Saturday, 22 October 2016

Week 1 Over

Hello friends 
It's feels so good 
To take the time to sit down with a cuppa and write
This week has been hectic to say the least 
Early mornings 
Long days 
Very early nights 
Lather, rinse, repeat 
Before I started the course 
I deliberately didn't think about what I was letting myself in for
Ignorance is bliss and all that 
I decided to take it day by day 
And hour by hour if necessary
The first half of the week was spent in the classroom doing assignments 
It was very laid back and relaxed 
No pressure at all 
Thursday and Friday are spent in the stables 
All week I was looking forward to working with the horses 
On Thursday morning 
We gathered in the centre 
And caught a bus out to the stables
I had my gear with me 
So I was good to go 
First we went up to the class room 
To do some theory 
That lasted about half an hour 
Then it was down to the stables 
And time to muck out 
I don't know about you 
But I have never in my life kicked out a stable 
And let me tell you 
It is not easy 
First I worked with one of the other girls 
And she explained things to me 
You get yourself a wheel barrow 
A pitch fork
And a brush 
You remove all the horse poop 
And any of the bedding that is wet 
But Jesus H Christ 
Did I have trouble doing that
The pitch fork itself is heavy 
And I am quite a little person 
So I found the actual mucking out really hard 
Then of course the horse is in the stable 
So you have to manoeuvre around him
And try and get him to go where you want him to go 
So when I had filled my barrow 
I had to bring it around to the dung heap
And boy did I struggle with that 
The barrow was so heavy 
I was sure it was going to topple over 
If you can imagine 
I was walking forward 
Pulling the barrow behind me 
Coming out of the stables 
There was a slope 
And I swear to God
I nearly got run over by my own wheel barrow!
Then I had to go around to empty the barrow 
To what I can only describe as a quarry of horse poop
I had to go right to the edge 
And honest to God 
There were many times when I thought I was going to be pulled over the edge 
I literally don't have a lot of strength 
Grainne is the name of the woman in charge in the stables 
And she is one hardy buck 
When she saw me struggling with the barrow 
She said she hopes I don't drive
Of course the funny thing is that I do 
But I definitely find using the barrow tricky 
The other new girl was there too on Thursday 
But because she has worked in a trekking centre before 
She knew a lot more than me 
So I felt way behind everyone else
Then it was time to groom the horses 
And that was nice
It was around then that I realised that I wouldn't be riding that day 
I can't lie 
I was really disappointed 
But I figured this week was a trial week
So no riding for me 
We breaker for lunch for an hour 
And no one had told me that there are zero facilities to get something to eat and drink 
I had nothing 
So one of the girls very kindly shared her lunch with me
After lunch 
The others had their riding lesson 
And I did more grooming 
And learning about the tack and all the gear 
I have to admit 
It was pretty overwhelming 
There was so much information thrown at me 
It was mind boggling 
By the end of the day 
I felt physically and emotionally drained 
And unsure whether this was for me 
We finished up in the afternoon
And I asked our tutor Joanna if I could speak to her 
I was honest 
I told her I felt a bit overwhelmed 
And that I was recovering from an eating disorder 
And was still quite weak 
She was nice to me 
Told me not to compare myself to the others 
And to work at my own pace 
She also said that if at any to me I needed to take ten minutes for myself that was ok
She also told me to really think about if I want to do this course 
And what ever decision I came to was ok
I left the stables feeling very tired 
It was really hard work 
But the positive is that I got to spend time with so many beautiful animals
So that made it all worthwhile 
My day wasn't over yet though 
When I got back in to town 
I was walking over to get my bus 
When I saw a woman holding a bird 
And was trying to cut something off the bird 
Curious as ever 
I asked her what she was doing 
She showed me that the birds feet were all tangled in fishing line 
And there was a fish hook through its claw
She held the bird 
And asked me to pull the hook out 
As you may know 
It's not easy to get a fish hook out cleanly 
I tried to pull gently 
But the bird started to bleed
But I kept trying 
And finally managed to pull it out 
The woman said she was going to bring the bird to the vet 
So I left her to it 
How do I get myself in to these situations?
But hey 
I was glad I could help

