Support - Understanding - Change

Reflections on Recovery from Body Image and Eating Issues

Kelly's Reflections

Upon deciding that I would like to share with others, my experiences here at ISIS, I was unsure where to start. However, I thought it would be best to approach my reflection in such a way that made it most beneficial to whomever was thinking of using the services that ISIS has to offer. With respect to that, I would like to say right now that if you are having any doubts about whether or not to get involved, please fear no more.

When I first came across the service, I was worried sick about whether it was 'right' for me, and if I'd feel comfortable with anyone I might meet. I actually had no idea what coming to ISIS meant and what would be involved. However, I soon learnt that the hardest step for me, was making that first phone call. After that, everything was fine. In fact, I was soon having fun!

If you decide to come to ISIS, you'll find yourself in a very friendly, non-threatening and comfortable environment. No one is there to judge you, they are simply there to listen and lend a helping hand. The atmosphere is very informal, enabling you to relate with others easily. If you wish to share your experiences with others, you'll find that there will be those with similar stories to your own. You even have the chance to be creative and a little bit active, if you like. It's like hanging out with a group of friends.

I could go on and on about the type of things that happen, here at ISIS. But, I guess for me, the main thing that getting involved with ISIS allowed me to do, was to come to terms with my problems and aid me in the process of dealing with them. Often the hardest step when dealing with any problem, is the first step. For me, going along to ISIS was that first step. I am not trying to say that the service offered at ISIS is a miraculous cure to any issues that girls and women might have. Getting better is not always an easy road. It takes persistence and a strong belief that you can get there. But if you like, what ISIS can do, is help you get there.

Kellie Mayne

Relections from Rachael...

This is Real!

This is real - my story.  All that you read is true, real.  It is the story of a girl who dared to ask why.
It began on a nameless day in the summer of 1995.  That was when I began to feel unsafe.  This lack of safety grew on in much turmoil, sometimes flashing off for a trip to town, then raging on more intensely when the loneliness of the holidays wore on.
I noticed the cold almost straight away - that purple hue to the arms and legs.
I could hardly ride my bike because of the harsh numbness of my hands on the handlebars.
Visits to shopping centres, once enjoyable, became expeditions of torment.
The lonely tears as I crept along in silence were abundant.  Once when I was crying and a girl about my age then looked at me.  She gave a faint smile.
The desperate attempts made the days the same. The pangs worsened like overpowering emotions as I tried to try - and failed.
I did not want to speak about it to anyone.
It began to dominate all life, thought and activity.
However, when I was on my excessive expeditions in the February rain, I would stop at the library to see some beauty.
In my feeling life I only knew the fear - the fear of the inevitable.
Of course, I had read about this, but nothing seemed to pinpoint that need to be safe - to be guilt free. There was that need to be in control - to embrace intangible youth. Nothing ever prepared me for the hurt.
Of course, I was told to fight it, but just how does one fight it?
You can deny it, you can pretend you are strong and try to overcome it, or you can ask why.  I eventually did all three.
Recovering was not easy, but I did it as only I could - gradually, by degrees.  It was mechanical at first.  It sort of hurt my soul as much as save it.
I enlisted the help of someone who saw me.
She saw the person - the little things.  I grew.
It was a little later that I began to hurt, too.  My feelings were coming back, not that they had ever left.  I think the teasing was so bad; the teasing was so stark because it denied my illness as though it was just something silly I had done.
I remember that night.
Today I think my philosophy is that I was never a bad person.  I had something I did not cause.  Somethimes I see others who suffer the same hurt and I know that they are not "bad" either.
Perhaps they want safety - to be guilt free.
So an eternal thank you to the hurt that made me see myself.

by Rachael Bell


Poetry by Rachael..

It was the safe cage
which froze her in hurt
it was the denied rage
which made her the lonely
she kept to her pact
which she had not made
and in an actless act
the ripeness did fade
for she is forever watching
behind the cold bars
she is the one and only
in a trap which mars.

By Rachael Bell


The Teasing

You told a story
all topsy turvy
but you didn't think so.
It was clear
you did not know
of the silent depths
the secret I'd kept
as you tried to hurt me away
I realised
you had nothing to say
I remember it now
but I'm proud of how
I learned to trust my own belief
yet still I hope
you're not my soul's thief.

By Rachael Bell


More Poetry from Women at Isis....


Food for the body
Food for the head
Food for the thoughts
Food for the tears unshed
Food for sorrow
Food for the pain
Food to celebrate a loss or gain
Food for tedium
Food for time alone
Food for the study
Stomach protests and groans

Tears for the girl pushed to succeed
Tears for the women for whom cash is a need
Tears for the loss of those snatched by death
Tears for those sparred and left

Smiles for the parties and weekend nights
Smiles to mask the internal fight
Smiles for the colleagues on a rough day
Smiles for substance which draws pain away

Tears for the girl driven to move
Tears for the woman stuck in an unhealthy groove
Smile for the girl wracked with concentric guilt
Smile for the woman who refuses to wilt
Food for the girl pushed in too many ways
Food for the woman who works, studies, and pays




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