Faith Elicia’s new book Do You See What I See? feels like an elaborate amalgam of the best aspects of decidedly different genres. There’s an aspect of the painfully confessional, coupled with more traditionalist self-help elements, complete with Elicia’s unsparing, viscerally raw tone. She doesn’t sugarcoat things for the reader, never sparing the proverbial rod at the cost of being entirely honest about the fact that healing is an ongoing, complex process. It’s never something that will come easily, or will be a discernibly A to Z process. The way to look at overcoming a self-induced adversity like an eating disorder, Elicia argues, is to look at healing like staying the course in a potentially everlasting, thirteen-round fight. But at the same time, she never gives up communicating such realistic ideals in a manner that is compassionate, intelligent, and decidedly warm.


Like such aforementioned philosophies, the book’s seamless shifts between appropriate heavy-handedness to bits of deprecating humor, to evidence supported actualities form a single whole. There’s a strong sense she has had many years to wrestle with the profound implications, spiritual even, of the content that she speaks about. As a result, there’s never a sense of inappropriate removal or overall narrative veering offtrack. Everything feels synonymous despite its individualistic traits being somewhat chameleonic in their implications. “My journey along the path of recovery from my eating disorder is similar to a dance. And by that, I am not referring to a tango you would see on Dancing With The Stars,” Elicia summarizes. “I am talking about stepping on your partner’s feet or forgetting choreography in front of an audience—a blooper you would view on America’s Funniest Home Videos. A dance with poor direction, a slow learning curve, falls, bruises, and a perfect pirouette every now and then.”

It’s through this sort of literary approach that Elicia really feels like someone you could know, versus a coldly removed professional simply reciting to you the facts. It’s a comforting thing for a reader to feel, that there really is someone who not only comprehends what one theoretically could be going through – but has gone through it themselves. And who has succeeded overall at containing the problem, if not fundamentally having taken care of it. It’s a tactic I personally have been hungry to see for some time, a tactic that bridges the all-too-often ironic gap between the us versus them feeling so many books written by specialists provoke.


There’s a lot of invaluable and completely understandable information out there that can help one ultimately achieve peace, love, and true self-determination both within their body and in engagements with the world around them. “Nobody has power over us as adults unless we give it to them,” Elicia writes. “To me, seizing our power back is a boot-camp experience to put into practice. It comes down to setting boundaries and speaking up for ourselves. How can you take your power back from someone who is trying to control you? It’s yours and yours alone.” Amen to that!

Garth Thomas