We need to talk about suicide

On Sunday, a friend and I went to our first jump race meeting of the season. It was the perfect day for it: cool, a bit foggy, dry. We got there slightly late and just made the third race. I’d picked my horse, Sgt. Reckless, but there was something weird going on.

The ground, after two days of solid rain, was shitty, and horses were being pulled from the race left, right and centre. Place betting was abandoned: money was on for the win, or not at all. I’m cautious, so I don’t usually bet that way, but with my original choice no longer an option I stuck some cash on the favourite and hoped I’d make my stake back, at least.

It was pretty clear from early on that I wasn’t going to win, but hey, that’s life. And then, at the last, the horse that was trailing well behind the rest fell, badly – front legs collapsing, body crumpling in on top. I looked away. I can’t bear it when the horses get hurt. I saw them put the screens round on the video and yeah, I got a bit tearful. I really, really hate it when that happens.

Five long, long minutes passed. On the other side of the course, the fancy side, applause broke out. The horse staggered to its feet – just winded, not hurt. I cried more – I’m far from an animal lover but fuck, I’m fond of horses.

Someone explained to me, later in the week, that animals are really bad at handling pain and trauma. If a human breaks an arm or a leg, you put it in plaster and wait for it to heal. The human might be in shock, but they recover from that shock pretty easily. Animals don’t – if an animal goes into shock, it’s hard to save it.

So yeah, we’re resilient. And because we’re resilient, and we think we can cheat death, to an extent, we’re fucking terrified of it. Later the same day, I said, in passing, something along the lines of ‘And if that happens, I may as well top myself.’ I wasn’t being serious. My friend stared long and hard at the cigarette between her fingers. Long enough for the ash to tumble to the ground. ‘I wish you wouldn’t joke about killing yourself,’ she said, quietly.

We’re getting better at being open about depression and anxiety. We’re still fucking awful at talking about suicide. I know it’s not easy – I’d love to say that when friends of mine have been depressed that I’ve been there for them unconditionally, but I know that that’s not true. Because being there for someone with serious mental health issues is really bloody hard.

When I’m depressed, the last thing I want is for everything to become a huge deal. When I mentioned to a real life friend that I was planning to write this post, she asked why I couldn’t talk to her about it instead. She probably wouldn’t be able to give me a response there and then, she said – she’d need time to reflect and give a measured response. Which is great. That is undeniably being a great friend.

But to me, it’s like the ill-fated Samaritans’ Radar. It’s too much. I don’t want my every word on the subject noted and appraised for the likelihood that I’m a risk to myself. When I mentioned the suicide conversation to my therapist yesterday I saw her shuffle her notes, no doubt checking she had my GP’s details – something you have to hand over at the beginning of a course of therapy in case things reach that point. When I mentioned writing this to the boy, he too wasn’t sure it was a great idea.

When I google suicidal ideation (interestingly, people who admit to thinking about suicide aren’t necessarily high risk, but equally, it doesn’t mean that they’re not, as urban myth sometimes maintains) I love that the first thing that pops up is ‘Need help? In the United Kingdom, call 08457 90 90 90.’ That’s exactly where I do want the Samaritans – there if I need them, but not muscling in to find out if I do. I never found out what the key words for the radar were, but my Twitter followers aren’t friends, I don’t want them alerting every time I let off steam. I want to be able to use words like depressionanxiety, suicide, desperate and can’t do this anymore without worrying about what will happen if I do.

Without in any way wishing to suggest that anyone who says they feel suicidal means anything other than that, I think linguistically we don’t have the words to express the desperation associated with depression. I can’t carry on/do this anymore/keep going or I can’t face another day sound very, very much like the words of someone who’s contemplating ending things. They might be, but equally, they might not – there’s just no other easy way to express to people just how shit things feel.

I’m not suicidal at the moment. I know that because in my lowest moments my bed has more appeal than the river, or the railway line. I want to sleep, for a long time. I don’t want to die. But I can’t keep tramping down the desperation that bubbles up periodically inside me – I want to be able to tweet about freely. If people unfollow me, whether because it triggers them or because they’re not interested, that’s fine, but talking about it cannot be taboo.

