Wednesday, 30 April 2014

2 Years Old!

Today is the 30th of April
My blog is exactly 2 years old today
And what a rollercoaster those two years have been
I checked back on my first few posts to see where my head was at back then
I wrote about doing fasts
Wanting to lose weight
Some could say that it was verging on pro ana

I had been reading blogs for a while before I started my own
I was lonely
I craved to be around others like me
And I found a whole community of people who thought and felt just like me
At first I really wanted to fit in
I wanted to belong
So I wrote about wanting to lose weight and weight loss methods
But the one thing that I have never felt comfortable doing is encouraging others to lose weight or congratulating someone on losing weight
It just didn't sit right with me

My writing has gradually changed over time
Until I found a style that I was comfortable with
It's pretty matter of fact and honest
No sugar coating things
I want to tell the truth about what it's really like to live with an eating disorder
It's not pretty
It's not romantic
It's not even about food anymore
It's bigger than that
Living with an eating disorder and addiction is soul destroying
It wears you down
Drains you of any positivity or energy that you once had
And it  doesn't just effect me
Like ripples in a pond it effects everyone around me
Not only did I get sick
But my whole family got sick too
That's the sad reality

Living with an eating disorder is like dancing with the Devil
It lures you in with false promises of happiness, popularity and success
It whispers in your ear
That you are fat
A failure
It convinces you that if you listen to it then everything will be ok
If you lose weight all your problems will be solved
It's as simple as that

Of course now I know that this is all lies
My eating disorder wants me dead
I have no doubt about that
But even with all this knowledge and awareness
Even knowing what I need to do to help myself
I keep going back to my ed again and again
Because it's all I know
Because it's familiar
Because I know no other way
Because I think that this time will be different
This time I won't let it spin out of control

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
I have been doing the same thing for over a decade now and my ed still tricks me in to thinking that this time will be different
She is so sneaky
So cunning
So manipulative and seductive
And I get sucked in every time

So two years on has anything changed?
Well, I'm a little older
A little wiser (debatable)
My anxiety has definitely got worse
I've lost about 25 pounds
If anything I would say that I am no nearer to recovery
Essentially I am stuck
Stuck in the binge purge cycle
Stuck in my house
Stuck in life

Those 2 years have absolutely flown by
It's scary how fast time goes by
It's scary how nothing changes if nothing changes
I don't let myself think about the future
It's too overwhelming to think about
All I can do is try to do my best today
Keep fighting
Keep writing
Keep hoping

Of course the best thing about writing this blog is the amazing friends that I have made
I won't name you all
You know who you are
And after my last post I've met a whole host of new friends
You all have been so supportive over the last 2 years
Thanks you for that
Thank you for being there
For reading and commenting
And for never giving up on me even when I did
Happy Birthday to my blog!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Calling all readers!

This blog gets quite a lot of hits everyday
A lot of people seem to read
However only a tiny percentage of these readers leave a comment
I do know quite a few of you that read and comment
But there must so many that I don't know
I received a comment recently from a reader from the Netherlands
She stated that she had been reading for some time but it was her first time to comment
I just love getting comments like this
It blows my mind to think that there are people all over the world reading my words and leaving words of hope and love
Comments truly make my day
I think what we have here is unique
We have a community where we are heard
Where we feel safe to be ourselves without fear of judgement
Where we can share our darkest secrets
Where everyone is welcomed with open arms
Where there is no shame
That is rare these days

So I wanted to invite you today to introduce yourself
I you have been reading for a while and never commented before
If you have been reading from the start
If you drop by from time to time
If you have addiction, disordered eating or mental health issues
If you are curious
If you don't like my blog
If you can relate
If you are feeling hopeless
Or hopeful
Whether you are ill or in recovery
If you are afraid
If you have a blog about similar or different issues
I would love to hear from you
I would love to know why you read
Do you like this blog?
Or do you disagree with what I write about?
I am so interested to find out
Looking forward to meeting you.........

