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Unless you were there, it may be hard to understand how much influence our coaches exerted over us. I mean, we were kids. Eighteen year-olds leaving home for the first time, diving into a sea of changes and trying to compete athletically at an elite level. “Abuse” is a strong word, one I hesitated to use until I realized that the insidious and duplicitous nature of abuse often gaslights victims into accepting it, thereby perpetuating its existence.

Psychological abuse is not a new concept, and once I give you the definition…


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Lately I’ve been tired. Like, really fucking tired. I’ve been napping in the afternoons and clocking 8 hour nights. I’m not sure why I’m so tired, but here we are.

Holly Phillips, MD, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough writes that “fatigue is not necessarily one of the main signs of sleep deprivation. Getting used to it doesn’t mean that’s all [the sleep] you need. It means you forget what it feels like to have good sleep.” Well that doesn’t sound good. You might not know how tired you are because you’re…


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I spend a lot of time writing. Arguably more time than I spend doing anything else, which means I spend a lot of time in my own brain (not a bad place to be). But I had a thought the other day that it might be selfish of me to do so. It might be self-indulgent to write poems barely anyone reads that only seem to matter to me. …


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“I cannot care about everything, all the time,” is a sentence I actually said to someone the other day. He was standing outside a grocery store raising money for an organization that is fighting climate change. First of all, I’m a fundraiser and the curb appeal of someone raising money outside the local Ralph’s is very low. A bit too akin to begging, and kind of distributive in an unwelcome way.

He said, “Ma’am can I talk to you a minute,” and I said, “I’d rather not, thank you.”

And his…


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My, oh my isn’t that a fine line?

Let’s start with an easy example. When it comes to correcting misbehavior (say, of a child), there’s a big difference between punishment and discipline. While punishment focuses on making a child suffer for breaking the rules, discipline is about teaching him how to make a better choice next time. When punishment is self-inflicted though, we turn the corner into self-destruction, disordered behavior, or even abuse.

When recovering from my eating disorder, there was a lot of tension between being disciplined and engaging in…


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Quite bold of me to dispense advice, if I do say so myself.

I turned 28 yesterday (happy birthday to meeeee). Aren’t birthdays a wee bit overrated and also a goddamned godsend? Sometimes we just need a reason to celebrate. And sometimes, it gets fucking tiring to celebrate. And at some point, saying “happy birthday” begins to sound a lot like “congratulations on being born and not dying!”

I have the added luck of being born on my parents wedding anniversary (happy marriage day, you two!). As a mostly-adult, having parents…


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“Life is weird and love is weirder,” I typed to a man I haven’t seen in months, in part because I’ve been seeing someone else and in part because of irreconcilable differences in values and extraordinarily opposing ideas about what constitutes a good life. He reached out to say, “Hey, no hard feelings but I don’t think we’re going anywhere,” a sentiment I had only assumed was true, given the radio silence. My time with him was brief but nice, and our parting ways was inevitable and mutual. I went on…


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Last Friday night I was waxing a wee bit existential and reading a book called: The Book of The World: A Contemporary Scripture. It is a weird and wild book, comprised entirely of quotes with an unknown author/origin. It was suitable for a stormy night, and as I read page after page of hashed together quotes I wrote in a margin: “everyone you meet is a version of yourself you didn’t know existed.” …


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I have been running consistently since age 12, and I’ve been athletic and active for as long as I can remember. Inactivity, to me, is a dirty word (not to be confused with rest, tyvm). One thing that used to really bother me about my body, though, was how it doesn’t look like other runner bodies. Lining up on the start line of most races, I’d notice how thin other women were. How lanky their limbs or how tiny and light they appeared. Even when I starved myself thin, I couldn’t…


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This past Thursday, (January 20, 2021) I made a strong pot of coffee and sat my happy little ass on my living room couch to watch the 46th presidential inauguration of Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris. Harris is the fist female vice presidentever. This may seem minor to some, but it’s not. Harris follows a long line of men who look much like her running mate. Some have tried to downplay this victory, but fuck all that shit. Women are slowly inching our way closer to equality but more…

Sarah McMahon

Eating Disorder Activist | Poet | Freelancer |Blogger IG: @the_prosiest email: sarahrose.writer@gmail.com

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