Monday, 23 July 2012

'Tears dry on their own'

Amy Winehouse is one year dead today
Hard to believe
My brother reminded me that there is a documentary on about her tonight
It's a about a memorable 20 minute performance she gave here in Ireland when she was just 21
I won't be watching it
I have to admit I find it incredibly difficult to watch any footage of her, if her video comes on I change the channel
I don't like to look at images of her
I can just about listen to her songs
I find it so desperately sad to have witnessed her decline
My favourite song is 'Tears dry on their own' but I haven't watched the video in years
Most people probably don't notice how pinned her eyes are from heroin use
The last few years of her life, in every video, every photo her eyes are pinned and glazed
Being a recovering heroin addict I find it so very hard to look at
Eating disorder wise, it is the equivalent of looking at a very sick and underweight person
I have read Amy also developed an eating disorder and her ever shrinking body would back that up
It's not that I find it triggering, I suppose it's like looking in a mirror
The haunted eyes and frail body are exactly the way I used to look
I followed her career from start and in the early years she was so different
Curvy, fresh faced and so very talented
Having watched and read interviews with her, she seemed to have very little self esteem
I remember her saying that the lower her self esteem was, the higher she made her signature beehive
It's heartbreaking how someone with such a precious gift to really touch people could have so little belief in themselves
But isn't that always the way
I was shocked when I heard she had died but I wasn't surprised
It was inevitable really
Apparently she had managed to get clean before she died but was still drinking and had a massive amount of alcohol in her system the night she died
The only comfort I take is that she is at peace now
Safe from the demons that haunted her
Sleep well Amy

Anyway, I digress
I leave for Italy early Wednesday morning
I spoke with my brother late last night about my apprehensions
I am becoming more and more and the thought of having to deal with so many people over the next 10 days is scaring me some
The wedding itself is on Friday and I wish I could say I am looking forward to it
It's a reflection of my state of mind
Making small talk with strangers is not my forte
People usually talk about their jobs or their relationships and I have neither
The main thing in my life at the moment is my eating disorder and I'm sure people don't want to hear about that
I don't drink so I don't have that to help loosen my tongue
I am hoping that like a lot of things in my life, the thoughts of it are worse than the actual event itself
As my brother said, the wedding business will all be over in 2 days and then I can enjoy the reast of my holiday
And of course I worried about managing food while I am away
The last time I was away I binged and purged my way around Barcelona
Also the uncertainty of not knowing when or where I'll be eating makes me anxious
Having gained weight. my family will probably presume I am more well than I actually am
My aunt came for dinner yesterday and when she saw me she remarked 'Oh you look well'
I hate hearing this
In my mind this translated to 'Oh you've put on weight'
Weight has absolutely on bearing on how well a person is or what their state of mind is like
As I've often said, I was just as sick at 77lbs as I was at 130lbs
I don't mean to complain and I know I am very lucky to be going on a holiday
And after all it's not about me, it's about my cousin who is getting married and I want to be there on their happy day
The sick part of me wants to stay at home and wallow in my illness
But then that would mean my illness is winning
Almost 12 years now I've had the constant companion that is anorexia/bulimia
It has prevented me from doing so much, held me hostage
My twenties are all but gone and I don't want to waste another decade
I love travelling, everything about it
For me the excitement begins with packing
I love airports and people watching
I love travelling itself whether it's flying or on a train
I even love plane food
It's so freeing to be in a completely different place, totally anonymous
Nobody knows you or your history
I'm not Ruby the anorectic, drug addict
I'm just Ruby
I'm going to try so very hard to enjoy myself
To soak up the sun and the atmosphere
I'll also try to blog once or twice

Take care of yourselves and please stay safe

All my love x

Friday, 20 July 2012

Same shit, different substance

I love listening to phone in shows on the radio when I'm walking my dogs in the morning
Yesterday a woman rang in to this particular show to talk about her sugar addiction
She spoke about how she eats copious amounts of chocolate and gets up 2 or 3 times in the night to feed her sugar addiction
I have to admit I can relate to this, just last night I got up at 2am to make a cup of tea with biscuits
Various others rang in to tell their of their own sugar or food addiction
One man's story really stayed with me
He was a successful business man but the stresses of the job got too much for him and became addicted to drugs and alcohol
He lost his job, his marriage broke down and he sank into a deep depression
Eventually he got clean but his addiction then switched to food
He gained 6 stone in weight
Again he managed to conquer his addiction but then went to the other end of the spectrum and became addicted to exercise seeing his weight plummeted to 8 stone
In total he spent a year in psychiatric hospitals
I thought this man was so brave to tell his story and I could identify so much
Jumping from one addiction to another has been the story of my life
I think my food problems have been there from the beginning
Food has been the centre of my world since I was a small child although I didn't develop a full blown eating disorder until I was 18
Also as a child I began shoplifting and this has been an on and off problem ever since
I depended on it for money when I was on drugs
At age 14 I began smoking and have been quite a heavy smoker ever since
Also at age 14 I began to use alcohol and drugs and that developed into a serious heroin problem
All the while my eating disorder was silently forming
I managed to get clean off heroin at 25 but swiftly moved back to alcohol and also methadone
Then an exercise addiction developed alongside anorexia
In inpatient treatment I was put on various meds including anti depressants, anti anxiety meds and sleeping pills
I abused all of these up until very recently
One common trait in all of these addictions is the behaviours
The lying, the cheating, the stealing, the denial,  the secrecy, the deviousness
Same shit, different substance
For most of my life I have been addicted to something
I have never learned a more healthy way to deal with reality or my feelings so I numb them until I can't feel anything
My thought race through my mind at an alarming rate and they are more often than not negative
I would never talk to anyone the way I talk to myself
I am forever trying to drown out the noise of my thoughts or at least quieten them
So I always have a distraction
I have the radio on or the t.v on so I won't have to listen to myself
Meditation and mindfulness have been suggested to me but I can't stand being inside my own head so I'm reluctant to try them
So I continue running from myself and running from reality