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Strandhill April 2014

I spent a lovely day in Strandhill yesterday with my Mum, my sister, my nephew and Honey and Lea
The weather is great at the moment so we made the most of it
I was reluctant to go as it was a 40 minute drive and my confidence is low at the moment, driving included
But I pushed myself to go and I am so glad that I did
I thoroughly enjoyed myself
Here are some photos from the day

I left an anonymous letter for someone to find

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nine Lives?

My mother and I were standing in line at the supermarket this morning
As we were waiting, I flicked through  magazine
There were many articles about Peaches Geldof
Her death is still a mystery
As we walked out of the shop, I asked my Mum how she thought Peaches had died
Where as many thought it might have been drugs
My Mum suspects that it might have had something to do with disordered eating
She was painfully thin

Then we got talking about addiction and eating disorders
How it was so very sad that Peaches died at just 25 years of age
My mother commented that I was lucky to be alive given all that I have been through
That got me thinking
I guess I am lucky to be alive
Or unlucky
Depends on which way you look at it
I've lived through a horrific drug addiction
Was hospitalized twice after overdosing
I was in a horrible car crash when my boyfriend at the time fell asleep at the wheel
So many dark things can happen when you're immersed in the murky world of addiction
It feels like so long ago now
Sometimes I can't tell if it really happened or if I dreamt it
It's like it happened to someone else

I lived in desperate conditions
Associated with dangerous people
At the time I had no concept of how much danger I was in
My mother says that I was always a risk taker
That I liked to live on the edge
And was attracted to alternative people
I craved drama and excitement and danger
I know that I am blessed to have made it out relatively unscathed
Many of the people I knew didn't
Many are still in the midst of their addiction
Many are dead

As I got my addiction under control, my eating disorder began to spiral out of control
As my weight dropped to all time low, my health deteriorated and was hospitalized many times
Then last year I was hospitalized with pancreatitis
But thankfully made a good recovery
It makes me wonder
Why are some people taken so young and so soon?
Why are others spared?
Is there a reason?
Is just plain bad luck?
I'm not quite sure
In some ways I think it would have been easier if I had died
But easier on who?
Yes, for sure
But not my family
It would break their hearts

My Mum and I also spoke about the addiction gene
I truly believe that I was pre-disposed to be becoming an addict
Addiction is rampant on my father's side of the family
On my mothers side there is none
My 2 sisters have also had addiction problems in the past
My brother never has
Not only were my chances of becoming an addict increased
But I think we addicts also think differently
In much the same way as someone with an ed thinks
We seem to be me more sensitive
Tend to be more negative
Have low confidence and self esteem
And we are very hard on ourselves
We're more likely to experience depression and other mental health issues
It's easy to feel angry about this
To ask 'Why me?'
But I stopped feeling angry a long time ago
It got me no where

I tend to have quite a positive outlook about my situation
An outsider may look at my life and feel pity for me
But I don't want pity
There are plenty of people worse off than me
I've lived an amazing life
It's been exciting
I've experienced so many different things
Yes, there have been many lows
Crippling lows
But I look at the positive
I've met the most amazing people through out my life
Made so many fantastic friends
That in itself outweighs all the negatives
I've had the opportunity to go to brilliant treatment centres and learned so much about myself
Because of what I have been through, I have empathy and understanding
My life has made me what I am today
I'm stronger for it
I'm tougher for it
And I always, always have hope

I was talking to Mary last week
About how sometimes I feel inadequate around my own family because they are all so educated and have fancy degrees and I don't
Mary told me that I have the best degree going
From the University of Life
Money can't buy that
And it's true
I've had an education of a different kind
And I wouldn't swap it for the world!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Half full or half empty?

I have to admit that I am a confirmed pessimist
To me the glass is always half empty
My mind seems to go to the worst possible out come
Maybe it's because of the life I've lived
Maybe it's because I was born this way
Maybe it's because of the experiences that I've had
I'm not sure

I was wondering about you
Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty type of person?
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Inquiring minds want to know......