In therapy for the last couple of weeks, the same theme keeps cropping up. ‘It’s ok to be angry,’ the therapist says, ‘It’s ok to feel hurt. And it’s hard not to lash out when you’re hurting.’ I cry, a lot. ‘I’m so, so sick of hurting the people I love, though,’ I say. ‘I’m the one who’s sick, why do I have to put them through it, too?’ I can’t do it – I can no longer be honest about how low I am with my parents, because I don’t want to see them crumble. Ditto for my friends. My sister. Twitter is a safe space to give voice to the worst of my feelings, to stop them drowning me, and if we accept that it can be helpful for people to use it that way maybe the dialogue will eventually be more helpful for everybody.

I hope so, anyway.

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Hell is other people

Another day, another helpful article on the top 10 things you can do to be happier. First things first: I don’t begrudge people sharing this stuff. If it helps you, great – and often there are one or two things in any such list that have worked for me personally. Clinical depression is unlikely to be solved by healthy eating, sunshine and exercise alone, but those things are all beneficial.

There’s actually only one point on the list that I didn’t think was universally true:

2. Connect with people

Our relationships with other people are the most important thing for our happiness. People with strong relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Our close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self-worth. Our broader social networks bring a sense of belonging. So it’s vital that we take action to strengthen our relationships and make new connections.

Again, if I’d written this a while back, I’d have taken a much harder line. But I’m trying to be less defensive in general. Essentially, I don’t think that when I’m low other people are always beneficial – often I hit rock bottom precisely because I’ve over socialised and I’ve burnt myself out. When I’m in the full grip of constant panic attacks I have nothing to offer socially: socialising isn’t a distraction because I can’t focus on what the other person/people are saying: I need time to re-centre myself, steady my breathing and be present in the moment again. I can’t do that when there are people demanding my attention. But what was interesting was that when I voiced concern about the above on Twitter, a decent number of people replied saying ‘Me too.’

So, here are five points summarising my take on depression/anxiety and social interaction:

1. Not everyone finds socialising easy

Presumably the above means that on average ‘people with strong relationships are happier, healthier and live longer.’ Or perhaps they all are. How do you measure strong relationships anyway? Isn’t that pretty subjective? Either way, this isn’t quite as simple as it looks. Some people live miles from their family, others have problems making friends. I think all of us sit somewhere on the autism spectrum, and for those of us who are worried about that, or worried that they don’t have enough friends, or a partner, or are just plain lonely, being told to spend more time in other people’s company is yet another trigger. Introverts like me, who’ve spent months in therapy battling an inner belief that somehow it’s better to be extrovert, don’t respond well to the prescriptive ‘It’s always best to be around people’ tone of the above: sometimes it is; sometimes you do need space. If you can, try and learn which of the two you need more at any given time.

2. It’s normal that people want you to socialise

It’s hard to recognise it when you’re in the depths of despair, but the people who care about you just want you to get better. They also worry that you’re a risk to yourself, especially if their understanding of depression is limited. It’s natural then that they want you to be around other people: those people can keep an eye on you and make sure you’re not drinking too much/self harming/a danger to yourself. What they don’t always understand is that introverted depressives need that space for proper recovery: being around other people might be a distraction, but it’s an exhausting one and it doesn’t leave me with any resource to care for myself on a more basic level. If you’re worried about someone who’s depressed, check in with them, but respect their boundaries. If you’re depressed, check in with the people who care about you when you can – it means a lot to them.

3. Socialising in the age of social media is fucking hard work

One of the things that puts me off socialising is how flaky people are. The numbers for my thirtieth halved in the weeks running up to it – the only comfort is that I see it happening to other people too, so I guess it’s normal these days. Increasingly I only make plans with friends who I know are reliable – yes, it means the pool of people in my life has shrunk, but the others were contributing more to my anxiety than they were to anything positive. On a similar note, learn if you can to be honest with people about where you’re at: I have friends who I don’t want to cut out of my life completely, but who I just can’t cope with when I’m at my lowest ebb. I still need to learn to be honest with them about that ‘I can’t see you right now, but it’s nothing you’ve done, it’s just where my head’s at,’ rather than the cowardly and upsetting option that I tend to plump for at the moment: ceasing contact for large chunks of time with zero explanation.

