Friday, 31 August 2012

Peter Pan Syndrome

I saw Mary yesterday
I hadn't seen her in almost 3 months
Even though I had already weighed myself at the weekend and knew the number, I was still anxious to have her weigh me
I hadn't even sat down when she gestured to the scale
I took off my hoodie and boots as if they would make a difference
I stared straight ahead as she made note of the number
I was dying to know the number but I didn't look

So we talked about the last couple of months
I told her about Italy, Cork, swimming in the sea and horse riding
The last time I saw Mary I had been purge free for 2 weeks, had stopped abusing my meds and had stopped shop lifting
Unfortunately I didn't keep up these positive changes
I started purging again in Italy
It was either eat with everyone else and purge or play it safe and restrict
To be perfectly honest I didn't want to miss out on the world famous Italian food so I chose the former
And I wouldn't have missed out on that food for the world
The 7 course wedding meal
The ice cream
And of course the pizza and pasta
I haven't managed to get back on the wagon yet
I am the queen of procrastination
I am not purging too much but I am still purging
Since I came home from Italy I have been abusing my meds again
Using them as a means of escape from my eating disorder
I've also shop lifted a couple of times and it always seems to be something stupid like dogfood
I hope to get back on track

Mary talked about my worth not being measured by the numbers on a scale
I'm trying so very hard to be aware of this
I hate how much power those little numbers have over me
If the number goes up I spiral in to a black hole depression
If it goes down I sky rocket in to euphoria
Every little gain or loss analysed
I don't measure other people's worth by those numbers so why do I measured mine that way?
She asked me how would I feel if my BMI was 21
I wondered why she was asking me this and it suddenly occurred to me, is my BMI 21?
No she said
By this time curiosity has got the better of me
Is my BMI 19?
Is my BMI 18?
Not yet
Ok so my BMI is 17, I can live with that
Did I gain weight this week?
No, you stayed the exact same
I don't know why but I am terrified of my BMI going in to the normal healthy range
I'm not ready for that yet
They say that eating disorders aren't about weight but it is partly for me
Regaining the weight I lost is difficult
With every pound I gain I lose a little bit of my eating disorder
'Isn't that what you want?' I hear you cry
Yes, I do want to get well but that doesn't make gaining weight any easier
Sometimes it's hard to imagine my life with out anorexia/bulimia
They have been with me for so long now
I often liken my eating disorder to an abuse
Like an abuse anorexia grooms you and lures you in with false promises of happiness
Once you are seduced and you are held captive, the eating disorder shows it's true colours and how evil it truly is
They say there are 5 staged in grief
You could go through all of these in one day or over a few months or years
I definitely experienced these when I gave up drugs and I'm sure they apply to eating disorders too
Losing my eating disorder means I have to grow up  and I really don't want to
I turn 30 in less than 2 weeks yet I still feel the age I was when I first developed addiction, 18
Growing up means becoming an adult and everything that comes with it
Responsibility, jobs, courses, relationships
I'm not sure I have enough belief in myself to be able to do these things
Having anorexia not only kept me in a child like body but it also kept me a child mentally too
Even now after gaining some weight, I still don't look my age and people tell that I look 10 years younger
Although if you look closely you will see my hair is starting to turn grey
If you look closely you will see my face is creased with wrinkles
Being 'normal' and healthy also scares me
Without anorexia I am just an average girl
Without anorexia I am normal
Without anorexia I am healthy
When I was a child I had a feeling that I was going to something special with my life
That my life would have a purpose
I still get that feeling sometimes but I don't know what that special thing is
Having anorexia made me feel special
I wanted to disappear but the more I wanted to vanish, the more attention I got
I used to think that if people felt sorry for me then they would like me
I favoured sympathy over dislike
Mary also told me to prepare for my periods coming back
This terrifies me also
I haven't had a period in over 10 years and had got used to life without it
But if it comes back it means I am healthy and grown up
Without my period I can still trick myself in to believing that I'm not grown up
She also said that my sex drive may come back
I haven't had a sex drive in years perish the thought of letting someone see my naked body in all it's vast glory
I really don't know what would be left if my eating disorder was taken away
How would I cope?
For years it's been my go to coping mechanism
My eating disorder is like a big fuck off shield where all my feelings bounce off it
To quote Pink Floyd it keeps me 'comfortably numb'
With Mary's help I am learning new coping skills
Healthy ways to deal with whatever life throws at me
I'm trying to accept the fact that I can't do a Peter Pan and stay a child forever
I'm trying to see that I don't need anyone to look after me, that I can look after myself
I'm trying to see that the numbers on a scale should not dictate my mood, self esteem and self worth
I'm trying to believe that I am not a bad person and may even be a good person

