A Letter From Taylor: Identical Twin In Recovery From Serious Eating Disorder
Dr. Phil met 16-year-old identical twins Taylor and Tricia in 2016 when they each weighed less than 80 lbs. The sisters were referred to separate treatment facilities to address their eating disorders, and as of September 2019, report having gained over 40 lbs. each.
Taylor and Tricia came back to the Dr. Phil stage for an update on their recovery.
Watch: Identical Twins Who Were Starving To Death Return!
Additionally, the twins have written letters about their recovery – and to thank Dr. Phil for his assistance in finding them help. Below is Taylor’s letter. Check here to read the letter from Tricia.
Hi everyone, as many of you know my name is Taylor. This is my second time going on Dr. Phil. The first time was in August 2016, Identical Twins Starving to Death: Who’s to Blame? I highly would suggest watching that episode. It will not only give you the reason why I’m appearing back on the show, but it’ll show you how serious an eating disorder can be. I was 16 when that show was aired. Today, I am returning as a 19-year-old recovered anorexic/bulimic. Not only am I returning as recovered, but also my beautiful journey partner, Tricia is as well.
With being away from home and hospitalized made me dramatically scared. I was hopeless, I was beyond lost in my mind, lost at who I was becoming. I began my treatment in Chicago Illinois. Treatment started off very oddly to me. I kept losing weight to the point I got discharged and placed into a hospital facility that specializes with eating disorders. It was a very low feeling for me knowing that I’m only 16 years old alone in a hospital I had no idea about, in a totally different state than what home I was.
The hardest part was being away from home. All I wanted was some sort of comfort. My beautiful mother actually drove to Chicago to come give me the comfort I needed. All I needed was a hug from her and for her to let me know everything will be okay. That is what pushed me to keep going and to keep striving for what I wanted.
Later on, I returned to the treatment facility. I remember instantly crying, crying because this was the biggest change I had to ever go through. To finding my balance with food, to finding the balance in my mind to blur that voice of “Ed” (eating disorder) out, and most importantly to love the person I was becoming.
My sister and I were separated from each other for 2 months, my sister and I never experienced being away from each other longer than 2/3 days at a time. I remember girls on my lodge asking me if I was okay, and that’s when I started building a relationship with them. Being a twin is a very unique bond that I get to experience.
Recovery was also very challenging to me. It’s just like learning something new. You’re so unsure of how things are supposed to go, you’re unsure of your emotions and unsure of what to expect. I had to constantly remind myself of who I am and who I was. I had to tell myself little things like “You can do it”, “Be brave”, “Recovery is possible”, and “always believe in yourself”. I told myself I’d actually be living.
By living I mean doing things I couldn’t do when I was stuck in the position of having the disorder. I didn’t enjoy living at the age of 16. I isolated myself from the world. I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to go to work (simply because I had no energy) I hardly would see friends and family. I missed out on so much opportunity throughout those years. It was the biggest thing I’ve held against myself in treatment.
Treatment was hard, full of tears, frustration, new beginnings and most importantly a new me. One thing that stuck with me throughout my recovery journey would have to be “step outside of your comfort zone” be uncomfortable, and accept it! Learn to deal with being uncomfortable and find comfort in the mind with it. Timberline Knolls not only helped me with coping skills but they helped me meet so many other girls of all ages struggling with disorders and showed me how to so positive each and every day!
Being away from Tricia was miserable for me. As soon as I got to treatment I said my goodbyes to Tricia I immediately teared up, the girls on my lodge made me feel as if I had my sister with me. These girls became sisters to me and helped me get through this stage in recovery.
After treatment I was recovered for a while, then everything started to fall backward on my end me, I went back to square one and began to relapse. I felt so hopeless, so disappointed in myself, and upset at the fact I was losing myself to this disorder again. I slowly stopped trying to get better because I knew I “failed” and my mind didn’t want to accept failure in recovery. I slowly developed that failure is okay! Failure is a part of a recovery journey. failure only meant it was a slip-up, a setback, and that it didn’t have to be forever if you kept pushing for recovery.
I remember one Saturday night, I was really thinking about my recovery and my future. I didn’t want to live like this, I knew I wanted to change again. That’s when I developed a plan, a plan to get better and to fight for recovery again. I didn’t want to live the life I was living anymore and that’s what stuck with me to get better.
A huge thank you to Dr. Phil for guiding me into the direction of recovery and a healthier lifestyle. Thank you to my amazing family and friends for tremendously believing in me and supporting me.
There is one special "thank you" I feel like I need to give. To my beautiful mother. I know you’re reading this and I never really got the chance to thank you enough for all the hard work and effort you put into my recovery journey, to reaching out to Dr. Phil and getting us to where we stand today. You have been my biggest supporter since the day you found out I struggled with this disorder.
You didn’t even think twice about giving up on me. You strived to find me the correct help that I needed. You didn’t let me fight this alone. You stood by me and made me feel strong. So, mom, I wish I could say this a million times I’m so lost at what words to even use to say thank you. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. You are one of a kind and I can’t express how much your dedication to me means to me. I owe you more than the world and not a single bit less.
Although, I have lost tons of friends throughout my recovery journey because I needed to focus on me and put me first. That’s okay though, some people just don’t have the mindset to understand mental illness as deep as some people do. To the girls who are standing by my side today, you guys encourage me every day to keep reaching for the goals I have in mind for myself and to stay recovery-focused.
Just one last thing, I wanted to take a brief moment and congratulate my beautiful sister, Tricia. Tricia, knowing I went through this was extremely hard for me but knowing you faced the same struggles as me. It completely broke my heart; I knew from day one you would beat that demon! No matter how many slip-ups, fall downs or setbacks, I never lost hope in you. I knew you would be the strong woman you are and fight through it. Walk with your head held high and be ready for what challenges come next in life!
Today I can proudly walk across the stage and say I am beat the demon! I am a recovered anorexic/bulimic. Thank you to everyone for believing in me and to everyone who didn’t, look where I am today!
To all the young individuals struggling with something out there. Speak up! Stand up! Reach out for help, and reach for you dreams!