Monday, 16 September 2013

Keep on keeping on

I knew Autumn had arrived when I walked in to my kitchen yesterday and smelled my mother's chicken soup
It's strange
The seasons change
The months change
The days and the weeks change
And yet nothing changes
Does that make sense?

After reading back my last couple of posts, I was very tempted to delete them
Does the blogosphere really need to know the gory details of my ED?
I asked myself this question and came to the conclusion that yes it does
When I started writing this blog I was determined to expose my ED for the nasty, cruel, ugly, disgusting thing that it really is
I didn't want to sugar coat the truth
I didn't want to be in denial about the lengths I go and the depths I sink to for this thing
I find it quite difficult to put my drug addiction in to words but for some reason I seem to be able to explain my ED in a way that maybe a person without an ED may understand
But it is really hard to explain addiction
Especially to someone who has never experienced addiction
It's like trying to describe a colour
If someone has never seen the colour red, how do you explain it to them?
It's next to impossible

With addiction you can use words like 'compulsion' and phrases like 'physically addicted' but it doesn't really explain the feelings that someone in the grip of an addiction or an ED go through
On the other hand I find it hard to understand what it's like not be an addict
To be able to have one drink and stop there without any difficulty
For as long as I can remember I have been an addict
Maybe I was born that way, I don't know
I was addict long before I picked up a drink or a drug
Food was probably the first substance that I experienced an addiction to
Of course at the time I had no idea
As I child I loved white bread
I just had to have it
I ate at home
I requested it at friends houses
I ate it slice by slice and couldn't get enough
I remember when my family put bread out to feed the birds I would eat it when they weren't looking
I couldn't help myself
That was harmless enough but as I grew in to a teenager I became addicted to shop lifting
Then drugs
Then alcohol
The prescription drugs
And now an ED with some sub addictions (exercise, enemas, purging)
I've always been addicted to something

I truly believe that a person can become addicted to anything even if it's not physiologically addictive
If I can get a good feeling or a high of something, then I will do it over and over and over again to the detriment of my life
When I was addicted to drugs I was both physically and psychologically addicted
I just couldn't stop
I don't have that switch in my brain that says 'Ok that's enough now'
After I overdosed for the first time I was admitted to hospital with respiratory arrest
I was lucky I didn't die
But the very next day I was using in the hospital bathroom
I just couldn't stop

That feeling is incredibly difficult to describe
The feeling that you have to use even though it could kill you
Even though it's drive you insane
Even though you are breaking your families heart
Even though your life is in the toilet
Even though you are suicidal
You. Just. Can't. Stop.

Imagine you have an itch
It's the itchiest itch you have ever experienced
It's driving you crazy and it's all you can think about and focus on
Now imagine instead of fingernails you have razorblades on the tips of your fingers
If you scratch that itch you will shred your skin to ribbons and possible die from blood loss
But that itch just won't go away and you can't help but scratch it
Every time you scratch you tear in to your skin
You bleed and bleed but you just can't help yourself
Everyone is telling you to stop
Everyone is trying to help you
To bandage your skin and help you stop scratching
But you can't
You just can't stop

That's what it's like to live with an addiction
It's an itch that you just can't help but scratch
But of course the paradox is that you can stop
Yes, it is extremely difficult but it can be done
For some people it's a life changing event that makes them stop
Maybe they have a near death experience
Maybe they become homeless
Maybe they hit rock bottom
But mostly people just becomes sick and tired of being sick and tired
Then it becomes possible to stop
When the negative effect of using out weighs the positive effect
And the crucial thing is to want get well
To want to live
That is half the battle
It's a long and difficult road to get to that place
It takes a lot of hard work and an army of support to beat an addiction
But it can be done
I truly believe that

A good friend once said to me that it's not a choice between my ED and recovery
It's a choice between life and death
I think this is so true
Living with an ED is a slow suicide
It's a very visual way of saying 'I don't want to be here'
I do believe that recovery from disordered eating is possible
But I don't know if I am in a place where I want it
Of course I do want it but there is a huge part of me that feels I just can't stop

Addiction is all consuming and I hate that
Addicts become completely self absorbed
They forget that there is a whole world out there
Places to see
People to meet
Experiences to have
Food to taste
Everything boils down to the drug or weight loss or.......
It becomes your whole world
Nothing else matters
Not family
Not friends
Not love

Being in the grip of an addiction is soul destroying
You lose everything
Zest for life
Self esteem
You lose that spark that makes you you and you become a shell
You lose you

I have come through drug addiction and alcoholism so I know beating an addiction can be done
Beating an ED is slightly trickier
With drugs I could literally walk away from my old life
Away from the drug
Away from using friends
My old town
I walked in to a brand new life
With food I can't do that
I can't cut food out of my life (well I could but that would defeat the purpose)
I have to eat
I have to find a balance
A happy medium
And that's the hard part

As grim as things are at the moment I do have hope
As long as I am breathing there is hope
I will continue to fight
Continue to write and spread awareness
Continue to live my life the best I can
What's the alternative?
Lie down and give up
That's not really my style
So if you are struggling today remember that it doesn't have to be this way
There is a way out
There is life beyond addiction and EDs
There is a second chance for you
There is hope
Recovery will be the hardest thing that we ever do but it will be so worth it
Don't give up
Don't give in
Keep on keeping on


  1. It's strange
    The seasons change
    The months change
    The days and the weeks change
    And yet nothing changes
    Does that make sense?
    I feel this way. How they hell did the last ten years pass me by? I have been trying to think about what I want and where I want to be in the next ten years ans it is so hard to imagine. What do you think Ruby? Can we turn our 30s into something better?

