Things I wish people knew about Eating Disorders

I come across this post about things I wish people about Eating disorders in my drafts section all hidden away, I never realised that I didn’t publish it. I tried to think of the reasons why, I guess back in December 2014, I was quite ill mentally and also psychically from my eating disorder (only I couple of months later, I started daycare). So now nearly two/three years, I thought I might share it. So here goes…

I could write so much about things I wish people knew about eating disorders from they’re not choices or that we’re doing it for attention to how every waking (and sleeping) moment is filled with thoughts about food even down to that we are hungry but can’t face that will to eat something for fear of gaining or being judged by others and ourselves.

So I’m going to talk about five things that I wish people knew about eating disorders.

  1. Eating Disorders are not a choice

One of most upsetting things someone have said to me when I was very unwell was that I was choosing to be that way. It can be so hard to express to somebody that you are not able to control your own thoughts and that voice in your head is constantly telling you all sort of things and causing you to deny yourself one of the most basic human rights… the right to eat. Although at times it was possible to make that choice to eat,  it was not possible at that time to choose to avoid the feelings of intense guilt and self-hatred that follows after eating. These sort of feelings where you just want to hide somewhere and cry, like that little space in the bedroom or that space at the bottom of the garden.

2. It’s okay to talk to me about my eating disorder and to ask questions

Although when I say this, I don’t mean by asking how much I weigh or how much I’ve eaten today or what I’ve eaten. Things like this will make me defensive, embarrassed or even ashamed of myself. It is okay to ask me how I am or if I’m finding anything challenging or if there’s anything that you can do to help but sometimes if I’m not comfortable answering I will say so but chances are it will make me feel like you care and want to support me although I may not show it. People with eating disorders can often feel very ashamed, and it is by talking and encouraging openness and honesty that we will break down the stigma surrounding them and promote recovery. However, don’t comment on my appearance. You might see me making progress, and that’s great. Whilst I might speak positively about recovery, I may still be battling my distorted body image constantly. If you have noticed I seem happier, please say so. If you think I have been more relaxed, please say so. But please don’t tell me I ‘look well’, or that I am looking ‘much healthier’. My rational brain understands that you mean well and are trying to be complimentary and supportive. My eating disordered brain will translate those comments into ‘you look fat’ or ‘you have gained weight’. This can cause both parties to feel guilty and upset. Eating disorders are about so much more than appearance, and it is by talking about the thoughts and feelings that go alongside them that we will really begin to understand them.

3. Please try to be patient.

Chances are, I will lie to you. I will be deceptive. I will tell you things are fine when they aren’t. I will start doing well, and then I won’t again. But none of these things mean I’m not trying and that I don’t care about you. Often I am hiding things because I don’t want to hurt you, and because I feel guilty for putting you through this. Please don’t give up on those who are suffering. Continue to encourage them to talk to you, and remind them that you are there no matter what stage of recovery they are at.

4. Eating Disorders are a mental illness.

There is nothing vain about having an eating disorder whether its anorexia, Bulimia or ED NOS and wanting to lose or control weight is a side effect of deep-rooted and complicated emotional difficulties. It is not about wanting to look like a celebrity or to gain attention, and I’ve found personally that I had a great deep sense of shame and did not want to draw attention to my illness which can be influenced by the fear that this stigma of vanity and narcissism will reflect badly. I have been so scared at times that people would think I was behaving in these ways to ‘gain attention’, when I had actually spent so long trying to cover them up and hide them from others. Eating disorders are incredibly dangerous, and more physically painful than is imaginable. Even after recovery, the physical side effects can last for months, years, and even be permanent. It is time that we broke through the discrimination that eating disorder sufferers experience and understand what they are really about.

5. Men get eating disorders too.

Eating disorders are so commonly thought of as a female illness. This can cause men to feel ashamed about accessing treatment, so the true figures of how many men are actually suffering from eating disorders is generally unknown. However people must learn that eating disorders do not discriminate. They can, do and always will affect people of any age, gender and race.

6. Recovery is possible, and it is worth it.

I had an eating disorder in one form or another for 12 years. I have been treated under CAMHS and adult services, and as both an inpatient and in the community. October 2015 marked the end of what I hope to be my last episode of treatment. Now this February in 2017 has marked the longest time I have been ‘in recovery’ without relapse, and I am currently the furthest into recovery that I have ever been. It is hard to fully appreciate how all-consuming, debilitating and painful eating disorders can be, and it can seem like it is impossible to get better. But it is possible, and it is worth it. There were countless times when I felt like giving up, but my life is so much fuller and richer now than it has ever been. I am immeasurably happier, and it is by far the hardest but most worthwhile thing I have ever done in my life.

