My physical health, emotions and eating have been chaotic since my health deteriorated in London. I had to return home early from London, my health got worse and had a couple of days where I couldn’t walk, binged for 8 days and ended up in A and E because of concerns about re-feeding syndrome, and then three days of not eating.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
I’ve reached out to a peer support eating disorder recovery group, and logged in online every day. Seeing people who are in recovery has given me so much hope. Change is very scary but hope and goals help.
Stay out of hospital
Keep enjoying photography
Complete my studies
Travel to India next April
These are all very important to me, and if I don’t change then none of them will be achievable, so these remain my focus.
When I was in an inpatient eating disorders unit a couple of years ago they had a meal plan of three meals a day and three snacks a day. It worked for me while I was in there, and for a few months afterwards.
My psychiatrist and I have decided it’s time to put this in place again now. It maintains blood sugar, because I know what I’m eating and when it makes it easier to avoid either binging or restricting. Binging is really common when food is increased after long periods of restricting. The brain sends out all kinds of chemicals to try to restore nutrition, so knowing where the next meal is coming from helps psychologically to avoid binging.
We’ve also increased my calories by 25%. It’s scary, a big leap, but I’m still way under what I need to maintain weight or build nutrition. If I want to stay out of hospital then I need this increase, and the next, and the next.
This is all so easy to say, and so scary put into practice. Today I’m going to follow the plan. I don’t know if I will tomorrow or the next day, because all any of us can live in is today. If I succeed today, then I have a better chance tomorrow.
I have developed some close and supportive friendship with my fellow OCA students, and other WordPress bloggers. I really appreciate your kindness and support. Thankyou.
Its rare that I drink alcohol but I have done today. Ive had YouTube on, listening to techno and trance through my headphones, and have caught up with a few things.
Earlier in the year I made a montage out of around 500 photoso of grafitti and street art. I wanted to make a photo video out of the photos, but never got around to it. I will publish as soon as I have permission from the group whose music I have used. They had previously given me permission to use one track, but as Ive used three I have emailed them for permission to use the additional tracks. Fingers crossed.
A few OCA students are involved in group collaboration in which we make a project, based upon an agreed theme each month. We use photography, Music, written and spoken word. Ive caught up and added a response to other members contributions.
I have also attended to online 12 step eating disorder meetings over the past two days. I cant tell you that I want to recover, but its certainly given me hope seeing people who are in recovery and enjoying life without food interfering with the quality of their lives. It’s nice to have some hope. Ill just keep attending the meetings and let nature take its course. There’s a mens meeting shortly, so I’m going to pop into that.
Today has been enjoyable and I’m pleased that I have achieved so much. It’s nice to have caught up with some things.
When my wife and I split up (many years ago) she managed to kill my weeping fig. It wasn’t deliberate, just a bit neglectful. She also managed to kill her pear tree at the same time. I have wanted one since then, but haven’t put too much effort into it. Fortunately I found one in Sainsbury’s a few ago. I then decided to buy a fruit bearing fig tree, and also couldnt resist the orange/kumquat hybrid. As I dont have a garden I will be growing the fig tree indoors. So I have bought a grow tent, and led UV lighting system. I dont intend to keep them in their for ever, 3 months for the weeping fig, and 6 months for the fruit bearing one. Just to give them a boost, and strengthen them before spring when they can return to their natural growth cycle. Its wonderful to have plants around the home again.
Michelle recently rooted a pineapple and she has inspired me to try the same with orange, lemon, cherry and also pineapple. I’m a little impatient. No roots after three days and I’m worried that they wont root. Patience Richard.
Anyhow, wishing you a happy weekend. Take care and have fun.
No Stigmas is a mental health organisation who has the aim of helping people to develop peer to peer communities, to provide mutual support to others with mental health difficulties. They also provide training so that you can support your self as a self-advocate, and be part of strong peer networks.
Anyone with mental health problems can join and registration is straightforward.
As well as a little intro that I put together they linked to a poem that I wrote last year about talking myself back from a suicide attempt to reaching out for support. It can be seen here.
We are not alone if we have the courage to reach out for support.
Last week was frightening for me. Not being able to walk, following on from returning home from London because I was sick left me feeling vulnerable and scared.
As well as having anorexia I have binge eating disorder. I had a battle in my mind last week between starving, binging or sticking to the plan. I stuck with the plan initially and then flipped into binging.
I find it hard to discuss binging because I feel both guilt and shame for doing so. Guilt for eating and shame for being disgusting and greedy (guilt is about what I have done, shame is about who I am).
So I feel ashamed. I hurt. And there is further torment. Life is not black Abdul white, one thing or another, I so wish it was. I’m desperate to stop eating, to get back into the (false) control of anorexia, I’m scared I won’t be able to stop eating. I also don’t want to stop eating, I want to binge and have the numbness that comes with the chemical high.
The shame is so intense it’s taken me a few days to decide whether to make this post. It’s easy to talk about my anorexic behaviour, even when it hurts, binge eating is a different matter.
A big thank you to Michelle from Mws R Writngs for nominating me for this award. I’m grateful for your support and the friendship that we have developed.