When I was trying to kick heroin for the umpteenth time I said to myself that I would give recovery a shot for 6 months and if it didn't work then I would kills myself
As morbid as it sounds this actually helped me
Paradoxically knowing I could end it all kept me going
Anorexia will always be there but recovery will not
Thankfully things did get better
Anorexia and addiction are a lot alike
The lying, the stealing, the isolation, the highs, the lows
Same shit, different substance
But the are different in 2 ways
1. You can cut drugs out your life, obviously you can't food out of your life, well you can but that would be defeating the purpose
2. Drug addiction is characterised by extreme highs and lows, anorexia is more like a monotonous numb feeling
It could be argued that it's harder to recover from an eating disorder than from a drug addiction
I would say it's pretty much even
Drugs are a psychologically and physically addictive
Anorexia is a mental illness with physical side effects
I believe that if you are prone then you can become addicted to pretty much anything
I have not only been addicted to drugs and alcohol but also prescription drugs, shop lifting, smoking, methadone and more obscure things like television or tea
If I get a good feeling off something then I am prone to become addicted to it
A good rule of thumb is 'everything in moderation, including moderation'

I am trying so very hard to ignore anorexia and bulimia
Eating breakfast, take that anorexia
Not binging, in your face bulimia
Enjoying an ice cream, pow!
Eating a meal I don't know the calorie content of, wallop!
Every mouthful of food is like drop kicking my eating disorder
My ex sponsor used to say to me, 'Ruby, if you don't know what to do, do the opposite of what you think you should do'
This was good advice, practical but simple
If I think I shouldn't eat dinner, I eat dinner
If I think I should stay in bed all day, I get up
If think I should throw myself under the next speeding car, I think again

So today I urge you not to listen to the lies of anorexia/bulimia
Make her weaker by doing the opposite of what she wants
The truth is she wants us dead and let's not give her the satisfaction
Thin is not beautiful

With all that said I was wondering about you
Why do you hold on to your eating disorder addiction?
What purpose does it serve?

Stay strong,
Keep fighting x

This is my dog after I caught her just after she helped herself to a sandwich I had left in my room,
Guilty or what!

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Treatment 101

I've been in touch with some friends from treatment
A group of them meet up in Dublin every couple of months
Not just the eating disorder girls, but anyone who wants to go so there are people with depression, anxiety and other mental illness
I went to the group once a few months ago
They are meeting up in September so I hope to go
I've also been in touch with a girl who I met the first time I was in treatment
We were glued at the hip
It got me thinking about that time so I thought I would share it with you

It was 2008 and I was 25
I was in the midst of a very dark anorexic episode
I was working in a pizzeria (where else), although I don't know how as I was very unwell
I was also an exercise addict
I had bought a stepper and used to park it in front of the television and stay there for hours
I lived off chocolate and nothing else, burning off the calories before I ate anything
I weighed religiously every morning and was losing weight rapidly
One morning I felt so ill I thought I was going to die so my mother talked me in to going to A&E
I was too weak to resist so I agreed to go
We sat in the waiting room for hours until I was finally seen
Immediately I was put on a drip and told that I was going to admitted
I was given a bed that night and a nurse weighed me
Afterwards I overheared 2 nurses talking
'Oh my God, she only weighs 35 kilos'
I was glad they were shocked, that meant I really was anorexic
It's a sad truth that I spend more time worrying about whether I don't have an eating disorder than if I do have an eating disorder
I was put on a high observation ward
I then found out that a girl had recently died from anorexia in the hospital so that was why they were taking my case seriously
I saw the dietician who put me on a high calorie diet
They also had a care assistant sit with all day every day
She even had to accompany me to the bathroom and shower
Of course I still managed to hide food and lose weight
I was waiting for a place in treatment to come up so after 2 weeks in hospital they transferred me to the local psychiatric hospital to wait for my place

St. Columbas was a different kettle of fish
I was in with people who were very ill
Depression, personality disorders, schizophrenia and many more
One girl was admitted after she had gone to the bank ant tried to withdraw a million pounds under the name
Angelina Jolie
She really believed she was a famous actress
She had a boyfriend who visited her everday, he was also very unwell
He turned up one day dressed in a tuxedo, got down on one knee and proposed to her
How romantic
They tried to make me eat but I was annoyingly stubborn
They made me stay in my room for an hour after eating
I purged in a plastic bag and stored it in my wardrobe
After 2 weeks my place in treatment came up
The day I left I remember the nurse saying to my parents that I had been one step ahead of them the whole time

