Saturday, 31 May 2014

Summer?

Summer is most definitely here
The weather is heating up
The are lobster red bodies everywhere
And all my family are on holidays (A lot of them work in schools)

I don't usually like them summer
I prefer autumn and winter
I hate having to get my arms and legs out
Hate feeling hot and sweaty
I love the snow and the frost
I love wrapping up
Curling up in front of the fire
I always thought that summer was for happy people
And for the longest time I wasn't a happy person
I was the exact opposite
Winter suited my mood
The long dark days
And I do love Christmas
Whatever mood I am in Christmas always gets me
The lights
The music
The atmosphere
I can't get enough of it

So what's on the agenda this summer Ruby?
Well, come a little closer and I'll tell you
The first exciting piece of newa is that my sister is coming home from Australia at the start of July
Those of you reading a long time will remember her being here summer 2012
And of course my trip to see her Christmas 2012
I can't wait
The thing about my sister is that I can be my bat shit crazy self around her and she doesn't bat an eye lid
In fact she is just as crazy
If not more so than me
So that's something to look forward to

What else?
Well this week my mother and I booked a trip to London in August
For 2 weeks
I was a bit apprehensive at first as 2 weeks is a long time to be away
And as you already know having an ED is someone elses house is a lot of work
Frankly it's a pain in the rectum
But what else will I be doing?
So I'm going
And that's that

Usually when I have a trip planned my ED goes in to overdrive
Have to lose weight
Have to be skinny
Have to be tiny
The trip is like a deadline
I have to lose as much weight as possible by then
And of course it was the first thing that popped in to my head after we booked the tickets
But you know what?
I'm not going to
I'm not going to kill myself
Starve myself
Deny myself
All in the hope that I will be thinner than everyone else

As I said earlier I hate getting my arms and legs out
So I've had to come up with a plan B
What will make me feel more comfortable with my body this summer?
My first thought was to get a tan
A tan forgives a multitude of sins
So I booked time in a sun shower
I went for my first one yesterday and I think I stayed on too long because now I have a big red belly
So get a tan is strategy no. 1

Strategy no. 2?
Have nice clothes to wear
So I went and raided my wardrobe to find some nice clothes to wear
An hour later I had found 6 pairs of comfortable yet fashionable leggings
And 7 acceptable dresses
Plus two pairs of light shoes (I don't do sandals, the world is not ready for my horrible feet)
So after all that I feel a bit better about facing in to the summer season

I haven't weighed myself in nearly two weeks
I just don't want my happy bubble burst
Everyone around me including my friends insist that I am still tiny and I haven't put on weight
But I have
I know I have
Maybe it doesn't show yet because it has all gone to my stomach
But it will
Have no fear it eventually will

What are your plans for the summer?
Are you like me and dread the thought of exposing skin?

Friday, 30 May 2014

Mindfulness

I am doing a mindfulness course with a friend of mine at the moment
We were there last night
Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way on purpose
It's about living in the now
Being in the present moment
I was very keen to go to this course as I spend most of my time ruminating about the past or projecting in to the future
I also find it very difficult to just be
I always have background noise
The tv or the radio or music
Even when I'm falling asleep I have to have  my DVD player on
I don't like silence
Because when there is silence I think
And over think
And analyse things to death
My thoughts can be very negative and intrusive
So I try to drown them out

Last night was very interesting
We learned about thought diffusion
This is how to manage negative thoughts
The course tutor did a guided meditation with us
We had to imagine ourselves walking on a empty beach
Feet in the sand
Waves lapping
It's a peaceful place
Then we had to imagine something that was bothering us
We then had to write the word in the sand
And let the waves wash over it make it disappear
I found this really good
Very symbolic

For my word I wrote heroin in the sand
Because it has been bothering me a lot lately
I have been having a lot of drug dreams
Dreams where I actually use drugs
My ex boyfriend is always in the dream
It's horrible because I wake up thinking that I have used
It's such a relief to realise it was just a dream

My mother and I went for a walk on the beach this morning
We decided to practise the thought diffusion
The tide was coming in so we wrote our words at the shore

My word

Washed away

Mums words



Me and Mum

Having a dip on a warm day

Partners in crime

Thursday, 29 May 2014

And then she disappeared

I often read a bloggers name or blog title and wonder what it means
Or why they chose it
It is obviously of some importance to them and I am intrigued to know the story behind it
When I was choosing a title for my own blog, I had a few in the running
Beauty from pain
Wearing thin
Or simply Anorexia and Me
But I kept coming back to And then she disappeared
Why?
Because I was planning to disappear
It was as simple as that

