Using Writing as a Therapy for Eating Disorders: The diary healer – Interview

June Alexander, joined us to answer questions about her latest book, Using Writing as a Therapy for Eating Disorders: The diary healer. What follows are our questions in bold/italics, and June’s thoughtful answers. You can also listen to our podcast interview with June to glean more insight into the book!

Using Writing as a Therapy for Eating Disorders: The diary healer (Stationery)
by June Alexander

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  1. Can you please speak to the various levels of self-intimacy that a diary can provide? That is, feeling connected to all parts of yourself and the full range of your experiences – it can be described as getting in touch with your real self.

The essence of diary writing is about being a friend with your self. In this way, the diary is like a trusted, best friend, who knows all about you and loves you anyway. In people who develop an eating disorder, avoidance may kick in and lead to layers of deceit, not only with friends and family but also with your diary. With guidance, however, the diary can become a reflective, exploratory and healing tool, and help you to discover or re-discover parts of true self. Therefore, besides providing a safe place to store and ‘let go’ of emotion, the diary can serve as a personal trainer.

My first diary, a Christmas gift in the same year I developed anorexia nervosa at age 11, provided above all, comfort. The first entry, on January 1, 1963, is crammed with minute details such as the time and amounts of food consumed and exercise taken, and the time of awakening and going to bed. Until the diary arrived all these secret thoughts had been crowding in my head, with nowhere to go. Sharing them with my new friend the diary somehow helped me to feel less anxious. When I transitioned into anorexia-bulimia, in adolescence, more self-expression is evident. Words tumbled out, as I tried to make sense of thoughts and feelings. My world was small. There was the diary, and me. Not for many years would I learn there was also the eating disorder, and that the diary’s influence extended far beyond the two of us.

The illness, like the diary, thrived on privacy—and encouraged the keeping of secrets. As a child and young woman, my diaries were safe places in which to express and analyze thoughts, and develop coping strategies. But, without guidance, confiding in the diary also strengthened the eating disorder, its unrelenting and stringent demands becoming increasingly impossible to meet. Nothing I did was enough and the rules of the illness became secrets within secrets that had to be guarded and hidden. For years, the diary was my only outlet. By age 28, my diary had recorded an almost complete disconnection of self from body.

2. Your diary, at times, was an accomplice to your eating disorder. What caused your shift from keeping secrets to telling the truth?

Trust was essential in transforming the diary from a secret-keeper that aligned with my illness, to a healing tool for my true self. I had several U-turn shifts in healing from severe and long-term anorexia nervosa:  firstly, at age 28, when I sought help for the first time, and secondly, in my early 30s, when I met the health professional who gained my trust. Development of trust is vital because one needs to trust the therapist more than the powerful eating disorder thoughts within. Outwardly, I presented as a wife and mother with a full-time career but within, the diary revealed a desperate struggle to honor daily lists and pledges, for instance, having a strict weight limit; running a set distance; and noting every calorie. At age 28, thoughts of suicide after 17 years with the disorder drove me to break the silence, and reveal the thoughts hitherto confined to my diaries, to a doctor. He and other doctors, upon learning I kept a diary, encouraged the continuance of such writing as a tool for expression. However, like me, those doctors were ignorant of the diary’s potential to play a pivotal role in my illness, and of its ability to be a foe as well as friend. Eventually, in my 30s, a psychiatrist (‘Prof’) gained my trust and suggested the diary could assist my healing process. He encouraged its use as a means to engage in written communication with him. Gradually, aided by patient, therapeutic guidance and discussion, what I wrote in my diary began to reconnect with and strengthen authentic thoughts and feelings. Self-abuse and self-harm gave way to self-care as my body and mind progressively reintegrated.

