Monday, February 24, 2014

It's that time of year again

Not May when I rant about communications, or November when I don't shut up, or even Christmas when I attempt to write individually to each of my friends and give up after the "Bs" in the address book and post a dreadful round robin on-line.

No, it's blasted Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which this year in the run up to, rather than actually in s*££ing Lent.

Of course both of these events are positive, inspiring, GOOD things. It's just that they are also hugely complex things.

There may not be such a thing as bad publicity, but there are plenty of examples of bad, and possibly even more difficult to deal with, mixed, awareness raising. At least I'm not alone in noticing this  in fact I can have fun grumbling and sniping and then doing something positive to get things to change with many friends

When it comes to Lent I am feeling more lonely. It's not as if I don't heartily agree with the bishops. It's not as if vile, unthinking critical crap on the subject like this or like this doesn't make me want to pull my hair out, it's just that I'm wary of that four letter "f" word FAST.

My friends in the eating disorders world have given me more examples than I can really cope with on the dangers of fasting and I have passed them on but I haven't yet found anyone, well, apart from one far too busy person, with whom to really discuss the matter. I CERTAINLY don't want to join the critics of the ideals behind End Hunger Fast or the Carbon Fast, or End Poverty Fast it's just that I think actually, my giving up meat for a month, or cheese for a week, or food for a day, is as likely to bring true awareness of, and help to, the genuinely poor in the world, as my pulling my hair out over those articles is likely to help those who self harm. While they would be a bad example to any vulnerable witnesses who decided to emulate me, neither of them are even going to give ME a clue about what it's really like to be poor, or mentally ill, day in day out for years.

So, I'm looking round for ideas on how to make the 40 days of Lent healthful, helpful and effective in the long term. So far, my only idea is to give out the Carbon Fast leaflets to the church's target audience, because they ARE a good idea, and it would be a terrible waste if they went into landfill on Easter Monday but to scrawl on every single one of them CARBON SLOW. Not very mature I know, but Lent hasn't even started yet so plenty of time to use it to grow up.