Thursday 31 December 2015

I'm speaking at a carers' conference in Edinburgh at the end of February

SEDIG is Scotland's charity for "supporting, connecting and informing anyone who is affected by eating disorders" and they've invited me to talk about my son Ben's recovery from anorexia at their annual carers' conference in Edinburgh on the 27th February. So I've been putting together a script over Christmas, updating the script from the talk I gave in London a couple of years ago. Things have changed since then; Ben has come on enormously, so I've cut down the "before" story with the emphasis much more heavily on Ben's recovery.

Until very recently I wouldn't have been able to give this talk because, as you may know, I found it hard to face anything to do with eating disorders; my brain would just cut off and would head somewhere deep, dark and not very nice. It would also go kind of blank; I remember someone asking me, a few months ago, about Ben's illness. I opened my mouth and nothing came out, which of course is your worst nightmare if you're going to give a talk in public.

Even when I agreed to do the Edinburgh talk I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. But as I put the script together over Christmas something struck me: it was the first time for 20 months or so that I was able to revisit our story, and think about it, without any detrimental effects. In other words I felt perfectly okay about it.

It took me a while to realise this. But when I did I suddenly realised how amazing this was!

And, unlike the last time I did a talk, which was the first time I'd ever done a talk (apart from the talk I did at my dear friend Sue's funeral) I wasn't nervous about the prospect of standing up there in front of all those people and talking.

When I did the talk in London I was virtually biting my nails up to my armpits, but once I done the talk I was so full of adrenaline that I wanted to do it again, straightaway!

At the moment the venue for the SEDIG conference hasn't been confirmed, so if you live in Scotland and you're interested in coming along, keep an eye on their website.

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