Monday, 30 June 2014

It's ok not to be ok

Thank you everyone for your kind comments, emails and messages of support
It truly means more than you know

It's Monday
A new week
A fresh start
I am glad to see the back of the weekend
Thankfully I slept last night
I was so wiped out
I woke up this morning with a slightly more positive perspective
I am determined not to let this slip turn in to relapse

I went to the doctor
I couldn't see the road pulling out of my house in my car
But I pulled out anyway
The next thing I heard my mother scream
I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a car behind me
I braced myself for the impact
Thankfully the car was going slowly so was able to stop
Why do I take such chances?

My doctor broke his ankle
So we spent  the few minutes talking about that
I didn't tell him about my horrible weekend
I collected my meds and took them properly
I was so tempted to take more and sleep for the day
But I didn't
I need to face these feelings
Not run away from them

I meant to be going to my nutrition course today
We are supposed to be cooking spaghetti bolognase
I just can't face it
I can't face other people
And I sure as heck can't face eating in front of them
I'm tired
I'm going to take it easy today
I'm going to mind myself
Be kind to myself
I gave myself such a hard time over the weekend
I need to take care of myself

I have calmed down a bit after the weight gain
Gosh weight is such a minefield
One minute I was fine
I was happy enough in my own skin
Then I weighed myself
And the shit hit the fan
Nothing had changed
I hadn't changed
All that was different was that I now knew my weight in kilos
That little number that has so much power over me

I just don't understand it
Everyone keeps telling me that they can't see the gain
That I still look underweight
But the reality is that I have gained over 10 kilos in the last few months
The reality is that I have gone from being underweight to an almost healthy weight

Even though I feel like it
I am not giving up
It's true
I can't be in great form every day
That is not realistic
Even the most well adjusted person has bad days
Or a bad week
It's perfectly normal
And it's ok
It's ok not to be ok
Not to be prefect

They say that becoming grateful can aid happiness
I have a lot to be grateful for
I am relatively healthy
I have an amazing family
Great friends
Dedicated professionals who go above and beyond to help me
2 wonderful dogs
I don't want for anything
I am blessed in a lot of ways
I need to remember that

Recovery is a process
I just hit a bump in the road
I can bounce back
I've been bouncing back my whole
It takes a lot to keep this girl down

I was so blown away by the support after my last couple of posts
Your advice and kindness has been invaluable
Knowing that you are reading and commenting and wishing me well is such a comfort
Starting this blog was one of the better decisions that I have made
I have some truly amazing friends
Such good friends
You have kept me going through all of this

Recovery really is a roller coaster
Ups and downs
Highs and lows
I guess it's all part of the process
It would be really easy to lie down and admit defeat
To hold up my white flag and surrender
But that is not in my nature
I am a fighter
I have been fighting my whole life
I will not let this bitch of an illness take my life
I didn't come through drug addiction only for my ED to kill me

My ED is angry
Angry that I am going against her
I know she is trying every trick in the book to lure me back in
But the truth is my ED does not hold the appeal that it once did
I've been there
Done that
Worn the extra small t-shirt
There are no unanswered questions about my ED any more
It is not a mystery any more
It's not romantic
I can now see it for what it is
A deadly disease that wants me dead
I have no doubt about that

I am going to sit in the sun and read my book
I am going to keep fighting
Keep believing
And most importantly keep hoping

Sunday, 29 June 2014


The setback continues
God forgive me I've had a pretty miserable couple of days
It's only now when our visitors have gone that I can breath out and let myself not be ok
I've painted a smile on my face all weekend
I didn't have a meltdown when my brother told me that gained a 'little bit of weight'
Granted I asked for that
I played the part of the good little recovering anorectic
But today I just felt so weary
I declined to go to the beach with my family
I just needed some time to myself
To figure out what it is I am going through right now

In hindsight maybe I should have gone out
I binged and purged many times
I didn't even want the food
I just wanted the relief of the purge
I wanted to feel empty
In body and mind
In an effort to put the brakes on, I brought my dogs for a walk
But I had to turn back as I could feel my blood sugar dropping
That old familiar feeling
Why does everything taste better when your blood sugar is in the toilet?