I started writing this blog just over two years ago
I had been reading blogs for quite some time and finally decided to start my own April 2012
Back then I was in a dark place
I had pushed all my friends away
I felt so alone
And I was in it up to my neck with my ED
I don't consider myself a very proficient speaker so writing was perfect for me
I feel so much more able to put my feelings and thoughts down on paper than I do speaking them

I was adamant that this blog would not be a pro-ana blog
But reading back on my first few posts I can see that I was coming quite close
I'm really not comfortable with the idea of people egging each other on to lose weight
It just doesn't sit well with me

So I was planning to disappear
I couldn't find a reason to go on
Recovery seemed so far away
I can think of a thousand reasons for you to recover but I couldn't find one for me to recover
I just wanted to slip away quietly
I felt like I was a massive burden on my family
I truly felt like they would be better off without me
I hadn't made any concrete plans to disappear
I hadn't decided how or when
But I would say that I had a passive death wish
I wasn't actively seeking it
But I was willing it to happen
I wanted it to happen
I just didn't have the courage to do it myself

A lot has happened in the past two years
The most significant thing that has changed is that I am not planning to disappear any more
I can now see that I have a lot to live for
I have an amazing family who cherish me
I know it would literally kill then if something happened to me
I have friends
One particularly good friend who has helped me massively
She has never turned her back on me even when I pushed her away
I have 2 dogs
Lea and Honey have saved my life over and over again
They will never know how much they have helped me
I've discovered a love for writing
I've found that I am not alone
That I am not the only one going through these things
I now want to live
I didn't want to for a long time
I couldn't see a future for myself
I couldn't see beyond my ED
Now I can
Now I can see that there is life worth living
That there is life after addiction and disordered eating

I know that I have a long way to go
I know it won't be smooth sailing
I know this will be toughest thing that I ever do
But what is the alternative?
Living this half life
Some where between life and death
In anorexias waiting room
I've given almost 14 years of my life to this cruel illness
I'm not willing to give any more

I don't even know if I can say that I am in recovery
I don't feel like I am
I feel like I am in a kind of wishy washy no mans land
Limbo
In between my ED and recovery
I'm an all or nothing type of person
Black or white
So to be in this place is beyond frustrating
I have one foot in my ED
And one foot in recovery
I need to make a decision one way or the other
Ed or recovery
Life or death
You would think that this choice would be easy
It's not
I want to hold on to some parts of my ED
And that's just not part of the deal if I choose recovery
It has to be one or the other

A while ago my sister suggested that I change the name of my blog to And then she escaped
I really like that

I was wondering about you
Why did you choose the name of your blog?
What does it mean to you?
Do you have suggestions as to what I could change my name to?
I'd love to know

ED

I've written a lot over the past couple of weeks about how things have improved for me
And they have
I am so grateful for that
But everything is not perfect
The purging has gone from 10 - 20 times a day
To 1-3 times a day
This is a vast improvement but Mary says that it is still too much
I have to admit that there is a part of me that is reluctant to completely let go of my ED
It's not that living with an ED is particularly good or fun
It's a nightmare most of the time
The anxiety
The depression
The negative health effects
The isolation
The constant fear
The eternal loneliness
The emptiness of living this way
Even with all these horrible things
I am still clinging to my ED 

It was a similar situation with my drug taking
The life of an addict is pretty pathetic
You wake up
Try to find money
Take drugs
Go to bed
Wake up
Find money
Take drugs......
Every day is the exact same
It's like Ground Hog Day

But even though I living this nightmare I still had reservations about stopping
People think that the problem is the drugs
And it is
But it's more about why you take drugs
What you are running and hiding from
People think that once you stop taking drugs
Then  that is the problem solved
But it's only the beginning
Once you are clean, then you have to face life and reality
And that's exactly what you have been trying to avoid all this time

In some ways I wonder if I have even conquered my addiction
Because I went straight from drugs to medication
As you know I am on quite a lot of meds
And I struggle to take them properly
Isn't that as good as using?
I think it might be
Just because they are prescribed doesn't mean that they can't be harmful

Anyway
I digress
Back to EDs

Having an ED is like having a full time job
You work hard all week ie restricting and exercising 
And at the end of the week you expect a big fat pay cheque ie weigh loss
It's an all consuming occupation
A thankless task
Once you have reached one goal it's on to the next
We never get to enjoy the fruits of our labour

