Monday, 15 October 2012

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

My mother is on to me
She knows I am struggling
I came home the other day to find her looking up a treatment centre on line
I asked her why
She said 'ruby, you're not well'
She said she knows I so very low even though I make a huge effort to try and seem in good form
She can see through the thin veil of my act
I actually thought I was doing quite a good job
Thought that I was fooling everyone
My dad asked me very politely not to take all my meds last week
He said I am so very distant when I do
That he can't get through to me
I honestly hadn't noticed but then I was out of my head
The treatment centre my mother was looking up is relatively new
I actually rang them once before but they weren't accepting health insurance at the time and it cost a ridiculous amount of money
There are 3 main treatment centres for eating disorders in this country
I have been to two of them
So I guess it's only logical to  try the next one
The last time I went to treatment it took me a year to muster up the courage to ring
My one hour with Mary is not enough
Not by a long shot
She seems to think that I am doing well
She says 'You have come so far Ruby'
Then why don't I feel it
I still feel as entrenched in this eating disorder as ever
Yesterday I spent the day binging and purging
Literally all day
I have a path worn from my kitchen to my bathroom
And the sick thing is that I was actually looking forward to it
Looking forward to eating what I wanted with no consequence
I had been binging in the night too
Getting up in a sleepy stupor and raiding the biscuit cupboard
So I taken to hiding all the binge food in my mothers room at night
It's worked so far
The night terrors are also back
I get them from time to time
Plagued by horrible nightmares and waking up screaming
They used to be so bad that I had to sleep beside my mother so she could wake me up
How much longer will this go on?

I don't understand why anyone would want to be this way
Why anyone would welcome this in to their life
I didn't want to be this way
I didn't invite this illness in to my life
It silently crept in
In to my body and my mind
I didn't even know I had anorexia for the first couple of years
I had no idea I was under 80lbs
I thought I was skinny because I was a drug addict
The number on a scale meant nothing to me then
All I knew was that not eating made me feel good
I was doing a drug detox in hospital when a nurse sat me down and told me I had anorexia
I didn't believe her
Didn't want to believe her
I was in denial for a long time
It wasn't until I went in to drug treatment that I faced up to the reality of my situation
There was another girl there with an eating disorder
 Our behaviours were so similar that it was like looking in to a mirror
I couldn't deny it then
In the beginning you don't even notice the illness
It's so very subtle
You begin to eat less but there's always a reason to explain it away
You begin to lose interest in food
And it feels good
Your clothes become looser
And it feels good
People comment on your weight loss
And it feels good
More and more you feel guilty for eating
So you start purging
You feel you have found a loophole in the system of eating
A way to eat but have no consequence
And if feels good
Then your family express concern
You are getting too thin
But surely there's no such thing as too thin?
And anyway you are still fat
The mirror tells all
You start to weigh yourself
You carefully record every number
The numbers get lower and lower
And it feels good
But as the numbers plummet so does your mood
Depression and anxiety creep in
As the numbers decrease so does your energy and will to live
But you can't stop
You are so very cold now
Colder than you've ever been
It's in your bones
But you still can't stop
Your skin turns grey and you grow lanugo all over your body
Your periods cease to exist
But you still can't stop
Your family are sick with worry
They say you are emaciated
But they are lying, the mirror still says you are fat
Along with the weight you will feel like you are losing your mind
But you still can't stop
Then one day you break
You start to eat
And  eat and eat
You binge and purge like it is going out of fashion
But you still can't stop
You gain weight and you hate yourself for it
People presume because you have gained weight that you are better but that couldn't be further from the truth
You reach breaking point and contemplate suicide
But instead you decide to lose all the weight again
But this time it's not so easy
This time your body is fighting you
Every pound is hard fought
It's just not the same anymore
It takes forever but you lose it all again
Now so very weak you end up in hospital
They try to make you eat
They make someone sit with you all  day
But you are two steps ahead of them
You go to treatment and make some progress but then it's time to go home
And the cycle start again
The next 10 years are a pattern of lose weight, hospital, treatment, gain weight, lose weight, hospital, treatment..................
Lather, rinse, repeat

The thought of living this way for another decade is too much
This eating disorder is like a job I detest
I work hard all week and expect a big fat pay check in the form of weight loss
But no matter how hard you work it's never enough
The boss is the mirror and it's boss is the scale
It decides if you've worked hard enough
But it's never enough
If I were strong enough I would stop this madness now,  today
I wouldn't waste another second on this cruel illness
But oh if it were only that simple
If it was I would have done it years ago
I know a lot of people here are struggling right now
Many suffering in silence
It breaks my heart
We are all connected by the common thread of pain and food and numbers
They say eating disorders are a 'rich, white girls' illness
But in my experience it can affect anyone
It does not discriminate
I hope there is a reason for all this
That it will be explained in time
I still believe that there is a reason for everything
I'm just not sure what it is yet

All my love,

Ruby x


  1. Hi sweetheart,
    Lather, rinse, repeat - is that because you can never be clean and free of the ed and addiction, or because you don't feel clean, or something else? Just curious, you don't need to explain if you dont want but I see it coming back up and up in your posts.

    how comes going to treatment is relativly easy to get into? The york thing has taken over a year to organise, is it the funding/ health insurance thing? Plus i had to be sent for severeal rounds of assessments to see if it was the right option? But that doesn't matter now I don't want to go at all. If you still want to, i really hope you manage to get in and have a break, little ruby.

    i downloaded the rest of bat for lashes new album this morning. have you heard lillies, i like that one as well as laura.

    love you xxxxx

    1. The term lather, rinse, repeat is something I heard a hairdresser say once. To me it means repeating the same cycle over and over again, like washing your hair. I'm not sure if it makes sense but it did at the time.

