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  • Writer's pictureRachel

Highs, lows, vertigo

Updated: Apr 28

A few weeks ago, I went out for dinner with a friend. We enjoyed a very good plate of mixed mezze at a Lebanese restaurant, which included some incredibly good hummus. Considering where things were when I first started this blog, that I can now do this is a helpful reminder that, yes, progress has definitely been made. 

On the days when I feel hopeless, when I feel trapped by the woman upstairs’ yet more stupid rules and obsession with odd numbers, when I get vertigo mid-conversation for no apparent reason, and when things are (literally) just shit because of diverticular dysfunction….at least I’m no longer fretting about an open pot of low-fat hummus in the fridge.

As I write, I have just returned from three weeks in Italy through two experiences with Workaway, temporarily trying out the digital nomad life that has piqued my interest so much. I never thought I'd see the day that I even appreciated using oil again in cooking, let alone the day that I officially became an extra virgin olive oil convert (around day 3 in Sicily). They do always say there's something life-enhancing about the Mediterranean diet.

Treat this post as more of a status update and photo dump than a fully-functioning blog post. Correspondingly, feel free to treat it as you would such a Facebook update...skim read, look at two photos, and scroll on. We all know that no-one gets any further than picture 6 of your Auntie Sue's 158 snaps from a weekend at Butlin's.

I've been up to rather a lot since being discharged from the Priory at the end of January, but writing hasn't been coming easily. Not because the woman upstairs has gone away or necessarily features any less in my day-to-day...almost the contrary. Yes, unfortunately she's definitely been with me to Italy and back. But, these days I am trying to fill my time with the things that the woman upstairs has hindered for too long. Every last bit of energy I have is spent doing everything I can to muscle control back from anorexia. In what spare time is left, I just want to sit and do a cryptic crossword rather than give her more brain time.

I love writing, it is definitely my 'thing'. And I can guarantee you that I have found myself in many a farce because of the woman upstairs over the past few months, so I'm certainly not short of ideas…but spending any spare time putting these into words hasn't felt so ‘right’ recently. When I started writing on Angry about Hummus, I didn’t really have a goal or direction, it was just a bit of entertainment; and it still is.  I don’t want to necessarily stop writing, or lose the platform and the vibe it’s created...I am just presently unsure how to proceed.

Yet I’d love to share just some of the highs and lows from the past quarter. Some are slightly sillier (but no less real) than others.  However, even the sillier ones are either significant markers of progress, or clear reminders that this journey isn't over yet.

  1. Bread

  • High: I joined the homemade sourdough craze two years late and have been conjuring up some kick-ass pizzas and crusty breads. Fully laden with full-fat mozzarella, of course.

  • Low: I still listen to the woman upstairs’ incredibly random dictations as to how much pizza I’m allowed to have.

  1. Drinking

  • High: Feeling giggly and cheeky after underestimating how a few glasses of tinto de verano would affect my extremely poor alcohol tolerance with friends in Madrid on a February afternoon. Subsequently stuffing my face with patatas bravas and thoroughly enjoying it. 

  • Low: Sobering up fairly quickly with all of the guilty feelings coming flooding back, which ruined the rest of the evening.

  1. Oil 

  • High: Eating a tin of tuna in olive oil without first washing off the oil under the tap  (Yes, really).

  • Low: I still struggle to resist the urge to smear and wipe anything that looks slightly greasy on the side of my plate before putting it in my mouth.

  1. My Godson

  • High: Sharing my godson's first experience of an ice-lolly. It was sweet, sticky, and made us both have a slight sugar-rush.

  • Low: Having to stop mid-walk with my godson and take a couple of dextrose tablets just prior to this, because I’d misjudged my energy requirements. Confused my godson.

  1. Cereal Bars

  • High: Coffees out with my mum and friends now again involve cakes, bakes, and cookies...rather than always sitting eating my stupid cereal bar discreetly out of my pocket.

  • Low: Still not able to trust my mind or body enough to go anywhere for longer than an hour without a stupid cereal bar in my pocket.

  1. Counting

  • High: Officially no longer counting grapes! 

  • Low: Still counting many other things, including nuts, crisps, and Smarties. I can currently only consume prime numbers of these items (I have NO idea how, when or why this began...but here we are).

  1. Days Out

  • High: Lunch and dinner out with my Dad whilst finally ticking off our very long-awaited day trip to the London Natural History Museum.

  • Low: Not allowing myself to eat carrot cake that day at the museum.

  1. Travelling

  • High: Enjoying gelato, fresh sweet and savoury cheeses, local wine, and mountains of home-cooked pasta whilst in Sicily.

  • Low: Travelling to Sicily with a huge box full of cereal bars in my luggage as a safety precaution.

  1. Trust

  • High: Letting friends and even strangers cook for me.

  • Low: Still not feeling fully able to trust my parents to give me the right amount of food when I eat with them.

  1. Sweets

  • High: Gradually expanding my sugar horizons and now being able to rely on a wider selection of gummies, boiled sweets, and dragees to raise my blood glucose levels when necessary.

  • Low: Still needing to carry these around with me. Bringing back a bra from Italy that had a melted fruit pastille stuck inside it from a hot day when I didn't have pockets. (I want to blame women's clothing for never having enough pockets but I recognise that this is a slightly extravagant application of  feminism).

  1. Public Eating

  • High: Publicly munching on a really good fresh panino whilst solo at the top of the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti in Rome, surrounded by people trying to sell me selfie sticks.

  • Low: Clutching a packet of stupid rice cakes when I first walked into the Vatican.

  1. The Three B’s


  • Low: Not as much brunching, baking and bageling as I would like…yet.


“Little by little, a little becomes a lot."

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May 10, 2022

This makes me very happy. I know the woman upstairs is still loud if not louder but we will bury her in the back garden. Sending you so much love.

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