Well, here I am again, finding I can’t keep up with everything I need to do, and my head is spinning! I’ve had to be out all day today; tomorrow, I have some work to do on a project; Saturday, my best friend is coming for lunch; and on Sunday, I said I’d go along to the local Quakers Meeting House to accompany a friend to a service for the first time. It should be interesting, and I am looking forward to it. I also have a lot of coursework to do, as I’m getting behind on that, too. Please, forgive me, once again, for missing some of your blogs for now. I need a few more hours in the day, or perhaps, a few more days in the week. Anyone here got a few to sell, by any chance 😁!?
Add to all that the severe pain 😖I still have following my botched tooth extraction. I’m on stronger medication than morphine to try and get on top of the pain. It does render me a bit incapable sometimes, as I keep nodding off. It’s difficult to be productive when your brain is frequently ‘logging out 😶!’ The medication is making my hands shake, too, so I constantly make mistakes when typing. All I can say is, “Thank goodness for *Grammarly!”
Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now. I humbly apologise for not reading your brilliant work recently. I am in the process of writing a poem, but I think that’s about all I can manage for the moment.
I know you are all kind and understanding, and you may be fed up with me pleading “overload” again, but I’d rather be honest about things than just suddenly disappearing into the ether.
I may be able to read a few blogs over my busy weekend, but I’ve learned not to allow myself to get exhausted. I know my health is important, whether physical, mental or emotional. I wish you all really well and I hope that you enjoy your weekend, whatever you are doing. If you’re alone and don’t want to be, I send you kind thoughts, calm and peace ☮.
We’ve been busy with the planet, as you might just know Our minds have been preoccupied; it might well show We’ve been up to London, protesting for our right To have a healthy future of which, we mustn’t lose sight
We’ve stood up to the government and fought for Mother Earth We’ve spoken our minds, and we’ve had our pennyworth This is an emergency; our PM doesn’t care While fossil fuel pollution permeates our air
Our battle isn’t over; we won’t give up the fight We’ll shout, drum and protest to emphasise our plight Politicians fill their pockets and won’t listen to the facts They don’t hear the pleas of scientists, who say we need to act
We all need to pull together; every single soul Give power to the people, and no more digging coal Stop drilling in the oceans and pulling up the oil Stop killing all our wildlife and poisoning our soil
The butterflies and insects are dying out so fast Our fish are full of plastics, and the damage will last We’re chopping down our trees; the forests getting bare There are many people starving because the rich won’t share
The bees are getting rarer; they’ll be no more pollination The crops will all fail; what of the next generation? We must stand up for them; we don’t want them to die The human race must listen, or its plans will go awry.
With thanks to all my wonderful, caring rebel-friends in Extinction Rebellion, who made this amazing protest possible and inspired me to write this poem. Love you all. Xx 💚💚💚
Having had my grandchildren, I’m now so behind I’m still very tired, and my strength I cannot find I’m struggling to find words; my concentration wrecked though it was worth every minute in retrospect
I’m trying hard to read and even more so to write every minute of the day and well into the night I’m rather exhausted with so much in my head but still, I greet my friends with my arms outstretched
My writing is my passion, and I don’t want to stop Another hobby I don’t need, so I don’t wish to swap I fell in love with words and rhyme many years ago but I am just an amateur, so I go with the flow
I’m somewhat absent-minded; I need to pay attention I tread very carefully and write with apprehension I’m so grateful to my readers; you mean so much to me You fill me up with courage and dismiss my apathy
Occasionally, I am lacking, and I can’t seem to share Sometimes I get stuck, and I’m pulling out my hair But with such good friends both far away and near I have so much gratitude, and I’m full of good cheer.
Apparently, I now have 600 followers and readers! WordPress failed to inform me of this ‘grand event’ on the actual day, but one of my kind readers, Devang, told me about this. I know it’s not a large number compared to many bloggers who have clocked up well over 1,000; however, it means the world to me, and I want to thank you all sincerely for supporting me in my newish journey to better health and peace of mind. It’s been a hard slog for me to get to this point and you’ve been there when times were very rough and my coping with life skills were at rock bottom.
Without you, old and new readers and followers, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now, which is a much happier space than last year. You have supported me through my troubles, been there by my side, cheering me on, and been incredibly encouraging. I am eternally grateful to you.*Round of applause 👏👏👏* for you, my wonderful friends. Each and every one of you is important and much-valued in my life.
