Sunday, 25 September 2016

Before and after....

When I was at horse riding last week
One of the men called Pat 
Was asking me about my condition
You see the group I ride with 
Are called para-riders
Which means they have a physical condition or disability 
For instance 
Pat has multiple sclerosis 
MS
Land in his case 
It effects the left side of his body 
So he has trouble walking 
Among other things 
Pat was asking me if I have MS
And I explained to him that I am recovering from an eating disorder
Namely anorexia and bulimia 
He didn't really seem to understand what that meant 
So on the spur of the moment 
I showed him a photo on my phone 
Of me when I was very unwell 
He was shocked to see the picture. 
I also showed Eilish and Fintan
Who were equally shocked 
Then when I got home that evening 
I showed my sister 
She said that it is a brilliant photo
If a little disturbing 
I remember when it was taken 
I asked my brothers girlfriend to take some photos of me 
To document that time in my life 
Most of the shots are of me in my underwear 
But the most vivid shots 
We're the ones of just my face 
I look like I have given up 
Like an old and very sad woman
Then I looked at photos of myself now 
And the difference is night and day 
It shows me just how far I have come 
I feel so sorry for the girl in that photo
She looks desperate 
Lonely 
Like she has been crushed by her illness 
And by life
Her eyes look dead
I am just so grateful to have made it out the other side 
To have survived
Here are the photos...


Saturday, 24 September 2016

Dog sitting

This week
I am dog sitting and house sitting for my neighbour
My neighbour lives in the cottage right beside our house 
She is an elderly lady
And has a little Jack Russell terrier called Bobby
So I come over to Bobby every couple of hours 
Let him out 
And sit with him for a while 
He won't come for a walk with me for some reason 
But thats ok
It cuts down my work load 
For the first couple of days 
Bobby was in mourning for his owner
And stayed on her bed 
Growling at me when I got too close
Then when I came in to see him this morning 
There was a steaming great pile of poo waiting for me
Nice!
Anyway 
Bobby was in better form today 
He had something to eat 
Had a run in the garden 
I brought Lea over to see him
But he wasn't impressed at all 
This morning 
My sister and I were pottering around my neighbours house and garden 
Here are some photos...










Friday, 23 September 2016

Hello out there?

It's no secret
That over the last few months 
I haven't been the best blogger
Or the best reader or commenter 
I guess I kind of feel like I'm not relevant anymore 
That maybe my blog has done its piece 
And maybe I should think about retiring 
I don't want to
I want to write 
But I am just not getting much feedback these days 
So I don't know if people are reading 
If my blog is still helping people 
And even if it's good for me
Don't get me wrong 
I love you all dearly 
But I am starting to wonder if my blog has run its course 
And maybe it's time to say goodbye 
For now at least 

I started writing this blog back in 2012 
And have faithfully documented every step of my life since then 
I have met the most amazingly kind and wonderful people 
Who I will stay in touch with whether I continue to write or not 
I heavily relied on my blog when I was unwell
I was so isolated and trapped in my illness 
I didn't have friends 
I was so very lonely 
And relied on my blog for support 
For friendship 
For a break from the relentlessness of my condition
Blogger and all the girls in it
We're there for me over the years when I couldn't bear to leave the house or face the world 
But over the last six months 
My situation has improved greatly 
I made friends 
I held down a job 
I regained weight to a healthy BMI
And generally improved in all areas 
Now that my real life is flourishing 
I don't need my blog as much now
I don't have the time 
As I am out living my life 
So I guess that is a good thing 

Anyway 
This is a shout out to you 
If you are reading
If you are still following me 
Let me know t
Let  me know that you are there 
That I am still relevant
And please 
Be honest 
I'm a big girl 
I can take it 
I just need to know that I am still part of this community
And that our community is still thriving 
This is an invitation to you 
To comment 
To text 
To email 
Let me know that you are there 
That my story still needs to be told 
Show me you are there.......

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Taking the rough with the smooth....

