The Dichotomy of Completion

Last Monday came and with it an irresistible urge to complete this manuscript.

The End

But fear is near

Completion compels

Emptiness shadows joy

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We writers experience doubt but transcend it on a daily basis. A memoir writer, I choose to tell my story, revealing a part of myself. It renders me vulnerable. Naked, pickings for critics. To be read is to be interpreted by others. I risk being misunderstood.

I’m flicking through the last part of my anorexic journey, surprised to find, I’m closer to the end than I thought. Time line inconsistencies bugged me. They stopped me. Year twelve was a lopsided experience where everything came in right at the end. Like a dandelion seed head it burst forth.

I recognised my procrastination and impotence. But the urge to put anorexia behind me pushed back. The dichotomy of completion slapped me. Was I looking for reasons to hold on when I should be letting go? Was I frightened of completion? I wrote my experience down, so others could better understand the struggle experienced by those of us living with an eating disorder (ED). EDs are fought in the inner world. How often do you share your inner world with another?

Completion came with a shadow fear. Fear, I knew too well. I had to allow myself to move through this space. Uncomfortable. I had to sit with it. It’s autumn here in Australia and I watch the tree limbs re-emerging from their dense foliage. Writing my way through anorexia has helped me understand myself.

I worked with a skilled therapist who understood EDs and helped me re-emerge from under the foliage of misguided beliefs about myself. She helped me understand the inner critic and regain balance within. My concern that this new knowledge would discredit my story proved to be untrue. In fact it consolidated my belief in what I had written.

So I find myself facing completion, the act of letting it go. Opening my hands and setting the words free. I am setting myself free. But I’m also facing the emptiness. It’s daunting. There is a gap where my story and its telling used to be. What will fill the gap? So I sit with the discomfort.

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