Monday, 21 April 2014


I spent the Easter bank holiday weekend with my mum and Uncle Dominic in Co. Donegal
When my mother first suggested that we go away I was not best pleased
A whole weekend away from the bubble that it is my house?
A whole 3 days of unpredictable things that could send my anxiety in to over drive?
I politely declined at first
However she made a good argument
What else would I be doing?
And the weather was glorious
(There must be something wrong with me because I don't particularly like good weather, I love cold, crisp Autumn and Winter days, I can see why others love the sun. I just don't care for it much)
So I made a deal with my Mum
I would agree to go away but once I got there I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to
She was just glad to get me out of the house I think

In the end I had a lovely weekend
My uncle is easy going and laid back and I get on quite well with him
He on the other hand may think that I am a bit crazy as I was obsessively buying packets of crisps
I ate out twice
I went to Glenveagh National Park
Bought some new clothes
And walked on a beautiful beach

Instead of telling you all about it, here are some photos

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tongue firmly in cheek!

It was last night
About midnight
Usually I would be tucked up in my bed at this time but it being Sunday night, I was all out of meds and paying the price for it
I just knew I wasn't going to sleep
I was hungry
Not hungry as in I might have some crackers or some fruit
Hungry as in the hunger that only a person with an eating disorder can understand
It being Sunday and the end of the week, I was not exactly flush financially speaking so suffice to say I did not have my favourite go-to binge foods in the house
So I went on a scavanger hunt around my kitchen
My sister had dropped off 2 Easter eggs earlier that day but I was looking for something savoury
Most people are either a savoury or sweet person
Being the greedy bulimic that I am, I like both in equal measures
But at this particular moment in time, I wanted savoury
And nothing else would do

Pasta sauce?
Ok, scratch that idea
Try the fridge
Mmmmm.........that could work
BLT maybe?
Yes, that sounds good
Nice crusty bread?
Never mind, regular sliced bread will do

I peel the bacon out of the packet and slap it on the grill
That just gives me enough time to get everything else ready
I shred some curly lettuce
Slice some plump red tomatoes
Popped the bread in the toaster
Now for the sauce
I don't particularly like tomato sauce or mayonnaise
But mix them together to make a Marie Rose type sauce?
Just enough creaminess from the mayonnaise and a lovely tangy bite from the ketchup
I open the mayonnaise jar and to my absolute horror (again only the horror that a ravenous bulimic can understand) the jar is empty!
Fuckity fuck!

Then I remember that I am one of those annoying people who puts the empty jar back in the fridge
Note to self: Need to stop doing that

The bacon is nearly done
What do I do?
Think Ruby, think!
What would McGuyver do?
I quickly scan the fridge
I spot some coleslaw right in the back
Coleslaw is made of mostly mayonnaise right?
That will work
I fish it out and check the expiry date
April 11 2014
After a few seconds thought I make an executive decision and decide to use it
There's no turning back now

My bacon is done
My toast has popped
I mix the coleslaw and the ketchup and quite frankly it looks disgusting
But I keep going
I place the lettuce, bacon and tomato neatly on my bread
I quickly make a cup of tea and head to the living room to settle down in front of the tv

I take a big bite
At first it tastes ok
The bacon is salty
The tomatoes are juicy
But then I get to the bread
It doesn't taste right
Not right at all
I try not to notice
I try to pretend that it is ok
I manage to finish half the sandwich before I admit defeat
This shit is revolting
I throw the rest in the bin
I wouldn't insult my dogs by giving it to them

I am distraught
All that hard work and love and energy for nothing!
After a visit to the bathroom I sit down with a cup of tea and a cigarette and think
I think about how this all started
How my whole week had lead up to this point
If I hadn't taken my meds earlier in the week then I would have had meds for tonight and I would be asleep right now
If I hadn't spent all my money on silly frivolous things during the week then I would have had money for some proper binge food for tonight
Or even further back
If I hadn't been discharged from treatment then maybe I would be better now I wouldn't even be thinking about binging and purging
If I had never been born then none of this would ever have happened
I could go on and on but I won't

It's 7am
I haven't slept
I have a doctors appointment in two hours
For everyone else it's morning but for me it's bedtime
Night night!

