Sunday: A turbulent night over and light peeks through the sheer curtains. I prefer it to the darkness but am peeved to have missed the dawn. It’s been an intense year so far and the hype up to Christmas makes me want to step back.
In sight of the finish line, I’m flat today.
Is it a female thing or is it me? I’m in a constant state of reconciliation lately. Greys sprinkle through my hair, catching the light like bits of tinsel in the sun. I’m trying to love them. It must be working because more are coming and my forehead looks like an old dogs nose.
I’m aware, okay I’m a bit hyper-vigilant about ageing. A part of the ‘Older Ageing Person,’ team, I work with older people. I see them, hear them and offer them hope. Together we seek solutions to mobility problems, de-conditioning and falls. The shadow of anorexia beaten down to size still quips sometimes.
She is on about, calories, beauty, fashion, makeup … She reveres youth.
I’ve largely unpackaged her. It has been an exhausting process. I’ve had to get real with myself, honestly examining my values and beliefs to find some of them dangerously skewed . I’m still learning to be loving with myself when I make mistakes. I’m learning to let life teach me. I’m learning to grow gently through pain and pleasure.
But now, so close to the end of my writing I’ve run out of steam. But I’m still whipping myself to finish the manuscript and try to ignore the truth: creativity is stifled by coercion. In my manuscript, I’m sixteen, I’m in year twelve and I’m turning the corner. I’m trying to capture the tortuous see-sawing of self-love and self-loathing that will dominate my life until I’m 21.
I sit on the couch and wonder. Why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? And then the clincher: is it of value? When I began to write I considered it indulgent. I gave myself permission to write only if it would help people. My rationale:
write > get the story down > get the facts > mental health issues are common > anorexia though not overly common is lethal > write the story > help people
This drove me for 55,000 words reworked and 15,000 yet to be pared down to reveal the real me. But epiphanies come with morning coffee. They bang into my consciousness redirecting me. New rationale:
the story is important > finish it > there is no time frame > rest > the rest will flow when it is ready > unpackage the rest of the anorexic experience as you can
For now I’m heeding this advice.
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