Get Educated

I remember when my therapist asked me, “Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder?” This therapist made me think back to my younger days. The reasons why I’m seeing a therapist & psychologist is because I suffer from Social and Generalized Anxiety, Borderline, Bipolar I, PTSD, and Trichotillomania. I didn’t have an easy childhood or teenage life. I suffered from a lot of trauma. Maybe my prior posts are incredibly naive and insensitive. Back to the point.

I told my therapist, yes, I did suffer from an eating disorder. I also suffer from avoidant eating disorder, bullemia, and anorexia. I’m still suffering from avoidant eating disorder. It didn’t dawn on me that’s what it is. I was labeled as a “picky” eater. No, I just don’t like the taste of certain foods in my mouth. I avoid mayo at all costs. Then it dawns on me that my middle son also suffers from anxiety and avoidant eating disorder. I didn’t know such a term existed until now. He is often called a “picky” eater. He excludes a lot of food from his diet. Spreading awareness to this new disorder has made me pick up the phone for him. When you don’t know, you don’t know. I remember my parents begging me to eat when I was really little. The food just didn’t taste right in my mouth, so I avoided those foods. My middle son is doing the same thing. This is a time to get educated.

I had to think back to a time. Yes, I do remember eating a ton of food, just to throw it back up. It was a way for me to have control. I remember suffering from the ages of 10 to 20. I still battle not eating today. That’s also a Borderline trait. Food issues is a huge part of Borderline and Anxiety.

I take back all the ignorant things, I’ve said about fiction. As a writer, it is your moral obligation to do careful research when writing about eating disorders. When an author fails to show and lets a marginalized group down by generalizations and stupid anecdotes; Houston, we have a problem. We’ve had enough of women vs women. Stop writing that shit. Stop pitting us against each other. Fuck you, if you write shit to tear each other down. I’ve had enough of these stupid Mommy Wars. I’ve had enough of “those girls.” Or, “those girls are ugly/pretty,” when the prose is by a feminine main character. Come on, now! We can do better than that! It’s 2017! Quit it with the nonsense! Bullying won’t stop unless you stop writing about this shit, like it’s okay. It isn’t okay!

My main character takes it from one extreme to another. Yes, I’ll be writing about anorexia. It is my moral obligation to showcase what that character goes through. First, she over-eats, and then she loses all her weight and turns anorexic. It is my other characters’ jobs to point it out for her. “Hey, I think you need help. It’s okay to ask for help.”

This particular reviewer read the entire book on “Sad Perfect,” by Stephanie Elliot. She took pictures and included quotes on why this book is harmful. Not to just the YA crowd, but to the adults as well. Here I am, stuck at a crossroads. This reviewer gave me my “STFU” juice. Yes, this author is an idiot. But do we need to censor her book? No, she’s entitled to write “said” book. Even when it can potentially damage the youth and adults. The best that we can do is say, “don’t buy” this book. Let that author remain ignorant. Let it hurt her in her pocketbook. Before you jump my case, let me explain. There are over 10 million books in circulation. Those books also contain generalizations. To pull this one, you have to pull all of them. That means Harry Potter, should be pulled for child abuse; Twilight should be pulled for stalker issues, abuse (mental), etc… Fifty Shades should be pulled for mental abuse, abuse, and destruction to the BDSM community; Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, should be pulled for domestic abuse, and murder; Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Sallinger, should be pulled for child abandonment and parental neglect. George R.R. Martin, should be pulled for incest, abuse, and rape. The Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, should be pulled for spousal abuse and rape. Do you see where I’m going with this? There are going to be books or have been books out there that have promoted some form of abuse. All we can do is get educated. Avoid those books. If it triggers you, avoid those books.

A lot of those books, the fiction crowd has them. All we can do is spread awareness about the book. Tell your friends in school, college, or job setting. This author will get the message. We can also write letters to her publisher to pull it. I doubt it will be successful. Drawing attention to a book; especially, if it’s bad publicity, will normally increase sales for that book. You don’t want to go on a rampage against that book. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Look at Trump. He still won the election. You fight with brains; not by harassing an ignorant author.

