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.
It’s nearly a month since I finished writing and the critiques are coming in. It’s as I’d expected, my readers find things to love and things to loathe. Critique doesn’t equal criticism but my head still struggles with that concept.
I’m human. I’m not alone. I’m sick. Life has gone unexpectedly awry.
Allowing has been a challenge but I’m doing it. I’m moving to the heart. Maybe you can relate to being trapped in the head with all those chaotic thoughts. Maybe you feel deeply and intensely, so deeply that it scares you. Maybe you want peace and emotional resolution.
Here’s a poem about my experience.
I’m a societal success but the confusion between the voice of anorexia with the voice of self-love shadowed much of my adult life. On the external stakes, I tick most boxes. I’m:
- attractive (for my age)
- socially connected
- on my first marriage
- and contributing in a professional capacity
But ego, the master of deception keeps coming in through the side door trying to convince me otherwise.
On Friday, our lovely city was rocked by a random act of violence. My thoughts go out to those involved, those who have lost loved ones and those who in the course of their duty serve our community.
It is Monday.
For many, a difficult week lies ahead. As citizens, we find the media reports buffeting us, social media imploring us and our own emotions ensnaring us.Many feel a sense of helplessness wanting to help but unsure how to. Can we do more? If so, how?
The blurred a patch of the windscreen persisted even I moved my head. Silently I cursed the health centre car; why didn’t they clean the windows properly? I sat in a comfortable parlour with an old fashioned mantlepiece clock, 10:15, doing a home visit.
Assessment done, Issues discussed, began to write up the home exercise program. I derailed. My speech garbled and I lost the ability to write words. I looked at the clock,relieved that I could still read the time, 11:05.
I have a book in my brain.
The aura is misty and the idea vague.
It rumbles around inside me, bumping into bits of me,
Sometimes my hear flutters, sometimes my stomach churns.
In my book ‘Schicksal’ I draw on my own experiences of hospital life, that of my mother on whom Reine’s life is based and on my daughters who has followed us into the jaw of the lion. In a hospital, one has the unique privilege of meeting a person in a trough not on the crest of their wave. They are unwell and vulnerable trusting nurses, doctors and allied health workers to help them.
The environment is a leveller as most wear if not the memorable white gown with ties down the back, pyjamas. I have found it hard for folk to be pretentious in PJs. On the whole the environment is safe and the hands gentle. Those of us with big hearts go there willingly even though the pay is poor, hours long and smells atrocious. The smile or softly spoken thanks light us up, spurring us on.