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.
I was posting a letter to my daughter. Snail mail! I enjoyed the walk to the post box, all spring wind and sunshine. Walking clears my head. It keeps me nailed on. That rhythmic patter of my feet on the footpath calms me. My mind can mull unimpeded in the fresh air.
Mull it does. This morning The words, ‘the Smallness,’ kept taking centre stage. Oh no, I thought. I didn’t want to think about that right now. But a few kilometres further on, I’d done the mental gymnastics.
What does the smallness mean?
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.
My hard work is paying off. I feel the throb of optimism. Writing has brought me face to face with my insecurities, lost, a voice lost among the many others also hoping to be read. In my old world, people paid for my advice. This poem is a frivolous look what writing has taught me so far.If you love cheese, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the metaphor.
Cold winds blow up high and down low.
Ominous clouds swirl overhead,
Whilst scarves blow back and forth,
Their ends twisting.
Life looks different
My eyes seeing still, warm times by the fire.
Chunky mugs of hot drinks
Rest easily in the palm of my hand.