Chef and food consultant Diya Sethi, 40, has seen the best of times and the worst. The daughter of an Indian ambassador, she has known boxing legend Muhammad Ali, dined at the same table as The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, and walked the runway for Christian Dior.
Both those events warned of the person I was to become, someone with a fanatical fear of failure, disguised as perfectionist fervour. That fear was generated by my extraction from my cocoon into an ever-changing world -the persistent and almost metallic unfamiliarity gradually weathered the encouragement I received to move forward and it chipped away at any nourishment I had to do so. In my adult life, which I entered with great trepidation and much later than my peers, I have understood that my terror was borne of the feeling of being deprived of a childhood - there had been no constant, no familiar places and faces outside my cocoon in the first five years of my life and for many years to come. The transient nature of that life induced my desperate clinging to a childlike disposition well into my adult years. Seventeen years later, at a treatment centre for addiction, I learned that it was the foundation of my eating disorder, which both in sickness and recovery, directed much of my life and shaped my person.