The Day I Walked Out on Myself

My therapist said, ‘Anorexia is a form of self flagellation.’ I knew what she meant. I didn’t want to own it then. I’d been working really hard peeling back the layers of inter-generational trauma. I understood why I befriended the shadow: anorexia. And I went to Africa. My brain was fried.

I’d physically recovered by 23 and didn’t give anorexia much thought. By 30, I was pregnant with my first child and by 35, a mother of three. I returned to work four years later, weekend ICU, an intense world which kept me enthralled for 18 years. I needed a break and moved into community health. Writing called. I answered.

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My Ongoing Relationship with Food

Food, arghhh! It’s complicated isn’t it? I love food, I really do. Even at my most vulnerable, as a restrictive anorexic, I loved food. I loved watching people enjoy food. ButI loved chips and chocolate. My mother’s ongoing sabotage of my love of greens, probably helped to keep me alive.

Mama always kept treats in our pantry. It smelled delicious, like a deli. And it was. Treats included chips and chocolate. I caved time and time again gorging and then self-flagellating. It gets better right?

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Splat, the Wall

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.

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Running Away

I believe that fight and flight also governs our response to strong emotions. Some people come back at the person/ situation enraged; words or fists flying. Others don’t.

Are you someone who simply runs away? For me it’s easier. Either physically creating distance, emotionally by shutting down or psychologically dulling reality. I’d like to share my discovery of running away.

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Finding the Way

This poem came to me after my morning walk. Having recently taken a leap of faith, I meet people daily undergoing the same metamorphosis. Change is the best tool to meet the hidden self. Endless, I don’t know how to do that, moments arise. Self-doubt comes tot the party uninvited. It wants the fairy bread! Self-doubt is no match for Google.

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