One of our tasks in group therapy today was to “create three characters to live in your own ‘Land of Oz’.

Give them each something to search for that YOU are searching for through your eating disorder (NOT related to weight). Give reasons why the Mighty Wizard would say that you already have what you are looking for.”

So I thought I would share my spontaneous, quickly composed, unedited, mini land of oz stories.

Three little girls: Poppy searching for Hope; Lisa searching for Acceptance; Elsie searching for Love

As you traveled through the Lands of Oz Poppy, even under the darkest skies there was a glimmer of light out of the corner of your eye. Through the coldest storms, there was warmth at the end of the day. And when you thought your body could take no more exhaustion, you had the courage to push on through anyway. Hope has always been there for you, just waiting in the corners for you to see it.

While you seek acceptance in every direction Lisa, never forget the friends who’ve stood by you for 30 years – weathered storms of resentment, separation, grief and loss – but always, always returned when you needed them most. Friends who are strong when you have no strength, brave when you have no courage, wise when you have no idea, and loved you for your strengths, despite your flaws. And new friends with a loyalty, passion and honesty you instinctively trust. But if you truly want to see your acceptance, look to your husband, your children and your father. You have always been accepted by those who most understand you.

Love is such a complex emotion Elsie – and so many types of love. Friends, children, lovers and family. And you know deep in your heart that you are blessed with much love from all of these. The love you really want is the love and acceptance from your mother. That sense of unconditional love that can only ever come from those who raised you. It is so easy to only remember the failings from childhood that left you wounded and broken, but when you search a little deeper you know your mother’s misdirected intentions – her words and actions – came from a place of great love. She was afraid for you and afraid for your future. And she too was broken. So much so, she could not express love through words or actions, but that love was always there. Burning bright. Expressed in the only way she knew how – trying to change you to become what she perceived to be a better version of yourself. You are surrounded by love, and you always have been.