Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Her story

I was listening to the radio this morning
As I walked my dogs
I love listening to phone in and chat shows
There's something comforting about listening to others speak 
And not having to contribute
I usually listen to the same show every day
It's a phone in show, with all sorts of topics and guests
I can't walk without listening to something
Because I don't want to listen to my own head

This morning a girl called Ciara was interviewed 
The chat started out in a general way
And I wasn't sure about where it was going
Ciara spoke about when she was a child
And how she compared herself to others
And how she felt ugly
She was bullied as a child
And this confirmed all the negative beliefs she had about herself
I think I knew where this was heading
As it sounded very much like my own story 
As a teenager Ciara developed anorexia
She stopped eating
Or purged anything she did eat
And started exercising
Her family got her in to therapy
But she was totally resistant to it
Ciara described herself as a perfectionist
A stereo typical anorectic 

When age was a bit older
Ciara was admitted to John of Gods psychiatric hospital in Dublin
And did the eating disorder programme there 
Under Dr. Terence Larkin
My ears pricked up as I heard this
As this is the hospital I've been in many times
I had to laugh as I heard her comment that Dr. Larkin wore lovely socks
Because he did!

She described how she played the staff there
Toms them what they wanted to hear
But still maintained her disorder
She also described how she picked up tricks in hospital from the other girls
I am with Ciara in this one
Sometimes hospital can be like a school for EDs
You learn more about the disorder
Maybe how to purge
How to manipulate your weight
How to hide your disorder
Similar to a criminal going to prison and becoming a better criminal
Going to treatment can help you learn more about your disorder

This admission didn't work
And Ciara continued to starve and purge
She was then admitted to St. Patrick's hospital in Dublin
Where she completed the eating disorder programme there
I was also I this hospital
However my experience was not as positive as Ciaras 
This was the start of her recovery
Then her Grandad died 
And Ciara began to re evaluate her life
She began seeing a therapist in her home town
And described how she saved her life
She is now in recovery
She also writes a good blog over on Wordpress 
Which I had a look at

I loved listening to Ciaras story
It is similar to mine
And yet different 
She says herself that she is lucky to be alive 
I feel that way too
I was just talking with my addiction counsellor Breda yesterday
How I am so lucky to have made it out relatively unscathed
Considering what I have been through
I am not doing too badly 
Ciaras story is testament to how things can turn around for us
That there is always hope
And recovery is always possible
She described how recovery is not a destination
It's a process
We never arrive at recovery
We are always on a stage of it

I have no doubt that I was meant to hear this story today
I firmly believe that situations are put in our way to help us
We all have a story
And those of us with EDs and addiction have a very important story
I am hoping that through this blog
That my story resonates with someone
And helps them feel not so alone
My blog is not about telling people how to recover
Heck, I am only just figuring that out for myself
But my blog is as much for you as it is for me
I love to read honesty
And gear honesty at meetings 
When I hear honesty
It almost gives me permission to be honest to
And that in turn encourages others to be honest
It's s chain reaction

I am doing well at the moment
I met a good friend yesterday
Someone that I haven't seen in years
We went for tea
Had a great chat
And then got a meeting
Meetings are helping more than anything right now
I'm getting out
Meeting people
Talking to people
Making new friends
It's truly amazing how things can turn around

I am full of hope these days 
Not just for me
But for you too
Hearing Ciaras story today has done me the world of good 
It just goes to show
That if you surround yourself with positive people and things
Then that will rub off on you

Today is a good day 
Everything is exactly how it should
And I for one am glad to be alive 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sunday

It was this morning
The same as any other Sunday morning
Except the clocks had gone forward 
And confused me so I had got up an hour earlier than I would normally
I watched tv for a while
And drifted in and out of sleep
I finally managed to wake up at about 10am
Got myself together 
And brought the dogs for a walk
It rained 
We got soaked
And headed back to the house
Marie texted
We arranged to meet at the lunch time meeting
I changed my clothes
And got ready for the meeting
Jumped in my car
And headed off

I think a lot when I drive
I couldn't tell you what I was thinking about
I know I was driving through the village
Mass was just over and there were air of people milling about
Cars pulling in and out
I was driving slowly 
Was just driving by a junction
When I saw it
A green jeep
There are a lot of green jeeps around where I live
And everytime I see one my heart stops
I scanned the registration plate
It was his
My heart now started to palpitate 
He was at the junction
So I drove right by his eyeline
I didn't look to see if it was him
I knew it was
I wanted to put my foot down and get the hell out of there
But the car in front of me slowed to a crawl
It seemed to take forever for me to drive past
I don't know if he saw me
I don't really care
But by the time I got to the meeting 
I was a mess
I had to sit in my car for a couple of minutes
And just breathe
And calm down
I managed to compose myself
And headed in to the meeting 

I guess it was bound to happen 
I was bound to run in to him sooner or later
In reality we frequent the same villages and towns
This is a small area
It was always going to happen
But still
I wasn't prepared for it
And it rattled me something serious
Just knowing that he is around unsettles me

But how and ever
It happened 
I survived 
I'm sure it will happen again
And I will survive that too

