Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dublin, Part 1

I spent the past couple of days in Dublin with my family
It is my nephew's 14th birthday soon
So it was a treat for him
I haven't been to Dublin in a long time
I did a lot of my using there
And since I have gotten clean
I rarely venture up there
Because it has so many bad memories
Because I don't want to be reminded of that time
Because I am afraid I will be triggered
But I was with my family so I felt safe

We packed a lot in to the two days
Cinema (Planet of the apes, my nephew's choice)
But to be honest
I found being there really quite upsetting
Where as my family saw shops and buildings and architecture
I saw the homeless and junkies and vagrants
Where they saw buskers and street artists
I saw beggars
Where they saw money and wealth
I saw poverty
Where they saw palaces of interest
I saw places where I used
Where I bought drugs
And took drugs
I can't help but see Dublin through those eyes

One very upsetting incident happened when we were walking down Grafton Street
Which is one of the main shopping streets
We noticed a crowd gathered
And walked over to see what it was
A young girl had collapsed in the street
From looking at her
I guesses it was drugs
It was just so distressing to see her
And it brought back so many memories of when things like that happened to me
I was that girl
The girl who looks dishevelled
Eyes pinned
Completely oblivious to what is going on around her
Someone called for an ambulance
It came with in minutes
I hoped and prayed that she would be ok

One other upsetting thing was the amount of homeless people
They were everywhere
And me being me
And knowing what it feels like to have no where to go
And to feel invisible
I had to speak to them
Just to show them that someone cares
That they are not invisible
I spoke to 3 people
The first was a man in Temple Bar
He was writing on the ground with chalk
It read

'I was once just like you
With a home, a job and things to do
But homelessness came and took that away
Now I am on my knees asking for your help today'

I threw him some money and he asked me where he was from
I told him and asked him about himself
He told me that he sleeps in doorways
That he doesn't use the hostels because they are drug ridden
We shook hands
And I moved on
I wonder where he will sleep tonight

The second girl I spoke to was also writing on the ground
I could tell by looking at her eyes that she was on heroin
So instead of giving her money
I gave her some food
She began to cry as we spoke
It was heart breaking

The last man we spoke to was quite a character
He had a dog and a rabbit each side of him
The rabbit made headlines a few years ago
When some cruel person threw him in to the river Liffey
And his owner went in to save him
It was so curious to see the rabbit just lying by his side
I'm sure his animals bring him great comfort

I enjoyed Dublin as much as I could
But I was glad to leave
Too many memories
Too many ghosts of the past
I don't belong there any more
I've moved on
And that's ok

A good time was had by all
Here are some memories......

In my Dad's house

The house I grew up in

Hanging out with Patrick Kavanagh

And Phil Lynott

Science gallery is Trinity Colleged

Buskers in Temple Bar

The homeless man I spoke to

Ha'Penny Bridge

Part 2 to follow tomorrow

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What I've learnt.....

That people are the way they are and do the things they do for a reason

That everyone has a story

That hurt people, hurt people

That the people you love the most, will hurt you the most

That not everyone wants the best for you

That people won't stay, just because you want them too

That the majority of people are good and kind

That being on drugs turned me in to a person I didn't recognize

Or like

That getting clean was one of the toughest things I ever did

But also one of the things I am most proud of

That anorexia/bulimia is never happy

They want me dead, I have no doubt about that

That a scale is not a good way to measure your worth

That weight loss to an unhealthy level makes me miserable

That I am happiest when my body and mind are healthy

That sometimes disappearing seems like the only option

That no matter how low you go, you can always turn things around

No matter what has happened in life, there is always hope


That I can become addicted to pretty much anything

That I am not and never will be perfect

That laughter truly is the best medicine

That I only am my true self around a handful of people

But it is so freeing when I am

That animals have the power to heal us

My two dogs have saved my life over and over again

That music soothes, uplifts and motivates

That writing does the same

That starting this blog is one of the better decisions I have made

That some people will use you and manipulate you if they think they can

That I am quite a shy person

That it takes time for me to open up

To never say never

That the anxiety and anticipation before an event, are usually worse than the event itself

