Tish owes her 10 year recovery from anorexia to EMDR and the emotional support she could count on from her mother and grandmother. In the Guardian Dreamscape we devised as a positive reminder of the insights gained in treatment, Tish sees the healing power of baking with family and the mantra of mindfulness. Tish explains:
“When we started this project. I saw the photos online, and kept thinking: How is this going to help me? It’s something to look at, to remember, a memory, but also a new beginning. I kept thinking how would it fit into my life? Now, wow. I just love it. It is just what it was meant to be. I’m just a little girl, helping my mom, baking in the kitchen. The wallpaper reminds me of growing up in my old house. The wallpaper comes from the kitchen from our first house!The yoga cupcakes on the wall next to Grammy in her picture frame– I was thinking to myself, honestly thinking: my mantra in my life is to breathe. I need to remind myself to breathe, let go, take a step back, and calm down. Yoga reminds me to do that. The gingerbread men are a good thing, because it helps me remember the whole reason I got into this situation. I’ve always been a person – how should I say – with a sadness about me, what I’ve been through. I did have a horrible experience, but now I’m back on top, able to have overcome it. And with my mom in my life I always will. So seeing my mother and me baking; it’s absolutely perfect. My grammy Nellie – I miss her terribly every day. We always baked and cooked together. My mom got that from her mom and I got it from my mom. She was always watching over me.
Baking means starting with something that’s broken. The messiness of the kitchen; I think that’s a great concept in my life. The reflection that I was broken. But whatever you’re baking in the oven, it starts in pieces and at the end it’s whole and you can present to people. It’s not what you start with but what you end up with.”
For more about cases like this one, visit The Healing Memory Project, my collaboration with art psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern.