I have given my manuscript to four readers, one reader has daughter traversing the anorexic landscape. I’m mulling through the feedback as it rolls in. My body is sick; a winter bug that has left me horizontal, vulnerable and deaf.
Yesterday, I saw my psychologist. I’m struggling: illness adds a whole new dimension to redesigning the inner world. It flays you. So, I’m stuck with the unpleasant feelings. Loneliness bites. It invites me to run towards myself not further away.
‘The Anorexic yah, yah,’ doesn’t go away. I’m still learning to live with it.
What else is there to do on a cool, May day but attend a poetry reading?
What else is there to do on a fine Saturday afternoon but recite poetry in the company of accomplished local poets and Cate Kennedy. Don’t know her? Here’s a starting point.
Cate Kennedy poems
Twice … I’ve read the same question. It held my attention, if only for a short time between this and that. Then I read it again. That made three times. “Why do you write?” The question sought me, so I thought I’d ponder it.
Why did I write and what place does writing serve in my life?
Anorexia, the disorder of the 70’s and 80’s lived on well past its use by date. Adolescence became a time of shrinking rather than a time of growth. I’ve spent decades progressively unravelling the, ‘Whys.’ Why is like an expensive fragrance, revealing itself slowly, bewitching you and enticing you to want more.
‘Why,’ is more layered and complex than I’d ever imagined.
Year nine rewritten, another section of my novel awaits; year ten when grumbling discontent pecks at the ritualistic nature of my anorexic, adolescent existence. I read it over noting the schism between the words on the page and the words I’d like on the page.
I’d love the writing to convey the essence of my experience, clear, varied, unique and unforgettable. I remind myself of the beauty of the creative process. Sometimes it’s frustrating. On those days I sit here, looking out at the rainbows cast by a crystal hanging on the porch and trying to get the words to flow.
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.
Sometimes the words pour out of me, sometimes they don’t. There’s a lot more to the craft of writing than I had ever expected. Everyday I learn something new. As I find my way, I realise I’m reaching into the realm of the infinite.
Writing is like golf, deceptively easy on the surface.
One hundred pounds, my goal weight paled. A menopausal woman, a mother of three and a grandmother my relationship with my body had travelled a crooked path. It began eighteen months ago, the compulsion to re-immerse myself in the adolescent years reviewing my association with my inner voice.
‘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
- 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.
Finishing a manuscript is a milestone but … Some may hate me for saying this: it’s just the beginning! Excellent writing is a combination of a shrewd eye, clear communication and a lot of honing. I struggled with this concept for a long time.