Dear Ella and Suse
Hi, I’m 18 years old. I’ve been anorexic since two years and now I’m trying to face with the real situation. My parents help me a lot but I can’t forgive at all my fears. I have to trust on myself and on who wants to help me. Once a week I go to the psychologist and we are trying to find the real reason of this problem. How can I overcome this situation? How can I help my parents to deal with my problem?
We have known many teenagers with anorexia and we know it is a very difficult psychological issue, so you must continue to go to your psychotherapist once a week. However,there are some very good novels that can help you with this situation. Meg Rossof’s How I Live Now, is a brilliant apocalyptic novel that has a 15 year old heroine with anorexia. She has to face some very big issues in her life, which help to cure her of her anorexia – it is quite a tough read, but we hope you will find it inspiring! Life Size is also a great American novel written by Jenefer Shute, who had anorexia herself. It describes the obsession with not eating, very effectively, and it would help both you and your parents to read it. Finally, we wonder what it is that is causing you to control your eating so extremely. Sometimes it can be brought on by a sense of loss of control in areas of your life, and by poor self-esteem. To help you feel more empowered, and to learn to love yourself more, we have two books. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, which describes a girl who is very different to the others at her school, and doesn’t care about what they think. It is a funny book too. Also, a book by Tom Robbins – Even Cowgirls get the Blues – which is again, empowering and will make you laugh. We feel you need a book to make you interested in exercise too, as the more you exercise, the fitter you will get, and the more you will need to eat to stay healthy, not associating food merely with putting on weight. There is an excellent book called “Diamond Star Halo”, in which there are many issues explored, but the heroine loves to run. Her love of exercise and thus her way of looking at her body in a different way to your current approach, we hope will rub off and help you to find a more positive body-image, which will lead you to enjoy making the most of it, rather than denying it what it needs. Meanwhile, we very much hope that you will continue with your therapy, and keep us in touch with your progress. Consider booking a bibliotherapy session with us via The School of Life website – which can be done over the phone or by skype if you are not in London.
With all good wishes,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe – How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Life Size by Jenefer Shute
Even Cowgirls get the Blues by Tom Robbins
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Once a Runner by John L Parker
Diamond Star Halo by Tiffany Murray