Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dublin, Part 1

I spent the past couple of days in Dublin with my family
It is my nephew's 14th birthday soon
So it was a treat for him
I haven't been to Dublin in a long time
I did a lot of my using there
And since I have gotten clean
I rarely venture up there
Because it has so many bad memories
Because I don't want to be reminded of that time
Because I am afraid I will be triggered
But I was with my family so I felt safe

We packed a lot in to the two days
Cinema (Planet of the apes, my nephew's choice)
But to be honest
I found being there really quite upsetting
Where as my family saw shops and buildings and architecture
I saw the homeless and junkies and vagrants
Where they saw buskers and street artists
I saw beggars
Where they saw money and wealth
I saw poverty
Where they saw palaces of interest
I saw places where I used
Where I bought drugs
And took drugs
I can't help but see Dublin through those eyes

One very upsetting incident happened when we were walking down Grafton Street
Which is one of the main shopping streets
We noticed a crowd gathered
And walked over to see what it was
A young girl had collapsed in the street
From looking at her
I guesses it was drugs
It was just so distressing to see her
And it brought back so many memories of when things like that happened to me
I was that girl
The girl who looks dishevelled
Eyes pinned
Completely oblivious to what is going on around her
Someone called for an ambulance
It came with in minutes
I hoped and prayed that she would be ok

One other upsetting thing was the amount of homeless people
They were everywhere
And me being me
And knowing what it feels like to have no where to go
And to feel invisible
I had to speak to them
Just to show them that someone cares
That they are not invisible
I spoke to 3 people
The first was a man in Temple Bar
He was writing on the ground with chalk
It read

'I was once just like you
With a home, a job and things to do
But homelessness came and took that away
Now I am on my knees asking for your help today'

I threw him some money and he asked me where he was from
I told him and asked him about himself
He told me that he sleeps in doorways
That he doesn't use the hostels because they are drug ridden
We shook hands
And I moved on
I wonder where he will sleep tonight

The second girl I spoke to was also writing on the ground
I could tell by looking at her eyes that she was on heroin
So instead of giving her money
I gave her some food
She began to cry as we spoke
It was heart breaking

The last man we spoke to was quite a character
He had a dog and a rabbit each side of him
The rabbit made headlines a few years ago
When some cruel person threw him in to the river Liffey
And his owner went in to save him
It was so curious to see the rabbit just lying by his side
I'm sure his animals bring him great comfort

I enjoyed Dublin as much as I could
But I was glad to leave
Too many memories
Too many ghosts of the past
I don't belong there any more
I've moved on
And that's ok

A good time was had by all
Here are some memories......

In my Dad's house

The house I grew up in

Hanging out with Patrick Kavanagh

And Phil Lynott

Science gallery is Trinity Colleged

Buskers in Temple Bar

The homeless man I spoke to

Ha'Penny Bridge

Part 2 to follow tomorrow

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What I've learnt.....

That people are the way they are and do the things they do for a reason

That everyone has a story

That hurt people, hurt people

That the people you love the most, will hurt you the most

That not everyone wants the best for you

That people won't stay, just because you want them too

That the majority of people are good and kind

That being on drugs turned me in to a person I didn't recognize

Or like

That getting clean was one of the toughest things I ever did

But also one of the things I am most proud of

That anorexia/bulimia is never happy

They want me dead, I have no doubt about that

That a scale is not a good way to measure your worth

That weight loss to an unhealthy level makes me miserable

That I am happiest when my body and mind are healthy

That sometimes disappearing seems like the only option

That no matter how low you go, you can always turn things around

No matter what has happened in life, there is always hope


That I can become addicted to pretty much anything

That I am not and never will be perfect

That laughter truly is the best medicine

That I only am my true self around a handful of people

But it is so freeing when I am

That animals have the power to heal us

My two dogs have saved my life over and over again

That music soothes, uplifts and motivates

That writing does the same

That starting this blog is one of the better decisions I have made

That some people will use you and manipulate you if they think they can

That I am quite a shy person

That it takes time for me to open up

To never say never

That the anxiety and anticipation before an event, are usually worse than the event itself

