I just finished reading Laura Susanne Yochelson’s book Sick: In the Name of Being Well, I Made Myself Sick. In the book Yochelson gives a very personal account of her experience with eating disorders. Yochelson’s emotional experiences radiate from the book, giving great insight into the sadness, frustration, anger, failure, embarrassment, self-loathing and more that she experienced. Fortunately we also get to witness the moments of triumph and success as well.
One of the strengths of her telling of her life from childhood to college is that it demonstrates how unaware we may be of how messages send are received. Coincidentally (or not, thank you universe!), that fits nicely with one of my recent posts – The Messages We Send. The book highlights how others may have been well intentioned yet they failed to really understand what was going on or their efforts actually worked counter to their intentions. It is an important reminder of the importance of understanding where the other person is instead of operating only from our own perspective.
The book also demonstrates how important it is to allow individuals to find their own path to healing or change, no matter what the issue is. While many “experts”, and non-experts for that matter, may have the answer, the truth is that they only have an answer. The simple truth is that there are often many paths to a destination and each person gets to pick their own. That message definitely hit home with me as a therapist.
In that vein, this isn’t a book about how to deal with eating disorders. It is a book about creating understanding through one woman’s personal experience. She shows the struggles she face, that factors that impacted her and how she has worked to find her own path.
Yet Yochelson doesn’t just leave readers without help. She has included an extensive array of resources at the end of the book. The resources include a diverse range of modalities, demonstrating Yochelson’s commitment to each person finding the method that works best for them.
In my opinion, this book is a valuable read for several different audiences. For anyone dealing with eating disorders it shows you that you are not alone and provides some excellent resources to get started on your journey of change. For friends and family members it gives incredible insight into at least one person’s mind and gives pause to consider how our actions may be impacting that person. And for therapists, it is that all important reminder that while we may be professionals, we need to always be aware of the client and their perspective.
I invited Ms. Yochelson to write a guest post for this blog and I’m excited to say that she accepted! So, stay tuned and you’ll soon see words directly from the author!
For more info on Laura Susanne Yochelson or her book Sick: In the Name of Being Well, I Made Myself Sick, visit her website at LauraSusanneYochelson.com.