That I need excitement in my life

That family and friends are precious

That you have to fight for what you believe in

That never giving up pays off

That everything seems worse at night

But better in the morning

That I am stronger than I ever knew

That I can now do things that I once thought were impossible

That there is always a second chance

And a third

And a fourth

That sometimes the best thing to do is nothing and wait

That life is not easy

But what is the alternative?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

And then she recovered

The original title of this blog was And then she disappeared
I kept this title for the first two years of writing this blog
Because you see I was planning to disappear
I was so entrenched in my addiction and eating disorder
That I could see  no other way out
I just wanted to disappear

But now I'm not so sure I want to
Now I see that recovery is possible
Now I don't want to disappear
I want to live for the first time in a long time
Please know that no matter how low you go
No matter how bad things get
There is always a way out
I had written myself off
I thought I was a useless waste of space
I truly hated myself and my body
Disappearing seemed like the only option I had left

But things can and do turn around
I am proof of that

I changed the name to Recovering Anorexic
As I wanted to  include recovery in the title
How ever this name just didn't sit right with me

Hydra suggested the name And then she recovered
I love it
It gives a nod to And then she disappeared
But also mentions recovery
Thank you Hydra
Hopefully I can live up to the name........

Best Feature

I remember when I was in hospital
We had a group where we each had to think of our best feature
It was the longest group
As we each tried to think of something
I remember one girl said her eyes
And another girl said her wrists (I wonder why? thinnest part of the body anyone?)
I said my eyelashes
And I stand by that
They are the only part of my body that I think is nice
They are thick and long
No need for falsies here
And weight doesn't effect them at all
They always stay the same

It feels weird to talk about liking part of my body
For a couple of reasons
Having an eating disorder
I am so used to berating myself and my body
Honing in on the the negative
And focusing solely on that

And also in this country it is frowned upon to big yourself up
If someone does this they are seen as 'big headed'
It's silly really
We should be able to acknowledge good things about ourselves
Without fear of being ridiculed

So in an effort to promote some positive body image-ness
I was wondering about you
What is your best feature?
What is the part of your body that you like the most
It could be anything
Your eyes
Your ears
Your nose
Your smile
Your knee caps
Your big toe
Your elbow

Monday, 28 July 2014

For every cloud........

It's strange how an eating disorder can change and morph over time
Rewind to 2000
I was 19 years old
And already knee deep in to a nasty heroin addiction (Is there any other kind?)
I had lost a lot of weight
But put that down to the drug
Everyone knows that drug addicts are skinny and scrawny
And I was no different
I was quite oblivious to it really
I was always quite slim anyway
Having found out about my drug use
My parents frogmarched me in to a detox unit in a hospital in Dublin
It was sheer hell
A locked ward
Cameras every where
I was a young girl from the country
Surrounded by hardened addicts
I was in way over my head

I wasn't eating
But I didn't think anything of it
Then I noticed that I was being watched at meal times
Soon after that of the nurses sat me down one day
I remember her name was Anna
I had affectionately nick-named her Anna-conda
She told me very bluntly that I had anorexia
I was beyond shocked
And refused to believe
I couldn't take it in
Not only had I a drug addiction to deal with
Now they are throwing an eating disorder at me
I was incredibly upset
I remember telling my mother that the very idea was ridiculous
I didn't want her to worry any more that she had to

After that I went out of my way to prove that I didn't have an ED
However I didn't eat
I hid food in my locker
Flushed it down the toilet
But I was still adamant that I did not have this illness
After the detox I was supposed to go to a treatment centre
However I wasn't physically strong enough so they wouldn't accept me
I was discharged from the detox unit soon after
I relapsed within hours

Around this time I continued to lose weight
But I still couldn't accept that I was ill
Back then I went for days without eating
I never felt hungry
Not eating made me feel good
I remember looking at how concave my stomach was
I was proud of it

I used to stay in my boyfriends house when I was using
There was never a scrap of food in the house
When the drugs ran out I went home to recharge my batteries
I remember being so overwhelmed by all the food
This is when I started binging and purging
I felt so guilty that I had food and my boyfriend didn't
I remember bringing bags of food out to his house for him
He was so skinny too
I always felt bigger than him

