I woke up this morning feeling discouraged. I kept asking myself why I was writing my current book. After all, if the book is going to sell as poorly as This Hunger Is Secret, why am I even bothering?
People have already made the most bogus excuses I’ve ever heard for not purchasing the book or making any effort to read it. I know a few people have, but not many. Some even make excuses as to why they “can’t” read the sample that anyone can find on Amazon.
I know now the truth about writing and publishing. You can write all you want. It might be good stuff. Publishing, though, is an entirely different matter. Once you are published, it’s all about promotion and little else. It’s about whether anyone loves you and whether you have money. Good looks might help, too. But the bottom line is that if you don’t have a whole bunch of charisma, you might as well hang it up. They’ll buy it if you act charming. If you are poor and plain-looking like me, you won’t even get a reading. They won’t want you.
If you have rich parents who are living, or a spouse with connections, you are a lucky writer. If you have a job where you can show up and parade your book around, great. I never had any of those things. These were stolen from me by Mental Health Disservices.
So I was thinking all that this morning. Asking why I was working so hard on this book if it wasn’t going to do any good. I felt rotten about everything happening right now.
I realized, too, that my intentions all along were to help others. That’s why I write. Looking back, I know I have used writing to get other people what they needed or deserved. Wasn’t I the one who showed up at Town Hall on July 31st, 2013, to petition the town for hot water for my apartment building? Prior to that, our water wasn’t warm enough to shower in. Hadn’t I written numerous letters to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to ensure telephone privacy for the patients at the Alcott Unit? The hospital agreed to provide soundproofing for one phone. They failed to follow through with what they had agreed upon.
Is it actually necessary that anyone appreciate my efforts or acknowledge to me that I did these things? Or should I just keep doing stuff like that? I ended the Housing Authority’s refusal to change the expired batteries in our carbon monoxide detectors. They replaced all of those detectors with new ones after I tattled to the town government. I’m sure the whole neighborhood was glad our building wasn’t beeping all the time!
Does recognition matter? I suppose it’s selfish of me to think that it does. But what gets to me is that a huge portion of the “eating disorders community” that i was a member of now considers me a “sicko.” They look at me much as my community in Watertown treated me. Like I’m some kind of dangerous criminal. They’ve even used that word. Dangerous. I hate that word.
I’m not dangerous. I challenge people. They don’t like it. They don’t want their platitudes questioned. I know my own world came crashing in when I realized the lie I’d lived for three decades. I don’t think anyone else wants to hear:
They don’t want their worlds crashing in. I only want to warn them: if they choose to keep up with the status quo, the same thing will happen to them. They’re just a bit younger than me.
Get the hell out. Get out of the system. Do it any way you can. I don’t want one more person killed by it, in the name of “recovery.”
So today, I wrote about my friend who died with those words on her lips:
See you later.