Peaches Geldof

I wanted to take a moment to remember Peaches Geldof
She was found dead at her home in Kent on Monday in a scene that echoed the death of her mother Paula Yates
Paula died from a heroin overdose in 2000 and when she was found her daughter Tiger Lilly was by her side
Peaches son 11 month old son Phaedra was also by her side when she died
The cause of her death is not yet known and toxicology tests are being carried out
Peaches was the daughter of the campaigner Bob Geldof
She was married to Leonard Cohen's grandson Thomas Cohen
She was 25 years old

Peaches was a child of the digital age
Every moment of her life was posted on Twitter or Instagram
Reports claim that Peaches family were worried about weight loss and low self esteem
She seemed to crave approval from strangers and strived endlessly for perfection

It's so very sad
She had everything
A loving family
A doting husband
Two beautiful children
An idyllic life in the country
And it still wasn't enough
Sleep well Peaches

Friday, 11 April 2014

Weight Gain

Since coming out of hospital, I had been consistently losing weight
That was up until this week
I haven't been weighing myself but I saw Mary yesterday and she weighed me
OK so it is not a massive amount but it's enough to make me feel like a beached whale
Even though logically I know I am still underweight
Even though all my clothes are small sizes
Even though I feel like crap a lot of the time
I still feel huge

That's one of the most cruel things about this illness
We never get enjoy the thing we crave the most because we never believe that we are thin enough
I am at the weight now that I wanted to be a few months ago
But as soon as I reached it suddenly it was too much and it was on to the next target
And the next
And the next..........
It's never ending
It's a moving target

The weight gain is changing things here in eating disorder land
I have a huge urge to restrict
A huge urge to lose this weight and more
At the moment I can't see beyond my ED
I can't see past it
I have no interest in anything
Food occupies my every thought
And I'm struggling to take my meds properly
I'm overusing them again
It's the only relief I get from the constant negative thoughts

I'm not sure where to go from here
I cancelled 2 appointments with Mary already
I just can't see the point of going any more
When I am with her I nod and agree and commit to changing
But once I am out the door it all disappears
Today I have desire to get well
Maybe that will change tomorrow but for now it is what it is

I know I'm probably feel this way because of the gain
I know it's a knee jerk reaction
I know that I will get over it

I was wondering about you
How have you dealt with weight gain?
Does it get easier?
I would love to know

Monday, 7 April 2014

What keeps you going?

It's Monday again
In one way time seems to go by so slowly
But in another it slips by so fast
I'm home from hospital 8 weeks now
And not a lot has changed

I saw my doctor this morning
Since my 'half hearted overdose' a few weeks ago, he has stopped my sleeping tablets
In all honesty I don't need sleeping tablets
Most of the time I sleep just fine
I used and abused them to escape
To get out of my own head
When I admitted that I had been abusing my meds, my sleeper was stopped immediately

The first thing my doctor said is that my psychiatrist recommended that we work towards coming off my anti anxiety meds
I said nothing
He asked how things are
I said that my sleep is all over the place
He said that sleeping tablets don't work after a month
That we become immune to them
That if I believe that I won't sleep, then I won't
He said that if he gave me a smartie and told me it was a sleeping tablet that I would sleep
He explained that he has elderly patients who have been on sleepers or 30 years and it is a battle to get them off them
'Why can't I battle you?' I asked
'Why can a little old lady win the battle and I can't?
He said he was always going to take me off it
'But you whipped it away' I said
'You manipulated me for weeks to stay on that tablet' he replied
At this point I knew that I was fighting a losing battle
I starting to sound like the junkie I am
'Ok I'll stop digging a hole' I said
He said that he is trying to fix me
That he hasn't given up hope on me
'I have' I replied
It was nice to hear though
I hope he meant it
Because I have all but given up on myself