So now my eating disorder had morphed from anorexia to bulimia
But I still refused to acknowledge it
I didn't know what was happening to me
I couldn't understand it
I felt so out of control
I hated it

Over the next few years I bounced between anorexia and bulimia
I gained and lost weight over and over again
It wasn't until 2004 that I finally admitted that I had an eating disorder
I couldn't deny it any more
It was incredibly difficult to come to terms with
I didn't want to have an ED
I just wanted to be normal

I have never been able to restrict the way I did back then
Not that that's a bad thing
As I have grown older I have lost that control
Has that happened to you?
It seems that it has happened to a lot of people that I know with EDs
I don't know what happens
Maybe my body just won't let me do that any more
It craves food
It wants to be nourished
That is natural I guess

I have never fit neatly in to any one label
I have a mixture of addiction, anorexia and bulimia
I guess you would call it cross addicted
It makes life quite difficult
Because I have an addictive personality
I have to be careful
I can't drink
I have to be careful with meds
I have to be aware of it all the time

But don't feel sorry for me
Don't pity me
I have learned to live with these conditions
I am used to it
And it's not all bad
I am the person I am today because of the experiences I have had
It's made me stronger
It's made me sensitive
And empathetic
In a strange way it also brought me closer to my family
For every cloud there is a silver lining

I was wondering about
Has your eating disorder changed over time?
How so?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Recovering Anorexic

As you may know
I have been thinking about changing the name of my blog
I've been playing with the idea for some time
I thought of many
And you also suggested some
Ones that I like were
And then she escaped
And then she reappeared
But I wanted to include recovery in the title
So I went for something simple
That does what it says on the tin
Recovering Anorexic

I'm just getting used to it
And I may not even keep it
And then she disappeared has a special place in my heart
But I thought of that title because I was planning to disappear
Now I'm not so sure that I want to
Recover seems almost possible now
And I want this blog to shout that from the rooftops
I may also change my URL
I'm not sure yet


What do you think of the new title?
Do let me know........

Busy bee!

My goodness I am a busy little bee these days
Maybe because it is summer and the weather is good
Maybe because my family are on holidays
Maybe because my sister is home
What ever the reason
I am doing a lot these days
And that is a freakin' revelation my friends

For the longest time I hid away in my house
Only venturing out to walk my dogs in the morning
I spent the rest of the day in my sitting room
Sitting in front of the fire place
Binging and purging endlessly
And I don't exaggerate when I say that
It was constant
Non stop
All day
Every day

Then I used to over take my meds every day too
I sat on the rug in my living room
Drifting in and out of sleep
Dropping cigarettes
And burning holes in the rug
I don't know how many times my mother replaced that rug
And it wouldn't be long until I had it destroyed
I am happy to report that there has been a new rug in the living room for some weeks now
And not one hole in sight
It's the little things people....

On to today
My Mum, my sister, my uncle and I went to Garland Sunday in the Holy Well
Garland Sunday is a mass that is said on the last Sunday in July
I'm not particularly religious by any stretch of the imagination
But I usually go to this mass
As it is outside and in a lovely setting

I remember I was there last year and was quite ill and frail
At the end of the mass the priest asks the sick to come forward to be blessed
I remember my mother trying to talk me in to going up to get a blessing
But of course stubborn me thinking there was nothing wrong with me wouldn't go up
It was so lovely to be there this year
In a better place
And not so in need of a blessing
Last year I was so weak I had to sit for the whole ceremony
This year I was able to stand for the whole thing
And hold an umbrella
Oh the joys of recovery!

The thing is that when I was underweight
I was completely oblivious to the fact that I looked so awful
It's only now when I look back on photos that I see how truly sick I was

At this point I must say that things are not perfect
Not by a long shot
I still purge every day
Some times multiple times a day
I don't eat regularly
I still over take my meds from time to time
And I did something incredibly stupid yesterday (Which I will write about another time)
But I am doing my level best to stay as well as I can
And at this moment in time
This is as good as it gets for me
Maybe it's not true recovery
Maybe some people would laugh at my idea of recovery
But things are a whole lot better than they were
And that is enough for me right now
Maybe in the future I will feel more able to tackle these issues
But not right now
Right now I am concentrating on living as best as I can

Here are some photos from today........

