Good friends keep us sane, especially the kind we plan to get old and weird with. A waft of cigarette smoke caught my attention. I craved a fag. Omg. Where did that impulse even come from? I mentioned it. She laughed: You’re self soothing.
The words struck me and stuck fast. Truth does that! I had to admit to myself, I’d been hurting despite the perfectionist persona.
We’d planned an afternoon in Geelong, lunch on the water and a visit to the gallery to see the Archibald Prize Paintings.
- Sometimes I signs pop up.
- Sometimes I lose my way.
- Sometimes I turn myself inside out looking for resolution in my inner world.
Lately, I’d run out of distractions.
- I’d come a long way.
- I’d faced my fears and shone light into the dark recesses.
- I’d made a decision to talk to a counsellor. I carried the phone number around with me for a few weeks.
Paintings can be visual metaphors.
- Accepting help felt like defeat.
- Accepting help threatened the neat package of who I thought I was.
- Accepting help was a long time coming.
Cycles permeate life. I like spirals.
- I’ve been mute unable to express my truth.
- I’ve been trapped in a glass box of my making.
- I’ve been flat and also flamboyant.
Creatives have courage.
- Have you ever felt the honesty of a self-portrait?
- Have you touched that intimacy?
- Have you seen inside the person portrayed?
It’s been hard to learn to love myself.
- Seasons, years, scenarios … round and round.
- Seasoned scenarios, round and round
- The wall splat, yet again.
I replayed an old reality, There I was again in a place, I didn’t want to be. But this time I changed something.
- I took two days off.
- I overcame my resistance.
- I dialled that number.
The process of reworking my memoir on anorexia has brought me much greater understanding of myself and my parents. It’s been an ongoing project which taught me about expectations, appearances, isolation … I also had to look at trauma. I’m close to the end of what I consider a solid first draft. I didn’t expect to need help. But in a weird way I’m relieved to have arrived at this point.