DAY #97 FULL PORTIONS; A Brew and a Bee…


Bran flakes.
White toast x 2, with butter.

Morning snack
‘Seabrooks’ crisps.

Savoury minced lamb, yorkshire pudding, saute potatoes, sliced green beans.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).

Baked beans, jacket potato, butter, side salad.
Plum crumble and custard.

Evening snack
‘Nutri-Grain’ bar.

Twirl’ bar.

…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.


She’s a right Yorkie… not the chunky choccie-bar in a blue wrapper, but her beautiful Northern energy is PRETTY MUCH just as delicious on the brain.

A busy bee she is, always making cups of tea. (as well as snapping up the offer of one…)

I LOVE these people, if you’re one of them yourself, please come forward – you are part of the rare and cherished bunch. I don’t know about you, but it’s an invisible, glittery compliment for someone to trust and value you enough to whip up their beloved cuppa. ESPECIALLY when you’re as emotionally involved with a hot beverage as I am!

I think the kettle and my heart were manufactured somewhere in the same place. A location, a rocket-trip away, where grass instead is coffee beans, and there is no King, just a Sir Nescafe. Preferably a place occupied by blue Smurfs please, and everyone has their own collection of alive and talking ‘Toy Story’ figures…

….sorry, off topic.

Showering her buzz over all of us, I don’t think she realises how much her chirpy chatter and compassionate sense of humour, have the power to heal. I think I’ve EVEN felt Anorexia nod in calm approval, when seeing how settled and cheered up I am in her presence… choosing then to walk away for a short while and leave my brain-cells be.

“Who’s ‘she’? The cat’s mother?”

Every “she” in this post deserves to be highlighted in gold. (I’m now going to look and see if I CAN edit them with the next best thing) Bare with…

…this beloved, chuckling glam-puss at heart, a down-to-earth mother and gran is a Healthcare Assistant on the Eating Disorder Unit… who I remember first meeting when taking my pulse etc. in the first few weeks of being admitted. Even trailing the machine about, she gave the impression of an eager, fresh-morning-air dog-walker… I’d hear the little wheels making a shuffling song from the other end of the corridor, to then get a beaming, humble greeting at my bedroom door.

It wasn’t until I was on eyesight observations that I really got to know her. At the time, I was still very confused and panicked about the early stages of recovery, that when she was sat, nattering away at my door, I didn’t fully appreciate how therapeutic she is to be around, just by being herself. My Eating Disorder saw the niceness, the friendliness, the refreshing vibes she gave off… as a threat.

Because when you’re still in that grasp of your pre-occupied thoughts around food and still torn between fighting for and frightening yourself away from recovery, and having to face SO many fears that don’t fit anywhere remotely near Anorexia’s ‘rules’, the very LAST thing it wants you to do is chill out.

But as time’s gone on, I felt that she’s helped ignite the ‘human’, the real, raw person we all are, in me. From her chatter about how her carboot sale went at the weekend, to her comedic stories of recent holiday adventures, or her fancy-man gardener, to being entertainment (without even knowing it) on toast-duty at breakfast-time…

…she’s as warm and as honest as it gets.

When you’re in hospital for a long time, you need these kinds of people around. You definitely DON’T just want the logical or deep conversations, when all that is going on in your head for most of the day anyway. But the amazing thing about this one special busy bee, all she has to do is be herself – she’s the Auntie everyone wishes they had. And I’m not the only patient here to think that too… yet, she gives herself a hard time when she says “I don’t know about all this Eating Disorder stuff. I need to get reading about it, because I don’t know how to help you…”

…which of course made me laugh, because she was deadly serious, completely northern, and obliviously humble. One specific time I was upset and she was sat at my door, one of the Nurses on my team came to chat with me on my bed. When she went away, the special bee said, deadly serious “Can you tell me what she said to make you feel better? Then I can write it down and use it to help the others.” Bless her Leeds-lovin’ cotton socks!! I literally said to her, and I’d been meaning to for  a looooonnnnngggg time… “You are literally the biggest help, just being you.”

When I was struggling in the early stages, feeling frightened by the shock of having to shed so many of Anorexia’s rules and not knowing how the bloody h*ll to deal with my thoughts, I remember saying to her when it came to the end of the shift “Thank you for making my day.” She left a calming in me that day that I hadn’t felt for a long time. And I will never forget. It was a flicker of confidence and hope in a life without living in a pit of worry and h*ll by choosing to leave Anorexia behind.

Some of the most helpful and inspiring people I’ve had the privilege to work with during my recovery and inpatient admissions, have been Healthcare Assistants – not Nurses. And no, unfortunately they don’t get paid as much or have had to have done a degree. But in my experience, they’ve been the most compassionate. They have their life experience and a genuine warmth for other humans. And for that, you don’t need a CV.

So my hat goes off to all the Healthcare Assistants/Support Workers out there…! You are helping more than you realise. Thank you!

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