Treatment was a psychiatric hospital in Dublin that had an eating disorder programme
I had no idea what to expect and was incredibly worried that I would be the fattest anorexic they had ever seen
One the first day I remember seeing everyone queuing up to get their meds
Being and addict, I was jealous and so decided I wanted meds too
I told the nurse I couldn't sleep so they put me on zimovaine
After a few weeks they put me an anti depressant and an anti anxiety med
I was so drugged up that every time I sat down I fell asleep
The programme was full on
Groups all day including goals, body image, art therapy and meal planning
Not to mention groups after every meal
We were weighed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and had a goal weight to meet
If you missed your goal twice in a row, you were put on bedrest
Needless to say I spent a lot of time on bedrest
I remember being down in the coffee shop one day with someone, the adolescent ward were also there
One girl in particular caught my eye
She was very thin, pale and had a haunted look in her eyes
It was quite shocking to look at her
All of sudden it occurred to me 'Is that what my family see when they look at me?'
This thought made me feel so sad
I saw the same girl again about 2 months later
I was delighted to see that she had put on some weight and looked so much better
I hoped she'd be ok
My heart wasn't really in treatment
I played along and went through the motions but I had no intention of getting well
I still purged and lied about it
I abused my meds
The good thing about treatment was the other girls
We bonded quickly and they were some of the most beautiful, warm, giving, loving, talented people I have ever met
We were an unwavering support for each other and genuinely wanted each other to get well
Other times in treatment I did feel a sense of competition with the other girls, to be the 'best anorexic' or the 'sickest anorexic' but not this time
I was especially close to 2 girls called Theresa and Karina
We became firm friends fast
On a Thursday we used to go to the supermarket to get ingredients for our meal on Friday
This particular Thursday myself, Karina and Theresa went over
Karina received a phonecall and became very upset
After she hung up she told us that 2 people had been murdered in her village
She didn't know who it was and feared it could have been her family
We were shocked and tried to comfort her
Karina tried to get in touch with family but couldn't get through
We rushed back to the hospital and by now Karina was terrified
We looked up teletext and it was there it was confirmed that it was in fact Karina's family
Her father and brother had been murdered
The doctor and nurses brought Karina in to the t.v room and her sister arrived who had been a patient in another hospital in the city
I can still hear their screams
We were all numb with shock, couldn't believe it
We didn't know what to do so we walked hand in hand over to the chapel to say prayers
Krarina and her sister left to go home
Then they had us go to a group with a bereavement counsellor
I remember not being able to take anymore so I feel asleep
Things were not the same after that and I struggled to get back in to the swing of treatment
I started to lose weight again and was eventually discharged for failing to gain weight

Once home I fell in to a deep depression
I had been in the bubble of treatment for the previous 6 months and now I was home with little support and I didn't know what to do
I went to see my psychiatrist and I wanted to be admitted to hospital again
He wouldn't hear of it and told me I had to learn to cope at home
I got so angry with him and couldn't hide it
He asked me which part of food I was struggling with
'The eating part' I spat at him
I remember telling him I was going to throw myself under the nearest car
He upped my anti anxiety meds and told me he'd see me in a month
I couldn't pull myself out the hole I was in and started to abuse my meds and drink
Everyday I drank vodka and popped pills until I passed out
I was trying to restrict but the meds gave me a savage appetite and so I binged and purged
I started to gain weight and it was driving me insane
I couldn't stop eating and I had no idea how to stop
I went to New York that summer and when I saw the photos I cried
I reached an all time high weight of 60 kilos and although I was not technically over weight, it did not look well on my small frame
I stayed this way for the next 2 years until one day I ran in to a friend I hadn't seen in a while
She remarked that I had lost weight
I rushed home to weigh myself and was delighted to see I has indeed lost 10 lbs
This triggered my next anorexic episode
I stopped taking my meds and went back to restricting and exercise

I have been in treatment 3 times since then but I'll tell you about that another time

I was wondering about you
Have you been in treatment?
Was it a positive or negative experience?
If you haven't been to treatment would you consider it?

Sunday, 26 August 2012


I'm seeing Mary on Wednesday morning
The dreaded weigh is inevitable
So to prevent having a nervous breakdown in front of her when I see the number, I decided to beat her to punch and weighed myself on Saturday morning
To be honest I had been building up to it for a few days previously
My 2 (yes 2) sets of scales sit in the corner of my room mocking me, daring me to step on and play numerical roulette
So yes, Saturday morning I finally mustered up the courage
Given this summer, 10 days in the pizza and pasta capital of the world and a lot of just saying 'fuck it' I braced myself for a gain
A significant gain
From looking in the mirror, I estimated that I had gained up to a stone in the last 4 months
But when has the mirror ever given an accurate picture of weight
So I stripped and tentatively stepped on, standing on the outer part of my feet as I always do in a vain attempt to not to put my full weight on
I peeped out from behind my hands and held my breath as if the air in my lungs would affect the number
To my utter surprise and delight I had gained only 2 pounds since I last weighed 4 months ago
After the shock passed, confusion set in
It must be wrong
So I weighed again
Same number
Oh the relief
But just to make sure, I asked my mother to weigh herself to be sure it was correct
She is used to my strange request regarding weight