Anyway back to food addiction
My friend who I mentioned a few posts ago who had gone into treatment is home again
There were complications with her health (blood sugars and iron levels) and the centre were not equipped to treat her medically
This friend has been a long standing member of Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA)
FAA believe that certain foods are physically and psychologically addictive, namely sugar, flour and wheat
(Interestingly some studies show that sugar reacts in the same way as opiates in the brain)
So people in FAA recovery cut sugar, wheat and flour completely out of their diet
They also follow a strict food plan, weighing and measuring all their food
(I have witnessed this friend weighing her chicken in a restaurant)
Every little thing is accounted for although they don't count calories
They are careful not to call it a diet as it's more a way of life
In my desperation to find relief from my own eating disorder, I attended a few meetings with my friend a couple of years ago (My friend had been bulimic)
The meeting was much the same as an AA or NA meeting
I could identify with the women at the meeting but was reluctant to try the food plan having had a history of anorexia
I feared that the weighing and measuring could be triggering
I attended meeting for some months and went to their annual cooking demonstration (which I thought was funny because they cooked all this food but no one ate any)
I read the literature written by Kay Shepherd. Food Addiction and From the first bite
The books were very informative but in the end I decided that FAA was not for me
I just couldn't commit to the food plan
But I saw this method working for many others including my friend
I've been to her house for lunch and saw how she meticulously weighed and measured every morsel of food
The food was delicious by the way
I have asked my friend in the past do all the rules not get in the way of her life
She replied without hesitation that it in fact did the opposite, it gave her absolute freedom

Over the years I have often asked myself the question 'Am I addicted?'
How do I know when I'm addicted to something?
For me personally, I know I am becoming addicted to something when it alters my mood
When it affects my life negatively or when I'm becoming obsessed to the point that it's detrimental to my relationships, my work or my studies
I know I am becoming addicted when I feel the need to lie about my behaviour or defend it
So am I addicted to sugar?
Quite possibly yes
I know that when I binge I don't reach for fruit or veg, I reach for sugary, carbohydrate heavy foods
I get anxious if I don't have my preferred sugar fixes in the house
And most certainly getting up in the middle of the night to snack is not normal behaviour
Maybe that's the reason I left FAA
I just couldn't bear to give up my precious sugar
I shudder to think of a life stripped of all my addictions
But then again I can't bear to think of the rest of my life with them
We all have things that help us get through the day, be they healthy or otherwise and I definitely think that I have an addictive personality
Genetics are also not in my favour as addiction is rife in my family
In my own immediate family of 6, 4 of us are recovering addicts

With all that said, what do you think?
Is food especially sugar addictive?
How do you know when you are becoming addicted to something?

Thanks for reading and as always much love to you x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Mission Of Nutrition

I finally went shopping yesterday to pick up some clothes for Italy
As I've said before I would happily eat my own foot rather than go clothes shopping
And because they are summer clothes, that makes it all the more difficult
So I dragged my reluctant self in to town yesterday accompanied by my mother although she is not the best person to go shopping with as she says everything looks lovely no matter what I look like
To my delight and surprise I got it all done very quickly and painlessly
I picked up some lovely stuff so that gives my confidence a bit of a boost
I was dreading having to try the clothes on having gained a few pounds recently and I chose the clothes in a couple of different sizes
Thankfully I still fit neatly into the smallest size
This time last year I was almost a stone lighter
I was very curious looking
My face was aged and withered beyond my years and my body resembled that of a little boy
I looked very strange to say the least
Yesterday I noticed that my shape has changed and I'm slowly developing soft curves
Surprisingly I'm not as horrified as I thought I would be
My face, now slightly plumper, no longer looks hollow and gaunt
I wouldn't go as far as to say I like my new shape but it doesn't disgust me either
Although I wouldn't like to gain any more weight, I need to become comfortable with this new body first
I'm nervous to do this but I'm including 2 photos of me in one of my new dresses
It's a big deal for me to do this as I'm sure you can imagine
Anyway, here goes....

Please excuse the bad quality, I'm no photographer!

