Becoming John: Anorexia’s Not Just for Girls
Author: John Evans
Date Of Publication: 03/05/2018
In this frank and intimate memoir John shares his story of anorexia, including the early memories which may have contributed to his illness, and his experience of suffering as a teenager and young adult. The book combines John’s diary from his time as an inpatient, and the overarching narrative of the time leading up to his admission. This reviewer found this a little confusing, though it did present recovery as an ongoing process rather than a linear A to B journey.
Anorexia is presented as a character – sometimes a friend, and sometimes an enemy, which is a common perspective amongst sufferers. John shares the shocking effect of the illness on his school and university education, work, social life and family.
Unfortunately, the volume of triggering information makes this book unsuitable for people with personal experience of an eating disorder. John records his BMI throughout his diary entries, and shares his private thoughts about exercise and food. It may help loved ones and professionals to understand more about the thoughts and feelings behind the illness, and a short, moving foreword by John’s mother provides some insight into the perspective of a parent. The book focuses entirely on the lead up to John’s discharge from inpatient treatment, so there is little sense of hope, which may be unhelpful for those in recovery or supporting a friend or relative.
Overall, this is an eye-opening read for someone with no personal experience, but is not recommended for those who have had an eating disorder or are in recovery due to the triggering content.
We warn anyone suffering with, or in recovery from an eating disorder, that this book contains frequent and in depth triggering information (weights, BMI, disordered eating and exercising behaviour) which may be harmful to recovery.