So why did I think I had gained so much?
I'm not quite sure
I have been judging my weight by how I feel and what I see in the mirror
I feel fat therefore I am fat
In treatment, they spoke at length about how we cannot trust how we feel about our weight, that the scale is the only true reflection of what we weigh
I don't want to go back to weighing obsessively
It was taking over my life
Any gain instantly ruined my mood and my day
Any loss and I was as high as a kite
To be honest, even though it was a gain, it is slightly triggering
I have an urge to get below that number tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.........
I'm trying so hard not to define myself by weight, therefore I'm not going to post it
I am still underweight even though I thought I had reached a healthy weight
I hate that I still crave thinness
I hate that I still purge because I'm so frightened to let the food sit in my stomach
I hate that even though I'm trying to fight, this illness still consumes me

I can remember when someone first told me I  was anorexic
I was in hospital for the first time doing a drug detox off heroin
I was 19 and very green
I wasn't aware I was underweight when the reality was I was barely 80 lbs
The detox ward was tough
It was in the city and I was surrounded with hardened addicts who had been through detox a million times
This was my first time and I was in way over my head
A young girl from a small town, immature and inexperienced
I figured that my lack of appetite was down to the drugs but where as the other addicts appetite returned with avengence once off drugs, mine simply vanished
I had no idea I was developing an eating disorder, had no desire to lose weight, all I knew was that not eating made me feel good
It made dealing with life a bit easier
The girl in the bed next to me informed me that the staff were watching me eat
I was baffled
Soon after this a not very nice nurse called Anna (who I affectionately nick-named anna-conda) sat me down one day and in a very matter of fact way told me I had anorexia
I didn't believe her and pointedly told her so
Outraged, I told my mother of her lies and went out of my way to prove her wrong
My lunches and dinners magically disappeared
But instead of eating them I was hiding food in my locker and then flushing it down the toilet
I'm quite sure they knew
In my heart though, I knew it made sense
I just didn't want to believe that on top of drug addiction, I also had an eating disorder
I couldn't put my family through any more pain
I got through my detox and was supposed to go on to drug treatment but after getting a report from the hospital, they refused to accept me on the grounds that I wasn't physically strong enough
So I was discharged from hospital that day
My parents were furious that I was being discharged in such a frail state
I relapsed on heroin that night

Now I had been labelled 'anorexic'
'Mentally ill'
I understand there has to be a word to describe something but I think labels are dangerous
Once labelled I felt I had to live up to my new title
I was no longer Ruby
I was Ruby the anorectic
Not only do these labels define us and shape us but the also victimize us
I put huge pressure on myself to become the perfect anorexic, the sickest anorexic
If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right
Having been already labelled a 'heroin addict' and 'anorexic' then came 'bulimic'
I felt my identity was a bunch of medical diagnoses
I was losing Ruby fast
I am not a drug addict, I have a drug addiction
I am not anorexic, I have anorexia/bulimia
My eating disorder is a huge part of me but it is not all of me even though it may feel that way
If you like it is the dark side of me
But I have defined myself by my eating disorder for so long that I don't know what would be left if it was taken away
I want to get well but a huge part of me wants to protect my eating disorder as it protects me
I think so many anti drug and anti anorexia campaigns fail to reach young people because they are not entirely honest
They tell you the bad side, how evil they are but what they fail to mention is that in the beginning it feels good
Our eating disorders wouldn't be able to seduce us so well if it didn't feel good at first
They groom us and lure us in with false promises if happiness
They tell us that losing weight is the answer to all our problems
And in the beginning it's all fresh, all new, all exciting
This is going to make us happy
We start to restrict and see the numbers on the scale go down
Our clothes become looser and people compliment us on our figure
These feelings are addictive and we soon find that when we want to stop we can't
We begin to binge and purge and start to feel that along with the weight we are losing our minds
We abuse laxatives and diet pills but all the while we know we are hurting ourselves
Our families become worried and we become expert liars
We're now so thin that we feel cold all the time
A downy hair forms on our skin
Our hair on our head becomes thin and falls out in clumps
Our bones become sharp and protrude through our skin but we still believe we are fat
Mentally we are confused
Depression and anxiety creep in
We push all our friends away and become increasingly isolated
But we still can't stop
Then one day the hunger becomes too much and we start to eat
We eat and eat and eat
We gain weight rapidly but can't stop eating
We hate every ounce of flesh we gain but still can't stop
We purge until it hurts but it doesn't make a difference
We feel so bad we want to die but still can't stop
People think we are better because we have gained weight but the truth is we are just as sick as we were when we were emaciated
The vicious cycle goes on and on unless we are strong enough to ask for help
But who wants to admit the spend their days puking
Who wants to rat out their best and probably by now, only friend
If not we carry on until our body finally gives up

My eating disorder whispers in my ear
That I'm not good enough
Not smart enough
Not pretty enough
And of course not thin enough
She is a constant but unwanted companion
She tells me that I'm special because I have an eating disorder
I'm better than others who can't resist food
I'm strong because I resist
She measured my worth in numbers on a scale
She tells me that once I am thin, everything will be ok
I will be happy
I will be loved
I will be successful
I will be envied

But the truth is, she is a liar
The truth is she wants me dead
Won't be satisfied until I am in a coffin
Then I will be thin enough

So I urge you, don't listen to the whispers of anorexia/bulimia today
She is a liar, a thief and a killer
Don't measure your worth by the number on a scale
Thin is not beautiful
You are beautiful, just the way you are
Who wants to be a clone of someone else?
I sure don't
I want to love my quirks and differences
They are what make us interesting
Don't be anorexia's victim
Don't become another statistic

On a lighter note here's today's outfit and my doggies swimming in the lake..............