Decades later, at age 55, upon healing sufficiently to re-enter life’s mainstream, as I ‘came out’ and began to share my story publicly, the diaries ‘came out’ too. For instance, besides providing the main resource for my memoir, A Girl Called Tim (2011), the diaries became a pool of documented ‘lived experience’, for other literary works. In another outcome, people with experience of eating disorders wrote to share their stories which until now had been revealed only, if at all, in their diary. Many adult readers wrote at length, explaining that they had felt isolated and had kept their eating disorders a secret for decades, but upon reading, connecting and identifying with my story, were able to share and externalize their thoughts and experiences for the first time.

Reflecting on the responses from readers sparked recognition that perhaps my friend the diary had been destructive as well as constructive throughout my long illness, leading to my latest book, The Diary Healer.

About food

Today, I love food. For 40 years, however, every meal was an ordeal, sandwiched between layers of anxiety and guilt. Writing copious rules and contracts, on what to eat and how to behave, may provide brief relief, but eating disorder rules are doomed to fail. Therefore, during the eating disorder, while the diary can serve as a trusted confidant at a time of extreme isolation, a haven in which to attempt to make sense of a tortuous world, it also can become embroiled with—and become a servant of—the eating disorder; a secret within a secret.

Thus, without direction, the more I attempted to sort mental chaos in my diary, the more irrational I became in relation to real or perceived distressing events. However, gradually, with therapeutic guidance, the diary evolved from a survival tool to a method for building self. For instance, in The Diary Healer, diary writers discuss how writing has helped them to come to terms with, and rise above, their experiences of shame and stigma.

Drawing on my diaries in writing letters to Prof helped me to edge forward in recovery, providing an avenue for connecting with a trusted person, even when I didn’t know which way was ‘forward.’ From this tenuous leap of faith in the direction of Prof, I began slowly to trust and connect with true ‘me’. With encouragement, I began to read through earlier diaries, to reflect on them and address the layers of issues within. This involved re-visiting painful and traumatic times, to release and re-story memories too difficult to process otherwise. Digging through and addressing layers of suppressed emotion was a prerequisite for escaping the eating disorder’s grip and constructing a safe base of self-belief. I made notes of specific thoughts and feelings, between appointments, to discuss at my next visit.

The path was not always rosy. There were great personal relationship losses and, upon healing, not all could be retrieved. Going forward required a total re-make; a reintegration of various frayed or lost strands of the true ‘me’.

… for years I have been searching, seeking my identity, my purpose, my meaning, in life. Years. I’ve concluded that I am a prisoner to myself. ….

I have had some hard lessons. I know I can live with myself only if I accept that my mistakes, my bad experiences, can be the catalyst, the seed, for new beginnings and fulfillment.

I find great difficulty in understanding myself, my behavior, but I must try to understand myself, my fears, my needs, if I am to correct myself and live out the rest of my life free from the nasty inhibitions that have plagued my inner self for so long.

Diary entry, age 38

3. Please share a bit about what you know about recovery and the beauty of claiming a true self through diary writing?

My diary was a confidante, but also a repository for secrets due to high levels of shame, stigma, anxiety and terror. In this way the diary at times aligned true ‘me’ and, at other times, with the illness traits. Re-securing of trust in authentic self required not only a securing of trust in self and others, but also in the diary.

By standing more outside my illness experience, I was able to observe, and reflect on, how the diary could help to diffuse and avoid the debilitating illness traits, for instance, of secret making and self-stigma. This cultivation of self-awareness techniques helped me to see how far I had come in recovery, and to see the illness more in context of my life rather than being my life.

Importantly, the diary provides a window into the final stages of eating disorder recovery when grieving becomes an important part of the growth-into-a-hopeful-future process. The diary reveals grieving for the ‘life lost’ during the illness, and grief in facing the loss of the relationship with the illness itself. The process of recovery, involves more than behavioural observations, symptoms reduction, and clinical data and calculations. Recovery is also about emotions and feelings, including grief for the impact of the illness on relationships and education and career opportunities, and exploration of long-held self-beliefs and emerging new beliefs essential for coping in mainstream. The insight into the effect of grief illustrates the benefits of diary-keeping over time.