We were out in the stables again
But just for a half day 
I was slightly dreading the mucking out part
And I prepared myself for the fact that I probably wouldn't get to ride
We started in the classroom
Before heading to the stables 
This time 
Joanna kept a good eye on me 
And helped me with everything 
Which was good of her 
I mucked out and groomed a beautiful pony called Blue 
He was a real pet 
A gentle little thing 
Then Grainne came over and asked me if I had ridden before
I said I had done a little bit 
And explained about the equine assisted therarpy 
She told me to rack up Blue 
And that I could join the lesson
I was super excited!
And Joanne helped me tack up 
I led Blue in to the arena with the others 
They all looked so confident 
And I felt so nervous 
I mounted Blue 
And took myself to the back seat of the line 
The minute I was on his back 
I felt right at home 
Then it was straight in to riding trot 
No warm up or anything 
Blue was a joy to ride 
And really looked after me 
We did a few rounds of trot 
Then we did something called the jumping position 
Which I'm presuming is the position you take when jumping a fence 
I just had to learn quickly and copy the others 
I am so glad that I had the experience I had 
As I was really thrown in at the deep end
Then some of the others did a twenty metre circle 
I was glad that I knew what that was
And I was able to keep up 
Then some of the others did a canter 
One by one 
I was at the end 
So Grainne told me just to trot 
But Blue had other ideas 
And broke in to a canter 
What a buzz!!
I loved it!
And Grainne actually said 'Good Girl'
Which is praise indeed from her
I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson 
And it really made all the hard work worthwhile
All too soon 
The lesson was over
So I brought Blue in 
Untacked him
Groomed him
And out his rug back on
Then it was lunch time 
And we were finished for the day 
And the week

This morning it felt so good to wake up
And realise that I had no where to be 
And nothing to do
It was a tough week 
But I have to say 
I thoroughly enjoyed it 
And I think I am going to do it
It's funny 
When I was doing the horse therapy 
I literally used to turn up 
Ride Star 
And go home 
I had no clue about all the work that went in to looking after horse 
And boy are they a full time job
I'm so glad to have a few days off though
To recharge my batteries
And catch up on myself 
I am so lucky to have the support of my family though 
My Mam looks after the dogs during the day 
So I don't have to worry about them at all 
I'm off to make a cuppa 
And watch Masterchef 
Hope you enjoy your Saturday 
And see you on the next post....

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Day 3 Horsemanship

Just a very quick post 
As I am on the bus on the way home
To let you know that I started my course on Monday
And so far it's going pretty well
The day is long enough
9 15am - 4 15pm
The first half of the week is spent in the classroom 
Doing modules like goals, communications and such
Thursday and Friday are spent in the stables 
Learning everything about horses 
So I am excited for my first day tomorrow 
There are 14 in my class
Nice and small 
We are all at different stages 
But another girl started with me on Monday
The first question everyone asked me was had I horse riding experience 
I played down the riding I've done 
As I don't want to look a fool if it all goes wrong 
But I did say that I had been learning to canter 
Which if I'm honest 
I regret saying 
Most of the people in the class had very limited experience of horses
Apart from the other new girl 
Who used to work in a trekking centre 
So I'm thinking she knows her stuff
Monday was tough though 
I'm getting a bus in to town at 7 50am
So I'm up at 7am 
And it's pitch dark at that time 
Then finding my classroom
Meeting the other girls 
We have three breaks in the day 
Which is great as the day is broken up in to chunks 
But during the breaks on the first day 
I didn't know where everyone went 
So I spent my breaks alone 
Sad I know 
But yesterday the girls asked me to lunch so I gladly went 
And they are all lovely 
All animal mad like me 
So we have that in common from the get go
Today was good as we had a different teacher 
Who taught us all about the horses tack 
And the the anatomy of a horse 
So I enjoyed that 
I'm hoping that I might be able to get a later bus in to town 
As they seem pretty flexible about what time you show up at
In fact it's all very relaxed and informal 
I guess we are all adults 
So the onus is on us