Finally, as I often say, I’m sorry I’m so dreadfully behind in reading all your posts, partly because I’ve had my family here for a few days, and any of you who have small children in the house knows how almost impossible it is to sit down to read or write. I currently have 112 email notifications in my inbox, and it would take me a month of Sundays to get through them all. Please, forgive me If I’ve missed your recent posts. Sometimes, I get time to read and genuinely ‘like,’ but I haven’t always had time to leave a comment. I will do my best to catch up, but I apologise if I have missed some of your valuable work.
If I get time, I hope to post a short piece of fiction sometime today. I have it in draft form, so I hope to work on that a bit and my catching up of your posts, too.
Once again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the important part you play in my life. I love you all. Ellie Xxx 💖💐💝
TRIGGER WARNING – THIS IS ABOUT EATING DISORDERS (ANOREXIA)
This account is purely about my own experience of anorexia. This disease affects all sexes, not just women. It can also affect people of any age group. In my case, I was in my forties when it began. Treatment these days may well be different; I don’t know. If you are struggling with an eating disorder or suspect you may be, please seek help from your doctor or any of the helpline numbers given at the end of this post.
Anorexia isn’t about the food; it’s about control. I wanted to control my life but thought if I could control my body and weight, I’d start to feel better. How wrong I was.
It started with me cutting out fats and carbs like many people on diets. I began to lose weight and felt like I was achieving something. As I lost weight, I still wasn’t satisfied, though, convincing myself I was overweight and needed to lose just a few more pounds. I lost more weight, but I still wasn’t content. I began to develop rituals around food, such as cutting food up into tiny pieces to make them last longer or seem more and, weighing everything I ate, then totting up the calories. I stopped drinking coffee with milk and drank only black coffee and Diet Coke. Still not satisfied; eating salad wasn’t enough to control my habit. I began to weigh the lettuce, water well shaken out of it, and work out the calories in three thin slices of cucumber. The weight started to drop off me, but I couldn’t see how ill I was.
I need to make it clear that anorexia is not a choice, a fad, or a diet; it’s an extremely serious and dangerous illness, which is nearly always caused by significant trauma in childhood, as was the case with me.
More rituals developed, and the weight loss continued. I’m not going to go on to describe all those habits and routines because I DO NOT want this to read like an ‘instruction manual’ for anorexia. Suffice it to say; I ended up in the local psychiatric hospital on the eating disorders ward at a very dangerously thin weight of five and a half stone! I was confined to bed and only allowed to use the bathroom with a staff member present. It was so embarrassing.
My first meal there was presented to me two hours after I’d arrived. It was, to my horror, vegetable curry and rice followed by bread-and-butter pudding and two scoops of ice cream. It wasn’t a small portion, either. I don’t think I’d ever felt that sense of panic before. A nurse sat with me and insisted I ate every stone-cold mouthful. I cried, I sobbed, and I begged, all to no avail. I was made to eat all that food despite having terrible pain in my stomach. It seemed barbaric to me. It took me nearly three hours to force the food down. Other than that, they threatened to tube-feed me, and with my phobia of choking, I couldn’t bear the thought of that.
The eating disorders ward had strict rules. Everything was done on a reward and punishment basis. To begin with, I wasn’t allowed phone calls or visitors, not even my family, and I wasn’t allowed out of my room. Weeks passed, and as I gained weight, albeit reluctantly, I was ‘rewarded’ with a phone call to my daughter, then my son and my Mum. They were all worried sick about me and dreadfully upset that I was going through all of this at the same time, realising I was very ill and needed help. There was no way of ‘cheating,’ although some of the people there tried. We would have lost a reward if we lost weight, which was impossible with every mouthful being supervised. It was such a thoroughly miserable time. At the time, I thought it was tortuous; it certainly felt like it.
However, there are only three ways out of anorexia in my mind. One is to get better despite it being painfully hard work (but well worth it); the other is that you spend your life battling with your illness for, possibly, the rest of your years (and believe me, that’s pretty awful), or you die!! It’s as simple as that!
I began to make good progress and started to feel better physically. I was allowed to eat in the dining room with the other inpatients on our ward; I could go to activities and learn about the basic psychology of eating disorders. We were taught about CBT therapy and offered other forms of treatment once our minds had started to recover from the starvation. We were basically given another chance at life, and I was grateful for that.
Finally, after being in hospital for six whole months, I was allowed day leave, and then weekend leave etc. Eventually, I was allowed home but had to attend the day hospital every day.
