About Me

Hi, I’m Katie 🙂

I’m a trainee counsellor in the north east of England. I started writing a blog for the first time in February 09, when I was very ill with anorexia and beginning to contemplate what I wanted to happen next. Last year I decided that I needed to move to a new blog as I started my counselling degree in September, and realised that protecting my anonymity a little more before starting placements would be sensible. For this reason I have password protected quite a few old posts which had photographs of myself in them. If you want the password you are more than welcome to email me at giantfossilizedarmadillo@gmail.com

So what’s with the giant fossilized armadillo?!

In February 2010 I went up to London to stay with my friend Antonia for a weekend. On a visit to the Natural History Museum I went to walk through what I thought was a door, only to discover that it contained a display case of something that looked like a giant fossilized armadillo (I still don’t know what it actually was, email me if you have any ideas!), so when I got home I used that as the title of my recap post. That weekend is noteworthy because it was the point in my recovery at which I quit counting calories and weighing my food, so I thought it was an appropriately strange URL 😛

What’s this blog about?

It began life as a record of my recovery from anorexia, but two years on I have moved quite a long way from that. I talk about all sorts of things, from my continuing voluntary work for an ED charity, other mental health issues which I still struggle with at times and my counselling training, to LGBT issues, physics, biology, current events, art, photography, music, what makes me happy, what pisses me off – basically it’s a dumping ground for the contents of my head!

One of the main things I wanted to get out of blogging when I started was to explore who I am outside of my mental health problems. Here’s what I have so far.

First of all, I am passionately interested in astronomy and physics. My all-time hero is Einstein, because I am a dreadful cliché like that. I first became interested in astronomy when I was about nine and we covered the solar system at school. Later that year we were asked to each give talks on a subject of our choosing, and as I couldn’t choose between dogs and space I did dogs IN space, and spoke for 20 minutes on the fate of Laika, the first dog to be sent into orbit!  I’ve studied degree level physics modules with the Open University, and I would be the proud owner of a SkyWatcher Explorer 130PM (telescope), but I had to leave it down south when I moved!

In July 2010 I moved from Dorset to Newcastle to have another go at living independently. So far it’s been quite up and down, but the downs are becoming less frequent and the ups more stable and I am certain that I made the right choice. After living in a couple of rather dodgy houses I settled down in a lovely flatshare in a nice studenty area with some very photogenic parks near by. I also spent much of 2011 questioning my sexuality. While I’ve known I wasn’t straight from the age of 12-13, the combination of anorexia and PTSD meant that I never really had the motivation to explore this fully. As my  hormones settled down and my mental health improved I realised I was far higher on the Kinsey scale than I’d previously suspected. After a great deal of turmoil – not because I think there’s anything wrong with being gay but because I was worried about how various other people in my life might react – I came out to everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, largely all at once at the start of 2012. Which was a little bit dramatic, but met with more acceptance than I had hoped for. Whoo!

I really love the area in which I live, and my rather amateurish awesome photographs of local landmarks and scenery pop up on my blog with increasing regularity.

One thing I love doing which often surprises people (‘cos I’m a quiet sort of person in real life :P) is fire poi. Fire poi are heavy balls of kevlar on the ends of chains, which are soaked in paraffin and set alight and swung around the body in patterns. It’s a brilliant hobby, I’ve been hooked ever since my best friend at the time introduced me to it about six years ago and I’m pretty good now. I’ve tried to learn to juggle too but I’m just not that coordinated! One day…

Despite being a science bod I have always been drawn to creative things too. I play the recorder to grade eight standard and enjoy writing music for it. I had flute lessons when I was younger too and stuck with them to grade five, but I preferred the recorder. Not very cool of me to admit that 😛 I also took GCSE art and still love painting and drawing. I am a total magpie for shiny things so an obvious extension of that was getting into jewellery making a couple of years ago. I sometimes do giveaways on my blog with homemade necklaces as the loot!

Ever since I learnt to read I’ve had my nose stuck in everything from the backs of cereal packets to War and Peace, but I lean towards being a bit of a philistine when it comes to books – I would choose Sophie Kinsella over Jane Austin any day! My absolute favourite author is Terry Pratchett, I adore his Discworld novels. I like Captain Vimes best, but Granny Weatherwax and Death are close joint second. I think the fact that such hilarity and philosophy can come out of his head within the space of a sentence must make him a genius. I was an avid fan of the Harry Potter novels right from the year that the Philosopher’s Stone was published, and I also love crime novels (the trashier the better, as long as the bad guys are caught!). The authors I read most in that genre are Jeffery Deaver (I met him once and squeaked at him), Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen and Mark Billingham. Other people I have squeaked at during book signings include David Attenborough and Danny Wallace – I told the air a foot above his left shoulder that it was my hero!