I will update properly at the weekend 
Appologies for being AWOL
But it seems life is shooting forward at break neck speed
But I know there are things I need to iron out 
Like the fact I'm not eating during the school day 
And I'm finding it very difficult to manage meals at the breaks 
The thing is 
I know I won't last if I don't fuel my body 
And the next thing will be that I'll get ill or weak 
But look
These are all teething problems 
I'm sure it will all work out sooner or later 
A big thank you to all the lovely ladies keeping our community going 
You know who you are 
Alright that's me
See you on the next post...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Getting ready for Monday

The last few days have been spent getting ready to start my course Monday 
The logistics 
Sorting out travel 
My money 
My meals and how I'm going to manage those 
And generally psyching myself up to be on good form 
And ready to take on anything my course throws at me
Terror and anxiety is gradually giving way to excitement and eagerness 
I can't wait to start 
I can't wait to throw myself in to it 
To be in the midst of everything horsey for the next 18 months
As well as it being right up my street 
I know it's also going to be tough
Early mornings 
Getting up in the dark 
Coming home in the dark 
Long days 
Physically and emotionally it's going to be hard going 
But I am so ready for the challenge 
So ready to learn and grow 
And become a capable horse rider 
I just have such a good feeling about this 

I had a moment of weakness 
And I weighed myself 
My mother also weighed herself 
And I weigh more than her 
This bothered me for about half an hour 
But then I realised that it really doesn't matter 
Not one little bit 
I am right smack bang in the middle of what is a healthy weight for my height 
I am taller than my mother 
I also came to the realisation 
That if I want to do my course 
If I want to be a competent horse rider 
I need to keep my strength up 
I need to keep my body fuelled 
If I stop eating 
Or start purging more 
Then I can say goodbye to my course 
Goodbye to my health 
My happiness 
My families happiness 
There are bigger issues I have to
Like being able to contribute to looking after my Dad 
I'm needed 
If I am not eating properly 
I can't do any of this 
It could be argued that addiction and EDs are extremely selfish 
I both agree and disagree with this 
I know it took me a long time to realise they my addictions effected more than just me 
It had a ripple effect on to everyone around me 
And my family were stone cold sober through it all 
I was off my face 
And oblivious to the hurt and pain I was causing 
Now I know if I want to pick up a drug 
Then it's not just my life I'm ruining 
But those around me also 
And that is too high a cost to pay 
I am not getting back on the merry-go-round of weighing myself 
No good can come of it 

I am taking it easy 
And gathering my strength for Monday 
I know some of you expressed concern that this horsemanship course might be too much for me 
And I know I will struggle with aspects of it 
But I have to follow my heart 
And go with what I feel is right 
I could do the computer course I applied for 
Which would only be two days a week 
But computers don't excite me 
Horses excite me 
Riding excites me 
Anything to do with animals excites me 
So i am going to go for it 
I know I would regret it if I didn't 
I feel I have a good foundation in riding now 
When I go out to the new stables 
I'm not going to say that I have experience 
I'll play down the fact that I have a little bit of experience 
Just so the don't push me too much 
I just can't wait to get started though 
I have such a good feeling about it!

That's it from me for today 
Hope you all have a lovely Saturday 
And see you on the next post....

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Last Day...

Today was my last lesson at horse therapy 
Before I start my course on Monday 
All of a sudden it all seems real
That I am actually going to embark on full time education
At something I love 
Today was amazing 
Star was in rare form
And we had some great canters
As well as some small jumps 
Fintan was away this week
So my Mam came with me today
The first lesson was great 
Then I had a cuppa with my Mam and Pat
Before having s second lesson 
All too soon 
It was time to go home 
I am really going to miss every one 
Especially Eilish and Fintan
Before I left 
She gave me some sage words 
To ring her if I need to about anything 
To take it slow 
And not to do anything I don't feel comfortable 
Eilish said that the instructors at this course may push me 
But to always just do what I can 
Then it was hugs and kisses all around 
And home we went 
can't begin to tell you how much horse riding has helped me 
It was a life line 
A reason to get up in the morning 
A reason to stay well for 
Star became my bosom buddy 
And gently eased me in to learning to ride 
The staff at the centre are second to none
Their kindness, patience and understanding made my time there absolutely enjoyable and unforgettable 
Thank you Eilish and everyone at KEC
You'll never know how much you helped me...

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Introvert or Extrovert?