My brother is over staying with us for a few days which is great as I get on really well with him
He is just back from a month long writers retreat in Spain
It was so hot there that he managed to sweat off a stone in weight
He is of slight build anyway so he is below 10 stone now
Even though it would never occur to me to worry about my own weight, I worry greatly when I hear others have lost a lot of weight
So I am on a Mission Of Nutrition
I am going to fatten him back up
Well maybe not fatten but help him to put back on some weight
Also I can eat vicariously through him
So I quizzed him on what food he most likes and set off to the supermarket
I bought lots of fresh veg and pasta to make a hearty homemade soup
Lots of fruit and a variety of nuts
And of course chocolate and biscuits for something a bit naughty
I have to admit I almost messed the whole thing up 
Having been shoplifting free for a month I relapsed today
I sneaked 3 packets of nuts in to my bag and paid for the rest of the items
I had no warning this would happen, it was by no means planned
It was completely impulsive
I am at a loss as to why I am doing this
It has nothing to do with money or not being able to afford the items
It's more about the adrenaline rush
I walked out of the shop and to my horror I heard an alarm go off
I began to walk faster but the alarm was getting louder and louder
My heart was thumping out of my chest and I was just waiting for a hand to grab my shoulder
I was too afraid to look back in case there really was somebody chasing me
I wanted to run but I didn't want to draw attention to myself so I walked as fast as my legs would carry me until I reached my car
Relief flooded through my body when I realised I was safe
But what if I had been caught?
The shame and embarrassment would have been overwhelming
Especially for stealing items that cost little more than 4 euro
I can't afford for this to happen again, I really can't
I managed to come through drug addiction without a criminal record, how stupid it would be to mess that up now
I remember them telling me in treatment that there is a link between eating disorders and shoplifting
I think it could be something to do with the shame of whatever your buying or the fear that someone will realise your going to binge and purge all this food
I would talk to Mary but I'm not seeing her until I come back from Italy
My luck will run out eventually
Any suggestions from you lovely ladies would be greatly appreciated

So I am going to spend today preparing and cooking for my brother
Is it wrong that I get immense pleasure from seeing others eat?
I'm also enjoying preparing food
There is something comforting about the rhythm and repetition of chopping vegetables
I was making weight watchers 0 point soup for myself but I've altered it to make it more calorie dense for my brother by adding oil and ribbon pasta
No doubt he will have no trouble gaining weight in Italy

Also having had 2 weeks purge free, the binge/purge monster is back in my life
I don't have the energy or inclination to do anything about it at the moment
Everything including recovery is on hold until I come back from Italy
I tried on my dress for the wedding last night expecting it to be tighter, maybe even uncomfortable
To my surprise it is too big but it's also too late to do anything about it now
I guess it's better to be too big than be too small
One week to go, the countdown is on

All my love x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Lucky escape

I think I spoke too soon about getting my period back
It was very light and only lasted a day
I have to admit part of me is relieved
Not menstruating means my body is still sick and the eating disordered part of me likes that
I know it is so very twisted of me to cling to my sick self but I'm not ready to let go just yet
I saw my doctor this morning and he weighed me which he rarely does
I didn't look as it is a different scale so the number would mean nothing
Also I couldn't take another gain
My mood has improved slightly and I don't want to spiral back down into depression caused by stupid little numbers on a scale
I didn't have the nerve to tell him that I've stopped taking my meds
I just didn't want to get in to a debate about it and it's easier to say nothing
The down side is I'm building up a stash of meds, even though I give them to my mother I know where they are
It's dangerous as the temptation is there to swallow them all if I feel the need to disappear

The Italy trip has crept up on me
We are leaving next Wednesday and the wedding is Friday
I'can't deny that I feel the urge to fast in a last ditch attempt to lose some  weight
The closer the trip is the more anxious I feel
I am a loner at heart and having to be around people, some of who I don't know, scares the shit out of me
I am at a loss as to how to handle the food situation
Do I eat like everyone else and purge?
Or do I play it safe and restrict?
Purging does not really appeal as we will be eating out a lot so that makes it difficult
Restricting is probably the better bet
People have suggested to me that I leave my eating disorder at home
How I wish it were that simple
Even if I did make the decision to try and eat 'normally', I'm sure my eating disorder would turn up unannounced having stowed away at  the bottom of my suitcase
The irony is I love Italian food, it's probably my favourite food but it's also food I avoid as I'm afraid I'll lose all control and won't be ale to stop eating
I'm going shopping tomorrow to pick up some clothes so hopefully that will make me feel a bit better
Who knows, maybe I am worrying for nothing and I'll have a fantastic time
I often find that the thoughts of something are a lot worse that the actual event itself

I heard on the radio last week that the town I used to live in now has one of the worst heroin problems in the country
I'm not surprised
When I live there and was using, I think me and the people I hung out with were some of the first heroin addicts in the area
There wasn't a regular supplier in the town at that time so we had to travel to Dublin which was an hour and a half away
We would get the bus up every second day or pay someone to drive us
I'm sure that has changed now and there are probably countless suppliers
Towards the end of addiction I would travel up to Dublin alone and stay in hostels or stay with people I had met on the street
I had zero self respect or self esteem and was so addicted I was doing unspeakable things for money
If I had no where to stay at night I would go home with guys just to have a place to sleep and of course they would expect something in return
In the beginning of my addiction I tried to set some boundaries for myself and promised myself that I would never do certain things for money or drugs
But then your body becomes do addicted to the drug that when you are sick you will do practically do anything for the drug
Stealing was a given, I would steal anything, clothes, jewellery, perfume, watches and sell it on
I used to sell alot of items to the travelling community
They would actually give me a shopping list of things they wanted
I remember they were always looking for Waterford crystal items for their homes
I was lucky in that I didn't look like a typical addict
I was a young girl with an innocent face and I used this to my advantage
Although it could also be a disadvantage as people would take advantage of me
I used my innocent face to manipulate doctors in to giving me prescriptions for morphine and valium
promising them that I would never use again
The first time I exchanged sex for money was a dark, dark day, one I'll never forget
I can remember everything about that day in vivid detail
I won't write about it now but I will someday
I don't like to think about it too much but sometimes the memory escapes from the box I've put in
I feel extremely lucky to have moved away from that town