PS Apologies for not replying to comments the last few days
I will be replying from today

The Holy Well

I look so squashed because I had two jackets on

Crazy Mouse

I don't tend to venture out at night too much
Usually I am in my pyjamas by early evening
I used to be a night owl in my drug addicted days
But now I am much more of a morning person
My sister and I have been talking about going out at night for a while now
And my uncle was down this weekend so we decided to go out last night
Not out as in pubs and night clubs
Just out for a little wander around

The town nearest to me is a sea side resort
All tacky souvenir shops and amusement arcades
But there is something charming about it
There is also a fun fair
I had been looking at this ride called the Crazy Mouse
And I talked my sister in to going on it with me
It didn't look too scary
It was kind of a rollercoaster that spins around
My sister was no keen at all
But after much slagging she finally decided to go on with me

We sat in to the car and put our seat belts on
As you know I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie so I was all up for it
The ride started slowly and climbed up a huge hill
Not too bad so far
But as it reached the top
It took a corner so sharply
I thought the car was going to come off the tracks
My sister shrieked her head off as we spun around and went up and down
I couldn't stop laughing
It was hilarious
I haven't laughed that much in years
My poor sister got the the worst of it
As she was on the outside of the car
It was really quite terrifying
But really really funny
My sister was hoarse from screaming when she got off
Here we are just after getting off........

I tried to get my sister to come on some more rides with me
But she wasn't having any of it
After the funfair
We hit the arcades
My sister is such a hustler
She won over 40 Euro
I won a modest 10 Euro

I have much more to tell you
But have to go now
So talk later my friends

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Live and Learn

I turn 33 in a couple of months
It's very strange to think of that
I have the body and the face of a woman in her thirties
But that's about it
I haven't really grown up or matured in any other way
I'm sure this has something to do with the fact that I started drinking and drugging so young
And developing anorexia/bulimia kept me in a child like state 
Both physically and mentally

I would say that I have the mental age of about 16
Right when I started using drugs heavily
I feel like a teenager
All moody and hormones flying all over the place
I can be very immature too
I haven't really gone through all the mile stones and rites of passage that young adults do
I haven't been to college or university
I haven't travelled much
I haven't developed as my own person
I guess I don't know myself very well

I don't know what my opinions and views are
For a long time I just agreed with who ever I was with
I just wanted so desperately to fit in and belong
To be liked
So that meant liking what you liked
Dressing the way you dress
Agreeing with what ever you said
I remember when I moved to Dublin
I wanted to be accepted so much that I acquired a Dublin accent

It is only now at the age of 32 that I am starting to get to know myself
It is only now that I realise that I don't have to be liked by everyone
I don't have to please everyone
It's ok to have my own views and opinions
And just because we don't agree doesn't mean that we can't get along
It's healthy to disagree and have opposing views

I guess I was a people pleaser
I think this stems from being bullied as a child
I lived in a small town
And my parents were both teachers in schools in the town
Because of this I was a target for bullies
My mother taught in school that was considered quite rough
I got a really hard time from some of the students from that school
It wasn't really serious
General teasing and slagging
But it made my life a misery
It seems that I have been bullied in one way or another my whole life
So I came to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me
I set to make sure that everyone would like me
I wanted to be the perfect person
But of course that is impossible

Because of the bullying
I started profiling people
And putting them in categories
People I felt comfortable enough around to be myself
People I felt intimidated by
People who I wanted to like me
People I admired
People who I scared me
I still do this automatically
But not as much as I used to

For the longest time not being liked was the worst thing that I could think of
If someone didn't like me
I took it incredibly personally
And analysed the situation to death
It's only now that I am learning and accepting that it's ok not to be liked by everyone
In fact it's impossible to be liked by everyone
And that's ok
I am ok
I am enough
Just the way I am
That is massive for me to realise
That I don't have to try and impress people in order for them to like me
I don't have to lie to make myself more interesting
I don't have to people please
I just have to be me
If you like me
That's great
If you don't
That's ok too

