Friday, 28 June 2013

And then she disappeared

I often read someone's blog and wonder where they got their title from
Obviously it means something very personal to that person and I'm intrigued to know the story behind it
When I was choosing my own title, I had a few in the running
Beauty from pain
Wearing thin
Or simply anorexia and me
Anyone of those would've been fine but I kept coming back to And then she disappeared
I was planning to disappear
Simple as that

I started writing this blog about a year ago having been reading blogs for quite a while
I was adamant that it was not going to turn in to a pro ana blog but reading back on my first couple of months of posts, I can see that I was coming very close
I guess a saw a community of people and wanted to fit in so I wrote about fasting and wanting to be skinny
But over time this blog turned in to something different
I'm extremely uncomfortable with the idea of girls egging each other on to lose weight
It makes me feel slightly sick
We would never encourage someone to pick up a drug (well most of us wouldn't) or to get depression
or any other mental illness
So why is it ok to encourage weight loss?
I think that most people who are 'pro ana' don't necessarily have an eating disorder because of they did they would never wish it on any one else
I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy never mind someone who I care about

I admit that I am not in recovery
Or if I am I am failing miserably
I suppose some would say that makes me pro ana by definition
But I am not or never will be pro ana
Then I might as well be pro heroin addiction or pro obesity

I admit that I am struggling
That I am no poster girl for recovery
I feel caught in between my illness and recovery
In limbo
A wish washy, no man's land
Neither here nor there
Stuck in anorexia's waiting room
And I am not an in between kind of person
I'm quite black or white
All of nothing
So being in this place is infuriating
I hate it

Anyway I'm going off the point here
I choose the title of my blog because I was planning to disappear
I had no desire to go on
I just wanted to slip away quietly
But that has changed too
For the longest time I couldn't find one reason to stay here
I felt like a burden to my family
I genuinely thought that they would be better off without me
Now I'm not so sure
Now I have 2 things that keep me going
My dogs
And the thought that maybe I could help others in my position
The only problem with that is that I have to help myself first in order to help anyone else
Easier said than done
I can think of a million reasons for you to recover but when it comes to myself I struggle to find any

I started writing mainly because I was lonely
I had pushed most of my friends away and I was very much alone
I was struggling to keep it together and I needed someone to talk to
For some reason I find it much easier to tell the internet all my problems than talk to someone face to face
But I have to say that this blog is no substitute for human contact
It's great to have this outlet but I think that we need actual human contact
A hug
A shoulder to cry own
That feeling of connection
I have met some amazing people through this blog and for that I am grateful
People that have given me the courage to break the silence of my own struggles without fear of judgement
Mary wonders if this blog is not unhealthy
And there was a time when I thought it was too
I've had to be strict with myself and avoid blogs that I find triggering
Although I'm sure mine can be triggering too

With all that said I was wondering about you
How did you come up with the title of your blog?
And why did you start your blog?
Has it been a positive or negative in your life?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Don't call me crazy

As you probably know I love a good documentary
Especially ones about eating disorders and mental health
Last night there was one called 'Don't call me crazy' shown on BBC3
It followed a year in the life of patients in the McGuinness unit in Manchester, which is a unit for young people with mental illness
In this first episode we were shown the girls unit
I think the next episode next week is about the boys

We were introduced to a few of the patients but the documentary mostly concentrated on Beth's story

Beth was 17 years old and suffered from anorexia and depression
She had been in the unit for 2 months when they took up her story
She stayed for 6 months and was discharged in April of this year
Beth was a pretty blonde with big brown eyes
She came across bubbly and out going
She described the voice in her head
It told her she was fat and useless
She was refusing food and wouldn't even go in to the dining room
As you can imagine there was constant tug-of-war between her and the staff
She also refused to give blood tests and wouldn't allow staff to weigh her
After being given chances to make changes herself, her team decided that she needed to be sectioned
That meant that she was no longer a voluntary patient and the staff could force her to eat
We saw her sitting at the table one day
The staff member with her could only persuade her to eat 2 piece of carrot
If Beth didn't eat then she was expected to drink the same amount of calories in a supplement drink
She fought them all the way
She must have started make progress though as I know she was discharged in April and is doing quite well
She has returned to her beloved dancing also