Even when aware that clinging to a daily regime of weights, calories and exercise routines is playing your eating disorder’s game, severing these behaviors can be scary. There is more healing to do, but when self-reintegration passes halfway, decisions in favor of self and health, and healthy self and body, become easier. The diary can help you accept this is part of your life story, and to focus simultaneously on ‘now’, rather than the losses.

Relationships

A major part of recovery from an eating disorder is about making relationships work. This includes the relationship you have with others and especially your body and your self. Besides overcoming the fear that accompanied regular eating, locating and re-integrating fragments of self into a sound foundation, from which to venture forth and re-engage in life, is a mammoth task. It includes letting go of thoughts, behaviours, and relationships that feed the illness.

Post divorce, I became drawn into unhealthy and chaotic situations and relationships, which Prof called ‘mistakes’. The eating disorder bully had been part of my life for so long that being self-compassionate and keeping myself safe seemed foreign. Consequently, when starting to feel settled, I would be drawn to familiar sources of chaos. Kindly choosing understatement to describe choices aligning with the eating disorder traits as ‘not right’ for me, Prof would patiently offer encouragement: ‘It is not that you are wrong but that (solution/person) is not right for you; keep trying.’

The authentic me slowly learned to recognize how decisions, sometimes in the name of staying “in control” and being “good,” were maintaining my illness. To be free, I had to develop a new approach. Over time, my private diary helped me to recognize the need to seek help when niggling, disruptive, illness-related thoughts began – quickly, for a slip, as simple as eating a chocolate to suppress feeling rejected, could snowball into a relapse. Besides providing a method of communication with Prof, and remaining a place in which to emote and to confide, my diary became a medium for reaching out.

Clues in the pages

Drawing on my diaries in writing letters to Prof helped me to edge forward in recovery, providing an avenue for connecting with a trusted person, even when I didn’t know which way was ‘forward.’ From this tenuous leap of faith, I began slowly to trust and connect with true ‘me’. With Prof’s encouragement, I began to read through earlier diaries and reflect on them. This involved re-visiting painful and traumatic times, to release and re-story memories too difficult to process otherwise. Digging through and addressing layers of suppressed emotion was a prerequisite for escaping the eating disorder’s grip and constructing a safe base of self-belief. I made notes of specific thoughts and feelings, between appointments, to discuss at my next visit with Prof.

Gradually, I was able to observe the illness experience in the context of my life. It was of me, but was not ‘me’; I could choose to not allow the illness to define me.

4) How can diary writing disarm an eating disorder trigger?

Write. Just write. Write anything. Just write.

The process of picking up your diary and writing, and letting galloping thoughts and feelings flow on and on until they peter out, can help you rationalize your thoughts and see the reality of a situation. In this way, writing can assist in neutralizing and deflecting any pressing eating disorder thought that is pushing you to self-harm.

The benefits of diary-writing as a tool to distinguish your self from your eating disorder can be built on through sharing or reflecting on your writing with trusted others. Taylor, a diarist participant in The Diary Healer, explains:

Sometimes it would simply be a matter of writing down what ED was saying so I could take this to my treatment team so they could help me challenge the thoughts. Sometimes it would be a matter of reflecting on something that came up in therapy and realizing how certain ED messages and behaviours were based in inaccurate self-perceptions. Mostly, journaling has been a way to help me and my own voice, more than learning to identify ED’s voice. I needed to find my own voice to achieve and maintain recovery. Journaling through recovery has helped me learn to recognize when something I am mentally hearing or thinking is incongruent with my own voice, values, and way of being in the world. 

Eating disorders form around, and build on, layers of secrets. Perhaps the most profound evidence of these secret thought challenges is revealed in the way a diarist’s entries may chronicle their trust in the diary as a friend of self, but when the illness develops, the entries show the diary inadvertently assisting disintegration of self by listing and emphasizing the eating disorder’s rules and demands. The diary may help to give voice to both authentic thoughts and illness thoughts.

