Friday, 28 September 2012

Secrets and Lies

I've tried twice to write a post but none of it makes any sense
I saw Mary today
For homework I have to write out a list of my achievements over the last few months
But I can't think of one never mind a whole list
She might consider my putting on weight an achievement but what does that mean other than I now take up more space
What does that matter when my mind is still so very sick
I lied to her today
I told her the stepper broke
It did break, that part is true
But I didn't tell her that I brought it back to the shop and exchanged it for a different model
Keeping secrets is not good Ruby
Remember we are only as sick as our secrets
I'm not seeing her now for 2 weeks and I'm already planning how much weight I can lose by then
Nothing else seems to matter
I'm feeling useless again
Like there is no point to me
No point to this life
Usually when I'm feeling like this writing helps but I seem to have lost the ability to write a coherent sentence
So I'll say it with pictures instead

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


I came across this quote the other day

' Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing '
                                                                                                                    - Aristotle
It has really stuck in my mind as this is exactly what I'm doing these days
Saying nothing
Doing nothing
Being nothing

I didn't use to be like this
I used to be spontaneous
I used to be gregarious
I used to be outgoing
But once my eating disorder took hold I completely changed
I went from being a girl with big dreams to a girl living in a nightmare
My eating disorder now has me in a headlock
Paralysed with fear and crippled with anxiety
I was supposed to start my writing group last night but I didn't go
My eating disorder told me that I am a rubbish writer so why bother going
It told me that no one would like me
Why would they?
It told me to stay at home and exercise
That's time better spent
Today I am sorry I didn't go
I mean what's the worst that could've happened
Someone didn't quite like me?
What is so bad about that?
Not everyone is going to like me and that should be ok
I have become a people pleaser
Not wanting to offend anyone or rock the boat in anyway
So I say nothing to avoid that
I am like a social chameleon
Changing my personality to suit who ever I'm with
If I'm with a quiet person, then I too am quiet
If I'm with someone loud, I absorb their personality by osmosis and also become loud
I have absolutely no idea who Ruby is
All I know is I'm Ruby the anorexic/bulimic, recovering heroin addict
Without these labels I don not know what is left
So I am avoiding criticism by avoiding life
I rarely venture too far from my house
I went to the dentist yesterday half an hour away and that was a big deal
But in avoiding all the bad things about life, I am also avoiding all the good things
I don't want to look back on my life and have so many regrets
And I will if I keep going like this
I'm missing out on the best years of my life
Saying nothing
Doing nothing
And above all, being nothing

Guilt fear and shame are like fuel for my eating disorder
Having been a heroin addict, I've done some pretty horrible stuff
And most often it was to the people I love the most
I broke my families heart
I lied to them, stole from them and used them for what I could get from them
Every job I have ever worked at I stole from
I remember going in to a supermarket one day
As I was paying for my item, the girl opened her till, I reached in, grabbed a handful of money and ran
The worst thing was that my mother was in the car outside so she became my get a way driver
When I think back on events like this I can't quite believe that was me who did those things
I stole off anybody and every body
I remember in treatment my psychiatrist asking me had I forgiven myself for doing these things
I definitely haven't and the guilt can be overwhelming
And so I feel that I owe these people something
My mother has told me that the best way I can repay her is by getting well
The one thing she wants is the one thing I can't seem to do
I am living in the past and often run events in my head on a loop
My drug addiction and eating disorder have turned me in to a person I don't recognise
I am like a frightened child
Afraid to take a risk on life
I feel like giving up
I seriously considered taking all my meds and sleeping forever but one thing stops me
I couldn't do that to my family
It might be an end to my problems but it would break my family
Living with guilt and shame is like being in quick sand
You kick and pull and try to get away from it but it keeps pulling you back in until you are smothered

My mood has picked up slightly
I saw my friend on Monday and that was good
She also has an eating disorder and a drug history
I got rid of the caffeine tablets but I'm still using the stepper
Not as much but I'm still using it
I told my doctor about the weekend
As I predicted he just moved my meds around
I don't need more meds
I need practical ways of helping myself
I'm not giving up just yet though
I'll put one foot in front of the other and keep going
Baby steps

Monday, 24 September 2012

Nothing changes if nothing changes

I saw Mary on Friday
I started crying before I had even sat down
I told her how things are getting out of control
That I am afraid
That I can't seem to stop
She weighed me and I had gained back some of the weight I had lost
Cue emotional meltdown
The first thought that ran through my mind was
'I can't do this anymore, I have to end this'
End it in a bad way not a good way
I actually considered taking my life over the sake of 2 pounds
I cried throughout the session
I told her I was tired of it all
That I don't want to be like this anymore
If I were on a train I would be pulling the emergency cord and getting the hell off
I hate that I'm measuring my self worth by what the scale says
I hate that those little numbers have so much power over me
We ended the session by writing out a list of things to do including throwing out the caffeine tablets, stop using the stepper and contact my friends
I broke down in front of my mother on Saturday
I couldn't stop crying
She told me she could see me slipping the last few weeks
That my behaviour had gotten obsessional again
I just wanted to sleep so I took some meds and slept for the weekend

But now it's Monday and the cold light of reality
I have to face up to the fact that I have to do something if I want this nightmare to end
I guess I'm at a crossroads and I can go one of two ways
I can retreat further in to my eating disorder or I can take a leap of faith and try recovery
Looking back over the last few weeks I can see where this all started
I was looking for something
Something to fill the void
I thought restricting and exercise would do the trick but they just made me worse
They say that addiction is progressive
That it gets worse over time
I believe this because I literally picked up where I had left off from my last anorexic episode
As I said before I know how this story ends
I will lose weight
Along with the weight I will lose my mind
Depression and anxiety will join the party
I will wake up every morning and dread the day ahead
The thought of suicide will be a comfort
Sooner or later I will end up in hospital
Then treatment
When I come the whole cycle starts again
Lather, rinse, repeat

