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..............


  1. Brilliantly written and put. I love your writing. It's true that there are good sides to addiction, I restrict even now because I like the 'high' from it. I still feel good when I don't eat and bad when I do. Guess we're all very messed up in that sense!

    I hate the labels. Right now I'm trying to work out what I am without the 'anorexic' label. I do personally wonder whether I would be 'anorexic' if I hadn't been given a label, maybe? I was like you, anorexic without knowing it all through my teens, in fact I wasn't aware I had a problem until I was told by a university counsellor!

    I sometimes wonder if the label made it worse, I remember each weigh in being a challenge, trying to get a lower number so I could be a real anorexic...

    It's weird, it's like you feel the need to live up to it, at least I do! All the disordered thoughts, they're still there. I used to think my disorder made me better than others (even though I the long run I was frail, tired and boring!)

    Is that lake near where you live? It's beautiful! Your dogs are so cute!


    1. Thank you Aggy!

      Yes, I agree that labels are dangerous
      We start to become out illness and nothing else
      I know that you are so much more than your illness,
      You are a mother, a friend, a writer, a daughter and so much more. I'm also trying to find out who I am without my addictions and eating disorder. It's scary but it's also exciting.

      Yes, that is my local lake and it is so beautiful

      Love to you x

  2. This post was AWESOME. FREAKIN' AWESOME.

    I hate how people give you a label and then you feel you have to live up to it, or they expect you to live up to it and act weird when you don't. Like my Aunt acting all disturbed when I ate venison and bacon at Christmas because she thought I was a vegetarian o.O I can be a nature-loving pagan and still eat meat, kthnx!

    I wonder how different it would have been if I was told "You are Peri, a Depressed Person" instead of being told I was simply weird/emo and not depressed and should get over it. I find it easy enough to say "I have depression" or "I am depressed" and while it's a big part of me (I've never been without it) I know it doesn't define the totality of me. While sometimes it swallows up everything else, I still have other ways to define myself. Motorcyclist. Bitch. Knitter. Crazy Cat Lady.

    I've never been given a label or diagnosis that we are told in some sick way is somehow aspirational. People don't set out to become depressed or schizophrenic or bipolar, but they do set out to develop eating disorders because we're told that it;s good to be as thin and physically wrecked as possible, as if somehow destroying or bodies implies we have a strong mind and will. It's complete bullshit. The bodily destruction is actually a sign of a sick mind completely dominated by a lethal illness, which is something people blithely ignore because it's so cool to be an ambulate skeleton -.- If people better understood that weight is merely a symptom then they wouldn't be as fast to label people "cured" when they hit a certain number on a scale or BMI chart.

    First Paragraph: THERE. RIGHT THERE. That's how disorders fuck with your head and distort reality. I've had to cover my mirror to keep from looking in it and crying. I know it doesn't tell me the truth anymore. I'll uncover it when I have pretty tattoos to distract me from the canvas they're on.

    Omg that is such an adorable outfit! I'm too chicken shit to wear patterns most of the time XD Give me my scruffy monotones any day!

    PUPPEHS! EEEEE YOUR DOGS ARE SO CUTE! I just found this tumblr on Josie's blog, I think you much enjoy it:
    It's hysterical. Omg. Not so sure I want a dog anymore, though XD

    Take care up there in Eire Land. Love you to bits *hugs*

    1. Hey darling Peri,

      Yes, I agree wholeheartedly
      I didn't seek out anorexia, it found me but I did seek out drugs
      As an immature teenager I thought taking drugs was 'cool', glamorous even.
      I listened to Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain and although I hate to admit it, I wanted to likes and accepted by the 'cool' kids
      I didn't intend to become addicted though, I didn't intend to nearly kill myself and hurt my family so much
      I didn't realise that I wouldn't be able to stop when I wanted

      It baffles me why someone would want to develop anorexia
      Come walk a day in my shoes, then tell my you want an eating disorder.
      It is not glamorous
      It does not makes you happy
      I t does not solve all your problems
      At best you will escape relatively unscathed
      At worst you will die
      We need to get it through to our children that thin does not equal beautiful
      We need to be honest with them, tell them the ugly truth
      You are so right, weight is only a symptom of a much bigger problem
      Eating disorders are so misunderstood