My sister lived in Australia for 12 years 
And came back to live with us a couple of years ago
She was going through a hard time 
Battling depression and anxiety 
And wanted to be at home 
I was delighted she came home 
As I get on very well with her 
But I did notice a lot of changes in her 
She had a lot less energy 
And she craved quietness and warmth
We live in a bungalow 
But we have two bedrooms renovated upstairs
And my sisters bedroom is one of those 
She calls it her 'Nest'
It's very silent up there 
And warm 
And she regularly retreats there to have a nap 
Or to watch something on her laptop
Sometimes I get texts asking me to go up and visit her 
And often I'll get in to the bed with her 
I enjoy the coziness 
But that's where the similarities end
When I get up in the morning 
The first thing I do is turn on the radio 
Often times I turn it on while snoozing in bed 
I like the radio 
And it's constantly on here at home 
When my sister comes in 
The first thing she does is turn off the radio
I like it because it's background noise 
And it takes me away from my own thoughts 
Which may or may not be negative
I like to have something else to focus on
To take me away from myself and my own little worries 
My sister can't stand noise of any kind 
And craves peace and quiet 
Where am I going with this?
My sister posted a pic on FB about extroverts and introverts 
And the difference between the two
She identifies as an introvert 
And that got me thinking about what I am 
I definitely don't fit neatly in to one category 
I guess like everyone 
There are times when I am an extrovert 
And times when I am an introvert 
As I tend to be pretty quiet around people i don't know 
And louder and more gregarious around people I do know 
I also tend to find it easier to talk to strangers for some reason
I think I can put people in to categories 
I was bullied for a while as s child 
By girls from the rougher and tougher tech school 
This school was near my house 
So I passed these girls every day on the way home from school 
It was nothing serious 
Mainly bitchy comments 
A few pushes
They tried hard to scare me 
And it worked to a certain extent 
But ever since then 
Girls like this have made me feel uneasy 
What girls?
Well girls who are rough 
Often very pretty
And definitely intimidating 
I can identify them immediately 
And I revert back to being that scared school girl 
Because of this 
As a teenager 
I often sought out boyfriends and friends who were the male equivalent of these girls 
So I had someone on my side 
And I may even be accepted by said girls  
As some of you will know 
Bullying can really damage self esteem and confidence 
Before these incidents 
I was well on my way to becoming an extrovert 
But that wasn't to be 
And I ended up the way I ended up 
But now 
I put people in to categories 
And that's not a good thing 
Everyone should be equal 
And it would be nice if that were always the way 
But it's not
At least for me anyway 
Now I am an extrovert trapped in an introverts body 
I would love to be myself more 
But often I let shyness and lack of confidence swallow me up 
This is one of the reasons I love blogging 
As I find it much easier to communicate through the written word 
Rather than speaking
But I guess a lot of people are like that 

With all that said 
And I have covered a lot in this short post 
I was wondering about you 
Do you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert?
Are you a bit of both? 
Have you been bullied love me me ?
How did it effect you in later life?
Answers on a postcard please....

Saturday, 8 October 2016


I spoke to Atlanta again yesterday 
I wanted to ask her if I could postpone my trial period to the week after next 
As I need to be around next week
As my Dad has some appointments in Dublin
She said that was no problem 
So I start my trial period on the 17th
And then I start the course proper on the 24th
I told Atlanta to go ahead and do her paper work 
Now I just need to go and sort out my payment 
And then I will be official!
Exciting no?
I know that some of you have expressed concern that this course might be too much 
And I totally get that 
I'm concerned too 
It's going to be a long week
With long days 
I figured out that I could get a bus in to town at 7 50am
That gets there at about 8 40am
So that would leave me time to get a cuppa before I start at 9 15am
Then I finish at 4 15pm
And can get a bus home at 4 30pm
Driving is really a no go 
As I'm still waiting to do my test 
And parking will also pose a problem
Busing it will make the day a bit longer 
But I guess I can sleep for the journey 
I also need to sort out my meds 
As you know 
Monday is usually doctor day 
So that will have to change 
Friday is only a half day on the course 
So I will chAnge my appointment to Friday afternoons 
Which is simple enough 
I also need to think about when I take my meds
And will probably have to start taking them at night 
So I am alert during the day
But that is easy enough to implement 
I've had to weigh up the pros and cons of doing this course 
The cons being the long days 
The fact I won't be able to attend horse therapy on a Wednesday 
Less time with my dogs 
Lots of tiredness 
But there are many pros 
I will be doing something that I love 
I will be out and about 
Learning something new 
I will be horse riding twice a week 
I will be meeting new people who share my passion 
Lots to think about 
It's a huge leap for me 
And it's a risk 
But it's a risk I'm willing to take 