And then to add insult to injury I decided to weigh myself
Because I am a glutton for punishment
I'm not even supposed to have a scale
But where there's a will......
I gained another 2kg
I felt nothing as I stared at the number
I knew I felt bigger
Now I have almost crossed the threshold from underweight to a normal weight
2kg is nothing when you are severely underweight
But now it seems like a massive amount
I don't like it
I don't like it one bit
I had almost got used to my new shape
I almost liked it
But now I am expanding in every direction
I don't want to gain more
I can't handle that
Everything is upside down
And topsy turvy
The way I am feeling right now recovery can do one
The way I am feeling right now I am planning diets and fasts in my head
The way I feel right now I am a failure and a fuck up
The way I feel right now is unstable, afraid and disgusting

I need to get my food sorted
I am living off a diet of salt and vinegar crisps and white chocolate
I don't eat proper food
Because if I eat I eat proper food I can't have my crisps and chocolate and I want my crisps and chocolate
They win every time

I feel so confused
So torn between wanting to be well and wanting to fall head first down the rabbit hole
The thought of restricting is both thrilling and terrifying
I know that just as easy as I gain the weight
I can lose it all too
How attractive that option seems right now

I was also massively triggered today
I read a post about someone who had lost weight and all of a sudden I wanted to too
It's the first time I've been triggered in a while and it pretty much floored me

Have I been in the 'pink cloud' of recovery this whole time?
Have I just come down to reality
Is this what recovery is really like?
I just don't know any more

I digress
Here is me in my pjs tonight
You see?
I have gained weight


Yesterday I did something that I haven't done in a long time
I don't know why I did it
I didn't plan it
I didn't want to to do it
I don't know why it happened
Today I fee so guilty and ashamed
A huge part of me doesn't want to write this post as I am afraid of being judged
But I have to write it
I can't keep this to myself
Let me explain

My mother, my brother and I went in to town yesterday afternoon
We were dropping my nephew off at a party
And my brother wanted to go to a couple of bookshops
I was just coming along for the spin
We dropped my nephew off and headed to the bookshop
For some reason I decided to go in to a clothes shop
I don't know why
I had no money so it wasn't like I could buy anything

I had a look around
And found a dress that I liked
I picked up two sizes and went to the dressing room
I avoided the shop assistant so I didn't have to bring the little tag with the number on it
I think even then I knew what I was going to do
I tried on the dress in the first size and it fit perfectly
I wanted it
But as I said I had no money
At this point I must say that had I asked my mother for the loan of the money I am sure she would have given it to me
But would make too much sense
Instead I rolled up the dress as tight as I could and stuffed it in to my bag
As I walked out of the dressing room my heart was thumping
I put the other dress back
And as calmly as I could, I walked out of the shop

I walked through the threshold of the door
Half expecting an alarm to go off
But it didn't
I speed walked away from from the shop as quick as I could

I went down and met my brother and mother
I pretended like nothing had happened
I tried to act normal but I was high on adrenalin
Blood was pumping through my body
I felt exhilarated
I couldn't quite believe what I had just done
I felt a mixture of shock and disbelief
How could I be so bold?
How could I have done this?
I thought I was over this shit

We went on to the next shop
My brother wanted to buy a bottle of wine so we headed to the supermarket
There is also a clothes section in this shop
We walked in and I immediately got distracted by all the pretty clothes
I walked around and found a couple of things that I liked
A burnt orange cardigan with cats on it
And a sleeveless cardigan perfect for the summer months
I could only afford to buy one
But I brought both to the changing room
Again I sneakily avoided any shop workers

I tried on both and loved both
I quickly worked out which was cheaper
The cat cardigan
There was not much room in my bag but I managed to squeeze the sleeveless cardigan in to it
I walked out as calmly as I could and walked to the check out
I put the cat cardigan on the counter only to hear behind me 'Excuse me'
I froze
The jig was up
I thought I was caught
I turned around
'I was before you' a woman said
'Oh I'm sorry' I replied
As relief flooded through my body
I stepped back to let her through and tried not to have a heart attack
I looked at my hands and they were shaking
I tried to keep it together

