Friday, 24 May 2013

Day 1: Operation Freedom

Last Friday when I saw Mary she suggested that I begin to take Ensures to supplement my diet and increase my ever dwindling weight
I was apprehensive at first as Ensures and  the like conjure up bad memories of being forced to drink them, hospital stays and just general unpleasantness
But after some thought I decided to talk to my doctor about it
I saw him on Monday
My blood tests came back normal but being the weird eating disordered person that I am, I was almost upset that they were normal
I guess I don't always believe that I have an ED and I look for evidence to show that I do
Does that make sense?
Anyway I brought up the subject of Ensures and he said that he has an issue prescribing them
He said people use them when they are 'too lazy to eat food'
Eh ok
He did prescribe them though
So I arrived home with 20 vanilla flavoured Ensures
But just bringing them in to my house doesn't magically make me gain weight
I actually have to drink  the things
Today, 5 days later I am still on my first one

I saw Mary again yesterday for a marathon 2 hour session
I was hoping to gain a bit or at least maintain but I lost another half kilo
I remember the buzz I used to get from seeing the number go down
But now I just feel sad, disappointed, guilty and slighlyt ashamed
Here I am
I have all this help and support and I'm throwing it all away
Throwing my life away
She immediately said that she would have to talk to my psychiatrist
It would be in his hands then
She said she can't enable my behaviour
She can't continue to treat me if I continue with this
She said that there is a team meeting next Wednesday and if things don't begin to improve before then, I may not be able to keep seeing her
I am seeing her again next Tuesday and I have to get the purging under control and at least maintain my weight
I though  that seemed like an overwhelming task
But as my mother pointed out I have been seeing Mary for over a year and I do know what to do
I can talk about recovery until I'm blue in the face but until I take action it's all futile
Nothing changes of nothing changes
For the first time ever she mentioned inpatient
She asked if I would be willing to go
The answer to that is that I just don't know
I didn't get any better in treatment
And in the end I still have to come home and face reality
But it's an option and it's something I will think about

Mary showed me a presentation about body image that she put together
Part of it was about body dysmorphia and bigorexia
This is the opposite to anorexia where a person believes they are too small  and want to be bigger
She showed me a photo similar to this one

I couldn't hide my shock when I saw it
And said 'That is crazy, does he not know what he looks like?'
Mary said that in his head he believes that his body looks good
She asked 'Do you not think that people think that when they look at you?'
I was stumped
It's true
Looking at a photo of an emaciated person is just as shocking as this photo
'But I look normal' I said
And I really do believe that
I know that I'm not fat
But I also know that I'm not emaciated
I am 8kilos heavier than my lowest weight ever
However I do accept that I don't see myself they way others do
But coming to terms with the fact that I have to regain weight terrifies me
I just can't comprehend it at the moment
I want to get well but -
There's always a but
Always a reason
An excuse
A reservation
Logically I know that I can't fully recover and stay at this weight
As hard as that is to realise, it's true

To make any headway at all I have to address the purging
It's so out of control that I am purging up to 10 times a day
I spend a fortune on food
I spend hours binging and purging
It's a horrible existence
And I say existence because it is not a life
It's a death sentence
So today is day one of Operation Freedom
I started this morning by having tea and half a slice of toast for breakfast
Then I went food shopping with my mother and managed not to buy binge food
That felt so good
Usually I go from shop to shop stocking up
Today I walked around the shop and felt strong enough to resist
I'm talking this bit by bit
Hour by hour
Meal by meal
I can't handle anything more than that
I have to be careful not to go to the other extreme and not eat at all
I have to make good food choices and eat regularly
And distract myself after eating
It's going to be tough
I am prepared for that
I just want to be able to go in to Mary on Tuesday and say ' I haven't purged since I last saw you'
That would just be magic

I got a text this week from a girl I was in treatment with
Since leaving treatment she has gained a lot of weight
Tried to kill herself numerous times
Been sectioned
Developed bulimia on top of anorexia
It was a stark reminder of where this illness can bring us
To the brink

A good friend once said to me that it's not a choice between the ED and recovery, it's a choice between life and death
I'm going to choose life


  1. Remember you have to gain a little to feel better about your body. Even though i have gained weight ever since i have gotten better & been eating normal i am able to see that i am still slightly underweight, but this is medically fine, whereas when i was really emaciated i was convinced i was "looking normal" the paradox here after recovery:In the mirror I am thinner now than i was when my weight was a lot lower.i am glad that my physician never thought a BMI of 20 was to be reached, but put the emphasis on a weight that suited my physique. Although i have to say i am glad that my set weight seems naturally on the lower side ( i can image it will be the same with you) and i also have to admit that when dealing with difficult situations i still tend to loose a little. But - i am able to keep this under control.

  2. That's great Loulou, that you are happy with your weight
    Mary says the same thing
    Last year I managed to reach a BMI of 18 and I was ok with that
    I know that I have to do it if I want to get well
    I just fear I will spin out of control and keep gaining
    Yes, my set point would be the lower end of normal too

    Hope you're ok today x

    1. I swear babe 18 is something one can learn to live with!!


  3. I'm so happy you're taking it step by step! You should stock up on things like veggies and fruits. They don't do anything and they have great nutrients. Maybe you could take evening walks with your dogs and your mom or dad. Something to feel human and strong.
    Keep going. Were behind you. <3

    1. Thanks Eve,
      Yes I do need to stock up on healthy and filling foods
      Binge food is banned
      And it's such a relief to not binge and purge
      I guess I can do it when I set my mind on it x

  4. <3 love that title, operation freedom.

  5. Just the fact that you went out and bought those bottles of Ensure, that you have them in your house and that you've started on one says something about your desire to get better. Well done, Ruby, I'm proud of you! Even if you only have one shake a week, it's a start. Just take it slow, like you have been and go easy on yourself. I approve of your taking it one meal at a time, it's a very healthy way to go!

    I'll be keeping fingers crossed for you with the purging, I know it's hard. Just do your best to cut it down a little every day like any addiction. I'm rooting for you, Ruby-girl! Hang in there.

    Sending you all my love. :)

    1. Thank you Jeanne
      Hopefully all these little steps will add up to be big chahges
      And yes, treating it like an addiction is helping

      Love to you too x

  6. hey,

    I completely empathise with the example you give with your blood results. I feel the same. I want my blood pressure on the floor with my white cell count, I want my heart to be dicky, I want people to see the illness that's in my head. When you feel like your hearts been ripped out and replaced with nothing you want some evidence of your suffering.

    big congratulations on your self control; the further away you move from reacting to urges the lesser they will get. Not overnight but it will happen.

    IP isnt a magic cure, but sometimes you just get exhausted with trying to fathom it alone and need someone else to take control.

    By getting the ensures you've shown a desire to improve, you should be proud.

    my blog is, please follow guys xxxxxx

    1. That's it Kate, it's definitely part of the illness
      A very weird part

      I've been to IP 4 times already and I didn't really improve so I am reluctant to go back
      I won't rule it out though x

  7. I love this! Operation Freedom sounds fantastic. Eating breakfast was a huge step, I really hope the rest of the day goes as well.

    I love the taste of vanilla Ensure, though a lot of people don't. It's much cheaper to buy in the big tubs of powder and mix it up yourself, if it's available in Ireland. I know it can be hard to drink them, but try to think of it as medicine, for all parts of your body.

    I know someone with 'bigorexia'. He's a psychiatric nurse, but he's as obsessed with diet/exercise/body shape as a lot of people with EDs. He wants to look like that picture you posted, it's crazy.

    Love you dearest Ruby. Keep the mantra "One day at a time, one meal at a time, one moment at a time". It helps me a lot <3 xx

    1. I quite like the vanilla too Bella

      Bigorexia is the other extreme to anorexia I suppose
      But yes it is crazy
      But then some people would say we are crazy too

      Thanks sweetheart, love you too x

  8. You'll never see enough evidence to satisfy the DisorderBrain.

    Lol, homeopatic Ensures. The most effective ones are the ones you don't drink! Do they taste ok? Would spreading shot-glasses of it out over an hour help? It would be easier to digest, anyway. Slip right through and start rebuilding your engine so you can brain better.

    Body dysmorphia comes in all kinds of variants. I know a bodybuilder who already looks like a fucking super-saiyan but wants to use steroids to get BIGGER. We can see the insanity EXCEPT when it's going on in our heads. I've seen two-week-dead sheep that look healthier than you do, but the disorder won't let you see it even if you weren't able to walk on you own. Put his picture near the mirror so you're reminded of Ed-Goggles?