Having thought that I had gotten my period back go me thinking
Do I want children?
It''s a strange feeling to ask myself this question as in a lot of ways I feel barely more than a child myself
I'm not sure if I want children, at the moment I can't even take care of myself let alone another person
And having a baby just in case I might regret not having one later on is no reason to have one
I watched a documentary last night called 'I'm pregnant and addicted'
It followed a couple who were recovering heroin addicts and both on methadone
She was 8 months pregnant
Her doctors advised her not to wean off the methadone while pregnant as it could have had awful consequences for the baby
She went in to labour but when the baby was born it didn't cry and then stopped breathing
They managed to stabilise the baby and said her problems were not related to methadone
Then they waited to see if the baby went in to methadone withdrawal
There was a 60 - 90% chance the baby would be addicted to methadone
48 hours later the baby went in to withdrawal
It was heartbreaking to see the baby in such distress and of course the mother felt incredibly guilty
They treated the baby with morphine and in the end she was ok
It brought home to me how addictive methadone is
I've taken it for so long now, 7 years, that I don't even think about it anymore
I take it each and every morning with a cup of tea
If I didn't take it I would go in to severe withdrawal within 48 hours
Some say methadone withdrawal is even worse than heroin withdrawal
It's a double whammy, mental and physical torture
Every inch of your body hurts, from your hair to your toenails
Your freezing cold one minute then boiling hot the next
You will throw up and have diarrhoea
You will toss and turn in your bed, it's impossible to get comfortable
You will be so exhausted but insomnia will not allow you to sleep
Mentally you feel like you are going insane
This could last for up to a week
I agree with methadone maintenance as it has helped me to stay clean but I don't agree with being left on it for years and years
I would like to be off it within a year
Here's hoping

Thanks for reading,

All my love x

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Surfing the crimson wave

My mother is back from her week away
I have to admit I enjoyed the solitude and my eating disorder had a field day
Perfect conditions for it to thrive, house to myself, no one coming home, no visitors, no worrying about people hearing me purge, no one to challenge me on how little I've eaten
And because I was alone I could do what I pleased
Thursday was binge city, population me
Yesterday I just wanted a break from my eating disorder so I took a double dose of methadone and the same of anti anxiety meds
I slept most of the day
Today I'm trying to get back on track
I cooked dinner for my family as they arrived home
I've actually done a lot of cooking this week
A lot of cooking but very little eating
There's something comforting about chopping and peeling and the aroma of herbs
I made the weight watchers 0 point soup on Monday but ended up throwing most of it out on Thursday
I am weird in that I find bulkier foods harder to eat than foods you can feel in your stomach
For example I would find a plate of veg harder to eat than say a chocolate bar even though the chocolate had way more calories
It's the feeling of fullness that I can't stand and this is why I purge so much

I had an unexpected guest arrive yesterday
I got my period, albeit very light but it is there
It was a bit of a shock because I haven't had a period in almost 10 years and had nearly forgotten what it's like to have a period
You would think that I would be delighted to menstruate again, that it's an indicator that everything is working properly with my reproductive system
But I have to admit I was bitterly disappointed to see it
Because I often doubt that I am really sick, amenorrhoea was a tangible sign that I was sick
Getting my period is a sign that my body is starting to recover  and that is scary
I should probably be jumping for joy, happy that I am able to bear children
But I can't deny that  I feel desperately unhappy
My body is crying out for food, for nourishment but my mind is still very much entrenched in my illness
My body is starting to recover but my mind is still so very sick
It's an endless tug of war
Mu body is demanding to be fed, craving recovery but my head is still not sure that's what I want
I feel like I'm torn in two opposite directions
My sick mind wants one more shot at getting to an all time low weight
Just like drugs I am craving one more hit
But I know there's is no such thing as just one more
As they say in NA, one is too many and a thousand never enough
This is so true, I know that I will never be satisfied with the number on the scale

Also having my period is a sign that I am a woman
I've never been comfortable calling myself a woman as I've always felt like a child inside
Part of my eating disorder is a fear of growing up, wanting to stay in a childlike state
My fear of growing up is mainly a fear of failure
Fear of responsibility
Fear of not being able to hold down a job
Fear of letting others down
Fear of letting myself down
Fear of failing at life
So to not have to deal with these fears I cling to my childhood, remain in a childlike body
Now getting my period I can not deny that I am a woman
Although I don't look like a woman and am often asked for ID when I'm buying cigarettes

To be honest this makes me want to restrict even further, to claim back my childhood state
Although I know I can not remain a child forever, I have to grow up at some stage
I guess if I had more belief in myself, more self confidence, I wouldn't be so afraid to take on life's challenges
I doubt my ability and beat myself up for the smallest little thing
I need to realise that if I try then I can never fail
I need to believe in myself more
Believe that I'm just as good as everyone else
That no one is better than me
That I am ok just the way I am
When I was younger I was so eager to fit in that I used to take on other peoples accents
If I was in Dublin I would put on a Dublin accent
If I was in London I'd put on an English accent
Sad I know but I just wanted to be like everyone else and be liked
I need to realise that different is ok, different is interesting
And also it's ok if someone doesn't like me
I don't like everyone so why do I think that everyone should like me
It doesn't mean there's something wrong with me or that I'm not good enough
I am good enough, just the way I am
Maybe if I say it enough times I'll start to believe it

