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


  1. Oh sweetheart. we're both breaking. i cant stop either. can you call mary? get her to confiscate the stepper? love you x

  2. I think we are breaking Sweet P
    I saw Mary just now
    I cried my heart out
    I'm so very tired of all of this
    I'm losing the will to keep going

    Love you always x

  3. oh darling.. i wish there was some way to save you, please dont slip away from us Ruby my dear. I fear for you, its all there, black and white. I am scared of how fast its happening.. i want you to be ok but its easier said than done. I hope Mary can help you x
    all my love x

    1. Rayya I wish I could save myself
      I just don't know how anymore
      As much as I want to stop, that voice in my head is pushing me on, telling me that unless I do these things I am lazy and worthless

      Love always to you x

  4. *Hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs* 3-4 hours on the stepper AND two walks a day? Yup: Excessive. Bloody hell! Your feet will be worn to nubs in no time :p

    The future this sickness and addiction brings is fucking scary, isn't it. Part of the reason why I've tried to get help and not let it subsume me. I don't want to end up like my uncle or the people in the halfway houses down the street.

    I completely understand the fear. To this day I never reblog those things on Tumblr that say "Reblog or your Mum will die in 15mins". Yes I'm a bad daughter.

    I've never really understood how people can find rigid rules freeing. Unless it's freeing because you're no longer faced with having to make the decisions about what and how much to eat yourself. No options=not having to make decisions.

    In my random reading I've come across theories that EDs are much mental illnesses with components of addictions. A sickness, a way of mood regulation, an addiction to starving or puking or stuffing. At certain points of starvation your brain produces it's own opiates to try to dull the pain the starvation causes. As for food addiction: When you get an ED you're already fixated on food, and the physical effects of starvation as the illness progresses make you obsess about it. I think Hornbacher pointed out that some people who are obsessed with food become gourmet chefs, and others develop eating disorders. (Or both? Both are fairly time consuming. It would be hard to have a full-time chef job and a full-time ED)

    Gah maybe I should collect a list of sources and start writing some essays? I'm WANTING to write essays?!? I think I've just officially LOST MY TINY MIND.

    I'd completely forgotten about that song until it played at the gym during a bad day. Fuck it was triggering. There are days when I can handle Pink Floyd and days when hearing them is like a punch to the gut.

    Omg yes! Zumba and being recluses. Fwiend? Really?
    So happeeeee :')

    You hang on too, ok? Don't become like the crazy anorexic lady who spends at least 2 hours every day wandering around out store looking at lables and never buying anything. I think lives in a halfway house near me with the alcoholics and the psychiatric outpatients who aren't sick/dangerous enough for hospital but simply cannot function without constant care.

    Throw the stepper out, get an axe and smash it into bits, give it to someone who lives miles away. You're recognising the slide. Talk to people who you know can help you throw some breaks on it. It's worth a shot, right? Living independently isn't always sunshine and unicorn farts, but it's nice to know that if familial shit hits the fan you have the ability and resources to keep yourself puttering along.

    I hope you have a good weekend. Take care of yourself ok? Pinkie swear? We'll dangle at the ends of out ropes and build our strength to be badasses and fly when people help us turn them into motherfscking TRAPEZES.

    Arohanui from Te Wai Pounamu <3

    1. Peri you give great advice
      I've just see Mary and she told to me to do the exact same things
      Give the stepper away
      Flush the caffeine tablets down the toilet
      Reach out to my friends
      We wrote a list of things to do before I next see her so we'll see how that goes
      I'm seeing her twice next week so that's good

      Too true, I don't want to end up like my neighbours
      There is too much crazy already around here

      Oh how I wish I'd become a chef instead of this
      I'm watching Masterchef Australia at the moment and am loving it

      Pinkie promise to hold on
      You too?

      All my love from this tiny, green island x

  5. Oh Ruby, I really love reading your blog posts!

    I've thought about attending meeting like that too, but the thought of not being able to eat what I want every now and then has held me back.

    I guess I'm past eating what I want though, because I eat so much more than I want. And when I eat, I don't always want to; I feel pressured and forced into doing it. Maybe that's what an addiction really is? An uncontrollable invisible force.

