As you already know, I love reading- especially books that I can relate to or I can learn from. Not all the books I started reading got to my heart or mind, therefor I didn’t finish them. But there are some books I can relate to more than I thought I would in the beginning. One of them is Alice in the looking glass: A mother and daughter’s experience of anorexia.
Written by Jo and Alice Kingsley (mother and daughter) this book talks about Alice’s struggles and her mother sufferings through the process of discovering and trying to cure Alice’s anorexia nervosa. A whole process that took over 4 years in which Alice had more ups and downs than she can ever remember. Anorexia is a neurologic disease that can be treated if discovered in time. I guess it is teenagers’ biggest problem these days, with media that constantly promotes dead skinny girls and magazines which tell you what to eat and what not to eat in order to be “beautiful”.
In the beginning, I didn’t think I would relate to Alice’s story, but going further into it I realized that she sounded more like me in my teens. First she began with an OCD and different obsessions. One of them was for number 4. I remember being 11 or 12 years old when I developed and obsession for number 3, doing all the things three times. I was scared that if I don’t do them, something bad was going to happen. As I grew old, I forgot about all that, but now I realized I had a bit of OCD. Then around 15, I began to go to gym and go into diets. Diet after diet, not eating, counting every calorie, skipping the rope constantly and doing around 300 abs per day. I began to be obsessed with my weight, constantly counting and weighting my food. For nearly half a year I ate only boiled, plain rice, but I was happy. Never in my life was I as skinny as that and after all those years of wanting to be skinny, was finally feeling good with my body. Here is the point where I and Alice are different. I knew the cause of my diets as have always wanted to become a model, but Alice never knew hers, she just ended up doing them. And there is another big difference between our stories. I gave up without any help, because I couldn’t do it anymore. It was exhausting and I knew that if I didn’t stop there were no chances I could pass my final exams in high school and go to a University. After my teenage years, I never really gave up dieting, but was just for fun, nothing as serious as that. In the end, 2 years ago, I realized that following a healthy diet will help you lose the extra kilos. Sorry for that long story about my life, but I was just trying to say why this book is one of those that stay with you for a long time. It is a constructive story and a must read especially if you have teen children or you are in your teens and thinking you need a diet. On the Resources, you can find many books on anorexia and some websites on eating disorder.
Alice in the looking glass is a heart-breaking story that will make you reconsider the way you see people who suffer from anorexia, it will make you learn things and think twice when you want to go on diet. Here are some of Alice’s confessions:
“I had never been able to explain logically the reasoning behind my ‘rigmaroles’, as they have become known in our family, but put very simply they are a series of routines that I had to complete in exactly the same way every time, or else my anxiety will shoot to the roof with the fear that something awful will happen to my family”.
“I wasn’t denying to myself I had a problem, but I didn’t want to lose the control I had that enabled me to cope on my own without everyone around me needing to know.”
“I wish I could reveal the secret of my recovery and bring hope to all those people fighting the battle against an eating disorder. I don’t really know how it happened, but I managed to confront my fears and take the risk of finding something more important to me than my weight.”