The Dress Fitting: a Trigger for the Body Image Mire

Body image. Being female. Life’s  challenges: wedding dress or bikini? Both bring us  face to face with our bodies. They are emotionally charged experiences, all mirrors and expectations. Bikini shopping lays us bare, as close to naked as it gets. But the wedding dress final fitting puts our flaws under the  microscope on a grand scale.

Can you relate to the image of the girl on that special day, hand on tummy, breathing in, eyes avoiding while desperately seeking the mirror? She’s present but has checked out. Self-acceptance is out of her comfort zone.

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The Time Capsule

Sitting in the car, country drive, Spotify time capsule, John Denver’s ‘Sunshine,’ plays. Music does that rockets you back to the past and I’m 15 sitting in my parent’s unit. It wasn’t just the music, I’d been doing some serious edits.

Edits can’t help but take me back to the cesspool of my adolescent ED (eating disorder). I guess my mind traversed two realities already, the unknown ready to sprout. A new thought had formed since my return from overseas, nagging, bugging and buzzing around my head like an elusive mosquito.

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‘How’s Your Mental Health?’

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.

seeds

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An Innocent Beginning

Crunch time, that overwhelming moment when I could say, ‘I’m lost.’

It dawned on me that I was out of control, rocketing down the slippery slope without realising I’d even sat at the top of the slide. How did the anorexic descent begin? Innocently enough, either externally cued by thoughtless words or internally generated by critical thoughts.

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Owning It

Anorexia is my shadow. It’s been with me since I was twelve. It coerced me, engaged me, changed me but never left me.

I hated it. It made me feel ashamed and flawed. Why? Why me? How did this happen? How did a beautiful, intelligent, successful person live a dual life? No one knew. The duality remained hidden.

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Puppy Sitting: Time to Think

 

This morning I sat down with one of those bitty lists, the kind that grow out of being away. I arrived back home, here down south to Narnia yesterday afternoon.  It was cold.

I’d left my warm second home, my daughter, her partner and my grand-pup. The dog knew something was going on when I lugged the case onto the bed and unpacked to repack it. His big brown eyes nearly made me cry. Pets can really give you a guilt trip.

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Antagonising Antagonist

The antagonist, the adversary of the hero is giving me grief. And so it should, as I am the protagonist in my memoir. A vicious circle, the chicken or the egg or the egg or the chicken has me chasing my literary tail.

Anorexia

                                               Adolescence                     Acceptance

                                  Marginalisation                                             Prejudice

                                                   Fashion                              Beauty

Power

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Eating the Elephant: Book Plan

Question: ‘How do you eat an elephant?’

Answer: ‘One bite at a time.’

New projects can be like this. Huge, Grey and Shadowy,

the illusion of being in a mist. Mulling around in that confused head space is

COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.

I am embarking on a new project, that leap into the unknown that I alluded to in last week’s blog. A new book. A new challenge. Methodical by nature, I find structure keeps me on track. Shamelessly, I admit that I like lists. They provide a point of reference and also reinforce achievement.

elephant

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Sharing One’s Vulnerabilities

It’s okay.

What did I say?

It’s okay.

Really but I’m not sure where I’m going…

24″ Waste has taught me a lot. My latest memoir based on a flaunt with Anorexia in the 70s, has been a long and convoluted road. I wrote it, getting my message on paper. But the underlying concepts were unclear. I have a really good friend, smart, honest and most importantly a reader.

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