others out there going through what I am or just want to tell someone who realizes what a Big Deal it is. Heh. That, hem, my only way of coping with grief is an eating disorder, but I dually know better than almost anyone how dangerous-deadly they are - and don't want to follow my Mom. *shrugs*
I just wanted to know if you've written anything about it, I guess - you've got so much on your blog it's sometimes hard to navigate. And fair heartbreaking in the meantime. Sometimes it hurts to read about these things - but sometimes you feel alone, you know?
Coincidentally, the day before I received Sarahlynn's email, I had posted VICKI'S STORY: "MY MUM DIED LAST WEEK. ED TOOK EVERYTHING FROM HER."
I wrote Sarahlynn back, telling her about Vicki's story, and then received this follow-up e-mail from Sarahlynn, which she has given me permission to post:
"That post was incredibly timely. I have been incredibly overwhelmed with Missing Mom the last week or so, and so my urge to recover has been... well, backsliding.
Sometimes it seems easier to engage in my behaviors than to actually feel the pain of loss. And You feel so alone, because I have never met another person who has lost a parent to an eating disorder - let alone one who also has one themselves. Though I've always assumed they must be out there: eating disorders KILL. And they don't always or necessarily USUALLY kill the young, new sufferers - wouldn't it be far more likely that the ones most likely to die would be the ones who had been suffering for decades (and probably had children and families at that point)? The damage they'd done to their bodies alone...
When my Mom died, she weighed something like 80 pounds (at 5'6). She didn't keep a journal, per se, but she has notebooks of everything she's ever eaten and every weight, going back years and years. I haven't reached the end of them yet: sometimes it is incredibly triggering to read my Mom's food-journals.
She had no teeth - they'd all rotted away. She'd gotten dentures a few months before, and was SO pleased. She'd been embarrassed of her teeth for so long that having dentures - and a real smile - made her grin constantly. She was going blind - she was, more than anorexic, a diabulimic.
Diabetic since childhood, she abused her insulin side by side with her eating disorder - it only killed her faster. She looked twenty years - at least - older than her 48. She had a hunchback, a result of premature osteoporosis. Her kidneys were failing. She had very little hair - on her head. She looked disgusting, and said when we'd visit "Oh, I look so ugly!" and I'd feel obligated to retort "No you don't, you look fine!" - even though she had the appearance of death warmed over.
Thank you for posting about Vikki - my heart goes out to her. Grief is still heavy for me right now - but remembering how it was in August... it was even harder, to get through that first bit.
I also wrote a blog-entry about my Mom, Grief, if any of it helps. The post has more photos. I think it would help to feel less alone, if I found others with similar experiences.
Again, thank you so much for your site: I hope you realize how much it helps. Hell, for me, when I get too stuck in my eating disorder I have gone to look at your blog - mostly because it reminds me of my Mom - in your photos of Chronic Anorexics, I see her.
I hope you, too, are well, and Working on Recovery.
Please take a moment to read Sarahlynn's blog ...
and her post about her Mom entitled "Grief" (see link above).