I know some other bloggers are really struggling at the moment
Reading their posts is like reading my own thoughts
It breaks my heart to know that we are all going through the same thing
We may be hundreds, even thousands of miles apart but the common thread is that we are all suffering
Many of us suffering in silence
It makes me so angry that this illness is robbing us of the best years of our lives
And it seems to prey on the best of us
In treatment I met some of the most beautiful, talented, artistic, loving, giving people that I have ever met
The same with the people who I have 'met' on line
Anorexia/bulimia had robbed me of 12 years of my life
My education
My health
My friends
Some of my family
My sanity
My self worth
Any shred of self confidence I ever had
It filled this void with self hatred
Crippling fear

I have no doubt that my eating disorder wants me dead
It won't leave me alone until I am six feet under
Then it will be satisfied
A good friend once said to me that it's not a choice between anorexia and recovery, it's a choice between life and death
I believe this is so true
Anorexia/bulimia is a slow suicide
It's takes your body and then your mind
Today I am trying so very hard to choose life
Left to my own devices I would probably choose death but I just can't do that to my family
It would break their hearts
They say you should get well for yourself and no one else
I am going to do this for my family and hope that in time I will be doing for myself
Fake it 'til you make it
When I was giving up drugs I made a deal with myself
I'll give recovery a shot for 6 months and if it doesn't work I can always go back
Drugs will always be there but recovery won't
I'm meeting a friend today and even though it's the last thing I want to do I am making myself go
Like me, she has an eating disorder with a history of drug addiction
She told me that a lot of people were asking about me
That was nice to hear as I didn't think they had noticed that I'd disappeared
What I would really like to do today is curl up in bed
But I'm going to push myself to go out
Everything will just stay the same if I don't do something now
Nothing changes if nothing changes

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The scale tells the tale!

I'm slipping
Slipping fast
I can feel it
Everyday I feel it a little bit more
I feel powerless to stop it
I feel I'm on a run away train and I can't get off
I don't like it
With drugs they say a relapse happens long before you pick up a drug
It begins with subtle changes in behaviours
So subtle you don't even notice them at first
They snowball and before you know it, using seems like a good idea
You forget the hell you went through and only remember the 'good' times
I think this is called 'euphoric recall'
It seems to be similar with eating disorders
I look back over the last couple of months and I see those subtle changes
I was on a come down after the summer
I stopped taking my meds
I started feeling worthless, useless and began mentally beating myself up
Negative thoughts bombarded me
I flirted with the idea of suicide
I needed something to put my energy in to, something to keep intrusive thoughts at bay
I felt I couldn't cope and so I turned to the one thing I've always used to cope
I guess I could have gone one of two ways
I could have turned to it or away from it
I seem to have chosen the latter
Then I started to feel lazy
My walks became longer and more frequent but that wasn't enough
I bought a stepper
I've had it for 72 hours and it's already taking over my life
Getting up early to squeeze more exercise in
Even knowing all this, I can't seem to stop

For the first time in a long time I felt completely overwhelmed yesterday
I saw all the things I was trying to fit in to my day (Appointments, 2 dog walks, 3-4hours on the stepper, typing out my dad's French notes, cooking, writing...........) and I just felt it was too much
I used to have too much time in my day but I keep adding in things and it's putting pressure on myself
I also felt scared
Scared that I seem to be slipping at such a fast pace
Scared that even though I know how this story ends, I can't seem to stop myself
There was also an incident that gave me a glimpse in to my possible future
I was walking my dog down my road (I live on a country road but there are a lot of houses)
I heard someone call my name and I turned to see a woman in her garden
I know this woman to say hello to but that's about it
She looked wrecked, her eyes were blood shot and she seemed to be shaking
She was looking for a taxi number which I didn't have
I asked her if she was ok and she said she was but she obviously wasn't
She walked away muttering to herself
From talking to this woman before I suspect she may be an alcoholic with possible mental illness
I thought no more about it until the next day when I met another neighbour who lives across the road from this woman
I decided to tell her what had happened and she confirmed that this lady is indeed an alcoholic
She said she never leaves the house anymore and is getting worse and worse
After I left I thought about this woman more and more
I feel incredibly sorry for her
Then it struck me
That could me in 20 years time
It may or not be alcohol or drugs but it could be food
If I don't do something soon I'll be a mirror image of that woman
Sick, alone, a virtual recluse
At the moment the only people I see on a regular basis are my parents and sister
But what happens when they die, they are already in their 60's
I absolutely dread and fear the day my parents die
They are my everything
They are my parents, my carers, my friends
They support me emotionally and financially
As well as that they shouldn't have to care for me so much
I'm a grown woman who should be independent
Instead they are looking after a sick child
I remember when I was a child I was terrified of my father
I remember being in the bath and hearing him stomping around the house drunk
I truly thought he was going to kill me or my mother
I don't exaggerate when I say this
Even though he only ever hit me once, I was absolutely scared stiff of him
He was completely unpredictable
More than his fists he used words to hurt us, which in a way was worse
Bruises heal but words stay with you forever
I hoped and prayed he would die so my family would be free
Now my father is in a pretty similar position to that woman
Yes, he stopped drinking but he lives a solitary and lonely life
He comes to stay with me every week to support me but it's a two way street
It's a strange situation actually, my mother and father are separated but they swop houses during the week
Weird I know but it works for them
But now the thought of my mother or father dying leaves me cold with fear
I need to help myself before there is no one left to help me
When are you going to do something about this Ruby?
When are you going to take that leap of faith?
I should also mention that my other neighbours are alcoholics
They are a couple in their 70's and they cause as much trouble as a house of teenagers
I just don't want to end up like these people
I have to admit that the thought ran through my mind that if I took my own life then I could avoid all this
Yes, that would be the end of my problems but it would cause a world of hurt for my family
So I ruled that out
The other option is to sort myself out and get well
When Ruby?