In other news
I reconnected with an old friend yesterday
When I first moved here
I used to attend meetings regularly
I mentioned in my last post that I was friendly with two of the men
One of the men in particular became a family friend
I guess he was like a sponsor to me really
We were friends for years
But I went of the rails
And pulled away from him and all my friends
I've spoke to him maybe a couple of times in the last few years
And yesterday I rang him
He didn't know who it was at first
I kept him guessing 
When he heard me speak
He knew then
It was so good to speak to him
And he was delighted to hear from me
We arranged to meet tomorrow and then get a meeting in
He's someone that I want in my life

So I am doing ok
Keeping close to good friends
Getting a lot of meetings
Staying out of trouble
I'm trying
And that's the main thing

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Saturday

Another day 
Another meeting 
Myself and Marie decided to go to the next town for our meetibg yesterday 
Just for a change
And I wanted to reconnect with people who I used to know
I moved to this area 10 years ago this summer
And started going to meetings pretty much straight away
Mostly NA
But there were only two a week back then
Now there's one most days
Back then there was very few women at the meetings
Do I used to hang around with the men
There were two men in particular that I was very close to
They were in their fifties 
But I got on great with them
One especially became a family friend 
And was a great support to my mother also
Over time o drifted away from the meetings
And over the next few years I was in and out of the rooms regularly

So I picked Marie up at about 7pm
And we headed in to town
We arrived a few minutes late 
And skipped in to the room and in to two free chairs
I recognised a couple of faces straight away
And whispered hello
It was only when I looked around
That I realised that it was all males
I suddenly had a thought that maybe this was an all male meeting
I was going to ask 
But I figured someone would have said if it was

I sat beside a guy who I used to be great friends with
His name is Damien
Back in 2007/2008 we spent a lot of time together
It was around then that I was hospitalised  for my anorexia
I remember Damien calling up to me every evening
He would bring the paper
And we would do the crossword
We were constantly in and out of the ward going for cigarettes
Him pushing me in my wheelchair
And me in my fleecy pyjamas and hat and scarf 
Trying to ward off the cold that had hit in to my bones
He was a great friend
But again
We drifted apart
I was slipping and sliding
And he moved on
It was so good to see him last night
We had a big hug
And a quick catch up after the meeting
He asked about my mum
And the dogs
And we laughed about old times
It did my soul good

It was quite nerve racking being in a meeting of all fellas
And they were young guys too
I could feel my heart thumping in my chest as I tried to muster up the courage to speak
But I did it 
I shared about where I am at
And how I'm trying to get back on track

There was one guy there who I've known on and off for years 
When he was sharing
He said it was really good to see me
He said that he remembered a meeting once where it was just him and me
I could feel the anxiety in me rising
I remember that meeting
I shared something with him that I really regret
I won't go in to what I said 
But let's just say it left me in a very vulnerable position
I had hoped this guy had forgotten about it 
But he obviously hasn't
It made me feel super uncomfortable
 
Apart from that
It was a great meeting
I really got a lot out of it
It was so lovely to see some familiar faces
And so good to the amazing recovery that people have
I want that 
I want to be well so badly now
They say in meetings
That the only requirement is a desire to stop using and drinking
I can honestly say now
 That I have that desire 
And the more meetings I go to
And the more I listen to others share
It confirms in my mind that this is the right thing to do
And I am on the right path
I just feel so blessed
And so very lucky 
To have been given this second chance
And if a relapse was what it took to get me here
Then I can honestly say that it was worth it
They say everything happens for a reason
I subscribe to that way of thinking for sure

At the end of the meeting 
It was asked if anyone had any recognised clean time
One guy had a year
And everyone clapped
Then I was asked how long I was clean
I said three weeks
And everyone clapped and said well done
I know three weeks isnt a long time
But to me it's a first step

I am now a week back at meetings
And I am reaping the benefits in so many ways
My head is a much nicer place to be 
I feel so much more positive
I actually don't mind living in reality when I feel like this
I have no cravings
No urge to drink or use
No desire to contact The Boy
He now seems like a distant memory
I have hope now
Hope that there is life beyond my ED and addiction
Hope that I can be the person that I've always wanted to be
A good person 
A person who does the right thing
Someone you can rely on
And also the social side of meetings is great
I'm meeting so many people
And that is great for me
I was spending so much time on my own
That I forgot how nice it feels to be around people
To chat
To laugh
To identify and relate
To connect
To hug 
You can't beat that feeling 
And of course my feeling better has rippled out to the rest of my family
They can see that I am making the effort
And although they might not fully trust me yet
They can relax a little

Myself and Marie were chatting on the way home from the meeting
She really has been such a good friend to me
When a lot of people would have nothing to do with me
She was always there
Never gave up on me 
That means so much to me and I am eternally grateful to her
I used to wonder why I attracted unsavoury people
Crazy people
Junkies 
Trouble makers
I now see that it was because like attracts like
I have out those vibes
And so attracted those types of people
But now the opposite seems to be happening
I seem to be attracting good people
Honest people 
And that is amazing 
It means that they are the kind of vibes that I am sending out
That makes me feel so happy

It's funny 
As quickly as life can go down hill
It can also turn around just as fast
I feel hopeful now
Like I really have a chance to get my life back on track
I have been through a lot in my 33 years
I'm lucky to have made it this far relatively unscathed
I believe my struggles have a purpose
I'm not entirely sure what that purpose is yet
But I'm sure if I keep doing the right thing
Then more will be revealed 

Tonight Marie and I are going to another new meeting
And I am glad to say that I am looking forward to it
It's a good day today
It good to be alive and kicking
To feel good in myself
Now I just have to work hard to maintain this feeling
I hope I can do it
I think I can 
I really think I can 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Anyone out there?

