Head Heart and Hipbones: Fighting and Surviving Anorexia by Gillian Entwistle
Why would a bright teenage girl from a loving home, with everything going for her, wilfully fixate on starving herself to death?
Gillian Entwistle’s compelling memoir recounts her near-fatal struggle with anorexia nervosa and her arduous journey towards recovery. This brutally honest account traces her uncontrollable slide into the grip of this toxic mental illness, from its insidious onset in adolescent insecurities, through years of obsessive self-starvation, to the miseries of physical collapse and forced hospitalisation.
The author powerfully depicts the emotional toll of the illness, not least its devastating impact on her family. She conveys how it feels to be possessed by denial and self-delusion, the exhausting internal conflicts, and the darkest moments of shame, anger, guilt and despair. Finally, she describes how, with extensive support, she was able to survive and reclaim her life.
Head Heart and Hipbones is an absorbing personal story. Though often painful, it is also rich in self-awareness, vitality and humour. It will give hope to those battling to find a way through this terrible affliction, and enable those on the outside to understand it better.