Monday, 18 February 2013

Growing Old Disgracefully.


The wonderful Body Gossip today released their new film entitled 'Ageing Gracefully.' Once again the team have got it so right with their mixture of witty humour and stark reality whilst questioning,'whats so bad about looking our age?'  I have no idea If I look my age! I am well aware of the fact that most of the time I feel a lot older and act a lot younger. Getting older appearance wise has never really bothered me. I need to look after my bones due to early menopause after a hysterectomy and subsequently having osteoporosis. I have had my share of varicose veins stripping, constantly forget things and have recently had a major hip operation' all before the age of 45!!! I would love to think that when I'm in my 70's there will be nothing left to go wrong!! 
I can hope....

Growing Old Disgracefully

At the age of Ten,
I would stuff socks in a bra,
Wear lipstick like my Mum,
And dream of going far.

At the age of Fifteen,
I still stuffed my bra with socks!!
Tried to look nineteen,
Hid scars from chicken pox.

At eighteen the milestone age,
Starvation made me young again,
I shackled myself into a cage,
And tried to take away my pain.

At the age of twenty one,
My hair was pink, and red and blue
I was a different woman every week,
With a fetish for Doc Martin Shoes.

At the age of twenty four,
I gave birth to my Son,
I couldn't ask for any more,
I didn't, he was my only one!

At the age of twenty five,
I was looking knackered,
I had suitcases under my eyes,
And everything was sagging.

At the age of thirty one,
My body told a tale,
Of desperation, hurt despair,
Tied to a bathroom scale.

When I reached the big 4-0
My laughter lines had turned to trenches,
My boobies you could almost throw,
Or rest on park benches!!

The demon came back at forty three,
No way was this going to win,
I beat it back, I guarantee,
No longer will it get under my skin.

By the time I got to forty five,
Every thing's heading down south,
My hips hurt when I try to jive,
My teeth are evicting my mouth.

So now I'm nearly forty six,
I've lived and learned  the hard way,
I'm going to grow old disgraceful.
But I'm going to do it my way.

'Age is all in the mind,' they say,
So today I still feel twenty one,
So to keep the grim reaper at bay,
I'll stay healthy, be happy and have fun.

Jackie

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tell it from the heart





This week has been a mix of emotions. My book was self published last week after what seemed like forever sending back copies between myself and a friend, changing things, altering layouts.....adding, taking way. Eventually we had the finished result.
Making the front cover was fun!  I spent hours decorating cakes then laying them on my kitchen floor, standing on a chair attempting to take a photo ariel view. It was then pointed out that I hadn't taken the date setting off my camera..Doh!!!!    
The day I uploaded it was pretty scary. Bearing your soul to whoever pays to read it is at the touch of a button....and there it is, my life, in poetry, on sale on Amazon at £4.96
I'm not scared, I'm not ashamed, I'm proud of who I am and what I have achieved and so I should be!
What scares me is my reaction to others who are suffering...I hurt so much.  I try and support others in forums etc but the pain at times can be so intense. I want to just hold their hand and take them to a safe place, but I know that's not possible. My husband has questioned the time I spend online and attending the support group but I feel I need to give something back to the people who helped me.  Why am I affected by people I don't know, people I have never met? I feel almost drawn, a compulsion to let them know things can be different, things can change, you can be free....
I could, If I wanted to, put this all behind me. Never mention my anorexia again, withdraw from support groups, detach myself from all I know who are connected to eating disorders...but I also know that a part of me holds a few special people close to my heart, if they weren't around I maybe wouldn't be here today.  To disconnect from this would be saying I don't care, and that's not me. I care greatly, and If that means feeling your pain and crying your tears to hep you on your way then that is what I shall do..... xxxxx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A day In My Shoes........


 

Eating Disorders Awareness...
A Day In My Shoes

Don't judge me on what you see, 
A lost and broken soul,
Taunted night and day with numbers in my head,
That dinner you eat, it filled me with dread.
Why don't you eat? Its as easy as that.
I wish.....
Don't judge me for what I said,
It wasn't me,
It was the voices in my head,
Don't eat, you'll get fat, you're ugly, worthless,
A failure,
Rejected.
Don't judge me for how I made you feel,
I was keeping myself safe,
I was in control,
Keeping my emotions in check,
Numb, black, despairing of life and living.
A void....
Don't judge me for being, 
Give me a switch,
If I could I would have flicked it ten times over, I would.
And another thousand of times,
For all those still fighting,
And those who have lost......
If I could have told myself how bad it would get,
I would have told myself a millions time over.
I don't judge myself,
So don't you....

