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My suffering had to be utilized for something positive: An Interview with Andrea Guasch

My suffering had to be utilized for something positive: An Interview with Andrea Guasch

 |  Author Interviews

 

 

Andrea Guasch, the subject of this week’s author interview, has written a powerful and inspiring collection of poetry, intended to help those who feel lost, who suffer in silence and who struggle putting their feelings into words.

 

Andrea herself struggled with an eating disorder, but through her recovery, found her true self. This collection is structured around that recovery: Exhausted, Rollercoaster and Light.

 

We asked Andrea about writing her debut book, what she would want to tell those currently struggling with a disorder like she once did, and how added illustrations bring beauty into such darkness.

 

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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is your debut release. When did you decide to tell your story in book form? How did you find the writing process?

 

Two years ago, during a therapy session, I was discussing my drawings and writings with my therapist. In that moment, I realized that all I had endured needed to have meaning and purpose. Every phrase, every drawing, and all my suffering had to be utilized for something positive. This realization was the catalyst for my decision to write a book aimed at helping others.

 

The writing process proved to be challenging. Revisiting those memories was incredibly difficult, particularly when writing the first chapter. This chapter, which covered the darkest stage of my life, took significantly longer to complete than the others. Confronting and articulating those painful experiences was not an easy task, but it was necessary for the greater goal of offering support and hope to others.

 

 

Your book is split into three stages of recovery: Exhausted, Rollercoaster and Light. Without going into too much detail (to encourage readers to pick up a copy of your book), why did you choose the titles for each chapter?

 

These titles represent really well what’s inside of them. Exhausted it’s a reference to what depression feels like, feeling tired all the time. Second one, Rollercoaster, means what being in therapy feels like. I looked into all trauma, all the “shit”, and that made me go through a roller coaster of emotions. One day I was shining and the other one I was very sad. Last one, Light, my favourite one. This chapter talks about what getting out of the well means, the feeling of true happiness, the feeling of loving every inch of yourself. Light is always there, even if it’s hard to see it.

 

 

In your author blurb, you describe your eating disorder as an opportunity “to build and find [your] true self”. How would you encourage and motivate those who are still suffering and struggling to find their place?

 

Dealing with an eating disorder is incredibly challenging, here are a few ways to encourage and motivate those who are still struggling:

 

- Recognize that their pain and challenges are real and valid.

 

- Celebrate every small victory, no matter how minor it might seem. Each step forward is a significant achievement in their journey.

 

- We all need to be kind to ourselves. Self-compassion can help reduce the shame and guilt often associated with eating disorders.

 

- Going to therapy is crucial for understanding the pain and the trauma that made us get the ED.

 

 

You have your own illustrations embedded in the book, of which you have stated “show that imperfection can be beautiful too”. Did you always intend to have your drawings included or were they a later addition?

 

Yes, I always intended to have my drawings included in the book. From the beginning, I believed that my illustrations would not only complement the narrative but also visually express the theme that imperfection can be beautiful too. The drawings were an integral part of conveying this message.

 

 

You are currently studying cinematography and have a deep passion for cinema. Do you see yourself returning to the writing books or is your creative eye set on the silver screen?

 

While I have a deep passion for cinema and am currently studying cinematography, I am now looking to study psychology. Having suffered from an eating disorder, I understand firsthand the struggles and complexities of mental health issues. By studying psychology, I hope to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to help others who are facing similar challenges.

 

And yes, I’m planning on writing another book!

 

 

It’s okay to not be okay is available now in paperback.

 


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