Life is full of ups and downs 
And the only real constant is change
As you know
I go horse riding on a Wednesday 
And for the last couple of weeks 
I've been been doing two classes instead of one 
Because the equestrian centre is a full hours drive from my house 
So it makes sense for me to make the trip worthwhile 
Let me tell you in no uncertain terms 
Horse riding is not easy 
The pros make it look effortless
And you could be fooled in to thinking that the horse does all the work 
But in actual fact it is hard work controlling a horse 
Trotting can be exhausting 
As you are using your whole body to rise and fall in rythm with the horse
You need to be pretty fit to ride a horse properly 
There is a reason why I'm always sore the next day 
It's because I am engaging so many different muscle groups while riding 
Anyway 
In my first lesson yesterday 
There was myself, Fintan and another girl called Laura 
Eilish is our instructor 
From the get go 
She was pushing us hard 
For me 
It was getting my posture correct 
And for Fintan 
It was his legs 
Fintan has a condition that wastes his muscles 
And he is finding riding tough going at the moment 
Fintan has become a really good friend over the last few months 
We talk every day in the phone 
We travel to riding together 
And we generally get along very well
But back to the point of this post 
After a warm up 
And a few rounds of trotting 
It was time for cantering 
For the last couple of weeks 
I have been stressing about my canter 
As it doesn't always happen for me
And I don't know why 
So 
I was first up
I trotted Star on and we got to the corner 
Eilish was shouting at me to 'Sit in!!'
And I was trying my best 
But it didn't happen 
She had me circle and go back around to try again 
But 
The same thing happened 
I was beginning to get frustrated at this point 
But Eilish had me go round again
And this time she gave me a whip
I trotted on 
Trying to get a steady pace 
So Star could easily transition in to a canter 
At the corner 
I gave him a tap of the whip as I sat in 
And straight away 
He went into a canter 
He really is a tidy little mover when he wants to be 
I got such a buzz off cantering around the arena 
As I reached the back of the arena 
I heard Eilish shout something at me 
I thought she said go around again 
But she had actually been telling me to circle 
I didn't hear in time though
And went around the arena again 
It feels amazing when the canter comes together
But it is beyond frustrating when it doesn't work out 
And more often than not 
I can't tell why it hasn't worked
Eilish really pushed me though 
And it can be hard to take 
After the first lesson
She asked me if I thought she was being too hard on is 
I said I didn't 
And I don't 
As a lot of the time I do better when pushed 
But sometimes 
Communication is an issue 
And something's get lost in translation
But I am so hard on myself anyway 
So having someone else be hard on me too can be a bit of a downer 
So the first lesson finished
And myself and Fintan got a cuppa 
And had a meeting about the lesson 
The general consensus was that it's a real bummer when the riding doesn't happen for us
But 
It's like anything 
Some days it happens 
And other days it doesn't 
And it could be down to any number of things 
The horse 
Fatigue
Or a combination of both 
That's just the way it is 
You hAve to take the rough with the smooth 

As I said earlier 
I am very hard on myself 
And am probably a bit of a perfectionist 
I want to be the very best that I can be 
I was to grow 
And improve 
And thrive 
I love horse riding 
But I also love to be good at it 
Fintan tells me that he is happy to walk and trot and do a bit of dressage 
But I'm not 
I want more 
I want to go as far as I can with this 
Where that is?
I have no clue 
But I am excited to find out 
To explore my potential 
I put a huge amount of effort in to horse riding 
It takes me over an hour to drive there
And in every lesson 
I give it my all 
Because I love it 
Because I want to be the best horse rider that I can be  
I guess that is my personality 
And when I was ill
I used these traits in a self destructive way
I used my stubbornness
Determination 
And perfectionistic streak to maintain an addiction 
And also to lose weight 
I am the type of person that when I want something 
I will get it come hell or high water 
In my addiction 
It was like playing a game of cat and mouse 
Trying to stay one step ahead of withdrawals 
And I was always playing catch up
I was constantly trying to come up with money to feed my habit 
And it is truly amazing the ways and means that I went to to score my drug
The lengths I went to were truly incredible 
So now I guess I am putting these traits and skills in to healthier pursuits 
Like horse riding 
Like my job
I swear 
If I put half the energy in to improving life as I did in to my addiction 
Then I am doing well
That is for sure 

In other news 
I haven't heard back from the course I applied for 
I really hope to hear something before the weekend 
I just want to know if I have a place or not 
As I hate hanging around just waiting 
But if it doesn't work out 
Then I will find something else 
I trust that I will be guided in to the right path
And that I am exactly where I am supposed to be
As someone once said 
When one door closes 
A window opens 
I just hope my next window leads me to a happy place 
I just want to do something to learn 
To be happy 
Content 
To work in an area I love 
To be a good person 
That's all I want

So that brings me to the end of another post 
Thank you for staying with me 
I know the changes in my life and my blog are difficult to adjust to 
But I appreciate you sticking by me 
Thank you 
From the bottom of my heart...

