Surviving Myself: How an Eating Disorder, A Car Crash and a Stroke Taught Me to Love My Life and Finally Live It by Dina Pestonji
Published: July 19, 2018
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Genres: memoir, mental health, autobiography
Rating: 5 stars
Recommend to fans of: memoirs about strong women, life lessons, authentic eating disorder representation
Foodie Vibes: homemade Indian food surrounded by family
GROWING UP, DINA PESTONJI was afforded all the comfort, love and affection anyone could ask for. She should have been a happy, carefree girl. But from the age of 10, she felt uncomfortably “different,” like an ugly brown duckling in a sea of perfect girls with white skin and blue eyes.
In this powerful, brutally honest memoir, Dina vividly describes the losing battle that engulfed her mind and body—one with a hateful, self-loathing and cruel inner critic.
Consumed by a misguided obsession with fitting in, being exceptional and “perfect,” she unknowingly allowed a deep self-hatred to set in over the years—a hatred that not even her acceptance at the swankiest schools nor a dream job in California could change. Only after surviving a horrific car crash and a paralyzing stroke while still in her 20s, did she begin to see herself for who she really was: strong, independent, a fighter…blessed.
Surviving Myself, is the captivating, emotionally charged story of the author’s journey to self-acceptance and inner peace, narrated with the refreshing candour of a close friend. Alternately humourous, shocking and heartbreaking, it is also the story of a family’s overflowing love.
Thank you to NetGalley, Tellwell Talent and Dina Pestonji for an ebook copy for review. As always, an honest review from me.
The title pretty much sums up the book. Dina struggles with an eating disorder in her teen years, constantly feels different from her peers, gets into a car crash, moves abroad several times, and has a stroke. All before the age of 30. That’s a lot of information for a person to get in 30 seconds, not to mention experience in 30 years.
Her story is remarkable, inspiring and so relatable. Even if you haven’t dealt with all of the challenges that she has, you will still be able to relate to a lot of her feelings. Feelings of isolation, loneliness, loving your family but wanting to prove your independence, frustration, finding your place in the world, hopelessness and courage. The writing is so relatable. It’s like listening to a really smart mentor give you all the life lessons you need to know. I would read another 350 pages of her experiences and insight.
The only aspect that slightly annoyed me was reading the younger years. Maybe age 10 and 11. Since it’s in 1st person, the writing is from a pre teen’s perspective. Makes sense for the story, but not my favorite age range to read about. These are only minor details though.
Overall a fantastic memoir that really resonated with me. Do yourself a favor and give Surviving Myself by Dina Pestonji a read!
Which of Dina’s experiences can you relate to?