One reason why I am reluctant to give up my ED is that I have no clue what I would do without it
What would I do everyday?
What would I think about?
Talk about?
Write about?
What will I fill the ED shaped hole left in my life with ?
I guess there are a million possibilities 
But nothing captures my attention as much as my ED
I just don't know how I would fill my days

I started restricting and purging when I was in a very dark place
It was a coping mechanism
Over time it became a habit
An addiction
One that is so very hard to break
I do it now because I don't know any other way
I don't know life without it
It has become as natural as breathing

I haven't weighed in almost 2 weeks
I'm too afraid
There is  price to pay for being in good form
And that price is paid in pounds and ounces



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Body dysmorphic disorder

I had a request yesterday to write a post about body dysmorphia
I think it's a subject that is really relevant to a lot us suffering from eating disorders

I got the following information from Mind.Org

What is body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)?

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an anxiety disorder related to body image. If you have BDD, you experience concerns about your appearance that cause you significant anxiety and have a disruptive effect on your life. You may also develop routines and habits, such as excessive use of mirrors or picking your skin, to deal with the worries you have about the way you look. These habits usually have a significant impact on your ability to carry on with your day-to-day life.
I see myself as completely disfigured and I am constantly trying to convince people of this.
It may also cause other problems such as:
  • feelings of shame, guilt and loneliness
  • isolating yourself to avoid situations that cause you anxiety or discomfort
  • depression or anxiety
  • misuse of alcohol or other drugs
  • self-harm
  • suicidal thoughts.
Many people with BDD do not seek help as they are worried that people will judge them, or think they are vain. This means that many people are likely to experience BDD for a long time before seeking help.
People assume you are 'vain' but this is a serious life threatening illness.

What are the common signs of BDD?

If you have BDD, you have obsessions that cause you significant anxiety and may also develop compulsive behaviours, or routines, to deal with this. In this way, BDD is closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (See Understanding OCD.)
Although everyone has their own experience of BDD, there are some common signs.

Obsessive worries about the body

If you have BDD, you will often spend several hours a day thinking negatively about your appearance. You may be concerned about one specific area of the body or you may be worried about several different areas.
Common areas of anxiety include:
  • facial features, such as the nose, eyes, hair, chin, skin or lips
  • particular areas of the body, such as the breasts or genitals
  • feeling that your body is unbalanced or lacking symmetry
  • feeling that one of your features is out of proportion to the rest of the body
  • feeling too fat or too skinny.
Some people with BDD also experience an eating problem, but not all people with eating problems will have BDD. (See Understanding eating problems.)

Common compulsive behaviours

You may also develop compulsive behaviours and routines to deal with the anxiety you feel about your appearance.

Common compulsive behaviours include:
  • using heavy make-up when out in public
  • brushing or styling hair obsessively
  • obsessively checking your appearance in mirrors or avoiding them completely
  • changing your posture or wearing heavy clothes to disguise your shape
  • seeking constant reassurance about your appearance
  • checking yourself regularly by feeling your skin with your fingers, particularly around areas you dislike the appearance of
  • picking your skin to make it smooth
  • constantly comparing yourself with models in magazines or people in the street
  • seeking cosmetic surgery or having other types of medical treatment to change the area of concern.
I would say that I do suffer from body dymorphia
And have done since I was a child
I remember going to ballet class
We wore leotards and tights and our bodies were very much on show
Throw in a room covered in mirrors and you have a recipe for disaster
I remember looking at the girl in front of me at the barre
She was blonde and long limbed and so slim
I felt like a heffa-lump compared to her

Growing up I was convinced that I had huge thighs
I thought they are out of proportion to the rest of my body
I still feel like this today
But looking back at photos of myself as a teenager
I can see that I was a normal weight
My thighs were not huge
It seemed to be all in my head

It's extremely frustrating and confusing to have an eating disorder and not being able to get an accurate picture of your size
It's very strange to think that we can not trust our own judgement
Or even our own eyes
The mirror is not our friend
And we can spend a lot of time body checking
Or avoiding mirrors at all cost

I remember when I was in treatment
In the group room there was a huge mirror hidden behind a screen
During body image group the screen would be pulled back and the massive mirror was revealed
I hated this group
But sometimes it was very helpful
We did exercises that showed that a mirror is not always accurate
And it can be deceptive
We also did body mapping
This is where you draw the outline of your body as you think it is
Then you stand against the image and someone draws your actual outline
There was a always a big difference between the two outlines

