Too Many Peas (A Poem)

Here I am in pain from a badly infected gum
The nerves have been damaged, and my chin is all numb
I’ve been to the dentist and paid substantial fees
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

They think I may have Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
My mouth is so painful, and the bone is very sore
It hurts when I cough and hurts more when I sneeze
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

Necrosis means death to my very fragile bone
I may need an operation, as my X-rays have shown
I’m pretty terrified and have wobbly, knocking knees
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

Will surgery be needed? My mind is full of fear
My heart’s thumping loudly, and I’m gulping down the air
I wish I could eat, as I’m missing bread and cheese
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

I wish I’d never set foot inside the dentist’s door
I didn’t expect this trouble; that’s for sure
I’ve been using an ice pack to help the pain to ease
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

I’ve never had pain like it, not even giving birth
It’s cost me a fortune – I’ve not had my money’s worth
I’m in so much agony; can you make it go, please
Because all I can eat is custard and mashed peas.

Photo by Engin Akyurt:


My impulsivity is really bad today and was yesterday but I can’t seem to get it under control. Yesterday, I emailed my son and daughter-in-law for the second time this week pleading to have some contact with my beautiful, one-and-a-half year old granddaughter who doesn’t even know I exist. Then, on the spur of the moment, I phoned both my son and my daughter-in-law and my daughter (all who are absent in my life). It was a nice message, chatty and friendly but begging to see my grandchildren (again). None of them picked up the phone so I just had to leave messages.Today, I received a short, sharp and unpleasant email consisting of one line from my d-i-l and I very obviously am not going to be given the opportunity to meet that little one.That hurts. It really does hurt.

Then I found this image on Facebook which just fitted how I felt and I impulsively put it on my FB Timeline:

the truth is...

Of course, I was referring to access to  my grandchildren (again). Then I panicked in case any of my family saw it and quickly deleted it and hope there was no harm done.

Today, I know I’ve been a real nuisance; phoning my neighbour and cracking a joke (I never do that!!); phoning my mum in the middle of the day when I usually phone in the evening, just to check in with her, and I know she isn’t out anywhere today but she didn’t answer (obviously not a good time to phone). I’ve ordered three pairs of jeans, two Kindle books which I’ll never find time to read (but they sounded good!), two CDs when I’ve got stacks already, yet I choose to play the same one on repeat for about three weeks running before I change it! Plus more purchases (mostly unnecessary) when I’m in debt already!

I am jumpy, trying to do too many things at once because I can’t decide whether ‘this’ is more important than ‘that’ and I want to do both now! I’m trying hard not to impulsively eat everything in the fridge (just because I fancy ‘something nice’). And now I’ve written this and know I won’t be able to not press the publish button I feel I’ve got to. Stop the world, I wanna get off!

it seemed like a good idea at the time



eating disorders bite back pick

“Who told you it is not okay to grow
as you did as a child, like a tree
taller and taller?
You convinced yourself to stop,
to stay thin
like a small child
even when your stomach grumbles
like wind through a mountain,
shrinking and straining and starving
for someone else’s idea of perfect?
But every tree gains leaves
and rings, symbolizing age,
and the growth
of a great being.
Who told you to feel heavy
when your breasts accept gravity
and when your skin makes marks on itself
to adjust to you?
Who told you it was a sin
to be big,
and why did we give all this
unearned power to them?

You are a tree,
your leaves and rings
are magnificent
no matter what anyone else says.”

~ Colleen Michele

(artwork by Natasha Szymkiewicz, produced for The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt ‘Love Your Tree’ Campaign, 2013)




Just for once, i feel whole and complete today rather than fragmented as usual, although there are always broken fragments inside. Today, I feel content which makes a nice change from my usual highly stressed out self. Some of you who know me well will understand when is say ‘my real Baby Emily has come home at long last’ and that has made a huge difference.


I’ve got through the whole day without a single panic attack and i’ve been pretty good with my eating too (ate most of the small meals my carers gave me), haven’t needed any extra, emergency medication and the pain i get with my disability is bearable today too (I just wish my legs worked!!). Well, i count myself lucky really…I have a good wheelchair which gets me about and I always think they’re are a hell of a lot of people who are worse off than me (and that is so true).

