My Name is CarolineCaroline Adams MillerThank youweddingCarolineCaroline and sonSamanthafamily shotbaptismrenewalCaroline and friendsDonnyBayard25th ReunionBlack Beltcompetitive swimmingHarvardCubs Gameloev statueteamwork of crewlast day of schoolGood News Ambassadorpositively Caroline

My Name is Caroline

In 1978 I was a high school senior with an eating disorder called bulimia.

35 Years Later

This is my story...
Not a week has gone by since 1988 that I haven’t gotten a call, email, or letter from someone thanking me for sharing my story. In addition to the letters of gratitude and requests for help, I’ve gotten even more queries about what has happened to me since the book was published.
I got married on June 18th, 1983 to Haywood Miller at Washington’s National Cathedral. No one, including him, knew that I had an eating disorder.
In May 1989, as our professional worlds were crumbling and we were heading towards declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy of our eating disorder center, Renewal, I posed for the honor of being named "Self" Magazine's person of the month, along with my newborn son and husband, Haywood.
In the fall of 1990 I posed with my son, Haywood IV, who looked just like the image of the little boy I saw in a dream while I was pregnant.
After Samantha was born I was thrilled to have been blessed with one healthy boy and one healthy girl, so I thought I was done having children. In the summer of 1993 our family of four enjoyed a quick visit to Bethany Beach, DE where I had spent many happy days as a child.
In a happy surprise, we became a family of five when Bayard joined us in early 1995. That summer we posed for a picture at the neighborhood park where I had played often as a child myself.
Shortly after Bayard was born in 1995, I decided it was time to get myself baptized at the age of 33 along with all three children.
In 1996, we drove out to Middletown, MD to see what had happened to the property we had renovated to be the Renewal eating disorder center eight years earlier. Although Haywood didn't remember ever living there, I will never forget seeing the property get auctioned off while I watched from our bedroom (far left) on the second floor.
Two of my college roommates, who also swam on the Harvard team with me, Kathleen McCloskey Clow (left) and Kathryn Davis Van Steyn (right), are still close friends of mine.
I took my children to spend Thanksgiving 1996 with my grandmother in Lewes, DE. Donny, as I called her, was the best grandmother a person could ever hope to have.
Although parenting is hard enough as is, Bayard’s unusual behavior around words, starting around the age of one, threw us for a loop.
Haywood and I returned with our children to my 25th reunion from Harvard University where I joined a panel discussing breakthroughs in health. Going back to Harvard as a healthy, happy adult was important closure for me.
In February 2003, my daughter Samantha and I earned our black belts in Hapkido after five years of grueling training and dozens of stripe and belt tests.
After several decades away from competitive swimming, I entered my first Masters meet in 2005 and actually won a few events! Swimming for pleasure, and not because I had to, marked a big change in how I approached that and other hobbies as part of my long-term recovery.
I returned to Harvard’s famous Memorial Hall in the spring of 2006 with other MAPP classmates to sit in on Tal ben Shahar’s “Positive Psychology” class. It was poignant for me to be there after my unhealthy college years.
Bayard told us that he has a goal of visiting every baseball park in the country, so we try to go to a few new ones every year. In 2006 we went to Chicago to enjoy a game there.
May 2006 with family on graduation day. I graduated in the first Master of Applied Positive Psychology program from the University of Pennsylvania.
In the summer of 2011, Haywood and I stopped by the farmette in Boring, MD to see if anything had changed, but it looked the same as we left it in 1989.
Picking up a new sport at midlife isn’t easy but I’m really enjoying the teamwork of crew and all of the lessons it teaches. Some of my rowing colleagues joined me for a race on Washington, D.C.’s Potomac River in the fall of 2011.
Although I once worried that my eating disorder would prevent me from having children, in 2012 I saw my oldest, Haywood IV, graduate from the University of Cincinnati, where he was captain of the men’s swim team.
In September 2012 I was named a Good News Ambassador by the Good News Network for my work in disseminating Positive Psychology around the world.
In 2013, I published Positively Caroline, which ties together the work I've done for many decades to create lasting happiness, understand how to help others set and achieve hard goals, and provide hope to others that big dreams can come true.

Positively Caroline: How I Beat Bulimia For Good and Found Real Happiness, is one of the first books of its kind to tackle the subject of how eating disorder survivors can and do create lives of joy and health that persist past the early years of recovery. Some media reports have led people to believe that there is an “addictive personality” that careens from addiction to addiction without ever experiencing lasting wellness, but Caroline’s story is a demonstration that many people can, and do, put food into its proper perspective and then go on to handle other life challenges without sliding backwards into food abuse or turning to other addictive substances or behaviors.


My Name is CarolinePositively Caroline is the sequel to the bestselling My Name is Caroline (Doubleday 1988), which was the first major autobiography to cover recovery from bulimia, and which continues to sell well today. The book was an Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild and was reviewed in countless newspapers and magazines all over the world, and featured on television and radio programs. Tens of thousands of people say that the book helped them to have hope for themselves or someone close to them, and that it gave them the courage to speak up and get the help they needed. LEARN MORE ABOUT POSITIVELY CAROLINE


In this 90-second trailer Caroline talks about what prompted her to write the sequel to her best-selling autobiography, “My Name is Caroline” (Doubleday 1988), what she’s learned in the last few decades about the most effective recovery techniques, and how the science of happiness has helped her find her strongest and best self at midlife.