Saturday, 25 October 2014

Treatment, Part 1

One year ago today
I went in to treatment for the sixth and last time
I remember it like it was yesterday
And me and my Mum were talking about it today
The morning I left I was so upset
Saying good bye to my Mum and my dogs was heart breaking
I never got upset leaving for treatment before
But this time felt different
This time felt like there was more riding on it
I guess I felt pressure to get it right this time
No one put pressure on me
I did that myself

My father drove me up to the hospital in Dublin
I remember on the way we had a very near miss with another car
I remember being so nervous to walk back in to that building
To see all the old familiar faces
To walk in to a room of other eating disordered people
I knew the score
I knew that everyone panics when a new girl comes in
And compares themselves to her
Even though I was at a very low weight
I felt huge
Even though I was sick
And being admitted to hospital
I still felt fat

My father and I arrived at the hospital
We were early
So he went to get something to eat
And I walked manically around the grounds in the pouring rain
I was admitted
And we went up to the ward
I instantly recognized one of the nurses
And she came over and gave me a hug
I was left to wait while my room was sorted out
And I looked out for the other ED patients
I spotted one straight away
Pacing up and down the corridor
Stick arms and legs
I knew straight away

The nurse came back over
And brought me in to the office for a chat
She said she had something to ask me
And wanted me to be completely honest
I was a bit freaked out when she said this
'Have you been smoking marajuana today?' she asked
I was shocked
'Why would you ask that?'
'I just thought I could smell it off you'
'Absolutely not' I said
And I hadn't
I couldn't understand why she was asking me this
And I became very upset
I just wanted to turn around and  go home
It really hurt me because I have worked so hard to get clean
That to think others think I am using really bothers me
However
I pulled myself together
And got on with the admission

I said a tearful goodbye to my Dad
And was brought to my room
There was two beds to a room
And I was haring with a girl called Claire
Next one of the nurses went through all my belongings
And took any flexes and chargers and hair straighteners
We wee not allowed anything with a flex
Or even the tie off a dressing gown
It took forever
But we got through it all

One by one
The other girls on the ED program came in to introduce themselves to me
There were 3 altogether
And they all seemed lovely
But then they always are
Then there was one other girl who was on the ward
But was not doing the ED program
She was 'on special'
Meaning that she had a nurse with her at all times
This was to ensure that she wouldn't harm herself
She was so young
Only 19

I spent the rest of my first day in the smoking room chain smoking
I met the others on the ward
The ward was called St. Brigid's
This was where all the ED patients stayed
But there were also people with other diagnosis there too
Like depression
Anxiety
Bi-polar
Our ward was not locked
Unlike some of the other wards
People on Brigid's were relatively well in that they didn't need constant supervision

In the evening I saw the doctor that was on call
He was lovely
The same age as me
A kind of bumbling, awkward but super polite guy
I did what I always do when I go in to treatment
And asked to be put on a sleeping tablet
I am so manipulative
And my inner addict comes out
He obliged
And I was happy

I wasn't allowed off the ward until I was deemed fit enough and well enough
Blood pressure was taken 4-6 times a day
Temperature
Bloods were taken every Tuesday morning
And ECGs every Thursday
I knew the routine by now

I stayed up late that first night
I turned off the light in the smoking room
And sat up on the window sill
I watched the grounds
Patients trying to escape
And the staff trying to find them with their torches
I wondered where the patients would go if they did get out
I had heard a story once about a couple of teenagers who had got in to a relationship while in the hospital
The ran away together
And made a suicide pact
The jumped off a bridge in Belfast
I don't know how true that story is
But it stayed with me all the same

I took my sleeping tablet at about 12am
Stilnoct
Not the best but it was better than nothing
I drifted off to sleep while watching Breaking Bad on my DVD player
I dreamed that I was well
That I had no ED
I was so disappointed when I woke up and it wasn't true

To be continued..........



Friday, 24 October 2014

Acceptance

As you know
I have re-gained a lot of weight recently
Like I let you forget that little nugget of information
I write about it a lot
But that's because it is a huge deal for me
(Literally!)
My body image at any given time of the day can be polarized
I can absolutely hate my body with a passion
And feel so ashamed of what I have become
To becoming something approaching acceptance
And dare I say it
Actually liking my body

My body is changing all the time
I have gone from having the body of a male child
To shape of a 33 year old woman
I cringe when I type those words
W.O.M.A.N
Because I couldn't feel less like one
I feel like a little girl
Trying to find her place in this world

