Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas: The Good, The Bad and The... Miracle...

Every year I am struck by the potential that Christmas has for being, in Dickens' words, the very "best of times and the worst of times". 
Whilst my natural inner cynic appreciates the odd bah humbug (and my mind's eye smiles affectionately as it casts over little blueprints of those I recall as I write), I cannot help but to be somehow drawn by the magic and sparkle that fans of Christmas sprinkle so liberally around the Western world.
As the festive season unravels, the dreariness of Winter is peeled further and further back as twinkling warmth unfolds and rests over the all too familiar landscapes in our lives. 
Strings of  lights glow warm on trees and houses, and people nod more; smile more; allow more.
Displays hark back to richly coloured illustrations of rosy cheeked, Victorian children gathered around candlelit fir trees.
And the world is in soft focus, with a gentle sepia overlay.

that is, 
you turn on the news to hear about more bombs, more earthquakes, more famine, more drought, more human suffering than can be held in one heart.
And that's just the stuff on the radio.
Then there are all those that you know who are facing their first, second, third (and on..) Christmas without loved ones; grief gnawing away at brave faces, determined to make it bearable.
There are the many (so, so many) for whom the contrast of the magical Christmas atmosphere only serves to bring the agony of their own personal pain into unbearably sharp focus. Grief made more raw, bitterness more  acid, longing more weighty, loneliness more solitary, and heavy sadness more piercing.
I don't want to be a party pooper... I can actually be the life and soul of one given half a chance, but perhaps because I've been there myself, I can't help but feel like writing a miserable letter to Slade as the line "everybody's having fun" streams from the radio 

And then there is the real meaning of it all.
Which we miss, so easily... Lost amid the bright gold curling ribbon and the strewn wrapping and the glossy metallic bows and gift tags. 
How did we manage to turn it into something so loud that it can drown the cry of a newborn?

If you are the sort who believes in the miracle of Christmas, as am I, you'll probably agree that sometimes it's hard to remember that all the gifts and the glitz aren't really a celebration of US at all.
It's really all about the fact that a child was given to the world. Divine, and yet human.
No. I can't get my head round it either.

Today is a hard day for anorexics too. Food and drink dictate the day.

This year I asked God for a miracle for Christmas.
Or should I say, ANOTHER miracle.
I asked him to take the illness away.

Miracles do happen.
There is much evidence to show that they have always happened.
Without wanting to sound ham, I do believe. 
I will wait. 

Wishing anyone who passes here a merry Christmas, full of the warmth of meaning.
And if you are one of the struggling, I wish you peace and hope you can somehow take heart from the fact that it's a couple of days out of so many. And they are more painful, so much more. But you will survive them and the rawness will be soothed. I promise.
Take heart.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

It's twins...

Possibly because of Belgium and ridiculous EU rulings about the shapes and sizes of fruit and veg... Siamese tomatoes are in short supply...

... so it was worth a photo


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

It's My Party...

... and I'll cry if I want to.

Okay so No Party and No Tears, but it IS my birthday...
...and whilst it's been nice in many, many ways, I've struggled to keep my smile in place. 
On two unguarded occasions  it slid off my chin, provoking the observation that I looked sad.
It's important to me that they don't think I'm sad today. 
The pain is more painful for those who watch.

My weight moved up by point seven of a kilo last week. 
I can't begin to describe the misery that this small gain has caused, or the battle which has ensued.
Yet, I know I have to kill this Anorexia.
I know it even as I skip manically; as I push my body up on breaking arms; as I reach a breathless forty on my knee - to - elbow jumps, and as I crunch unforgiven coccyx on the hard floor.
I know it as I push each coveted mouthful past guarded lips, willing myself to swallow, to allow, to stay.
Each grind of my teeth, a perfectly synchronised nod and shake. 
A simultaneous, stereophonic yes and no.

In all my wildest nightmares, I never once imagined that my birthday this year would be spent trying to claw my way out of Anorexia.

I hope against all hope that next year, the narrative will be very different.