    1. I know Josie
      I swear I blinked and a whole year went by

      I hope so, I really hope so x

    2. What is one small thing you want before your next birthday? I am going to think of something myself.

  2. I completely understand you and you do a great job of describing the agony of an addiction. I have family members suffering and this could give me a chance to connect them and let them know they are not alone. Thank you for being real.

    1. I have to be real Vanessa, I lied to myself and others for far too long

      Thank you x

  3. I know Josie
    I swear I blinked and a year went by

    I hope so Josie, I really hope so x

  4. I always wished that I could understand my ex boyfriend's addiction. It would make me so angry. He would always take care of the dogs and he would usually pay his bills or at least pay them late, but he was a "functioning addict" as he liked to call himself. I asked him what things were like and I don't quite think he could explain it either. I guess I'll forever have to think of it like I think of my ED. Ultimately it just comes down to the lack of confidence we have in ourselves, the lack of perceived control, and the fear of the unknown future. We'll never know what's coming though. You're doing so well envisioning recovery in your mind, doing a little more every day, you just need to keep putting your feet in front of each other. I also really enjoy your honesty. That's how I try to write and I think that it's important. People often don't want to look at it in themselves.

    1. Yes Eve, it's all those things that keep us in active addiction
      Fear especially
      It's so hard for family and friends to witness someone's decline
      All you can do is hope and pray that the person comes through it

      I have to be honest Eve
      I want to show the reality of living this way

      Much love x

  5. I agree with you, that a person can become addicted to anything. Unfortunately you've stumbled onto some horrible things to be addicted to. But remember that you did beat your drug addiction. You beat your white bread addiction. You can beat this addiction too.
    People's personalities do change. It's not impossible to overcome an addictive personality.
    I believe in you.

  6. It makes a lot of sense. My weeks go by just the same as the last, and now we're nearly through the year. Like you said a few posts ago, a lot of us a trapped moving sideways, and I definitely am.

    Addiction's a hard one to explain. I know I have the tendency to fall into addiction, I always have, and I have to be careful. As far as physical addictions go, I can deal with tobacco and weed. One of the big dangers for me are the legal 'synthetic weed' products. I think they're very addictive. I've fallen into two bouts of smoking them over the past few years, spent thousands of my savings, had some awful experiences that messed with my heart and my mind, and it probably didn't help my lungs. I could always cut back on weed, but synthetics are always available, it's awful. There's no way to explain the urge to keep doing something that you don't really want to so.

    You're right when you say wanting to get well, actually wanting to live, is half the battle. Whether it's addiction or mental illness, nothing will help unless you want help, and that's near-impossible when you don't want to be here.

    I love the little picture at the end. Sending you lots of love Ruby dearest <3 xx

  7. That analogy with the scratching razor blades. I've never experienced any kind of drug addiction, but I have many friends that have, and I've had a similar feeling towards self-harm- that in that moment, scratching will feel like the best thing in the world. And then every other bad thing that comes into your life feels like that itch too, so you just scratch and scratch. Actually if you've ever felt a real itch that bad, you know how after you scratch it for a while, it stops itching, but you keep scratching anyway? Uh, good analogy there.

    I know you're keeping on. I've read from the very first post, seen it all. In my opinion, I feel like you're somewhere between "I want to do it" and "How to do it?" have all this support and all these resources, you just have to have your feet firm and ready to step up to "I can try." And that could take a while. But you can get there. Sorry I'm writing a novel, I always leave such big comments. Love you dear, take care.

  8. Great post about addictions in its many forms. I have transferred my addictions from pills and booze to just taking my own medications now that are prescribed by real doctors. I am pretty proud of myself and as you jump over your hurdles you need to step back and say, "Damn, look how far I have come!"

    Keep fighting towards being the best you possible. Take it slow and easy on your path to recovery but you must move on from the addiction. And part of moving on is getting all of your unresolved issues out on paper, you know? Realize that there is no glamour or goodness in addictions or eating disorders. They are ugly diseases that cripple us. I know, I have been there as well. Best wishes for you!

  9. I know of addictions... I know they are possible to overcome... I know for a certain that it isn't easy...

    I swear I am like you too Ruby, I was born with addictions to anything, everything... most of mine... coping mechanisms...

    Until I get that feeling of high, then they become all consuming and I allow them to take over my life... I never stop trying to win though and at times I do win the little victories until I can overcome the larger challenging ones.

    You can overcome them too... as difficult as they are, I am rooting for you daily:)

  10. This is such a moving post. You speak of hope and beating our EDs. I wish I saw that light at the end of the tunnel. That there is a life without my ed. You're so inspiring because you have overcome your addictions. I look up to you my dear. Lots of love.

  11. This was an incredible post Ruby. So informative.

    I wonder why some of us are born with addictions and others aren't? My family on my mum's side all have addictions. Strong food addictions, smoking, alcohol, prescription drugs... that kind of thing. In my teens, I decided to take control, because I didn't want to turn out the same. I didn't realize that by controlling my food and my life obsessively, I was already going down the same path.

    You are an inspiration Ruby. Keep fighting on xx

  12. Ruby,

    I've been around the blogosphere for a while but just now found your blog. You've put into words sooo much of what I feel. It's absolutely true that an addiction can be anything...anything that you're doing repeatedly in seek of a feeling. My anorexia and exercise compulsion is definitely this. Even when I absolutely hate myself for what I am doing and how I am behaving, nothing is more important than feeling the relief that behaviors bring. I completely get it. You're not alone <3

  13. Fuck sugar-coating. Sugar coating the gruesome truth does a disservice to your ability to survive living hell and lets people who know absolutely jack shit about this go "Oh it's not that bad"

    Fuck the sugar-coating.

    Arohanui <3


Thank you for leaving some love x