I have accepted that I don't see myself as I am
If I look in the mirror, I see an overweight person
Even though my clothes are a small size
Even though the scales says that I am underweight
Even though I don't eat properly
Even though everyone around me tells me that I'm not
I still see a fat person
It's very disconcerting

The cruel thing about this illness is that we never get to enjoy the one thing that we crave
Thinness
Because we never believe that we are thin enough
Even when I had a BMI of 13
I still didn't believe that I was underweight
 I still thought I needed to lose more weight

So what can we do about this?
Well for me, I stopped body checking in the mirror
We see what we want to see
It's a pointless exercise staring at ourselves in the mirror because we zone in on the parts of ourselves that we don't like
And they become magnified
One way I try to get a realistic picture of what I look like is to look at photos
For some reason I can see myself more accurately in photos
I can see myself as I am
Maybe because it's more objective
I'm not sure
But I can see myself in a more realistic light in photos
Do you find that?

Where as girls seem to want to be smaller
Men seem to want to be bigger
Muscles are attractive to men and the bigger the better
I remember Mary showing me a presentation on BDD
She showed me a picture similar to this one



I think it's just as shocking as seeing a picture of a very underweight person

I think as eating disordered sufferers we see the world and ourselves a little bit differently
We seem to be more sensitive
We tend to be perfectionists
We are harder on ourselves
We judge ourselves more harshly
And that includes our bodies

I was chatting to my neighbour this morning
She knows about my ED
She asked me how I was 
We were just passing the time of day
Then she said 'You look really well'
This sounds like an innocent comment
And anyone else would probably love to hear that they look well
But not me

I interpreted 'looking well' as 'You've gained weight'
And I interpret 'You've gained weight' as 'You look fat'
So in my mind she has just insulted me
Only someone with an ED could make this connection

We live in an image obsessed society
We are the generation that posts every little thing on Facebook and Instagram
It's hard not be self concious 
It's hard not to compare ourselves to others
All too often our self image in interlinked with our body image
And that shouldn't be
Our bodies are just a shell
A vessel to hold what we are really all about
Our personalities
All the little quirks and foibles that make us who we are

BDD can take over our lives
I know that my own body image has stopped me from leaving the house many times
I look in the mirror and  hate what I see
A flabby tummy
Tree trunk thighs
An old face
Dry, straw like hair
But if I asked you what you see when you look at me, you would probably see something different
We zone in on what we think are the negative parts of us
And that becomes so big in our heads that we can't see the positive

So many people turn to plastic surgery to solve body image problems
We see people like Heidi Montag from The Hillsw who had 10 plastic surgery operations in one day
She became like a caricature of herself
Before



After


but rather than change our bodies to resolve this problem, I think the real work is done on the inside
Changing our perceptions of ourselves
Seeing ourselves as a whole rather than just a body or a face
I know that I have a lot of work to do in this area
I am far too hard on myself

I was wondering about you
Do you have BDD?
What have you done to try and change your body or your face?
Did it help?
What do you think can be done to help people with BDD?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Alive and Kicking!

Thanks for all your feed back on my last post
It was really great to get all your opinions
The common response seemed to be that this is my blog and I should so with it as I please
I've thought about this quite carefully over the last couple of days
And I am grateful to this reader for bringing this to my attention as I really hadn't given it much thought

I've always written my blog for me
As a way to make sense of the crazy world I live in
I don't censor it
I've always written my blog as if no one reads it
But they do
And quite a lot of people do read so I guess it's good to be mindful of that
My family knows about my blog
I know my sister in Australia reads it (Hey sista!!!)
I let my family read my blog sometimes
And my mother has even done a couple of guest posts
I have absolutely no problem with anyone reading my blog
I know a couple of friends have stumbled across my blog also

In life I am quite an open person
About my eating disorder and my past addiction
I will talk about it to anyone who wants to know
I feel no shame about where I have come from
My life has not been normal
It's hadn't been smooth sailing in any sense of the word
Maybe I am so open because my family talks about these things
And most of my friends are recovering addicts/ or have eating disorders so I talk  very candidly with them
We talk about addiction the way most people talk about the weather

But as regards to posting photos of others
I will take care of ask their permission in the future
I forget that other aren't as open as me