With all that said, have you ever lost your period and then have it come back again?
How did you deal with it?
I'd love to know if you were happy about it or unhappy

Have a great weekend,

Much love x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Ignorance is bliss

I'm just back from seeing Mary
The first thing I saw when I walked in to the room was the dreaded scale
Usually she leaves the weigh in until the end of the session but today she decided to get it out of the way before I'd even sat down
I can't tell you how much I wanted to look down at the number but I couldn't risk the fallout that would happen if I had gained
I'm on my own this week and after my meltdown last week after being weighed, I couldn't risk it again this week and then have to go home to an empty house with 3 weeks worth of meds
Bear  in mind I maintained last week so I shudder to think what my reaction would be if I had gained
Ignorance is bliss

So I told her about my week, how my mood had plummeted but didn't confess to having suicidal thoughts
I told her about having been 2 weeks purge free but then broke out on Tuesday and purged 6 times
Tuesday was a perfectly normal day
I had absolutely no warning that  binge was in the post
It was literally a split second decision
One minute I was fine and the next thing I knew I was raiding the presses for food like a heat seeking missile
I binged and purged 6 times over the next few hours
I can trace it back to the previous day
I took 3 anti anxiety meds so I could sleep for the day
Yes I took the olanzapine that I swore I would never take again
I just wanted a break from the black thoughts I was having and sleep was the only way to stop the dark and negative tape that was playing on repeat in my head
I don't know for sure but I suspect it could have been the meds that awoke my ravenous appetite
Thankfully I am back on track now
If anything this slip just showed me how sick I am of the binge/purge cycle and never want to go back there

Mary asked me to write down some long term goals
They included getting my eating under control, be independent, go back to education, travel, social life, have a relationship and a few others
She asked me what was stopping me from reaching these goals and of course the answer is my old sparring partners fear, anxiety and fear of failure
She pointed out that having regrets is a lot worse than having tried something and failed and that if you try you can't fail
I didn't want to say that my most important goal is reaching a new all time low weight
Ridiculous I know
I explained that I feel like I'm failing at my eating disorder when I engage with recovery
That I've been given this label of anorexia and I'm failing at being anorexic
She said that just like the number on the scale, anorexia is just a label and it does not define me
In my head I was shouting 'But it does, it does!!'
I often liken my relationship with my eating disorder to an abusive relationship
Just like an abuser anorexia grooms you and lures you in with promises of happiness, thinness and success, then when you are captive it shows you it's true colours and the cruelty begins
When you try to get away from your abuser or eating disorder it tries even harder to get you back into it's clutches, promises you that this time will be different
I feel like I am at that stage now, I'm trying to escape but the promise of being thin and happy is so very hard to resist

My goals for next week coincide with preparations for the wedding
Buy some new clothes which I've been putting off for weeks
I have to get some stuff for Italy but I would rather eat my own foot than go clothes shopping at the moment
But I have to so I will make myself go
Maybe I'll feel better about the trip if I have some nice clothes
Also I need to get my hair done, also something I've been putting off
I just hate having to sit in front of a mirror for 2 hours while trying to make small talk
I know I will feel good after doing these things but the thoughts of doing them is enough to drive me to drink
Italy is getting closer and closer and I need to get these things done

With that said I was wondering if any of you fashionistas out there have any suggestions as to what sort of clothes would be good for Italy
I'd really appreciate any advice on this as I don't know where to start and even thinking about it makes me anxious
I want to be comfortable but also look good

Hugs and kisses x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


My family are gone away for the week so I have the house to myself
I'm enjoying the solitude although it is perfect conditions for my eating disorder to thrive
I can restrict to my hearts content
I am still in a dark place but thoughts of suicide are not foremost in my mind
They are just fleeting thoughts
I'm so glad to have some time to myself, I love my mother but now that she is on holidays from work we are living in each others pockets
Also I don't like her seeing me like this
I feel like I am holding on with my finger tips
I feel like any moment I could fall in to a black hole, never to be found again
And the worst part is I feel  I should be in a better place
I'm nearly 2 weeks binge/purge free, I'm off the dreaded olanzapine
I should be feeling good but I don't
I went to the doctor yesterday but it wasn't my usual doctor so I had to take the olanzapine prescription as he can't make any changes to my meds
I took 3 yesterday and slept for most of the day
Now I feel so guilty