My goodness the blogosphere is quiet these days 
Do you find that?
Hardly any new posts pop up in my reader
And it seems more and more people are abandoning their blogs 
I still wonder what happened to Rayya?
Winter?
Thinderella?
And so many more
I'm wondering why it's so quiet at the moment 
I mean is it just a lull?
Or is blogger old news?
Is Instagram and Twitter more popular these days?
I guess people prefer to look at photos
Rather than read a body of text
And here in our little ED corner of the blogosphere
We are all about the story
More so than photographs

Do you find it quiet at the moment?
Why do you think that is?

Neighbours

I think I mentioned recently that one of my neighbours died 
An elderly man
Now his wife is left alone
I call over a few times a week to run some errands for her 
And walk her dog 
Yesterday she asked me to pick up a couple of things for her from the shop in the village
I collected the items today
And called over to her
Her hearing is quite bad 
She doesn't hear the doorbell
So usually I give a loud knock 
And let my self in
I walked through the living room
And in to the kitchen 
She had her back to me
And got a bit startled when I said her name
Just then I realised what she was doing
She was pouring herself a glass of white wine
It was 10 30 am

I didn't know what to do
So I said nothing 
And acted like I hadn't seen anything
Then she told me she was planning on driving to the church down the road
I became worried as it is dangerous for her to drive at all
Never mind when she has drink on her

This makes me worry
I've known for some time that this woman and her husband like to drink
A lot
They met in AA over 20 years ago
But some where along the road 
They started drinking again
The woman was hospitalised a couple of years ago due to complications from drinking
She was in hospital for months
It was nothing short of a miracle that she pulled through
There has been trouble in that house over the years
Disruption
The guards were called numerous times
They often injured themselves from falling over while drunk
And then a couple of months ago 
The husband suffered a stroke
His wife didn't call the ambulance until three days later
As she though he was slurring his words and having trouble moving because he was drunk
He was hospitalised
And died six weeks later 

Now the woman is on her own
Her mind is sharp
But her body is old and weary
She really can't afford to be drinking
If something happens to her
If she falls or passes out 
There is no one there to help her
It's really very worrying

This is the ugly face of addiction
This is what happens when it gets a grip on someone 
All common sense and logic goes out the window
And the drink or drug takes over
If I need a reminder of the damage that addiction does
I need look no further than in to this woman's house
She is very much on her own 
No one ever calls to her house
She rarely seems to see her family
It's a sad and lonely existence 

Today is Day 5 for me
I got to two meetings yesterday 
An AA at lunch time
And an NA last night
It was my first NA meeting
And what a breath of fresh air it was
It was a small meeting
Four guys and me
I was so warmly welcomed back
Which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside
I just have such a good feeling about this
About recovery 
My meetings 
And the people in them
I have an instinct that I am on the right path
That if I keep recovery focused
Then I can get my life back on track

When I was using
I was behaving so out of character
So shady
Lying 
Cheating
Sneaking
Plotting and planning
Ducking and diving
Trying to hide it from my family
The tension in the house 
The worry on my mothers face
No drug is worth that 
No drug is worth my peace of mind and my families too
Now I am getting back on track
My family can breathe a sigh of relief
They don't fully trust me yet
That will take time 
And I understand that
I am willing to do the work
One day at a time 

I've had to stop weighing myself
It was becoming a bit of an obsession
And anyway 
I've been the same weight for the past few months
Give or take a kilo 
I'm not entirely happy with my weight 
I would love to be 5 - 6 pounds less
But I can live with this weight
Just about

So I am in a pretty good place 
My head is a quiet place today
I'm working hard to stay well 
To keep steady 
To stay clean and sober
To nurture my relationships
And earn back trust 
I was saying last night 
That maybe it took this relapse to get me back on track
And if it did 
Then it was so worth it
I regret nothing it's made me the person I am today 
And that person is not a bad person 

I will get a meeting in tonight 
And a couple over the weekend 
I'm actually looking forward to it
And that my friends
Is a freakin' revelation!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Day 3

Technically today is Day 5
But it's my third meeting so we will call it Day 3
I got to the lunch time meeting today 
And will go to the 7pm NA this evening
Which will be my first NA meeting
It's great to have lunch time meetings to go to
Because some days it can feel like forever waiting for the evening meeting 
And it's great to start the day off on a good start
Chicken soup for the soul
I know I would go everyday if they were on
But I get to about 3 or 4 a week
And that is great

It was a small meeting today
Just six of us
Creepy man was there 
So I did my best to avoid him
It was a lovely meeting
Some people were talking about nature and animals
So when it was my turn
I shared about Honey and Lea
And how much they have helped me
I also spoke about Lea 
And how her fur fell out when I went in to hospital
And then grew back when I began to recover
So I really enjoyed the meeting
I am getting used to speaking in front of others
And don't get so anxious before hand

I had a phone call from Mary's secretary
To tell me that Mary had to cancel today's appointment
I am disappointed
But hopefully will get to see her next week
It's something to look forward to

My confidence is slowly coming back
It really was non existent
I felt so low in myself
Couldn't find any redeeming features about myself
I felt like I left a trail of destruction in my wake
That I hurt everyone around
A burden
A no good
Eating disordered
Drug addicted
Useless
Waste of space
I really thought I had nothing to offer
That I was bad through and through
Bad to the bone
But you what I am starting to realise?
That I am not a bad person
I never was
Yes
I have done some amazingly stupid things in my time 
If there was a stupid Olympics 
I would win gold every time
But the person who hurt the most through all my shenanigans 
Was me
Now that I am clean and sober
I know that deep down 
I am inherently good
I want to do the right thing
I don't want to hurt myself or others
I want to be a good person

It's amazing the difference a few days and a few meetings can make
Almost three weeks ago
My world came tumbling down 
As my family found out about my using 
It rocked them to the core
My mother, my sister and I
Stood in my bedroom
Them demanding that I get rid of any drugs that were in the house
And my refusing to do it in front of them
I honestly can't remember the last time I saw my Mum so angry and upset
It shocked me

Fast forward three weeks
And things are a lot better
As quickly as things can go downhill
The can also turn around just as quickly
I fought with myself for so long about meetings 
And struggled to accept that I needed them
I wanted to do things my way
The Ruby way
It might have worked in the short term
But if I want a life free from drink and drugs
Then I need to have some sort of plan
And meetings are a good plan
I'm not entirely sure why they are so effective
Essentially an AA or NA meeting is a gathering of addicts
Who come together to exchange their experience, strength and hope
We sit and share
About our lives
And our addiction 
And most importantly about out recovery
I always come out of a meeting re energised 
And full of hope
They do the trick every time 

Now I am wondering why I avoided meetings for so long
I bobbed along 
On my own
Running on the fumes of recovery 
Holding on by my finger nails
It took me way too long to find my way back to the rooms
But at least I got there

I feel like I have a chance now
A chance of a good life 
Free from drink and drugs
And all the bullshit that goes with them
There is a woman at the meetings who calls the chairs 'priceless' seats 
She is right 
Those seats are precious 
And not to be taken for granted 
I just feel very grateful today 
For meetings
For my family 
My friends 
And my dogs
As they say
Count your blessings slowly
And one at a time 

Meetings, Mary and many deep breathes

As I am finding out
90 meetings in 90 days is not as straight forward as you may think
I was due to go to an evening meeting last night
But then couldn't go as my meds had me quite sleepy 
And I didn't want to drive
So today is Day  3
And I am going to go to two today to make up for yesterday
Even though I'm only back at meetings a short while
I can already feel the benefits
My mood has lifted
I'm not craving a drink or drugs 
My head is clearer
The committee isn't as loud
I'm being more sociable
And my family have noticed too
I'm not so moody
Or irritable
Dare I say it
I'm behaving more like a normal person

Oh and I have some great news
I am seeing Mary today!
She rang me last week to arrange an appointment
And I am super excited to see her
For those of you that don't know
Mary is my ED therapist
I saw her for three years before the funding for her job was cut
But thankfully she has now been reinstated in her position
And I for one am delighted to have her back in my life
Mary is by far the best counsellor I have seen
I've seen many over the years
And most have tried to help
But only a couple really managed to

No doubt Mary will weigh me today
Which I am not looking forward to
When I last saw her
I was bordering on a healthy weight
But I'm sure that I look a lot different to the last time she saw me
I just keep having to remind myself that I am of a normal healthy weight
My weight is stable at a BMI of 20
And that is good

I still weigh myself every morning
For the last few mornings I've been bang on the same weight
I am ok with it
I'm not ecstatic about
I would love to weight five pounds less
But I accept this weight
And I am not actively trying to change it
But still
It will be hard to stand on another unfamiliar scale

In this country
We are known for our drinking
That's a stereotype
But we do as a nation drink a lot
However 
Over the last few years 
Another craze has taken off
And that is fitness
In all forms
Running
Walking 
Jogging 
Cycling
Spinning 
Yoga
Pilates 
Cyclists regularly use our road 
And there are many  MAMILS
( Middle aged men in Lycra)
Now every where you look 
There are people kitted out in running gear
The colourful trainers
Tight black running leggings
Head bands
Hats
And of course headphones
They are everywhere
I see them when I walk my dogs 
When I look out my window
Buying healthy food in the supermarket
Going in to/ coming out of the gym
Oh yes
This new breed of people are taking over

I'm not a huge fan of working out 
Only that I have two dogs
I probably wouldn't walk every day
I tried running a couple of times
And hated every second of it
I don't wear proper work out clothes
And don't own a pair of trainers specifically for running 
When I walk I usually wear a track suit or jeans
And my high tops
I always feel over dressed as I pass all you lycra  loving ladies 

Why am I writing about this?
I guess because I'm feeling the pressure to fit in
To swap my high tops for high preformence trainers
And my comfy jeans for colourful Lycra
I feel the pressure to start jogging
To move more 
And eat less
I feel left out because I am not part of the 'fitness gang'

Years ago it was the trend to be super skinny
Now it seems to be all about getting healthy, strong and fit 
Which is more preferable to bring thin
But there is still pressure to conform 
I definitely feel it
But I know I have to be careful
As my ED can take over
And obsession kicks in
I guess a lot of us have to watch that
It would be nice to find a happy balance
To exercise for enjoyment and health
And not to lose weight

I was wondering about you
Do you feel pressure to exercise and work out?
Have you ever like me battled exercise addiction?
Do you exercise now?
I'd love to know 


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Sobriety?