This blog has been on a massive journey
As have I
It started out as something quite unhealthy
I wrote about fasting trying to lose weight
But over time it has morphed in to me trying to get well
For a long time I didn't want to get well
I was pretty content to live with my ED
But as the purging got worse, life became unbearable
I was purging 10 -20 times a day
As I always say, I literally had a path worn from the kitchen to the bathroom
I truly do not know how my body withstood the abuse I put it through
I don't know how I am still alive

I spoke to Mary this morning on the phone
I haven't seen her in a couple of weeks and now won't see her until next week
My psychiatrist is being changed so I have a family meeting next week to check on my progress
My new psychiatrist will be there
My doctor and Mary
And also my mother
I have to admit I hate these types of meetings
Everyone talking about you like you're not in the room
Trying to find positive things to say
It makes me cringe
I will go though
Out of curiosity if nothing else

I was supposed to see Mary today but I cancelled
Why?
Because I don't want to be weighed
The gaining seems to have stopped
And I think I might be losing again if my clothes are anything to go by
I just don't want to know the number
The numbers drive me mad
Knowing the number has a profound effect on me
I give it far too much importance
The number goes up and I spiral in to a black hole of depression
It goes down and I spin in to euphoria
So I think it's best not to know
I'm not too uncomfortable with my body at the moment
But that's because I know that I am still underweight
As soon as I reach the healthy range
That's when I panic

My mood continues to be stable
I feel quite positive and hopeful
I haven't felt this way in years
Do you know how much of a revelation this is?
Do you know how much it means to me not to want to die all the time?
It means more than I can describe
More than words can say
I wake up now and I don't dread the day ahead
I don't count the hours until I can go back to bed
I go out more
I see my friends
I get to the odd meeting
I talk to people
I make an effort with my appearance
I have more showers (Because when you are depressed showering just isn't a priority)
I'm not in a state of constant fear and anxiety
And best of all the purging has markedly decreased
From 10 - 15 times a day
To once or twice a day
The aim being to stop completely

Of course things are not perfect
My ED is still very much alive and kicking
And I do have to make an effort with all the things I just mentioned
I still have bad days
Days where I don't want to get dressed
I don't want to face reality
And I still mess around with my meds a bit but I am trying to work on that
I still have issues with money
But my quality of life has improved
And in turn so has the lives of those around me
It has a ripple effect

It's a beautiful day here today
I'm going to walk my dogs and hope and pray that this good spell lasts

Much love x





Monday, 26 May 2014

To be anonymous or not to be anonymous

That is the question
A kind reader left a comment on my blog this morning expressing concern that I am being increasingly open on my blog
I guess I am
I am posting a lot of photos
I include my family
Most of the time I write a post
Publish it
And don't give it a second thought
But recently I have
And I have deleted some posts this past week

I am completely honest and open on this blog
At first I was anonymous
I never posted photos
But over time I have shared more and more
I write about some gritty subjects
And I am not one to sugar coat things
But this blog now gets almost 600 hits a day
Maybe I do need to be more careful

This reader pointed out that posting photos of my nephew may not be  a good idea
I do have his mother's permission
But I must admit I never really thought about what would happen if one of his friends saw this blog and linked it to him
I would hate to implicate my nephew in any way

The reader also pointed out that my blog may effect future employment
To be honest this had never even cross my mind
I don't think that far ahead
But I guess it's something to be mindful of

So this is my dilemma
I want to be honest
I want to give a true and open account of what life is like for me
Being a recovering addict and eating disordered
This blog has documented the past 2 years of my life
Warts and all
I would hate to have to delete it all
This blog has saved my life many times
I'm not ashamed of my story
Or my life
And if anyone judges me on that, well that's up to them
All I can do is tell my story as best as I can

So I was wondering about you?
Where do you stand on the anonymous versus open blog debate?
Do you put photos on your blog?
If yes/no why?
Please do let me know

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Happiness is......

