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Wednesday 28 August 2013

Short and Sharp

I am pretty good at dishing out advice and really crap at taking it.  I guess being one of life's givers has its downsides.  However, with a limited time left, I am beginning to learn to put myself and my needs, as well as that of the family, to the forefront and am managing to deal with the consequential guilt.  I am learning to say "Not Just Now" to people.  I am learning that spending time with Em in H&M is bearable - is it just me that hates the smell of all those cheap clothes? - and stopping making plans for every day of the week is actually good self-care.

Self-care is very important.  You can't look after other people if you are not in a good place yourself.  In my case, this is particularly ironic, as I am in a terrible physical place but still feel the need to try and help other people.  It's just my nature.  My brain soothes itself by taking on other people's stuff and ignoring my own.  So I am trying to be less of a "sympathetic" ear and trying to take less of the other people's "need to see you" stuff.  It is hard.

However, sometimes I just can't help myself.

Jen's blog and the blog about Nelly yesterday have brought forth a flurry of new Twitter followers (including people from NHS Trusts and mental health workers) for both me and Feasttidbits, lots of comments from other parents who have had similar difficulties with this particular CAMHS team and horror stories from other parts of the country and other parts of the world, where similar health systems are in place. These are not just stories about eating disorders but, local to us, stories about children of 12, with high anxiety, suicidal, self-harming, depressed, being told to "visualise" all the bad stuff in a ball and then "throw it away".  Er.  Right.  That's obviously evidence based treatment.....

So instead of reflecting on the delights of encroaching autumn, I am immersing myself in how to get hold of copies of the reports and reviews in Scotland, other UK Health Trusts, NSW and Melbourne.  Why?  Because it matters.

Sometimes it just much easier to deal with these things on-line, as I can walk away, make a cup of tea, have a fag and a pee and come back to it, without offending anyone or anyone feeling the need to follow me round, talking when I am doing this.  (And, yes, I have had someone standing outside the loo door, still talking, whilst I am having a pee....)

I know this sounds ungrateful and selfish.  I know people, in the main, want to be supportive.  I know I should be happy that people love me and want to spend time with me.  As you can see, wracked with guilt....

Right now, my brother is providing the perfect type of support...


  1. You are NOT ungrateful and selfish!! I don't really know you, only in the virtual world, but my god... you come across as one of the world's LEAST selfish person I know!!! And I'm incredibly grateful to you for publishing my blog to help my daughter, and others in Sussex under the same team.

    The work you do is fantastic, and yes it is important to do what we can to improve the awareness and treatment of EDs. BUT you and your family are important too! I'm glad you don't feel guilty (but suspect the fact that you wrote that means you are, just a teeny bit?).

    You deserve to have a pee in peace... :)


  2. It's much better to put this time for your own self-care and devote to your loved ones.

    You've already helped so many others

    So, for now - take care of YOU and your dear family. Enjoy the time with them - even if it's shopping at H & M

  3. I absolutely agree with everyone above!