WORDS @lesleyappswriter | @georgiemcavanagh
An extract from our Issue 13 front cover story, Flight and Fight - Emily Sutherland living regionally with an eating disorder.
Georgie Cavanagh watched her daughter’s health swing from OK to dire, and back again. The complexities of living regionally with someone with an eating disorder taking a while to come to terms with.
“I think it is more stigmatised in rural and regional areas. Everyone just thinks the ideal scenario is they just eat again but it’s not about that. It’s a complex condition and the limited services here have a huge impact on families. There’s not enough help for them. Not enough teaching us how to manage things, so we’re not making it worse," says Georgie.
“I was scared and confused so tried scaring Emily out of it. You panic, especially once they get very low. I was guessing what to say, and pretty much got all of it wrong.”
To honour how far her daughter has come, and the strength and resilience required to reach this point in her life, photographer Georgie wanted to capture the moment in a series of photos.
“My hope as a parent is that things will improve for her over time. It’s been a hard road so I wanted to photograph her doing the things she loves to do like painting and pottery; her creative side.
“I liked the swing because it is like the swinging pendulum of the disorder. I chose pink as a running theme because it’s the colour of love and self care, of being in touch with yourself.
“I also tried to capture hope; looking out to the sunset and imagining the big world that’s out there waiting. That there’s hope for anyone reading her story, that healing is possible, and there is help available.”
You can read Emily's incredible, courageous story in our latest print issue of OAK.
Butterfly Foundation - 1800 334 673
Lifeline - 13 11 13 | lifeline.org.au
KidsHelpline - 1800 551 800 | kidshelpline.com.au
ReachOut - reachout.com.au