Thinking back to this day in 2006



Not worrying about how fat I look in this picture

Happiness is hanging out with my nephew


Not hiding at home binging and purging



Happiness is spending time with my two best girls




Not seeing a low number on the scale



Happiness is spending time at my favourite beach

Not squeezing in to a pair of size zero jeans




Happiness is having a lazy day at home

Not feeling that I have to do a certain amount of exercise every day





Happiness is seeing my nephew's new born kittens



Not denying myself food and water



Happiness is the first smoke of the day


Not isolating myself every day

Happiness is writing about my eating disorder


Not living it


What is happiness to you?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Weight

My shape is changing and I'm gaining weight
Even though everyone around me says that I'm not
I know that I am
I know it takes a while for the weight to show as usually it goes straight to my tummy and takes a while to distribute around my body
My new shape is unfamiliar
I haven't been this weight in a long time

My weight has really yo-yoed over the years
While I using drugs from about 1999-2006 my weight was always very low for obvious reasons
But also all this time I had been eating disordered and I didn't know

July 2004 in the middle of a detox in London

Then I got clean and weight stabilized for a while
But it wasn't long before my anorexia spun out of control
As shown here

Avignon  2007 84lbs



Then in 2008 I was put on a high dose of olanzapine
I began to gain weight
And reached an all time high weight of 135lbs
I know it doesn't sound like a massively high number but I have a small frame and any extra weight really shows
As demonstrated here

Croatia 2010, 135lbs

January 2009
I was extremely uncomfortable at this weight
It just didn't suit me
I felt awkward and cumbersome and just didn't feel like myself
I'm not sure why or when it happened but I began to lose weight again
I remember putting on this white cardigan and it felt looser
I weighed myself for the first time on months and I had lost almost a stone
I wasn't trying to lose weight
It just happened
Cue another anorexia relapse
As seen here

Barcelona 2011 90lbs


Then in 2012 when I started seeing Mary I regained weight to a low but healthy BMI
I think to around 50kilos
I was ok at this weight
I didn't feel too uncomfortable
As shown here

June 2012

2012 - 2013 was a good year
My mood was mostly good
My weight was stable
I travelled to Australia for Christmas
I spoke at an eating disorder conference in February 2013
Everything was far from perfect but I was doing ok
But then in March I was hospitalized with pancreatitis
I was sick for quite a while and began to lose weight again

Summer 2013 90lbs


2013 was a tough year
In October I went in to treatment
It didn't work
I continued to purge and restrict and left hospital weighing even less than when I went in

February 2014, 90lbs


I think  I began to gain weight at the end of March this year
It's a frustrating place to be
I'm not severely underweight
But I am not at a healthy weight either
It's limbo

There are very few photos of myself taken over the years that I like
But I did find a couple

This one I like because I look happy, 2005

I think I look healthy here, Australia 2006


So that's the history of my weight
The ups and downs
The highs and lows
The fat and the skinny
Hope you enjoyed........

Friday, 23 May 2014

Medication Mondays! Guest post by Ruby's Mum

Hi, I'm Ruby's Mum. She has asked me to write a post for her blog this week. Here goes!

Mondays is the subject I've chosen to write about. I've chosen to write about Mondays for a number of reasons, the main one being that it's the day that Ruby gets her medication.

Monday morning I like. I don't work so I drive in to town with Ruby and the dogs. Usually she hasn't slept well on Sunday night. Anticipation? Excitement? Restlessness? Anxiety? It could be due to any or all of the above. While she visits the doctor and pharmacist I take Lea and Honey for a walk on the beach. This I enjoy. I love watching the dogs uninhibited delight as they rub, bound and jump on the strand. Lea usually has a good swim. They just fling themselves at Ruby when she meets us. Such unconditional love and loyalty!

Ruby usually tells me how she has got on with the doctor. Often they seem to discuss matters totally unrelated to her 'chronic conditions' which is refreshing. She can be entertaining and engaging company, interesting and interested. She's also direct, honest and intelligent. Anyway she has her cocktail of meds so she's happy and content.

We arrive home, have tea. Suddenly I notice her eyes begin to droop. No! Please let it be just tiredness, not the meds. I hope and pray. But unfortunately she overtakes her medication. She falls asleep wherever she happens to be. Whether it's sitting at the computer or watching tv. The most worrying aspect of this scenario is that frequently, she has a cigarette in her hand. The rug in front of the fireplace is scored with burn marks. I she has a newspaper in front of her, that becomes pock-marked with holes. I become consumed with anxiety. I waken her, encourage her to lie down. But she insists on making more tea which inevitably gets spilt on the same poor rug. She becomes a different person, a person whose a danger to herself and a person with whom I can't reason.

So I begin to feel desperate. What should I do? How do I handle this situation? Do I ignore it and hope for the best? I don't know. Lately I have talked to her about how it makes me feel to see her like this. I'm reminded of her heroin using days and it makes me feel desperately sad and helpless. It makes me feel I'm losing control. It makes me grieve.