Quick Question

Do any of you lovely people know the quickest way to unfollow a blog
Call me stupid but I just can't figure it out
Want to unfollow blogs who aren't posting anymore

Thank you x

Friday, 24 August 2012


I often wonder why?
Why me?
Do you?
I suppose I could also ask why not me?
But mostly I ask why me?
Why did I become a heroin addict?
Why did I develop an eating disorder?
Where did it all start?

I can trace my food issues back to when I was a child
My father was a heavy drinker and a control freak and my mother was an enabler
All of us kids wanted her to leave him, begged her to but it wasn't until I was 18 that she finally got the courage to walk
She has since told me that she didn't want to leave until her kids were raised
I can understand this but I often wonder if things turned out different if she had left earlier
My mother and father couldn't be more different
Where he is insecure, she is confident
Where was is a drinker, she rarely has a drink
Where he is a controller, she is a free spirit
Where he is a loner, she is a social butterfly
So while my house was full of anger, chaos and tension I turned to the one thing I had for comfort, food
I loved my food
I remember people used to always say to me 'Ruby, you have such a great appetite, you really love your food'
I hated when people said this, I thought they were saying I was greedy
I didn't want to be a 'good eater'
I wanted to a petite, delicate eater, eating little bites and saying 'oh no thanks, I'm full'
I remember going to my bestfriends house next door
Her mother was an amazing cook and they always had a big, black pot on the stove
Everyday I would say 'what's in the big, black pot today?'
And her mother would let me taste the yummy food
In fact, a lot of my childhood memories are related to food
A few years ago I was going through old photo albums
I found a letter I had written to my mother when I was maybe 6 or 7
It simply said 'Dear mammy, thank you for all the lovely dinners, love from Ruby'

As a grew in to an anxst ridden teenager, food took a back seat as I discovered drink and drugs
But out of my group of friends, I was the only one who went on to heroin and became addicted
So why me?
Why out of all my friends did my life become so unmanageable?
I guess the answer is complicated
First of all I look at my fathers side of the family
There are 9 in his family and everyone of them has battled addiction in one form or another, including drink, drugs and food
So genetics was against me from the get go
Addiction was never discussed growing up so I had no idea I was vulnerable
My uncle died when I was 10
We were told he had died of a brain tumour but then heard on the grapevine that he had in fact died on the street from a drug over dose
Like a lot of things in my family, it was never discussed, it was just brushed under the carpet
Environment was also a factor
I had grown up around addiction therefore it was familiar
Wanting to escape also, I was so unhappy at home and spent as little time as possible there
The tension in our house was thick, one wrong word and my father could blow his lid
He was ok when he was drunk, all happy and loving
But it was the hangovers you had to watch out for
I remember one morning my mother asked my father if he wanted breakfast
He picked up his cup of tea and threw it in her face

I guess the company I kept also contributed
All my friends dabbled in drugs and as I became addicted I only hung around with addicts
I started going out with a boy when I was 16
I knew he was in to drugs and that was part of the attraction
Just after my 18th birthday he introduced me to heroin
I remember that night so well
He injected and I smoked
The next time I also injected
I was hooked instantly
We stayed together for the next 6 years but we were more like partners in crime than boyfriend and girlfriend
So I suppose bad luck also played a part
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time

All the while I was addicted to drugs my eating disorder was silently developing
I had no idea I had anorexia until a nurse sat me down and told me
In the beginning it wasn't about weight at all
All I knew was that not eating made me feel good
I chopped and changed addictions for the next few years from food to alcohol to drugs to prescription drugs
Shop lifting was also a problem
I started shoplifting as a young teenager and used it as a way to get money for drugs
I also began shoplifting food to binge on and have only stopped doing that recently

Out of 6 people in my family, 4 of us are addicts but thankfully all of us are in recovery
My brother is the only child who has escaped addiction
Tellingly, he is the most like my mother
He is able to have a glass of wine with dinner and leave it at that
I never do this
I didn't drink to enjoy the drink I drank to get drunk
As they say in AA 'One is too many and a thousand never enough'
Tellingly my brother is most like my mother
I think I am a mixture of both my mother and father
For the next few years I chopped and changed between addictions, from drugs to food to alcohol to prescription drugs
Ironically, it wasn't until my family turned their back on me that I finally saw what a mess I was
Up until this point they had enabled me, giving me money, bailing me out of situations, my mother even drove me to my dealer
But when they stopped all this I was up shit creek
I was totally alone
My boyfriend and I had broke up and I was a young girl in a big city with a heroin habit
So, so vulnerable
I got in to so much trouble, did unspeakable things for money and of course people took advantage of me
With the support of my family I managed to quit heroin and stop drinking
I haven't used or drank in nearly 3 years
Prescription drugs are another matter
After having a short time clean, I've recently gone back to abusing them
I'm on methadone, anti anxiety and an anti depressant and I abuse them all
So technically I'm not clean at all
When I first got clean I used to go to AA and NA but stopped going as I was experiencing massive anxiety
I also felt excluded from the group but that was probably my fault as I kept at a distance and never went to social gatherings
I could do with the support right now but I can't see myself going back any time soon