Ms. Elliot failed everyone. She failed the mental health community. She is ignorant by making statements. “Just eat.” Honey, it doesn’t work that way! And why did she put this in her book, “The crazy house. The place where “crazy” people go? Thanks for spreading more stigma against the mental health community! We are trying to stop the stigma, and you’ve created more stereotypes and stigma, against the entire mental health community. She had a moral obligation and she failed everyone.

Her book has done one thing for me. It’s made me rake my own book over the coals. Will I need to be careful with my own books? Yes. Do I need to be careful with in respect to eating disorders, my main character suffers from? Yes. Is it my moral obligation to tread lightly and remain sensitive to those suffering from mental health disorders? Yes! Jeannie says right off the bat, “I have PTSD.” And you see her PTSD come into play in book 3. It is my job to get that character the help she needs with sensitivity. Which character is going to point it out for her? Ian. He’s my go-to character. He knows something isn’t right about her. He will do it with the utmost sensitivity. Rosalie suffers from Bipolar I. Ember suffers from social anxiety. I gave them my traits, so yes, my books are “owned.” I’m adding eating disorders to Jeannie.

So, thank you, Stephanie Elliot. Thank you for making me re-examine my own books. Even though, my books are “owned.” When we say “owned,” it means that I suffer, and still suffer from mental health issues and physical issues. It doesn’t go away. It is a constant battle. And because of my constant battles, I’ve opted out of reading this book. Here is an intelligent and insightful review on why we should all avoid “Sad Perfect,” by Stephanie Elliot.  “Sad Perfect,” by Stephanie Elliot

To Stephanie, you wrote it, live with it. We, as the consumer, don’t have to buy your book. My advice is to take it off the market and fix your book. You have the moral obligation to do right, by the mental health community. You have the moral obligation, to realize your book does more harm than good. And because you could hurt someone like me. If this book was published when I was in bad shape back in the 90’s, it would have hurt me. Luckily, for me, I’m still in a lifetime of therapy. But there are still a ton of people who aren’t getting the help they need. Whether there are financial issues,  insurance problems, peer pressure, or denial from parents to seek the help/therapy they need. “Just eat,” and “get over it,” doesn’t work for people who suffer from mental health issues.

I’m stable for now. I don’t need a book to tell me, I’m “crazy.” I get that all the time. That’s nothing new to me. But it has the potential to hurt a young girl/boy (eating disorders do happen to men & young boys ). Even when I think I’m at my strongest; something like this could hurt me. Someone, who thinks they’re over their eating disorders, but they haven’t fully healed from those disorders. Maybe we need to step back and realize the harm we could do as writers and authors. Thanks for my reality check. I needed a boot up my ass.

The Fear

If you don’t know by now, I’m an author who suffers from mental health disorders. With those mental health disorders, I tend to carry a huge chunk of self-doubt. That is the self-loathing, let’s blow this shit up. I’ve wavered from side to side. I can’t make my fucking mind up. Every time, I go to hit the self-publish button. The magical and mystical button, I throw up.

All because I remember what happened to me, the last time I attempted to self-publish. I don’t believe my anxiety will ever go away. You know that authors are going to come for me. They are salivating at the chance. That’s a “nope” book. I’m not going to get burned again. It doesn’t feel good and quite frankly, it sucks. It sucks for the current readers, who rated my books five stars… and that’s without an editor. Strangers who know nothing about me, gave me those stars. I didn’t beg, steal, or trade for reviews unlike other authors. I played by the rules and remained fair. If they wanted to leave a review, I’ve never pressured them.

