I grew up nose in a fairy tales book, a little girl who wanted to be a princess. I disliked the scary stories like Little red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. The dark woods frightened me. As I grew up, I found myself there, an anorexic perfectionist deep in the forest.
It took me a long time to understand the role of the darkness in my life. This a series of questions are me unpacking the darkness.
Is darkness external? Or does it live inside?
Shades and shadows, mist and mystery?
Starry nights with stars that whisper silent promises?
The comfort of a freshly laundered bed, curtain billowing softly?
A pitch black space, dense and impenetrable?
Would it encase me like a womb with its soothing heartbeat? Or frighten me?
Would I lose my way? Would I fall into myself, swallowed by the voracious appetite of the unknown?
My senses scream; what do I hear, feel or taste?
there is yelling everywhere, what, what …?
Am I willing to listen? Or am I already running away, superimposing treacle on pain?
Is the emotional landscape the home of darkness?
What is the darkness?
Is it composed of those shameful thoughts that remain un-uttered?
I know my darkness is there but can I reach into to it? Can I bear to touch it?
Do I have the courage to own it?
Is it safe? Is all that negativity safe? Or is it contagious?
I know I’m unique but is the darkness universal?
Is pain and smallness and worthlessness universal?
Can I be with these hurts?
Here now, can I?
What do they need from me?
Do I have the courage to look at those things, I’ve neglected so long?
Is my darkness a cascade of unmet needs crying to be heard, seen and honoured?
If you need help with an eating disorder, contact:
- Eating Disorders Victoria 1300 550 236
- The Butterfly Foundation 1800 33 4673
- National Eating Disorders Collaboration 1800 33 4673
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800