Unmaking My Eating Disorder

Probably my most personal, self-reflective, simultaneously analytical article to date. It was a challenging story to write – a mini memoir of tough times – but it allowed me to step back and examine not just who I am, but why I am.

I’m proud of the result, ‘Unmaking My Eating Disorder’, which you can read here.

Issue 16 of Psychology Tomorrow Magazine focuses on the theme of ‘childhood’. As I write in the introduction to my article:

“It would be extraordinary for a grown woman to spontaneously ration herself to 300 calories a day or vomit after every meal. Odds are that the skeletons pacing your average ‘Eating Disorders Ward’ have not had a short-term relationship with celery and self-loathing… There’s a process – one that often begins in childhood.”

Featured art: 'Child Innerside' by Boeeuen Choo

Featured art: ‘Child Innerside’ by Boeeuen Choo

Every kid faces certain psychological challenges that, to a lesser or greater extent, shape the adolescent and adult s/he becomes. I had a pretty great childhood, yet there was a confluence of certain internal and external factors that affected me deeply and, in part, led to and maintained my eating disorder.

Tricky terrain, this, and I’m still in the process of navigating it.

But while tackling these complex, painful issues is the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted, I have a feeling it will also be the most worthwhile.

Closed for Business

I’ve always enjoyed journalling and creative writing. Unfortunately, when I’m especially down I lose motivation to do anything much at all – including the things that usually bring me the most joy. Just one of many reasons why depression is heinous.

I decided to reflect on how depression made me feel using my own metaphor; one that’s a little fresher than ‘the black dog’. So I whipped out my journal, got scrawling and ended up with this baby: Closed for Business.

Depression, for me, is like a vacancy. An absence of thought and emotion, of concern, ambition and desire.

There’s a ‘Closed’ sign dangling in front of my eyes and no saying how long I’ll be gone.

I feel hollow, like a shopfront in disrepair. There’s grime all over the stoop and nothing but dust on the shelves. No reason for anyone to stop by.

It feels like the place will never be bustling again; that the ‘Closed’ sign will hang in the window forever.

The artwork that accompanied my article.

The artwork that accompanied my article.

The article fell more in the ‘mental health’ rather than ‘feminist’ space, so I conducted a good long Google search for media outlets that would find my musings a good fit. I landed on Psychology Tomorrow Magazine, which focuses on the intersection between art and psychology.

Psychology Tomorrow banner

I was stoked to hear that my piece would be included in the PTM blog. In terms of freelancing, it seemed I was very much open for business!

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