4. The social interaction you want won’t necessarily be the social interaction you get

I know what kind of socialising boosts my mood – tea or a glass of wine with a trusted friend; creative activities like baking, writing or craft – more so with strangers than with my friends. I know what kind of socialising kills my mood – big groups of people in the pub, socialising that’s centred entirely around alcohol, house parties where I don’t know many people. Small talk…

The problem is that, in the UK at least, most people’s social lives are dominated by the latter, whether it be drinks with colleagues, weddings, or just a Saturday night out in town. There are many reasons for this, ranging from expense to geography to plain old following the status quo. Probably the most useful thing I’ve learnt in recent years is that it’s ok to turn that stuff down if it’s really not working for you – just make sure you arrange stuff that does work for you with people who make you feel safe, instead.

5. Try not to cut yourself off completely

Linked to the last point, chances are that even if you’re a fully-fledged introvert, you need some level of interaction to function healthily. I know now that I like to be around people, even if I’m not interacting with them – so it’s better for me to go and read in my local Starbuck’s than it is to sit and do it at home. Likewise, last time I had a bad break up, I went home to my parents and returned pretty much to my teenage state for a couple of days: they were around, providing background noise, someone to talk to if I wanted it and most importantly of all, affection, but they didn’t expect anything of me, and if I wanted to sit in my bedroom, listen to music and cry, they let me. I felt better so much quicker than I have done on occasions where I’ve withdrawn completely.

The flip side of this is that I still believe it’s a great idea to learn to be at ease with your own company: at home, in bars, in restaurants, overseas. I’ve lost that, temporarily, and it’s gutting to me, because it’s such a large chunk of what I recognise as me. There’s nothing wrong with doing things alone: last year I travelled alone to New York, where I was meeting friends. In the immigration queue at JFK I started chatting to a woman who was on her own. She’d flown to New York to celebrate her 40th on her own and you know what? I didn’t know why she was alone, whether by choice or circumstance, but I honestly didn’t feel sorry for her. I thought she was brave and admirable for doing what she wanted to do and not needing another person there to do it with her.

Relationships with other people are great, complete isolation is bad. Of those two things I am pretty certain. But dear media, if you’re reading, let’s see a bit of balance around the way we talk about happiness and social interaction. It’s a game of quality, not quantity, and all that really matters is that you work out what works best for you.

I kissed a Scot (and I liked it)

She wasn’t even a friend.

It was my parents who said I had to go – she was the daughter of one of my mum’s friends, and the family had moved to Aberdeen five years earlier.

I flew from London to Aberdeen on the worst flight I’ve ever taken. This was long before the days of budget airlines and fairly large planes on domestic routes – there were propellors and as we approached the runway at Aberdeen we had to abandon the first attempt at landing because the wind was so strong one wing looked as if it was about to touch the ground.

I was wearing court shoes I could barely walk in. I don’t remember the dress. I didn’t know anyone apart from L, her sisters and her parents.

I was 17 and I’d never been kissed.

Looking back, I think hanging out by the bar was the equivalent of hanging out in the kitchen at grown up parties. Most people were dancing, or gathered around the buffet table. I was perched on a stool, knocking back Smirnoff Ice after Smirnoff Ice.

And there was a boy sat next to me.

I can’t really recall what he looked like. He was skinny, I think, tall, and he wore glasses. We talked about what we hoped to study at uni.

The kissing too, is a bit of a blur. He leaned towards me and we snogged for a few minutes. When I surfaced, L’s mum was staring at me with barely disguised horror. She always was a bit of a judgemental cow.

The boy took my number. L wasn’t impressed, when she found out.

‘He’s a geek, ‘ she said.

Maybe. I still wish he’d texted though.

Squick

If you talk about something enough, people start to think you actually know something about it. Which, of course, is not true. I could talk at length about the geography of Europe or the different species of animals in the Lion King, but actually, I’m pretty ill-informed on both.

The same is true of sex. I’ve had much less than most of the friends I talk about it with, so it’s strange that they nonetheless sometimes come to me for advice. I wonder occasionally if it’s because I’ve somehow cast myself I the role of big sister – at uni I was one of only a couple of girls on my corridor who took a gap year, so suddenly I went from being the youngest in my year group to being the oldest. Not that that meant more mature. Who set fire to the toaster at 3am and ended up greeting the fire brigade? Yep, that was me.

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Unforeseen consequences

I think I’ve said in a previous post that I would hate it if the boy blogged about me the way I do about him. I’m pretty uncomfortable with anything that forces me to face up to the reality of the way I really come across to the world – whether that’s video footage, bad photos or overhearing what other people say about me. I daydream all the time, and the version of myself that’s in my head is a far softer, funnier, slimmer version of me than the flesh and blood reality.