A couple of years ago a friend suggested that I try going to Food Addicts Anonymous
I think I've mentioned this girl before
She used to be bulimic and now attends this group
They believe food is physiologically addictive
Namely sugar, wheat and flour
So they cut these foods completely out of their diets
They follow a strict food plan
Eating at certain times and weighing and measuring all their food
Even in restaurants (I've seen this girl do so)
I attended a few meetings
They follow the same principals as AA and work the 12 steps
I found the meetings good and could identify with the other women
But where I got confused was with my anorexia
Can I be a food addict and have anorexia?
Yes, they told me
In fact one of the women was previously anorexic
I also couldn't and still can't get my head around the food plan
I said it seemed very restrictive
But they said the opposite is true
It gives total freedom
Another paradox of the 12 steps
In the end I stopped going as I just couldn't commit
But yesterday I picked up a book that one of women had given me
It's called 'Food Addiction' by Kay Sheppard
I had read it before but it hadn't really sank in
As I read the first chapter my heart started to thump in my chest

'The food addict sees life in relationship to the next opportunity to eat'

'Preoccupation with food'

'Stealing food or money for food'

'Concern about weight'

'Food provides comfort and warm feelings'

I read a case study about a girl and I could have been reading my own story
Food issues since she was a child
History of drug and alcohol issues
Under eating
Over eating

I had to stop reading as I was paralysed with fear
Am I a food addict?
Of course all these symptoms all meet the requirements for bulimia and or anorexia
I took a highlighter and highlighted all the parts I could identify with
There were a lot
I'm not sure I like the term 'food addict' and I'm loathe to put another label on myself
Their food plan is definitely not for me
All that weighing and measuring would be too triggering
But maybe it wouldn't hurt to go to a meeting for the support and I do really need support
The book is helping me gain insight in to my own relationship with food so maybe there is method to this madness
I don't doubt that this method has helped my friend enormously
Now if only I could muster up the courage to ring her

I weighed myself this morning
I've lost 4lbs this week

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Control The Freak

I've been thinking about my childhood a lot this week
Maybe because my sister is having some trouble with her son
Nothing serious, he's just being cheeky and a bit difficult
I'm sure he's confused
Confused as to  why his parents don't live together and why his aunt is a mess
He's 12 now and super smart, he picks up on everything
Even though I wasn't aware of it, my food issues started very young
I loved food as a child, it was  the highlight of my day
I  guess I turned to it as there was a lot of chaos at home
My dad was a functioning alcoholic and a control freak
It was like once us kids got to a certain age he completely turned on us although I got off lightly compared to my older brother and sister
My mother spent all her time trying not to upset him
There was a big age gap between me and my older siblings so for the most part I felt like an only child
My parents fought everyday and I walked on eggshells
It was ok when he was drunk, he was all happy and laughing
But it was the hangovers you had to watch out for
One morning in the kitchen, my mother asked my father if he wanted breakfast, he replied by throwing a cup of tea in to her face
I remember as a child packing my suitcase to run away
I packed two things
Socks and bread
I had a thing about bread
I remember my neighbours used to put out bread for the birds and when they went in I would sneak over and gobble it down
People used to say 'oh look at Ruby, she's such a good eater, she loves her food'
I hated this
I wanted to be a petit, delicate eater, only taking little bites
As I grew in to a teenager I spent as little time as possible at home
I remember restricting at school and worrying about weight
I did ballet and one day my teacher told me that I was losing too much weight
I was secretly delighted
At the barre, I looked at the girl in front of me
Her arms were thinner above the elbow and I remember thinking 'I want that'
By now I had started to dabble in drugs and I have to admit, part of that was wanting to lose weight
My mother told me that when I was in school one of my friends mothers rang her to tell her that I was purging in their bathroom
I honestly have no memory of doing this but I don't rule it out
Fast forward to age 19 and I'm living in Dublin with 3 friends
I used to steal their food and I was so confused as to why I was doing it
They used to blame each other and I was too ashamed to admit it was me
I was due to start a new job the next day and I remember feeling so overwhelmed that I sat up all night crying and slashing my wrist
By now I am taking heroin and things are going pear shaped
I became addicted very quickly and my life turned up side down
My father talked me in to applying for a job in the bank and the night before I was due to start, a huge row broke out at home and myself and my mother walked out
We checked in to a hotel for the week and I started work
The job was in Dublin and I had easy access to drugs
I used to go and score in my work clothes (bank uniform) and they dealers used to think I was a guard
A couple of months later and my mother finds syringes in my room
I leave work and things get even worse
My sister, an alcoholic at the time, moves in and things are chaotic to say the least
The next few years are horrific
A never ending merry-go-round of drugs, treatment, methadone
Inevitably you end up doing all the things you swore you'd never do
Thankfully my sister and I are both clean now and things have settled down
I suppose I am thinking about all of this and I'm sure my sister is too because we don't want my nephew to go down the same road
Unfortunately genetics are loaded against him so he has to be very careful
My sister worries about being a single parent but I think it's better to have a single parent and a happy home life than two parents and a chaotic one
In my opinion my mother should have left my father when we were kids but she says she wanted to wait until we were reared
My older brother and sister's relationship with my father is non existent, in fact I'm probably the one who is closest to him
But even saying that I am still wary of him
He doesn't drink anymore but  still retains his control freakishness
I don't want my nephew to have to go through what we went through so like a lioness guarding her cubs we will do our best to protect him

I ordered a stepper at the weekend
I seriously considered cancelling the order as the last time I had a stepper I spent hours every day on it
Against my better judgement, I picked it up yesterday
I've had it less than 24 hours and I've already spent 4 hours on it
As before, I parked it in front of the tv
And I have another confession
While waiting for my methadone in the chemist on Monday, I was browsing and I found caffeine tablets
Again, even though I knew it was stupid, I bought them
Being an addict, I never take meds or tablets as directed
It said to take 1-2 a day
So I took 4 - 5
Now you understand why I spent 4 hours on the stepper
This morning I am thinking 'What the hell are you doing Ruby'
I know this is incredibly stupid
I know I am heading for a slippery slope
I know how this story ends
But I still can't seem to stop myself
Since bulimia has gone on holiday my intake has decreased
All of a sudden food seems to be the enemy
All of a sudden my safe foods are dwindling and I'm making batches of Weight Watchers 0 point soup
All of a sudden it seems urgent that I lose weight
I'm not quite sure what has changed but my something in my head has flipped
Even though I know these behaviours only too well and I know where they lead, I'm unable to stop myself
I remember my ex sponsor giving me some advice once
'Ruby, if you don't know what to do, do the opposite of what you think you should do'
This was simple but effective advice
If I don't think I should go to a meeting, get my ass to a meeting
If I don't think I should eat dinner, eat that sucker
If I think I should jump off the nearest cliff, think again
At the moment I seem to be doing the opposite of the opposite if that makes sense
But what am I doing?
I know I can jump from bulimia to anorexia so is that what's happening now?
This illness is so sneaky, so seductive
As they say in the meetings, it is cunning, powerful and baffling
I'm not seeing Mary until Friday and I will try and not give her a censored version of what's happening
I had a chat with my Dad yesterday
I was trying to explain the way I think about food
He asked me my weight and I told him what I think it is
I asked him if I am fat
He laughed
He said 'Ruby, you're not looking as ill anymore but you could do with a few pounds'
I wish I could see what he sees
I feel huge
I feel fat therefore I am fat
So where is this all going?
Hopefully I'll come to my senses but since when did sense have anything to do with it?
I guess time will tell