I have to admit that when I first saw Beth, I thought to myself 'She's not that bad'
Partly because she didn't look emaciated and appeared to be relatively healthy
But I know that this is no way to measure how sick someone is
Looks can deceiving
Beth was obviously struggling
Her bubbly personality was obviously hiding a lot of pain
People do not stop eating for no reason
And it is a huge myth that you have to be extremely thin to have an ED
I know for myself that I was just as sick at my highest weight as I was at my lowest weight
But doctors only really grew concerned about me when my  weight plummeted
It's so sad that we never feel that we are 'sick enough'
That we don't deserve the title of anorexia

Another girl was in for OCD
She described how she had to do things a certain number of times and it was ruling her life
She made good progress and was discharged

The unit was a tightly run ship
Doors were kept locked
The patients weren't allowed outside on their own
Their rooms were searched regularly
Patients frequently tried to harm themselves
They used anything they could get their hands on
At one point 2 girls escaped the unit
One was found quickly but a girl called Gillian managed to give staff the slip
8 hours went by and she still could not be found
Staff were very concerned as this girl had taken an overdose recently and they feared she would try again
Their fears were realised when they got a phonecall that Gillian was in the local hospital after taking another overdose

What was nice about the documentary was the bond that the girls had together
They supported each other and took care of each other
I can remember that feeling from when I was in hospital
It was so refreshing to be in a place where people were just themselves
We were all in the same boat so there was no point in trying to hide our conditions
People spoke freely without fear of being judged or ridiculed
I have actually never felt as comfortable in my own skin as I did when I was in hospital
I could just be me
I could talk about my illness if I wanted to and people understood
In the real world it's very different
People don't talk about mental illness even though 1 in 4 of us are suffering
We have no trouble taking about physical health
So why not mental health?
And there is still a stigma attached to it
People are ashamed of their condition
I am quite open about my own struggles
I have no problem talking about them if I am asked
But people rarely ask
They think it's impolite or taboo to ask
But I would rather people asked than stay silent
I'm more than happy to answer questions

I remember when I was a child these were a couple of people in my town that were considered 'crazy'
One woman was known as 'Mad Mary'
She lived alone and was rumoured to have put her baby in the oven to keep it warm
Another man was called Tommy and he walked around the town muttering to himself
Looking back now, I can see that they were both mentally ill
They weren't crazy
I don't think that crazy exists and if it does then we are all crazy
I think people are afraid of mental illness because it's not something that they can easily understand or explain
So people pretend that it's not there

I though that this documentary was good
I think it gave an accurate account of what life is like inside one of there units
Beth's story was particularly sad
She was such a beautiful looking girl yet all she could see when she looked in the mirror was fat
I hope for her sake that she manages to overcome this and doesn't become stuck in the recover/relapse cycle
The outlook is hopeful though
Because she has caught her illness early there is every chance that she will make a full recovery
And I hope and pray that she does
There are so many of us suffering
Some in silence
I'm glad that this documentary was sown because if nothing else it will get people talking
And that has to be a good thing

Saturday, 22 June 2013

I was delighted to receive an email from Tracy over at today
Andthenshedisappeared has been nominated as one of the top20 eating disorder blogs on the web 2013
Here is the link address

Thanks Tracy, this truly made my day!

Friday, 21 June 2013


My life is pretty much ruled by numbers so I thought I would do a post dedicated to them
Are you like me?
Do numbers feature heavily in your life?
Answers on a postcard please.......