But then, why would he blog about me? I’m not the only girl in his life, and his blog isn’t usually in quite the same vein as mine – it’s rare for him to write about specific people. Plus, I doubt my antics are blog-worthy – have you seen how few times I’ve actually blogged about sex since I set this up?! In fact, I tend to believe that he doesn’t really think about me at all in between the occasional evenings when we see each other.

That was perhaps an error. After all, I knew he was reading what I wrote. But: there were two things I never really considered when I set this up. The first was that the few people I mentioned it to might actually start to read it on a fairly regular basis. I only realised this when friend with the obnoxious ex-fling texted me out of the blue: ‘I read your blog post.’ 

Ah, that brings me back to what I said before. If I’d hate other people writing about me, why the hell should I expect to get away with writing about them, especially without their permission? She was upset that I’d blogged about being pissed off about her reaction to a particularly unfunny comment, rather than telling her how I felt. 

I tried to explain to her that I didn’t blog about it because it was a massive deal, or an unforgivable error on her part – I blogged about it because it was bothering me at the time, and because I thought there was a wider lesson to take from it. It was a snapshot of my feelings at a particular time, but now it’s consigned to a list of ‘Earlier Posts,’ it can be easy to overlook the fact that I’m over it by now.

Which brings me to the second thing I didn’t realise. I sort of overlooked the fact that, if you blog on a regular basis, not only about sex, but also about your emotions, likes and dislikes, it’s not that difficult for someone to get a pretty good sense of how you see the world. I’m not sure how this happened: maybe I didn’t think anyone would come back and read more than one post, or maybe I didn’t think that I’d be quite as open and honest as I have been, but anyway, that’s what’s happened, and people, the boy included, have been taking what I write here seriously.

I like to tell him he doesn’t care about me, as often as I possibly can. I like things that reinforce my view of myself, and that’s one of them. But then the other day he sent me an email, outlining the reasons why he does care, and also what he’s learnt by reading the blog, and fuck, was it an accurate character study. It turns out that it isn’t just uncomfortable to read about yourself on a blog.

There’s something disconcerting about someone getting it like that. Firstly, it makes you realise that, even if you don’t think you express your feelings particularly well in writing, you might be surprised at how vivid a picture of yourself and your relationship you’re painting. Secondly, it forced me to reassess my view of him: it’s harder to write someone off as an uncaring git when actually, they’ve been watching and assessing quietly all along. 

I can’t help but be reminded of the bit at the end of Bridget Jones, when Mark Darcy finds her diary, and all the nasty stuff she’s written about him. What was true when she wrote it has huge destructive potential at a later date. I don’t draft my blog posts, nor to I wait for my emotions to settle before I publish them. I often find it easier to write about the bad stuff than the good. Somewhere down the line it’ll probably fuck up my relationship all over again, and I’ll wish I’d never told him about the damn thing. Right now though, I’m glad I was honest about it.

Going AWOL

I’ve been thinking, since the post I wrote about depression, about long- and short-term happiness, both of which I’ve blogged about before, and which you should prioritise at any given moment. The depression thing has taken off since I last wrote – I’m now weepy all of the time, and the thought of using this blog to write about sex, love, boys, or anything that’s fun seems completely out of reach.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with a friend. I cried; she fed me milky tea and tried to make me feel better. Actually, she was full of great advice: find a new GP, one who understands mental illness, make sure they’re near work, so you can go often, and make sure you always see that doctor, not whoever happens to be available. With their help, try different anti-depressants, until you find the ones that work, both in terms of maximum mental health benefits and minimal side effects. Be kind to yourself. (I keep saying that, right?’)

Those are the things that I know will help me: but I also think it would help to step aside from the long-term goals for a bit and focus on creating a life which is happy and healthy, and where I make the most of the people around me and what they can offer.

It seems that inadvertently in my blog posts I’ve been putting across the message that what I definitely want from life is children with a long-term partner. In reality, I think that yes, that’s possibly what I want, but not definitely – right now I value my space and solitude way too much to want a long-term partner in my life. Plus, even if I do decide that’s what I want, it doesn’t have to happen by 30 – that’s just society’s fucked-up view of the timeline to which women should live their lives.

