Thursday, 18 July 2013

The salt incident

Yesterday was unimaginably hard
I thought the day would never end
It started out fine although I skipped breakfast
We went for a walk through Barna Woods and down to Silverstrand Beach where we sat in the sun for ages
We came home and just sat around chatting
Evening came and it was time for dinner
We brought a table outside and my brother and his girlfriend made a lovely dinner of pork stir fry
I had been psyching myself up all day for this meal
I really wanted to eat with the others and keep it down
I carried my food out to the table and settled on a cushion
Noticing there was no salt and pepper I went back in to the kitchen to get some
It was a salt grinder and I held it over my food and twisted the top
I didn't notice at first but I was actually twisting the whole lid
I had just realised what I was doing when the whole lid came off and dumped the full container of salt all over my lovely dinner
It didn't help matters that this was Californian sea salt that had been a present from my brother's friend
Some sort of noise came out of me, like a sharp intake of breath
Everyone went silent for what seemed like eternity
'There's always one' my brother said
I snapped out of staring at the salt and took my plate inside
I scraped most of the salt off but the meal was ruined

All of a sudden I could feel tears behind my eyes
Knowing what was coming next, I left the plate and run upstairs
Cue mini meltdown
The tears came hot and fast
I couldn't catch my breath and started making noises like a donkey
I felt like I couldn't breath and realised I was having a panic attack
I tried to take deep breaths but I couldn't get any air in to my lungs
Mu mother came up and tried to calm me down but I couldn't
The more I couldn't breath the more I panicked
My brother's girlfriend then came up and sat with me
She said 'Don't worry Ruby, it was just salt'
And I know it was just salt but that wasn't the real reason I was crying

I realised later the real reason for my drama queen antics
I had been trying so hard
So fucking hard to be normal
To eat with others
To eat proper food
And to keep it down
Every meal was a battle
I was determined that I was going to eat this meal and not purge
And then I managed to fuck it up despite my efforts
I didn't need my ED to ruin it
I could do that all on my own
When the salt landed all over my dinner, I just thought feck this, why do I even bother?

All these feelings and emotions had been building up all week
And I didn't have an appointment with Mary this week
I don't want to be talking about my ED with family all the time because it's boring for them listening to me prattle on about food and weight
That's the other thing, my weight
I've been without my scale since Monday and I have no idea what weight I am
It's driving me nuts not knowing
I feel like a pressure cooker and all these feelings are boiling over

It's so tempting to go running in to the arms of my ED
Where everything is safe
Where there are no messy feelings
Where I'm in control
But in reality I know that it's an illusion
A trick
It's still tempting though
Even an illusion is better than what I'm feeling now

My brother and my mother spoke to me last night
They said that I am too hard on myself
That's true, I am
And I seem to be hyper sensitive
To the point that I find it really difficult to be around people
I just retreat in to my shell like a frightened turtle
I almost apologise for existing
I've been in the shelter of my ED for so long that I forget how to just be me
How to have fun (because anorexia doesn't allow fun)
How to laugh
How to forget my worries and just be me
I feel like I am behind a pane of glass looking in at the world
I can see and hear everything but I am on the outside looking in
I need to smash that glass
Break through
Break out of this prison I'm in

The urge to restrict is huge
I binged and purged last night because I just needed some relief
But it doesn't seem to work as well any more
I'm so torn
I don't know which way is up any more
Which way to go
If this is what recovery is then I don't want it
Not today anyway


  1. Ruby I know what you mean... I have been having a few difficult days where I end up crying myself to sleep... I know that my other methods of relief won't work like they used to... and I agree that recovery sucks sometimes... it would be easier giving into my addictions but then I would be back to square one or minus one... I want to be in control too... that is the illusion I think...

  2. Hey love, great post. It is amazing how our emotional selves can run our bodies. You are doing so good!! I know it's so hard, but think long term gain from short term pain. And a big pain it must be. I wish I could give you a hug.

  3. You're in my thoughts often Ruby. I just want to take away all the pain you felt after the salt incident. It seems that with an ED, we seem able to hold it together for so long, and can deal with so much, but then it is always a little thing that tips us over the edge.

    I'm so glad you had your family there to support you, I hope their presence made you feel safe and loved.

    Go smash that glass, smash it to smithereens. It might take a lot of smashing, but with each shatter, you will grow stronger and stronger. Recovery is not always like this. It is just your emotions coming back as anorexia starts to leave and let you feel something else instead. This may feel bad, but it is a good sign!

    The way up is the way you are going. I have no words to explain how proud and pleased and amazed I am at how well you've done with meals this week - eating a full meal with your family!! I know how impossibly difficult this must have been for you, but you fought, and you did it, and you succeeded! Don't let things knock you back. Don't be too hard on yourself. You deserve better!

    Keep fighting. Keep remembering your magnificent achievements. Keep smashing that glass. The sun is dying to fill you with happiness and warmth.

    Much love X

  4. A couple of months back I lost a disposable ear plug. I broke down in tears, because I didn't have any more and I need ear plugs or I won't sleep. My boyfriend said nothing, went out to the store (15 minutes away) and bought me five bags of ear plugs. It never entered my mind to do it myself.

  5. Oh sweetheart, I can't imagine how upsetting that must've been when you've been working so hard.

    Don't let one meal take away from all the progress you've made. The joy of taking things one meal at a time is that there's always a fresh start, a clean slate, just around the corner. Recovery isn't always like this; it was a rough day, but there are better days ahead.

    My mum often says the same to me, that I'm too hard on myself. The smallest mistakes send me into a frenzy of tears, negative self-talk and self-harm. I just don't know how to cope anymore, and it's not an easy thing to relearn.

    Sending you a massive hug sweetie. You'll be in my thoughts <3

  6. I'm so sorry, what a rough day. I soooooo understand this feeling of frustration, like you're always teetering on the edge and are totally out of control. But remember how motivated you were to get this one meal right - that's huge progress! you should be really proud of yourself, Ruby. Hang in there, it gets easier!

  7. That is what the black and white world of an ED does to us. We live only in extremes, things are wonderful or completly horrible. It is exhausting. Just remember to take it one thing at a time!

  8. I totally understand where you're coming from with this post, Ruby. It seems on the surface that you're upset about something small ("It's just salt...") but in reality, there are a million things going on for you - wanting to eat with everyone and then not being able to because the food was spoiled ( and also, I think for me what would have been upsetting is the lack of control there, too - it's not that you were choosing not to eat, rather that you physically couldn't), not knowing your weight when you're used to checking it so frequently, feeling like the object of negative attention....

    When I was still really shaky in recovery, my two best friends and I went out for drinks one day. We decided to get some food, and they suggested a Japanese place. I'm not a fan of Japanese food in general, but they had their hearts set on it and kept on insisting that we just look at the menu. I got crazy upset - from my point of view they were being really selfish: they knew what effort it was taking for me to maintain my eating, and yet they were trying to get me to eat somewhere I didn't want to go? It was challenging enough to eat the foods I actually liked, let alone food I didn't. In hindsight I can see that I got so upset because I was scared, and anxious, and felt like a burden. (Good news is, we laugh about it now).

    I know that it's easier said than done, but don't be so hard on yourself. Recovery is hard enough without you thinking you've failed at every turn. You haven't!!! You're doing amazingly well, and I know what a huge effort it must have been for you to decide to eat with everyone else. Even though you couldn't eat the meal in the end, the intention was there, and the determination. Give yourself a pat on the back for that. It's deserved xxx

  9. Welp, that sounds like the straw the broke the camel's back. Build up all week then some silly thing you could handle at any other time just sets everything off. Like that fork on the pile of dishes that brings everything to the floor.

    *Huggles* I know that feel so well.

    This is the hard, messy early stages of recovery stuff. Old copers don't work and you don't have new ones yet and the shit you've been burying is starting to come up and bashing you around and you don't know what to do with it yet. It's perfectly reasonable to throw your hands in the air and do something completely different for a day. All aboard the Nope train to Fuckthatville! After Tuesday's unimaginable horror-fest of work I downlo-acquired the 2 Madoka Magica movies and spent the hour that took watching videos of singing cockatiels on Youtube. Not what kerys would want, but it beats self-harming or bingeing, yeah?
    This was my fave:
    Obnoxious little fucker, isn't he?

    Love you so much Ruby. You are worth fighting for. YOU ARE.


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