Christmas begins earlier each year. Soon the Christmas lights will stay up year round, Christmas in July is becoming a fashionable past time. It’s about food and company and cool weather and food and cool weather so we can eat more food. Food centred celebrations combined with social anxiety pose real barriers for people with ED (eating disorders).
It’s terrifying! All that food and all the expectations, ‘Try this, just a little, but I made it, it’s an old family recipe, I make it every Christmas.’ I’m out of there if only in my mind. Christmas is a challenge for many people but those with EDs have another level of complexity to bring to the table.
They often don’t know when it went weird, their relationship with food.
What is silence? Is it peace? Is it acceptance? Is it wisdom? Silence is a choice. Everything is a choice. Silence or voice that’s the choice.
I love the Simon and Garfunkel song ‘Sounds of Silence,’ I think it sets the tone for this post. Enjoy.
I’ve discovered prose poetry. It’s exciting a morphed from as the name suggests. Since last Monday night’s creative writing class words and images and sentence fragments have been flowing into my already congested brain.
Are they helping or hindering? Things are loosening and unravelling inside me. I’m gaining clarity about what I want to say but it’s hard to explain the choice when it’s skewed. It’s hard to own it.
1974, that’s where I’m up to. Spring 1973 left the earth sodden under foot and the tropical air heavy and sticky. Life became harder and harder. The social isolation drove me further away from myself into the arms of my inner voice, the anorexic one.
Summer holidays consisted of the hype up to Christmas. Mama loved Christmas so the atmosphere at home lifted. The ‘Regensburger Domspatzen’ sang carols in German and mum sang along. And it rained some more.
Opportunities abound when people watching, new things to try or reruns with barbs. What happens when the alarm bells ring and although we should be excited? Why are these experiences with us? Done bashing my head against a brick wall, I sit back, retreating into the comfort of silence.
Thousands of stories, characters and plots that unfold. One lumpy afternoon ample fodder for a book or two. Weird stuff happens some of it almost unbelievable but conflict makes writing memorable. This poem came from recent seaside reflections.
Retiring is like dying. If you are very lucky, you have a few practice runs before you go. I’m transitioning out of my professional life. With every, good-bye, I reflect on what have I have learned.
I’m a seeker, a would-be philosopher. It’s a vagabond’s life, the gypsy of the soul seeking meaning. But there are always stand-out moments, a person, a situation, a life. Most importantly there is a lesson.
I’m reading, ‘Chasing the Scream,’ by Johann Hari. It explores addiction. It asks some thought-provoking questions and it reminds me of the commonality between living with mental health issues and living with addiction.
Addiction rarely visits alone. It brings friends to the party, friends that increase the sense of social isolation and foster anxiety, self-recrimination and depression. Anyone with a label suffers in our society. They are immediately set apart and seen as different. People react differently towards them as they rumble around in a system created by society which often dis-empowers them.
I believe that any illness is a bi-product of the society in which we live.
Everyone’s busy. Grim faced people stream past me on the street. Many are typing or scrolling on their phones. An old lady approaches, dressed up for an outing, a day in town. ‘Beautiful day isn’t it?’ her gravelly voice washes past me. She’s still walking having learned that no one has time to stop.
I think of the VCE students who walked through the school gate for the last time yesterday. The relief and uncertainty, a balm and a wound shoulder them. It’s now or never … exams, results, courses, dreams … I remember.
I’m reflecting. I’m evaluating my input into people’s lives. It’s what I do as a physiotherapist in a Community Health Centre. Life’s tough out there. I’ve changed my practices, as I do periodically in the search of excellence. The general health question is a mire, extract, untangle, add up …
People come to me for answers and hope. I’m blessed to have time to listen, time to ask. I’ve added a new question:
‘How’s your mental health?’
It’s a keeper. It a leveler. If you have the kindness and courage to touch their pain, it creates rapport and success. Seeds blew in the spring wind this morning, each also had a story.
Dreams, what are they? Are they part of our subconscious mind or fantasy? Do they serve a purpose? Or not?
I dream vividly and frequently. As a child, I terrified myself with recurring dreams of separation or failure. Some nights, I ran from one reality to another and another again. I’d wake exhausted happy the night had passed, hung over from fatigue.