One of the things I do want to do this year is take back control of my life – one of my worst habits is looking at a diary that contains free weekends and either booking something in for all of them, or hyperventilating. As a result, last year I missed a shitload of stuff I would have loved to have done because I’d put stuff in place just to stop the weekends being empty – but an empty weekend isn’t going to kill me.

The other thing I desperately need to stop doing is sabotaging my relationships – questioning things; starting arguments; being negative – just because, as a therapist once told me, when those things do inevitably lead to the relationship breaking down, yes I get the satisfaction of proving to myself that my deeply-held belief – that I’m completely unlovable – is correct, but that satisfaction is pretty hollow compared to what I’ve given up in the process.

So, starting from now I’m going to stop sabotaging my life – I actually can’t remember the last time I went out and got drunk with a big group of people, but I’m going to stop feeling guilty for not doing it. I’ll see friends when I want to, and give myself peace and quiet when I need it. I’ll spend more time doing the things I love, like reading and writing, WI meetings and craft workshops, even if those activities are predominantly female and aren’t going to help me meet a man (thanks mum!). I’d like to keep having fun with the boy and not destroy the time we do have together by over-thinking the future – that one though is slightly less in my control at the moment.

So, what does that mean for the blog? Honestly, I’m not sure. Right now, I’m so low that I feel like every post is at risk of being a rehash of this one – and that’s the kind of writing that’s best kept out of the public domain, due to the fact it’ll end up boring everybody stupid.

Alison Tyler has kindly agreed to let me review her new novel, The Delicious Torment, on February 2nd, as part of her blog tour, so I’ll be back for that. Until then, I think posts might be somewhat more infrequent than they’ve been thus far. We’ll see, I guess.

Thanks for reading up till now x

It’s ok to be happy with a calm life

Writing about depression consistently loses me Twitter followers. I don’t care – the ‘of sorts’ part of my blog name was always designed to allow me to write about other things that are important to me, and that’s exactly what I plan to do in this post. I wrote a shorter post on this earlier, but I’ve since deleted it, because I have so much more I want to say on the subject. If you don’t like it, go right ahead and unfollow.

I hate New Year, and this year was no different. I find the pressure of statements like ‘2014 is going to be so much better than last year’ almost unbearable, especially because depression always seems to catch up with me in the weeks after Christmas. This year, I should have known it was on its way. A few days after Christmas I was in a restaurant with my parents. They made a slightly critical comment and I burst into tears. The weepiness lasted the rest of the evening.

My parents are not great in this respect: they tell me repeatedly that I’m not actually depressed because my depression is always triggered by specific, upsetting events. There’s some truth in this – it often is – but part of the reason they think that is because often when I’m low I avoid telling them, partly because I know they don’t really get it. 

What really upsets me though, is knowing that depressive episodes are almost always triggered by people I care about. Sometimes it’s my friends, more often it’s the boys in my life. A couple of years back, I was pretty involved in a complicated situation with a depressed male friend and ironically, as he recovered, I succumbed to it more and more. He ended up offering to pay for me to have therapy, thinking I was resisting it because I couldn’t afford it. Nothing could have been further from the truth: I was resisting it because I couldn’t handle the stigma that came with being depressed. He was lucky I refused his offer though: to date it would have cost him more than £2k in therapy sessions.

I’m slightly more comfortable with the stigma surrounding mental illness now (good therapy will do that), but less comfortable with the way it’s treated. Therapy is risky – I did have a great therapist, but when I moved halfway across the country I had to find a new one, and I’m pretty sure that in the six sessions I saw her for she did way more harm than good. 

Anti-depressants make me even more antsy. I take them, on and off, but as soon as I start to feel better, I stop. This is a pretty irresponsible thing to do: they’re known to have side-effects, including mood swings, as part of the come down, which is why you’re supposed to reduce the dosage slowly and under a doctor’s supervision. Sheer bloody-mindedness means I never do: as soon as the depression subsides I get resentful about reliance on drugs to control my emotions, bitter about the fact that my emotional range is so curtailed and really, really fucked-off about the weight I inevitably gain when I’m taking them. And so I stop, just like that. And just as day follows night, several weeks later I’ll have a day just like today, where I get up, shower, start to cry, and have to go back to bed because everything else feels like too much of a struggle. Today, I thought I might make gingerbread. Then I thought of the mess it will inevitably make and couldn’t face it. The same goes for cooking meals. Drying my hair is too much effort. Watching TV gives me too much time to think. Basically, I just want to be asleep, but I’m not tired enough to get there. It’s on days like this that I wish anti-depressants could be given intravenously, just so their effect would be more immediate.