My eating disorder is still very active
I spent most of yesterday binging and purging
I have a path worn fro my kitchen to my bathroom
I did make an appointment to see Mary next week and hopefully I can get back on track with her help
To be honest, I can't imagine a life without my eating disorder
What would I do?
What would I think about?
How would I spend my time?
What would I work towards?
I suppose the answer is I would have a life
I'd have friends
I'd have a boyfriend
I'd go to school
I 'd have a job
I''d have hobbies
I' be just like everyone else
And that scares the living shit out of me
As much as I don't like to admit it, my eating disorder makes me different
It makes me stand out
Dare I say, it makes me special
I don't want to be average
I want to be different
I want to be me

I often wonder if I could go back in time would I change anything?
I think I can honestly say that I wouldn't
As hard and as low as addiction and anorexia/bulimia have been, there have also been highs
I have been to drug and eating disorder treatment 7 times and I have met some of the most amazing people
The other girls I have met who have eating disorders have been, without exception, the most kind, giving, talented and beautiful people I have ever met
I would never have met them otherwise
The picture of the angel below is a drawing a lad in treatment gave to me
He made it in art therapy
He and I were very close and he gave me this picture with a beautiful message on the back
I was blown away and so touched
We are still in touch
So no, I wouldn't change a thing except maybe how much I hurt those around me
Through addiction I have experienced so many things that I otherwise would not have
I've been to the university of life

I was wondering about you
How did your story start?
Would you change anything if you could?

Here's some random photos from my room

Thank for reading x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sisters at heart, partners in crime

My sister went back to Australis this morning
I am heartbroken
We left for the airport at 5am and I was dreading saying goodbye
As we sat and had a cup of tea, I spotted a card in a shop that said 'sisters at heart, partners in crime'
That sums up my relationship with my sister perfectly
Thankfully the goodbye was short and sweet and there weren't too many tears
It also wasn't too bad because I know I'll be seeing her again in December when myself and my mother go over for Christmas
I really will miss her though, I had become so used to her being around an now there is a sister shaped hole in the house
We tried to squeeze as much as we could in to her last couple of days
On Monday myself, my 2 sisters and my nephew went horse riding
I have been wanting to do that forever so we finally did it on Monday
We had a choice between a trek on the beach or a lesson in the ring
Myself and my nephew wanted to go to the beach but my sisters were a bit reluctant
We managed to get around them though and we set off to the beach
My horses name was Shavasna and she was so beautiful
I am a huge animal lover, especially horse and dogs
We had such a great time walking through the sand dunes
I didn't want it to end
I find being around animals is so therapeutic , they seem to have a sixth sense
I know I would lost without my dogs
When I was at my sickest and utterly depressed, and couldn't find a reason to get out of bed in the morning, they were my reason
They depended on me and I had to look after them no matter what
I had to walk them, feed them, love them
They have seen me at my very worst
Their love is unconditional
 I remember seeing this on t-shirt once 'I wish I was as great as my dog thinks I am'
So so true
I miss my sister already
As I said in my last post, she is a good influence on me
She has been living in Sydney for then last 10 years and she is totally independent, something I hope to be some day
She has a good balance of being a good, responsible person with just the right amount of fun and crazy thrown in
I love that I can say anything to her and she won't judge me or think less of me

She came to the dentist with me yesterday for my follow up appointment
I had to get 2 more fillings ( 2down, 6 to go)
The dentist is lovely and it didn't hurt at all
After he wasn't finished the nurse handed me a mirror to see my teeth
I had no idea  what I was supposed to be looking at so I just said 'oh yea, very nice'
It wasn't until I got home and checked them properly that I realised that he had cleaned them too and had done a very good job
At this point I was confused
I was only eligible to get 2 fillings on my medical card, anything else and I would have to pay through the nose
I hadn't been charged for cleaning so it then dawned on me that he had done it pro bono
What a lovely, lovely, kind dentist
I'm definitely going to write a thank you note to him
He also said that if I hadn't got my fillings, I would've lost the teeth
Bulimia and addiction have really taken their toll on my teeth and I so glad to be finally getting something done with them