Choosing who to nominate is quite a challenge to be honest, because I feel that I have been shown so much kindness on WordPress and in life in general. I am also aware that many people who I could nominate do not have the time to accept the award by creating their own response. This is especially true of my peers from OCA, but their kindness, support and critique is valued immensely. So many other bloggers have also supported me with my photography and in relation to my eating disorder.
Em from From Famine To Feast has become a valuable source of support. having an eating disorder is challenging to say the least, and having support from somebody who is in eating disorder recovery is invaluable. Thank you for your kindness Em, I nominate you.
Kindness has been shown to me by so many people in a whole variety of ways over the years, and in writing this post it is nice to remember some of those people. The example that I am going to give is of a very simple and straightforward act of kindness. Kindness doesn’t need to be extravagant. A former work colleague (he didn’t know that I knew it was him) would leave a packet of sweets or fruit on a colleagues work station. He would do so when nobody could see him do it and he would leave a typed “Youve been RAK’ed” with the gift. As for me… I used to buy a pastry on a Friday morning on my way to a meeting. I would leave the change with the staff member in the bakers and ask them to use it to pay for the next person in the queue.
The guidelines for accepting the award are.
1- Tell who you nominate and why.
2= Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above.
3- Share a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.
For instance, ” I once was waiting in a drive thru line for 20 minutes. I was in a hurry but the line did not move much, it felt like. My day was getting worse by the moment. When I got up to the drive thru window, the cashier said someone had paid for my meal already. That really made my day a lot better.”
Brief:- In this first exercise, you’ll use fragments of still life images to create a combined design. Arrange a still life set-up that includes a background (preferably an ironed white or black sheet) and three distinct objects. It would be helpful if at least one object was sized at least 0.5m or you’ll be photographing everything in macro. Use either sunlight from a window or one single source of electric light to cast shadows and bring out the 3D form of the objects. Photograph around the objects, both close and wide shots, not all from the front. Capture the edges and the lines of the objects as well as defined shapes within them – for example the sound holes of a violin. Capture edges where light and shadow create a sense of depth or recess. Take pictures of the textures and colours of the objects. Think of this project as collecting impressions and perceptions of these objects and let this guide your camera. You’ll need approximately 20 well-exposed images.
The idea behind this exercise is to imaginatively combine the different photographs into a single conclusive design. Have a look at some Cubist paintings and sculpture as inspiration. Notice how one object blends into another and how different viewpoints of the same object co-exist in surprising ways. The classic example of this is Picasso’s combination of the front and profile of a face, as in Weeping Woman, which you can see on the Tate’s website. Then look at Brendan Fowler’s Spring 2011 – Fall 2012 on the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) website, which attempts similar arrangements with photography.
Weeping Woman by Picasso (1881 – 1973)
The red, green and purple outlines are marks which I have made for the purpose of annotation. The original can be seen here.
Red: – Profile view.
Green:- Front view.
The combination of the frontal and profile view are quite apparent in Weeping Woman, and this painting is evidence that art does not need to be literal for it to make sense. I have used the purple to highlight some of the triangles that Picasso has used throughout the image. They become a visual anchor and can also be found in the womans hat and coat. As part of the head they provide definition to the collar and neck, chin, and movement of the tears. Also of note are the two hands, to the left and right of the mouth. They are both of the left hand and also shown from differing perspectives.
Swinging by Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944)
This wonderful painting by Kandinsky is relevent to the brief because of how the lines and edges of the shapes fit together to produce the overall effect. I am aware how easy it is to anthropomorphise, but I can only say what I see. To me, the shapes and colours, as separate elements, combine to become a man who is smoking, sitting down with a blanket over his legs. There is a lamp both in front of and behind him, and he is thinking deeply (highlighted by the yellow triangle above his head with the stream of consciousness flowing out from this). Is this a representation of Einstein? Did their paths cross when Kandinsky was living in Germany?
Brendan Fowler (1978)
Fig. 3. Joel’s Phone on Lauro Table 1, “Looking at Richter Photo With Carol and Roberto” on Computer 2, Pots in Patty’s Window 1, Looking at Richter Photo with Carol and Roberto 1 (2010)
Fowlers photography is certainly abstract and novel, and I can see the connection between his photography and the brief. There are some lines that connect with each other, and these provide a minor similarity with the work of Kandinsky, but only slightly. I think that rather than drawing any comparisons between the work of Kandinsky and Picasso, they should be viewed as stand alone abstract photography. The photo above is one of the better ones in relation to overlapping lines, and his way of creating layers is a new idea for me to consider. The layers, which are created in the physical form, rather than in digital editing software, have a solidity and strength to them, and without the reductionism that generally happens when I or others reduce opacity in Photoshop.. Neither way is better, but it’s nice to have an alternate way of creating layers.
As in part one, I’m parking these in my digital sketchbook. These photographs have a relevance to me, and some do fit into the genre of still life, but I’m not sure if or how I would use or build upon these.
Having recently begun part 4 Experimentation: Still life, on the OCA Foundation in Photography course, I am exploring what still life means to me. Texture has always mattered to me, especially in relation to how clothing and bedding feel against my skin.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this exploration, so these photos are going into my digital sketchbook.