Yay! I even had my favourite carer come to me this evening – she’s lovely and is called Kim. We always have a hug…we’re both ‘huggy’ people. I’m not supposed to hug my carers but she is special. We are just, really on the same wavelength! When she leaves this care agency, we’re going to keep in touch (yes…I know were not supposed too!) and we’ll make the best of friends. I showed her my favourite song on here…’Brave’, sung by Sara Bareilles which means so very much to me as a survivor (and I am a survivor; I no longer choose to be a victim). I’m going to take this opportunity (and I hope you don’t mind), of reblogging this video which i put on an earlier post. I just love it. It took me best part of forty years for me to be able to ‘let the words fall out’, as the song says. I can stand up and speak my truth and I’m not ashamed of that today.




Coming from someone like myself who has in the past, been a very seriously ill anorexic with some years as a bulimic and some years as a compulsive overeater, this post is going to come across rather oddly, i think. This isn’t to say that i don’t still have some problems with food because i do, but they’re not serious any longer and i’m remarkably healthy, given my history. I want to try and take a lighter approach to the whole subject of food. I’m not talking about nutrition but more about situations where food is involved. May i say, i don’t wish to offend anyone who is still struggling with an eating disorder because that is just such a nightmare to live with. 


With all my eating problems, i have had some funny experiences which i will try and relate here. Up until two years ago, i used to be a strict vegetarian; not the type who say “I am a vegetarian but i eat fish and chicken”. That is not being a vegetarian! Some of the time, for short intervals, i decided to become vegan which was quite hard work back then as minorities weren’t catered for in supermarkets. I’m talking about the time when you could only by white, sliced ‘Mother’s Pride’ bread and if you dare ask for a wholemeal loaf, you were regarded as somewhat of a hippie!


As i was saying, i’d been a staunch vegetarian for twenty years (before it was even ‘in fashion’ as it’s sometimes regarded, even now). I’d not eaten any meat, fish, chicken or animal by-products for all that time and then out of the blue, and God’s know why, i suddenly had a real craving for a pork chop! A pork chop, of all things – you couldn’t get much further away from being a veggie than that! And there began my adventures with food a carnivore, or omnivore to be more precise. 


After the committing the first sin and devouring my pork chop with apple sauce and thoroughly enjoying it without a thought for the poor little piggie that gave up it’s life for my dinner plate. I progressed to chicken and fish. Beef, in meals, i have occasionally. I can’t bring myself to eat venison as we have deer at the bottom of my garden very occasionally. Similarly, i can’t eat duck because of my childhood memories of taking bread over to the local pond and feeding the ducks. Pigeon is off the menu too for the same reason. I don’t eat lamb very often as i think of the little things cavorting around in the fields nearby, and when i see a sheep or a lamb for real, i am very careful not to shout the words “mint sauce” within earshot of them! Sausages are off the menu as i don’t fancy the nostrils, tail, or nail clippings that they may contain.


Having said all that,i do still like my fruit and veg and make sure i eat at least five portions a day. I love spinach and rocket although they are often considered to be ‘bitter’. And although i think lychees are my very favourite fruit (and apparently very good for you), i do rather have a passion for our rather bent, potassium-packed, yellow-bellied friend, the banana. Now they are talking about doing away with bent bananas and only importing straight ones. I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous. It’s bad enough that they ‘doctor’ most of our fruit and veg to be perfectly sized and shaped and coloured. Which is why i choose to buy organic; and no i’m not wealthy, i just make cutbacks in other departments.


I rarely eat chips as i have memories of when i was younger, people having chip pans that were both black on the inside and on the outside. Back then, the oil the chips were cooked in was kept and used over and over again and, nobody knew that the oil became more and more hydrogenated each time it was used. This didn’t do our cholesterol levels any favours at all. And what about the debate now, about whether butter or margarine is better for you? They have said butter is purer…well, i have a friend who switched back the delicious, genuine butter, in moderation, i might add, and her cholesterol levels soared and she got a good telling off from her GP.


So all-in-all, what it is about food, that there is such uproar and contradiction about? Our grandparents were brought up on the likes of ‘bread and dripping’ and many of them are living well into their 80’s and 90’s or further. So, i say ‘”everything in moderation and a little bit of what you fancy, does you good”!