Sunday, 29 June 2014


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


  1. dear Ruby,

    Foremost, I still like you. I can imagine you might expect people to judge, so now you know that I don't think any different than ten minutes ago.

    I have stolen some candy when I was really young, but that's it, and so far I haven't discovered that I did it since then (mps makes me not sure about anything for that matter).
    So I don't reply out of personal experience... feel free to ignore..

    I imagine, however, what you could do is tell people about this. Use your shame in your advantage. Things that are out in the open, lose the rush, the high.
    Talking about it with Mary is a great step. Maybe telling a friend or family member in person.

    Well, and you could think about bringing the things you took back to the store and explain that you took them by mistake, you're so sorry, so ashamed and you don't understand exactly why it happened but you want to 'make ammends'.
    If that's to scary, which I completely understand, you could make a parcell of it, write a note or attach this blog (but then a little less recognizable) with apologies and send that to the stores.

    And, keep writing about shamefull things like this, no matter how hard. Because it can give you insight and helps you think about what happened , how it happened and what your thoughts were when it did. and when they're not hidden, it's harder to keep the effects like the rush there...

    I am sorry that this happened. For you. It's hard and you didn't mean to, and you feel bad about it... so I am sorry...

    love from A

    1. Thank A for this
      I was really worried writing this post that people would judge me
      Or think less of me
      But I have to write about these things
      I have to keep breaking the silence
      Otherwise my ED wins
      And I won't let that happen

      I am so glad that you don't think any different of me
      I feel so full of guilt and remorse today
      I feel like I am a bad person

      Your ideas are good
      I need to do something to make amends
      Thank you for understanding

      Much love x

  2. Setbacks are part of ANY development, please be kind to yourself and do not beat yourself up about it, hun!

    And don't bring them back in person or with a link to the blog, it would be mortifying and border selfharm. At least that's what I think. Send them back ANON, maybe pack a parcel& add a card, that would be nice. I assume you will not have this much fun wearing these clothes anyway. or send back one item, just to see if it makes you feel better, how about that?


    1. That is true Lilly
      I knew that this wasn't going to be smooth sailing
      There were bound to be bumps in the road

      Yes, if I do send them back I will do so anon
      I couldn't face bringing them back
      And I could get in trouble
      I've managed get this far without a criminal record
      And I don't want that to change

      Ps I just emailed you and am going to catch up on your blog now

      Thank Lilly x

  3. Bit of a "crtl-z" moment! :)
    We've all been there with various failures in impulse control.
    Don't feel ashamed. Shame is an unproductive emotion, nothing good comes from feeling shame.
    Regret doing it for sure because it's wrong and you shouldn't and like you said it's just another manifestation of the ED, but you know that already.
    It's done and you can make amends and move on.

    I like A's idea of posting it back to the shop anonymously with a brief explanation note.
    You don't owe the shop anything, but you owe it to yourself.
    And I agree with Lilly, putting yourself at the mercy of the shop is almost self harm. You won't gain anything from it except the misplaced belief you'll get the punishment you "deserve". You don't deserve punishment.

    I've never stolen anything, but I've had ctrl-z moments of my own.
    And I don't think any different of you.

    Cee x

    1. Thanks Cee
      It's good to know that you don't think differently of me
      I really was reluctant to write this post
      But I think that if I kept this to myself it would have been worse somehow
      I can't even enjoy the clothes so there is no point in keeping them
      You are right, shame serves no purpose
      It just drives me crazy

      Hope you are doing well Cee, take care of you x

  4. Hey Ruby,
    there were times, when I had the same problem. I think no one of your followers will judge you. The people who read this Blog, almost all kow mental illness, so whe understand what it's like to act against your mind.

    In my shoplifting time, I also stole food. There were other things too but most off all food. I was to ashamed to buy it, because I thought everyone would see I'm bulimic (I was actually anorexic, but I had binges sometimes), because I knew, even if I didn't see it, I was pretty skinny.
    I managed to stop, because I was really scared of getting caught. I even dreamed about it, how my parents would react. Even a couple of month after the last time I did it, I was scared that they would watch the videos of the camaras ant catch me.
    So I only went to shops with friends a long time, never alone. I never stole clothes, because of the alarm in these, so my problem was only food and jewellery. When my friends or my familly were with me I didn't dare to steal and later the urge left.

    I don't think anybody will judge you, try to let it be a sole exception and don't bully yourself because of this, please :)


    (I hope you can understand it, God, I'm so bad in writing textes in English on myself, but I needed to comment here)

    1. Thank you Lea so much for commenting
      I am so glad to hear from someone that has also gone through this
      Like you I have stolen food and jewellery and make up in my time
      And like you I stole food because I thought people would know I was going to binge with it

      I am delighted to read that you have overcome your problem
      That gives me hope that I will too
      I will make sure that this is just a once off
      And do my best not to let it happen again

      Thank you again, it really means a lot

      Ps your English is terrifice x

  5. Sending them back anonymously sounds like a good idea.

    This is going to be hard. I have never admitted this to anyone.

    I don't shoplift (never had the guts) but I steal. I have control over my mother's bank account because nowadays everything is done online. I have stolen thousands of crowns over the year, just for shopping crap, basically. I tell myself every single time that this will be the last time and I stopped for several months, but then I found something I wanted on eBay and there I was again. And again I told myself that this was the last time.