That I need excitement in my life

That family and friends are precious

That you have to fight for what you believe in

That never giving up pays off

That everything seems worse at night

But better in the morning

That I am stronger than I ever knew

That I can now do things that I once thought were impossible

That there is always a second chance

And a third

And a fourth

That sometimes the best thing to do is nothing and wait

That life is not easy

But what is the alternative?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

And then she recovered

The original title of this blog was And then she disappeared
I kept this title for the first two years of writing this blog
Because you see I was planning to disappear
I was so entrenched in my addiction and eating disorder
That I could see  no other way out
I just wanted to disappear

But now I'm not so sure I want to
Now I see that recovery is possible
Now I don't want to disappear
I want to live for the first time in a long time
Please know that no matter how low you go
No matter how bad things get
There is always a way out
I had written myself off
I thought I was a useless waste of space
I truly hated myself and my body
Disappearing seemed like the only option I had left

But things can and do turn around
I am proof of that

I changed the name to Recovering Anorexic
As I wanted to  include recovery in the title
How ever this name just didn't sit right with me

Hydra suggested the name And then she recovered
I love it
It gives a nod to And then she disappeared
But also mentions recovery
Thank you Hydra
Hopefully I can live up to the name........

Best Feature

I remember when I was in hospital
We had a group where we each had to think of our best feature
It was the longest group
As we each tried to think of something
I remember one girl said her eyes
And another girl said her wrists (I wonder why? thinnest part of the body anyone?)
I said my eyelashes
And I stand by that
They are the only part of my body that I think is nice
They are thick and long
No need for falsies here
And weight doesn't effect them at all
They always stay the same

It feels weird to talk about liking part of my body
For a couple of reasons
Having an eating disorder
I am so used to berating myself and my body
Honing in on the the negative
And focusing solely on that

And also in this country it is frowned upon to big yourself up
If someone does this they are seen as 'big headed'
It's silly really
We should be able to acknowledge good things about ourselves
Without fear of being ridiculed

So in an effort to promote some positive body image-ness
I was wondering about you
What is your best feature?
What is the part of your body that you like the most
It could be anything
Your eyes
Your ears
Your nose
Your smile
Your knee caps
Your big toe
Your elbow

Monday, 28 July 2014

For every cloud........

It's strange how an eating disorder can change and morph over time
Rewind to 2000
I was 19 years old
And already knee deep in to a nasty heroin addiction (Is there any other kind?)
I had lost a lot of weight
But put that down to the drug
Everyone knows that drug addicts are skinny and scrawny
And I was no different
I was quite oblivious to it really
I was always quite slim anyway
Having found out about my drug use
My parents frogmarched me in to a detox unit in a hospital in Dublin
It was sheer hell
A locked ward
Cameras every where
I was a young girl from the country
Surrounded by hardened addicts
I was in way over my head

I wasn't eating
But I didn't think anything of it
Then I noticed that I was being watched at meal times
Soon after that of the nurses sat me down one day
I remember her name was Anna
I had affectionately nick-named her Anna-conda
She told me very bluntly that I had anorexia
I was beyond shocked
And refused to believe
I couldn't take it in
Not only had I a drug addiction to deal with
Now they are throwing an eating disorder at me
I was incredibly upset
I remember telling my mother that the very idea was ridiculous
I didn't want her to worry any more that she had to

After that I went out of my way to prove that I didn't have an ED
However I didn't eat
I hid food in my locker
Flushed it down the toilet
But I was still adamant that I did not have this illness
After the detox I was supposed to go to a treatment centre
However I wasn't physically strong enough so they wouldn't accept me
I was discharged from the detox unit soon after
I relapsed within hours

Around this time I continued to lose weight
But I still couldn't accept that I was ill
Back then I went for days without eating
I never felt hungry
Not eating made me feel good
I remember looking at how concave my stomach was
I was proud of it

I used to stay in my boyfriends house when I was using
There was never a scrap of food in the house
When the drugs ran out I went home to recharge my batteries
I remember being so overwhelmed by all the food
This is when I started binging and purging
I felt so guilty that I had food and my boyfriend didn't
I remember bringing bags of food out to his house for him
He was so skinny too
I always felt bigger than him

So now my eating disorder had morphed from anorexia to bulimia
But I still refused to acknowledge it
I didn't know what was happening to me
I couldn't understand it
I felt so out of control
I hated it