This comment was left on my blog yesterday

Sobriety? How many mls of methadone are you on again?

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls
And shouldn't give this person any more attention
I should really ignore and move on
I shouldn't let this person get to me
But I have 
And I take issue with this comment

Anonymous I think you know exactly how many mls of methadone I am on
26
I know that technically I am still dependant on a drug
I am also on various other medication
They have all been prescribed to me by my doctor
It's not like I am buying these drugs on the street
And taking them as I see fit
My meds are dispensed daily 
And I don't abuse them in the way that I used to

Methadone seems to polarise people
You either agree with it
Or you don't
Methadone has a bad reputation
It conjures up images of pale vacant junkies
'The walking dead' as one newspaper here called them recently
Methadone means trouble to a lot of people
And like any group of people
There are always some bad eggs
But there are also people like me
People who use it correctly
And are working to come off it completely
I'm not a trouble maker
I don't sell my methadone
Yes I messed up recently
But I am doing my level best to get back on track

Maybe in your eyes I am not clean anonymous
But I am as clean as I can get right now
Yes, I am physically dependant on methadone
But isn't that miles better than being addicted to heroin
Existing in that murky under world of addiction
I'm not committing crimes to get my drug
My life is not chaotic or unmanageable
For the most part I am stable
I am steady
I am doing the best I can

I've been getting quite a few negative and nasty comments recently
It seems that some people are not willing to give me a second chance
Of course when I write a post
I put myself out there for everyone to see
And with the positive
There is also negative
I understand that
And it's ok
Everyone is entitled to their opinion
And freedom of speech
But there is no excuse for smart arse comments
Written anonymously of course

I was wondering about you
Do you ever get nasty comments?
How did you deal with them?
Do you think it's best to ignore them?
Or do you reply to them?
I'd love to know......

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Day 2, again

I got to a lunch time meeting today
Technically I am on Day 4 of the 90 day challenge 
But today is only my second meeting
So I am counting it as Day 2
I wasn't particularly looking forward to the meeting
At one stage I wasn't going to go at all
And was going to stay at home and over use my meds
But 
I managed to get off my bony bum
And go to the meeting
There was about 12 there today
A good mixture of people
I still get quite nervous when it's my turn to speak
But today I managed to speak more than I usually would
My ex sponsor was at the meeting
I am thinking of asking her to be my sponsor again
As I definitely need one

I'm really feeling the benefits of going to meetings
It gives me a purpose each day
Something healthy to throw myself in to
My head feels a lot clearer
And the committee is a lot quieter
I feel stronger
More capable and able
More positive and hopeful
Socially it's great too
As I am meeting new people 
And talking to people
All in all
Going back to meetings was one of my better ideas 

So it's onwards and upwards from here
Plenty of meetings 
Seeing my friends
Getting out the front door
And living my life
I also had to do a lot of accepting
Accept that I can't use or drink
At all
Accept that I am an addict
That I have an addictive personality
I've had to accept that I need meetings
But that not every one at the meetings is well
I've had to filter out a lot of the shite that is talked at meetings 
And listen carefully to the people who are healthy and strong in their recovery 
Unfortunately they seem to be in the minority

Anyway
I will keep going
Keep fighting
For a better life
For a future
For peace of mind
And sanity
What is the alternative......?

Calling all readers!

This blog gets quite a lot of hits every day
Any where between 300 - 1000
I look at my statistics and see that people from the four corners of the earth read it
From the U.S. to Australia
From the UK to Singapore 
From Spain to Mexico
However 
I only really know a small percentage of you
And only a small percentage of that actually leave a comment
Of course I know some of you
The regulars you might call them
And I look forward to hearing from you each post
But today I want to reach out to those of you that don't comment
You silent readers
Or lurkers
Whether you read every day
Or drop by from time to time
Whether you have commented before 
Or never commented at all
If you have an eating disorder
Or some other mental illness
If like me you struggle with addiction
Or are trying to maintain your sobriety
If you comment anonymously 
Or use a fake name
If you are lonely
Afraid
If you feel like you are dying inside
Or maybe you are embracing recovery
If you read to relate
Or you read and count your lucky stars you're not like me
Maybe you don't like me
Maybe you are one of those anonymous commenters who gives me a hard time
Whoever you are
And where ever you are from
I Invite you today to come out of the shadows 
And let me know who you are
What your name is
Why you read 
Why you visit my blog
Why you agree or disagree with me
I invite you to introduce yourself
I'd love to meet you......

