Lessons From the Mountain by Mary McDonough, Beverly Nault

By Mary McDonough, Beverly Nault

For 9 seasons, Mary McDonough used to be a part of the most liked households in tv heritage. simply ten years-old whilst she was once solid because the lovely, healthy heart baby Erin, Mary grew up at the set of The Waltons, alternately embracing and rebelling opposed to her good-girl onscreen personality. Now, because the first forged member to put in writing approximately her reviews at the vintage sequence, she candidly recounts the thrill and demanding situations of starting to be up Walton--from her in a single day transformation from a regular child in a operating type, Irish Catholic relations, to a Hollywood baby superstar, to the non-public demanding situations that led her to tackle a brand new position as an activist for women's physique photograph issues.

Touching, humorous, occasionally heartbreaking, and continually illuminating, Lessons from the Mountain is the tale of every thing Mary McDonough realized on her trip over--and beyond--that recognized mountain.

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Kitty laid her head in my lap the way she used to when she was a toddler. Lately she’d been both insecure and clingy. She reached for my hand constantly, wanting to link arms, walk in step. She hovered when I cooked dinner. Was this normal, I wondered? Weren’t fourteen-year-olds supposed to be pulling away? She did spend a lot of time alone in her room, where she’d created a rigorous gymnastics training regimen that involved doing hundreds of push-ups, V-ups, and chin-ups a day. And she was out of the house four or five nights a week at the gym, practicing with her team from six to nine, eating dinner by herself every night around five.

Kitty’s illness wasn’t about the food, but we had to try to get her to eat. It wasn’t about the food—but she was starving to death. Though I respected my friend the therapist and her years of experience, her words made no sense to me. With each day that passed Kitty was disappearing, mentally as well as physically. She was hysterical, emotional, fragile. She couldn’t think straight, couldn’t sustain simple conversations, let alone express or “work through” feelings. If it wasn’t about the food, then why was she so irrational about eating?

Five or six times a day, she sat at the table and faced down panic and guilt, terror and delusions and physical pain, and kept going. And she emerged on the other side. After months of being lost, she came back to us and to herself, and the world took on color and sound and meaning once more. Between 3 and 6 percent of all teens deal with an eating disorder, whether it’s anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or the all-too-common ED-NOS, or eating disorder not specified. Many more struggle with other devastating illnesses, both mental and physical: Schizophrenia.

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