Monday, 17 September 2012

It's Good To Talk

People often ask me how I ended up on drugs
And how heroin of all drugs
I have an uncle who when he has a couple of drinks, tries to pin me down on the exact reason as to why I started taking drugs
He wants a specific event or even person to blame it on
God knows it couldn't be my fault
But there is no one answer
Yes my home life was chaotic
Yes I had no confidence
Yes I was a risk taker
Yes I wanted to fit in
The real answer is that it was a combination of things
Circumstance, nurture, nature, genetics, environment, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and just plain bad luck
People seem to have no problem asking me about drugs as they can understand how someone might get sucked in to that world and have the misfortune to become addicted
But eating disorders are another matter
No one likes to talk about eating disorders
Even though people are fascinated by them, not many people tall about them openly
Therefore they are completely misunderstood
I've lost count of the number of times my sister has said to me 'I don't understand the whole food thing'
Then why don't you try?
Why don't you ask me?
You're probably dying to
People have said all the usual things to me over the years
Is because you want attention?
Why do you want to be so thin?
Boys don't like skinny girls ya know?
That thin isn't pretty ya know?
They presume I must want attention but in fact the opposite is true, I want to disappear
They presume I want to be thin, I don't I want to die
They think I'm doing it to impress a boy, I'd rather eat my own foot than have a boy touch me
They think I'm doing it because I'm vain
What is vain about throwing up every hour?
What is vain about having a yellow complexion, brittle hair and dry skin
Yes, people have a lot of strange ideas as to why I'm doing this
They think it is a disorder than only affects rich white girls
They think it's a teenage thing and therefore a phase
I remember meeting my uncle when I was at my lowest weight of 77lbs
He didn't know what to say to me so he shoved 150 euro in to my hand and told me to 'buy myself something nice'
What like food?
Even though I knew his intentions were good, I was highly insulted
People are happy to talk about the fact I used to inject heroin in to my neck but they can't handle a conversation about food
But of course we all know it's not really about food
That is just a symptom of a greater problem
I believe eating disorders are a form of addiction
I use the same behaviours in my eating disorder that I did in drug addiction
The lying, the stealing, the guilt,  the shame
People think this is just a phase
That I can stop when I want to
If that was the case I would have stopped years ago
Of course eating disorders are a metal illness and no one likes to mention mental illness in polite conversation
My family is a little different in that addiction and mental illness are rife
But It is talked about but only in a round-a bout type of way
It is whispered behind closed doors
I remember going through a particularly nasty bout of depression
I was just home from a long spell in treatment and immediately relapsed
I felt utterly hopeless
I remember my family trying to snap me out of it
My doctor did little more than increase my medication
No one could understand why I was in such despair
The thing is mental illness is invisible
You can't see depression or even bulimia
Governments don't put enough money or resources in to mental illness because you can't see the results
Better to put the money in to something where you can see a tangible outcome

How's the view up there Ruby
Yes, I'm on my high horse now

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all should talk more about our disorders
Everybody should
It can only help
Help us get through it
Help to raise awareness
Help to educate others
I remember when I was a child a teenage neighbour killed himself
He walked in front of a train
My own family never really acknowledged this
Never sat us down and explained what suicide even was
This left me confused and I formed my own misguided opinions of what suicide was
Nothing was spoken about when I was growing up
My parents still haven't had the 'sex talk' with me
Periods were never explained and I had a very strange idea as to what a period was until a friend set me straight
Talking about these things can only be a good thing
For everyone

Things for me are pretty much the same
I spent yesterday walking from my kitchen to my bathroom
In other words binging and purging
I call it binging but they weren't really binges
I had 2 fish cakes
2 more fish cakes
A sandwich
But they feel like binges
Any food feels like too much
The other days I've been existing on Weight Watchers 0 point soup
Delicious, filling and guilt free
It occurred to me the other day that I am lazy
I walk my dogs twice a day but no other exercise
I decided I need to exercise more
So I ordered a stepper which I'm picking up tomorrow
I had a stepper a couple of years ago when going through a dark anorexic period
I used to park it in front of the tv and stay there for hours
I wore it out within a few months
I don't intend to take it to such an extreme this time but who am I kidding, I probably will
My mother has already expressed concern and I'm sure Mary will have something to say
I feel numb these days
A quiet acceptance of my fate
Hope is hard to grasp
I see a glimmer of it sometimes but I think it's just an illusion
A trick of the light
I am increasingly becoming a recluse
Only venturing out in early morning so as to avoid people
My friend has tried to ring and text me
But I don't want to bore her with my misery
I try to stay in relatively good form around my family
But I'm sure they know I am in my own personal hell
I'm not quite sure where to go from here and so I seem to be delving further in to my eating disorder
It's strange to think I am 30 now
In some ways I feel I lived a hundred lives
But in others I feel as though I am still a child
It's a confusing place to  be
I am needy like a child
Needing constant reassurance
I can barely look after myself
Or rather I don't want to
Everything seems like an enormous effort
Even washing
Everything is followed with the question 'What's the point?'
Maybe I am slipping in to depression
I'm not quite sure
Whatever it is I don't like it

Do you talk about your eating disorder/mental illness with others?

