Karen Louise

Karen Louise

All Articles by Karen Louise

As a mother of four children and a maladaptive coping mechanism of a severe and enduring eating disorder, life continues to throw challenges my way.

With my family grown,  I am taking time to reflect on my values and learning to live true to myself.

For more than three decades, an eating disorder gave me a place to hide from the trauma of my past. Only now, I am discovering the trauma of my past does not have to continue to injure me each day.

To reach out to others, sharing my writing, my skills, hard-won experience and trauma recovery, allows me to create change in myself as well as support others. On the days I am paralysed between denial and perfection, I just need to take the right next step.

I am no longer addicted to thinking at the expense of feeling. I have discovered my own form of mindfulness, that of painting pebbles. Coming from a transactional world, I needed to know that pebble painting would have value for others and soon realized that painting pebbles was healing for me, too. In helping others, I am helping myself.

The pebbles have shown I am not alone. I can help others. Others can help me.

Pebble-painting allows me to give voice to the battles and fears that lie within. Today I am connecting with others and my authentic self. For details, go to

Website: www.pebblesforyourthoughts.com.au

Email: pebbles4yourthoughts@gmail.com

Instagram: pebbles4urthoughts


A pebble for your thoughts

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 heard by each other swallowed..

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The day my eating disorder could no longer hide

Lying on the scanning table, my mind wanders, mentally running through tasks to complete before heading home. After comfortably (obliviously) shielding myself with denial, my default for 21 years, lying on this table is a mundane task. Blood tests, ultrasounds, MRIs, X-rays, and computed tomography (CT) scans are routine procedures that hold no fear, just..

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An inside story about the hard slog of eating disorder recovery

My eating disorder (ED) stipulated that isolating myself was essential for survival. I had no capacity left in my mind or body to function as me. Until I could master self-compassion and self-care, any progress would be skin deep. To trust myself and become part of my treatment team required connection with the darkest layers within, where..

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Climbing the mountain in my mind to see who I can be (without an eating disorder)

I stand at the kitchen bench and look at the dishes to wash. I see the shopping list out of the corner of my eye. I know that piles of washing are waiting to be folded. Instead of starting to do any of these mundane yet necessary tasks, I turn to the backdoor. With the..

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Recovery, healing and growth are compromised when addictive behaviours shield an eating disorder

“Recovery” is a treacherous word that is spoken about freely by people who have admitted they live with an addiction. From drugs to alcohol, eating disorders, workaholism, depression, anxiety, control, overthinking, self-harm or perfectionism, none of us are perfect yet many of us find a way to hold our pain at bay. For me this..

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Home is where eating disorder healing will happen

To eat and be placed in a holding yard is neither helpful, effective nor holistic when trying to recover from an eating disorder (ED). While hospital is useful and often necessary, our health system is like a bucket full of water. One that has so many holes that it is too easy to quietly slip..

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Departing a rudderless sea to save myself

When young, I never imagined the world had a plan of its own. I was only aware of my existence and those close to me, never questioning there was choice between how, where, what or why anything may happen and how I was expected to manage the external world when it started to penetrate my..

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Waiting… for doctors to listen or for my heart to stop

Ask me no questions, I will tell you no lies. I am honest, trustworthy, loyal and fair. However, a part of me lurks in the shadows. A part of me that I try not to release and remain terrified that if seen will expose the ugliness within. This part of me is present and omnipotent..

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Dying but not sick enough to have a hospital bed

If only an eating disorder (ED) could show up on a scan. What a disgrace our public health sector is in Australia. I say “our” as it could be you, your mother, sister, or friend instead of me. My mother always said, “Do not air your dirty laundry to others,” but now I am ignoring..

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