In Jenn’s words:
“This is the story that my eating disorder wouldn’t let me tell.
And it is many people’s stories, abstracted and personified.
The book’s purpose is to assign imagery and tale to feelings that the eating disorder may render unidentifiable. After all, many with eating disorders share this pre-existing struggle with direct expression. We lack (or don’t understand how to use) the appropriate tools that allow us to cope healthfully.
Eating Disorders on the Wire attempts to find resolution here by rendering recovery vivid. It provides a universal platform from which to work; a universal language for anyone struggling to communicate. It also allows loved ones to have an alternate perspective from which to understand.
In this book, I demonstrate from a variety of angles where you might go if you follow the metaphor. There is no commitment required. No contract to sign. No ultimatum. Simply an agreement to read it consciously.
My own recovery from an eating disorder serves as the basis for this book. I developed bulimia when I was 21 years old. From 24-28 I struggled with a subclinical eating disorder and at 28 had an anorexic relapse. I am now living my life free of my eating disorder. Throughout the entirety of my illness, I wanted to know: 1) that I was not alone, 2) why this was happening, and 3) how to cope, communicate, make it easier, get better.
But in order to recover, I had to get rid of the shame. The shame was paralyzing, debilitating, and ultimately inhibiting me from seeing outside of the little world that I had constructed (in the book, I equate this little world to a cocoon).
I am using myself at rock-bottom as a basis here. I’m going to assume that there will be people picking up this book for the same reason I often picked up books – at the worst of which was fundamentally, declaratively sick (and certainly not sick enough!) with no intention to recover. And I’m going to work from that point. That is my starting point. I’m taking it from the bottom up.
If I can inspire hope in someone who picked up the book with the intention of deepening their relationship with their eating disorder, then anyone with any level of willingness will benefit immensely from reading this book.
This journey takes the form of images, bridges, portals, which allow us to connect with and understand our feelings. With that deepened insight, we can work on the actual issue, the actual feeling, and speak from our hearts the words we’ve always wanted to say.
I’ve experienced this through music. I’ve related to others using this language, I know what its like to resonate through direct access to feelings. It opens a person up in a most non-intrusive way. Because if they don’t want to be open, they don’t have to be. If they don’t want to be reached, it is optional. They don’t have to. This book won’t hurt anyone. It can’t. Looking at a storm through a window has no consequences. This book provides the segue from first looking out of the window to existing within the torrent, and then moving past the torrent and into yourself, into becoming yourself, into remembering yourself.
My biggest hope for you is that in reading these pages and listening these songs, you let yourself be shown whatever it is you need to see.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being here.”
Read the first chapter of the book here – Eating Disorder Book_Chapter 1
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