Present Danger?

Most people have toughened up a little by their late 20s. They’re a little more world wisely, a little more clued up. They’re a little less black and white and good and bad and all or nothing. Things are taken on the chin.

It’s great to reach this stage – but the journeys not so hot. Times are changing and there’s lots of stuff out there that can distract you along the way.

Growing up today is tough. It may not be coalmines at dawn, or rations and evacuations, or even outside toilets and black and white TV tough – but it’s certainly not an easy ride. And we’re all just looking for a way to manage it.

When you’re a bit scared of things, an eating disorder can come in useful: instead of worrying about crime and murders and paedophiles, you get to concentrate on your calorie intake. It’s a great avoidance strategy.

When you’re worried about the latest wave of gang violence or becoming the next target, there’s little that feels safer than making yourself as invisible as possible. It seems easier to disappear when there’s not that much of you.

And when it all gets too much and the news is more terrifying than the latest horror – well, then it’s just food for the eating disorder fuelled depression. There’s little to challenge the miserable path that you’re taking.

Until you grow up.

Now that I am a fully fledged and far more sensible adult (!), it’s obvious that my solution was not particularly effective in the long run; but I can see why it seemed like a good idea at the time.

There’s nothing worse than not feeling safe. Nothing more terrifying than feeling that society is intrinsically bad. Nothing more lonely than feeling that everyone’s out to get you.

And there’s nothing harder than finding a grown up way of managing these fears and making sense of what’s going on around you when you’re still just a child.

Tags: ,

  • Share/Bookmark

Comments are closed.