Friday, 14 September 2012


So I'm 5 days in to my methadone drop
Again, it was only a 5ml drop but any drop is a big deal
I collect it at my local chemist every Monday and Friday
There used to be a really kind chemist that worked there
I had been dealing with him since I moved here 7 years ago and he always took the time to talk to me, ask me how I was getting on and give me encouragement
I was the only person in my town on methadone and I kept it a secret from anyone who didn't need to know
It really made a difference to me that he was so kind and warm
Then one day about 2 years ago he was gone
I have since found out that he was fired for being 'too friendly' to a female customer
I find that hard to believe
He was replaced by a girl who is perfectly civil but not as nice
Now they have a new chemist and she is just lovely
Today when she saw my methadone had dropped she said 'That's great Ruby, you're making good progress'
It really made my day
Heroin addicts and people on methadone have such a bad name and I do my best to dispel the myth that we are all liars, thieves and cheats
Not a lot of people know I'm on methadone, just my family and all of you of course so it was nice to hear something positive and encouraging
They say that methadone is harder to come off than heroin
They say it gets in to your bones
I well believe this as any detox I've done off synthetic drugs has been much more difficult than a detox off natural drugs
I've only done one methadone detox before when I was 19
I did it in hospital and it wasn't too bad as I was just at the start of my drug career and so wasn't so physically dependent
This time is different
I've been on methadone now for 7 years
I started on 70mls and over the years have worked my way down to 30mls
Any drop from here on in will be tough
Methadone withdrawals are not pretty and are both physical and mental

- Sweating
- Insomnia
- Muscle aches and pains
- Diarrhoea
- Vomiting

And plenty more
Then there's the mental effects
People can experience anxiety and depression after stopping completely
Methadone is so difficult to come off as it is long acting (as opposed to heroin which is short acting)
It stays in the body for up 48 hours so even though I take it every day I would be  ok if I missed a day or two
I don't know if I'm imagining it or nor but I've already experienced sweating and lack of sleep
I can't lie and even though I know it's a good thing, I am terrified to detox completely
It has been such a big part of my life for so long that I can't imagine life without it
It holds me accountable
I have to see my doctor every week and do a drug test so it's a deterrent to using
I am so very afraid that the craving to use will come back
And I swear I would rather die than go back to that life
The murky underworld of drug addiction is a horrible place
Once addicted to heroin you get incredibly sick if you don't have some every few hours
I remember one Christmas a few years ago myself and my family went away for Christmas
I brought along what I thought would be enough drugs for the few days
But I was always greedy when it came to drugs and I they were gone in 2 days
Withdrawals quickly set in and I begged my parents to take me to a doctor
It was a small town in the west of Ireland and I'm sure the doctor had no experience of addicts
He didn't entertain me though and gave me a few Effexor which was like giving someone an asprin for a heart attack
The next 2 days were a living hell
I spent them in bed, alternating between cold sweats and hot flushes
I couldn't get any relief, there wasn't a hope of the sweet release of sleep
I felt like my body was turning inside out and there was nothing I could do about it
I will never forget the pain I went through then and so I am anxious not to repeat that

I have stopped taking my other meds, the anti depressant and the anti anxiety
I can't seem to take them properly so I'm not going to take them at all
They also give me a ravenous appetite so I won't miss that
In fact my eating has changed this week
Bulimia has stopped in her tracks and my appetite has all but vanished
Don't get me wrong, I am glad that bulimia has left the building but I don't particularly want to go the other way either, anorexia is not much better
I have bounced from addiction to addiction my whole life
Food to alcohol to drugs to prescription drugs..........
And so I seem to have moved from abusing my meds to restricting again
Eating disorders and addiction and are so very similar
Same shit, different substance
The behaviours are the same
The lying, the stealing, the shame, the guilt
But where as drug addiction and bulimia are similar, a roller coaster of extreme highs and lows
Anorexia is different in that it  is more like a never ending, monotonous, numb feeling
Not feeling hungry is very triggering though
That empty feeling is triggering
It is very tempting to go down that road again
Anorexia is whispering softly in my ear trying to lure me in with false promises of happiness
She sounds warm and friendly and tells that 'this time will be different'
'This time I really will be happy'
She tells how good it would feel to reach an all time low weight
How satisfying it would feel
But I know her all too well by now
I know that she will seduce me until I am captive
I know that then she will show her true colours and how evil she truly is
I know that along with the weight I will lose my mind
I know that she will get stronger and stronger the more I listen to her
I know that before I know what's happening I will be a shell of a girl
I know that with the high of weight loss comes the low of depression, anxiety and paranoia
I know that even though my bones become sharp I will still believe that I am fat
I know that I will never get to enjoy the one thing I crave the most because I will still think  am fat
But even though I know all this she is still hard to resist
'I am all you need' she tells me
'You can't live without me'
But in fact the opposite is true
The truth is anorexia will not be satisfied until I am dead
She wants me dead
So I will do my very best to fight her off
I will try my hardest not to listen
I will keeping trying to keep some semblance of normality to my life
I won't give up

I was wondering if any of you lovely people out there have ever done a methadone detox or a drug detox
I would really love to speak to someone who has been through this
If you don't want to leave a comment feel free to email me
I'd love to hear from you

