Dragonfly taking flight

Friday, 26 September 2014

A little update: I'm terribly sorry to all those wonderful people who have supported the birth of dragonfly. I wanted to just send a little message out to say FEAR NOT. It's still happening. I've been rather neglectful of updating (to my shame) as I've actually just started at drama school in cambridge so am busy acting, singing and dancing my little socks off. So, I'm assuming you'd like to know the plans for dragonfly? Well, at present things stand as such: I've been asked to speak at a conference of all the gdst schools, during which heads can also sign up for the dragnfly talk (hopefully). It's a pretty terrifying prospect, but it's something I'm incredibly proud of having been asked to do and is pretty much the perfect gig to explain to heads of some of the uk's best independent schools what dragonfly is about and how we can help educate about the dangers of eating disorders and teach young women to stop body bashing themselves. So that is one thing that the money that has been donated will be going towards-the educational resources we will need to provide a genuinely beneficial service to schools. Our second plan, which I must say we are really excited about is the hope to provide an edu inpatient unit (hopefully the one that has helped myself, Annie, chan and Beth- all of us dragonfly ambassadors) with some tickets for an uplifting show as a Christmas treat for patients. All of us have experienced inpatient admissions and both Beth and I were waiting on tender hooks last year to find out whether we would be home for Christmas. It's a tricky time on any ward, and the units staff do there damnedest to make sure people have fun, but resources are limited, so there isn't always loads that is actually possible. We hope to use your kind donations for a wonderful outing for those patients able to leave the ward. I suspect I'm slightly biased (considering the path I've gone down), but I really do advocate the power of theatre and music to lift the spirits and take you out of your world and into another! So guys, watch this space, I've been emailing and phoning to try and get my hands on a discounted bunch of tickets, and will update you on any more progress.

So, what about me? How am I doing? Well, in all honesty, it's a pretty mixed bag. I'm absolutely loving my course, and I actually go much of the day without anorexia sitting on my shoulder shouting. Don't get me wrong, she still hisses regularly, but with all the Shakespeare, singing and dancing, it's quite easy to block out the mean words. It's a little scary living away from home, sometimes I get home in the evening, shattered, and suddenly feel im alone with anorexia, but I guess it's just another challenge. And then there is the problem of making sure I eat enough to fuel the intense and full on days. Now, that is probably my biggest worry ATM, as I'm very aware of all the activity I'm doing. This in some ways is a good thing, but probably not as great at your think, as anorexia can get very over excited over exercise and then grip on and rationalise that you've done so well working so hard, lunch would ruin things. I'm trying very hard to ignore this though. It's great being involved for an entire day, as it leaves my head very little time to abuse me, so I can go for lunch, then go straight into an intense acting class (for example) and I've got no space to be beating myself up over the extra 5 calories that tomato ketchup sachet may be! I do have to work very hard to eat enough though, which is a worry. I suppose I just have to keep trying, keep going, ask for the support when I need it and remember that if I wanna keep on this road, I've gotta eat. The staff are all aware and all very supportive, which is fantastic, and I feel like I'm in the right place. Doing the that thing.

So there we go, a speedy date. Watch this space for dragonfly news and once again, thank you so so much. Maya xx

Find Alice Gross

Saturday, 6 September 2014

I have been very saddened and moved by the plight of a family reasonably local to me whose daughter has gone missing. From the beginning, after seeing the photos of 'Alice Gross' on posters around Ealing and on Facebook, I had a feeling that she was suffering from anorexia. I could not see her body, but, as silly as it may sound, the look in her eyes was one I recognised and could relate too. Three times since her disappearance, I have been stopped by police cars in the evening and asked for my details, each time they have explained they are looking for a missing girl and just need to confirm who I am. We are not the same race, age, I don't think we look anything alike, but maybe they too could recognise the troubled look. It has been confirmed that Alice is suffering from anorexia. She is still missing. Her families response in my opinion is admirable, they truly have put everything in to finding Alice and she is clearly missed greatly. I'm sure she will not read this, but I know that if you type 'Anorexia' and a few other things into search engines, my blog comes up. I also know people with eating disorders often read about others experiences. For this reason I wanted to send a message to Alice, just in case there is the slightest little chance she has ever looked at my blog, seeking comfort that others minds are as haunted as hers, if you are able Alice, go home and let people look after you. Anorexia can make you feel very guilty and as if everyone would be better off without you. It can make you feel like you cause more trouble than you are worth. It can be very frustrating for those who love you and sometimes that can cause you lots of guilt. I have no idea whether Alice ran away or whether she is away from her family involuntarily, but I do want to say that if she can go home or if anyone knows where she is, please please let her be reunited with her family. She needs the love of them to help her battle her daemons. However much it may feel that anorexia is just causing your loved ones too much anguish and they would be better off if you ran away, it's not the case. They love you. They may hate the anorexia, but that doesn't mean they hate you. It is quite clear from the determination of the Gross family that Alice is very loved. I hope that she gets home and that she battles her daemons. Please share the poster below on twitter/facebook/anywhere you can.

#findalicegross http://www.missingpeople.org.uk/help-us-find/alice-gross-14-004178
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