43:  Weight in Kilos

81/50:  Blood pressure today

77: Pulse

8:  Cups of tea I drink every day

30:  Number of mls of methadone I take every day

7.5:  Number of mgs of olanzapine I take every day

15:  Number of mgs of mirtazapine I take every day

60:  Number of minutes I walked with my dogs today

9.67:  Price of my groceries today

3:  Number of times I purged today

12:  Number of cigarettes I've smoked

40:  Cost of the dress in euros I wore today

2:  Number of enemas used today

4:  Number of appointments I had this week

16:  BMI

7:  Amount of kilos I've lost in the last 3 months

2: Number of naps I've had today

8:  Number of hours I slept last night

Monday, 17 June 2013

Doctor Day

It's Monday morning
And that means doctor day for me
My usual doctor is out sick and has been for the past 2 weeks so I've been seeing another lady
She is lovely
Last week I told her about my dizziness and weakness
Today she checked my blood pressure again which was really quite low
She decided to take some blood to check that everything is ok
My veins are shockingly bad
I guess years of injecting drugs have taken their toll on my poor arms
First she tried in the crook of my arm with a tiny butterfly needle
No joy there
Then she tried in the back of my hand
Still no luck
She decided to leave it and try again next week
Having blood taken is strange experience for me
When a needle is put in to my arm, I am used to feeling the amazing rush that comes with taking heroin
And when blood is taken, I almost expect to feel the same thing
But of course that doesn't happen
I was never really afraid of needles
They just didn't scare me
When I took heroin for the first time I smoked it
The next time I did it I injected
Injecting was a small price to pay for such an amazing buzz
As time went on my veins all collapsed and I had to find other sites
The biggest and juiciest veins were in my neck so that's where I used
Try to inject in my arms became virtually impossible
I remember spending hours poking and prodding trying to find a suitable vein
My arms were so bruised and full of punctures and scars
There is nothing as frustrating as being sick and not being able to get the drugs in to your  system
The act of injecting in itself can be quite addictive
I don't know why but there is something so satisfying about seeing the blood flow in to the barrel of the needle

This doctor I saw today really was helpful
My usual doctor never takes my blood pressure
Only takes blood if I ask him to
Rarely asks me about my ED
I've seen this doctor every week for the past 8 years
When I'm there we rarely talk about my health or medical matters
It seems that we have run out of things to talk about with that subject
We could talk about anything from films to books
It's a bit out of the ordinary I suppose
The lines are a lit blurred
I'm not sure why but I felt a lot more comfortable taking to this new doctor today
I often find that I can talk easier to a stranger than I can to someone I know
Maybe because I don't want to disappoint them
Maybe because I can't let them down
Maybe because she is a woman
She was very thorough
My own doctor is very laid back
This can be very confusing for me because I get different messages from him and from Mary
Mary calls my case 'acute'
And that it is urgent that I change my behaviours
On the other hand my doctor doesn't seem to worried
But as my mother says, my doctor is a GP and Mary is an expert so she obviously would have greater insight
Because my blood pressure was low the doctor today put me on a tablet called Midon
I'm not thrilled about being put on another medication and I don't even know of I'm going to take it
I'm on enough meds as it is
I would say that if any normal person took the amount of medication that I do every day, they would hit the deck for sure

I decided to invest in a blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on it
I found a neat little one for 19 euros in my chemist

Dr Ruby at your service

Add caption

We have another wedding coming up in December
What is it about weddings that strikes fear in to my heart?
I'm not 100% sure why
Maybe because it's a long day with lots of food
A lot of people
Although I have a few months to get myself in to a good frame of mind
The sick part of me wants to seeing how much weight I can lose in that time
But the rational part of me knows that if I work hard I could be in a good place by December and I could even enjoy myself
I've already been conjuring up ways that I could get out of going
But I think going in to treatment to get out of a wedding is pretty extreme
Anyway I'll see

I was feeling particularly large yesterday
As I walked my dogs I felt so big
I was sure that I had gained
So I decided tow eight myself
To my surprise  I had lost
It just didn't make sense to me
Not at all
It just goes to show that I can not trust my own eyes
Or even how I feel
The only way I can really judge is to weigh
I'm not actively trying to lose weight so I'm  not quite sure why my weight continues do drop
I am purging a lot though
Anything from 5 - 10 times a day
It seems to be getting worse
I don't even admit this to Mary
I tell her that I purge 3-4 times a day

Are you totally honest about your ED with many people?
Are you like me and find it really hard to be honest

Friday, 14 June 2013


Day:  Friday

Wearing:  Jeans, t-shirt, trainers

Listening to:  Daft Punk, Haim

Mood:  Unidentifiable

Eating:  Tea and toast

Drinking:  Hot sweet tea

Smoking:  Benson and Hedges

Reading:  The Mystery of Mercy Close, Marian keyes

Watching:  New French drama, The Returned. So so good!