Jackie

Eating Disorders awareness Week, Everybody Knows Somebody. beat ed  Body Gossip

You can buy my book on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
all royalties go to sweda

Monday, 11 February 2013

Somebody........


EDAW 2012

This video from beat says it all really. Everybody knows somebody, and you may not even realise.
Eating Disorders are not all about what is noticeable on the outside. It is a severe life threatening mental illness which needs support. Unfortunately the media can get on the Anorexia band wagon  and leave the lesser know ED behind. Sufferers with ednos, bulimia, binge eating disorder can feel unworthy of help as they don't look ill......  how tragic is that?  A friend of mine recently wrote about self harm and suicide on her blog as it is so closely linked with eating disorders. Her words I wish I had hear when I felt darkness and despair.  I was a lucky one, others have not been so lucky.
It astounds me that for such a widespread illness there is so much stigma and ignorance still!!
Over the years I have had many comments about my illness.  I was accused of taking up a worthwhile bed in a hospital, called a stupid little girl by a Nurse, asked if I died how would I pay my catalogue bill (from a friend!) told I look like a Cambodian and even my Dr called it my 'little problem.' When the hell will mental illness be given the same regard as a physical illness.
Know one can know how you are feeling, what you are thinking, what pain and desperation you feel on a daily basis or how dark your life is. 
So when you meet that 'somebody' please remember this. They are a person, a person with feelings, a person who needs love, support and compassion.  I was a 'Somebody'.......



My book 'The Cupcake Queen Bites back.' is available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk
All proceeds go to a local ED charity. Thank you.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Today I Am Proud.


Today I am proud.....
Proud that I have a voice,
Proud that I spoke up,
Proud that I didn't give in,
Didn't listen,
Stopped punishing.
Today I am proud.
Proud to have belief in myself,
And others,
Proud to be living,
Breathing,
And loving.
Today I am proud.
Proud to be able to forgive myself,
And others, for no-one is perfect,
Least of all me.....
Proud that I am enough,
And I can just be,
Me,
Proud.





Thursday, 7 February 2013

An ear to listen, a hand to hold, a heart breaking.


Eating Disorders Awareness



Support is not just a lifeline to the person with an eating disorder, but also to those closest to them.
When you are in the depths of despair and totally drowning in your eating disorder, the effect you are having on your Family/Friend couldn't be further from your mind. Please don't think they are being selfish or cruel.... this is the eating disorder that is making them behave in this way, they are not intentionally trying to hurt or blame.
I think back to when my Son had been ill in the past and as a parent you would do anything just to take their pain and suffering away. To be faced with something totally out of your control which a pill won't fix must fell a million times worse.
I went to support group last night.  In a way I go to touch base, keep myself in check but ultimately I go to support others.  Over the years I have seen people come and go and often wonder what happened to them, inside I am praying that they found freedom in a positive way.
The emotions and honesty coming from one group of people are inspiring,but  I can feel what they are feeling as I have felt it before and it can cut deep. I just want to reach out, hug each and every one of them and tell them 'It will be OK,' I want to make it all better, fix it with a sticky plaster and a kiss, but I know that's not going to happen.
For now it will have to be an ear to listen, a hand to hold and a glimmer of hope.

You can find other posts regarding support here.
For support in the UK contact beat
South West England  sweda
USA neda

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I have a very skinny brain......

Eating Disorders Awareness

Many people with eating disorders, particularly anorexia, will talk about the conflict within their head, their anorexic voice, and I was no different.
I felt like I was being constantly tested. Food was everywhere, in shops, in my kitchen, on TV, in magazines, the temptation was painful but the feeling when I denied myself and didn't give in was so worth it, or so I believed. That was what my Anorexia was telling me.  It had gotten into every part of my being and was biting away at my personality, my character, my relationships, my thought processes and my ability rationalise or reason.
What I didn't realise was that starvation has a funny effect on the brain!  The brain ultimately is an organ, this needs nutrition just like other organs in your body. If you deprive your body of the nutrition it needs you are also starving your brain.  Your thinking will be slow and foggy, you will make bad choices/decisions, lack in concentration and will constantly think about food!!  Unfortunately the more starved you become the worse the Anorexic thinking becomes.  Its a vicious circle and the only cure is to eat.  As easy as that? Not quite!!
One thing that changed for me during recovery was reading the Minnesota experiment which explained easily what happens to a person during starvation. Have a read. You may be surprised.
It certainly helped me to understand what I was doing to my body, why I was thinking the way I was and what to expect during recovery.  
So if you know someone with Anorexia, please don't tell then to just eat or snap out of it. Don't expect them to see themselves how you are seeing them, its so much bigger than that. Support and listen........
Once I was able to begin eating again I was able to work on my triggers, deal with the emotional feelings surrounding eating and  to tell that Anorexic voice where it could get off  and never, ever come back.  But that's a story for another day ....