I don’t think you are ever really ‘cured’ from an eating disorder, but for me, it’s like being in remission, and I never take my life or health for granted. Anorexia is an addiction as well as an illness. Like any addiction, you have to consider yourself in permanent recovery. Now, at the age of 65, I’m making the most of my time and intend to live the rest of my life without harming myself in this way. I’m happy in my life with two adult children and four gorgeous grandchildren. If anyone is reading this and recognises themselves in what I have written, please, please, seek help.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and have decided that it’s high time for you and me to part company. I’ve been carrying you around like a large basket of groceries for many years, and you’re getting too heavy for me to manage anymore, so I finally made the decision to break up with you.
You can’t do that! You can’t manage without me in your life. I’ve always been with you, and you need me; you know you do!
No! I don’t need you anymore. Whether you like it or not, it’s time for us to go our separate ways. I won’t be held back by you; you’ve had me chained to your judgements and doubts for far too long.
But, please, don’t do this to us. We can’t survive without each other.
There is no us! I can survive quite happily without you pulling me down day after day, week in, week out. I don’t want you in my life now. It’s time for pastures new. I refuse to be dragged back to the past whenever you feel morose or emotional.
But what will you do without me to remind you of all those years you were abused … those years when you didn’t tell anyone? You know you should have told, don’t you!? Why did you keep it so quiet? It’s such a massive part of you and a part of you that deserves not to be forgotten. Surely …
Now, listen here, Guilt, you’ve been reminding me of that for decades. Just stop it!! I know it wasn’t my fault – I was just a small child and too young to comprehend what was happening to me. I’m not going to feel bad about it any longer. I’ve discussed all this in my last lot of therapy. You continually pulled me down even then. I don’t know why I listened to you.
I thought you said you wanted to continue to discuss your past experiences with your new therapist when you get one. After all, why else go to see a therapist if not to deal with your past?
Look, I’ve done all that! I’ve thought it through thoroughly in the break. I don’t need to keep dragging it up from the past! Just because you want to cling to the pain and awful memories doesn’t mean I want to do that again. I’ve been there, done that, and worn the t-shirt. When I see a new therapist, it will be with a view to moving forwards, not to keep harping on about the past.
What about all those years you were an addict? You remember; when you’d get off your face with drugs and alcohol? You were hopeless without it, just like you’ll be hopeless without me. You know how worried and cross you made your family and friends. No one wanted to know you back then – only me – there was only you and me together. I never let you down. I was always there to remind you of how good I was to you, that I was the only one who stuck by your side.
My family and friends understand that I was ill back then. We’ve spoken about those times over the last few years. I was very mentally ill. They knew that, but they didn’t know what to do to help me. I had to sort myself out with help from the hospitals and doctors. And I did. And I didn’t need you lurking in my mind all day and night, trying to suck me back down. I do not want you in my life anymore! Do you hear me? Can’t you get this through your thick head? I’ve had enough of walking hand and hand with you.
But … you can’t do this to me. You can’t do this to us. I … we …. Listen, we can start again. I’ll be good to you. Honestly, I will.
Really? Seriously, Guilt?? Just go away!!
What do you mean, go away? You’ve always held me so close and told me how much you needed me. I needed you, too. I still do. You need me, too. Who will you be without me? Who would we be if we were not together? How would we live without each other? You can’t do this to me. I’ll die without you.
Look, Guilt, I’m not going to say this again. I’m sick to death of having you hanging around my neck. I don’t need you – do you get that!? You’re going whether you like it or not. You’re out. We’re over. I’m not going to feed you anymore. You can go and shrivel up in a corner and disappear. I don’t care, I do not care. Get it?
But … please, think again. You know you …
NO, GUILT!! NO! I TOLD YOU. I WON’T TELL YOU AGAIN. YOU’RE JUST A BULLY. JUST GET OUT OF HERE. BYEEEEE …
I’m suddenly so busy; I don’t know where to start I decided last week to try my hand at art Monday morning came, and I trotted off to town Got soaked on the way as the rain thundered down
The art group was crowded, taking turns with the paint and I really do not have the patience of a saint I left rather early as I didn’t want to wait with half a piece of work that I didn’t think was great
Tuesday morning is my own; perhaps time to write I’m short on ideas, so will my piece be trite? My imagination frazzled; do I really want to try, or shall I stop here and now and simply say goodbye?