I've thought a lot this past week about recovery and where I am at
Yes, I am in therapy
Yes, I claim to want to recover
Or at least want to want it
When Mary asks me what I want in life I give the standard answer
But in truth I don't know if I want recovery
I don't know if I can do it
I don't know if I'm strong enough
The thought of weight gain is terrifying
I feel huge as it is and my target weight is 10 - 12 kilos away
My weight at the moment is low but not critical
Part of me wants to dive head first straight in to my eating disorder
Part of me wants to go as low as I can
To stop fighting and let my ed wash over me and engulf me
It's so tempting to just disappear

I need to find a reason to fight
A reason to keep going
At the moment I can't find one

What about you
What keeps you going when you are struggling?

Friday, 4 April 2014


I don't know about you but I suffer from anxiety in a big way
I wasn't always like this
I remember being a teenager
I was so fearless
Nothing phased me
I could talk to anyone
Go anywhere
I was quite content just being me
Well actually that's not 100% accurate because I started drinking and drugging when I was a teenager so maybe there was anxiety there and I just didn't recognize it

Anyway I spent quite a few years in a drug and alcohol fuelled haze so if there was anxiety there it was well covered up
My eating disorder then cane to the fore when I got clean
And a bundle of anxiety came with it
For me, anxiety is a fear that I won't be able to cope with whatever life throws at me
It's constantly asking the question 'What if?'
What if I go out and leave the cooker on and the house burns down down?
What if I drive  up this hill and the car cuts out?
What if I start a new job and no one likes me?
What if..........?
It's constantly projecting in to the future and predicting the worst

I think anxiety also stems form having low self esteem and low self confidence
If you have very little confidence in your abilities, then you don't have a lot of faith that you can cope with the unpredictable 
I find that I have great difficulty making decisions
Because I think that whatever choice I make will be the wrong choice
It could be something as small as what brand of bread to buy
Or what colour to dye your hair
It's a fear of getting it wrong
Part of me can understand why people with OCD  obsessively wash their hands or use constant checking to ease their anxiety
The behaviours go some way to relieve their anxiety and make them feel better

Because I bought a new car recently I have had quite a lot of anxiety around it
My new car is an automatic and up until now I have only ever driven a manual
My father was encouraging me to go for this car but I was hesitant
I had very little self belief that I would manage the automatic
In the end I went for it and lo and behold, I can do it!
To date, I have successfully dodged 2 dogs, a cat and a sheep
(Did I mention I also have anxiety about running over an animal?)

Last week I was driving to another town about half an hour away
A few minutes in to the drive I began to think that one of the pedals was slippery
Cue visions of me crashing in to the nearest tree
I started to feel panicky and kept feeling the pedal with my foot
My breathing became shallow
I felt shaky and I was sweating buckets
I had to turn down the radio and take deep breathes until it began to pass
And it does pass

I experience a lot of anxiety around the unpredictable
If everything is going along as planned, then I am fine
But if something happens that I haven't foreseen
Then you can bet that my old friend anxiety will begin creeping in
Although this is all happening in my head, anxiety can be a very physical thing
I remember at Christmas I was asked to do a reading at my uncle's wedding
I can't tell you how much anxiety and stress that 3 lined prayer of the faithful caused me
For days before it I was obsessively reading it over and over again
The day of the wedding I had my brother on standby in case I just couldn't do it
As I sat in the church my heart thumped so loud in my chest, I was sure everyone could hear it
My palms were sweating
My face was twitching
It was like a huge adrenalin surge and all I could think was 'What if I fall?'
What if I stand up and my skirt is stuck in my pants?
What if I go blank and mess it all up?
All these thoughts were whizzing through my head and I really thought I was about to pass out
But I did it
I managed to act like the veritable swan
Calm on the surface but paddling furiously beneath it
So what if I had fallen
I'd simply have stood up, brushed myself off and continued as if nothing had happened
If my skirt had got caught, I'm sure someone would have told me

