Category Archives: Health

This is about my period, full stop

Logo for the TV show True Blood, consisting of the first word in black angular letters, the second in red, on a pale grey background.Periods periods periods periods periods. Bloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.

OK, the squeamish people should have left us now.

I’m super impressed that Mad Men showed us Sally Draper’s first period, but mine was nothing like that. Instead of the bright red stain I was expecting, I got a small brown smear. I was 11, and I had no idea what it was. After worrying for a while, I told my mum that I had something weird going on in the knicker department, and she gently broke it to me that this was my period. Continue reading This is about my period, full stop

Jealous, much?

Close-up photo of two gulls hovering close to the water. One has a chunk of bread in their beak, while the other looks on, surprised and horrified. A small caption says "Damn it."Can we all just admit there are moments when we’re filled with raging, bitter, foot-stomping, fist-curling, about-to-cry jealousy? Yes, technically I’m talking about envy, but jealousy sounds so much nastier, so much more base, so much more accurate.

Recently, I started counting how many people I’m jealous of. I had to stop when I got to 40, because I’m a grown woman and that’s ridiculous. But I’ve felt so jealous of people who have things I want NEED that I’ve wanted to punch something. I’ve burst into tears. I’ve felt like I was worthless. And I feel like it’s really not OK to admit it. Continue reading Jealous, much?

This is why I’m fat*

Close up of a small, fat gold Buddha statue on a shelf, some books behind him (titles not visible). *I’m using this as a judgement-free descriptor like “brunette”, not as an insult.


Diets don’t work. I know this. But I still went on one a few years ago. It wasn’t to lose weight, which allowed me to feel superior — it was to detox from sugar in an attempt to improve my health. (I failed, which allowed me to feel inferior again.)

Continue reading This is why I’m fat*

The 500 Pitches Project and why I can’t stop trying to make it as a journalist, even if I’m deluded

Yellow typewriter with white paper sticking out of it saying "Hire me, pls" in red type, next to "x 500" in turquoise text, all on a dark grey background.As you might have heard, journalism’s in the crapper. I’m not just talking about its reputation in the wake of phone hacking and the New York Post’s irresponsible “who cares if we’re right as long as we’re first” reporting on the Boston Marathon attacks.

Turns out, during a recession, magazines and newspapers are luxury items — as are most of the brands that advertise in them. Ad rates have dropped, publications have folded, requests to write for free have soared, and even writers with years of experience are flogging their services on job-bidding sites while weeping into a vat of Value gin. Continue reading The 500 Pitches Project and why I can’t stop trying to make it as a journalist, even if I’m deluded

The avoider’s guide to life (wouldn’t be worth reading, but the caterpillar’s would)

Close up of aqua bubbles, with the word LIQUIFY in dark grey letters.When I was three or four, my mum had a minor operation and had to stay in hospital overnight. I was fuzzy on the details, scared she wouldn’t come back, and afraid to tell my dad how much I missed her in case it hurt his feelings. So I ran upstairs and squeezed myself into the space underneath my chest of drawers so I could cry without him knowing.

Continue reading The avoider’s guide to life (wouldn’t be worth reading, but the caterpillar’s would)

Something I’m doing that’s actually working(!): EFT

Close up on top of SIngin' in the Rain poster, featuring paintings of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor in yellow raincoats, carrying umbrellas. At the top it says "What a glorious feeling"

I was always dysthymic growing up. Then, in 1999, when I was 20, I really fell into an abyss and was diagnosed with clinical depression. Since then, I’ve had all kinds of therapy.

I’ve seen psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, life coaches, and NLP practitioners and done everything from hypnosis to CBT to dredging up sad memories and crying a lot. (A lot.) I’ve also tried herbs, relaxation, dietary changes, nine different anti-depressants, and acupuncture, among other things.

Continue reading Something I’m doing that’s actually working(!): EFT

I want to want to feel better (but I’m too scared to actually want to)

Close up of a black cat's face with a white duvet around it. Years ago, when my doctor thought the only thing wrong with me was a light dusting of depression, I was referred to a service provided by… the council? I’m not sure, but it was in a room above the local library, which was all the enticement I needed. So once a month, on a Monday morning, I met with an increasingly pregnant dungarees-wearing woman who tried to entice me from my cocoon of illness back into the world.

The trouble was, everything she suggested sounded too scary.

Continue reading I want to want to feel better (but I’m too scared to actually want to)

Can we be honest? (No, really. Can we?)

Xray of left side of chest, very bright in the centre, on lower part of spine.One night a few years ago, a friend called to invite me to her birthday party. She was gathering a large group of people, none of whom I knew, and going for a meal. She wanted to book a table the next day so she needed me to tell her right there, right then, if I was in.

Was I in?

Continue reading Can we be honest? (No, really. Can we?)

The horrible truth about anxiety

NoHum_anxiety Horrible truths are not advice — just stuff I’ve learned from my own experiences. Your mileage may vary.

A while ago one of my friends tweeted that she’d woken up feeling full of dread and had been anxious all day for no apparent reason. I sympathised, of course, but my initial reaction was, You mean… you don’t feel like that every day? ‘Cos I sure do.

Continue reading The horrible truth about anxiety