People with eating disorders are dying literally every day. Despite the fact that I myself have beaten anorexia, I have never really consider that fact. Now that I think about it, I can say that I was really fortunate – and saved myself. And why wouldn’t I want to share this piece of fortune with others, when they need it more than I do?
I wish I could give others the opportunity to walk the world as free as a bird. Without that voice inside that keeps telling them they aren’t beautiful or worth anything. I want to give them the opportunity to fall in love and share their heart with someone that will make their world even more beautiful. I want them to enjoy the company of their friends and not close themselves off, while shedding tears and torturing themselves hidden away from the world.
The more I succeed, the fewer families around the world going through hell behind closed doors. That’s why I must achieve this! Help me achieve this.
How would others look at this book? Well, it was just a mystery… Will it achieve its goal and will people find something in it that they could use in their life? I wanted my experience to bring something good. When I received a message from a reader, I knew I did well. I want to share a part of that message with you:
Špela, your book is just wonderful. And trust me, I read quite a few books for an average person.
First off, you really opened a new area. Yes, there are books on anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders, but somehow, yours is special. Maybe because you know how to pull the reader into the story and make them feel what you felt. Maybe because you included all the comments from your parents, brother and roommate into the story so well. That part is brilliant. You described and shared your feelings, how you were thinking, and even suggested solutions. Realistic ones, not the fairytale kind. Realistic.
How you keep the reader in the story, but yet so brilliantly incorporate suggestions, thoughts that actually help, it gives the book real value – that it’s not “just someone’s story”, but real value… Strong.
I feel like you don’t even have to think about it, compared to many authors that take years to learn that, and you just… do it. That’s talent. And yes, you have a talent for writing. An amazing one.
And you know what I think is one of your most amazing strengths when it comes to writing? You’ve got an amazing ability to incorporate feelings, emotions, good and bad, gratitude and criticism, in a special way that doesn’t offend anyone, and nobody could hold a grudge against you.
And what I like most? That you don’t make yourself look like the victim, trying to get people to feel sorry for you. How do you do that? That is art. And you are the artist. This part, in my view, is the biggest advantage and talent.
I know that someone in a similar situation, alone or with a family, would “swallow” your book, not just read it, if I can make a comical statement… And if there is a book that can help someone, it is definitely yours.
“This girl wrote such a book that you would never even consider that this very girl had anorexia. How, if she’s so smart?” commented an acquaintance who read the book. And he was right. He was reading a book written by a girl who would never have suffered from anorexia. Never again.
But this very girl struggled with anorexia for many years. This girl is me. And this is my story about anorexia and how I finally learned to be happy.
“Do you have an eating disorder?” The professor’s question suddenly hung in the air. Everyone was quiet. All eyes were on me. Everyone was waiting for my response. Even though everyone already knew. Stunned by the question, I shrank in my chair and nodded.
It’s true, I had anorexia. Twice, in fact, for 9 years! Even if I wasn’t aware of it at the time. But now I’m OK. I am living proof that it can ultimately be beaten and that you can have a normal life.
I immediately gave up on myself. If others gave up on me too, I would probably never overcome anorexia. I realize that it was not easy for them either. Especially my family, who had to live with this, and my best friend, who I literally pushed away from my life, not even knowing why. Therefore, it seemed fair to include their feelings and opinions in my book:
Dad: “There were days that would drive anyone mad. You know you have to help, but don’t know how. What can you do? Just jump into the toilet and flush yourself down the drain? It doesn’t work like that!”
Mum: “I would wake up several times during the night because I was sad and worried. I was thinking about how to help Špela. Because I did not find a solution, I sometimes fell asleep in tears.”
Dad: “I’d sit in the hunting lookout, but my thoughts were somewhere else, at home. What to do, and how?! I was crying…”
Brother: “At that time, I could not clearly understand how the hell is it possible to think that you are obese, if you are nothing but skin and bones? I could not understand how such a disorder is possible at all, because food is something that most people enjoy and love.”
Dad: “I don’t hate cats. But after all that arguing about a cat, I come home and see a cat. For fuck’s sake! It’s a good thing I didn’t lose it.”