    Go on; give your friend a ring. Just try it, what have you got to lose? What's stopping you? Having the ability to eat whatever you want is not always synonymous with freedom. Good luck. X

  6. Thanks Ebba,

    Addiction is definitely an 'invisible force'
    It's a monster inside us and the demon in our thoughts

    I'm thinking more and more about attending a meeting, if even just to meet others with food issues

    I want to ring my friend so badly but I'm afraid she is angry with me for disappearing
    She will probably understand though and you are so right, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain x

  7. Gosh, Ruby, I’m so sorry you are going through this. I get it when all you want is to go to sleep and not wake up, but you don't want to die. You want to eat like a normal person eats, but you need to see your bones or you will hate yourself even more… But I might be wrong. I love you so much and my heart is breaking to red this. Sending all my best towards your way.

  8. Thank you Greta,

    You are right, I don't really want to die, I just want this to end and for food not to be ruling my life

    I tried to get in to your blog, is it password protected now?
    I'd love to keep reading if that's ok with you?

    Sending love right back to you x

  9. Wow, this is an amazing and insightful post.
    I'm going to take a look back at my relapse and see if there were and subtle behavior changes that led up to it. And then I'll be able to prevent those in the future!
    As for being a food addict- I would guess that most people with EDs are- whether they have the ED because of the addiction or the addiction develops through the ED. And you're right, the FAA meal plan sounds incredibly restrictive. I would be wary of that. But maybe something like that would help. After I'm done with my study I want to see if I can attend one of those groups.
    Thanks for this post. It really struck a chord with me.
    I hope the rest of your week goes well!

  10. Thanks Emily, I'm glad this may help you to understand your relapse better.

    Hope your week goes well too x

  11. hi ruby: you do have so much going on in your life and i admire that you are keeping it together, even if you don't feel as if you are.

    ruby you have a heart of compassion, you are so smart and caring i can imagine you starting a non-profit or adopting a cause that helps people. your dad can no longer be your problem, it it too
    much. he is zapping your energy that could be spent helping others
    younger like yourself. start small and watch people come to help you.

    if you meditate you will be given the answer to your food situation,
    but i agree a really restrictive plan is not the way to go,

    keep strong and follow your heart.


  12. I know what I need to do, it's just a matter of mustering up the courage

    Thanks for your comment x

  13. I love you Rubykins, I'm sorry I haven't been around (again, I'm a bad friend and blogger), but I do think about you (and Rayya) lots, I'm just trying to keep myself moving physically, or I will break. I'll post about my little adventure at the hospital, in the morning. I was going to do it tonight, but got sucked in reading everyones posts! Lol. I've missed so much :( and I'm not even caught up yet. Once I get caught up, no more getting behind for me! Things are starting to become more normalised again, so.. soon I will be the frequent blogger you all know and love! Lol

    And honey, please, please be careful. The worst thing, is when you SEE yourself slipping and yet continue to let it happen, I did it in England with the drugs and I beat myself up all the more for it. So many more regrets, because if you *don't* see it, you can hide behind denial, but knowing it's happening, just opens the door for more self hate.

    I agree, if you can't keep the stepper at a minimum, then give it away. (Don't toss it, bad for the environment ;) lol). Walking your dogs is plenty enough exercise and you can always go to the gym once a week to use their stepper, as long as you don't think you'll get obsessed with going.

    Ashen x

  14. Ashen, so lovely to here from you

    I'm glad things are going back to normal for you
    I've missed you!

    It's so true, knowing and being aware of what you are doing is worse
    I've spent the weekend crying
    I know what I need to do it's just a matter of mustering up the courage to do it

    Keep in touch,

    Love you x

    1. I've missed you too Rubykins, but t'is my own fault! I've been keeping myself busy and things have been pretty chaotic anyway.. but, I found myself thinking of you guys more and more often and I had to come and at least read and comment... I should have been in bed at *least* 2 hours ago! Lol, oops. So, maybe that blog will come tomorrow! But, I'm not one to break a promise, I'll try a small update tonight ;)

      Love ya girl xxx

  15. Yay, I can't wait to catch up on all your news

    Love ya too x


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