I also have another sister who live about 10 minutes away
She is 5 years older than my and my other sister is 10 years older
My sister who live nearby and I have quite a strained relationship
She is also a recovering alcoholic so you would think we have a lot in common but I have to admit I have a resentment against her
Yesterday, my sister, my nephew and I went for a walk with my dogs
I can't recall how it came up but she said to me that she thinks I don't like her
So she has picked up on my resentment
I tried to explain to her that it wasn't that I didn't like her but I felt hurt that she never asks me to babysit my nephew
This true, she never asks me
I asked her why and she said she couldn't run the risk of someone being around him who is 'sick' and                                                                      'might be a bad influence'
I was really hurt by this
I never get to spend any time with him one on one and I would love to
I wish I had said more to my sister but I didn't want it to escalate in to an argument
I suppose I see a lot of myself in my sister, it's like looking in a mirror and that's hard
Every time I see this sister I feel like I'm meeting her for the first time
Where my relationship with my other sister is easy and effortless, my relationship  with my other sister is hard work with very little pay.

Things are slowly returning in my house but my eating disorder is ever present
When I was trying on boots at the horse riding,  the lady said to me ' Oh you have nice skinny legs, I'll give you a pair of childrens boots'
This comment was very triggering and will be stored away at the back of my brain forever
I personally don't like comments about my weight, good or bad and I never pass comments about other peoples weight
You just never know how someone will take it
I have to admit though, I did feel good when she said that about my legs
I wish this world didn't have so much weight (pun intended) in what people look like or how pretty are or how much they way
I would much rather spend time with someone who was interesting and not so good looking than I would with a beautiful dull person
I don't read magazines but when I do I see pages and pages of girls who are clones of each other, false tan and rail thin and of course the obligatory close up shots of cellulite
Why do we look up to these women?
Why look up to doctors, teachers or lawyers
I know it isn't cool to look to them but hopefully the Olympians this year will be role models for ou young people

I'm staring to see that this blog is becoming more and more of a recovery blog
I didn't decide this, it just kind of happened
 I was wondering about
Do you prefer to read about 'an eating disorder or read about recovery?

I also wondered about you and your siblings
Do you have sister and how do you get on?
Do you get on better with your brothers or sisters?

More photos...............


Monday, 20 August 2012

Better the Devil you know

My weekly doctors appointments are getting stranger and stranger
This morning he opened with 'Ruby, I'm sorry I'm late, my wife was away this weekend and you know what men are like when they're left to their own devices so I had to spend the morning cleaning up'
Too much information?
Not really though, I have been seeing the same doctor week in week out for over 7 years and it seems we have run out of health related topics to talk about
You see I have to go every week being on a methadone programme
I have to get my urine drug tested (although he rarely does this anymore)
Also they give out more than a weeks methadone at a time unless you are going away
So today we talked about, The community Games, The Olympics, writing and horse riding
Don't get me wrong he is a lovely man but I think like a lot of people, he assumes I am better because I have regained some weight
He knows I still purge but it's rarely mentioned
I guess it's up  to me to mention it but who wants to talk about how many times a day they throw up

This summer has also been strange
Strange but good
I think I probably started worrying about this summer at christmas
I worried about the wedding in Italy, I stressed about my sister coming home as we've clashed before, I agonised over so many people being in and out of my house all summer
But like so many things in my life, it's the thought of the event rather than the actual event that cause me so much worry
Usually it's just me and my mother at home and she works away during the week so a lot of the time I am alone and I had got used to that
I thought having so many people around drive me bananas but wonder of all wonders I actually enjoyed it
Although the food in Italy caused some stress, I wouldn't have missed it for the world
To see my  cousin, who I've known my whole life get married and be so happy was not to be missed
Having my sister home has been a tonic
She is  a bundled of energy, so spontaneous and go, go, go and it definitely rubbed off on me
I think I've had more fun this summer than I've had in the last 5 years, maybe even 10 years
I had forgotten how great it feels to laugh
To really laugh, a proper belly laugh where you think you're going to pee
My sister said to me last night that if I surround myself with positive people the positivity will flow through them in to me
This makes sense
As they say 'you are the company you keep'
She is returning to Australia early Wednesday morning and I am dreading it
I will go to the airport but I can't promise that I won't cry
What I won't miss is the bubbling tension between my sister and my mother
It has been simmering for the past 2 weeks and as I type they are locked in a passive aggressive fight
As with every fight in my family, I am caught in the middle and I hate it
I tend to stay out of fights but that doesn't mean I'm not dragged in to them
Leave them to it I say

I had decided to weigh this morning
I haven't weighed in, it must be months now and I had a sudden urge to know my weight
But fate intervened and I was running late this morning so I didn't have time although maybe that would have been an ideal time to weigh as I wouldn't have had time to have a nervous breakdown
I stopped weighing (apart from Mary weighing me) because it was taking over my life
I weighed obsessively, nearly every hour
Those little numbers had so much power over me
I analysed every little loss and gain
A gain sent me in to a tailspin and a loss left me high for the rest of the day
I have 2 sets of scales in my room
The taunt me every day, daring me to step on them
Only this week did I shove them under a set of drawers
Maybe I'll weigh tomorrow

