Recovery in the Media: #56. Waiting for My Clothes

Waiting for my Clothes

This book of poetry tells the story of a girl who defeated her eating disorder.

56. Waiting for My Clothes by Leanne O’Sullivan

While looking for poems and other material written on eating disorders for a speech, I stumbled upon this book. Leanne O’Sullivan crafts each poem uniquely, displaying her ability to write in many different styles. The pieces touch on difficult elements of recovery, dealing with mental illness, and everyday issues. As someone who is easily bored by poetry, I found this book to be engaging and inspiring. That is why I decided to discuss it today.

Synopsis: Mental health, family, growth, relationships, eating – there are so many difficult elements of recovering from an eating disorder. Writing about these issues can be a very helpful for both the author and readers. That is what Waiting for My Clothes does. Leanne O’Sullivan shows how bumpy the road to health is but also gives hope for others who join her along that journey.

Recovery Pluses: As already mentioned, the main focus of this recovery. Thus most of the book is dedicated to the authentic fears, joys, trials, and accomplishments that take place when one seeks help for an eating disorder. These poems are not always pretty but instead remain raw while maintaining hope for the future. Each one addresses points that I have struggled with throughout my recovery journey – clothing not fitting, hospital stays, frazzled family relationships, and the agony of letting go of an unhealthy coping skill.

Reading about someone who has gone through similar struggles and come out on top is very reassuring. When the author refuses to eliminate painful moments, the memoir is even more impactful. Waiting for My Clothes steers away from most triggering language while still giving a vivid image of a girl defeating mental illness and finding herself.

Cautions: Some swearing and potential triggers might mar this book for younger readers despite its simple structure. Plus, it is hard to know how much information on eating disorders is helpful and how much is detrimental for youth.

Reading poems like these makes me forget that I do not like poetry that much. Perhaps, I am just picky about its quality. Either way, Waiting for My Clothes was one of the least triggering eating disorder memoirs that I have read. At the same time, O’Sullivan communicated the authenticity and power of her struggle. That combination has proved difficult to find. Thus, I would advise reading this book whether you are struggling from an eating disorder, have a family member who is, or want to know more about this disease.

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