Exercise:  Walk with my dogs

Driving:  Opel Corsa

Going:  To see Mary

Wishing:  That I would get well

Hoping:  That I don't lose weight when Mary weighs me today

Thinking about:  Food (what else!)



What are you eating, wearing,

Monday, 10 June 2013


Day:  Monday
Mood:  In different
Song: Daft Punk, Get Lucky
Wearing:  New blue tracksuit

A new dayA new week
A fresh start
A chance to put the mistakes of last week behind us and start over
An opportunity to make new goals and a whole week to meet them
Although I do find Monday's quite triggering
I get my meds on a Monday so there is always the temptation to over use them
Today I've been good
I took them as prescribed

I saw my doctor this morning
My usual doctor is still off so I saw one of the women doctors
She was lovely
I explained about my dizzyness
She took my blood pressure
3 times actually
And it was low
She figures that I am dehydrated and told me to drink more water

The first thing I do every morning, even before I weigh myself is feel my hip bones
I find it's a good indicator as to whether I've gained or lost
This morning I felt like they were more prominent
I weighed and I had lost half a kilo
After maintaining for almost 3 weeks the number has finally dropped
It's bittersweet
I always imagine in my head how good it will feel to she the number decrease
But when it happens it's something of an anticlimax
And it's never enough
It's a moving target that gets lower and lower

My favourite time of the day is last thing at night
When my head hits the pillow, I have a feeling incredible relief
The day is over
Binging and purging is over
The demons is my head don't go away but they do subside a little
It feels so good to have gotten through that day in one piece
Lying in my warm cosy bed I can let all the anxiety go
All the stress
The strain
The endless tug-of-war in my head
The cooking
The cleaning
The never ending march from my kitchen to the bathroom
It all just melts away
Just for those few minutes before I fall asleep, I feel free
Free from the urge to eat and purge
Free from the voice abusing me
Free from the grip of this illness
This happens me sometimes
I get little glimpses of what my life could be like
The person that I could be
Just Ruby
Not Ruby the anorexic or Ruby the drug addict
But then I wake up the next morning and the whole cycle starts   again

I had to ask my mother for the loan of money this week
There are few things that I hate more than asking someone for a loan of money
At my age I should be able to budget and be responsible
But maintaining a raging bulimic's lifestyle is expensive
I got to the shop every day and buy food
I hate that I spend so much money on food
Food that gets flushed down the toilet
It's  literally money done the drain
And then the guilt and shame kick in
I just don't have the energy to do this anymore
My body is hurting
It's tried and cold and brittle
It's had enough
I've had enough

Saturday, 8 June 2013

With Love!

I hope you know that you are stronger than you ever realised

I hope you know that you can get well

I hope you know that your eating disorder doesn't define you

It doesn't mean you are crazy or weak or defective

I hope you know that you are unique, there is only on of you and no one can ever replace you

I hope you know that thoughts are just thoughts, we don't have to act on them

I hope you can remember that once you were happy and free and you can be again

I hope you know that it's possible to recover, people do recover

I hope that you believe in yourself or at least can accept that others believe in you