This illness has been with me for 11 years now
I lost all of my twenties to addiction and eating disorders
Do I really want to lose the next 10 years?
The answer is definitely no but I also can't imagine the next 10 years without it
Most people my age are settled in their jobs, are in relationships and are planning marriage or to have children
I would love to go to college but I just can't see it happening
My fear of failure is so strong that it stops me from even considering doing alot of things
Fear of failure
Fear of not being good enough
Fear of letting others and myself down
Fear of not being liked
Fear of anything outside of this eating disorder bubble
I would not have held on my eating disorder for so long if it did not serve a purpose and it does
It keeps me numb to any feeling
It shields me from life
I stay in this childlike state where I have no responsibilities
I don't have to engage in life so therefore I don't get hurt
But it's coming to the point where the bad outweighs the good
It was the same with drugs
The negative consequences started to out weigh the good
It was too much effort for too little payoff
But the fear I feel is paralysing
It's keeping me stuck as if I were encased in cement
Other factors come in to play now though
My parents are in their sixties and are not getting any younger
What do I do when they die
They support me in every was to the point that I would be lost without them
My siblings can't be expected to pick up the slack
Then I would either sink lower in to my eating disorder or get well without their support
Neither option is appealing
Now would be the ideal time to attempt recovery as I would have their support
I've lost so much to this illness already. do I really want to lose anything else?
Inpatient has crossed my mind
I have one more chance to go the place I was before
And that's what's stopping me from calling them
I only have one shot there so I want to be sure I'm going to use it wisely
The last time I rang them them it took me a year to muster up the courage
But the addict in me wants to get to an all time low weight, lower than I've ever been
Maybe then I'll be satisfied and will be ready to get well
I know that's bullshit though as the number is never low enough
Something needs to shift though

The wedding in Italy is a little over 2 weeks away
The closer it gets the more anxious I feel
There will be lots if family lunches and dinners and that terrifies me
Do I eat and purge or carry on restricting?
I love Italian food and I'm afraid I'll lose all control and become the incredible binging monster
I've even been stressing over who will be sitting at our table at the wedding
Will they notice my bizarre eating habits
I should be looking forward to this holiday, it's the trip of a lifetime
I've considered not going at all but I've paid for it and I want to be there to see my cousin get married
It would be taking the easy option not to go
A lot of the time I find that thinking about something is worse than the event itself so I'm hoping that will be the case here

With all that said I wanted to ask you 2 questions
If you were me would you consider inpatient?
And also how do you manage food on holidays?
I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions

Thanks for reading and as always much love x

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Falling slowly

More signs?
I came home from walking my dogs yesterday morning and switched on the t.v to see that Dr Phil was on
I don't usually watch Dr Phil as I find him patronising but guess what he was talking about?
Yes you've guessed it, eating disorders
I missed the first half and caught up just when he brought on Tracey Gold
Most of you will remember Tracey Gold as the American actress who suffered from anorexia
She recently brought out a reality show called 'Starving Secrets' about girls suffering from eating disorders
I haven't seen this show and I've heard good and bad reports about it, mostly bad
She spoke about her illness and showed the obligatory emaciated photos
Then they showed a clip from a previous guest who had been on a year previously
It showed her looking at a picture of her skeletal frame and describing how fat she was
A year later she was back and what a difference, she was the picture of health with a beaming smile
The were all there to help a girl called Mercedes
I missed most of her story but she had anorexia and was terrified she was going to die
They offered her a place in inpatient treatment and she gratefully accepted

I don't always like to watch shows like this as I inevitably end up comparing myself to these girls and deciding that I'm not as as sick as them therefore I'm not sick
They can often serve as a trigger for me although sometimes I watch them for this exact reason
My mother was sitting at the table and we both watched the show in silence
Towards the end I could hear her quietly sobbing
I couldn't look at her and I pretended I didn't notice
I was afraid if I looked at her that I would also break down
I envied the girls on the show who had managed to recover but as sick as it sounds I also envied the girls who were sick
Why I don't know because in reality I am where they are and I am utterly miserable

After being in great form since stopping my meds 2 weeks ago, my mood has been steadily declining the last few days
When I wake up in the morning I dread the day ahead and I know this is a bad sign when I'm depressed before I even get out of bed
I can't stand the thought of another day obsessing about food, worrying about my weight
The daily battle of will I or won't I eat
I still haven't purged but that is of little consolation to me right now
My peace of mind is non existent and thoughts of food never leave my mind
I am already stressing about next Thursdays weigh in
I have to admit that in an effort to end this misery, suicide as crossed my mind
I don't intend to act on these thoughts but I can't see any other way out right now
My mother is going away on Monday for a week and I am looking forward to the solitude
Another sign I am slipping
I think of my meds that have been building up for the last 2 weeks that are in my mothers room
How easy it would be to sneak in there and take them all
They probably wouldn't kill me but I would probably sleep for a while
I'm not going to act on this but the thoughts are comforting in a strange way
I remember when I was trying to get clean from drugs  I made a deal with myself that I would give recovery a go for 6 months and if it didn't work out I would kill myself
In a very sick way this helped me get through knowing I could end it all if I needed to
Thankfully recovery worked out
So maybe that's what I should do now, give recovery a shot
Trust Mary and trust my body
It really is a choice between life and death
I'm retaining water and it's driving me crazy
I know it's from those sodium packed cup a soups
They have to go
Maybe I have to go too
Maybe I am broken beyond repair
Only fit for the rubbish heap
I pray for a way out of this
I can't stand it a minute longer
I can't stand being inside my own head
I can't stand being in my own body
The self hatred and disgust I feel is overwhelming
I look forward to the nights and the sweet release of sleep
It's the only relief I get
I wish this would end
I wish I had the strength to get better
I wish I could eat and be ok with it
I wish...........

