The Myths of Perfectionism

By February 26, 2014 Blog

1. It makes me into a better person. Actually, no. It makes me more of an ass.  Grumpier. More critical.  More self-focused. And lonely (because ‘friends’ are actually competition). 2. It helps me perform. The truth? It stops me even trying. 3. I feel better knowing that I’ve done my best. When has your best ever been good enough? 4. It protects me from feeling ashamed or judged. Right. Nothing as cheering as repeatedly falling short of my own ridiculous standards. …Read More

Why ‘Good’ Girls Don’t Eat

By August 14, 2012 Blog

Here’s an excerpt I’ve written on ‘Eating Disorders + ‘Good’ girls’, (from this month’s ‘Woman Alive’): There are many reasons why someone develops an eating disorder. Culture, environment, physiology, life experiences and even geography may play a part. Another of these is personality type. The type I call ‘good girl’. There are, of course, sufferers who won’t fit this description. Similarly, most good girls will not develop anorexia. However, aspects of their personalities make them more vulnerable to it than …Read More

Good Enough Never Is

By July 18, 2012 Blog, identity

If Perfectionism were a person, I’d slap her.  I’d flush her head down the toilet and muss up her hair and squirt ketchup in her eyes.  I’d scuff her shoes and force  her to return  her library books late. I’d make her walk on cracks and eat spaghetti with her fingers and colour outside the lines until she finally promised to Just Stop Trying. To Get It Wrong.  And to stop ruining my life. Ms P and I have grown …Read More

Why A Little Religion Is Deadly

By May 1, 2012 Blog

No,  what we really need is A Lot of Religion. …Only joking. I reckon that religion is a bad thing.  In fact, I’d go so far as to blame it for some of my biggest mistakes. An eating disorder. Workaholism. OCD.  Addictions and self-harm.  Harming others. Misusing my gifts.  Materialism.  And  many other things that I hope remain hidden. I use the term religion in a specific sense. Not God. Not the gospel.  Not the church or the Bible or …Read More

The Price of Perfection

By April 15, 2012 Blog

I never thought I’d have anything in common with James Cameron.  The man who brought us ‘Titanic: the movie’ and – worse still – a song that goes on and on and on and – (Stop! Make it stop! My ears are BLEEDING) You get the gist. But – Celine Dion aside – it turns out that we think in similar categories.  Here’s what he says; ‘People call me a perfectionist, but I’m not.  I’m a rightist: I do something …Read More

Words To Die By

By November 4, 2011 Blog

‘Better to burn out than fade away’. I heard this on the radio earlier and thought to myself, ‘What a pile of crap’. Sorry, but it is. As a line on a t-shirt it might look alright, but as a life strategy it stinks. It stinks if you’re comparing yourself to supermum, trying to take your kids to tai chi and maintain your sanity. It stinks if you’re director of the board, siphoning your strength into a company that’ll spit …Read More

The Tyranny of Perfection

By June 16, 2011 Blog

From as early as I can remember I’ve tried to be perfect.  And it’s nearly killed me. Perfection tantalizes with the promise of completeness and rest.  But it consigns you to endless striving.  Perfectionism damns every effort before it’s even started.  More than that, it can prevent you from ever trying anything at all. And it kills the joy of endeavour and even success, because you’re only as good as your (next) project. I was reminded of this last night …Read More


By February 15, 2011 Blog

Self-control is a concept I’ve grown to hate.  Mainly because for most of my life, it’s been my Master.  And not a kind one either.  A slave driver, urging and chastising, inciting me to ever-increasing heights of proud performance and nadirs of self-contempt. I’ve spoken in the past about how anorexia for me anyway, was all about exercising control.  Even when the rest of life seemed overwhelming and confused, my body was a safe sphere I could dominate, shape, carve …Read More