And at last I think, I hope that she's beginning to use her meds correctly. Last Monday was a good Monday. Ruby didn't lose her lovely bright personality. She was the Ruby I know and love so well. Please let it last.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

21

I guess I should explain
It all started during the week
I was in my bedroom looking through old diaries when I found this photo between the pages of one of them


It was taken the night of my 21st
Over ten years ago
I remember that night
Well parts of it
The house is a rented house that my mother and I shared
We moved out after my parents split up when I was 19
About a year before I had started using heroin

I remember my sister was home from Australia
My other sister was on her own path of destruction
This particular night all my friends came over
My mother even allowed my boyfriend in as an exception because it was my birthday
If I remember correctly I spent a lot of the night in the bathroom snorting cocaine
I wasn't eating either although I had no idea that I had an eating disorder

I guess in this photo I am about 80lbs
I don't know for sure
I never weighed myself back then

There aren't many photos of me during the drug years
And there definitely aren't any photos of me at my lowest weight
I kind of wish there were
Not that I want to be reminded of that time
But just to document it
I take photos every day now
I want to capture moments
So I don't forget them

Looking at this photo made me very sad
It was all ahead of me
Drug addiction
Anorexia
Bulimia
Now 10 years later I look back and it is all a blur
Like a dream
I remember bits and pieces
I have some memories that are ingrained on my brain
Sometimes I wonder how I made it out alive
Sometimes I wish I hadn't

After I found this photo I stared at it for ages
I kept it beside me
I wondered what was going through 21 year old Ruby's mind
Why was she so hell bent on self destruction?
Why didn't she like herself more?
Why did she hate herself so much?
I wonder what her life would have been like if she hadn't gone down this road
It just makes me so sad
And that's ok
It's ok

As I have said in previous posts my binging and purging has dramatically decreased
And that is amazing
I was talking to my Dad yesterday about it
He said that he had noticed too
He said that after he went to bed he used to hear me banging pots and pans and making food
And it's true
I used to wait or everyone to go to bed then binge and purge endlessly
So I thought I was doing better
I even went to a mindfulness course with my friend this week

But then I got thinking
Why am I not binging and purging so much?
Well, it's because I'm not eating as much
Not as much at all
My appetite is just not there
Is this anorexia tricking me?
Is she letting me think I am getting better but sneaking up on my from behind?
Am I just using my eating disorder in another way?
I'm not quite sure

Looking at this photo I can see how lost I was
In some ways I still am lost
I really want to move on
I want to grow up
I want to leave that girl behind
Or at least bring her with me

This is not a pity party
My life has been a walk in the park compared to some people
But it's all relative
I know that I am the person I am today because of the experiences I've had
I believe that it wasn't all in vain
I believe that everything happens for a reason
I believe that in a lot of ways I am very very lucky
And some where inside of me I do believe that I will be ok

My friend sent me a lovely text yesterday
To the effect that she is so happy that we are back in contact again
I still find it hard to believe that anyone would like me
How can they when I have so much self hatred?
I don't understand

I'm not sure that I am making a lot of sense here today
But I think that this
What I have been going through this week
Is all part of the healing process
And that's ok
I'm ok
Or at least I will be

Duped!

I thought I was ok
I really did
I actually believed that I had a chance
That things were turning around
But now I think it was just lies
It was anorexia trying to lull me in to a false sense  of security
She is so cunning
So sly
And I fall for it every time

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Pretty hurts

Every so often a song comes a long that comments on societies pressure on women to be thin and beautiful
In the nineties it was Unpretty by TLC
In the noughties it was Beautiful by Christina Aquilera
More recently we had Little Me by Little Mix
And now Beyonce with Pretty Hurts


The video portrays Beyonce taking part in a beauty pageant
Her sash reads Miss 3rd Ward
We see her go to any lengths to win
She puts vaselline on her teeth
Gets botox injected in to her face
We also see her purging
Other girls eat cotton balls to fill their stomachs
Some are painfully thin

The girls all line up in the pageant
They look like Stepford wives
Smiles painted on their faces
Mechanically waving
Perfectly in synch

The song like all the others before it comments on the pressures facing women in this day and age



The video directed by Melina Matsoukas shows Beyonce trying everything in her power to look flawless -but still can't achieve perection