Anyway
I am getting off the point here
Back to body talk
I am trying to accept my new body
And my my new status as 'Recovering anorectic'
It's with hesitation that I type those words
Recovery is a broad term
And I'm sure that it means different things to different people
To me it simply means that I want to live
And I don't want to shuffle off this mortal coil
It means that I am not actively or passively trying to kill myself
That my head is not filled with negative thoughts every moment of the day
That I want to be alive
And alert
And awake
Not half asleep in a drug induced stupor

This moment is all we have
The past has gone
The future is yet to be
All we have is right here
And right now
And right at this second
This is the body I have
There is nothing I can do about that at this very moment
So it is easier to accept it
Not wish it away
Or wish that there was less of it

I haven't weighed since my last meltdown
But I know that my body is changing still
I am swimming 5-6 times a week
I walk every day
And do yoga once a week
My sister has noticed that I am getting more muscular
Around my arms and legs
I was really glad to hear this
As I want to tone up
I was to be fit
And healthy
And strong
I no longer want to be sick and weak
I want to be well

When I think of someone being attractive
The first thing I think of is confidence
There is nothing more attractive than someone who is self confident
Not arrogant
Not cocky
Someone who is happy in their own skin
Happy to be themselves
Comfortable in their own body
That is more attractive than any body part that I can think of

Rewind a year ago
I was in treatment
I had zero confidence
No self esteem
My anxiety was all consuming
But in the last 6 months
My confidence is getting better
I feel a bit more sure of myself
I feel capable and able
Right now
Right this second
There is nothing I can do about my body
So I accept it
Flaws and all
My body is not perfect
Far from it
I have lumps and bumps
And rolls and sagging skin
And stretch marks
But it's not too shabby
It could be a whole lot worse
I have a working, strong body
And today I accept it

I know that my weight gain will settle down
I just need to be patient
Everything is as it should be
Everything is ok

Today body, I accept you
I appreciate all that you are
And all that you do for me
I am grateful that you haven't given up on me
Even though I have put you through hell
Thank you body
Thank you for everything

And always remember
Acceptance is key people
Acceptance is key


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Escape

Apologies for the radio silence over the last couple of days
And for not replying to comments
I have been struggling a bit
To leave my ED behind
To face the day even though all I want to do is sleep forever
To see my ever changing reflection in the mirror
To face the possibility that my dog may be ill
To eat
To not purge
To be me
To be a good sister, friend and auntie
Not to use
Even though there is nothing more I would like to do than get out of my head
I had such a craving for a drink yesterday
I just wanted to feel that warm feeling in my stomach
To switch off my brain and my thoughts
To drink vodka and orange juice
And smoke my little head off

In other words
I want to escape
Just like the great Houdini
I want to escape
This life
This head
This body
This earth
This mind
This ED
This everything
Just for a little while

No one said that this was going to be easy
Nothing worth while never is
And it's ok to have a bad day
Or a bad few days
It's ok to feel like this
I'm human
I'm not perfect
I just need to hang in there
And I know what I need to do to help myself
That doesn't mean I will do it though

Wake me up when October ends......



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Smoke and mirrors

Just wanted to take a minute to tell you
That I am now 10 weeks and 2 days off cigarettes
I think I can now safely call myself a non smoker

I was in my local shop today
Where I used to buy my smokes
Now I buy my white chocolate there instead
Not a another great habit
But at least it's less expensive
And less harmful
Cigarettes in this country went up another 40 cent this week
Bringing the cost of a pack of 20 up to 10 Euros
So glad I don't smoke any more
I just can't afford to pay over a tenner a day
For the privilege of killing myself
No thank you very much

Everyone is really shocked when I tell them that I have stopped smoking
I was such a dedicated and passionate smoker
I was a 30 a day girl
And I loved it
I really enjoyed smoking
I loved the first one of the day with a cup of tea
I loved the one that finished off a meal
I relished the last on before bed
I truly loved them

But alas
Nothing lasts forever
The habit had to be broken
As it was leaving me with all but a few Euro a week to survive on
I can't lie
I gave up for vanity reasons
Not for health reasons
Although they are a bonus
I gave up because I couldn't afford them any more
And I want to be able to buy clothes when ever I like
And that is a lot as you already know

I have to confess
There are times when I would kill for a smoke
The craving comes over me silently and suddenly
Like a tidal wave gathering speed
But I know if I just ride it out
It will pass
It always does

So that's the smoke part of this post done
Now on to the mirrors

I keep wanting to delete those photos from my last post
I feel I look gigantic
I can't stand to look in the mirror today
Today is a bad body image day
When all I want to do is hide under my duvet
And pretend I don't exist

This has been a very illogical and fragmented post
Congratulations to you if you have made it this far

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Clothes Post #5

As you know
I was away at the weekend
So I took the opportunity to buy some more clothes
In the actual size that actually fits me
Rather than trying to squeeze myself in to tiny sizes that no longer fit me
I really wasn't going to post these photos when I saw them
As I don't think that I look my best
But here they are anyway
Make of them what you will........

