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The Silent Struggle

maandag, 13 februari 2012 11:16

I'd like to recomend the following book, The Silent Struggle. A remarkable story of triumph over abuse and anorexia, by Sr Marie-Therese of the Cross. (Redemptorist Publications, 2008)
 
In this book the author, an English carmelite living in London, offers the quite extraordinary witness of her battle with anorexia which, as far as exemples go, must rank as one of longest and most comprehensive. I found it extremely enlightening with regards to the way in which this illness can begin and develop, and how it's influence upon the person is so subtle and profound - both difficult to detect and to admit. Her 50 years of suffering also spanned a period when the medical art attempted multiple treatments based on very varied, and often frighteningly erroneous, understandings of anorexia and bulimia... she saw it all, so to speak, and witnesses to how a true understanding of the roots of this problem are so necessary yet so difficult to reach, uncover and establish as such in the understanding of the sufferer themselves. In short, this book seems to me to be a kind of manual for understanding this illness.
 

Sister also offers powerful explanations of why the last recovery program she tried worked and the personal steps that preceded it and paved the way to it. Through her narrative and her insightful observations and reflexions the reader learns much about the human person in the complexity of heavily damaged conditioning and how a human understanding of that is needed. One also sees how her Faith in Christ was the deepest answer to the suffering and the ultimate reason to recover her true self, though she experienced no miracle cure (rather, the love and intelligence of a few people who helped her). It's an easily readable book, written in a very personal style, and the author remains discreet in her explanations of the abuse she suffered.

Annorexia is a powerful illness and one which is often overlooked or misunderstood... this book has for me been an essential deepening of my understanding of it and what one can sometimes do to help those suffering with it. Above all, it's a rare witness to a very real and full recovery from such a devastating condition and the suffering that it veils; a recovery she made with her fellow sisters, priests and doctors... a powerful exemple of how Faith and intelligence need to work together in the setting of friendship - friendship with Christ and with brothers and sisters on the Way!
Gepubliceerd in Filosofie
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