Archive for August, 2010

Not Just For Teens

August 29, 2010

There is a widespread belief that eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are confined solely to women in their teens.  In the popular imagination once the sufferer had left his or her teens behind his or her symptoms miraculously disappear.  Sadly, this is not always the case.

A very good friends of mine, Liza O’Neil, is a twenty five year old example of someone whose eating disorder did not cease when she reached her left her teenagers years.  After a brief period of anorexia when she was in her early teens, Liza developed bulimia.  Liza says, ‘My problems with my body began when I was about twelve and people made comments about the extra weight I was carrying.  In hindsight I realized that I was never clinically overweight just carrying a little puppy fat but I was made, as a result of the insensitivity of others, to feel as though I was elephantine.’

Liza has oscillated between anorexia and bulimia for most of her adult life. She is now on the borderline between anorexia and bulimia and is clearly deteriorating rapidly.  And there seems to be nothing we can do about it. Just stand on the sidelines and watch her decline.  And the hand with which she reached out to the medical profession for help was simply brushed aside.

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More Interiors

August 19, 2010

In the Drawing Room

August 19, 2010

Playing the piano
Venturing deeper into the wilderness
Vacant eyes that cannot see
The air was singing. The frost was stinging

Water trickled down their faces
Blood flooded from their mouths

Wordless whispers
From a revolving world of ice

They sat like a collection of statues at Madam Toussaud’s
They get their revenge. They snapped their prey in two.

Next Stop Ducking Stool

August 18, 2010

I must confess I am afraid. I went with my neighbour Nobby for our usual trip to Costa Coffee Shop. I ordered my usual mocha freshcato (primo), a drink that I am convinced contains about two hundred million calories. The only newspapers in the rack were The Daily Mail and The Express. Both had scream-out-loud headlines about benefit scroungers.  Lately, the right wing press have been getting their jollies by excoriating benefit claimants and it feels like a witch hunt.  Their efforts to whip up the masses into a frenzy of hatred against benefit claimants appear to be working if the comments section of The Daily Mail online is to be believed.  Everyone hates The Daily Express so only a couple of people have bothered commenting there.

Today, both The Mail and The Express are aiming their vitriol at those who claim incapacity benefit.  It is alleged that approximately 900,000 people have been wrongly awarded this benefit.  Note that they do not use the word ‘fraud’ but it is not so subtly implied.

Now, as I understand it, in the past few years new and stricter rules have been introduced in order to make it more difficult, and in some cases, impossible to claim incapacity benefit.  Those who claimed before this point, under the old rules, acted in good faith and cannot be said to be defrauding the system.  It would be illogical, not to mention hideously unfair, to accuse them of this.

Here’s a useful analogy: take a sports game of two halves.  If the players adhered to rules enforced in the first half which were then changed in the second half, it would be unfair to retrospectively penalise these players for failing to follow the newly introduced rules in the first half.  This is, in effect, what these two tabloid ‘newspapers’ are doing to benefit claimants.

I am becoming afraid of my own species, paralysed  by terror.

Because this feels personal.

The Prescription

August 17, 2010

(Dedicated to Dr Anthony Daniels)

The Doctor
He says to me
I wish to God
You’d go to sleep
For eternity
So he prescribes
Something to end
My troublesome
Malady

‘Take ten thousand
Temazepam and lie down
And sleep deep
For the rest
Of the century

Alternatively,
And preferably
For me, take twenty
Thousand and lie down
For a millennium or two


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