Tuesday 28 March 2017

Such rotten, bad, bad luck - the chance of a lifetime missed because of internet failure!

Initially, once he's finished his Master's Degree in Medieval History, Ben wanted to do a PhD and so he could teach at a university. But the fees are too high. However the other week he met up with his old history teacher from school for a coffee. She told him about a new scheme available at some UK independent schools where you can train to teach on the job - a bit like the Government's Teach First scheme, but at a private school (with potentially less disruptive pupils). And - excitement, excitement - the other week The Dream Job came up: the chance to train as a history teacher at his old school! Wow and super-wow!!

Thursday 23 March 2017

"I no longer have to dread the calls in the middle of the night saying she is in hospital again after another overdose"

I hope she won't mind me saying it but I am in awe of Rosie Flett's mother, Kirsten, at the selflessness she is showing at this terrible and tragic time, always with thoughts of others in mind, keen to raise awareness of the devastating effect that an eating disorder can have on a family.

Kirsten has paid the highest possible price. She has lost her much-loved and beautiful daughter. She has received the news that every parent dreads - and, despite having to face the unthinkable, Kirsten wants to do her very best to prevent this happening to other families by speaking out.

Parents of eating disorder victims - the Biggest Fear of All

As you know I'm having EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy for my Complex Post Traumatic Stress (C-PTSD). Unfortunately I've had to go private as the NHS is only permitted to offer 16 or so sessions and if you're not recovered in that time, then... well... to put it bluntly... you're out on your ear. Yesterday I came to the session with a whole raft of triggers that had occurred since the last time I was there (a fortnight before). Initially after our last session I'd felt elated and light - as if a great big thick cloud had been lifted and the sun had started to come in. I really felt that this was it: the EMDR was working - it was a miracle!

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Time to end mental health stigma

Following on from Rosie Flett's tragic death I pledged to blog here as regularly as I can to continue to raise awareness of eating disorders and mental health. To reinforce this pledge I 'made it public', if you like, on the Department of Health, Lottery and Comic Relief funded Time To Change website which is building a wall of pledges from people committed to ending mental health stigma. (If you haven't done so already, can I suggest that you make a pledge of some sort too?)

Friday 17 March 2017

A heartbreakingly powerful message about mental health

I never met Rosie, but I did meet her mother - at an eating disorders conference in London where I was giving a talk a couple of years back. I first 'met' Rosie's mother through the Around The Dinner Table Forum (for parents of young people with eating disorders) when I joined in March 2010. She was one of the first UK mums that rushed in to offer support and show that other parents were going through what we were going through as 'newbies' in the world of parenting a young person with an eating disorder. It was only later that I learned of her own struggles with ill health and other problems while battling to get her beautiful daughter successfully treated for her eating disorder.

Sunday 5 March 2017

Can I make a request please? Can anyone who has bought my book and found it helpful please post a review on Amazon?

I don't make a fortune from my books on eating disorders, the most important of which is the account of our story: Please eat...: A mother's struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia which was published in 2013. In fact when you take into account the number of books I've given away for free and any royalties I give to charity, I barely break even. So...

The truth about what it's like to live with an eating disorder like anorexia

It's the end of Eating Disorders Awareness Week and earlier in the week one of my friend's daughters courageously wrote about what it's really like to live with an eating disorder like anorexia. I have her permission to share it with you below. Meanwhile I would like to thank this brave young woman for speaking out about something that was obviously very difficult for her to put into words, but she has done it admirably: