Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The scale tells the tale

I got my period a few days ago
Or to quote Cher from Clueless 'I'm surfing the crimson wave'
Only my second in over 10 years
It hit me really hard
I had crippling cramps in my stomach and everytime I stood up I felt so dizzy
I was feeling so bad that I rang Mary to cancel
I just wanted to curl up in bed and feel sorry for myself
She talked me in to going though and I'm glad that I did
It's quite traumatic when your period comes back
I was so used to not having it that I just didn't miss it
It was normal
I suppose now that it's back it's a sign that my body is trying to get back to normal
I should be grateful really
That everything is working as it should
But I can't help but feel a bit sad
It's a clear signal that my body is starting to recover
Letting go of my eating disorder is tough
Yes I want to get well
Actually that's a lie
I want to want to get well if that makes sense
There is still a big part of me that is too afraid to take that leap of faith
So I'm mourning anorexia
They say there are 5 stages of grief
I think I am stuck at disbelief

Then Mary said she would weigh me
I really didn't want to do it as I figured  if I had my period then I would be bloated
I prepared myself to see a significant gain
I carefully stepped on to the scale but couldn't bring myself to look at the number
Never has the saying 'Ignorance is bliss' been more apt

I sat back down and Mary said it was important to discuss it
So she told me the number and I was down 2 pounds
I was genuinely shocked
And I can't tell you how relieved I was
It just goes to show that I can't trust the way I feel
Or even my own eyes
The only way to get a true reflection of my weight is to weigh
The scale tells the tale
My father mentioned yesterday that I didn't look well and  asked if I had lost weight
All of this is fuel for my eating disorder
It feeds off comments like this
I often think trying to fight my eating disorder is like taming a wild animal
You can train it and manage  it but there is always the possibility that it will bite you

I've noticed that I'm probably one of the oldest in this community
Most people think that eating disorders only affect teenagers
Anorexia is often stereotyped as a 'rich white girls disease'
Yes it's true that most sufferers are under 20 but there are plenty of us in our twenties and thirties who have carried this illness with us in to adulthood
Relatively speaking I guess my own eating disorder developed quite late
I was 18 when I first became aware of it and wasn't diagnosed until I was 23
For those first 6 years my weight hovered around 6 stone although I had no idea how this I was
Thinking back to my childhood I can see that my eating was always quite disordered
Maybe if it had been caught when I was 18 I might not have gone so far
But it went unchecked for so long that when I finally did seek help my behaviours were so entrenched that recovery seemed elusive

It's difficult to be my age and still be so disordered
People think  that I should just grow out of it
That's it's something that adults should just get over
But if course it's not that simple
Eating disorders don't discriminate
They can affect anyone
Any age
Any sex
Any race
It is an equal opportunity illness
It's so important that it's caught early for the best possible chance at recovery
But unfortunately all too often if a doctor is presented with an eating disorder patient in the early stages of their illness, they don't take it seriously
By the time the doctor sees fit to intervene it's almost too late

I do feel a sense of shame and guilt about my illness
Guilty that I keep putting my family through this
That they worry so much
I think when one person becomes ill, the whole family gets ill
It affects everyone within a certain radius
And I feel shame about the fact that I can't seem to be able to get my life together
I should know better than this
People presume that eating disorders are a vanity thing
For me it's never been about vanity
It's a coping mechanism
An escape
An addiction
And anyway what is vain about having papery grey skin
Lanugo all over your body
Limp and lank hair
I think not

I feel so out of my depth at the moment
Like I'm drowning
I'm kicking and trying to swim but the harder I try the deeper I seem to sink
I really don't know how to get out of this place
And even if I did I'm not entirely sure I want to get out
I can't decide which is worse
Living with anorexia/bulimia forever
Or living without them

How long have you had your eating disorder?


  1. You don´t know me...I am reading your blog for some time now, and I just wanted to say that I admire you. I like your toughts and I can find myself in them. Sorry for my bad english. It´s hard to write and a lot easy to say...And that I answer to your question. I am having eating disorders for 23 years and I´m still struggling. I´m 33 and deep in bulimia right now. It sucks...

    1. Hey Lea
      Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it
      It's not easy being that bit older and still in the midst of this illness
      I hope you know that there is hope for us
      We can get well

      Stay strong lovely x

  2. I started selfharming when I was 11 and throwing away my dinner and restriting when I was 13, so 10 years, nearly 11. How are you meant to escape something that has become you? and how are you meant to accept defeat for something that has consumed your life? i think that's why i can't stop. i need to get there, even if its pointless, because my life is pointless, and the only point left to my life is reaching a goal that is always drifting out of reach. and for what? for some peace. idk. i feel like im drowning too. im drowning but also completely stationary. like a paradox. i dont know what im ding or what i am supposed to do. my decisions are based on pleasing others and making sure they dont leave but i just want to curl up and starve but i cant seem to. dear this is depressing. sorry.

    i love you ruby, i hope you can find your way out of this maze of self destruction because you become more deeply lost within it xxxx

    1. *before you become more deeply lost within it... damn phone typos!!!

    2. I can relate so much
      I have no idea where I am going either
      I'm going around in circles
      Lose weight, gain weight
      Restrict, binge
      Up, down
      It's exhausting
      I hope you can find yourself and find happiness
      You deserve it

      Love you to bits x

  3. I had a purge-type ED when I was 12-14, which was a coping mechanism and completely unrelated to weight. I stopped purging eventually, and when I was 17 I developed anorexia. So around three years I guess, not 'counting' the purging. But for me it's more than just that - it's the rest of my mental illnesses that keep me stuck too. I see myself as 'sick', and I don't know how to change it.

    I hope you can turn this around soon Ruby. Did you tell Mary about the laxatives? I am so worried for you sweetie.
    All my love <3 xxxx

    1. Yes I spoke to Mary although I played it down a bit
      I have none left so I'm not going to buy more

      Thanks for your continued support dear Bella
      You are a good friend

      Love you x

  4. I always felt fat and ugly. I mean, I was a chubby kid as kids are. I think I hated my body because of my abuse too. Today I kind of told my story of where it started on my blog but first time at 14 and it lasted until I was about 17. I was nesrly forcibly hospitalized when I was about 15/16. Second time 21-now.
    I think you can do it but it takes you letting people in and needing the right things. I'm scared to come to grips with my past but I want better too. It's a difficult cycle. School is my identity. What happens when I graduate in December and need to actually use that degree? Emotion scares me.
    I don't call myself sick. I am mentally ill I guess but I posses the resources to get better. There is no excuse for why I cope this way. It's me not growing up and me being scared and not trusting and many other things. I think we feel stuck sometimes but we aren't, if we really step back and look. It's hard to do but it's true you know? Admitting that fact means this disorder isn't who you are and you don't know who you are because you're scared it isn't the right you or the you you should be. Both lines of thought aren't close to right. We just have to be the best us we can and love others.
    It's ver difficult. I understand your thoughts...
    You are loved.

    1. I admire you Eve
      You are managing to go to school and retain some semblance of a normal life despite what you are dealing with
      Don't let this thing stop you from doing the things you want to do
      Fear and anxiety have paralysed me
      I'm so stuck in this place

      Keep reaching for your dreams

      Love you x

  5. Tough stuff! It's really hard to let go of the disorder, because it's a total leap of faith that there's better out there in recovery. But I really have to believe that reaching out and working hard at recovery are worth it. You are worth it and deserve all the happiness and health in the world. And maybe at first the "wanting" to get out of the disordered behavior doesn't have to happen, you just have to do it anyway, and the motivation will catch up eventually. Take care of yourself, and keep fighting!

