You Are Responsible For Your Recovery

I’ve been thinking for a long time about how I wanted to address this issue. The vast majority of feedback I get from readers (via email, blog comments, in person, amazon, etc) is positive. That makes me happy. I’m glad people like Purge, or that Purge has helped them in some way. That was my goal. I also realize that not everyone will love my book, and I’m okay with that. Obviously, I’d prefer that everyone adore my book and think it was the best book in the world, but that is not realistic, and most days, I am a realistic person. I don’t like every book I read.

In Purge, I attempted to tell my story and experience with eating disorders, in an honest, open way. No, it wasn’t pretty. Yes, it was hard and graphic. If you are trying to recover from an eating disorder, perhaps you are even in treatment, it is probably not a good idea for you to be reading Purge, or any other eating disorder memoir, as it will probably be triggering to some degree. You need to take care of yourself and your recovery, and that includes making wise choices when it comes to triggering things, whether it be ED memoirs, fashion magazines, gym memberships, etc. You need to take responsibility for your recovery, and that includes knowing and staying away from your triggers.

I have had a couple of people tell me that in Purge, I’m giving tips for how to circumvent treatment. Nothing I wrote was meant to encourage people to engage in their eating disorder. I did do some stupid things in treatment, but I wouldn’t have been in treatment if I had it all figured out and hadn’t needed help with stopping eating disorder behaviors. It’s an addiction. I was looking for ways to (bad pun ahead) feed it. People go to treatment and break the rules all the time. I’m not saying that’s the right thing to do, but it happens. Also, it does not take someone with a genius IQ to figure out how to be sneaky in treatment.

You are responsible for your recovery from an eating disorder. Take care of yourself.

4 Responses to “You Are Responsible For Your Recovery”

  1. catriona says:

    I've read a lot of books about eating disorders (memoirs, novels, self-help, academic…), and one thing that struck me when I read Purge was that you seemed to take care to avoid triggers and "tips", when possible. It can be a fine line to walk – I've read books in which the authors, um, didn't even try – and I appreciated your ability to be both honest and mindful. In part for that reason, Purge is one of the few ED books that I actually own.

    Anyway, I work in publishing, so I know as well as anyone that no book is going to be universally loved, but I for one am grateful for books like Purge.

  2. Nicole Johns says:

    Thanks, catriona. I appreciate your comment. –Nicole

  3. Sarah says:

    I bought this book last night and finished it all this morning at Starbucks. I had actually purchased it while a resident at EDC but it was confiscated (and subsequently read by an RC). There were part that I had to laugh at and while I know the sentiment was not one of comic relief, just the way things were written were lighthearted. Not a lot has changed in 5 years. You were very accurate in your descriptions. I'm sad that I never got to meet the fireman. I hope things are trending upward for you. One question: Did "Holly" make it out of the ICU? I couldn't tell if she passed away or not by the ending.

  4. Nicole Johns says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Things are going well for me, thanks. I'm glad you liked the book! Parts of it were intended to be funny. 🙂 Holly makes it, too. –Nicole

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