Category: Dear Diary

advocacy Facing the fear of losing ‘control’

Facing the fear of losing ‘control’

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I hate admitting this, but I’m a fearful person. The list of what I’m afraid of is long and detailed. Some fears are fairly typical and global, like the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected many people. Before the pandemic, I was not much of a germaphobe, but that’s near the top...

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advocacy Eating disorders are no match for memoirist Betsy Brenner

Eating disorders are no match for memoirist Betsy Brenner

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A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020-2021, was the gift of time to embark on the incredible journey of writing my memoir The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife. A project of this magnitude always seemed daunting but as soon as I began pouring through...

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advocacy My diaries have a new home in the National Library of Australia

My diaries have a new home in the National Library of Australia

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My eating disorder has gone to Canberra, Australia’s national capital. The eating disorder has travelled there within the pages of my diary collection, acquired by the National Library of Australia (NLA). There, the eating disorder will be open to public scrutiny. Canberra is an eight-hour road journey from where I...

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Anorexia The ups and downs of a single mother caring for a child with anorexia

The ups and downs of a single mother caring for a child with anorexia

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Our journey in the terrifying world of anorexia nervosa continues. We have roller-coasted over the past few months, and my daughter, Summer*, has turned 11. We have made some giant steps forward and a few small ones backward. The biggest one backward is being hospitalised again. Summer had been making...

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advocacy Love and shame: exploring my most difficult emotions

Love and shame: exploring my most difficult emotions

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In learning to recognise my needs and have them met, I’ve also learnt more about emotions and their role in my life. A decade ago, when I was about 40 years old, a four-year-old asked why I was so fat. It was one of those moments when something shifted. If...

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advocacy Korea’s EDAW 2024 puts epistemic justice on the table

Korea’s EDAW 2024 puts epistemic justice on the table

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So, I quit my job again at the end of January. The healthcare company I worked for was one of those doctor-owned ventures not uncommon in Seoul, South Korea, where medical doctors generally belong to the highest income groups and are probably the most exclusive interest group. In a misogynistic...

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Anorexia A pebble for your thoughts

A pebble for your thoughts

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My father believed in magic. He forever chased bigger and better, shouting his ideas from the rooftops so the world would look his way. My mother was, and remains, eloquent, challenging and well-spoken. In childhood, I struggled to be heard and understood because the need of both parents to be...

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advocacy From post-traumatic stress to post-traumatic growth

From post-traumatic stress to post-traumatic growth

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My son Joe developed anorexia at the age of 12 in 2002. He lost 25 per cent of his body weight in 12 weeks. Since that torrid time, I have known that caring for a loved one with an eating disorder is exhausting, distressing, disorientating, excruciating and terrifying. As with...

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advocacy Slip, slide, but hope got me over the line

Slip, slide, but hope got me over the line

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I’ve broken yet again. What hope have I got? I wonder, but I must have hope. Must not I, for when I think there is none, I want to die because one cannot live without hope. (Diary excerpt, 1991) I’m 40 years old. The next day I regress further.  I’m...

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advocacy The personal trainer said, ‘You have body trust issues’

The personal trainer said, ‘You have body trust issues’

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A decade ago, my husband and I purchased an elliptical machine from a store that specialized in exercise equipment. The purchase price included a complementary session with a personal trainer. We took advantage of this offer, mostly to get some valuable pointers on how to use the machine and all...

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