Diarists documented their daily struggles relating to behaviours, feelings and values that occurred during the disintegration and reintegration of the self from and with the body. Some secrets were grounded in childhood and in the earliest days of the eating disorder, starting with the urge to hide, instead of eat, food, to avoid criticism from one’s mother. Traits of the illness, together with psychosocial influences, encouraged social isolation not only in the home environment but also when an inpatient:

… A lot of what you feel cannot be talked about in treatment as it may be triggering to others. And sometimes … you feel you’re doing the eating disorder incorrectly or half-heartedly. I worried people would think I was not really sick….

Ruby (p. 171-172) The Diary Healer

About trust

Diaries become a refuge for describing painful and hellish instances of feeling misunderstood, disrespected, rejected, and alienated, when experiencing an eating disorder. A major challenge in re-integration of mind and body is for the diarist is to be able to trust which are authentic thoughts in writing the diary to enable honesty with self. The illness trait of secret keeping, which erodes trust, often originates in childhood. Issues pertaining to such deep-held secrets may emerge only through years of patient therapeutic guidance, due to multiple layers of suppression.

Trust enables the diarist to use the diary as a sounding board, for instance when contemplating reaching out for help for the first time. Diary entries may reveal the terror in defying the pull of the eating disorder. The diary may have been the only place fears have been released for years, with the diarist tussling with competing rational thoughts of self and irrational thoughts of illness, and now the diarist must override and break the long-held bond of secrecy with the diary, to seek help for the self-harming thoughts they cannot understand or control.

Entries evidence intense fear and ambivalence. For example: ‘I accept I need to see a doctor, I break every rule I make and feel suicidal’, is countered with ‘I will cope alone; I just have to be more committed to my rules; doctors will confirm I am terribly weak for not managing’ and ‘they might declare me insane, and lock me away from my children’. When a health service is eventually accessed, and an attempt is made to explain the problem, an incorrect diagnosis – ‘your bloods are fine, you look fine, you worry too much’ – sends the diarist scuttling back to isolation, with their trusted diary their only safe release. When a referral to a specialist is made but delayed the diarist records ‘See, if I were sick the referral would have arrived by now. I am disgusting and will cancel all doctor appointments’.

However, sometimes in desperation, the diary itself may transition from secret-keeper to advocate and rescuer. Eve, through sharing her diary with a psychiatrist she had just met, began to receive care that would save her life:

From reading my diary he realised how sick I really was and made decisions that might have saved my life because of how suicidal I was. Later on when things weren’t quite so desperate reading his words helped me to remember I wasn’t alone and there were people who cared.

During acute hospital admissions, the diary continued its role of translator and informant:

It was great to have my psychiatrist read and challenge thoughts expressed there because during the week, until I saw him next, I was left with people I didn’t trust.

The diary and my psychiatrist’s next visit was all the hope I had to cling to.

 Excerpts from Eve’s diary in The Diary Healer

5) You make the important point that eating disorders impact everyone in a family. What would you like family members to know about their own use of a diary?

I think . . . instinctually we parents listen too much to ED as if it was the person and in the process fail them. We listen to their fear of eating and cater to that. We listen to their distrust of their caregivers and treatment. We fail to protect patients from their symptoms and often we collude right alongside the ED to keep the person isolated and ill.

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh (in The Diary Healer)

An eating disorder can affect everyone in the family and research attests the best outcome is achieved when early intervention occurs with the family taking a central role in treatment provision. The illness seriously affects the health of the sufferer and creates pressure on family functioning. When ignored or inappropriately treated, the eating disorder may cause the sufferer to lose touch not only with authentic self but also with relationships that are dear to them.