Navy jumper - Superdry


Navy t-shirt - Brakeburn


Red  T-shirt - Brakeburn

Navy hoody - H&M


Monday, 20 October 2014

The Lindsay Lohan effect....

Something that I have noticed over the last few months
Is that my blog seems to get more views when I am struggling
I am wondering why that is
I am not too bothered by how many views my blog gets a day
But it is concerning when I see that since I have ventured in to recovery
My stats have fallen
Why is this?
I must say I would rather have 10 readers read about my recovery
Than 1000 reading about my self destruction
But still
It unsettles me a little

The first blog I ever found about EDs was Recovering Anorexic over on Wordpress
This girl wrote anonymously
And was brutally honest about her life
Living with
And trying to recover from anorexia
But a couple a years ago
Her anonymity was compromised
And she deleted her blog
Or at least made it private

Anyway
I remember her writing about the fact that her blog seemed to be more popular when she was in the midst of a relapse
I remember thinking that was so wrong
But I can kind of understand it
Misery sells
I know the newspaper industry has a saying
'If it bleeds it reads'
Meaning that violence, death, pain and hurt sell newspapers
Good news often doesn't make the news at all

Think about Tripadvisor
Or any site of that kind
People will write a review of they had a terrible experience
But often won't think to do so if they had a lovely experience
And I know I love reading the negative reviews
It's a benign type of voyeurism

I remember this same blogger calling herself the 'Lindsay Lohan of the blogging world'
And you know how much people like to watch the never ending saga that is the Lindsay Lohan story

So why is it that people devour the misery and pain of others?
Is it because they make us feel better about our own lives?
Is it because it is compulsive viewing?
Maybe it depends on the state of mind we are in
I know when I was really struggling
It was too painful to read about recovery
I wanted to read about others in the same situation as me
Like attracts like I guess
And it seems for every recovery blog there is on the internet
There are 10 blogs where the person is still struggling
That is the awful truth

At the moment I am finding it very hard to read about others still struggling
Especially those who I know well and have become very fond of
(I think you know who you are)
I do try to keep up to date
As I genuinely care about these people
But it's just too painful to watch people die
And that is what is happening
Whether we like it or not
This illness is killing beautiful, talented, loving girls, women and boys every single day
And we watch from a distance
It just doesn't sit right with me any more
I have to admit that it is hard for me to write this
I don't like having to write this
But it is the truth
At least it is the truth for me

I was wondering about you
Do you rather read about recovery or someone still struggling?
And why do you rather it?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Body Talk

Somehow I have made it to Sunday
I'm heading home today
My mum and my uncle are oblivious to the difficult weekend I have had
I spoke to my sister briefly
But I didn't want to drag her in to my misery

Yesterday was so hard
It was own fault though
I should never have gone near that scale
And anyway
The number was out of context
It bears no relation to the number on my scale
And you know what?
F**k the number
I'm not going to let my ED fill my head with lies this time
That I am fat
And ugly
And worthless
I had such a reaction yesterday to seeing that number
I didn't eat all day yesterday
And purged what I ate last night
Then we went to see the opera Carmen
And my mood lifted a little

So where do I go from here?
I was tempted to delete my last two posts
But I really don't like to delete posts
Because this blog documents my life
And those posts were how I was feeling at the time
Even though in the cold light of day I feel a lot better
So I won't delete them
They may help me in the future
When and if this happens again
I will be able to see how I got through it

Trying to detach myself from my weight is proving difficult
I've defined myself by my weight for so long
That I don't quite know how to define myself in any other way
Maybe I don't need to define myself
Maybe I just need to be me
And that is enough
I am a daughter
A sister
A friend
A dog owner
An auntie
A writer
A swimmer
A walker
I am much much more than the number on a scale
A number on a weighing device that I have used to measure my worth for the last umpteenth years
What does that number even mean?
It means nothing on its own
It's only when we compare it to other people and their numbers that we either feel worse or better
It really means nothing

I was ashamed of my body
I felt like a failed anorectic
But I want to flip that on its head
And call it successful in recovery instead
This body has been through hell
It has been starved
Abused
I've put poison in to it
Almost killed it over and over again
For the first time ever
I am something approaching healthy
My body may be full of lumps and bumps
But it is the body that has carried me all these years
The body that refused to die
Refused to give up
No matter how badly I treated it
I am lucky to have this body
It is becoming strong
And able
And confident
For that I have to be grateful

I don't know if I will ever be completely at peace with my body
It's a turbulent relationship at the best of times
But it doesn't have to be a war
I don't have to fight it any more