Those one-star reviews… it played with my head. It seriously mind-fucked me for a long time. It throws you in a never-ending cycle of depression. Not only do I suffer from anxiety… I also suffer from Borderline and Bipolar I. “Go kill yourself,” is a common phrase. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’m still here. I, apparently, suck at suicide, too. That wasn’t a joke either. That’s the truth of it all. You go from that indescribable high to that damn depression. You sprinkle in Borderline, and boy… we have a nutcase on our hands. How can anyone relate to this? I have scars up and down my body. They aren’t pretty. I’ve battled these mental health issues for a very long time. I also suffer from various autoimmune diseases. I don’t know if those caused them or whatever caused my mental health issues.

I didn’t have a great childhood or teenage life. Every day is a struggle to stay afloat. It really does feel like you’ve got an anchor on your feet, dragging you down in an ocean. Tonight, I slammed against that wall again. I hate it. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and not have these issues. I didn’t want to do anything. I just sat in a bathtub and cried for over an hour. I don’t know why. I just laid there, crying.

I’m worried that I’ll fail everyone. I’m worried that I won’t be able to handle the negative reviews. That part has scared me off from ever wanting to publish any of my novels. That fear is hurting me. It’s like a singer, standing on stage for the first time. Except, we’ve done this rodeo before. I fell. I fell hard. And now I’m finding new reasons, not to publish my novels. I have psyched myself out.

Medications, won’t fix my problems. That only make things for me, much worse. I tried endless medications. They make me more suicidal. It’s an endless and vicious cycle. I just want to wake up and be normal for a day. I want to do normal things. And I know this mood will pass. I’m just at my lowest, rock-bottom moment.

To people who don’t suffer from mental health disorders, count your blessings. This is an endless nightmare. “Get over it.” That doesn’t work well with a brain that refuses to function on all cylinders. I’m a writer, who has joined other authors who had Bipolar and various mental health disorders. Your mind wants to do so much that you can’t keep up with it. It spins out of control with no rhyme or reason. Some days, you want to slam your head into a wall. Why was I made like this? What did I do to deserve this life? It isn’t fun and it’s heart-breaking to deal with people like me.

When I have an outside job, I’m fine. I bust my ass off and do what I’m told. I don’t know how but I can hide it until I get home… well, most of the time. I have cried in a bathroom or two. I do feel jealous over petty shit. “That should be me!” Oh, come on! THINK! I’m trying to rationalize with an irrational brain. I’m making deals with my own brain just to survive the next day.

What’s worse? Borderline Personality Disorder really is a bitch. One thing another author said to me last night, spun me in a tailspin of self-doubt. And he wasn’t mean or anything. It just pissed me royally off. That’s how I know, BPD, isn’t going anywhere. That bitch laughs at me every single day. That is the main, torturous demon, I want to go away. All because of my fucked up childhood. That still haunts me like a ghost with a ball and chain. No matter how hard I wish it to go into “dormant mode”… it never really hides forever.

I pray none of you have to go through a tragedy or lose someone you love. BPD is a fucking hell that turns your mind, inside-out. It’s a personal hell, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And the worst part of it all… my husband has to hide all my manuscripts when I’m in BPD mode. He shouldn’t have to do that. I feel like I stuck myself in an internal hell. I want out of it. I want a cure for it. I want to wake up tomorrow and it will be in remission. No cure for people with BPD. It wasn’t my fault! I was a small child who went through some shit. Some really bad shit. Until I can let it go, I don’t know if I can publish my manuscripts. One little thing, triggered it. I’ve had BPD for over 25 years. I remember the day, something snapped inside my head. I haven’t been right since then. And to crucify all people with BPD, without knowing their circumstances… is cruel and evil. We have serious trust issues. We are suspicious of everyone and their intentions. Even if we know in our heads that this is a good person, we still have that 1% of doubt. We hold onto it and fight with everything we have. “This person will let us down. We just know it!” And BPD rejoices when we’re right.

So… bear with me… I remember a passage from the bible and it keeps me alive. “And this too, shall pass.” It will pass and I’ll be my bubbly self again. And I hope and pray for a cure. I need a fix-it-all cure. Not just a pill to numb or silence the endless and millions of thoughts. Seize the day? Not with a fucked-up brain.