I paid for my item
As I was walking out I saw the security guard sitting at the cameras
Mild panic set in
I headed out the door and looked for my mother and brother
I really should have got the heck out of there
Eventually they came and we set off for home

I was in a bit of shock
I couldn't quite believe what I had done
I really thought that I had put this behaviour behind me
It's been a long time since I have done this
I know that it is part of my ED
I was told this in treatment
I used to steal food all the time
Not because  couldn't afford it
I'm not quite sure why I did it
Maybe for the high
Maybe for the control
I really don't know

As I began to feel better in the last few months
The shoplifting improved
Then stopped altogether
Yesterday hit me totally out of the blue
And  I feel so God damned guilty
What a stupid thing to do
I could easily have been caught
And how mortifying would that have been
And how cheeky am I?
To think that I can just steal items like that
What makes me think that I don't have to pay for them?
I truly don't understand myself sometimes

I really need to talk to Mary about this
I am seeing her on Thursday and it can't come soon enough
Maybe if I understand why I am doing this
Then I can get a handle on it

It's sounds strange that shoplifting can be part of an ED
But it is
I was told in treatment
And Mary told me too
But I am not a thief
I am generally an honest person
But then sometimes I so something stupid like this
And it is utterly stupid

I kept this behaviour to myself for the longest time
I was so ashamed of it
Then one day a couple of years ago I was reading a blog over on Wordpress
The writer was talking about shoplifting food and other items
I remember feeling such relief that I was not the only one
I immediately emailed her and she was so supportive
I then found the courage to break my own silence and write about it here

I know that I am not the only one
I know there are many others that do this
But they are too ashamed to admit it
Please know that if you are doing this that you are not alone
And it doesn't make you a bad person
It's part of the illness
Part of the disorder

I feel disappointed in myself today
I was doing so well
I guess it just goes to show that my ED can hit me out of the blue
It can show up uninvited
I didn't plan yesterday
It was completely impulsive
I just couldn't stop myself
It was like I was on autopilot
That is not to take any of the responsibility away from myself
I did it
I am to blame
I have to take responsibility for my actions

I don't know quite what to do now
I feel too guilty to wear the clothes
They are stolen goods
I wouldn't feel right wearing them knowing how they were acquired

So I need your help
Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do?
Do you ever do this?
How did you stop?
I would really love to know

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sans ED

My brother and his girlfriend are here for the weekend
I haven't seen them since Christmas so it really is a treat
They have both always been a massive support to me
All through the drug years
During my eating disorder
And every other little drama that happened in my life
They have been there
It's great that now they get to see in a better place
I wasn't very well the last time they saw me

We spent a lovely time yesterday at Mullaghmore beach
A good time was had by all
Including Honey and Lea
Sans ED

Here is some photographic evidence.......

Honey in the middle of doing a wee!

How do we get in?

What the?

Obligatory selfie

Lea made friends with an Irish Wolfhound called Saibh

She was enormous

She knocked me over

Why do dogs always sniff each others butts?

Cup of tea with Lea

Friday, 27 June 2014

The positives of weight gain

The comments keep coming
I keep being told that I look well
I look healthy
I have improved a lot
I smile and say thank you
I try to take them in the spirit in which they are intended
But I am struggling to accept the compliments
It's hard to hear something positive about myself
When you're sick and underweight people don't comment about your apprearance
People don't know what to say
So they say nothing

I have no idea what my weight is
I am just going by my clothes
They fit the same the last month so I presume that my weight is stable
I know that weight re- gain is an essential part of recovery
You can't have one without the other
But that doesn't make it easy
It's not fun
It's not pretty
It's uncomfortable
It's new
And scary
I don't feel like myself
I feel awkward and cumbersome
Like I engulf anyone that I stand beside
But I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway

In order to make this process a bit easier I need to acknowledge the positives
Of course first and foremost is my mental health
I feel a lot better able to cope with life
My thinking is clearer
My thoughts are not so negative
I can make decisions easier
My mood has drastically improved
I generally feel more positive and hopeful
I can't tell you how much that this means to me
To not feel like I want to die
To opt out of life
I feel like myself for the first time in years
It's a feels like a miracle

My physical health has also improved
I feel stronger
More capable
I used to get so dizzy every time I stood up
I had to grab a wall or a chair
I felt so weak all the time
Everything was an effort
A simple thing like walking up the stairs is now much easier
I can walk my dogs for longer now
I don't need to nap as much
My body seems to be working again
Digestion has improved
My period is back
My hair and skin and nails are a lot healthier
I remember I used to be so tired all the time
I hadn't the energy or the inclination to do anything
People have commented that my eyes look a lot brighter
That I have a glow about me
It's so new to feel and look healthy
I used to be so drawn and pale
I looked sick and I felt sick
But it got to the point when I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired
Feeling mentally and physically compromised really take it's toll

Another knock on effect is that my anxiety has improved
I feel much more able to deal with life
I don't feel so overwhelmed and lost
I feel like I have a purpose
A reason to get up in the morning
That makes life so much easier and happier

My perception of myself has also changed
I used to be convinced that I was a bas person
That I had nothing to offer
That I was a burden and nothing more
Now I can see that I have value
I do have something to say
And maybe my experiences can help some one else

I also feel like an adult woman now
I used to look and feel like a child
And I had no interest in growing up
That was just too much

Another positive is that my relationship with food has improved
It is by no means perfect
I still purge
I still have to resist the temptation to restrict
But I have relaxed around food
I'm not great at eating meals
And when  do I most always purge
So in alot of ways I am still very eating disordered
And my behaviour around food is not normal
But as I always say baby steps all the way

My relationships have also improved
Because I am no longer so under weight
My family don't have to worry as much
And that in turn makes things easier
I have found that my sense of humour is always there
Without it I would have gone nuts a long time ago
I see my friends now
And that is a huge positive

I just feel alive again
Like I am now living instead of merely existing
Now I have a chance of living a normal and healthy life
And for me that is just the best thing
I feel like me again

So there are positives to weight re gain
I just have to keep reminding myself of them


Can you think of anymore?

Beauty queens or bust

I watched a documentary last called Beauty Queens or bust
It followed 4 girls from Wolverhampton as they competed in the Miss Black Country pageant
In the hope of going on to represent England in Miss World
Wolverhampton has an extremely high unemployment rate
With one in four females out of work
The girls competing were hoping to make a better lives for themselves
I guess it's the classic fairytale
To make out
And to make it big

First we met Diamond
Diamond was an extremely pretty 18 year old
Unemployed, she lived in a hostel and was hoping being a beauty queen was her chance to live the life she had always dreamed of

We saw her with her friends
She drank and was loud
But there was something really likeable about her
Something so vulnerable yet so strong
I hoped that she would do well

Then we met Natalie
Natalie was 22 and from Dudley
She had just set up her own 'mobile' hair dressing service
Although technically she wasn't mobile as she had no license
She had failed her test 4 times
Natalie confessed to loving the glamour of pageants
She said she wanted 'a red head from Dudley' to win
She was also very charming

Next we met Ruby
She was 19 and lived at home with her parents
And had worked at a beauty counter in a department store since she was 17
Ruby had always wanted to be a beauty queen
But unlike the other girls she had the financial backing of her family
She also had the most experience of all the girls

Lastly we met Sammy Jo
Also from Dudley Sammy was 19
She had been unemployed for 6 months and lived in a hostel
She survived on £56 per week

The first round of the competition was a 4 minute interview
On the panel were the reigning Miss England and Mr England
Diamond was incredibly nervous
She was asked why she wanted to be Miss Black Country
She said that she wanted to be an example to others in her area
Then she was asked what she was most proud of
She replied that when her 16 year old friend was murdered her and her friend raised money for his funeral
The judges seemed suitably impressed