Monday, 23 March 2015

Day 3

Just to give you an update on the 90 day challenge
It's turning out not to be as straight forward as I thought

Monday is doctor day as you know
I was up early 
And my mum the dogs and I headed in to the surgery
Mum took the dogs for a walk while I went to see my doctor
He asks how I am
I explain that I am doing better
And getting to more meetings
He asks me to do a drug test
Which is no problem as I know I haven't used 
The only reason it will be positive is if there are still reminints of the drug in my system
I retire to the rest room
And do the delicate balancing act of peeing in to a little cup
Thankfully I go with little effort
I clean up
And flush
And head back in to my doctor
He checks it after a minute
It's negative
That's good
That's progress I think
At least now I know I am drug free

The next topic he brings up is that of my methadone reduction
He reminds me we were going to drop it today
I ask if we can wait one more week
He agrees
I am relieved 

I go and collect my meds
And head down to the beach to meet my mum
I take my meds in the car
I am still on daily dispensing
My doctor told me he will change that next week
We head home
And I sleep for a few hours
Mum goes to work at about four 
She tells me I shouldn't go in to town tonight as the weather is due to be bad
I had planned to go to a meeting
And I really wanted to go 
Against my better judgement 
I set off for the meeting at eight
However about 10 minutes later I have to pull in
As it is beginning to sleet
I ring my dad to ask him if the weather was due to get worse
He said it was 
And suggested I turn back
I don't want to
But I know it would be foolish to continue on
So I swing my car around 
And head home

I feel mildly annoyed that I didn't get to my meeting
As I really wanted to do 90 in 90 days
But as my mum said
I did my best to get there
My intentions were good
And I can make up for it during the week

The next meeting is tomorrow lunch time
So I am looking forward to that
I know that sometimes the universe conspires 
And life doesn't turn out the way we want or expect
And that's ok
Shit happens
Tomorrow is a new day
And all I can do is my best 

Stereotype

I was reading an article in the Sunday Times magazine yesterday
It was an exert from a book called The time in between: A memoir of hunger and hope
Written by Nancy Tucker
Who developed anorexia when she was a teenager
The pieces started off with Nancy talking about her need or desire to be perfect
In school
Her work
Her appearance
Her body
I guess the stereotype for an anorectic is a middle class white girl
Privileged 
Prone to perfectionism
A good girl
Although that's not entirely true
The stereotype persists
Nancy developed anorexia at the tender age of twelve
And was locked in a battle of wills either parents for the next few years
She was hospitalised
Dropped out of school
Her whole world became about avoiding eating
She just wanted to be thin
But of course anorexia becomes something else entirely
A prison 
A locked box that is nigh impossible to break out of

When Nancy was 15
She stopped eating completely
A single morsel didn't pass her lips for 93 days
She came to the realisation that she was going to die if something didn't change
She wanted to recover like 'the homeless want three inches of snow'
But she she knew she needed to
If she wanted to live
Slowly Nancy began to recover
She regained weight
And got her life back
She describes recovery as 'an up and down, hop-skip-jump progression and once you reach the finish line the referee will inform you that in fact - surprise! There is no finish. There is only a bumbling, stumbling, getting back up and crumbling now. There is only today'.

This article was a fascinating read
I could identify with some parts
Some parts I couldn't 
I don't fit neatly in to the diagnosis of anorexia
I was never the 'good girl'
The high achiever
The perfectionist
I was always pushing the boundaries
Seeing how far I could go
I guess in the early years of my illness
I was strictly anorectic 
But even then it wasn't straight forward
I was addicted to drugs
And so wasn't aware of my ED for the first few years
And over time
I developed bulimia alongside it
Complicating things further

Bulimia is the antithesis of anorexia
As I always say
If anorexia is cold and silent and aloof
The bulimia is loud and brash and on your face
Anorexia is all about denial 
Restriction 
Punishment
Bulimia is all about indulging
Over indulging
Trying to flip that hole in the soul
Then purging the body of the excess
They are opposites
But on the same spectrum
Both serve the same purpose
To numb
To escape 
To hurt
And they do that job well

I guess I am a mixture of anorexia and bulimia
I swing between the two
And could display behaviours of either on a given day 
Take yesterday
I didn't eat anything for about 20 hours
But this morning
It's only 11am
And I've already eaten crisps and chocolate 
Like I say
It's one extreme or the other

Recovery is a tentative word at the moment
I'm as well as I can be
I haven't used in two weeks 
But my meds are still a bit all over the place
This week I am thinking of giving my meds to a family member to dole out to me every day
Just while I get back on track
As for my ED
As I said 
I think this is as good as it gets for me right now
My weight is stable
But the purging persists
Some days I might purge once
Some days it could be five times
But this is a vast improvement 
I think back to 18 months ago
I was out of control
Smoking 30 cigarettes a day
And spending €100 euro on them
That left me with about €90 for the week
And that went on binge food
This is also part of the reason I used to shoplift
Some thing I haven't done in a long time now thankfully
I spent my days binging and purging
I had a path worn from my kitchen to my bathroom
Endlessly marching the March of an active bulimic
Ovet working the toilet
To the point of breaking it on two occasions 
I was a mess

I am now just a year in to my recovery
My mood has improved dramatically
My anxiety is under control for the most part
My health is infinitely better
Both mentally and physically
My quality of life is so much better
And now my addiction recovery has started
It's sad that it took a relapse for me to finally see I needed help
But
It takes what it takes
Now I feel like I am on the right path
I feel motivated and positive and hopeful
I feel like I have a shot at having a good life
A sober life
Today is Day 3 of my challenge 
I'm hoping to get to a meeting tonight
And I'm feeling nervous already 
All I can go is my best 
That is enough

I say my doctor this morning
He drug tested me
And my urine is now negative for everything
That feels good 
Now I know the drugs have left my body
And I can concentrate on getting on with the rest of my life

I was wondering about you
Do you fit the stereotype for anorexia or bulimia?
What do you identify as ED wise?
Do you think the stereotype for anorexia is accurate?
I'd love to know what you think......

