Who to share my excitement of my first book none other than with my favourite Fashion Hungry readers?
I have been working on my first book for quite some time now. It is a book that comes from the heart, based on a subject that there are still a vast number of misconceptions on.
In October 2004, at the age of 15, I was hospitalised with severe anorexia nervosa, a deadly disease that kills millions of men and women every year.
Weighing just over 3 and a half stone, I was marked down as ‘chronic, a hopeless case.’ Given one week to live, I had to make a decision – eat or die.
I was written off before I even had the chance to fight back. They told my family I probably wouldn’t make it, but I did, and here I am today.
It has taken me years to overcome. Although I was released from the hospital one month later, still severely underweight at 5 stone and ‘on the road to health,’ it has taken me years to finally begin to relax, eat normally and just get on with it.
Today I am 5ft 3 and 8 stone, a healthy weight for my height. Finally, I don’t feel too bad about it. I have finally reached a stable weight that I am (somewhat) comfortable with. I eat and drink like a normal person. My heart no longer flutters when I walk. I get to sleep without the pain of hunger and the body eating the flesh causing me to jolt from my bed. I no longer surround my day with calorie counting, food obsessions and exercise. I consume a healthy number of calories each day, I exercise, I smile, I live.
I am ok.
It has taken me a number of years to go back into writing my book. I started writing it at the age of sixteen but in all honesty, I wasn’t entirely ready for it yet.
Writing the book has been cathartic in some ways, and torturous in others. There I am, spilling my guts to the people that helped me through it, yet didn’t know to the full extent how sick I really was.
They seen the bones, the skeletal physique, the dull empty eyes and the obsessive and manic mind. But they didn’t see the things I did to get there, or just how violent my illness was.
My book: STARVED, is an honest, brutal and shocking account of an eating disorder. I went to hell and back, through the looking glass, beyond the earth and I finally stumbled back into the real world, which was terrifying for me to revisit.
The voice of anorexia controlled me for many years and although it still berates me, lingers over me when I step on the scales, snarls when I eat – it no longer controls me.
My search for control was ironically taken away with my eating disorder. It took me to dangerous territories and told me I was disgusting, weak, powerless. But instead of offering me the control and perfection I searched for, it took every ounce of it away from me instead.
STARVED is a story that must be told. Eating disorders are not glamorous. There are women constantly bragging about how little they eat, how they ‘wish’ they were anorexic. This worries me.
I hope that STARVED – if it reaches the interest from a publisher out there – will put out the flames of any romanticism over starving out there.
I hope that people will begin to see the truth. If it helps to give one person the courage to utter those two words we are scared to say: I’m sick, then my book will have been worthwhile.
Pity and praise is not what I am looking to receive. From this book I want people to really understand anorexia and its consequences. I no longer want to see people judging and mocking the disease. I don’t want people to tell me how well I have done and how courageous I am.
I want sufferers to find the bravery to get the help they need, and for others to spot the signs before it’s too late. Anorexia is a sneaky, manipulative, destructive and soul-destroying disease.
It causes torment for not just the victim, but also for the victim’s family and friends. It erodes the body quickly, leaving everlasting consequences that sometimes can never be fixed.
I believe my book will not only appeal to those who have suffered from anorexia, but for anyone who has ever had to listen to that inner voice that tells them they are never enough.