“…because I had never, ever figured out how to f**king deal.”

– Marya Hornbacher said that in her book Wasted.

Why is this part of my “favorite things” series of posts???  Because Marya Horbacher is not only an amazing woman and I have a deep admiration for her, but she is an outstanding writer and even more than that, her first book Wasted may have saved my life.  After reading that book, and seeing how she could get down to 54 pounds and be given one week left to live, and she chose to live…I decided that I could choose to live also.  It was then that I set out to get help for my eating disorder for the first time.  My first few attempts were not quite that successful since I was relying on campus doctors and found myself continually holding a prescription for Zoloft in my hands which had horrible side effects of nausea which then just induced and furthered my eating disorder, but the book had prompted my acknowledgment and acceptance that I had a problem and was trying to be responsible and seek treatment.  Eventually, when I graduated college in 2003 and got my first full time job that came with health insurance benefits, I did seek out a psychotherapist who specialized in Eating Disorders and he is still my treater to this very day!

Another reason Marya Hornbacher is incredibly amazing?  Because shortly after she wrote the book Wasted, she came out with a book called Madness and it was all about her struggle with bipolar disorder.  Once a lot of her eating disorder behaviors were curtailed, symptoms of her bipolar disorder emerged and she embarked on a whole new journey, which she documented in Madness.  I read that book also and was just drawn to her writing and her experiences because they were so similar to my own and her thoughts and feelings paralleled mine so much that when I became an author for Ask A Bipolar, I suggested we try to get an interview with her. Amazingly, all it took was an email from me and she was more than happy to do an interview about her book for the website!!!  AND, I got to be one of the authors to do the interview!

Marya is not only a superb writer, but working with her to get the interview put together and done was so seamless, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  I was so excited to have gotten to work with her and I truly hope to be able to work with her again in the future.  She has another book out which discusses her journey through the 12-Step Program, called Sane.  Her books had so many raw emotions and unsugar-coated events that anyone dealing with an eating disorder or bipolar disorder could relate to them and so I can only imagine that her book Sane, which discusses alcohol and addiction, would provide the same for anyone in that particular situation.

I saved Marya as one of my last entries because she really had such a profound impact on my life, so early on, and ended up reappearing each time I seemed to be struggling the most and gave me something to use to keep pushing through.  First it was her book Wasted, then Madness, then, after saying to myself that I would do anything to meet her and ask her some questions, I was able to be part of an interview with her!  Anytime I need a jolt of inspiration or I feel myself slipping back, I pull out one of her books and start reading some of the passages I have highlighted (each time I read each book, I used a different color pen or highlighter so my books look like someone took a pack of markers and had fun all over them!) and I find myself knowing which way I need to go and where I need to find my way back to. Madness

If you have not read any of her books, I highly recommend them!  And if you ever get a chance to meet with her or talk with her, DON’T PASS IT UP!  She is so kind and has been through so much in her lifetime, she has endless amounts of advice and wisdom!  And you will definitely feel inspired after hearing what she had been through and even after it all, she decided to fight back and has continued to fight, how could you not?!!!!!!

So, one of my favorite inspirations is Marya Hornbacher and two of my favorite books are Wasted and Madness, written by her.

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