None of this stops me laying in to other people though: I’ll do anything, anything, to turn the self-hatred outwards for a bit, so god forbid that anyone should say or do anything that hurts or upsets me – I can rant and rave for hours because that’s what’s going on inside my head anyway. 

But as much as that’s me saying It’s not you, it’s me, I can’t help but wonder if the solution is to return to the kind of single girl independence I last had around 2007, when I was doing my finals and boys were the last thing on my mind.

I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I had more to say about this post. The way Juniper describes sitting on the harbour, wiling away the hours made me wistful as hell. I used to be that girl, the girl who could sit in a bar with a glass of wine and a book, watching the world go by and not fretting about the present, or worrying about the future. In recent years, I’ve lost the ability to do that – now I always seem to be checking my phone for messages from an AWOL boy, or worrying about the fact that I’m not doing super-exciting stuff with other people.

Depression has taken away my ability to enjoy my own company, and that’s the shittest thing of all. 

Fat is an issue that I’ve not had in my relationships … thank god

Earlier this week, my neighbour came round with my Christmas gift, a bottle of marsala wine and a legendary M&S stollen – a vision of icing sugar and flaked almonds. He handed it over and wished me a 2014 that was ‘lucky in love.’ My neighbour is amazing, and if he wasn’t over 60 and married, I’d probably be making a move.

Anyway, that’s by the by. I took the stollen to work, commenting to a colleague that if I ate the whole thing by myself, it was unlikely that I’d be lucky in love next year, because, y’know, I’d be huge.

‘Do you consider your chances in love to be linked to your weight?’ she said, sounding vaguely horrified, as well she might.

I nodded and she shook her head. ‘That’s not good,’ she said. ‘Not good at all.’

She’s right – it’s not. You shouldn’t keep an eye on your weight because you’re worried about what a man might think about it, you should do so (if you want to) for your own health, sense of wellbeing, desire to reach a goal etc. etc.

A friend came round last night, after her work Christmas dinner. She mentioned that one of her colleagues, who she had a bit of fling with back in the Spring, had joked, after she’d finished both her risotto and sticky toffee pudding. ‘Wow, seeing you eat like that, it’s no wonder you’re a size 14.’

Now, this friend is petite, height-wise, and she’s a size 10-12. She said she’d laughed off his comments, told him to fuck off and felt smug that that particular day she was wearing a size 10 dress. Because that makes his comment fine, obviously.

I said this, and pointed out that that was hardly the point – how is it funny to accuse someone of being a dress size that’s smaller than the UK average? Because her attitude didn’t thrill me either, rather than calling him a cunt, which is what I’d have done, she was just pleased that he was two sizes out.

I am a size 14, bordering on a 16, and I pointed this out to her. She backtracked sharply, ‘Oh, but it’s different, isn’t it, because you’re taller, and curvier, and you have bigger tits.’ Well, yes, all of this is true, but it’s also a massively flawed argument. If we were the same weight we’d be very different sizes, but if we were the same dress size we’d be just that, the same dress size.

Her attitude isn’t quite as bad as his, but it’s still not great, and in my life I’ve found most of the pressure around my weight has come from other women (namely my mum), not from men.

The boy, for instance, has never made me feel remotely fat or uncomfortable about what I eat or drink. The only thing he has a go at me for consuming is wine which is clearly in his glass, not mine. Last week I mentioned, in passing, that the night before I’d eaten two bowls of cereal, a croissant, and then my dinner, all because nothing seemed to sate my hunger – and then I’d felt massively sick.

‘Well, obviously,’ was his only comment. ‘I’d expect a seven-year-old to know  that.’ He wasn’t at all bothered by how much I’d eaten, just by the fact that I seemed surprised that it had made me nauseous – and that was worth teasing me about. It’s that attitude which makes me happy to fuck him on top of the covers, sober, in daylight, and to wander around naked after sex without worrying about the size of my tummy, and fuck, it’s liberating.

So please, ladies, don’t fuck anyone this Christmas who makes you feel fat. There’ll always be men, but there won’t always be lebkuchen (this statement may be  slightly flawed). But seriously, if he wants to sleep with someone skinnier than you, then that’s what he should do. You don’t need to be a certain weight to make him happy.