Just Change

A difficult decision had come to fruition, I’d sold a dream I’d created, the family had grown up. Stress, anxiety, overwhelm…  Life gave me lemons but I struggled with the recipe for lemonade. Change still tasted a tad sour.

My feelings took me back to when I was fourteen.

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The Slippery Slope

‘I’m not really sure what’s going on with me and food.’

There are so many misconceptions around anorexia. Most people living with it are misunderstood, brandished as:

  • Attention seekers
  • Vain
  • Control freaks just to mention a few.

But it is much more complicated than that. Life becomes unbearable during the anorexic experience. Pressure builds up slowly but surely. Many women subject themselves to this choice, life in the pressure cooker.

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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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Research and Writing

Anorexia and storytelling? Anorexia and metaphors? Anorexia and darkness?

Whilst writing about my experience with anorexia, I came across an article titled, ‘Listening in the dark: why we need stories of people living with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa’. It immediately grabbed my attention . Conti et al explored metaphors and recovery in an article published on 15/12/2016 in the Journal of Eating Disorders.

darkness and light

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Reflections of an Ex-Anorexic: Beauty

Making sense of the struggle has unearthed many questions. The cycle of body image, perfection, calorie counting… had to lead some where. Beauty. The well-worn path meandered, looping carelessly back to the past and  stretching outdated values into the future.

Beauty, what is it? What happens in the mind of a person with anorexia? Is their perception of beauty different? Can the insidious web of the disease keep the sufferer trapped, centred on a fixed idea? How did the idea of beauty arise? What did that mean to me?

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