Sammy Jo also gave a good interview
As did the other girls
And they all got through to the final
Diamond was told she was an inspiration
She got further good news when the council gave her her own one bedroomed flat

In the weeks running up to the final the girls prepared for the pageant
Natalie was paying off her £225 dress in instalments
Diamond borrowed a prom dress from a friend
Ruby had her dress custom made
Sammy Jo couldn't get the £50 entry fee together
She was kicked out of her hostel after an argument with her landlord
And didn't make it to the pageant final

The day of the final arrived
And 23 girls gathered for the pageant in which they competed in rounds such as ball gowns and sports wear
We told that the judges were looking for a natural girl
And they were judged on outfit choice, poise and confidence

The girls waited anxiously as the judges deliberated
Ruby came second
None of the other girls placed
Diamond looked crestfallen
And cried her little heart out
Natalie was pragmatic and vowed to bounce back

At the end of the documentary we were given an update on the girls
Sammy Jo had given up on pageants altogether
Ruby was still following her dreams to become a beauty queen
Natalie finally passed her driving test and was now a fully functioning mobile hairdresser
Ruby had come runner up in Miss Birmingham

I thought the documentary was really good
I love documentaries like this
Where we're given a window in to somebodies world
The girls all had so much personality
And I really wanted them all to do well
They didn't come from the best background
They didn't have money
A lot of them came from troubled upbringings
But they weren't willing to let that stand in the way of their dreams
They wanted the fairytale ending
The wanted the crown and the sash
The big hair and the poofy dress
They worked hard
Apart from Ruby they all desperately struggled for money
But they were all strong and plucky girls
With that much heart I have no doubt that they will reach their dreams

Personally I have never had any interest in entering a beauty pageant
I find then contrived and too focused on appearance
I would like a fairy tale ending
But mine doesn't involve crowns or sashes
My fairy tale ending is just a regular life
Free from anxiety and fear and depression and my ED
My fairy tale ending involves me actually making it out of this thing alive and relatively unscathed
But I wouldn't say no to a Prince Charming.......

Did you see Beauty queens or bust?
What did you think of it?
What does your fairy tale ending involve?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My ideal life......

I have my last Mindfulness course this week
I am sad that it is coming to an end as I really enjoyed it
And it meant spending time with a very good friend
She has been a massive support to me recently

So this week we had homework
Part of the homework was to write out our ideal life
I really had to think about this as I don't let myself think about the future too much
But I had a go
And here is the result.......

My ideal lie is pretty simple and straight forward
I don't want much
I don't want money or material gains
The things I want are the things that most people take for granted

In my ideal life I am clean and sober
And I want to be clean and sober
I am happy to live in reality
I am happy to accept life on life's terms
In my ideal life I am in recovery
I don't deny myself food
And I don't binge and purge
I have a healthy relationship with food
I don't use it as a means of escape or to punish myself with

In my ideal life I am comfortable in my own skin
I accept my body the way it is
I'm not always trying to change it
I don't measure my worth in pounds and ounces
In fact I don't weigh myself at all
I accept my body for the amazing instrument that it is
I don't abuse it
Try to change it
Or punish it

In my ideal life I am not on any medication any more
I am able to handle life's challenges without popping a pill
I am off methadone
And feel no urge to go back using drugs
In my ideal life, although I may still experience anxiety, it doesn't stop me doing what I want to do
It doesn't paralyse me and stop me from living my life

I may also experience fear 
But again it doesn't cripple me
I feel the fear and live my life anyway
In my ideal life I like, love and accept myself for who I am
I am me and that is perfectly ok
I accept that I am not perfect and never will be
And I don't beat myself up for that
I'm kind to myself
I take care of myself
Physically, mentally and spiritually
I'm not so hard on myself
I accept success humbly
And defeat graciously
I know myself well
I know my boundaries
And am not afraid to let others know

In my ideal life I am well enough to be independent 
I have my own little house
A place to call my own
And I am able to manage that
There are lots of animals in my house
Maybe I am a foster carer for abused and homeless animals