I hope you know  that even if you fall, you can get up even stronger

I hope you know that you would be missed if you were gone

I hope you can see that you are lovable

I hope you know that happiness is not a dress size

It's not a weight

It's not measured on a scale

It's not a number

Happiness is not how small your waist is

Or how much your bones protrude

Strength is not how long you can starve for

How long you can exercise

How much weight you can lose

Strength is fighting back

Not giving in to the eating disorder

It's eating even though you don't want to

Even though even fibre of your being feels that it is wrong

Strength is eating and allowing the food to stay in your stomach

It's keeping going when all you want to do is hide in your bed

It's not letting this thing rule and ruin your life

Strength is choosing to live even though it would be easier to die

It's doing the right thing for you even when it's not popular with others

It's having the courage to be yourself

It's speaking your truth

It's being you

With love,

Ruby x

Friday, 7 June 2013


I saw Mary this morning
She weighed me but I didn't look
She said it was exactly the same as last week
I'm glad but also annoyed that I haven't lost in almost 2 weeks now
I told her about my week
How I'm on my own now during the week
So I'm doing my best to be independent and responsible
Turns out that my best is not very good
I explained how I really struggled physically this week
Everytime I stand up I get incredibly dizzy
My brain feels like it's pulsing in my skull and I see stars
Yesterday I was in a shop and suddenly came over all weak
I bought my items quickly and got out of there
I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it to my car and all I could think of was that the dogs were in there  and if I passed out they'd be stuck there
I got to my car and collapsed in to the seat
I couldn't catch my breath
I struggled to calm myself down and I did eventually but it did scare me
I'm also finding that I'm struggling on my usual walk
It  really takes it out of me
I said to Mary that I though the weather had something to do with it as it's been unusually hot here
She said 'Ruby, be realistic, it's not the weather, you're not eating properly'
She's right

What I didn't tell her is that I misused my meds this week
They are all gone as of yesterday
Bad Ruby, very bad
I had got that one under control but the minute I get a bit of freedom I am back to my old tricks again
We went through my food monitoring records
Even there I am not being 100% honest
I recorded that I purged on average 4 times a day
In reality it's probably double that
She said that if I lose anymore weight then she just can't see me anymore
She probably shouldn't really be seeing me now
She said that this service is for mild to moderate EDs
And my case is acute
She explained how if things continue like this, she will have to recommend me for inpatient
How do I feel about that?
Well if I could avoid it at all I would
I've been 4 times before and I can't say that I made much progress
Also I had some trouble with a couple of the nurses which I wrote about last year
That plays on my mind too
I am considering it though

My mother and I went for tea afterwards
She said that I look thinner every time she sees me
I asked her what she thought about inpatient
She said she would support any decision I made
The thing about inpatient is that you have come home at some stage
You have to face reality eventually
Everytime I've left hospital I've sunk in to a deep depression
I went from having support 24 hours a day to having just one hour a week appointment
That's tough
And I have to be sure it's what I want and I am motivated
Just going to treatment doesn't mean you will recover
There is a lot of hard work to be done
Physically and emotionally
In the end no matter where I am, it all boils down to one question
Do I want to get well?
I do and I don't
I can't seem to make a decision and stick to it
Like a moth to a flame I am drawn back in to anorexia's web of lies
She promises that this time will be different
That this time I'll be happy
And I always fall for it
I always go back
It's like being in an abusive relationship
Even though it's wrong
Even though I'll regret it
I go back time and time again
Because maybe, just maybe this time will be different
Because I know no other way
Oh yes, my ED is cunning and powerful
She know how to get to me
Knows exactly what to say to make me go back

These days I'm bouncing between anorexia and bulimia
They are like partners in crime
If one is under control, then the other spins out of control
They are quite alike in some ways but very different in others
If bulimia is loud and brash and in your face
Then anorexia is cold and aloof and silent
I don't know which one is worse
They both suck the life out of me
They both want me dead

Have you ever had the feeling that you are not alone?
That someone is watching over you?
This week my grandmother has been on my mind
I'm not sure why as I rarely think about her
She is a long time time dead so I don't remember her
I was born in the September and she died in the December so I never knew her
My mother always says that I replaced her
She has been popping in to my head a lot
When I am walking my dogs I always see white butterflies and every time I see them I think of her
It's a nice feeling
A comfort
A feeling that she is helping me
Looking after me
My mother and I were in the cemetery and I asked her of she ever gets the feeling that someone is watching over her
She said she did
She recalled a morning back in Winter when she skidded in her car on black ice and enede up in a field
She was lucky that she wasn't killed
But she said she felt that feeling so strongly that morning
She didn't have a scratch on her
I've always had in interest in spirits and ghosts and I do believe that they show us when they're around
Whether it's a feeling that you're safe
A feeling that you're going to be ok
And whether or not it's real or just in my head, it's still a comfort
I see these butterflies everywhere
Of course it is summer and that explains it but it's just the feeling I get when I see them

Does that ever happen to you?
Do you ever get a feeling that someone is looking out for you?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Wearing Thin

