Unwrapping the Candle

Last year’s writing experiences included surprising insights. I unpicked my adolescence and refashioned it. I wrestled with my inner world conflict and attempted to capture the elusive turning point with anorexia. Profound moments hit me like bowling balls skittering pins.

Life challenged me and I lost and met myself over and over. My bucket filled and overflowed. I relived the discomfort of inner world overcrowding. My health suffered and insomnia robbed me of clarity. I spiralled in on myself like a Nautilus Shell. And in the darkness of near defeat, I finally accepted the profound effect of trauma on my life.

This poem reflects the complexities of the search, the gift a metaphor.

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Anorexia and the Ageing Woman

I’ve lived with the shadow of anorexia for 45 years and have spent a lot of that time trying to understand why this happened to me. It took me nine years to physically recover: weight within a normal range, regular periods and less sensitivity to the cold. But in my inner world the duality continued. As I understood myself more, it lessened.

Ageing is confronting in a world where beauty is valued and financially rewarded. Although the body ages slowly, the changes are possibly more apparent to someone living with an eating disorder. Many women my age, 55 plus, have either not been diagnosed nor have they ever been treated for their eating disorders.

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