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Tuesday

I saw my counsellor Breda again this morning 
I had to finish off filling out forms for the course I am applying for 
It's basically a work/training scheme 
20 hours a week
It's a tailor made course for each individual 
So I will be matched with an occupation that I am interested in
So for myself 
I mentioned horse riding
Animals 
And writing 
I'm really hoping a stables will take me on and train me 
And the great thing is 
That it lasts for four years 
It sounds perfect for me 
So I am really hoping it works out
There are ten places available 
With only two places left 
So I just hope I'm not too late applying 
We will see I guess 
Because the thing is 
Only a week after finishing work 
I  already starting to get bored
And last week 
I misused my meds 
In an effort to fight the boredom 
So I know I need to get busy doing something 
Before I get in to a rut of abiding my Mrs and doing nothing 
It really is my dream to work in a stables 
I think about horse riding all day 
I dream about it at night 
I love for Wednesday's 
And my two lessons 
There are quite a few horse riding centres near me 
So I have a few options 
I'm keeping my fingers crossed they it will work out 

So I'm getting used to having less money again 
Now that  I am not working 
I have a lot less disposable income 
And it is an adjustment 
But I managed before 
So I will manage again 

I don't have a lot to say today 
I just wanted to check on and say hello 
Happy Tuesday....

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sunday

Today 
Is the first Sunday I have had off since I started working four months ago
It's very strange
But very wonderful
I slept in until 9 45am
Which is very unusual for me 
As I am an early riser
And if I am getting up for work 
I get up before 7am
For as long as I can remember 
I have disliked Sunday's 
When I was a child 
It was the day before going back to school
And as I grew up 
It was the day before going back to work
Sunday was also usually the day when I had the fear 
A severe hangover 
Or a horrible come down from what ever substance I had been taking the night before 
I also find Sunday's a very lonely day 
I've always associated it with families and couples 
Doing family and coupely things 
So yes 
I was glad to be working this day for the whole summer
And today is my first Sunday off in a while 
I got up late 
Had breakfast 
And brought Lea for a walk 
Honey doesn't always come with us now 
And I don't make her go 
She comes when she feels like it 
And that is entirely her perogative 
My dogs are old now 
Nearly 12 years old 
But they have had a long and happy life 
And I am hoping that they will be around hit another few years 

Anyway 
This weekend 
An old friend of my sisters came to stay with us 
Geraldine 
She was actually my sisters first girlfriend 
And they were together for a long time 
So this girl has known me since I was a kid 
Her and my sister broke up 
But she still remains a close family friend 
And we all love her to bits 
So we had a lovely weekend 
Chatting 
Walking 
Drinking tea
And remembering the good ol' days 
The last time Geraldine saw me 
I was in hospital 
And not in a good place at all
So it's nice that she got to see me in a much better place 
She is so lovely 
And we had such a great laugh
Below are some photos we took this morning 
Happy Sunday
What ever you are doing...








Friday, 16 September 2016

The next chapter....