I am only just getting to know myself
I have a lot of work to do
A lot of growing up to do
I guess I live quite a sheltered and protected life
My Mother said to me yesterday that I need to toughen up a bit
And not to beat myself up so much
I am a big softie
Although I do have an inner bitch that I unleash now and again
Usually at the most inappropriate time
Sometimes I wonder if I let people take advantage of me
And use me
Because I don't speak up for myself enough
I put my own needs last

In real life I am quite shy
I only really open up if I know you well
Take my sister for instance
We get on really well
And laugh all the time
I can be my crazy bat shit self around her
And she doesn't bat an eyelid
But generally I hold back around people
And suppress my personality a lot
Because I want to liked
I want to fit in
I would so love to be able to be myself more
The reason I love writing and blogging so much
Is that I would much rather write than speak
With writing I can get my words out at my own pace
I can think about what I want to say
And choose my words carefully
I feel much more able to express myself with writing
In real life I have a very quiet voice
And can be not heard or overlooked
That doesn't happen with writing

I guess this is all part of life
And recovery
I live and learn
I make mistakes
And experience setbacks
And that's ok
It's all part of it
It's ok to mess up
It's ok to try and fail
It's ok to make mistakes
The trick is to learn from them
I happen to be someone that has made a lot of mistakes in life
But then I am the type of person who has to learn the hard way
You can't tell me
I have to experience it for myself

For a long time I believed that I was a bad person
And I still do to a certain extent
It seems that I store up all the bad things that I have done in my life
And file them under 'Ruby is a bad person' in the back of my head
I pull it out regularly and give myself a good beating
I'm still not sure if I am a good person or not
I know that I want to be a good person
I want to do the right thing
Make good choices
And lead a good life
But no body is perfect
I am not perfect
And I have to accept that
Life will throw me curve balls
It will deal me some dodgy cards
I will mess up
I will do and say the wrong thing sometimes
And that's ok
It's ok

I'm not sure if this post made a lot of sense
But I needed to write this today
I need to know that I am ok
That everything is exactly as it should be
I am doing the best I can
Considering what I have been through in life
I am not doing too badly
Not too shabby at all

How to get a bikini body........

Friday, 25 July 2014


Is it just me or is the blogosphere very quiet at the moment?
I cleaned up my blog list
And so many bloggers have disappeared
Where have they gone?
Did they recover?
I hope so
I truly hope so
I hope they told their ED to f**k right off
But the reality is that some will have got well
Some will still be in the horror that is their ED
And just can't bring themselves to write about it anymore
And some may have died
That is the harsh reality

But for every blog that disappears
Two new ones pop up
I feel very ambivalent about this
It's lovely to make new friends here
But I also hate to see more girls suffering
Living in the twilight that is this illness
Some are so very young
It's so sad

I have a friend who thinks that ED blogging is very unhealthy
She thinks that behaviours get rewarded here with comments
She is also very cynical about comments that express love
I think that she has a point
Blogging about our EDs can be very unhealthy
It can keep us locked in to the disorder
Or should I say it keeps me locked in
Not only do I think about my ED all day
But I write about it too
It's never far from my thoughts
It can be an obsession
I know very few things capture my attention the way my ED does
And 9 out of 10 posts on this blog are eating disordered related

So is it unhealthy to blog about EDs
The honest answer is I'm not sure
I know people who have fully recovered and still blog daily about their ED
And I know some very ill people who do the same
I guess the difference is your mindset
And why you are writing about it

For me blogging has mostly been a healthy experience
I know better than to read blogs that trigger me
And have had to unfollow a lot of blogs
I write my version of living with an ED
And trying to recover
I don't condone EDs
I am not pro ana or any thing like it
I write about my experiences
I tell my story as best I can
In the hope that it will help someone

As I said
I tried to take a break from blogging
But it didn't last
I need to write
I need to feel a connection with others
I love to get feedback
I love to give feedback
So I guess I will blog as long as it continues to help me and others

I was wondering about you
What is your experience of blogging?
Has it been helpful/unhelpful?
How so?