I would encourage everybody to talk about eating disorders, whether you know someone who is suffering, have done so yourself, or want to spread awareness to others. I wouldn’t be where I am today without learning to talk.

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Trying to repair a 1930’s Violet Wand

Now I’m quite a fan of all things old and shiny, but also sometimes a fan of collecting old and unusual things from online auction houses much to the dismay from my wife to be. While traveling in the car I spotted a vintage Trojan Violet Wand dating back to 1930’s being sold for only £60 as a spares or repairs job. Now these devices are really well known in the BDSM scene and are also collectors items. I thought ‘why not, it be a fun project to restore and maybe sell’. Fully restored ones can go for at least £300/£400 depending on the name, the items that come with it and also how well its been restored.

On a first look, the case and the unit look really well condition, almost too well so not being a idiot,, me and a friend decided to take the power unit apart to see about the wires but also to understand the unit a bit more.

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This shows the main switch to select between the 110 volts and 240 volts, but also the main coil. The wires all need rewiring, the solder needing redoing, basicly anything that can come off or looks like it might kill someone needs redoing.

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We attached an old microwave cap to replace the old one on the unit as we didn’t trust it. After a quick power up, it started clicking but not making the wand attachment glow. The cap we replaced was rated as ‘0.18uf 2500 volts’ so quite a beast. We think either that the mircowave cap was too highly rated or the coils were broken.

So now it’s back to the interwebs to try and find a cap rated for this, replace it again, test, hope its the cap, if not its going to be a pain to recoil the main unit and then the handle.

If you know any history on this unit or the fixing of wands, get in touch.

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Being blocked…

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Over the past month I’ve been in constant battle with the 3 network in the UK about them filtering my blog because of ‘Adult’ content… But they weren’t the only ones (Vodafone, O2 and Sky) but these networks and providers quickly unblocked it after I pointed it out.

Now I’m not after website traffic or anything but it’s a point to make to them that it’s censorship of free speech but also stopping people finding figures and info about LGBT and personal mental health experiences.

Now 3 briefly unblocked my website only to only to reblock this week (as you can see from the photo).

Now this sort of thing is part of a bigger problem, the UK government is promoting filters (and making ISP’s) to prevent children and young people from seeing content that is supposed to be for over 18’s, such pornography, alcohol, smoking, pro-anorexia and hate speech.

These filters block many more websites that are not harmful to children. Sometimes innocent websites and blogs get caught up (like Pink News). I’ve also heard and seen evidence of others (sexual health, lgbt information, domestic abuse help sites ext)

Looking at https://www.blocked.org.uk, they’ve taken the top 100,000 websites (according to Alxea) and published how many sites were blocked by default. Here’s the results:

BT-Light: 0
BT-Moderate: 3852
BT-Strict: 6876
EE: 1596
O2: 4786
Plus net: 4940
Sky filter default: 0
TalkTalk Kidsafe: 7020
TalkTalk Strict: 5653
Three: 12982
VirginMedia: 5103
Vodafone: 4441

Out of all the mobile networks Three were the worst and the main ISP’S it was TalkTalk Kidsafe… Wonder how many Inccent websites were quite up?

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Living with the lies

Today I was going though some old email accounts and come across some emails from a very old blog I used to write. This was full of posts when I was at my worse in terms of my mental health and also with anorexia and listed things such as poor care, sections I was on, the move between camhs to adult services and also poems (used to be quite a poet till I gave up).

So while having a good read down memory line I saw this under a post called ‘living with the lies’

I don’t know why I do it, but I do. I have this unhealthy obsession with pretending to people that my life is trundling along with absolutely no problems and everything is fantastic when in actual fact it’s falling apart very rapidly and is being held in place by the tiniest of tiniest of threads which can come undone at any time because of the smallest thing, and today I think its happened

It got me thinking, during that time I was very ill and not at that point of asking for help so I pretended everything was okey, I still do have that obsession at times where I do say I have no problems, everything is fantastic when everything is really going wrong but over time I have improved on that, instead of all the time, I do now ask for help if I need it.

BUT

All it takes is that one trigger, that one thread to come undone and everything comes apart.

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