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Knock out Monday

I saw my doctor on Monday
I probably should have told him how bad I'm feeling
I probably should have told him that my mood has plummeted
I probably should have told him that I have a passive deathwish
I definitely should have told him that I'm abusing my meds again
My mother now calls Mondays knock out Monday because I take all my meds
He decided to reduce my methadone this week
Not by a lot, only 5mls
I'm sure he wouldn't have done this if I had told him the truth
I swear I am my own worst enemy
I used to be on 70mls of methadone and now I am down to 30mls
I probably won't notice the 5mls at all but it's more of a mental thing
Knowing I have my methadone lessens the chance of me craving heroin
Also it would be futile to use because it doesn't work if you use on top of methadone
And believe me I've tried
Something about the opiate receptors in the brain being blocked
I am also terrified that my longing for drugs will come back
That would be an absolute disaster
I think back to my drug using days and it's like it happened to someone else
I wonder how I got through it all alive and relatively unscathed
It was ok when I was going out with my boyfriend
We were partners in crime and did everything together
But once we broke up I was totally alone
I was a young girl in a big city on my own with a heroin problem
Needless to say I got in to all kinds of trouble
My mother reminded me of one of those days recently
It was a crazy time
My mother and father had just broken up
I was using and my sister was drinking
Her little boy used to come and stay with us sometimes
My boyfriend was in jail and I was living between my mothers and my boyfriends uncle
I think I mentioned him before, he was paralysed in an accident and was in a wheel chair
My boyfriend wanted me to bring him drugs so me and his uncle set off for the prison one day
I was terrified
I had the drugs wrapped up in a condom in my mouth
I put Liam's wheelchair together and helped him in to it
All the while with a couple grams of heroin in my mouth
I was trying my best to act normal and not draw attention to myself
The guard came and we followed him from the waiting room to the visitors room
I was pushing the wheelchair and as we came to a slope I was so distracted that I lost control of the wheel chair and Liam went flying out of it and on the ground
Everyone turned to see what had happened
Talk about drawing attention to myself
Two guards helped Liam back in to the chair and I tried not to have a nervous breakdown
Eventually we got to the visitors room and it was time to pass the drugs in a kiss
In the end it was fine, he got his drugs and I managed not to have a complete meltdown
This is just one example of the crazy shit that became the norm when I was using
I lost any semblance of self respect I had when using
You say to yourself 'Oh I'd never steal or I'd never do this or that but inevitably you end up doing all the things you swore you'd never do and worse
I remember when my nephew was staying with us I used to bring him to my dealer and let him play upstairs while I shot up heroin in the kitchen
This particular family had 3 kids and they used to break my heart
They were so thin and so pale, probably from malnutrition
The youngest boy was the same age as my nephew but he wasn't even talking yet
I used to babysit them and pick them up from school
I'd give them little treats
When people were taking drugs in the kitchen if the boys tried to come in they were roared at to 'get the fuck out now'
They must have been so confused
Probably terrified
I remember the oldest had his communion and my boyfriend was standing for him
But halfway through the party we all left to go to Dublin to get drugs
I wonder what has happened to those boys now
The oldest is about 16 or 17
I just hope that they haven't followed in their parents footsteps
But I fear they probably have

I was talking to Mary this morning about my fears of using
She asked me what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen
I know one thing I could do is go back to NA meetings
I used to go to meetings when I first got clean
I used to go about 4 times a week
And they did help
They got me out of the house and talking to people who are in the same position as me
I even got a sponsor and called her every day and met up with her once a week
I had friends through the meetings and was doing well
I also started going to food meetings, Food Addicts Anonymous
The food meetings worked on the same principal as NA and worked the 12 steps
They considered sugar, wheat and flour to be addictive and cut them completely out of their diet
They weigh and measure all their food, even in restaurants (I've witnessed this)
I could identify with the others a lot but I couldn't get my head around the food plan so I stopped going
At NA I always kept myself at a distance, never going to any social events
I said no so much that people eventually stopped asking me
I started to feel excluded but it was my own fault
I remember someone saying once that NA is like a boat, if you get in to the middle you won't fall off
I definitely kept to the edge of the boat so I eventually fell off
I had also started getting really bad anxiety at meeting, so bad that my heart would thump out of my chest and my body would start to shake
So I stopped going
I went to treatment then and I haven't been to a meeting since I've come home
I would love to go back, I really would and I know it would be good for me
I just can't seem to muster up the courage
If I go back I want to be sure that I'm committed to giving it a real shot and I just don't know if I am
I need to do something though because I can feel myself slipping
I've been abusing my meds again including the olanzipine
I had stopped taking it as it was making me hungry all the time but now I am using it to knock myself out along with the methadone and anti depressants
Everything just seems like too much at the moment
Everything is such an effort
I'm not seeing Mary again until next Friday and I'm already wondering how much weight I can lose by then
As my mood gets worse I'm turning to the one thing I know will numb me
The battery was dead in Mary's scale today so I don't know my weight
Thank God for small mercies

I'm just not sure where to go from here
I feel like I'm at a crossroads
I can either try to embrace recovery or retreat further in to my eating disorder
I've already lost 12 years to this illness and I don't want to lose another 12
But the alternative is also scary
Life on life's terms as they say in the meetings
My parents give me so much support and they are not going to be around forever
They are in their 60's and I should be taking care of them instead of them taking care of me
I depend on them for emotional support and also financial support
I am living in my mothers house and as much as I would like it, I don't think I am ready to live on my own, I would probably get worse
I used to meet this girl when I was walking my dogs at the beach
She was stick thin an obviously had anorexia
She would walk all day long
I haven't seen her in a long time and I wonder what happened to her
Did she get well?
Did she die?
I wish death scared me more
I'm not afraid to die and in fact I'm more afraid of others dying than I am of myself dying
I need to get it together
I need to pull my head out of my ass and face up to life
I want to want recovery if that makes sense
I don't understand why someone would want this illness
Come and walk a day in my shoes
There is nothing glamorous about eating disorders and yet there is a myth that there is
What is glamorous about cleaning vomit off the bathroom floor?
What is glamorous about your skin turning grey?
What is glamorous about your hair falling out?
What is glamorous about binging and purging all day long?
Come walk a day in my shoes and then tell me you want an eating disorder

Forgive me, I'm probably making absolutely no sense at all
My head is so jumbled up and confused that I don't know which way is up

I was wondering if any of you have ever been to NA, AA or any food meetings?
Did you find them good?