Matsoukas said -

'Well I think we wanted to speak to as many women as we could and all the pain and struggle that we go through as women to maintain the impossible standard of beauty. We wanted to give it a darker edge and not give you the Disney version of that struggle'

I think it's great that Beyonce is addressing this subject
There has never been more pressure on women to be perfect
Everything we do is scrutinised
Our weight
Our shape
Our beauty
Eating disorders are on the rise and are effecting younger and younger boys and girls
It's impossible to escape the message that thin and beautiful equals success

It's so important to reassure our children that they are perfect just the way they are
I remember when I was in school weight was a hot topic
I studied ballet where my body was on constant show
You really need to be a strong person with good self esteem to avoid falling in to the beauty trap
Hopefully this song and video will get people talking about body image and eating disorders
Because all too often we feel we need to change the external to fix something that's internal
We go on diets
We measure our self worth in pounds and ounces
We deny ourselves food
We feel we have to be a certain size
We compare ourselves to air brushed photos in magazines
We try our best to be perfect when really there is no such thing

Have you seen this video?
What did you think?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Prozac

I've been on Prozac for about 8 weeks now
40mg which will be increased to 60mg next week
I was put on Prozac because my mood had hit an all time low
I couldn't see a way out
I couldn't see any other option other  than disappearing
I took a handful of sleeping tablets and hoped that I wouldn't wake up
But I did
I woke up
And I felt worse than ever
I also scared my mother half to death
I didn't want to be here anymore
Life
Reality
My addiction
My eating disorder
It was all too much
I was too much
My head was completely wrecked
My thoughts were endlessly negative
Swimming around my head on a loop
I truly thought that I was going mad

I had an appointment with Mary that week
I wasn't planning on telling her
I didn't want to tell any of the professionals as I was afraid they would stop my meds if they knew I was abusing them
But that day, I don't know why, but I told her
I couldn't hold back the tears
I told her I was abusing my meds
That I was thinking of overdosing again
She immediately sprang in to action
She rang my doctor
And my psychiatrist
Also my mother
She arranged an appointment to see my psychiatrist the next day
And asked if I could guarantee my safety until the following day
I said I could
Even as I was saying the words I knew I wasn't going to stick to them
I went home and popped a few extra pills
I didn't want to be awake
I didn't want to think
I just wanted to sleep

My mother came home from work
The next day she came with my to see my psychiatrist
He stopped my sleeping tablets
I regretted saying anything
He also put me on Prozac
He said it was very effective for people with eating disorders
The only other thing I remember about that meeting was that he said that I had 'many chronic conditions'
That has stuck in my head ever since
Sometimes I forget that I am mentally unwell
Sometimes I forget that my behaviour isn't normal
Sometimes I forget that I am different

I don't really remember the next few weeks
But I do remember that about 2 weeks ago I started to feel better
I didn't feel so down
Didn't feel like I wanted to die all the time
I felt like I had more energy
Like a fog had been lifted
It was a massive relief
To me and my family
I felt a little bit stronger
A little bit more positive
I felt hopeful for the first time in years
I felt like maybe I had a chance

There were other positive effects too
My purging has markedly decreased
Today I have only purged twice
That is only a fraction of what I had been purging
But there is a reason for this
I am not eating as much as I used to
I have noticed over the weeks that my appetite has decreased
I used to feel an overwhelming urge to binge
I just don't feel that now

I looked it up and loss of appetite is indeed a side effect of Prozac
The sick part of me thinks that this is freakin' fantastic
The sick part of me is wondering how much weight I could lose
The sick part of me is so very fucked up

I will continue to take the Prozac
Because lots of good things have happened
I am back to going to meetings
I'm seeing my friends
I'm starting a mindfulness course this Thursday
I feel like me again

I wrote a few posts ago about weight gain
I have gained weight
And even though everyone around me says that I haven't
I know that I have
I have
It's so tempting to say 'Fuck it' and go on a weight loss mission
I just feel like there is so much of me
I miss my little body
I miss feeling thin
Even though the scale says that I am still underweight
I don't feel it
And I want to feel it

It angers me that I would throw away my whole life just to be thin
But it's not just about being thin
It's an identity
It's a feeling of accomplishment
It's protection
It's what makes me different
It's what makes me me
And now having no appetite is massively triggering
That old familiar feeling of an empty stomach
It's a constant tug of war in my head

I was wondering if any of you out there are on Prozac
Have you noticed these side effects?
Please do let me know