Thursday, 5 July 2012


I saw my ex-sponsor in the supermarket this morning
I almost gave myself whiplash trying to turn and speed walk in the opposite direction
Silly really as she is a lovely woman but I just couldn't bear to answer the question 'how are you?'
I couldn't trust myself not to break down and cry
I haven't seen her in over a year so  it is strange that I ran into her today
When I was attending meetings I used to ring her every evening and call to her house once or twice a week. She was bringing through the 12 steps and I had just completed my fifth step when my eating disorder became impossible to ignore
I had support for drink and drugs but I didn't have support for food  so I couldn't pretend it wasn't there anymore
She also sponsors my sister

Then when I was driving home Ivana Lynch was being interviewed on the radio
She is an Irish actress (although she seems to have acquired an American accent) who was in the Harry Potter films
She spoke about how she suffered from anorexia when she was a young teenager
She has made a full recovery
The interviewer asked her how she stays well and she explained that she found other interests, things that she was passionate about
Mary is always trying to get me to pursue other interests
I can understand why
If I have other things in my life, things that bring me joy and happiness, I will be less likely to look for happiness through my eating disorder
There will be less space in my head for food and weight loss
At the moment I  have nothing else apart from my dogs
My eating disorder is like a 24 hour job with no days off
I work all week ie restrict and exercise and expect a big fat pay check at the end of the week ie weight loss
Dancing used be my passion but fear stops me from doing it again

So were these two incidences today coincidences?
Or were they signs trying to point me in the right direction?
I suppose I am looking for signs to tell me what to do because I really don't know which way is up at the moment
I remember last year when I got the call that I had a place in treatment
I was staying with my brother and I was surprised the call had come so soon so I asked for some time to think about it
Again, I wasn't sure what to do so I went for a walk to clear my head
I remember asking I don't know who, God, the universe for a sign as to what I should do
I didn't know the area so I was just walking and walking
I came across a restaurant with a sign in the window saying 'Don't starve' in flashing red lights
Ok that's definitely a sign
But I didn't pay too much attention and kept walking
Then I came across a doctors surgery and the name of the doctor on the sign was the same name as the psychiatrist in the treatment centre I was thinking of going to
Another coincidence?

I'm not religious or superstitious but these coincidences definitely make me stop and think
They are comforting in a way

I still very confused today
My body seems to be starting to recover but my mind is still so very sick
Technically I'm still underweight but I don't feel it
I'm suppose to be doing homework for Mary, planning all my meals, eating 3 meals and 2 snacks and keeping a food log
So far all I've done is keep the food log
Why plan meals when I'm not going to eat them?
My urge to restrict is strong even though I know it could lead to a binge
What's a messed up girl to do?

Do you believe in signs?
What has your experience been?
I'd love to know

Thanks for reading and as always much love x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A therapy session of two halves

I'm just back from seeing Mary
I had a mini panic attack last night thinking about the dreaded weigh in today
The session started out good, I was excited to tell her that I hadn't binged or purged in a week and was
also shoplifting free for two weeks
Also that I'm off the olanzapine two weeks and my mood and energy had improved
It was great to acknowledge the positive changes
I expressed my anxiety about the weigh in
Technically I should have lost weight as my intake was quite poor this week but I had a funny feeling that I had gained
I stood on the scale but couldn't look at the numbers
Mary then said we should discuss it an then told me my weight was exactly the same
I have to admit I was bitterly disappointed and also terrified
We had just been speaking about how my next steps should be to up my intake to 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
I was willing to try but now I am so afraid that if I increase my intake my weight will shoot up
My mood plummeted after the weigh in and I could barely hold it together
I hate the power those numbers have over me
If the number is up I spiral in to a black hole of depression and if it's down I sky rocket in to euphoria
I hate that those numbers dictate my mood, my self worth and my self esteem
You would think that over time that the weigh ins would get easier but if anything they get harder to deal with
The weigh in was supposed to be the end of the session but seeing the state I was in Mary sat and spoke with me for another half an hour
She tried to make me see that the number on a scale does not define me
It doesn't change the person I am
It doesn't make me fat or worthless
It doesn't undo all the positive changes that I've made
I know all of this but it doesn't change the way I feel
Immediately I was plotting in my head to restrict my intake even further
Mary pointed out that restricting doesn't always mean you lose weight and that it can lead to binging
She said that the only way to maintain or even lose weight is regular eating
I want to believe this but I'm not quite there yet
I feel like my body is starting to recover but my mind is way, way behind
It's a strange wishy, washy, no mans land, limbo like place
My eating disorder is a safe place
No feelings, no responsibilities, no risk of failure, no engaging in life
Stepping outside of that is unknown territory and it's scary
With drug and addiction and eating disorders I've been numb for 12 years
All these feeling I'm feeling are new and I don't know what to do with myself or how to handle them
It's on days like this that I would have abused my meds
Knocked myself out for the day so I wouldn't have to deal with anything
The sweet oblivion of sleep
But I'm trying to cope in a more healthy way
I went to meet my mother and sister after the session but I was like a spitting devil
My disappointment had now to turned to anger
I couldn't verbalize my feelings so I said nothing
My mother asked me was I disappointed with my weight but I couldn't answer her

So now I am at yet another crossroads
I can do the right thing and trust Mary and my body and increase my intake
Or I can turn to anorexia and restrict even further
I want to be able to say I'll do the former but the truth is I just don't know
I just don't know anymore
Anorexia is the easy option but I don't know if I'm strong enough to fight it
It would be easier to numb my pain and stay where I'm comfortable
As Fiona pointed outed to  me once, it's not a choice between anorexia and recovery
It's a choice between life and death
I want to want to live
I want to want to recover
My ex-sponsor used to say to me that if I don't know what to do I should do the opposite of what I think I should do
If I think I should use, don't use
If I think I should skip a meeting, go to a meeting
If I think I shouldn't eat, eat
It was a simple but effective tool
So I think I'm going to try that and see how I get on