I saw my doctor this morning
Today is the day that my methadone is supposed to be reduced
As I walked my dogs before the appointment, I made the decision to say to him that I needed more time
That I wasn't ready
That I'm on the verge of making some progress with my ED and I just can't  deal with the 2 things at once
It turned out that my usual doctor was out sick so I saw a locum
I was relieved
I can relax for another week
When she had written out my prescriptions, she asked if she should weigh me
I wanted to say 'No, absolutely not, it's none of your business how much I weigh'
I tried to get out of it by saying 'He only weighs me from time to time'
Which is the truth
But she said she would do it anyway
I've been holding steady at the same weight for the last couple of weeks
And today was no different
I wondered what she thought about me
She made no real comment after weighing me
I kept thinking that she probably thinks I'm not thin enough to have an ED
I know I'm in dangerous water when I start doing other peoples thinking

I don't tell anyone my weight
Not my mother
Not my friends
Not here
The only ones who know are Mary and my doctor
It's not that I don't feel comfortable posting my weight
It's not that I don't trust you all
I guess I just think that it's not relevant
The number on a scale does not define how sick we are
And I don't want my weight to define me as a person
Also I don't want to trigger anyone or have comparisons made
I know that I get extremely triggered when I read others weight
I find it incredibly difficult when someone asks me my weight
We have a fella that does work around our garden
He has become a family friend but he regularly asks me what or how my weight is
It makes me angry
It's such a personal and loaded question
Especially for people with ED's
And I'm pretty sure he doesn't ask my sister and my mother what they weight

I have a love hate relationship with my scale
I weight religiously every morning
 I have safe numbers
Unsafe numbers
Unacceptable numbers
Acceptable numbers
What ever number the scale shows dictates my mood for the day
My self worth and self esteem
I hate that it does but it does
I don't like weighing, yet I feel compelled to do it
I have to know the number
I guess when you can't find your own self worth, you look for something tangible to attach to

I remember a few years I put on quite a bit of weight
I had just started new meds and they bloated me to 130lbs
Now this is my no means over weight for my height or any height really
People then presumed that because I looked ok, that I must be ok
But that couldn't have been further from the truth
My thinking was the same
My behaviours were exactly the same
The only difference was my weight
I can honestly say that I was just as sick at my highest weight as I was at my lowest
It was incredibly frustrating to look normal but to feel so messed up
People think that if you're not emaciated then it's not serious
That's just not true
Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes
From underweight to obese and everything in between
I think that's maybe part of the reason I maintain a low weight
To show that I am sick
I am hurting
I say with my body what I can't say with my words

I remember when I was in hospital for the first time
I was at my lowest weight and very very ill
I vividly remember one of the nurses  saying to me 'You are not that bad'
I was gobsmacked
I felt like a fraud
Like an anorexic imposter
I'm not quite sure why she said it
Maybe she thought she was being kind
But I took it as an insult
I felt like she minimized my condition
Dismissed it as a phase
I felt so insignificant
So angry that I wasn't sick enough
And if I'm not sick enough then I mustn't be thin enough
Yes, this nurse saw me eating
But what she didn't know is  that I was purging in to plastic bags in my room and hiding them in the wardorbe

I think I've mentioned before that when I'm walking on the beach, I used to meet this girl
She was incredibly thin and power walked the beach obsessively
Well I hadn't seen her in a while and I was wondering what happened to her
Did she get better?
Was she in hospital?
Did she die?
I was at the beach yesterday when I saw a familiar figure walking towards me
It was her
And she looked a lot better
She has definitely gained some weight
It's a strange experience meeting her
We always say hello but I also get the feeling that we are checking each other out
It's a feeling used to get in hospital when a new girl came in
That kind of 'Whose the thinnest?' feeling
I don't know where  it comes from, this feeling
I know it wasn't always like this
Being thin wasn't the goal at the beginning of my illness
But over time it has become the most important thing
How sad is that

Just to give you an update I'm feeling better today
I spoke to Mary yesterday and that helped
I think sometimes I just get so overwhelmed
This thing feels bigger than me a lot of the time
Like it's a David and Goliath thing
I just keep having to remind myself that David won that battle

Do you post your weight?
If not, why not?

