( ) Hornbacher is a brilliant writer and has gone through hell with her mental illness. Wasted is what I believe is her first memoir on one of her dual diagnoses – a NOS eating disorder. Her second memoir is a chronicle of her struggle with bipolar disorder, Madness: A Bipolar Life.
This was written when she was only 23 years old. It begins by describing problems in her youth and warning signs of the disease to develop. First, she becomes extremely bulimic. Then, out of desire to have more restraint and more substantial weight loss, she devotes herself to anorexia.
At a very young age she develops habits and ways of thinking that obsess over food and her own body. She sees no limit on how thin she needs to be. She desires to wither away to nothing.
She becomes emaciated to the point where she is told she has one week left to live. Only this, did she see as a turning point to change her behavior. Now, she is living, but still in a continuous struggle with the disease.
I love this book for how much detail it provides, the plentiful research and observation it contains, and how much great analyses the author has put into to trying to understand her condition and circumstances. It’s intense and honest, and made me cringe the whole time I was reading it because I’m disgusted by the idea of someone starving to death – especially by their own will. It’s great – but like I said – an intense read.