So work has finished up 
And I am in the look out for some work or a course to keep me occupied
And to keep my brain ticking over
Wednesday's are now completely dedicated to horse riding 
I head out to the riding centre at 10am
And I stay until about 3pm
I have my first lesson at 11am
Where I am in my usual group 
With Fintan and Pat 
I love our little group 
There is much piss taking and joking 
We just really enjoy the riding 
And each other's company 
It's a very supportive and caring environment 
I love it 
Then from 12pm - 1pm
I take a break
Have a cuppa 
And watch the next lesson
Helping out here and there 
Then at 1pm 
I have a private lesson 
Which is much tougher than the group lesson
I say tough
It's more challenging than tough
But I love it 
I love to be pushed 
To try and reach whatever potential I can 
In the group lesson 
I Am usually last in line 
So Star literally follows the horse in front 
And I have very little to do 
But in the private lesson 
I am the only one in the arena 
So Star is depending on me for signals and instructions 
These horses are smart 
They respond to the trainers voice 
All she has to say is 'Right, shorten up your reigns'
And the horse will immediately perk up and get ready to trot 
It's amazing really 
These are working arena horses 
And they know the routine inside out 
They know to canter at a corner 
They now trot means trot 
They know from my squeezing my knees that I want him to speed up
This weeks private lesson went a lot better than last weeks 
Last week I couldn't get my canter 
And I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong 
So with a canter 
You start with a trot 
You shorten your reigns 
Get in to a nice rhythm 
In complete control
Then as you approach the corner 
You sit in to the saddle 
That is the signal to the horse to speed up 
They say 'Sit in'
And from the get go this confused me 
I mean what exactly does that mean 
To me 
Sit in sounded like they wAnted me to sit in to the front of the saddle 
But that didn't really make sense either 
So then another rider explained to me that sit in basically meant sit down in to the saddle 
In other words stop riding and trotting 
But even knowing that 
It's still hard to know when you are doing it right or wrong 
A lot of it has to do with feeling 
Feeling the rhythm of the horse
And knowing when to sit in and canter
But look 
I am still very much a beginner 
And am probably overthinking the thing anyway 
As Eilish my trainer said to me 
I have learned in a few months what most people learn in years 
And what keeps me going 
Is when it all works out 
And Star goes in to a beautiful canter 
That feeling 
When it all comes together 
Is just priceless 
And makes all the frustration and confusion worth while 
Canter around the arena twice non stop 
Truly enjoying it 
The speed 
The power 
The utter joy it brings me
It's freakin' amazing
I wish I could bottle that feeling 
And take it out whenever I want 
I live for Wednesday's 
And the chance to ride 
To spend time with my friends and the horses 
To Pull on my riding boots and helmet 
To get a leg up on to Star 
To smell the sharp scent of horse manure 
To kick Star on and start warming up
To hear the squeak of the leather as he walks 
To tell him he's a good boy 
And give him a rub
To sit up tall and straight 
And instruct him to trot 
To get in to a rythm that feels smooth and effortless 
To speed up in to a canter 
And experience the buzz of the speed
Then to dismount 
And peel off my helmet thats damp with sweat 
To treat the horses with a carrot 
And then have a hot cup of tea with friends 
And talk about the lesson 
I love it 
I love it all

Anyway 
For lack of something to do 
I put my name down to do a computer course in the local women's centre 
I went for the interview today 
Which was the shortest interview I have ever done in my life 
They gave me a break down of the course 
And to be honest guys 
It's very basic 
And stuff I would already know
It's really for absolute beginners 
But still 
I am keeping an open mind 
Breda my counsellor also told me about a course starting soon
They is a rehabilitative course 
Which matches you up with something you have an interest in 
Trains you 
And provided work experience for 20 hours a week 
Over four years 
I really liked the sound of this course 
So I rang Breda today to tell her I am interested in starting it 
I am anxious to get the ball rolling 
As there are only ten places on the course 
So my next step is to call in to Breda Monday morning 
And fill out the forms 
Lost them 
And meet with the course coordinator 
So hopefully this will work out 
As I could ask to be placed in a stables 
Or animal sanctuary 
And of course I would be happy out in either of those places
All I can do now is wait 
And as you know 
PAtience is not a virtue that I possess 
But I'm going to have to suck it up 
This course makes me excited though 
The thoughts of working in a stables is just a dream come true 
And hopefully I will get to ride too from time to time 
I just hope it works out for me 
Keep your fingers crossed for me...
 
In other news 
I Am doing well
I miss work and my friends 
But I will keep in touch with them 
And call in to them regularly 
It's nice to have more time to myself 
But I know I will get bored if I don't keep occupied 
And when I get bored 
I tend to get in to trouble 
The devil makes work for idle hands and all that 
But I have options 
So that is good 
And I trust and believe that the right thing will happen for me at the right time 
ED wise 
I am going ok 
Look 
It's never going to be perfect 
I still struggle with purging from time to time 
But I am eating well most of the time 
My mood is good 
I feel stable and strong 
I feel no urge to lose weight 
Or to change myself in any great way
I have no idea what I weigh 
And I don't wAnt to know 
Ignorance is bliss in my opinion 
My clothes fit 
Therefore I am presuming that I've not gone over a size 8-10
Which is a healthy weight for me 
And as they say 
If it ain't broke 
Don't fix it 
I hope to blog a bit more now that I have some free time 
And of course to catch up on yours 
And generally become an active member of our community again 
As I fear I have neglected you some what 
But that's life for you 

I want to thank you for still reading 
And got being there for me 
It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful the people here are 
This community means a lot to me 
You mean a lot to me 
And we need each other 
For support 
For company 
For friendship 
I love each and everyone of you 
To the moon and back....