If anyone is or has been at this stage of their eating disorder/recovery I would love to know if you have any advice
How did you move forward
I'd love to know

Thanks for reading x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Next Please

I haven't binged or purged since last Wednesday
Haven't even had an urge to binge or purge
I haven't gone this long in I don't know how long
It feels good
My intake is still poor
I think all the sodium in the soup is making me retain water so I've cut it down to 1-2 per day
I've also added in carrots and today I'm adding in parsnips
This cements my feeling that the olanzapine was contributing to my out of control appetite
I still can't quite believe I took it for so long without asking any questions or researching it properly
I guess because I was abusing it I didn't care
Olanzapine may work for some people but for me it most certainly didn't
My mood is still good and I have more energy but I've had some horrible physical symptoms in the last few days
Last Friday I  developed a severe migraine so bad that I could only lie in bed in a dark room and pray for relief
Yesterday morning I woke up to go to my doctors appointment at 9 and I felt all blocked up
It felt like there was something akin to the weight a bowling ball in my bowel but it was refusing to move. I missed my appointment because I was in such agony.
I finally dragged myself to the doctors surgery as I had to collect my methadone prescription
I sat side ways in the waiting room as I couldn't put pressure on the area
I watched the doctor call people in before me, 1,2,3,4,5
I was losing the will to live when I was finally called in
It wasn't my usual male doctor and I was glad to speak to a female doctor
She asked me if I wanted her to examine my 'back passage'
I have trouble exposing my arms and legs never mind my 'back passage'
I politely declined
She prescribed laxatives,  suppositories and said to come back if that didn't work and she would give me an enema
Suppositories reminded me of the scene in 'Trainspotting' when the Ewan Mc Gregor character used them and loses control of his bowels and ends up in a disgusting toilet
In the end the laxatives sufficed
I know methadone can contribute to constipation but I'm wondering if my sudden change in diet may be causing these physical symptoms
Answers on a postcard please
I know my diet is very limited at the moment but I'm just not hungry
I'm not craving sugar and carbohydrates like I used to crave heroin
I'm seeing Mary tomorrow and I will tell her and try not to play it down
I'll be interested to see what my weight is
I feel fat but then what's new

In the doctors waiting room I ran into a friend who told me that another friend is going to treatment today. She is bulimic but had been purge free for years
She relapsed recently
I haven't seen  this girl in a long time but we used to be close
I was surprised to hear this as she was always so strong and was always helping others
She used Overeaters Anonymous to get well and followed a strict eating plan, weighing and measuring all her food
I wasn't sure what to do so I sent her a text, I haven't heard back but I'm sure she's got a lot on her mind
It also scared me to hear this, that someone so stable could relapse
I guess it can happen to anyone
In meetings we are told never to get complacent about recovery, never to take it for granted
They say relapse happens long before you pick up a drink or drug or purge
It sneaks up on you then smacks you in the face
It is cunning, powerful and baffling
It also made me think of myself
Has relapse been sneaking up on me?
Am I now in anorexia relapse?
I hope this girl will be alright
I hope I'll be alright
It's sad that we were both going through this but didn't know about the other
So many people are suffering in silence with this illness
Silenced by shame and guilt and fear
Anorexia can be plain to see but bulimia is invisible
No one would ever know unless you told them
And how many actually do tell someone?

I was wondering about you
Have you ever experienced relapse, be it drink, drugs, anorexia, bulimia or anything else
How did you deal with it?

Thanks for reading this and as always much love x

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Nil by mouth

Things are changing in eating disorder land
I haven't binged or purged since Wednesday
I thought this was good at first as I haven't gone that long without b/p in years
Then I realised why I wasn't purging
I haven't felt the urge to which means I haven't eaten anything substantial
My appetite and interest in food and slowly but surely been decreasing since I stopped taking the olanzapine
Last weeks weigh in also triggered me
Then throw in this wedding that's coming up
The only thing I've eaten in the last 3 days is cup a soups
I remember exactly how many I've eaten which is not good
5 on Thursday
2 on Friday
7 yesterday
They are 43cals each
I've stopped eating my beloved twix bars
Haven't even wanted one
I'm slipping
I can feel it
Or am I?
Maybe I'm over reacting
I haven't weighed. I'll wait until I see Mary
My fear of food is back
I want it but I don't
I'm not sure what to do
Part of me wants to embrace it, to run to the empty feeling
But another part of me is terrified
This feeling is so seductive
Mary told me to tell her if my appetite decreased after stopping the olanzapine
Should I tell her?
There's no way I'm going back on it
No way in hell
I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow
He will no doubt suggest I keep taking it
How does that even make sense
It just makes me switch from anorexia to bulimia
Bulimia is invisible, they only react when my weight drops
I am so grateful to be away from the b/p
I had a path worn from my kitchen to my bathroom
But I'm not sure I want this either
Or do I?
I don't even know anymore
I was flirting with recovery, I was starting to feel good
This feels good too though
Really good
Should I be worried?
I'm not yet but maybe I should be
I've always swapped around my behaviours, replacing one with another
The purging has stopped, abusing my meds has stopped, shoplifting has stopped
Am I inserting anorexia in to the hole they left?

Watch this space I guess x