Jersey Festival of Words: Bryony Gordon, Eat, Drink, Run
By Tania Targett
POPULAR Daily Telegraph writer Bryony Gordon took to the Opera House stage on Friday evening to speak about her memoir Eat, Drink, Run – a book mainly about running and, actually, not about drinking at all.
She has been sober for over a year.
As a person who loaths running and rather enjoys a tipple, I did wonder whether I had chosen the right event.
But Ms Gordon tells stories with warmth and wit and is unafraid to delve into her personal battles with alcoholism and mental health.
Happily sprawling out on a sofa – she had been up at 3 am to travel to the Island – she was interviewed by Grazia magazine’s new editor Alexandra Heminsley.
The two chatted like old friends before an overwhelmingly female crowd.
This surprised me as I know men at least look at Ms Gordon’s columns as I quite often read the vile comments they leave about her weight on social media.
But there are also male fans who defend her and female fans who virtually wring their hands with concern over her ‘health’.
The negativity motivates her, however, and she is clearly having the last laugh.
She’s run two marathons – the second in her knickers – and has a multi-book publishing deal while they are Internet trolls. Oh, and did I mention, she she is buddies with the young Royals.
A chat with Catherine – or the Duchess of Cambridge to you and me – was what motivated her to tackle her first marathon.
Go Team Bryony.
Ms Gordon has written extensively of her own struggles with alcohol, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder both in her columns and in her two previous bestsellers, The Wrong Knickers and Mad Girl.
‘For years, I really believed I just needed to find the right combination of alcohol and drugs and everything would be great,’ she said.
But her career and mindset changed when she started running little walks for people struggling, called Mental Health Mates.
The informal walks have now spread around the UK and as far as Australia.
And walks led to runs – albeit slow ones. ‘Seasons change while I run,’ she quipped.
Always a talent she seems to have found her footing and what she calls her ‘we’.
‘I accomplished quite a lot while hungover,’ she said. ‘I thought what can I do sober? Turns out not that much.’