Tuesday, 30 November 2010
This was the book that inspired another editer to publish 'Bulimics on Bulimia'. I am glad that someone adressed bulimia in the same way; a collection of first hand stories of what it is like to suffer. However, to me, I gained more inspiration from the original 'Anorexia' stories. Somehow the endings in this book seemed on the whole, more sucessful.
‘I believe now that sufferers need to live out their Anorexia until they reach the point where they no longer want to have it.’
‘The main thing this time was that I wanted to get better for me, not to get out of hospital or to prove a point, but so I could start living again.’
‘Control that is so controlled it is out of control.’
‘By dying, no one would ever be able to take that achievement away from me.’
I think I am sick of the word 'quote'. It simply means very few of these words are actually my own. And yet I feel like a collection of many small meangingful things that people say are worth more than any individual voice. And besides, you will find me quoting myself sometimes ;) Rarely, but sometimes, yes, I do think what I have to say matters. From now on though, if it's in italics and between apostrophes, it is a quote (" is too confusing to me, unless I copy and paste). I know this is probably obvious, but I am so paranoid about 'stealing' other people's words that I have to be sure. So...
One on anger
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." - Buddha
One on hope
'Don't cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won't let you see the stars.' ~Violeta Parra
One on strength
'You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.' - Christopher Columbus
And one on perseverance
'If you are going through hell, keep going.' -Winston Churchill
Monday, 29 November 2010
Saturday, 27 November 2010
The best literature I have read on the subject. Most of the book is worth quoting, and has very little waffle. I read it a while ago but one thing I remember it covering is the theory of Anorexia and Bulimia being 'two sides of the same coin.' I will have to re-read it sometime...
‘Few people appreciate the extent to which anorexia nervosa and bulimia can wreck family life, either by the way it erupts into physical violence to people or property, or by the suffocating tension it creates.’
‘So well in fact does she hide her feelings that the way her later bulimia or compulsive eating is related to her former anorexia nervosa is also hidden. Because the episodes appear to be discontinuous, few theoreticians perceive that there is a clear relationship between the two problems...’
‘...Moral rules... it is starvation that pushes these familiar values to almost unrecognizable extremes...’
‘There is a cruel irony in the frequent assertion that anorexia nervosa is a mysterious illness...’
By Laura Collins
First off; I hate the name of this book, although admittedly I have had a few funny conversations about it. I am not sure why it sounds so ridiculous, but all I can think of is having a Pet Anorexic. Somehow the title gives inhumane connotations.
Next up in the series...
Eating with your Dog
On a serious note, I guess the book could be useful to those who believe in family-based treatment. I don't, unless the patient is really young. I believe that the interactions within the family should be looked at, but I do not think that this should be the basis of the therapy for fear over over-dependance or a feeling of being trapped by the family. I could be wrong though.
A good point that Collins made was:
‘Anorexics do not lack appetite, they are afraid of it.’
Note: The picture isn't really revelevant, but I couldn't find a good picture to represent girls having to have more body fat than boys. So instead... we will throw rocks in our anger that nature isn't fair! Also - I have no idea why I can't change the Authors names so that they are not vertical.
This was similar to 'Biting Anorexia' in the style, but even more dragged out, made up of diary entries which where pulled straight from er, their diaries. Some people's diaries are well written in the first place, and very to the point and artistically descriptive, such as Emma's in 'To Die For.' These, however, were not. The only bit possibly worth reading was the commentary, from which I dug out the following information:
‘...The average girl is expected to gain 40 pounds in the 4 years between the ages of 11 and 14. Normally, girls will again about one-third of their adult body weight during these 4 years...’
‘...Most women have to maintain 17 per cent body fat to menstruate and 22 per cent to be fertile. Essentially, body fat in women is out species’ way to control the population. If there is a famine, women’s body fat drops and they become infertile...'
‘...Boys cannot reverse puberty by reducing body fat in the same manner as girls. This is one of the reasons the disease primarily affects girls...’
Finally! A book dedicated to Bulimia. I didn't find this as interesting as 'Anorexics on Anorexia', but it did give me some comfort that I wasn't the only person in the world who knew how debilitating, sickiningly time-consuming and humiliating Bulimia can be.
‘Despite all of this, I still found bulimia more debilitating. Anorexia was clean, quiet and simple. Bulimia was messy, loud and complicated.’