Having had an eating disorder for twelve years I know far more than is good for anyone about food and nutrition, but actually found a positive use for this when I was diagnosed with an allergy to milk proteins and several intolerances in 2007. Because of the damage the eating disorder has done to my digestive system I also have IBS (aka Irritating Bowel Syndrome, a far better name for it than the usual one), and all sorts of different things can set that off. On top of that I was vegetarian from the age of nine until I was 26, which was an ethical rather than eating disordered decision. Trying to gain weight on a dairy and gluten free vegetarian diet was challenging to begin with, but I managed it! At least it taught me how to cook all sorts of things from scratch. During 2011 I experimented with adding in some of the things I had previously avoided as I hoped that four years would’ve been long enough for my digestive system to heal a bit. I have successfully reintroduced everything bar milk, which as a genuine allergy I will most likely have to avoid for life. I also started eating meat again as my blood pressure, which had always been low, seemed to have sunk into my boots, never to return! It was a difficult decision as I had been veggie for such a long time and had strong opinions on the subject, but it seemed an obvious thing to try and I felt like I would have been doing myself and my recovery a disservice by not giving it a shot. Eating meat a couple of times a week has worked well – my blood pressure has come up significantly since then, I have a lot more energy and fewer digestive problems.

What else? I have my ears and navel pierced, I am addicted to the X-Files, Dr Who and House, I got my first car in June 09 but had to sell it when I moved, I think that dalmatians make life worth living and if I could, I would spend all my free time by the coast – not sunbathing, walking on the cliffs! Before my last two relapses I was a keen runner and was training for the London Marathon. I don’t run any more due to heart problems, but I still like to reminisce! I don’t actually do any formal exercise – as I don’t own a car these days, walking is enough for me. I love baking and despite being dairy free, my cakes can still fur arteries at 20 paces. My diet is well balanced enough otherwise that I have no cake-eating qualms 😛

If you have any comments, questions or would just like to say hi, feel free to email me at the address above or leave a comment here!

Click for the back history to my ED and other mental health problems

Click for Speaking Out note from Facebook

12 responses to “About Me

  1. Wow, you have a great website here! Very inspiring, good to know that there are people out there beating ED’s!

  2. Pingback: PTSD Survivors Speak: Taking Recovery in Your Own Hands, Part 1 | Guest Post: Survivors Speak | Heal My PTSD, LLC - Your source for symptoms, causes, and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  3. Hey Katie!
    I haven’t had a chance to peruse your whole blog yet but I have to say I am inspired by your recovery story and I hope to use some of your insight to aid in mine! I think you’re amazing (I read your about me, q a, and diy recovery parts) and it makes me so…relieved that someone who has dealt with an eating disorder as long as I have (13years) can make such wonderful progress! I look forward to reading your posts!
    On an unrelated note…I too love astronomy and I have google skymap on my phone. How accurate is it? I live in a city and I miss the stars!
    Take care, lady!
    -Heather

  4. wow.. i am so glad i found you! i look forward to reading!

  5. Hi katie,

    I just happened onto your blog. We have lots in common including lactose and gluten intolerance. I look forward getting to know you.

  6. Pingback: Binge Off « Nurse Converse

  7. Hi Katie

    Thanks for following my blog. I lived in Swanage for my first 12 months in Dorset, and I’ve been living just outside Wareham (Worgret) for about 18 months now. I love it here – beautiful part of the world. From reading some past entries on your blog I think I have the same therapist as you did at Kimmeridge Court as well!!

    Anyhow, LOVE your blog – it is such an inspiration, x x x

  8. Hey,

    Just wanted to let you know I’ve given you a Liebster Blog award!
    http://recoveryandback.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/liebster-blog-awards/

    Keep up the good work x

  9. Katie, I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying your blog since finding it through a couple of other FEAST-related blogs. Reading your story and your insights is wonderful! Best of luck on the rest of your journey. 🙂

  10. Love the sound of this blog, am now following! Maxi xx

  11. Hiya Katie. Just to say I got given one of those award thingies for blogs that you can pass on and I thought of you. It’s on my other wordpress site (though it was for Believer’s Brain) and the url is http://oodly.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/blog-award/ Feel free to use it or not, as you like!
    Hope you’re well and having fun,
    Emma

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