In other news 
I wrote a few posts ago 
About changing my diet 
Read: Not going on a diet 
But just making some adjustments 
I had been taking in so much salt 
That I was constantly bloated 
I was literally living off salt and vinegar crisps and roasted and salted peanuts 
And I really mean that I was eating precious little else 
Even as I ate them
I could feel myself bloating 
And it's such a horrible feeling y clothes felt right 
I looked six months pregnant 
But I craved salt the way I used to crave heroin
I tried many times to kick my salt habit 
Even throwing out all the Pringles and peanuts in the house 
But my cravings were so strong 
I kept giving in to temptation
The final straw came 
Last Thursday 
When I wore a jacket in to town 
And I could almost feel my body swallowing and eating the jacket 
It was so tight I felt so uncomfortable 
So I knew I had to do something 
Not lose weight as such 
But to address the bloating 
And the uncomfortable feeling 
So on Thursday I had my last box of Pringles 
And my last bag of peanuts 
I was super determined to kick this habit 
And eat a healthier and more varied diet 
Yesterday was my first day
And I was literally hanging for a hit of salt 
I came so close to going to the shop for crisps 
Every time I got a craving 
I had something else to eat 
I mean obviously I can't eliminate salt completely 
But I can reduce my intake 
Within hours of kicking my salt habit 
I could feel the bloating disapate 
And my tummy looked less pregnant like 
At some points it was touch and go 
But I managed not to fold 
And today is my second day relatively salt free 
But most definitely crisp and peanut free
I'm also trying to have proper meals 
To keep my blood sugar stable 
As far as my ED goes 
It's a whole lot better 
Not perfect 
But it's about progress not perfection 
I still purge from time to time 
That is proving incredibly hard to eradicate 
But Jesus H Christ 
It is miles better than it was 
I think back to a couple of years ago 
I was out of control 
I spent my days bingeing and purging 
Stealing food from shops 
I had a path work from my kitchen yo my bathroom 
It was crazy 
But I couldn't stop
I couldn't stop
I wanted to 
But I didn't know how
I was killing myself slowly 
It was a nightmare 
Which makes me so grateful for the recovery that I have found 
I am so much better then I was 
And the last nine months 
Things have just got better and better 
I am now living my life 
My way 
And even more than that 
I am enjoying it so much 
I used to wake up in the morning 
And dread the day ahead 
Knowing that I would spent my day with my head in the toilet bowl 
Was soul destroying 
Then there was the daily ritual of weighing myself 
And that number dictated my self worth 
My confidence 
My mood for the whole damn day
I know now that scales serve no purpose for me 
Like an alcoholic in recovery needs to stay away from alcohol
I need to stay away from the scales 
Or any measuring device that measures my self worth in numbers 
At least I've learned that much 
So I'm hoping that in the coming weeks 
My body will settle down 
That the bloating will correct itself 
And that I will feel better in my own skin 
I also know that if I start this course 
I'm going to need to keep my strength up
And that means eating breakfast and lunch and dinner 
No living off chocolate for bursts of energy 
I know that ther course will be tough at first 
As I get used to the new routine 
I guess I'm going to have to get up at about 7am
But I got up at that time for work 
And I'm an early riser anyway 
So I should be ok
I'm just so excited to start though 
I have just over a week to gather my strength 
And get my head in the zone
Then it's the beginning of the rest of my life...