    I think it's part of the ED brain. We need our highs, whether it's binging, restricting, shoplifting, shopping, or doing drugs.

    1. I agree
      It is most definitely part of the ED
      We chase the high again and again
      It's addictive

      I have stolen from my family too
      When I was addicted to drugs
      So much money that I can never pay back

      Thanks for sharing this
      I know it must have been hard to write x

  6. I would never, ever judge you, dear. People judge too much.
    I don't shoplift. It's too dangerous for me, and as much as I sometimes hate my mother I'd hate to burden her with a daughter in jail.
    I had stolen my mother's money before, to buy junk food. I don't do that anymore. I still want to sometimes, but I stop myself. I know it's hard.
    I still sometimes occasionally take food that isn't mine at home. Technically I am allowed to eat it, but with my mother's permission.
    I'd suggest sending it back or getting someone to do it for you? That is, if you tell your family. And don't be ashamed, dear. You're still improving, one step at a time :) I have faith in you.


    1. Thanks Christie
      Everyone here has been really great and understanding
      But then I would expect nothing less from the beautiful girls here on blogger

      Love to you x

  7. I used to - Now I regret them, back then it was a part of me.. But we live and learn right? -- I think you should keep them.. As a reminder of how it made you feel.. And as a reason why you don't ever want to do it again. Does it make sense?


    1. Exactly Kitty
      It was a mistake
      And we do live and learn

      Hope you are well Kitty x

  8. I've taken food that wasn't mine but not from shops, it's was from housemate's and I got in a cycle where I wouldn't buy food in because I didn't want to eat, but then would binge on housemate bagels, have to replace them before they realised, spent days and days bingng on bagels and poptarts and replacing them just to binge on them again. Was relieved when I lived alone for that reason!! if i wasnt so afraid of being caught i imagine it would have spread to shop food, so i definitely do not judge you for any of your actions. who are we to judge, we all make errors we all take wrong turns and nobody is perfect. i will always be here to support you. tell mary, see what she suggests you do to make amends? LOVE XX

    1. I've done that too Aurelia
      Taken food from flatmates and then watched as they blamed each other

      Thanks for your support lovely
      Hope you are doing ok? x

  9. I have shoplifted food in the past and was caught on 2 separate occasions. What made me stop was the realisation that i was lucky to escape a criminal record and i would probably not be so lucky if it was to happen again. The shame i feel is massive so i can understand how you are feeling but its important that you don't beat yourself up about it. You have made some massive changes with regards to your ED over the last few months but how much have you actually done to address the underlying causes of it? Your behaviours have improved but what takes their place? However harmful they are, they served a purpose at the time. There are not many things in life that give the instant feeling you can get from purging or in fact shoplifting. The way i see it, its just your minds way of getting that fix because you haven't yet found a healthy way to deal with life xxx

  10. Would it help at all to return the clothes? Maybe just mail them anonymously or go back and leave them somewhere without telling anyone? Or (and I have no idea if you have somewhere to do this) could you donate them to a charity?

    I only ever shoplifted food. I would pick stuff up and put it in my purse. I'd eat it walking around the store and not pay. I don't really know why.. I think in some way I felt guilty spending so much on binge food. Or really I couldn't afford to binge. My bank account would be empty, so I maxed out a credit card. My parents would keep buying my food thinking it helped.

    I stopped for a while. Then I remember one day just deciding to do it. I think I had been at a dietitian appointment just before, and I usually didn't leave in a good mood. Anyway, this time it wasn't a candy bar or piece of cake (yes I did manage to hide a piece of cake in my purse). I filled a whole basket with binge food.. and I decided to just walk out.

    I stopped because I got caught. A manager saw me. I tried to make up lies about not bagging it and having paid but not kept the receipt. That obviously didn't work. She had another manager come over. He looked through the basket (I know from another job what they do depends on how much you tried to steal) and asked if I could pay for the stuff, so I did. The 1st manager made some comment about me never being allowed in that store.

    I was terrified. I threw the food out when I got home. I had started throwing away binge food/evidence in a neighbor's trash can so my parents wouldn't see. What's really screwed up is I went back and dug some back out of the trash can and binged anyway.

    Being caught stopped me. It was a horrible experience. I only told my dietitian. Nobody else knows. I am still terrified of that store even though I've been in there and not seen that manager and i look different now. I hold onto guilt for a long time, whether or not I should feel guilty. And guilt is pretty powerful sometimes I guess.

  11. We ALL do stuff we're ashamed of. No one is perfect. Someone else already said it, but setbacks happen when we try to improve ourselves. You won't help anything by beating yourself up about it. Be remorseful, yes. Learn a lesson, sure. but don't let it eat away at you for too long. It's been a few days & I hope you're feeling better about it.

  12. I have stolen, but I am unsure why I did it. When I was young, I used to steal money from my dad to buy candy, but I grew out of that quickly. Then I guess I started to steal nail polish from local shops. I sneak a lot.. In my house I don't want people to hear me as I move about, and any time I get food, I usually sneak that and hide while I eat because I am so wrapped up in my ED, and besides... Nobody wants to watch the fat girl eat... *sigh* Sorry. I hope this makes sense. Take it however you would like to, and I wish you the best of times to come. Xx


Thank you for leaving some love x