Ann’s disordered eating began with an obsession about weight.
In a room full of women, I was always sizing myself up, and asking: where do I fit in? At the table, the bread would be calling my name. Nobody else was concerned about the bread. That was the difference. I didn’t know there was a difference. Once I understood that life was out of control, I understood there is one thing I can do to control life, and that is eating. I’d eat myself out of and into depression.
One admission changed everything. ‘I take on a lot.’ Weaving. Spinning. Knitting. Reading. Plus her job as a therapist. This led to a spirited idea from Ann. What if, in a Guardian Dreamscape, she could imaginally employ a shabti* to handle the overflowing projects Ann passionately wanted to complete by week’s end. It might take the pressure off to have a shabti who announces to her master, “I am here and will come wherever you bid me.” As Ann describes it:
I see each shabti as different sides of one person. But I would want both sides to get the same amount of joy. Three Anns of different ages. Each would do everything: the reading, knitting, sewing, weaving, spinning; giving therapy.
* Egyptian statuettes which would be buried in the wrappings of the king’s mummy. They do all the work, serving as substitute laborers in the Afterlife.
For more about cases like this one, visit The Healing Memory Project, my collaboration with art psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern.