the outer shell


After months and months of edits, madness and stress, my book, Every Trich in the Book is out in eBook and paperback today!!!

The book has been on quite a journey - back to when it was just some blog posts of diary entries in January 2017, then the book, My Date with a Razor that I self-published last summer before being published today by AN ACTUAL PUBLISHER, Trigger. It's been an experience to say the least and I have learned so much from it all.

The book is predminantly a diary of my recovery from Trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder and Dermatillomania, a skin picking disorder. On 7th October 2016, after many years desperate to stop picking and pulling, I decided the time had come to finally say goodbye to two conditions that had had such a negative impact on my life. Perhaps I'll leave the blurb to explain the rest:

Since her early teens, Cara Ward has suffered from trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) and dermatillomania (skin picking), two forms of mental illness that are still often hidden away in shame. Feeling embarrassed and confused by her own behaviour, Cara kept quiet about it for years.But in June 2013, she was left housebound by a condition called Red Skin Syndrome. The only way to get better was a harrowing and difficult withdrawal from all topical steroids. Despite her anxiety and doubt about whether she was doing the right thing, she kept going and made a full recovery. As a result, she knew that she could “beat her own mind” and overcome anything else she put her mind to.And so, over a period of just seven weeks, Cara documented her struggles to gain better control of the disorders that had left her scarred and ashamed for years. Through sheer determination and willpower, Cara found a way to get to the best place she’d ever been with her trichotillomania.Every Trich in the Book details Cara’s triumph over trich and derma, using humour and honesty along the way.

The book is currently only available in the UK but will be released in the States next month.

Life is strange sometimes, isn't it, and it's amazing how the most harrowing of experiences can turn out to be the most important of your life.

Thank you TSW. Thank you Trichotillomania. Thank you Dermatillomania. You have changed me, and made things happen that wouldn't have been possible without you.

You can buy the book directly from Trigger (here) or on Amazon UK (here).

Love, always
Cara x

Review: The Eczema Detox by Karen Fischer

This blog has been very food-orientated recently, and for good reason: food is life.

Today I thought I'd post a little review of a book I have a feeling you might be interested in reading: The Eczema Detox by Karen Fischer.

Before I go any further, I would like to take a moment to throw out a couple of disclaimers:
  1. I do not believe you can 'heal' red skin syndrome solely with food, but I do think a generally healthy diet is important. 
  2. Eczema and red skin syndrome are two completely different conditions. With eczema, I think there is probably an answer - a trigger - as to why you have it (...only if you're able find out what, that is) but with red skin syndrome, I believe the only real 'healer' is time. 
As we have got all that out of the way, I would like to say that I think this book is excellent for many reasons which I will share with you all right now.

Let's begin with the superficial. As one of those shameful individuals who judges books by their cover, this one is rather lovely to look at and well made, so we were already off a great start and I fancied it before I'd even gotten to know it. But from the first few pages it's obvious that the author, Karen, knows a lot about skin and nutrition. Even more commendable is that she recognises red skin syndrome as an actual condition and even mentions it a few times in the book.

The book is predominantly focused on the benefits of a low chemical/low salicylate diet, which not only helped her daughter say goodbye to her eczema, but also Karen herself who suffers from chemical sensitivities.

The book is well laid out and informative and I learned so much. Towards the latter end of the book, there are also a decent amount of recipes, which range from smoothies to dinners. I tried the Pear Spelt Muffins, the Banana Buckwheat Pancakes and the Anzac cookies which were absolutely delicious. Most importantly, unlike a lot of 'healthy' recipes out there, they aren't packed with sugary, expensive ingredients and are all pretty simple to make.

Lastly, because of this book, I now use rice bran oil and it's fabulous. Not only is it lighter and has no flavour so it doesn't affect whatever you're cooking (I'm looking at you, coconut oil), but it has a high smoke point so it's much better to fry with.

I believe this book is a MUST for anyone with eczema, or even RSS (<<<again, not saying diet can 'heal') and I look forward to reading more of Karen's books in the future.

You can buy The Eczema Detox *here* (UK Link) or *here* (US Link).

Cara x
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