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Day 2

So it's Day 2
And I still feel excited about the 90 day challenge 
I woke early
Determined again to stay busy again so the committee it my head wouldn't talk me out of going
Physically I'm not feeling great
As I have my period
I had to drag my weary body out of bed this morning
But I'm so glad I did

I had to leave my sister at the bus stop
As she is going away for a few days
Then walked Honey and Lea
Came home
Quick cuppa
Got changed
And set off to collect Marie
We arrived at the venue
I had butterflies in my tummy
I hadn't been to this meeting in years
And was nervous to say the least

We went in and took our seats
I watched the people coming in
Some I recognised 
Some I didn't 
I had already decided that I wasn't going to speak
I just didn't have the courage or confidence
For those of you that don't know
It goes like this
Someone opens the meeting
And reads the preamble 
And the steps
Then someone else does 'The top table'
Which means they share their story of addiction and recovery
It's always great to listen to these speakers
It was just what I needed to hear today

One by one
Everyone spoke
Until it was just me left 
I was so nervous
But somehow I got the words out

My name is Ruby 
And I'm an addict

I haven't said those words in such a long time
But they are so true
I am an addict
A recovering addict
I spoke briefly about how I had just returned to meetings after a relapse
And that I was very grateful to have made it back in to the rooms
Relatively unscathed
When I had finished speaking
The woman next to me 
Reached over and took my hand
I was really touched

All in all
The meeting lasted two hours
Which is unusually long
But it did the trick
As it always does
And reminded me why I need the rooms
And the people in them

Tomorrow will be my first evening meeting
Which will be harder to get to I think
As I will have all day to deal with my crazy head
And the argument back and forth of whether I should or shouldn't go
But
I'll deal with that tomorrow
For now
I'm going for another walk in the sunshine
And enjoy the rest of my day
Below is my calendar for keeping track of my days
A doggy one of course

2 down
88 to go




Anorexia picture

I was browsing the internet yesterday
Looking at this and that
There was a particular picture I wanted to find
It's a picture of a girl
With a skinny little body wrapped around her
I think it's a great image to describe what it is like to live with an eating disorder
It's almost like having another entity surround you
It takes you over
Like it's in control of you
In charge of your thoughts and actions
Anyway
I was looking for this picture
And I typed 'Anorexia photo' in to Google
I was scrolling down
Skimming the images
When towards the end of the page
I found myself looking at a familiar face
I know that person I thought
I recognised what they were wearing
The mirror the photo was taken facing
And the room
I looked closer
And suddenly realised that it was me!
I did a double take and checked again and again
But it was in fact me
A very recent photo of me in my new stripey dress

I know that I put images of myself and my blog
And I write every day
So my pictures and words fall in to the abyss that is the internet
And I guess when you do that
You give that information away
It's not your own anymore
However
It was still a shock to see it

Then this morning
I decided to check again
To see if I was imagining things yesterday
But the photo had vanished
In fact it seemed to be an entirely different set of images
So I am wondering if that photo of me was there because I used my own phone
And I look at my blog here every day
Or was it just a fluke?
It makes me realise that I need to be very careful what I post on the Internet
As once it's put out there
It's not your own anymore

So I'm wondering
Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever come across a photo of yourself on the Internet in an unusual place?
Do you post photos of yourself on the Internet?
If not why not?
I'd love to know.......

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Day 1

So today was my first meeting
Of the 90 in 90 days that I am doing
Well
Kind of
I woke early 
Collected my meds
Went for a walk with my Mum and dogs
Did the food shopping
And texted my friend Marie to see if she was still up for going to the meeting
She was
And I arranged to meet her at her house at 11 30am
I got home 
Had a quick cuppa 
And headed out
I deliberately kept busy in the morning
So I wouldn't have time to talk myself out of not going
I really wanted to go
And to say that is huge
That I actually want to go to a meeting 
For me
Not because I think it's what I should go
Not to appease my family
Not to meet other addicts
But for me
For my recovery
For my sanity
For my peace of mind
For my own crazy head

I arrived at Marie's on time
The meeting was about half an hour away
And we picked up another girl on the way
This was a bit of a big deal for me too
As meeting someone new is not something I do a lot of
But we had a great chat in the car on the way
And arrived just before 12 30pm
The time we thought the meetibg started
Just then we saw a member coming out of a shop
We rolled down the window and asked her what time the meeting was at
She said it was already over
That it had in fact started at 11am
This was pretty unusual
As meetings during the day usually start at 1pm
However it was over 
There was nothing we could do about it

We met up with another member
And decided to go for coffee
In the end
We had a lovely time 
Almost like our own little meeting
I wasn't going to count today as day 1
But my friends suggested that I do
As my intention was there
And we kind of did have a meeting
So I am going to count it
One down 
89 to go