    (Oh, and in response to your question: I've been living with AN and self-harm for 13+ years although there was a span of a few years in there where the AN was sporadically active)

    1. I do believe it's worth it, I have to
      I think you're right, I'm in two minds about if I even want recovery but I'm still trying and hoping that the 'want' will follow

      Take care of you too x

  6. I can read the pain and anguish through your words. You are an amazing writer and so self-aware. It's refreshing to have someone share their insides without fear of judgement. Wow. I hear you on the whole fmaily falling ill when one person falls ill. My parents were so distraught with my bipolar diagnosis. They would text me every day and tell me they love me to keep me from wanting to end my life. I didn't feel I was depressed, or had depression. I thought I am a fake, a lazy loser, and a useless idiot. Every single day. But I am 29 days free of those thoughts and I am working so hard to kick this illness and tell it whose boss!

    1. That's great Vanessa, 29 days is amazing
      And now you can build on that
      Every day you are getting stronger

      Keep fighting x

  7. Us "older" chicks have to remember that an ED has no age requirements. Looking back I think my relationship with food became disordered around age 8 but the ED really started at 14. I am 31 now and I have long periods of time when I haven't even had a thought about my ED, like a relapse in reverse. When I first started dating my husband I had been symptom free for about 2 years. Same thing happened in high school. It reminds me of the saying " I can stop, I just can't stay stopped". This is honestly the first time I am putting real effort into changing myself and learning how to be healthy. I fell into recovery all the other times but now I realise I need to actually change, no more using unhealthy coping mechanisms. I need to learn new ones.

    1. That's a great way to put it Josie
      I can stop too but I've never been able to stay stopped
      I guess it's like any addiction, it is always there, we just have to learn how to manage it x

  8. It never ends does it. I've had two normal periods in a row. The first two times since I was about 12. But I'm still going around in a horrid cycle. Lost so much weight lately, and everyone has been giving me crap about it. The complete lack of support has started me binging and obsessing again. Why can't people leave me the fuck alone. *sighs. Hope you're doing well Ruby xxx

    1. Good to hear from you Destiny, I haven't heard from you a while
      You know I am always here so if you need someone to talk to you can always contact me

      Stay strong x

  9. Ugh, getting periods is awful. Honestly, if I were anorexic missing my period would be something to celebrate.
    I used to think that EDs were mostly in the younger population, but then over the summer I met lots of older people with them too. Not very old, but in mid 20s and 30s. It surprised me, but it really hit home the idea that EDs are everyone and anyone.
    I was anorexic for a bit when I was younger but my current ED started when I was 17, so I guess that was late as well? (if 18 is late) I guess I've had it for 2.5 years now. Not too long compared to others but much too long for me.

    1. I didn't miss them at all Emily, not one little bit
      I guess I just have to accept that they're back though
      I wasn't prepared at all but at least it means that my body is working properly x

  10. On the bright side: It should slow down the onset of osteoporosis, if you don't already have it.

    Ugh, it does suck though. Massive cup of tea, a chocolate bikkie, some panadol and a warm hot water bottle to curl around. I find that a hottie really helps when the crampage kills me.

    I gain 1-2kg of water weight, but it goes away over the course of the week if you keep drinking enough water :)

    'Grow out of it/get over it'? Are they fucking joking?!? *Facedesk* In many ways you're still mentally/emotionally at thw age where you developed the ED, since it's a way of not dealing with life and staying at a stage that is easier to deal with. Fuck, Mum has the mental and emotional maturity of a 14-year-old and she is turning 50! (Addictions of any kind keep you childlike in invisible ways)

    I've been a comfort eater all my life and only developed more disordered habits in my 20s. Lol, vanity is part of what keeps me from letting it get too out of control. I LIKE having hair, it's so slow to grow that if it falls out now I'll probably be bald until I'm 80 D:

    Letting go of any crutch is scary, especially if it is also something that has become your 'normal', your way of living. Ease out, explore new things. Take back some of the time your ED steals from you and use it to experiment with new pastimes. (Or just watch funny YouTube videos!)

    Love you <3

  11. Oh darling I think we can safely say periods are no fun :/ Please keep fighting xx


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