Category: storytelling

advocacy My body wanted me to be its friend

My body wanted me to be its friend

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Sometimes, I dislike my body even though I consider myself in recovery from an eating disorder. If I were to wait until I felt at peace with every part of my body before calling myself recovered, recovery would never happen. I don’t say that to be pessimistic; I say that...

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advocacy Exploring the roots of fear that feed an eating disorder

Exploring the roots of fear that feed an eating disorder

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Tanya declares she and anorexia are irrevocably entwined. Fear is ever-present. Here, Tanya explores the roots of her fears.                                   Editor, June Alexander I have physical fears, emotional and psychological fears, and spiritual fears...

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advocacy Unmasking eating disorders among people in the LGBTQIA+ community

Unmasking eating disorders among people in the LGBTQIA+ community

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I was 15 when my father noticed money missing from his wallet. He asked if I had taken it. I said, “No.” However, after hours of being accused of taking drugs and screamed at to the point of having spit on my face and crawling into a ball in the...

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advocacy Listen to us: women with lived experience of severe and enduring anorexia nervosa

Listen to us: women with lived experience of severe and enduring anorexia nervosa

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Improved outcomes for adults with eating disorders are possible! Karen, Tanya and Anne could be forgiven for feeling down-hearted after struggling for decades with Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa (SEAN). However, they live in HOPE. This article is a collaboration by three Australian women in their fifties. Between them, they...

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advocacy Eating disorders are family disorders

Eating disorders are family disorders

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Keynote speaker at the 2013 National Eating Disorder Association conference, Dr Thomas Insel, was speaking from the heart when he said, “Eating disorders are family disorders.”* His words remain vital today. When a Federal government shutdown meant Dr Insel could not address the NEDA audience as director of the National...

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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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