‘Sometimes the urge (to binge and/or purge) is so strong I feel like I’ll literally collapse and die if I don’t act on it. It makes no sense, but this has never been and never will be a logical illness.’
‘I fitted my studies around my full-time job of bulimia... I rarely did any work, rarely saw other people; I spent my life with food.’
‘At the age of 25 I have had to declare bankruptcy because of all my medical bills. I will never be able to get a credit card, own my own house, or get a car because my credit has been ruined by over drafting my account from buying binge food and letting medical bills go to collection... Thus I’m led to steal to keep my disease alive... I have been to jail. I face fines that I cannot pay.’
This book is heartbreaking, and yet you cannot fail to admire Jennifer's determination to keep on going, looking for a treatment that would give her her life back. It also makes me angry because the poor treatment she recieved was mostly down to ignorance. This has improved a lot since 2003, when it was published, but there is still a long way to go and services today continue to get away with damaging their patients further.
‘Her doctor presumed Jenny’s anorexia was self-inflicted, a behaviour problem, and illness of choice... '
‘ ...no matter what anyone says whether or not I control this rage inside me or not, it is there BURNING away.’
‘I want to punish myself when others say I look or sound better. Part of me wants only to be sick, weak, totally depleted, and finally dead. Taking that away from me only enrages me because then I don’t know how to accept myself...'
Written by her dad: ‘”Not enoughs” hamper progress in improving the destiny of the eating disordered. Not enough understanding... Not enough money for research into cause, prevention, and treatment. Not enough integration of approaches – neurobiological, genetic, hormonal, chemical, general medical, psychological, and the most important... human compassion...’
Probably the most reccomended and referred to memoir on the ED shelf. I find the first half a bit tedias, as is more like an autobiography of her life in general which led to her ED. It is the second half which really touched me, the way she articulated things in my mind, and I dare say many other's minds, which I never thought could be put onto paper. She is astonishingly accurate in her description of bulimia and especially anorexia, and she describes the consequences in their blunt, devastating reality. She manages to communicate the paradox of both pride and destruction that the illness simultaneously gives.
‘I wanted to get caught to be seen as something, to have a claim to greatness, to have the sick admiration that comes to those of us who destroy ourselves particularly well.’
‘When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to... There is a profound grief. And there is, in the end, after a long time and more work than you ever thought possible, a time when it gets easier... There is, in the end, the letting go.’
Told in alternating chapters; half in the past when Carol meets Emma as a child, and half during the hell of Emma's eating disorders. I found the chapters detailing Emma's illness the most interesting, as she went through extremely severe cycles of both Anorexia and Bulimia plus compulsive overeating. It is the only book I have read so far which deals with all three disorders in such honest detail. Ideally, I would quote most of Emma's diary extracts, but to summarise I will leave you with two that I can particularly relate to:
‘i want this act of self-destruction to be recorded, documented, so that i never forget I did it. Anorexia is a fog in my memory, my decent into madness... Life has so much more to offer than this non-life... But first i want to get worse... i want to experience it as i now am – with me at the controls, hurtling this body into oblivion...’
‘...Our lovely surroundings have had a deeply unsettling effect on her. Startlingly beautiful as they are, they strip her of something. They do not provide her with a reason to be angry and they unlock a dread in her that it is only she, Emma, who is bad and wrong.’
I liked this book not because I could relate, (for many parts I couldn't as I have never purged through excerise) but because her personality came through the pages. It was an entertaining read despite the suffering she went through to defeat her excercise bulimia/anorexia.
One of my favourite quotes was:
'...This is the key to being an anorexic: You cannot eat! Once you do, it’s impossible to stop, the body responds so quickly, demanding more... Fighting my hunger, the strangeness of feeling so tempted, so out of control...’
- Durham, County Durham, United Kingdom
- (November 2010) > I am taking a year (or two) out of university to recover from an eating disorder; originally diagnosed as restricting anorexia 7 years ago, but has more recently morphed into BN non-purgeing type/ BED/ COE/ EDNOS / whatever you want to call it. I thought I would write a blog to give me a kind of project to work on, mainly giving an insight into the Eating Disorders books that I have read and any interesting articles/videos I find. However, there may be some updates on my life and thoughts once in a while. My quest is to understand these disorders, although I know the best I can do is to keep on researching xxx Update (2012): I have now returned to uni.
Pictures (not mine)