      Thank you for your comment
      Wise and insightful as ever

      Love an hugs from rainy and windy Ireland,

      Love you too x

  3. Ruby, you are my lovely ruby and I am happy and pleased that people in this community dont label you "Ruby the Anorectic" :) you are my lovely kind and beautiful and very funny Ruby and I am glad to have met you :)

    I like you didnt know that I had an eating disorder and when people started throwing around the words "Anorexic" I screamed and vehemently denied, refused to believe it and flew in to the mother of all rages. But when someone gives us a label we do find ourselves trying to live up to it although I try so hard now to maintain a facade of "normality". We are told we are different, therefore e go through life feeling we are different to everyone else, they are normal and we are not. But you know what my dear, you are you and I love you for you. For being the inspirational person you are. I pray that you dont give in to the evil temptress that is anorexia and try to fight Bulimia head on, I pray for all these things for you.

    The Ruby I know is a fighter <3

    Love you huni xx

  4. Rayya my dear, thank you so much for such a sweet comment

    I'm also blessed to have found you, you too are an inspiration and I love you so very much.
    You're right, we are so much more than our labels and illnesses
    I know believe that it is our quirks that make us beautiful and interesting.

    I am fighting Rayya, I'm fighting so very hard
    I want you to fight too, we can overcome this together

    You are beautiful Rayya, inside and out
    Someday we will be happy and well and we will look back at this time and wonder how we got through it all but we did get through it

    All my love x

  5. Labels are sooo dangerous. *sigh* - and it's so scary how we let the labels other give us - effect us and define who we are..

    I'm glad your gain wasn't as big as you thought - maybe now you can relax more next time you have a trip coming up :)

  6. i wish i had your strength, and saw everything in the same light that you do.. The post really struck a chord. You are so brave and such inspiration, i hope to some day maybe feel as you do.
    Thank you for making me feel like there is hope

    1. Thanks Alice,

      I'm glad you feel like there is hope, there's always hope x

  7. Ruby, you are so amazingly inspirational! I know you're going to beat this horrible disease and win your life back. It seems like you are well on your way.

    Bravo for being so brave to put all of this in writing for others to see. I hope other ladies can learn from your lessons.

    I just want to hug you!

    1. Thank you so much!

      I find that writing helps me to process and sort through things

      You too are so very brave x

  8. This post is awesome. I love it. Especially the last part. I'm trying my hardest. I still have yet to go to the gym, but probably tomorrow. I'm afraid that with school, I'm going to either continue the binges or I'm going to go back to restricting like crazy. We'll see I guess. Love you hon, keep writing beautiful posts like this. And you're puppies are sooooo cute!! :D

  9. Thank you sweetie!

    Keep fighting the good fight x

  10. You're so beautiful.
    I love your posts, you're so strong and successful. You've come through so much.
    I've never been officially diagnosed with anything, but I looked up the criteria online, and I'm pretty sure I've reached what's 'required' to be medically bulimic, but I feel like I need to keep going until I'm worse and worse because if I were truly sick then that's what I would do. I hate labels, they define you and then you don't want to lose that title so you keep going, even though you know it's wrong.
    You've made so so so much progress, seriously, since you started this blog you've come so far in recovery, actually thinking about the journey you've made has made me cry with happiness because I'm so proud of you.

    You can accomplish anything, you're amazing. If you can beat heroin you can beat this fucking eating disorder. You're actually the strongest person I know. I look up to you so much.
    I love you Ruby (you have the same name as my nan which I'll admit makes me love you even more), seriously you're so amazing. Stay strong and I promise you that you can achieve anything.

    1. Awh Thsnk you sweetie,

      I know you're going through a lot too and you are strong,
      Keep fighting the good fight,
      I just know you will overcome this,

      Sending you a hug x

  11. You're amazing Ruby, and thank you for sharing your stories <3
    Alice xx


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