Bullies: of mirrors and men

  • Published: 08 December 2014
Bear with me, please? I’m going to play blog-Rummikub here. That means I have a couple of rants happening internally and I need to lay out the strands and pull them together at the end so that I don’t leave you thinking: Aw, shame, she lost it!  Actually, I wanted to talk to you about my mirrors, and maybe they will sneak in anyway but let’s start with this:

Taking Me Seriously: I'm a WUSS!!!

  • Published: 29 November 2014
I had an absolutely horrible dream last night. No, I am not into dream-interpretation and symbols and all that sort of thing so don’t worry. But last night’s dream illustrates so beautifully how our minds work. Or do we want to call it work when it goes into a spin and turns us into a whimpering blob of stupid. Me, not us then, if you prefer not to be negative about yourself. I don’t really mind because I am also convinced of my positive aspects. It is just the weird way life and I combine. That means that cause and effect become entangled and as I am more inclined to throw the knot away than to untangle it I am not going to untangle anything here. I am just saying: WHAT?!

A Beautiful Issue

  • Published: 25 October 2014
We have an issue here. I hear you think ‘uhm, Mel, if we didn´t have issues we probably wouldn´t be reading your blog’, right? Yet I need to talk about an article I read on the recent Jennifer Lawson comment. That lady just created a huge outcry because she labelled Celiac Disease as ‘a cool new Eating Disorder’.  Short reaction: Jennifer Lawson shouldn’t talk about things she doesn’t know much about.
And she has really pushed our buttons because we all know just how uncool Eating Disorders are, don’t we? I don’t have to tell you, or your loved ones, or all the health care professionals and the volunteers helping us, just how not cool it is to have an Eating Disorder.
But what started me on this rant is the fact that, in a very well-written article, a journalist wrote: “All bodies are beautiful bodies. Whether they’re tall, short, skinny, fat, have tattoos, whatever”. And I thought: wait a minute. Here we have that word again: beautiful. What does it actually MEAN?It has to be one of the most overworked words in the dictionary: EVERYTHING is beautiful: sunrise, sunset; Summer and Winter, Spring and Fall, young and old. Wrinkles, smooth skin, Black is beautiful, Big is beautiful and if being big is beautiful we have to call Little People beautiful too; I can go on forever because beautiful has lost all distinction We are now all, officially, beautiful.
Car, road, trees and sky, ALL BEEoootiful!
One day I saw the folds of my hanging thighs (during a half-dressed yoga session) as beautiful: you would have been grossed out. My husband says I am the most beautiful woman in the world (awww…). Sophia Loren I am not.
But really, if everything IS beautiful, why are we striving to be beautiful? Surely we don’t need to put any energy into being something we already are? (Okay, we have just put billions of dollars worth of business on the junk pile) . We are so beautiful that we don’t need makeup, personal hygiene products and that Tattoo you were planning on? Forget it: how can you improve on what is already perfect, right?
So what is beauty? We have devalued the word to the extent that words, things, beings, movements and you and I are all beautiful. But we have done something much worse, because every time we say something is beautiful, in the back of our minds, we are inferring that something else isn’t beautiful, And that is where it all goes pear-shaped. Because despite all our good intentions: when you tell someone they are beautiful, either you’re saying, yeah, 'well, you and that rock are very similar' or you are mortally insulting someone who is completely different to the beauty you are communicating with .
Recently, my oldest friend in Holland and I spent a day at the spa. As she stepped into the Jacuzzi I gasped: Gosh, you are beautiful! Some might wonder: she has a weight problem, short hair and is nearly 47. According to the magazines, like me, no Sophia Loren. But her beauty is incandescent because she has changed her life around and she has discovered kindness and her face shines and those eyes? Wow… That, my dears, is beauty.
This blog was first published on a site called There is beauty in Recovery. Pretty vague, really. Abstract. Virtual. Some people see it, some don’t. How much beauty is to be found in recovery when some people have seen it as a road that is so rocky they regularly stumble (we’re not going to mention my crackers and almond paste last night). But the beauty of it is that this kind of beauty is the only beauty worthy of note: people discovering the beauty of recovery, of kindness, of love. Pretty vague, abstract…
And I realised something: I am sooo sick and tired of being beautiful! Or trying to be beautiful. Or people telling me I am beautiful. I don’t want to be beautiful any more. I want to be clever or dumb, old or young (ain’t gonna happen), funny or sad, inspiring or boring. I want to be loved or hated, 
I am not a sunset or an Autumnal tree: as of now, I am officially declining to be beautiful.

The Rocky Road to Recovery...

  • Published: 03 November 2014
Recovery means you have something that is (mostly, we think), bad. Recovery is very often used as a call to arms: ”fight the good fight and recover!” we are urged. And then we have to suffer and we are pitiful and worthy of sympathy. You can hear I’ve been there done that, can’t you? Yeah, I had an alcohol addiction (oops, I have it) and fought the good fight. And it was hard but actually, not so hard. Socially it’s a pain and sometimes you end up telling people to take their ‘just one teeny glass of wine’ and do something unusual with it.  In the main, however it has been very doable. I might drool when my husband walks past with a whisky but since 1st April 2004 I have been clean. Hugely proud of it, as you will also have noticed.