Playing With Fire

By August 17, 2011 Blog

Reading through analyses of the recent riots, I’ve been thinking about what it is that will define the people of our time.  Us. It’s not just the hoodies either – what about me? We’re growing up in the same world and we’re responding to the same pressures.  What do we have in common?  How are we trying to resolve the same issues? One of us fights the police and destroys buildings.  The other develops an eating disorder and depression. They …Read More

Eating Disorder Etiquette

By August 16, 2011 Blog

Ever have days where you bounce from one faux pas to the next? Congratulations on your pregnancy! (I’m not). Let me just wipe that stain off your cheek – oh, it’s a spot. Jenny, meet one of our key workers – er, remind me of your name… Taxi for one please. Of course, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few as well. Although to be honest, my overriding reaction is normally relief that it’s not me digging the hole.  Saying …Read More

Man Up, You Loser

By August 15, 2011 Blog, identity

We read a lot today about sexism. I tend to look at it from a woman’s perspective – and there’s no question that such misogyny exists.  But prejudice cut both ways.  Whilst waving the banner for equality, I wonder if we practise something very different.  Are we emasculating the very men we’re telling to grow up? It seems to me that we’re part of a culture that continually puts men down.  Get a group of women together and it’s not …Read More

Introverts Unite!

By August 13, 2011 Blog

It’s that time of year again.  ‘Airbourne’ –  the world’s biggest free seafront airshow. And it’s here! In  Eastbourne!   Four days of magnificent flying men and red-arrowtastic aerial displays.  If I wanted to, I could watch it from the comfort of my home.  But I’m not.  Instead I’m  clutching my ear plugs and making pathetic mewing sounds from a safe distance. Don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against freefall parachuters and military aircraft.  Nor, as the proud owner …Read More

Your Misery is Boring Me

By August 12, 2011 Blog

Look, I know I keep banging on about attitudes to mental health, but honestly it makes me mad.  Last night we were watching Mad Men and scorning the casual sexism/racism that informed the early 60s. How could anyone have thought in such blind and bigoted way? It’s like watching monkeys in suits. With  scotch, lots of scotch. And cigarettes.  (Actually on the whole smoking issue, I was laughing at the fact that consumers then didn’t realise that it damaged your …Read More

Healthy Addiction?

By August 11, 2011 Blog

Battling addictions is notoriously difficult.  Received wisdom states that many addicts need to hit rock bottom before they can get back up.  What’s tricky about this is that  you might not be able to. But let’s say you can.  Let’s say you want to get help and (work with me on this) that such help is both affordable and available.  What are the odds of your succeeding? 38 per cent. Only 38 per cent of patients leaving rehab programmes overcome …Read More

Status Quo or Status Woe?

By August 10, 2011 Blog

It’s fascinating to consider our cultural hotspots.  By these, I mean the points at which So What? becomes Shocking, Disgusting and deserving of A Public Outcry. Example: I didn’t know how outraged I was  about phone hacking until the media told me how outraged I ought to feel.  Now that the News of the World has taken the flak,  I can return to comfortable ambivalence.  After all, that’s all been taken care of, right? Or this. This week, there’s been …Read More

Shame and Strength

By August 8, 2011 Blog

Do you ever feel ashamed? Not embarrassed.  Not ‘oh dear, that was awkward’.  Not discomfort. Shame.  The sort of word you lift out of the vocab box with kid gloves.   The real deal.  That deep, burning in the pit of your stomach, I want to turn myself inside-out and climb into the wardrobe and cover myself in coats and put my hands on my head and then screw my eyes tightly closed and shrink a bit more. Shame is one …Read More

Down, But Not Out

By August 7, 2011 Blog

It’s been a while since I’ve been depressed. I’ve realised it because this week there have been a few howls from the black dog.  Not full-blown unplug everything, switch off the lights and give up – but a couple of tentative rumblings. Some warning lights on the dashboard. A little more tiredness.  Day-time ‘naps’ that stretch into evening.  Irritability. (‘Will you stop making that annoying breathing noise!’)  Not quite seeing the point in things.  Finding it difficult to connect with other …Read More

Day in the Life

By August 6, 2011 Blog

Perhaps you consider your family demanding.  But spare a thought for those dealing with requests from beyond the grave.  In China, manufacturers of  iPads are having trouble keeping up with demand. But these aren’t ordinary iPads – they’re paper replicas – just  one of a number of luxury goods which  are sent to the spirit world by being burned.  Jeffrey Te, owner of a prayer goods shop in Malaysia, says this: ‘Some of my customers have dreams where their departed …Read More