Truth No. 3 – Eating for comfort

When I write, it’s usually in a cafe with a coffee by my side, sometimes it’s at home in the early evening with a glass of wine and a snack. Always it’s with pleasure. Pleasure in my surroundings, pleasure filling the blank page, pleasure sipping my chosen drink and eating my chosen snack.

I write mindfully, in the moment, aware of my feelings and emotions. The words may flow and I flow with them, but I observe myself as I am writing; where my thoughts go, what I am experiencing in my body and what I am feeling. I am aware as I take my sips of coffee or wine and eat my snack,

I am aware of me. I know myself and it fuels my writing.

It hasn’t always been this way. Emotional intelligence and self awareness developed later in life for me, only when my mother passed away in 2007 and I was able to move away from her shadow.

Lisa stepped inside the pantry and closed the door behind her. It was gloomy and smelt of grannie’s coconut cake. She reached for the tin and cradling it in her arms knelt down on the floor. She prised open the lid, peered inside and with her fingers and thumb picked off a bit of cake and put it in her mouth. It was still warm. The moist, sweet sponge melted on her tongue. Licking her fingers, she pulled another bit off and then another bit, bigger this time and then another bit more and more. Lisa  forgot to swallow, her cheeks bulged with deliciousness. Hmmmmmm … patting the side of the cake, smoothing it over, Lisa closed the lid. She stood up. What next? As she hooked her finger into her mouth, gouging out the stickiness from behind her teeth, she looked around. Sugar puffs. She reached for the box, pushed her hand in and, grabbed a handful, stuffing the honeyed loveliness into her mouth. Hmmmmmm … she breathed a silent sigh and dived into the box again and then again. One more time. One more time.  

This was me sneaking into the pantry and gobbling whatever I could find, sticking my fingers into jars (peanut butter a firm favourite), my hands into cereal boxes and peeling open blocks of jelly.  I had no idea I was eating to fill the void, seeking comfort, looking for the love and security I craved from my mother.

Much later, in my twenties, thirties and forties I ate for punishment as often as I ate for comfort. Rarely did I eat for pleasure. Was I aware of this? No, of course not.

The ancient Greek aphorism ‘Know Thyself’ was later expanded upon by the philosopher  Socrates who taught that the “unexamined life is not worth living”. Today we understand the process of examining our lives as moving towards “Self actualisation”. To self-actualise, we strive to expand our horizons as a human beings. To achieve success (being the best that we can be), we must always seek it. The potential to self-actualise lies within us all.

Take the journey. Become self aware and discover the real you.


Truth No. 2 – I need to tell my story

What gets you moving, writing, creating, thinking, communicating, reflecting … ? I could go on. As human beings we advance, we flourish, blossom, grow. If not, we die. It’s the truth.


I passed a man walking his dog this morning.

‘What a lovely dog,’ I said. It was a Jack Russel type, one with long legs. The dog moved to the far side of the path as I approached, his head down slightly, nose twitching, ears back.

‘Ah, he seems nervous.’

‘No, just curious,’ the man said, not slowing down.

‘Is this your usual morning dog walk, what a lovely place,’ I said stopping, happy to exchange pleasantries. We were in a secret garden, planted with Japanese maples. It was peaceful, there was no-one else around.

‘Yes, it gets me up in the morning,’ he said as he passed and carried on walking.

Encounter over, I continued my walk.

A simple dog walk, helped this man get moving at the beginning of his day.




What gets me moving, writing, creating, thinking, communicating, reflecting is the need to tell my story. I began writing in 2014 as a means of continuing my therapy. Very quickly this developed into a desire to write creative fiction as a ‘way in’ to telling my story. I have progressed from writing short stories to embarking upon writing a novel. It is a rewarding journey.

When I was a small child, I spent an enormous amount of time on my own, reading, colouring, playing out of doors. I don’t remember being told a story and certainly not encouraged to create my own. My mother ignored me. As long as I was not being a nuisance to her, kept from under her feet and didn’t command her attention, it was alright.

When I was older and at the ‘big’ school, telling stories / writing essays in my English lesson was an extremely difficult, almost impossible task for me.

When I started writing in 2014, I realised much of what is written as a novice writer comes from felt or known experience and so it is for children. Drawing upon real life experiences helps a child write stories.

But how could I tell a story? How could I write a story where the central theme of my real life experiences were based on shame, lies and hiding?

My mother’s silent message to me was to keep the secret of what was going on at home.

I grew up feeling hot with shame, my mother’s shame. It burned inside me through childhood, adolescence, my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and into my early 50’s.

I no longer feel the shame … it isn’t and was never mine.

I can now tell my story.

I need to tell my story.