I am financially independent
I can take care of myself and all my needs without depending on others
In my ideal life I will have a family
A wonderful partner and maybe some children
Our home will be a happy and safe place
There will be lots of fun and laughter
And everyone is accepted and loved just the way they are

In my ideal life I stop running from myself
I don't feel the need to escape my own head
Because now it is a positive place
A place that I am not afraid of any more
My outlook is positive
I see the good before the bad
The light before the dark
There may be challenges in my life but I feel better equipped to deal with them
I don't feel overwhelmed or afraid
I take life as it comes
And live a full and rich life
I laugh every day and don't take myself too seriously
I'm not obsessed with my own misery
I'm happy and I'm not afraid to be happy
I am me and that is ok

You decide....

I need your help
I'm attending a book reading tonight
My brother is reading
I don't go to many events so  it's a good excuse to get dressed up
Although it won't be at all formal
I still want to look nice
I have a couple of outfits in mind
And I need your help in choosing one
Here are the candidates......

Navy and white floral print dress from Dorothy Perkins

Orange and cream dress from Dorothy Perkins

Which do you think looks better?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

I believe......

I believe that people are mostly good

But that hurt people, hurt people

I believe that happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have

I believe that everything happens for a reason

That what you put in you get out

I believe that with every grief joy repays

I believe that everything seems worse at night

That loneliness can kill us

I believe that we are rarely our true selves

But when we are it is truly liberating

I believe that every woman struggles with food in one way or another

That we are all addicted to something

I believe that true friends are hard to find

But when we do we should hang on to them

I believe that we are stronger than we ever realised

That with hope and faith we can overcome anything

I believe that animals have the power to heal us

And they can teach us a lot about ourselves

I believe that if we look we will see signs

And they will help us make the right decision

I believe that I will be ok


I believe that things get worse before they get better

But that they will get better

I believe that you have to experience the dark in order to appreciate the light

I believe that writing soothes the soul

That I would be truly lost without it

I believe that I was put on this earth for a purpose

Now I just have to find that purpose

I believe that the truth hurts

But it's essential to hear it

I believe that I will die young

That I won't reach old age

I believe that living in reality scares me

And so I run and run and run......

I believe that good people attract good people

That misery loves company

I believe in Karma

That what goes around comes around

I believe that anything can be solved with a cup of tea and a chat

That we need to listen more

I believe that nothing lasts forever

Even though we want it to

I believe that rules are made to be broken

I believe in everything in moderation

Including moderation

I believe giving up is easier than trying

That living is harder than dying

I believe that I will do something amazing with my life

If I could just get out of my own way

What do you believe?

What's in your handbag?

To give us all a break from the heaviness that is our eating disorders
I thought I would write about something completely different
The contents of my hand bag
Sounds boring?
Well I never know what I am going to find in my handbag when I clean it out
I have found knives
The possibilities are endless
So I thought I would take you on a little tour today

Here's one of my many handbags

It's from River Island (Like a lot of my clothes and things)
It's a bag that you wear across the body
I like this kind of bag as you don't have to worry about it falling off
It's also the perfect size
Not too big and not too small

So let's have a little look inside

First up pens
Mucho pens
I always have loads of pens knocking around
As seen here.....

 My wallet of course
My very beat up pink wallet with a broken clasp
Note to self: Need to buy new wallet

 Lip gloss that I never use but always carry, just in case

 Dentist appointment card (Love my dentist, he is going to fix my horribly broken teeth)

 Headphones - absolutely essential, I would be lost without these

 Notebook - for jotting down thoughts so as not to forget them

Travel pass - Yes I do get free travel

 Make up - Again rarely used but always carried
Perfume - Love this

 Deodorant - Another essential, especially in the summer

 Back up notebook, in case something happens to the first one

 Phone - Which I can never find in my bag when it rings

 Cigarettes- An absolute must

Medication - Another absolute must

So that's the contents of my bag
I was wondering about you
What is in your handbag?
Is it similar to mine?