Monday, 10 September 2012


Just for a second I thought I was going to be ok
Just for a second I thought I could see a glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel
Just for a second I thought I might even be in recovery
I was wrong
I began my birthday by downing 3 days worth of methadone and 2 days worth of my other meds
I didn't feel like I was celebrating another year older
I felt like I was clocking up yet another year in the midst of this cruel illness
In fact someone left me a comment welcoming me to the 'being 30 and having an eating disorder club'
I really thought things were starting to change
My sister set me straight
She told me that I am 'sick' and in 'active addiction' and that she 'finds it really difficult' to be around me
I'm not quite sure why she chose my birthday to tell me this
I walked in to it really
I asked her why she won't allow me to babysit my nephew
She told me to read the article I wrote for an answer
It escalated in to a row
She left
Then she came back
I cried
She apologised
She said that I don't make an effort with her
But she makes it clear she doesn't want to be around me
We tried to sort it out like adults but the damage was done
The thing is, she's right
Mary asked me to keep a food journal this week and I was shocked how many times I had to put a P (for purge) beside what I had eaten
I knew I was still purging but not this much
It's so easy to slip in to denial
I think I've been in denial all summer
All summer long I've been putting on an act
Playing the part of someone in recovery
I feel like a fraud
My act was so polished, so well choreographed, rehearsed to a T
After all I had an audience to play to
At the wedding
In Cork
While my sister was home
While all the other visitors who were here
I was so convincing I even convinced myself
I'm sure it seemed plausible to them
I'm not emaciated anymore, inching ever closer to a healthy weight
I'm sure they'd like to believe I'm getting well because my body has started to recover
Why wouldn't they believe my sunny disposition was real
But what does weight have to do with anything when my mind is still so very sick
But now the audience has left
Gone back to their own lives
The theatre is empty so what's the point of keeping up the pretence
My mother is here of course but she can she through the thin veil of my act with one eye closed
If I was in recovery I would have the purging under control
If I was in recovery I wouldn't be afraid to leave my house
If I was in recovery my phone would be ringing
If I was in recovery I wouldn't still be consumed with thoughts of food and numbers
Take a bow Ruby, the show is over

I walked for miles today with my dog in the pouring rain
My other dog wouldn't budge when she saw it was lashing from the heavens
I was glad it was raining
I liked feeling cold and wet
I don't deserve to be warm and dry
Cars were speeding by me, splashing me with water
One came very close to me
It was all I could do to stop myself from stepping in front of it
But what would that do
It's a permanent solution to a hopefully temporary problem
I couldn't do that to my family and my beloved dogs
Today I am paying the price for sculling my methadone on Friday
I am clammy with sweat and I probably won't sleep tonight
I should probably shower but I don't have the energy or the inclination
I would tell my doctor how I'm feeling if I thought he would do more than put me on more meds
I don't need more meds
I'm on too many meds as it is
Giving me med is like putting a plaster on  a seeping wound
It might work for a split second but it will fall off as the wound weeps
I have an inherent belief that I am a bad person
I'm faulty and should be returned to my maker for a refund
Or at least a replacement
I walked today with my pyjamas underneath my clothes
My logic being that I will be putting them on again later on so what's the point in taking them off
Is that depression taking?
I think so
I am hoping and praying that this state of mind is temporary
That I will pull put of it
But I fear I am going mad
Maybe I have already
My thoughts are so loud and intrusive that I think others can hear them
I've taken to telling myself to shut up
I'm not quite sure what to do
Please tell me this won't last forever

I am listening to 'Bat for Lashes' new song 'Laura' on repeat
So sad
So haunting
So beautiful

I won't get to post on Tuesday, September 11th
It's hard to believe that 11 years have gone by
I remember where I was when I heard
I was in a car with a drug dealer going to get drugs who has since died of AIDS
I remember counting his money as I heard on the radio what had happened
It didn't sink in until days later
At that moment all I cared about was getting my drugs
I am lighting a candle for the 2752 people who lost their lives that day
You will never be forgotten

Friday, 7 September 2012

Happy Birthday?

Yes, it's my birthday although I don't much feel like celebrating
I had written a post but then deleted it
In fact I'm thinking of closing my blog
I don't know why, I can just feel myself slipping
I can't even articulate how I'm feeling
Just numb

A girl in treatment gave me this so I thought I would share it with you
It's by 'Body Gossip'
                                                          This one is for you

This one is for you
For every day you owned
For the lies
The only food you allowed me
For your constant screaming
In private, in public and in sleep
For taking every inch of my being
Voice, strength and more, leaving me with a hollowed shell
A sharp edged skeleton
For turning my young body in to the ruins of a decaying, ancient building
For taking what was mine
This one is for you
For inviting me in to your world
I hated every second
For the life you claimed from behind my eyes
I'm claiming it back
For the friends you said I didn't need
We are laughing at you right now
For the cries of help you silenced
For taking my womanhood and making me in to a child again
For wrongly telling me that the rules of happiness manifested in appearance
For the whispers you provided when I looked in to your mirrors
For making me believe that I should be eternally wrong, ugly and sorry
This is to let you know that for what it's worth you can have your identity back
To let you know how good it felt the day I realised the power to fight was in me
To let you know that I ate breakfast today and enjoyed it
To let you know that every day is a struggle but I will never give up
This is to show you
That I am not the brittle one you last saw
In fact you may hardly recognise me
To show you that my body is changing
How ever hard it may be to adjust, being healthy is incredible
To show you my posture right now
As I look down on you with my head held high
So this is to let you know that I never want to hear your voice again
To let you know you are not welcome
In fact you never were
To tell you and everyone that I am beginning to like myself inside and out
To tell you that your company is not required at the meal I'll enjoy with my loved ones tomorrow
To tell you I am winning
This moment is for you For you to hear me when I say
That the only thing that was ever ugly about me was you

I love this and I wish I could say that I am winning but right now I feel like I am losing

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I wrote an article for Libero Network
Libero Network is a non profit, on line magazine that deals with eating disorders
Basically the article is a short version of my story
I'd love to know what you think of it so feel free to leave comments,

Here's the link -

Monday, 3 September 2012

Trolls, Haters, Bullies

Has anyone else been following the Charlotte Dawson story?
Many of you will know Charlotte as the presenter of 'Australia's Next Top Model'
I don't watch this show and I don't know much about Charlotte but this story really shocked me
She has been the victim of a vicious hate campaign on Twitter which culminated with her attempting suicide on Wednesday
Just before posting this I checked out Charlotte's Twitter and I was gobsmacked by what I read
Literally hundreds, probably thousands of tweets such as 'Do the world a favour and just hang yourself'
'Go put your face in a toaster'
'Hang yourself in front of your friends and watch as they don't care'

Charlotte replied to many of the disgusting tweets and tried admirably to defend herself but it obviously got too much for her and she left a disturbing tweet on Wednesday night simply saying 'You win x'

I am happy to report that after a few days in hospital Charlotte is fine and gave an interview telling her side of the story

Having only been writing this blog for a couple of months, I thankfully have not experienced any hate but I know other bloggers who have
It baffles me why someone would take the time to actively hate on someone else, to write hurtful comments, to stalk and to try and make someone elses life  a misery
These people have far too much time on their hands
And how strange to have the balls to write these comments but be so cowardly they have to do it anonymously

