Wednesday, 24 July 2013

"When Anorexia Came To Visit." Introducing my guest Blogger......Bev Mattocks

How exciting. I have a visitor to my page! Not just any visitor, but a wonderful Woman who is the author of not one but two books highlighting the experiences of caring for a child with Anorexia.  I am very honoured to have my first guest blogger, Bev Mattocks talking about her new book, 'When Anorexia Came To Visit,' which I have recently purchased and am reading through teary eyes.

Introducing Bev Mattocks

The cupcake queen gets a sneak preview of my new book: “When Anorexia Came To Visit”
By Bev Mattocks

“How do I know you? How did you become my ‘friend’ on Facebook?” I asked the red-haired stranger in the pub where we were sharing a couple of cold drinks on the hottest Sunday of the year. I was en-route to the south coast and had asked if I could meet up with her for a chat.
“Probably via the Men Get Eating Disorders Too website?” she suggested. “Or your blog? To be honest, I’ve no idea!”
But anyway, there we were, chatting as if we’d known each other for ages. And in a way we had, ‘virtually’, through Facebook and so on – and, of course, through her wonderful book The Cupcake Queen Bites Back which I bought and reviewed the moment it was published.
I gingerly pushed another book across the table; the final printed proof of my new book When Anorexia Came To Visit: families talk about how an eating disorder invaded their lives. Jackie was the first person I’d showed it to and I’m always a little nervous of first impressions.
It’s my second book. The first was Please eat… a mother’s struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia, published in March 2013, which describes our own story of dealing with an eating disorder. Following on from this I was keen to see how it overlapped with other families’ experiences. So I put a few feelers out there via my various online networks. 20 families came back to me almost immediately, each happy to be interviewed for this new book, families with boys as well as girls and from all areas of the UK.
Within the pages of When Anorexia Came To Visit you will read many positive and inspirational stories of hope - of excellent GPs and healthcare professionals working with parents to get the child well. But you will also read stories where families have battled with, and in some cases are still battling with, inadequate services and treatment, especially evident once a child reaches the age of 18 and no longer qualifies for adolescent services.  
The primary purpose of this book is to help parents to identify the warning signs of an eating disorder and take prompt action – and to empower them to demand the best, evidence-based treatment for their child while drawing on the strategies that these 20 families found most helpful.
The other purpose is to highlight inconsistencies in the way eating disorder treatment is delivered across the UK – and to draw attention to the problems encountered at GP level where there is often a low awareness of the complexities and symptoms of eating disorders.
I was delighted when Professor Janet Treasure OBE agreed to write the Foreword for When Anorexia Came To Visit. Becky Henry, whose book Just Tell Her To Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders is the US-equivalent of mine and which inspired my book, volunteered to write the Preface. And Laura Collins, Founder of F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered And Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) and author of Eating With Your Anorexic has written the Introduction.
Getting a son or daughter through an eating disorder is one of the toughest and most distressing things parents will ever do. But re-visiting painful memories is unbelievably tough, too. Yet each of the families I interviewed for this book willingly volunteered to come forward and describe their own struggles.
Not only did they agree to talk frankly about their experiences, they agreed to read through the various drafts I sent through for checking. In other words, being involved in this book meant having to re-visit distressing memories not once but several times over. This takes courage and commitment. It also demonstrates how much these families care about others - families they have never met who will read this book and hopefully draw inspiration, strength and hope from its pages.
Both of my books are available on Amazon and as Kindle downloads.

Bev Mattocks is the author of Please Eat… A mother’s struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia

Her second book When anorexia came to visit: Families talk about how an eating disorder invaded their lives has just been published, with a Foreword by Professor Janet Treasure OBE

Both are available on Amazon and as Kindle downloads

Visit Bev’s blog AnorexiaBoyRecovery

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Date To Remember. Happy Anniversary to me.......

Everyone has dates they remember, some fondly and some they choose to forget.
For me there are many...
March 17th 1967- My Birthday.
July 22nd 1985-the day I left home.
July 1987- my admission to hospital for Anorexia.
July 21st 1989-My wedding day to my Sons Dad.
December 1990-my first relapse.
February 1991-getting pregnant :)
November 21st 1991-My Sons Birthday
July 20th 1998- the day my first marriage broke up.
August 1998-Met Kev
July 1999-my second relapse.
2001-my third (hiccup)
July 19th 2005-My Dad died.
July 8th 2008- I married Kev :)
May 26th 2009- My best friend died. (we had fallen out and not spoken for over a year)
May 2010- my fourth relapse
November 2010-the decision to recover properly this time.
March 16th 2011-My Mum died.
March 16th 2012-Hip operation

 There are obviously a hell of a lot more, but I'm sure you are not interested in my first period, losing my virginity, first tattoo, having my ingrowing toenail done,when Toby first used his potty, as if I can actually remember!!
Anyway, back to today.
July 16th is my 2 year anniversary of being discharged from the eating disorders team, and I am celebrating with guilt free beans and cheese on toast with a can of cider.
I am often asked the question,'Do you ever recover fully from an eating disorder?' or 'How do I know I will never go back there?'
These are really difficult questions to answer as I cannot see into the future, but what I do have is belief in myself and a much deeper understanding of me and the illness. When I think back on how much time I have wasted, and how much energy I have put into Anorexia over the years it seems complete madness and it makes me feel sad.............
but I am not a negative person, and I can, and do see positives in the difficult periods of my life.
I wonder who I would be if I hadn't experienced a mental illness. Would I be the strong, motivated Woman that I am now, or would I still be a frightened, timid little girl trapped inside a Woman's body?
It is only through recovery that I have met some amazing people who have influenced and motivated me throughout my journey...alongside the best Family and friends you could want.
I know some have thought that now I am recovered that is it! Leave the world of e.d alone....but I can't do that. I have a strong passion for recovery and after years of suffering from low self-esteem I want to shout from the rooftops, "You are f*****g gorgeous and don't let anyone, especially society tell you otherwise."
So to all you reading this, happy Anniversary to me....and thank you, thank you, thank you. xxxxx

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