Monday, 4 February 2013

Choose Freedom, choose Life.

Eating Disorders Awareness 2013

How did you recover? This is a question I have been asked many times, a question which has no easy or definite answer.  In short, I had to want to recover.
I was originally diagnosed with anorexia but realistically my ED switched between anorexia (restricting type) and anorexia( binge purge type).  In the sometimes long periods of what I would class as recovery I may not be showing classic ed signs but would have the thoughts, horrendous negative body image, low self esteem and a general feeling of worthlessness.  My instant reaction to stress or feeling out of control within my life would result in food restriction or purging. It made me feel better, gave me a sense of release from my emotions and a way of numbing emotional pain, all at a cost to my physical and mental health.
My decision to choose recovery wasn't an easy choice.  You may find that difficult to grasp, the choice is ultimately live or die, and when I say that I didn't choose to have an ed how can I make the choice not to have one?  The problem with starvation is is screws with your head as well as your body. You may think you are in control but that couldn't be further than the truth. Your head is f****d up, thoughts are not rational, your thinking pattern is all over the place as well as your metabolism. You have well and truly thrown a spanner in your works and it will take more than a pill from the Doctor to fix you up again.The thought of giving up a part of my life, my whole being, my identity is a scary prospect.  But this was a choice I made and the best decision I have ever made, but I couldn't have got where I am today without support.
When I think back to my hospital admission in the late 80's and to how I achieved recovery now, what had changed?
Apart from being a hell of a lot older with more responsibilities society has changed. We have more access to information in the form of the Internet and particularly social networking sites. We are able to communicate with people from all over the world at the touch of a button and we can be anonymous.....
I did of course require professional help in the form of my GP, Dietitian, specialised ED nurse and counsellor. These were the people who kept me physically safe, helped me make sense of what was going on in my head and ultimately accept responsibility for myself.
I started going to a  support group, where I was not judged and able to talk about my ed with people like myself.  I still attend to give support and hope to those still affected.
I also had my angels, these were the ones on the Internet, fac book and you tube who advocated for recovery and helped me to believe in myself.
Body Gossip who's films have reduced me to tears many times and helped me to believe I am worth it.
Freedom Fighters  are a group of inspirational women give practical advice and hope for recovery.
We bite back is the first website I came across which advocated recovery as an option.
beat is a UK based ed charity which has a helpline and forum.

I hope you find these links of some help, if you or someone you care for are suffering please seek medical advice. There is hope. 


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Everbody knows somebody.




February highlights the awareness of Eating Disorders, with EDA week starting in the UK Feb 11th and In the USA Feb 21st.
There are several campaigns running with B-eat  and Neda focusing on 'Everyone knows someone.' Throughout February I will helping to raise awareness by promoting positive body image with the charity Body Gossip and also by challenging what are often misconceptions surrounding eating disorders and those that have them.


Eating Disorders Fact or Fiction?

Eating disorders only affect young women.  Anorexia is a diet gone wrong. You can't have an eating disorder unless you are underweight.  People with eating disorders do it for attention.
Its not 'serious' if you are of a 'healthy' weight. You will never recover! Men don't get eating disorders. Eating Disorders are caused by the media.
All of the above are not true! Although some people may argue a few of the points!
Anybody can have an eating disorder, eating disorders do not discriminate. Just because someone does not look like the stereotypical 'anorexic' does not mean that their behaviours with food are not damaging them both physically and psychologically. Whether it be binge eating, bulimia, over-eating, purging, restricting, anorexia or ednos (eating disorder not otherwise specified) chances are, you know someone who has an eating disorder and he/she probably won't be a size 0!!

Facts and Figure

1.6 million people in the UK are affected by eating disorder of which 11% are male.
Up to 6.4% of adults show signs of an eating disorder a quarter of these being male.
10% of sufferers have anorexia.
40% have bulimia.
The remaining fall into the category of ednos, including binge eating disorder.
Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illness.
One in five of the most seriously affected will die prematurely.
but.......

EATING DISORDERS ARE TREATABLE AND YOU CAN RECOVER.



I will be winning...........


Above Data Taken From Beats website found here facts and figures