Now that the summer is coming to an end and things are beginning to return to normal, I feel my eating disorder hanging around more and more like a bad smell
She is ridiculing me for gaining weight, trying to lure me back in with false promises of happiness
I am trying to ignore her but it is so very tempting
Just one more time, maybe an all time low weight
This is what keeps me coming back, the thought of losing, the buzz of my clothes feeling looser, the feel of my bones getting sharper
But I have to  remind myself that this comes with a high prices
Depression, isolation, illness and anxiety come as a package with anorexia
I wonder what I will do once this summer is over
How will I spend my time, what will I think about, what will I focus on
Recovery or eating disorder
I suppose my eating disorder is the devil I know
Recovery is an unkown beast
Time will tell I suppose
I'm still not sure which I want
Life or death
Death is sometimes the easy option, life requires courage and strength
As I've often said, I want to want to recover
I want to want it so much
I need to ring Mary, I haven't seen her in weeks
I suppose I've been busy living
And I have been living this summer not merely existing
But I know how easy I revert back to old behaviours
Here's hoping............

Enjoy some food porn and photos from Cork,


Friday, 17 August 2012

Adventures In Cork

First I want to say a big THANK YOU to the lovely Aggy over at Rhinocratic Oaths for nominating me for an award. I will get around to doing the rules some time this weekend
Love you Aggy you are an inspiration!

My trip to Cork got off to an interesting start
Tuesday morning myself, my sister, my mother and my aunt piled in to my mothers little Yaris and set off on our 'girlies road trip'
I had been suffering the mother of all toothaches for a few days already, hoping against hope that it would go away of it's own accord
But the thought of the 6 hour drive to Cork was to much to bear so I made the announcement that I need to see a dentist 'tout suite'
At this point I must stress how much I hate going to the dentist
Years of drug abuse, methadone and bulimia have really taken their toll on my teeth and every time I go to the dentist he finds a multitude of things wrong
I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be seen straight away at the first dentist I called in to
My sister came with me for moral support
The dentist examined my teeth and came to the conclusion that I needed 1 extraction and 8, yes 8 fillings
Next he stuck me in the mouth with 2 enormous needles and I was left alone to wait for my gum to numb
A few minutes later and I'm all numb
I really couldn't feel any pain as he tried to yank my tooth out but the noises alone were enough to make me pull my knees up to my chest and pray for him to finish quickly
With one last crack and crunch he pulled the guilty culprit out
Relief, oh the relief
He then called my sister in and spoke to her like she was my mother
I'm sure he thought I was a lot younger than I actually am
So I made another appointment for another 2 fillings next week, I'm dreading it already
He was a lovely man though, I had to tell him I was on methadone and he was concerned but wasn't patronising the way so many people can be
So all in all it was a pretty positive experience and I was able to continue our road trip

I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to the drive down so I dosed myself with medication and slept most of the way
Eventually we arrived at our B & B, myself and my sister sharing a room
I love being around my sister, we act like a couple of dorks and crack each other up
She really is a good influence, she's a good person with just the right amount of crazy
Of course food was a problem and bulimia showed up uninvited but doesn't she always do that
Just because I'm on holiday doesn't mean she is
Breakfast was included in the B&B and it was actually a bit of a revelation for me
I never eat breakfast and do most of my eating in the evening
But while I was away I had a cooked breakfast, bacon, egg and sausage
It filled me but it wasn't too filling and it kept me going until the evening
Why wasn't I told about breakfast before?, I mean where have I been that I didn't realise this already
Mary is always telling me to eat breakfast, that it's the most important meal of the day but part of me didn't quite believe her
I know protein keeps you fuller for longer but I usually go for carbs
I won't be having a cooked breakfast every morning but I'll definitely be having something from now on so I won't get so hungry that I need to binge

I wrote in my last post about how I put my 'anorexic' jeans away
So I decided to get a pair to replace them
So I went in to fat face and tried on a lovely navy pair in a size UK 8
I thought they fit perfectly in the shop but then wearing them I realised they were too big
Part of me is secretly happy they are too big and it is slightly triggering
I 've been lucky enough to have had 2 holidays this summer and I suppose both my eating disorder and recovery have been put on hold
Getting away really has been the best medicine I could have taken
It has reawakened my love of travel. of people, dare I say it, of food
I guess it makes me remember that there is a whole world out there, that the world does not revolve around me and my eating disorder
I haven't weighed in a long time and that has been a huge step
I used to weigh up to 20 times a day obsessively
But I can't take the risk anymore
Those little numbers can have a devastating effect
If the number is up I spiral in to a black hole of dpression
If the number is down I sky rocket in to euphoria
Those little numbers dictate my mood, my self worth and my self esteem
It's just not worth it anymore

Instead of telling you all about Cork I thought I would post some photos instead, a picture paints a thousand words and all that

By the way the first one is of me straight after coming out of the dentist