Category: narrative

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 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 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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advocacy When a child develops anorexia, their family is plunged into the eating disorder world

When a child develops anorexia, their family is plunged into the eating disorder world

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It happened fast. Suddenly we were stuck in this black hole called anorexia nervosa. I had no idea how we’d gotten there so quickly, nor did I know how to get out. My 10-year-old (soon to be 11-year-old) daughter developed anorexia over the past year. Although she had probably already...

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advocacy A reminder that one day the diary that is my life serial will end

A reminder that one day the diary that is my life serial will end

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Yesterday was one of those days that did not work out as planned. All went well, initially. I was in the local, heated, 50m outdoor pool by 6.10am, doing a half-hour of prescribed exercises. I love being in the water. Then I came home, showered, and took Maisie for a...

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advocacy Epistemic Justice in Understanding Eating Disorders

Epistemic Justice in Understanding Eating Disorders

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW) 2024 will take place in Korea from February 28 to March 5, with all seven sessions examining the theme of Epistemic Justice. The question of how to reflect the lived experiences of the eating disorder sufferers, and those of the mental health patients themselves into...

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