Letter to F.E.A.S.T. from E.W.
I just want to say a huge THANK-YOU to everyone who has put this website and mine of information together, as well as all the people providing support for parents like mine on the forum. You helped save my life.
I first stumbled across the FEAST website and ATDT when I was in hospital around 18 months ago. I was really really struggling, and although I knew it was exactly what my parents needed to see I couldn’t distance myself from anorexia for long enough to show them what I’d found. I was discharged form hospital after 8 weeks and promptly regressed back into anorexia…. Managed 5 months in the real world before being admitted again, and the same thing happened, I was discharged, found myself back on the slippery slope and before I knew it was back in hospital for the third time.
I was really desperate and losing hope. I was reading the forum occasionally and reading things that filled me with hope and relief. I read about ‘life stops until you eat’ and ‘food is your medicine’ and wished that my parents knew to say things like that to shut anorexia up and show it I had no choice but to eat and get better… I started dropping hints to my parents about FEAST… “Mum, have you seen this website? It’s got some really interesting info on it…” Needless to say, anorexia was not happy about this!
Literally within days of showing my parents FEAST, everything changed for me and my family. The awful cycle of hospital admissions was broken. It was a huge relief, I felt like my parents were truly understanding and united (not that they would have thought that at the time, boy was anorexia raging). Although outwardly I must have seemed insane, inside I was secretly relieved that I was finally getting the help I needed to get my life back, and that the choice to eat was being taken away.
I think what really makes the difference with FEAST and ATDT is that the people on here understand. They have been through the awful times and the triumphant times themselves and know what works and doesn’t work. This is such an unbelievable, sneaky illness, and I think that’s what was hardest for my parents…. They simply couldn’t fathom how much and why I was struggling simply to eat (fair enough! I used to think eating disorders were ‘phases’ or ‘choices’ which started because of vanity – oh how wrong I was!! It is just so hard to understand). I am a really honest person, so no wonder it took them a while to catch on to the lies anorexia had been forcing out of my mouth about food. I had also been independent for so long that requiring me or telling me to do something was extremely foreign.
Our family therapist kept asking me “what can your parents do to help you” and of course anorexia had me totally gagged…. I just wanted to scream READ THE FEAST WEBSITE!!
So thank-you. I realize now that my parents have literally saved my life, and I think we all agree FEAST and ATDT were instrumental in helping this happen. I know it’s still early days in terms of my recovery time-wise, but in a few short months I have come from being confined to a hospital bed being fed through a tube, to eating what I need, and enjoying it too. Just the other day I had a 6 course meal out at a restaurant!!!! And I was anxiety and anorexia free while eating it.
Once again, thank-you. Keep doing what you’re doing, FEAST is amazing and you’re literally saving lives.