A troll is just another name for a bully and I've met my fair share of those in my time
Apart from my father who bullied each of his children mercilessly, I have been dealing with different versions of the same bully my entire life
My first encounter was as a young child when a boy in my class took it upon himself to try and torment my every waking moment
His favourite taunt was to call me a slut
Bear in mind I was little more than 10 years old and barely knew the meaning of the word
I can still remember crying at night, dreading the next day in school
It didn't occur to me to tell anyone, I was shy and timid
Every night I would cry myself to sleep knowing what was in store the next day
Everyday was a fresh hell
Tellingly the same boy tried to get me to go out with him a couple of years later
I met this boy about 10 years later in a night club
He tried to talk to me and I took great pleasure in giving him an up and down look and walking off
He'll never know how he made my life a living nightmare

My next encounter with bullies was in secondary school
My mother was teaching at another secondary school, a school that had a rough reputation
Everyday walking home from school I crossed paths with a group of girls
Again it wasn't too serious, they called me names and pushed me around
I suppose I was a target because I was a teachers child
I never tried to stand up for myself, I was too afraid, I never knew what these girls were going to do next

As a child it's so confusing to be a target of bullies
You haven't done anything wrong
You haven't provoked this behaviour
So why again and again are we a target
I made up my mind very quickly that there must be something wrong with me
I must be a bad person
I must be weak
I must have done something to deserve this
Why else would I warrant this behaviour
This fed in to my already low self esteem and so started a long career of self hatred
After my second experience of bullying I decided to change my own behaviour
I went from being mild and meek to brash and abrasive in an attempt to avoid bullies
I was loud and obnoxious to try and protect myself
It worked for a while but I couldn't keep up the pretence forever
My natural personality is more quiet than loud and so trying to be this other person was exhausting

In my adult life I have also been bullied
While I was addicted to heroin, my boyfriend at the time and I stayed with his uncle on and off
His uncle was paralysed and in a wheel chair and depended on my boyfriend and I
He used to take pleasure in making lewd comments about me and to me
He withheld  drugs when he knew I was sick
Again I put up with this disgusting behaviour as I had no where else to go and was afraid he'd kick me out

My last experience with bullies was in the work place
It was a few years ago and was my first job after getting clean off drugs
I was (and still am) on a methadone programme and was eager to make a new life
I got a job as a receptionist in a hotel in my town
I was keen to make a good impression and was determined to put my old life behind me
I started work along with another new girl
The girl who was training us in took an instant dislike to me and didn't try to hide it
She was super nice to the other girl while barely acknowledging me
At first I thought I was imagining it
But as time went on I couldn't deny her hostility
She would make jokes and sneer and was generally nasty to me
Being on a methadone programme I used to collect my methadone at the chemist before work and always left the bottle in my bag
One day I went to my bag for something and saw that it had been moved and it looked like someone had been through it
I thought no more about it until the next day when I received a voice mail telling me that my services were no longer needed at the hotel
I was never given an explanation as to why I was let go but I suspect that this girl saw the methadone bottle in my bag and told the management
This shook my confidence to no end and it was a long time before I applied for any more jobs

I was also bullied by a nurse when I was in hospital
But again I played down how much it hurt me and didn't tell the programme director how much it had affected me
I ended up leaving hospital because I couldn't get my head around what this nurse had done
She was in a position of authority and she abused it
I blamed myself as she was nice to everyone else
She is also the reason I have avoided treatment since
This had been one of the hardest to comes to terms with as I was in a very vulnerable place and this so called nurse knew that
She was younger than me and very immature but this does not excuse her behaviour
It was supposed to be a safe place where I could get well but she saw to it that it wasn't
She took over the programme for a week while the other person was on holiday and it was then that I chose to walk
How could I be honest and open up to someone who I knew would just take the piss after the group was over
I've since told my mother how much this truly affected me and I probably should have made more of a fuss at the time but standing up to bullies is not easy especially if you are are already vulnerable
There was also another nurse who was a borderline bully

I often asked myself why?
Why me?
What was I doing that people felt the need to bully me and hate me
You can't get any more personal than to be bullied just for being you
I'm sure Charlotte Dawson asked herself the same question
Bulling, trolling, abusing, call it what you will, does untold damage
If you are like me you probably remember the negative things people have said about you rather than the positives
The names I have been called have been etched in my mind forever
Bullies often target people who are different in some way and then we begin to believe that being different is wrong
As a result of bullying I tried so hard to fit in, to be liked, to be accepted
I repressed any desire to break free and be myself and tried to like everyone else
I remember being a teenager and wanting to dress a certain way
But because I was afraid to be different I went with the crowd and blended in
Now as an adult I see things very differently
Now I can see that it is our differences that make us interesting
Who wants to be a clone of someone else?
I sure don't
It is our quirks and foibles that make us who we are
That make our friends and families love us all the more
As an adult I have embraced different
I dress the way I want
I wear my hair the way I want
I don't give a second thought as to whether someone else will like it or not

So why do bullies and haters feel the need to spread hate?
To be honest I'm not quite sure of the answer to this one
I do however believe that people are the way they are for a reason
Maybe they are insecure
Maybe they have to put someone else down to make themselves feel good
Maybe they are jealous
Maybe they are just nasty people
Who knows?
I feel sorry for them

The internet has spawned a new breed of bullies
The so called trolls
Now they have the added advantage of being able to hate anonymously
Faceless, they can say what they want to who they want
They hide in their bedrooms, behind computer screens and abuse, hate and bully
I'm all for free speech but there is a line and some people just don't know when to stop

The trolls that victimized Charlotte Dawson almost got what they wanted
I hope they think twice before they decide to send death threat to anyone else

I was wondering if any of you have been the victim of a bully, troll or stalker on line
How has it affected you?

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The weekend In Photos

My local beach

Copy Cat Banksy Artist In My Town

An Irish Persons Mantra!

My Old Ballet Shoes

You Can't beat a nice cup of tea with your ma!

Lea strutting her stuff on the beach

Lea running to attack Honey

Cooling off in a rock  pool

Quality time with my best girl

Quality time with my other best girl

Working hard!

Cup of tea and a smoke at the end of the day