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Please do not read this post if reading about the topic of eating disorders will be harmful to your mental health.
TRIGGER/ CONTENT WARNING: This post talks about eating disorders (mainly atypical anorexia) and the mental implications of an eating disorder.
To commiserate on the fact that I forgot to post last November AND that I have literally written no more than a single word on my WIP in NaNo2021; so here is a late post about a completely unrelated WIP to the one I was working on in 2021.
There is this ‘personal project’ WIP that I am working on titled Realise, which started off as a random Wattpad story and has now transformed into a way for me to educate others by telling the story of past, naive Bree, and speaking the truth about non-extreme eating disorders.
I also want people to understand that people with an eating disorder (ED) can have a life. Their story is not just about their issues with food and recovery or even death, as other books try to depict it. People with ED have a life, have friends, family, suffer pain and loss, but everything is heightened by the existence of their mental illness. It’s mentally isolating as there is so much done to hide the fact, but the desire to keep a normal life or a normal facade is so strong, we barely acknowledge that we’re killing ourselves slowly.
I am almost halfway through the story, but so far from done.
Now you have the backstory, here are some facts about the novel; many of which have developed later on in the re-worked version that I am currently writing.
Realise was a Wattpad ‘story’ way back in the days of 2014. I use the word ‘story’ loosely because it was a 5-line-per-chapter poem style story about a girl who said she couldn’t be loved. Reading back on it, it was super lame, but it was my only good story on the site and people said that they liked it. So there’s that.
I actually put a lot into Realise at the time of writing it and kind of fell in love with my half-baked characters, so I had the brilliant idea to revive the story. I used the Wattpad version as a plan and tried to write the story for NaNoWriMo 2018 but failed and have continued on with it ever since. It’s more of a passion project now. I use it to help my healing process and work through the pain of what I had put myself through so others understand that not all eating disorders are classified by extreme weight-loss.
The story is told in our main character, Jaz’s point of view and is in the present tense, featuring 3-6 other side characters. We see Jaz’s Mum and Dad fairly often as well as Ed, Jaz’s friend. There is a lot of mention of her ‘best friend’ Josh, especially since he is part of the main storyline, and occasionally her friend Kelly will appear, but she hasn’t been a major character this far into the novel.
Jaz has an eating disorder. I’m trying not to dramatise it and doing my best effort to make everything 100% realistic from both my own experience and from my research of first-hand accounts of people online. Due to this, my story will have a trigger warning on it, especially since no one really helps Jaz with her ED at the start. This isn’t a story of recovery because recovery can’t happen in one book. Recovery is a serious of mountains and I don’t want to write a story that makes it look easy.
Jaz is also bisexual. I was working through this part with a friend who is bi-romantic so I din’t represent Jaz in the wrong way, but turns out that in 2021, I addressed that my many year long nagging in the back of my mind, and turns out that I’m a lil bit bi too. So there’s that.
Realise, the name of the story, actually came before the original ‘story’ was ever written. The original version is still up on Wattpad along with a self-made cover and everything if you’d like to read it. I will warn you that it isn’t any good and nothing like I have mentioned here in this post, hence why it is being re-written.
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