That's the thing with anxiety
The anxiety before an event is always far worse than the event itself
It's the anticipation
The run up to the event
9 times out of 10 things run perfectly smoothly
And if it doesn't?
So what?
I'll manage 
I'll cope
I just need to have more faith in myself
It's not the end of the world
I'll feel the fear and do it anyway
She says so confidently until the next time she gets anxious

I am on meds for anxiety
Quite a lot of meds
Yes, it does take the edge off
Mindfulness also helps
But nothing eases my anxiety completely
It's part of life
We all experience it
Some more than others
But most people don't let it stop them living their lives
Whereas at the moment I have

The strange thing is that I tend to get anxious about the smaller things in life
The big stuff doesn't phase me as much
I'd do a bungee jump any day of the week
But walk in to a room full of people I don't know?
No thank you very much

I was wondering about you?
Do you experience anxiety?
What helps you deal with it?
Answers on a postcard please............

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spot the anorectic

There is a girl in my area
I meet her from time to time
Mostly when I am walking my dogs
She speed walks up and down the beach and she is very underweight
I've never spoken to her
We just say hello as we whizz by each other
I saw her yesterday
She was ahead of me in the queue at my supermarket
She bought a bag of lettuce, plain yoghurt and bananas
Spot the anorectic
I bought chocolate and crisps and biscuits
Spot the bulimic

I am sure that this girl has an eating disorder
I wonder if suspects that I have one too
I am oblivious to my size
I go around thinking that no one knows I have an eating disorder
In my head I am a normal weight
I can't understand how anyone would guess that I am ill

For me, I find it quite easy to spot someone with anorexia
She's the girl examining food labels at the supermarket
She's the girl speed walking and looks like she's about to take flight
She's the girl whose body is so small, her head looks enormous
The girl whose eyes look massive in her head
The girl who eats nothing in public but binges in private
The girl who looks so scared
The girl who wears baggy clothes but you can still see her bones
She is a perfectionist
Her best is never good enough
She almost apologises for existing
She overly cautious
Afraid to step outside of her routine
She is in a constant state of anxiety
She feels that she has to be on the go all the time
Otherwise she is lazy

She's the girl who takes an hour to eat an apple
She cuts her food in to tiny pieces
Sometimes she weighs and measures her food
She weighs herself religiously every morning
Carefully recording any gain or loss
When she gains her whole day is ruined
When she loses she feels good
And then on to the next target

She believes that she is a bad person
Because she lies and keeps secrets
She believes that she is a burden to her family
That they would be better off without her
She believes that everything would be ok if she could just lose X amount of pounds
She remembers every comment anyone ever made about her appearance or weight
She stores them all in her head
She can never erase them

She feels that food is the one thing that she has control over
But realistically she knows that she is out of control
She wants to stop
She really does
But she doesn't know how
People are frustrated with her
Her family
Her friends
Her doctors
But she still can't stop

Sometimes she feels like she is going crazy
And fears she may already be there
Sometimes she feels like there is no hope
But she still keeps trying
Sometimes she gets angry with her situation and asks 'Why me?'
Sometimes she breaks and binges and purges for days at a time
She can't stop

Like most people she been through a lot
But she is more sensitive than the average person
She seems to feel things a bit more

Having said all this she is a fighter
And somewhere deep down, she believes that she will get through this
She is blessed to have amazing people around her
Who would do it for her if they could
If love could get her well, she would well be on the road to recovery

Even though things look bleak she believes that it won't be this way forever
She believes that there is hope
That there is life after an eating disorder
That one day all of this will be a distant memory