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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Anorexia and Extremes

Anorexia looks extreme: the weight loss, restriction and rituals. But it doesn’t begin that way. It creeps up on you  and hoodwinks you into allegiance to a dangerous ally. That’s my experience anyway. How are we influenced? And why?

This poem looks at two vastly different experiences. I’ve lived the experience through my cultural lens and watch my daughters struggle with their perceptions of their bodies. During my travels, I’ve come across women with far less wealth but a powerful sense of self.

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On the Road

We recently travelled north from Melbourne to Brisbane, a journey that unearthed memories from over thirty years ago. My parents, long gone, undertook this journey to visit us. This piece is a collage of my impressions on the road.

Up the Newell

Up early after a scrappy sleep,

Our bags are packed, Christmas gifts safely stored.

New Years Day:

Eerily-empty roads stretch out in front of us.

The Newell Highway, the inland route.

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A Moment of Insight

My computer DiEd. I tried to breathe life into it,

asystole ________________________

‘Let’s get you a new computer. How long have you had that thing anyway?’ Inwardly groaning, I jumped into the car. A new challenge loomed, setting up a new computer… passwords… resetting passwords…moving files… Arghhh………………………………………..

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