About the author ( as provided by the author)
Hope Virgo, is the author of Stand Tall Little Girl and a leading advocate for people with eating disorders. Hope helps employers such as schools, hospitals and businesses deal with the rising tide of mental health issues. She is also a recognised media spokesperson having appeared on various shows including BBC Newsnight, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News.
Publication date: 6th March 2017
Publisher: Trigger Press
(Info found in the book)
Proceeds from all Trigger Press books go directly to The Shaw Mind Foundation, a global charity that focuses entirely on mental health.
Our goal is to make help and support available for every single person in society, from all walks of life. We will never stop offering hope. These are our promises.
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1911246152
Also available in Ebook format.
Pages: 240 pages
Genre: Mental Health/ Eating Disorders
Format reading: Ebook
Copy provided by: author
Blurb (as seen on Amazon)
For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope’s world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.
In Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope shares her harrowing, yet truly inspiring, journey. Through her letters and diary entries, Hope tells us how she fought from rock bottom to beat the ‘friend’ that had controlled and nearly destroyed her life. The story of Hope’s recovery will inspire countless others.
I must first say thank you to the lovely Hope for asking me to read, review and provide me with the Ebook for Stand Tall Little Girl. I felt really honoured you asked. I also want to say another thank you to hope for writing a guest post called Getting I the mind of an Anorexic (which will follow from my review!)
The cover for Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo is a very simple on with a blue backing and a siloet of a young lady standing tall! I quit like the different fonts used for the title, and the way it looks like it’s helping her to stand tall. All in all I think it’s striking and grab’s the eyes attention.
Stand Tall Little Girl is a book where Hope Virgo, tells her harrowing journey from the beginning of an eating disorder; Anorexia right through to being in recovery. Using diary entry’s from Hope’s diary and entry’s of her mother’s account. By including entry’s from her mother, it gives the reader a chance to understand how it felt for her as well as Hope.
As Hope discovers her ‘Best Friend’ Anorexia, she show’s a real clear and raw insight into just how much it affects, controls the decisions she made. Having a longing to please, and was constantly try to please her ‘Best Friend’, by being the best she could be. Which lead Hope to deceive all those around her.
When is becomes seriously ill she get’s admitted to hospital at the young age of 17. This is where she spends the next year of her life, away from her friends and family. Hope’s shear determination during her time in hospital, as she discovers her ‘Best Friend’ isn’t really her friend at all, but is destroying her body, organs and her whole life.
Hope takes the reader through all the therapy’s she try’s, her ‘triggers’, coping meninism’s and shows how many up’s and down’s to get and stay in recovery for Anorexia. I found this to be very informative in helping understanding of this truly destructive disease. She writes’ her account with such raw honesty, so expect it to be an emotional read, I certainly found I was crying when I read.
Stand Tall Little Girl is a raw and heart-breaking account of Hope’s journey with Anorexia. I have read a couple of book’s on this subject, as I know someone suffering and I want to try to understand; Hope has done just that! I feel like I have some understanding, so thank you Hope from the bottom of my heart! Her message is simple ‘just keep talking’ however hard it may be. Offering hope to those who are not only going through Anorexia themselves but to family and friends.
I really think Hope’s book would be really beneficial for fellow sufferers, friends and family because however hard it is to read, she offers insight, hope and understanding of this mental illness. This young lady has done an amazing and brave thing sharing her story with the world, and is a true inspiration.
Marie’s Book Boutique gives
Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo
5 Sparkly Stars
Next is the guest post from Hope
Getting in the mind of an Anorexic
Watching someone suffer with anorexia is heartbreaking. There is no glitz or glamour but instead it can rip families and relationships apart as it feels like a mountain that is impossible to climb.
I met my best friend anorexia when I was 13 years old. She was everything I needed and I relied fully on her. I was scared of losing people round me but I knew I could fully rely on my anorexia. She would never leave me. That value and purpose that she gave me was just what I needed. She comforted me at night when things felt too tough, gave me this sense of glory when I missed meals. She was exactly what I needed to get me through my life… or that’s what I thought…
Over the next four years I managed to hide this relationship from anyone else. I didn’t want to share her with anyone and I didn’t want her to be taken away from me. Over that four years I had to become so much more secretive and devious so that no where would interfere. As my parents realised something was wrong I found new ways to trick everyone round me. I lost a lot of my dignity at times shouting all the time, causing family rows. I left havoc wherever I went. It never really hit me the impact I was having on those around me until my Mum told me about a time when Samuel had got so upset about me being unwell and the situation. My mum did her best to protect my siblings but it wasn’t really possible to shield everything.
The penultimate night before I was admitted to a mental health hospital my sister and I went to the cinema to see “Ratatouille”. I had half my dinner stuffed in to my jacket, a fortisip drink that I had switched the context to so it was just water but I felt like a normal girl on the way to the cinema. Looking back I feel awful with how o was to my sister. I could barely stand up at this point and she kept trying to help. But I didn’t want her help to stay up right. I didn’t want anything to support me.
When you are watching someone struggling with their brain and with that anorexic voice it can feel so frustrating. The fear that you might say something that will make it worse or the fear that you aren’t doing enough. And the sheer utter terror that you can’t actually fix that situation.
The thing about anorexia, for me especially, was that it took a complete hold over me towards the end. I convinced myself I was still in control but the reality was I wasn’t. The months leading up to my hospital admission were a nightmare and even when I look back on them I still can’t believe how they all happened. I still don’t know where I had the energy to keep going.
I don’t have all the answers but wanted to emphasise five things that really helped me:
- Making happy memories away from food: the months before I went in to hospital my Mum and I would go for these long walks. We didn’t talk about food but there were times when I was able to share my worries and frustrations with her. These walks are happy memories for me away from the conflict and stress of meal times and it is these things that kept me going.
2. Having people reminding me that even though I am eating they know I am not 100% fixed! This is so important to do because a lot of people will worry that just because someone is eating means the anorexia has gone. But that isn’t the reality. Our weight may go up but it takes much longer for our minds to catch up.
3. When people are worried about me and my weight they ask: In 2016 I relapsed managing to hide my struggles for about 4 months. I knew I didn’t want to get unwell again but at the same time I was massively struggling on how to ask for help. Luckily people around me asked me directly and I felt able to admit I wasn’t okay. It was hard saying I was struggling again and I felt like a complete failure that I had let them all down but having a life line offered to me allowed that honesty. If you are worried about someone please do check in with them!
4. Being able to send a text saying “I feel like shit” and know that I will be taken heard. For me this is so important as it allows me to voice my struggles without having to show I am not okay with food.
5. Having someone to check in with about how much I am having. This is a silly one to most people who haven’t had an eating disorder and I am completely envious of people who just know how much to eat. I don’t have that luxury so it is good to have people who I can check in with if I am worried about portions
And if you don’t know what to do please don’t be afraid to ask! I know there is so much worry about knowing what you should and shouldn’t be saying. I don’t expect people to know everything or have all the answers but having someone to trust, check in with and someone who won’t give up on me is vital. Recovering from anorexia isn’t always easy but it is one hundred percent worth fighting for.
Thank you Hope for writing an honest guest Post today on Marie’s Book Boutique!