Believarexic, J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson


336 printed pages
Asking for help is only the first step

Jennifer can’t go on like this—binging, purging, starving, all while trying to appear like she’s got it all together. But when she finally confesses her secret to her parents and is hospitalized at the Samuel Tuke Center, her journey is only beginning.

As Jennifer progresses through her treatment, she learns to recognize her relationships with food, friends, and family—and how each relationship is healthy or unhealthy. She has to learn to trust herself and her own instincts, but that’s easier than it sounds. She has to believe—after many years of being a believarexic.

Using her trademark dark humor and powerful emotion, J. J. Johnson tells an inspiring story that is based on her own experience of being hospitalized for an eating disorder as a teenager. The innovative format—which tells Jennifer’s story through blank verse and prose, with changes in tense and voice, and uses forms, workbooks, and journal entries—mirrors the protagonist’s progress toward a healthy body and mind.
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You are not good
unless you are sick.
Be the broken one,
it tells you.
Pare yourself down,
do everything just so,
empty your stomach,
scrape lines in your flesh,
throw yourself down stairs,
drop to your bare knees on gravel.
You want it gone, the monster.
There is no safety or comfort while it lives.
You yearn for it to be slain.
You want it dead.
And yet: you need it.
It is what makes you
It sets you apart.
It helps you.
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