Belle's Reviews > Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Wasted by Marya Hornbacher
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Feb 24, 12

Read in February, 2012

I love Marya's writing. She is absolutely brilliant. Gut-wrenching, and emotional, your insides will turn at the blatant honesty of the pages. I recommend this to any and all women who have ever suffered with any type of eating disorder. Even though she leaves nothing out, she also reveals the horrors of the repercussions of her choices. There is no glamour to hide behind. No baggy clothes to conceal it. Nothing to protect and cover you anymore. Bare, and showing. The details of the nasty consequences are shared for everyone to understand what these illnesses do to the lives of people who are suffering. How the end result is always pain. How the end result always leaves a trail of people you love behind, how life moves forward, and you somehow have to catch up, before you miss it entirely. I found this work to be incredibly motivational and eye-opening. It rips out your heart on the realities of eating disorders. How, they loom over us, always, no matter how fast we think we can run. I adored it.
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Quotes Belle Liked

Marya Hornbacher
“I do not remember very many things from the inside out. I do not remember what it felt like to touch things, or how bathwater traveled over my skin. I did not like to be touched, but it was a strange dislike. I did not like to be touched because I craved it too much. I wanted to be held very tight so I would not break. Even now, when people lean down to touch me, or hug me, or put a hand on my shoulder, I hold my breath. I turn my face. I want to cry.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“For a long time I believed the opposite of passion was death. I was wrong. Passion and death are implicit, one in the other. Past the border of a fiery life lies the netherworld. I can trace this road, which took me through places so hot the very air burned the lungs. I did not turn back. I pressed on, and eventually passed over the border, beyond which lies a place that is wordless and cold, so cold that it, like mercury, burns a freezing blue flame.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“No matter how thin you get, no matter how short you cut your hair, it's still going to be you underneath.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“• Eating disorders are addictions. You become addicted to a number of their effects. The two most basic and important: the pure adrenaline that kicks in when you're starving—you're high as a kite, sleepless, full of a frenetic, unstable energy—and the heightened intensity of experience that eating disorders initially induce. At first, everything tastes and smells intense, tactile experience is intense, your own drive and energy themselves are intense and focused. Your sense of power is very, very intense. You are not aware, however, that you are quickly becoming addicted.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“At a certain point, an eating disorder ceases to be "about" any one thing. It stops being about your family, or your culture. Very simply, it becomes an addiction not only emotionally but also chemically. And it becomes a crusade. If you are honest with yourself, you stop believing that anyone could "make" you do such a thing— who, your parents? They want you to starve to death? Not likely. Your environment? It couldn't careless. You are also doing it for yourself. It is a shortcut to something many women without an eating disorder have gotten: respect and power. It is a visual temper tantrum. You are making an ineffective statement about this and that, a grotesque, self-defeating mockery of cultural standards of beauty, societal misogyny. It is a blow to your parents, at whom you are pissed.
And it is so very seductive. It is so reassuring, so all-consuming, so entertaining.
At first.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“People with eating disorders tend to be very diametrical thinkers – everything is the end of the world, everything rides on this one thing, and everyone tells you you're very dramatic, very intense, and they see it as an affectation, but it´s actually just how you think. It really seems to you that the sky will fall if you are not personally holding it up. On the one hand, this is sheer arrogance; on the other hand, this is a very real fear. And it isn't that you ignore the potential repercussions of your actions. You don't think there are any. Because you are not even there.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“In her presence, I was reminded again of why I was an anoretic: fear. Of my needs, for food, for sleep, for touch, for simple conversation, for human contact, for love. I was an anoretic because I was afraid of being human. Implicit in human contact is the exposure of the self, the interaction of the selves. The self I'd had, once upon a time, was too much. Now there was no self at all. I was a blank.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“Nothing in the world scares me as much as bulimia. It was true then and it is true now. But at some point, the body will essentially eat of its own accord in order to save itself. Mine began to do that. The passivity with which I speak here is intentional. It feels very much as if you are possessed, as if you have no will of your own but are in constant battle with your body, and you are losing. It wants to live. You want to die. You cannot both have your way. And so bulimia creeps into the rift between you and your body and you go out of your mind with fear. Starvation is incredibly frightening when it finally sets in with a vengeance. And when it does,you are surprised. You hadn't meant this. You say: Wait, not this. And then it sucks you under and you drown.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“The idea began to sink in, more than it ever had, that I might be crazy, in the traditional sense of the word. That I might be, forever and ever amen, a Crazy Person. That's what we'd suspected all along, what I'd been working so hard to disprove, what might be true. I preferred, by far, being dead.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Marya Hornbacher
“The leap of faith is this: You have to believe, or at least pretend you believe until you really believe it, that you are strong enough to take life face on. Eating disorders, on any level, are a crutch. They are also an addiction and illness, but there is no question at all that they are quite simply a way of avoiding the banal, daily, itchy pain of life. Eating disorders provide a little drama, they feed into the desire for constant excitement, everything becomes life-or-death, everything is terribly grand and crashing, very Sturm and Drang. And they are distracting. You don't have to think about any of the nasty minutiae of the real world, you don't get caught up in that awful boring thing called regular life, with its bills and its breakups and its dishes and laundry and groceries and arguments over whose turn it is to change the litter box and bedtimes and bad sex and all that, because you are having a real drama, not a sitcom but a GRAND EPIC, all by yourself, and why would you bother with those foolish mortals when you could spend hours and hours with the mirror, when you are having the most interesting sado-machistic affair with your own image?”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia


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