As part of a collaborative treatment team, notes drawn from a caregiver’s diary notes may help the therapist guide the healing process. A focus on personal participation rather than a relationship of power – more ‘we’ than ‘them and us’ – can help everyone feel understood, respected and acknowledged. Add compassion, encouragement and love from the caregiver’s toolkit and the scene is set for identifying the pace of healing and providing recovery momentum.

Keeping a written narrative can help the caregiver to take care of not only the person with an eating disorder, but also their own self. Keeping a record of observations and thoughts provides opportunity for private debrief and reflection, and builds a well of information from which to draw in enlightening others. Often, the caregiver is a parent, partner or other family member, and keeping a diary can be useful now and later on in putting the illness in context as part of their own life story.

Write, instead of talk

There is no quick fix in healing from an eating disorder and when rejection, stigma or shame is experienced, especially from people the patient loves, reaching out again can become doubly hard. On the other hand, learning about the illness, and practicing self-care and coping skills, are all-important for family members and others who want to be supportive. Love is a powerful healing tool when expressed in a way that meets the needs of the person with the illness, and reduces the pull of the eating disorder.

When support is not expressed in a helpful way, writing about it can assist both patient and caregiver. The sharing of written notes, perhaps left on the kitchen table, or on the refrigerator door, or anywhere the intended audience will see it, can help to relieve a triggering moment in the home, and responses can be kept for later debrief.

Writing instead of talking can help overcome a tendency to misinterpret what is said or done, and the mere process of writing can ease anxiety, provide comfort and be nurturing. In addition, it puts distance between the writer and the event, and provides an opportunity for reflection. Putting everything in writing and on the table helps to expose the eating disorder, so it has nowhere to hide. That said, sometimes, like during periods of under-nourishment, caregivers need to confront the illness on the patient’s behalf until sufficient sense of self is regained and self-caring can resume.

Everyone has been affected in some way during the illness experience. With due consideration, the writing process can give permission not only to the diarist but also other family members to grieve, understand, forgive and develop self-love.

While coming out can assist reintegration of self, the prime value of diary-keeping is in the way it can help the writer or reader understand their own self, and help them to communicate with self and others near to them. It may also increase self-confidence and self-worth when shared and others respond favourably, but focusing on inner healing is more important than trying to please an outward audience.

The diary is testimony that the years lost to the illness are real; they are recorded; they have happened. They are gone. Reading diary entries and re-living the period of life incarcerated with an eating disorder is often agonizing. However, the diary entries attest that coming out and sharing the part of self that has been confined to the diary, perhaps for years, encourages self-belief and facilitates the blending of mind and body as one.

Families do not cause an eating disorder. However, the family’s role in treatment and recovery is crucial. Keeping a written narrative can help caregivers take care of both patient and self. The diary can be useful now and later, putting the illness in context of your life story.

6) Please talk about the joy and empowerment that comes when diary writing moves from rules, measured comments, and self-denigration to truth and spontaneity.

Trust in the diary assumes a heightened role in early recovery when the diarist faces grief and loss. This is the point at which the diarist becomes capable of understanding that the structures, rules and regulations that have been relied on to get through each day have been of their illness. For recovery to continue, and to experience the joy and empowerment that comes with being free to engage in mainstream life, the diarist must first face the frightening reality that those structures and perceived support systems have to be abandoned and new thought structures need to be developed. As a place of trust the diary is shown to provide a place in which to explore and come to terms with these losses and challenges. Using a diary to create a story for private use has value in the healing process of reflection, re-storying, and placing one’s life in a larger, often revised context.

The diary becomes a place to have a conversation with self, to analyse strategies and outcomes, and to look for patterns of behaviour that can be improved upon. For instance, when well into recovery, the diarist may observe: ‘I missed lunch yesterday because the meeting went over time and now I feel guilty at the thought of eating lunch today. I am tempted to give it a miss. But I recognise this is an eating disorder thought that wants to harm me. I will eat my usual sandwich and call a friend straight afterwards to override the guilt.

