Hello everyone and welcome to the first stop of “The Year I didn’t Eat” by Samuel Pollen blog tour, where the author introduces to Max who is 14 and lives with anorexia. I was interested in finding out why Sam wrote this book in the first place and if it helped him, so he kindly responded with the below.
Eating disorders don’t make any sense, even when you’re going through one. Your thoughts and feelings are all jumbled up. You feel both too fat and too thin; you’re lonely, but the last thing you want is to see anyone else.
That makes them tricky to get your head around. And that, in a nutshell, is why I wrote The Year I Didn’t Eat.
When we hear about eating disorders, we tend to hear about the dramatic bits. Arguments. Binges. Hospitalisations. There’s a simple narrative – a ballerina who’s under pressure to lose weight; a teenager who’s struggling to cope with exams. But eating disorders are always more complicated than that.
At the centre of every eating disorder there’s a person, trying desperately to live their life. There are friendships, family dinners, cinema trips. Max’s story is about the life that happens around the edges of an eating disorder, because I think that gives a better picture of what it’s like.
It was tough to write, but it was also extremely rewarding to write, because it reminded me of all the ways people helped me when I had an eating disorder. It reminded me that we’re never, ever alone – and that we don’t always need to understand what people are going through to help them.