That much-loved question, ‘So, what do you do?’ is supposed to be a request for information about our working life. But a few years ago I think an alternative and accurate response might have been something like:
I was in my local shop looking for some tahini to make some hummus. I couldn't find it so I asked an assistant who was restocking some shelves. He looked at me and said, 'I'm sorry, I'm so thick, I don't know what that is.'
And in that moment my heart went out to him for those words, remembering all the times I'd said the same.
I remember how I used to stand in the queue at the supermarket checkout, a never-ending stream of judgement flowing through about the rubbish people were buying, about the state of their bodies. It was disgusting to me. They were disgusting to me.
And all the while I was struggling with my own disordered eating.
'A safe place to say dangerous things' is a phrase I happened upon by some curious combination of a walk in the Yorkshire Dales and the unparalleled power of the internet. I found this phrase so powerful and so important, for how many of us have places we feel safe enough to share those things about ourselves we are most afraid to speak?