Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

The Hungry Season by T. Greenwood

The Hungry Season by T. Greenwood

This post is long overdue.  After I got back from Radar, the whole “you’re a hypocrite,” “you’re not recovered,” comments flew my way and so I addressed those and then tried to get back into my normal mode of blogging.

I don’t endorse many eating disorder books.  We have books written by or about someone who has an eating disorder, has had an eating disorder, has died from eating disorder, or who grew up in the midst of someone else who had an eating disorder–in both fiction and nonfiction format.  I truly believe these books are necessary and there are stories still to be told and that more people–in certain populations–need to read them.  But I also know that people with eating disorders tend to pick up a book about eating disorders without really wanting to find the inspiration.  They are looking for tips or tricks or triggers.  And so I tend to keep quiet about what books I have found helpful, because I don’t know what’s going on in everyone’s heads and how they would “take” the book.

The Hungry Season is not an “eating disorder book.”  The premise is the loss of a family member, a daughter and sister, due to anorexia.  But the book is not about the immediate grief, anger, sadness, and confusion resulting from her death.  It’s about what happens to the people she left behind, how it affects the mother, the father, the brother–all in different and profound ways.  It’s about how they struggle to redefine family when part of that family is gone.  It’s about longing and desire and hunger in every day life.  What happens when those things are lost and the world you held dear is shattered in an instant?

The text doesn’t bring up the family memories struggles of trying to get their daughter or sister to eat, or taking her therapy or treatment or trying to instill in her the will to hold on to life.  It is about their reclamation of the will to hold on to life in a world without her.

What would your parents long for if you were gone?  What would your brother or sister turn to for consolation?  Would they be able to carry on as before?  Would their appetite diminish and how long would it take to get it back?

We–those of us who are suffering from and dying from eating disorders and those of us who attempt suicide or are thinking of doing so–often use the excuses of “they’ll be better off without me,” or “I cause too many problems,” or “they won’t even miss me.”  I know I thought those things before my suicide attempt.  And I certainly didn’t think my eating disorder affected those around me to any great extent.  It was, after all, mine.  The Hungry Season proves all of this wrong.  Our lives are only partly our own.

I have known over ten friends in real life who have died from their eating disorders, and through Facebook, I have known even more.  Each time it happens, it rips a hole through me that’s just about three inches above my navel.  Each of these beautiful individuals gave me a unique hole, and no other person can fill it.

Never think you will not be missed, that your life does not impact others, or that you death will be a minor event.  Your ghost will live on and, in some way, haunt those who hunger for you the most.

For information on T. Greenwood and her other books, please visit her website.


March 27, 2010 - Posted by | death, Eating Disorders | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Wow- I definitely want to read this book. It sound so powerful. I agree with the eating disorder book dilemma and this one definitely sounds one of a kind. Of course, it is not in the same category as “eating disorder book” (even though I have a few that I do find incredibly helpful) I think a book like this is a huge reminder of the reality of what could happen if we do not fight for recovery and well-being even when we feel like there is nothing left to fight for. This suggestion could not have come at a better time. I definitely have to get ahold of it.

    Comment by Jessica | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. lovely post on such a difficult subject. and ironically, i just learned of a fellow treatment buddy who passed yesterday.
    sometimes i feel guilty for making it. it’s silly of me of course, but none the less…

    Comment by denise | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. That book sounds really powerful. I know our family completely redefined itself. It’s weird filling the baby-of-the-family role after 19 years of not. The unspoken, “but our real baby is gone,” is always there.
    I’m glad I found your blog. I’m excited to read your writing! Remember, if you write a book and need illustrations, I’m your girl!

    Comment by Wednesday | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, I think it is coming just in time. I have gotten frieghteningly close to attempting suicide in the last few weeks, but I can feel myself shifting away from that thinking. I look forward to reading this book and I think it will help guide me in seeing that ‘ending all’ is not really the best ending.

    Comment by mylifemywishfulthinking | April 4, 2010 | Reply

  5. I lost my Mom to anorexia a few months ago. There is nothing I’ve ever known more painful. She was in the grip of a disease (that I understand-share) – but losing her taught better than anything what that kind of death does to a family, or to yourself. She was the most wonderful person I’ve ever known – and I do not want to follow in those footsteps. Death teaches you a lot. I just wish like hell I didn’t have to learn this way.

    Comment by Sarah | April 19, 2010 | Reply

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