Monday, 3 June 2013

The point of it all?

I've started this post 3 times already
I tried to write something positive
Something uplifting
Something hopeful
But the words wouldn't come because they are not there
And anyway it would be a lie
I'm not feeling hopeful or positive or anything like it
I'm seeing Mary tomorrow and I'm already thinking of cancelling
I just can't face going in to her yet again having failed
I thought I could do this
I really thought I could stop anytime
I just didn't want to stop
Silly really
To think that I was in control
That I was driving this thing
I'm not in control
Not one little bit
How do you stop when this is happening despite what I want
How you get out of a speeding car without killing yourself?
How do you get well?
How do you put yourself back together?
How do you get the demons out of your head?
How the hell do you get over this thing?

And if anyone does find out the point please let me know

Saturday, 1 June 2013

What they don't tell you about eating disorders and addiction

The thing about eating disorders and addiction is that we hear all the scare stories
The horror stories
We are of people that died horrible deaths
Lived lonely, empty lives
Starved, binged and purged themselves in to an early grave
Overdosed alone and weren't found for days
We hear about the endless health problems
Emotional distress
The hurt and worry of families and friends
The never ending merry go round of recovery and relapse
All this is very true and very real
But what people don't tell you is that in the beginning it feels good
In the beginning there is an incredible high during the first stages of weight loss or drug use
You feel strong
In control
It's like a drug
A highly addictive drug
For the first few weeks or months we go through the 'Honeymoon phase'
We have just discovered this amazing new technique of dealing with life
A way to cope
Nothing can touch us
It's a secret life

When I first started taking drugs I wasn't ignorant
I knew the dangers
I just didn't care all that much
And when I took heroin for the first time I remember thinking 'Wow, how can something that feels this good be bad for me?'
For the first couple of months I was in heaven
I got to experience the drug without any of the negative consequences
People don't tell you that
That the reason you get hooked is because it feels so good
The reason you lie, cheat and steal and put your family through hell is because it feels so good
What is true though is that it's never as good as that first time
And you could spend years trying to replicate that feeling
Throw in the fact that you are sick without it and congratulations you are now addicted

It's a similar story with ED's
For me, my ED overlapped with my drug addiction
I just stopped eating
It wasn't a conscious decision
I wasn't trying to lose weight
All I knew was that when I didn't eat it felt good
It was a s simple and innocent as that
And that feeling was addictive
It was years before I realised that I had anorexia
Which then developed in to bulimia
Another revelation
I felt like I had found a loophole in the system of food and weight
I could eat as much food as I wanted and not gain weight
That was the theory anyway
Of course the honeymoon phase does not last long
Just long enough to get you hooked
That's the sneaky and sinister thing about EDs and addiction
They lure you in gently promises of happiness and success
Like catching flies with honey
But they are empty promises
It's a lie
A trick
An illusion
What you re really signing is a deal with the Devil
A death sentence
But by now it is almost too late and we are held captive
Breaking free becomes increasingly difficult
At best you will escape with minor health problems
At worst you will lose your life

I think that cigarettes are similar
I've smoked since I was 14
Again I'm not ignorant
I know the dangers and the health implications
But I do it because in that moment it feels good
I'll worry about tomorrow tomorrow
Giving up  is beyond hard
But I'll keep trying

I guess I'm thinking about this because I wonder what can be done to prevent EDs and addiction in young people today
I think we need to be more honest with them
Explain the dangers of course
But also explain that in the beginning it does feel good
I think if we neglect to do this, then if a young person tries a drug or purges and they see if feels good, then they will think we are lying to them and they may continue that behaviour
However in my case I really don't think that there is anything that anyone could have said to me to make me think twice about using or purging
I had to find out for myself
Yes, I learned the hard way but isn't that how lessons are best learnt?
We can arm our young people with information and education but other factors come in to play
Genetics being a big one
Addiction is rife in my family
And I have at least 3 aunts and 1 uncle who have food issues
So I was more susceptible
I suppose it's up to us to do what we can to protect the next generation

What do you think can be done to prevent EDs in young people?
What would you say to someone to deter them?