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Course Update

So this morning 
I had an appointment with the course coordinator of the horsemanship course I want to do 
Her name is Atlanta
I arrived in the building bang on 10am
If I am anything 
I am punctual
With a name like Atlanta 
I expected her to look like a mermaid
Or a Disney princess 
But to my disappointment she was a real live human being 
Very friendly 
And filled me in on the course content 
They do three days in the classroom 
Monday to Wednesday 
And Thursday and Friday are spent in the stables 
There are about eight modules 
Including horse riding and health and safety 
Plus some optional modules 
Like IT and communications
The days are quite long 
9am to 4pm 
But there is a half day on a Friday 
Which is nice 
Atlanta read my application 
And told me that their psychologist may want to see me before I start 
Just to make sure I am ready and able for the course 
I don't sweat about things like that 
I know I can come across well with a bit of effort 
Atlanta told me that I am welcome to try the course out for a few days 
To see if I like it 
She suggested next week
But as it turns out
Next week is not good for me
So it will have to be the week after
At least that will give me an idea if it is for me or not 
I also have to contact my local
Social welfare office 
To let them know I am starting the course 
It was a lot to take in today 
But I really like the sound of the course 
I am going to take tonight to think about it 
And ring Atlanta tomorrow with my decision
Of course 
If I start this course 
It will rule out my horse therapy on a Wednesday 
That means so much to me 
And I will miss it so much if I have to leave 
But I also know that I have to move on at some stage 
If I want to progress 
I wrote a lot on my application about the the role animals can play in therapy 
And Atlanta said the course tutors also believed this 
So that is great that we are on the same page

I guess what worries me
And causes me some anxiety 
Is not so much the course itself 
I mean I am pretty sure that I will love it 
It's everything around the course that causes me concern 
I live about a 35minute drive from the centre 
And if the course starts at 9am
I will need to leave home shortly after 8am
Then there is the issue of parking 
I worked out they I could get a bus in and out 
So that would probably be the best option
As the thought of driving every day stresses me out 
Even though I spent the summer working 
I know doing a full time course is really going to tire me out 
At first for certain
Then hopefully I will become accustomed to it 
And it will become easier 
Then there is the pressure of starting in a new place with new people 
I guess those first few weeks when I am finding my feet will be tough 
But once I am settled in 
Hopefully things will become more manageable 
I have two dogs they need looking after 
So if I do this course 
They probably won't get walked every day 
And they will spend most of the day with my Mam and Dad rather than me
That doesn't pose a huge problem 
But it's something to think about 
I know when I come in in the evening 
They will want attention and hugs 
And it's going to be an adjustment period for all of us 
So yes 
A lot to think about 
But I am really hoping I can rejig things so that I can attend the course
And I can still maintain my recovery 
Which is paramount 
Because with out my recovery 
I literally have nothing 
It is the foundation of my whole life
And it has to take priority 
There will be some practical things that need to be sorted 
Like changing my doctor day from Monday to Friday 
Organising meds 
I'm pretty sure I will have to start taking my meds at night rather than the morning 
As I don't want t be drowsy in class
My good friend Fintan had some wise words for me recently 
He said that if it excites me
And scares me
Then I should probably do it 
And it does 
It both thrills me and terrifies me
Isn't that always the way with dreams?
will take tonight 
To weigh up the pros and cons of doing this course 
But in my heart 
I know what I want to do
I just know 

I met a friend for lunch in town today also 
A girl who was in treatment with me a couple of years ago 
We meet up every few weeks 
To catch up 
Give advice and take some
Today we talked a lot about perfectionism 
My friend would suffer with this 
As do I 
I don't know if I always was like this 
Because it's only in recovery that I have started to recognise it 
I really noticed it in work this summer 
Agonising over decisions
Staying late to check and re check everything I did
It was pretty bad
And when I came home 
I would stress over whether I had left everything on
Even worrying that the place would burn down because I forgot to turn off the gas or something similar
Perfectionism really seems to be a trait of anorexia 
In EDs in general 
Today I told my friend a little thing my sister taught me
That done is better than perfect!
Love that!
Because I know I could never finish anything 
For fear that it wasn't perfect 
I swear 
Life is too short people 

That is my little update for the day 
Thank you for reading 
And if you have any feedback about the course 
I would be grateful 
Do I stay where I am?
Continuing horse therapy once a week
Or do I push myself?
And throw myself in to this course?
I'd love to know what you think...