Come Dine With Me

By November 30, 2011 Blog

Christmas is a hard time for those with eating disorders. To be honest, I think it’s a hard time for most – even those who absolutely love it. It’s a bit like being strapped in to a fairground ride. You’re looking forward to it, but as you gain speed, you start feeling a bit sick too. You’re so focused on breathing you can miss the actual event.  Then off you step, dizzy and disorientated, thinking ‘ hmmm.  that went quick’. …Read More

The Horror of Giving

By November 29, 2011 Blog

‘It’s better to give than to receive’. Well sorry folks, but I’m not so sure.  If you ask me (er – and even if you don’t), the whole present business is a dangerous affair – on both sides of the equation. So what is it about gifting that I find so hard to accept? Christmas (and birthdays) are stressful for many different reasons.  Impending bankruptcy, family dynamics and a general surfeit of everything from mince pies to Cliff Richard. Nothing …Read More

Gloriously Out of Control

By November 28, 2011 Blog

Apparently the most popular song choice for funerals, is ‘My Way’ by Sinatra. In many ways, I can’t think of anything more tragic or appropriate – but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. Yes, it’s a powerful song and yes, the words are striking. But for me at least, it’s the power that accompanies exposure.  The jolt of familiarity as I’m struck by the pride and selfishness of my own heart.  And an unwavering insistence on doing it …Read More

MORE.

By November 26, 2011 Blog

One of the hardest things about challenging an addiction is that in many cases, our culture actively encourages  them. Shopping. Sex. Booze. Eating disorders. It’s not just the behaviour itself that’s the problem.  It’s a mindset, a double-bind that teaches you two competing lessons: 1.  exercise self-control  (over everything ranging from appetite to biology) and 2.  indulge. (Drink green tea all week – then go on a Saturday night bender. Use those coupons – then blow the savings on a …Read More

Better?

By November 25, 2011 Blog

I’ve read a lot of stories about recovery, but not many of them talk about the actual  process – or its ongoing  struggles. It’s hard to write  in the present tense.  You don’t have the objectivity of distance and your heart looks awfully raw and bloody, slapped on a plate. Plus, you’re just so sick of the whole thing. Sick of having to keep re-engaging in the same battles  and of relearning the same lessons.  Sick of judgements – especially …Read More

Don’t Panic: It’s Only Stress

By November 24, 2011 Blog

How much of our worries are in our minds? How does anxiety impact our physical health – and can it be a positive as well as a negative emotion? Research carried out in February by Oxford’s Professor Irene Tracey found that the pain we expect, correlates to the pain we experience. This is what’s known as the ‘nocebo’ effect – the flip-side to the better-known placebo.  In her study, volunteers given pain relief were told that the drug had worn …Read More

Needing to Be Needed

By November 23, 2011 Blog

Here’s something really horrible. One of my friends has been sick for a long time. We’ve been ‘poorly buddies’, picking one another up and encouraging each other when we have nasty days. She’s really been struggling and we’ve been praying for ages for a breakthrough. It seems that those prayers have been answered in a miraculous way. She’s  started getting much, much better and her life has been transformed. Yet here’s the thing. Mentally, I am thrilled for her.  But …Read More

Bad Romance

By November 22, 2011 Blog

‘Bought for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure’. Is this the best title for any book, ever? I spotted it at the library, where it had absconded from the romance section and into crime. (I wasn’t shelf-sharking – honest). The cover was everything one could hope for  – a vision of hair and teeth, pressed breathlessly against a pink sunset and manly heavage. Without even reading the blurb, it’s clear what we’re dealing with. Romance.  More specifically, Bad Romance. The scene is familiar.  A hero: Zachary de Milleneuve, …Read More

When It’s Murder Being A Man

By November 21, 2011 Blog, identity

What does a ‘real’ man look like? The guy on the billboard, all pecs and ego? The metrosexual with guyliner and man-bag? A misogynist brute, enslaved to his hormones? Mr Fix-it, good with his hands?  The sports-mad Jock, just one of the lads? Is he the darling of rom-com hero:  sensitive, soulful and close to his mum? Or an all-action hero: hard as nails,  with no time for sentiment or weakness? Each day we’re presented with wildly differing images of masculinity. What we’re rarely shown is …Read More

Stir Up Sunday – Guest Post

By November 19, 2011 Blog

I’ve been spending the last few days with my mum, so apologies for the paucity of posts. However, it does give me the opportunity to have a guest post from Paul B on the topic of ‘Stir Up Sunday’. Despite the machinations of Tesco et al to rename and reclaim this day, it hasn’t always been about mixing up Christmas cake. (Nor, as Waitrose claim, should it be called ‘Delia Day’ – much as I love her kitchen manner). No, the real stir-up …Read More