Tuesday afternoon, I’m at the gardening group It gets pretty chilly; I was glad I’d taken soup But nothing’s really growing, and the flowers are dead I’ll wait till the spring and do something else instead
Wednesday night, I’m drumming; I have a brilliant time I’m really in my element and feeling quite sublime Thursday afternoons, I pick litter in the park We walk around in twos like the creatures in the Ark
Friday comes around, and I have time for myself I just cannot settle like the Elf on the Shelf* I ought to read or write, but my concentration’s poor not helped by the postman who is knocking at my door
Saturday at last, and I am seeing my best friend I hope that our relationship will never, ever end We’ll have lunch together; dip our biscuits in our tea We think so similarly, and we rarely disagree
And finally, Sunday comes, and I’m free to lie in bed I sleep too heavily and wake up with a sore head The shopping comes from Tesco; now there’s food to eat I snuck a bar of chocolate in; my happiness complete!
*Elf on the Shelf (for those who don’t know it) is a classic game that children get involved in at Christmas. There is a toy elf, and the parents/carers place it in different places around the home every night, so delighted children think the elf is moving around itself. My youngest grandchildren are sure that the elf is magic because of this!
As some of you will know, I had my last therapy session with my therapist, Chris, this afternoon. I’m not going to say it wasn’t tough because it was. We talked about what progress I’d made, even when I felt I wasn’t making any. We spoke about my poetry and whether I was going to continue writing. I am, naturally. I NEED to write – it’s the breath from my soul, and I would be lost and speechless without it. After I got home, admittedly in floods of tears, I wrote this poem to clear my mind and express my thoughts.
I’m thinking of taking a short break – not from writing, but, just for a while, from trying to keep up with all the blogs I follow (and that’s a lot) because I need some headspace to take stock of what I’m feeling, what I need and where I want to go from here. I will still be here and will, at least, try to read some blogs when I’m able to. I hope you will all understand.
Thank you so much to each of you who have been beside me and supported me through such a difficult few months. I’m eternally grateful. I’ll be back before too long.
With my love, Ellie Xx 💗🤍💗
My last session left me feeling distraught I’m not being brave like I know I ought Just before leaving, I asked for a hug The answer was no, and I felt like a mug
She did, momentarily, hold my hand Just briefly, though, as hugging was banned I thought that this was so very kind It calmed my heart and soothed my mind
I duly filled out the last questionnaire To see, on the whole, how well I’d faired I could see my progress, and more than a bit I was somewhat surprised; I have to admit
Now, I have to wait for quite some time I’ve got an awful long way to climb I won’t be with Chris, but someone new I hope I can bond with that person, too
She said it’ll be months before I’m seen I’m wondering what I can do in between I’m trying to find some way to cope without completely losing all hope
I owe it to Chris, and I owe it to me Not to turn this day into a tragedy I hope I’ll be able to continue to write It helps me to battle, and it helps me fight
I’m debating whether to take time out To let myself fully get over this bout I want to write, but less time to read Right now, I have to do what I need.
“The last time always seems sad, but it isn’t really. The end of one thing is only the beginning of another.”
My heart is still heavy, but I’m wanting to write I’ve opened my ears and sharpened my sight I’m trying my best to keep trudging along Not to do anything drastic or wrong
Spent the weekend with the kids and my son I’ve let go of the thoughts of firing the gun Thanks to my friends here for sticking by me Without all of you, I’d doubt I’d still be
I’m busy this week, which might just be good Not really up to it, but know that I should Still don’t feel able to read a lot My stomach just feels full of knots
Christmas, for me, is a lonely time But, I guess I’ll have quiet to pen a rhyme Lost my Mum on the 30th of December During the holidays, it’s tough to remember
I’ve still got an awful long way to go The process is still incredibly slow I’m dreading my therapy, with the end being near January the fourth, I’m still full of despair
Before that time comes, there’s a three-week break The thought of this makes me a physically ache With the end being nigh, and that’ll be that Somebody else will sit where I once sat
After that, I have to wait on the list My counsellor will be so sorely missed Everything is exposed and so raw Will it be like this forevermore?
Just to let you know, I’m taking things slowly with getting back to reading and commenting and am limiting myself to just a few blog posts a day for the time being. I’m missing all my regular bloggers, but am doing the best that I can. I wanted to write something today and will probably continue to do so as the days go by because it helps me to process my feelings. I’ve got a very busy few days coming up (unusual for me), so please bear with me. Thank you to all of you, my readers and regular bloggers, for having faith in me and for your kind patience.