To the Pound reader who wrote in to Sarah's advice column at Tomato Nation on August 1st:

Ever since I read your letter I’ve been wondering how you’re doing. I don�t know when you wrote it, so maybe you’re not feeling the same way now, since the winter�s been over for awhile. I’m glad you wrote Sarah, because she is insightful as all hell when it comes to this stuff, and I’ll leave it to her to give the advice. But your letter made me want to say something, if only to just tell you about how it�s been for me sometimes.

I’ve wanted to tell you that this whole matter of “doing it” is not an end unto itself; that I’ve spent the past two years learning that fact over and over, constantly doing and undoing; that it’s always taken me about a month to figure out whether I’m going to click with a therapist; that just telling someone what I need can be the hardest thing in the world, so hard that sometimes I pretend I’m autonomous as a fucking houseplant and just wait for the sun instead.

So in case you need someone else to tell you to take Sarah’s advice, I’m telling you now. I’ll also tell you to forget about the self-help books and instead go read this book by Betsy Lerner, because sometimes it just helps to have other people tell their stories (and tell them well), and also this one by Caroline Knapp, which will tell you everything you already secretly know in a voice convincing enough for you to believe it.

That’s all I have to say and I hope it’s okay that I said it here. Please write me and let me know how you’re doing.