Or the diarist may binge after an upsetting phone call and express self-annoyance and disappointment in their diary for succumbing to the eating disorder’s pull. However, writing about it enables acknowledgement that the bingeing has resulted from an eating disorder urge to numb emotional pain. Instead of feeling guilty and continuing to binge and self-harm, the diarist notes that next time such a phone call is scheduled, a coping strategy, such as a visit from an understanding friend, will be in place for self-care. In this way, the diary becomes a place to plan, prepare and debrief.

The ability of diary writing to assist in distinguishing authentic self from the eating disorder is strengthened not only through private debrief, but also through reflecting on diary entries with trusted others. Diary participant, Taylor, explains:

Sometimes it would simply be a matter of writing down what ED was saying so I could take this to my treatment team so they could help me challenge the thoughts. Sometimes it would be a matter of reflecting on something that came up in therapy and realizing how certain ED messages and behaviours were based in inaccurate self-perceptions. Mostly, journaling has been a way to help me and my own voice, more than learning to identify ED’s voice. I needed to find my own voice to achieve and maintain recovery. Journaling through recovery has helped me learn to recognize when something I am mentally hearing or thinking is incongruent with my own voice, values, and way of being in the world.

The Diary Healer

“Coming Out”

The diary can provide a means of moving beyond the prime role of private documentation, to a tool for sharing with others and on placing the illness experience in the context of life. The main motivator in coming out and sharing a story recorded in a diary may originate in a desire to understand self, and to be understood and believed in by others. As well, the diarist may believe that in sharing their story, they may help someone else, and in this way will make their suffering and their life more worthwhile. Timing, however, is all-important and sharing an illness story requires considerations for both writer and reader. For instance, the same story may trigger fresh trauma or inspire recovery in a reader, depending on the stage of their illness. When the eating disorder dominates thoughts, the reader may be drawn to words and interpretations that strengthen the illness, and likewise when the voice of self is stronger, the reader may more easily notice words and interpret text in ways that encourage and affirm authenticity.

The writer’s truth

The process of sharing diaries to can help diarists to see that, even if patches of their life have been a bit messed-up, they have survived and come through. Story sharing that draws on diary entries provides an opportunity to set the record straight, as the writer perceives it, and to help others understand the writer beyond what their eyes, or beliefs, have so far enabled them to see.

In this respect, the diary is perhaps unsurpassed in its ability to help tell the writer’s truth beyond their illness experience, and to offer a platform for reflection.

Diversity in story sharing, for instance from different genders, age groups, races, cultures and religions, may help to reduce the stigma, shame and stereotypical presentation of serious issues and all readers can learn from, and be inspired by, stories of struggle and hope. Accordingly, with consideration to the many factors involved, the benefits of diary keeping can extend from one to many.

Identifying and letting go of eating disorder behaviors is only part of the healing journey, for a void may remain that is scary and hard to fill. Writing about both good and bad days puts the diarist in the best position to assist self-renewal because the diary’s many uses include that of being a two-way translator and informant. Sharing the diary with a trusted therapist can help the diarist accurately interpret, identify and challenge unhealthy beliefs and goals, and develop healthy beliefs, and self-care skills.

An audience

Some diarists write with an audience in mind. The Internet takes ‘sharing’ to a new level, enabling diarists to share daily life with an immediate, often unknown, audience. Internet tools allow others to read, and contribute to metaphorical diaries left open. The smartphone encourages use of diary tools that provide brief but swift, constant interaction. However, in reaching out there is a risk of overlooking the necessity of also looking ‘in’ – where true healing takes place.

7) In your loving first letter to your granddaughter, Olivia Rose, you commented that you “keep healthy by taking care of my feelings as they arise – reaching out for help if I need to – and eating three meals and three snacks a day.” In closing, what would you like to say to our readers?