    You CAN'T stay at this weight and get better. You need to regain organ mass as well as your major skeletal muscles. (I hope you haven't ever gotten to the point where your brain starts to shrink. While it's a wonderfully plastic thing, there is only so much of it you can lose)

    *Huggles* One bite at a time, ne? An ounce at a time. Enough so you don't keel over and die on the way, but not enough to rebound back into the arms of that abusive cadaver-bitch who wants you dead.

    I want you alive so I can whine at you for not talking to certain book-publishing people :p

    Brain is dying now. Love you so so so so so much Ruby. Take care of yourself as much as you can and have a good weekend <3

    1. I'm coming around to the idea Peri
      The scale was up this morning and I didn't have a nervous breakdown so that is encouraging

      I feel good about this though
      Having yesterday purge free was like heaven
      No stealing food
      No looking over my shoulder
      No constant back and forth to the bathroom
      It was great and I want more

      Love you to Peri, have a great weekend x

  9. I am so happy to hear a fighting spirt in your blog. Just like NA it is all one day at a time, one moment at a time. Just a suggestion but since you like having a hot beverage like tea do you think you would like the ensure warmed?

    1. Thanks Josie, better late then never I guess

      Yes, that's a good idea, I just might try that
      Thanks for the suggestion x

  10. Best of luck to you! I hope the Ensures help you, I find that liquids are easier to get past the ed thoughts in my head sometimes, plus it will really provide your body with some good nutrients without making you feel too full. Keep fighting, do not let this disorder get the best of you. There are bigger and better things out there for you, and you deserve a life that is filled with joyful things, beyond the perils of weight loss. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and Operation Freedom. We are more powerful and in control than we think :)

    1. Thank you Anna, I think we all an operation freedom x

  11. Hello sweetheart, you're on Day 2, how was Day 1 in the end?
    I really hope you can keep seeing Mary and that your weight maintains for tuesday's session with her.

    Love you lots xxxx

    1. Day 1 and 2 went well
      Day 3, not so much
      At least tomorrow is Monday so a fresh start

      Love you too x

  12. Hi Ruby!
    I love that you've come up with a name - Operation Freedom. It really does sound like you are on a mission, and seem incredibly determined! I can't say how proud I am of you!

    Sure, your eating disorder will try to mess up your recovery, time and time again, by distorting your thought and trying to drag you down, but I know you are strong enough and brave enough and courageous enough to let go of this monster. This monster is now trying to take Mary away from you, despite the fact that you need her and she is doing you the world of good. Say no to the monster and make Mary even more proud of you! You have the wand to create that magic lovely!

    One way to make Ensure more tolerable is to drink it ice cold, or freeze it (but keep stirring it every so often as it freezes) to make it more like ice cream. But then this might be triggering, so ignore me if it is!!

    You are so incredible Ruby! Can't wait to hear how positively you get on on Tuesday!

    Much love always xxx

    1. Today is Sunday and I'm afraid that today was not so good
      I'm trying not to be too disappointed though
      A new start tomorrow and a new day
      Operation Freedom is still my goal

      Thanks for your support, it means a lot x

  13. Good job on not buying binge food! It's half the battle. You sound so motivated so try to use it to your advantage. Do as much as you can for now and back off as you need to.
    Mary seems amazing, and I hope you don't lose her.

    1. It is half the battle Emily
      If it's not there I can't eat it x

  14. Loving the name of your post Ruby :) Operation freedom! It really is what we need..

    Taking hour by hour, one meal at the time sounds like a great idea. Gl with everything hon.

    Oh and nvm that doctor.. "Too lazy to eat" sounds sort of wtf... Some people just don't understand..


  15. The blood test thing makes complete sense. When I was really ill I used to get annoyed that mine came back fine. I'd think I obviously wasn't that ill.

    Although the feelings of disappointment and guilt aren't nice, I see it as a good thing, it's huge progress. That you no longer see a positive in losing weight. It was a strange feeling when I realised I was disappointed when I saw my weight go down. Just shows your determination to get better. Another sign you're letting go of the eating disorder.

    Stay strong, take each day and challenge as it comes. There will always be 'reasons' not to move forward, but just think 'well why the hell not?'

  16. True Danielle, I can always find a reason not to recover
    There's always an excuse
    I think it's important to change now and not put it off until tomorrow x


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