To conclude this interview - please, I know how busy you all are...but this post will truly only 'hit home' if you read the previos 2... by all means take your time, but I'd be forever grateful if you were to read all 3 posts about this interview...
You may wonder; why such difficulties answering this first question? And WHAT WAS THE FIRST QUESTION? Why such a big deal? Isn’t it a topic you’re well-educated on? Isn’t it what the book is based on? Yes…! 1 million words nearly… I’ve written them all… devoted to this topic.
A lot of people know what I’m referring to. And many, who have since entered my life, DON’T… After yesterday, I really feel it’s time to start opening-up and saying what my book is based on. I figure, if it’s to reach the world, then these tiny feelings of shame I have for what I went through in order to create this book, will stop the flow of the book-publishing process. I’m seeing now that it’s THIS feeling of shame, that’s always been stopping me from honestly answering the question many people have asked: “What’s your book about?”
Whenever I’d be asked this question, I’d choke and the words weren’t able the roll off my tongue (just like yesterday during the interview!). I’d simply answer: “this book is about a period in my life, when I experienced some difficulties”. That could mean anything – and to me it meant I was safe and distant and disengaged from the book. But, after a brief encounter I had on Monday afternoon (with a friend of Ma’s who asked me what the book was about), the meaning of this vague response started to change. This response started telling me: “Niamh, you're still holding back that once shameful secret you always felt the need to hide from everyone else, for fear of how they’d judge you”. And relating this to the interview yesterday, I now know why I couldn’t answer!
I have to face facts that I’ve written a book based on an illness that represents shame – in the eye of the beholder – which once was me, but no longer is. I have to face facts that I haven’t done anything wrong by writing this book. It’s something that I needed, wanted and longed to do. And this means, I have to start projecting that feeling of pride towards the world – because, secretly, there’s been some contradiction going on within me.
By taking this step, right here and now, as I’m typing these words and letting those who DON’T know, know about that part of me, I'm stepping away from secrecy. It doesn’t have to be a shameful act and something to hide, that I recovered from an eating disorder, 2 years ago. Yes, there you have it! As simple and easy as that! I’m letting go of the shame that anorexia once made me live through, by letting others know, who have since entered my life, about this part of my past. After all, it’s what’s made me the person I am today. And that holds no shame.
So, it’s out there! Yes, I suffered from anorexia, for nearly 2 years of my life and the book I’ve written is based on my recovery, on what I discovered, on what causes the illness and how I grew to become the person I am today. It’s a story of my soul journey that led me to eventually journey the world.
Wow… Shifting from NOT ONLY WRITING about the eating disorder but to ALSO TALKING ABOUT IT to others, is such a recent development. One that started only yesterday! And this is the reason WHY I COULDN’T ANSWER THAT FIRST QUESTION DURING THE INTERVIEW WITH EASE!
I only listened back to the recording of the interview last night. And of course – I criticized myself. I’m forever my own worst judge. But then I realized: “to give myself a BREAK! It’s the very first time to speak ‘publicly’ about the eating disorder. How can I be flawless at something that’s so new (and so unprepared)? It’s a different level of expression, it’s my voice, it’s not my writing… When live words are spoken, that’s it… they’re gone, there 'out there'. Typed words are reread and edited… and ‘perfected’. Speech can so easily fly off your tongue and there’s no backspace. It’s the lives of others I was trying to enrich, with this seemingly small step I took yesterday. How could I choose the ‘perfect’ words, when it was the first time for me to speak?” and when it comes to sufferers of any eating disorder, there’s no such thing as either speaking or hearing words of perfection”.
I had to focus on how big a step I took yesterday. The words that came from my heart were in aid of inspiration. They were for suffers to feel somewhat hopeful… Also, if the publisher/agent was listening… who knows where it could lead…
Last night, I couldn’t sleep a wink, for thinking of how to start openly and honestly speaking about what my book is based on. Soon the time will come for me to continue speaking about anorexia… For now though, major leaps are being made. Yesterday was the first and today is one that may appear to be less significant, but to me, it’s just as important…
Due to this book, I’m settling myself into the ‘status’ of being recovered and proud of what I’ve since achieved… God, my feelings were 'on the ball', when I knew yesterday was the start of something big!
Thank you so so so much for reading this far.
If you want to listen to the recording of yesterdays’ interview… copy and paste this link: http://www.eastcoast.fm/onair/programmes/morningshow
Then scroll down to "The Morning Show with Declan Meehan, 25th of Jan" and click on 11am hour… and hop to the 47th minute of the show.