      The first time I went to treatment it took months to organise and I did many assessments. I think because I've been before they have my file already so it doesn't take so long.
      But if I decided to go to a new place it would probably take months.

      I hope you decide to go to treatment, I really do.
      You deserve to give yourself the best chance possible and you are so worth it Sweet P.

      I'm going to check out that song now. Love her.

      Love you too x

    2. That totally makes sense - I love how things can be interpreted in so many ways I wanted to know what it meant to you :-)

      Love you xxxxx

    3. I'm glad it makes sense, I like your interpretation of it too,
      that makes total sense to me too.

      Love you always x

  2. i could feel it, is it the season, ruby, the times? I wish i would not be so lost for words here. i just beg you to keep on, to hold on, you have got a lovely family, let them help you. do not give up. to be honest i am far from ok either, but this is all i can manage to phrase about my own state. I have always been a just a plain writer not a journalist, not a sylvia, not an open person. you are - all of this and more, so use it, write your book, inspire others, try to pull through, once again, once more, please!


    1. Dearest Loulou, always so lovely to hear from you.
      I am holding on by my fingertips.
      I know you are not ok Loulou, we are in a similar position I think. I hope and pray that you can hold on too.
      You are so precious, such a beautiful soul.
      Let's not let this thing consume us
      Let's keep fighting.

      Sending you all my love x

  3. If you need it, go. To paraphrase you with more profanity: "Fuck wasting another 10 years on this shit!"

    Maybe they can help you from the "wanting to want to" to the "wanting to" stage? Google is your best friend when it comes to finding out what you can expect straight from the horses' mouth, a 'twere. This shit didn't happen over night, so it doesn't go away fast either. Even if it's a long fight, it's worth it. YOU'RE worth it.

    You're worth the fight. I don't give a fuck if you don't believe me, coz I think it's true and I bet I can find others who think it's true too and you'll be so outnumbered :p

    Tell the boss to go fuck himself, you're sick of his shit and the working conditions and you're looking for a more rewarding employment. Fight your way through the red-tape and guilt trips and "oh no, wait, I'll give you the hours/the payrise/we need you here" coz you know and I know that's just a massive crock of steaming BULLSHIT.

    Sending you all my love and some strong warriors to fight on your side from Aotearoa <3

  4. Thanks Peri,

    I'm definitely considering treatment, what have I got to lose right?
    It can't hurt and would probably help.

    Yes, I am going to quit this thankless job, shitty hours, fuck all pay , no days off and the boss is an asshole.

    Sending love right back atcha from halfway across the world x

  5. Pretty much...
    This addiction to being thin is destroying me and has been destroying me since it came into my life. The constant starve yourself until you binge, and then purge. Repeat. Repeat. Until your binges get smaller and smaller and you are purging everything and hardly eating anything. You watch the numbers drop and that makes you... not happy, not content, not okay. Just numb. You're cold, you're tired, you're hungry 24/7. You become a ghost because you can't think straight. You get angry at yourself when your body is too tired to do anything. But still you continue.
    And then when you gain, everyone thinks you are fine. They can stop worrying because you are a "healthy" weight. But its not true.

    Keep fighting Ruby. You don't need to live this life. You've had your eating disorder for a long enough sentence, its time to break free and be you. Who you are is not a woman with an eating disorder, who you are is defined by so much more than that.


  6. Thanks Tinyrose for your kind words, I can relate to everything you wrote. You are right, I have given enough of my life up for this illness and all I get in return is pain.

    I hope you can hold on too, you are beautiful inside and out.

    Love to you x

  7. I must commend you for your bravery for seeking help, no matter how many times. Many people (including this lady) have yet to build up the courage to do such a thing.
    Hang in there, you deserve so much more then this suffering xx

    1. Thanks Melrose, although I don't feel brave at all x

  8. I know I don't comment nearly enough anymore, but you are so strong, so brave. It might not feel it, but you are, never doubt that. Is there any way you could get more appointments with Mary, if you feel the one hour's not enough? Love you, stay safe xx

    1. Don't worry Bella, I know you are struggling.
      I guess I could ask Mary for 2 appointments a week and see what she says.

      Love you too dear Bella x

  9. Oh darling I am so sorry I am so late to read this post.. I am so sorry, I feel somewhat destitute the fact that you go through so so much, I wish I could wave a magic wand and "fix" us all.. but its not easy.. we all know that, but you are amazing for not giving up.. your family care so so much.. I am so glad that you have them to catch you when they see you slipping.. sometimes we need that. Maybe your mum is right? You have been toying with the idea of recovery for a while.. you never know what could happen and who knows it could be different this time.. people have recovered.. it hasnt been easy for them no doubt it has been akin to hell, yet I know out of everyone that brave face you put on has its roots in a brave heart and a brave soul within you. You have strength and courage all you need is faith that you can do this..

    I love you, whatever you choose I will always be here x

  10. Thank you Rayya for such kind words, I'm blessed to have you as a friend. I have been toying with the idea of recovery for a long time, I need to make a decision one way or the other.

    Love you too x


Thank you for leaving some love x