Over the next few years I bounced between anorexia and bulimia
I gained and lost weight over and over again
It wasn't until 2004 that I finally admitted that I had an eating disorder
I couldn't deny it any more
It was incredibly difficult to come to terms with
I didn't want to have an ED
I just wanted to be normal

I have never been able to restrict the way I did back then
Not that that's a bad thing
As I have grown older I have lost that control
Has that happened to you?
It seems that it has happened to a lot of people that I know with EDs
I don't know what happens
Maybe my body just won't let me do that any more
It craves food
It wants to be nourished
That is natural I guess

I have never fit neatly in to any one label
I have a mixture of addiction, anorexia and bulimia
I guess you would call it cross addicted
It makes life quite difficult
Because I have an addictive personality
I have to be careful
I can't drink
I have to be careful with meds
I have to be aware of it all the time

But don't feel sorry for me
Don't pity me
I have learned to live with these conditions
I am used to it
And it's not all bad
I am the person I am today because of the experiences I have had
It's made me stronger
It's made me sensitive
And empathetic
In a strange way it also brought me closer to my family
For every cloud there is a silver lining

I was wondering about
Has your eating disorder changed over time?
How so?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Recovering Anorexic

As you may know
I have been thinking about changing the name of my blog
I've been playing with the idea for some time
I thought of many
And you also suggested some
Ones that I like were
And then she escaped
And then she reappeared
But I wanted to include recovery in the title
So I went for something simple
That does what it says on the tin
Recovering Anorexic

I'm just getting used to it
And I may not even keep it
And then she disappeared has a special place in my heart
But I thought of that title because I was planning to disappear
Now I'm not so sure that I want to
Recover seems almost possible now
And I want this blog to shout that from the rooftops
I may also change my URL
I'm not sure yet


What do you think of the new title?
Do let me know........

Busy bee!

My goodness I am a busy little bee these days
Maybe because it is summer and the weather is good
Maybe because my family are on holidays
Maybe because my sister is home
What ever the reason
I am doing a lot these days
And that is a freakin' revelation my friends

For the longest time I hid away in my house
Only venturing out to walk my dogs in the morning
I spent the rest of the day in my sitting room
Sitting in front of the fire place
Binging and purging endlessly
And I don't exaggerate when I say that
It was constant
Non stop
All day
Every day

Then I used to over take my meds every day too
I sat on the rug in my living room
Drifting in and out of sleep
Dropping cigarettes
And burning holes in the rug
I don't know how many times my mother replaced that rug
And it wouldn't be long until I had it destroyed
I am happy to report that there has been a new rug in the living room for some weeks now
And not one hole in sight
It's the little things people....

On to today
My Mum, my sister, my uncle and I went to Garland Sunday in the Holy Well
Garland Sunday is a mass that is said on the last Sunday in July
I'm not particularly religious by any stretch of the imagination
But I usually go to this mass
As it is outside and in a lovely setting

I remember I was there last year and was quite ill and frail
At the end of the mass the priest asks the sick to come forward to be blessed
I remember my mother trying to talk me in to going up to get a blessing
But of course stubborn me thinking there was nothing wrong with me wouldn't go up
It was so lovely to be there this year
In a better place
And not so in need of a blessing
Last year I was so weak I had to sit for the whole ceremony
This year I was able to stand for the whole thing
And hold an umbrella
Oh the joys of recovery!

The thing is that when I was underweight
I was completely oblivious to the fact that I looked so awful
It's only now when I look back on photos that I see how truly sick I was

At this point I must say that things are not perfect
Not by a long shot
I still purge every day
Some times multiple times a day
I don't eat regularly
I still over take my meds from time to time
And I did something incredibly stupid yesterday (Which I will write about another time)
But I am doing my level best to stay as well as I can
And at this moment in time
This is as good as it gets for me
Maybe it's not true recovery
Maybe some people would laugh at my idea of recovery
But things are a whole lot better than they were
And that is enough for me right now
Maybe in the future I will feel more able to tackle these issues
But not right now
Right now I am concentrating on living as best as I can

Here are some photos from today........

PS Apologies for not replying to comments the last few days
I will be replying from today

The Holy Well

I look so squashed because I had two jackets on