If you do not already keep a diary, I am hopeful that this article will inspire you to start writing. All you need is pen and paper, and there is one rule only: write the date (and, apart from this, make no rules).

Making time to write your diary is important for, without enough ‘me’ time for your self to sync with your body, and keep you grounded and fully in touch with authentic you, threads may sever and, suddenly, connection may be lost. Your diary can store these lost or suppressed pieces and preserve them until you feel ready to reflect on and revisit them. Your diary can facilitate and nurture this process, helping you to eventually put confusion, uncertainty and suffering into a context that allows you to live fully in the present.

Knowledge is power in healing from an eating disorder or from any traumatic experience. But, with an eating disorder there are times when the diarist is incapable of understanding that they are sick, and the illness may thrive, their entries revealing a strengthening of isolation instead of insight or connection with helpful others. Writing with a mentor can help illness thoughts to be recognized for what they are, and help the diarist to avoid and find a pathway that helps them to rise above misunderstandings, rejection and hurtful shame and stigma. Even when not understanding my illness, doctors said: ‘Keep writing’. They believed in me when I could not, and I am eternally grateful.

Recovery of self and health from an eating disorder requires painstakingly deciding which thoughts and feelings are genuine, and how they connect, to accomplish reintegration. Recovery involves reconnecting with your body– biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Your diary can assist by providing a place to sort thoughts, deflect triggers, resolve issues, hone reflective and observational skills, and nurture true self.

‘Keep going’

Seven years have passed since I wrote a letter to my week-old granddaughter Olivia, in my memoir, A Girl Called Tim. Today, Olivia is a bright and thoughtful little girl who is mindful of eating three meals and three snacks daily. She engages in social and physical activities that include dancing, swimming and ball games. She loves reading and writing, and is creative. Olivia has a strong support team around her of family and friends and a supportive school environment. Together with my four other grandchildren, Olivia continues to inspire and challenge me to live in the moment. For instance, watching my grandchildren at the swimming pool is not enough. I need to don my ‘rainbow bathers’, mask and snorkel (because I am unable to turn my head to breathe), and swim with them. I dare not stop until I reach the end of the 50-metre pool for I can hear a chorus from the side: ‘C’mon Grandma, come on; you are nearly there Grandma, keep going!’

And so it is with diary writing. I am ever-grateful to my diary for helping me to survive, cope and heal from my illness so that I can be here today, to enjoy my family and to continue to explore who “I” am in the fullness of life.

Making a date with your diary is time well spent. Consider it an investment in true you.

Write!

Using Writing as a Therapy for Eating Disorders: The diary healer (Stationery)
by June Alexander

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About the author: 

June Alexander is a writer and international award-winning advocate in the field of eating disorders. She developed anorexia nervosa at age eleven in 1962, an illness that has largely shaped her life. Today June is a non-fiction storyteller, with a special passion for the diary. Her latest title, Using Writing as a Therapy for Eating Disorders—The Diary Healer, is the main component in her Ph.D. in Creative Writing.

June resigned from a longtime career in print journalism in 2007 to write her memoir, A Girl Called Tim — Escape From An Eating Disorder Hell. The publication of her inner story led to the writing of eight more books about eating disorders, both for health practitioners and mainstream readers. Believing everyone has a story to tell, June shares her literary skills as a life-writing workshop presenter and diary writing mentor. Involved in eating disorder advocacy at local, national and international levels, June lives in Melbourne. Love from and for family, comprising four children, their partners, five grandchildren, and a street cat called Norah, together with a passion for alleviating the shame and stigma associated with mental ill health, is her prime inspiration and motivation.

Website: https://www.thediaryhealer.com

Books: 

London Taylor and Francis Publishing Group http://bit.ly/1TQqBv2

Ed Says U Said, Jessica Kingsley Publishers http://bit.ly/1tplkm1

A Girl Called Tim, Dennis Jones http://bit.ly/SOpcKC

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