There were times today 
When I felt really awkward
Like I had nothing worthwhile to say or contribute
Like I was a boring person with nothing interesting to say for myself 
Like I wasn't pretty enough
Thin enough
Good enough
I must make it clear that my friends didn't make me feel this way
Not at all
This all comes from my low self esteem
And non existent confidence 
But even though I had these feelings
I still did it
I left my house 
I tried to get to a meeting
I met new people
I tried my best to be myself
To get on with others
And you know what?
I really enjoyed it
I had a great time
I chatted
I listened 
I spoke a little bit
I was open
I laughed
It felt good to step outside my comfort zone
And do something new

I'm now back home
And I feel like I am on cloud nine
I feel positive
Hopeful
I feel pumped for these 90 days
I feel it's one of the best ideas I've had in a long time
I don't doubt that it will be hard 
But then nothing worth doing ever is
I owe it to myself and my family to give this a chance
I really feel like it is the right thing to do

I told Marie what I was planning on doing
She thought it was a great idea
And made the point that even if I don't  get to a meeting every single day
At least I will be on the right path
All it takes is everything I've got
I only have to change one thing
Everything

So tomorrow is Day 2
I am to go to a lunch time meeting locally
And am picking up Marie on the way
I've decided to use Em's suggestion
And mark off the days on a calendar
To keep track of my progress
I feel so excited to do this
So full of hope
I know it's the right thing to do
I can just feel it

90 Days

When someone comes out of treatment
Or is just starting to recover
It is often suggested that the person do 90 meeting in 90 days
At least one meeting a day
To get a good start
A solid foundation on which to build on
To get used to meetings
To get some discipline back in their life
Correct me if I am wrong
But I think this tradition started in the US
When someone was in court for offences relating to alcohol abuse
Instead of sending the person to jail
They were told to do 90 meetings in 90 days
AA then borrowed this idea

So I am thinking of doing this
Of really giving it a shot
Throwing myself in to meetings
It can only be a good thing
I was going to start on Monday
But my friend texted me to ask if I wanted to go to a meeting today
So am going to start today
I have worked it out
And there is a meeting within 30 minutes of my house every day
So it really is possible
If I put my mind to it
My heart and soul in to it
I have nothing to lose
And every thing to gain

It's two weeks now since I last used
I've finally wrapped my head about the fact that I can't use
Anything
It's all or nothing
Sobriety or oblivion
I think I am doing ok considering where I was this time two weeks ago
I am doing my best to live in reality
And not try to run away from myself and my life
I talked it over with my sister about doing the 90 meetings
I think it would be a good challenge for me
Something to focus on
A reason to get up in the morning
A purpose
I'm always complaining that I am bored
This would give me something to do every day
The more I think about it
The more I like the idea

I expressed concern to my sister that I might not complete the 90 days
But she made the point there is nothing wrong with trying
She is dead right
All I can do is my best
So I am going to try
I'm doing this for me
For my recovery
My sanity
My peace of mind
And of course everyone around me will benefit too

I know some of you out there go to meetings
Has anyone ever done 90 meetings in 90 days?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Walk

I was doing my usual walk down at my local beach this morning
When I came across this 
It made my day
And the Hunster decided to photobomb.....


Self harm, selfies and the wanderers return

I want to thank all of you who commented on my last post
For those of you that don't know
I posted some photos of myself in some new clothes that I bought
And I got quite a nasty comment
Anonymous of course
I wouldn't expect anything more
But you all  jumped to my defence 
And told anonymous where to go 
So thank you for that

So the wanderers have returned
As in my mum and my sister are back from Prague
Myself and Honey and Lea we're delighted to see them
The dogs were so excited they had a fit
A good time was had by all
And it was great that I could tell them that my few days went well too
No hiccups 
No disasters
No lying 
I kept my head up
And my bun down
And stayed well out of trouble

I watched a documentary a couple of nights ago
Called My self harm nightmare
It told the  story of 3 girls 
Who used to use self harm and pro ana websites
One of the girls used to have a pro ana blog
She has 10, 000 followers 
And she was extremely unwell
And posted many photos of herself in various states of undress
With pointy bones and sharp edges

Another girl really struggled with self harm
She said she did it because it was the only thing in her life that she could control
She had been hospitalised many times after cutting herself
Her arms were covered in long deep scars

I have never really struggled with self harm
Of course I experimented when I was a teenager
And I have tried it
But it did little or nothing for me
So I didn't continue
But I know that some of you struggle greatly with this
I guess we all have different coping mechanisms
Mine was drugs and food
Or lack of food
Some body else's might be gambling or sex or self harm
 There all forms of self abuse

The documentary talked a bit about Pro-ana websites
And the girls on these websites encourage each other to lose weight
Posting photo after photo of emaciated malnourished girls
Making YouTube videos of how miserable they are
I have to admit 
I haven't come across that many Pro-ana sites
I mean the hardcore ones
Apart from anas challenge
Who stalked all our blogs for a while
But myself and Bella came to the conclusion that he was a dirty old man trying to get pictures of young girls
But I guess I haven't really gone looking for these sites
As I am sure they are there

I know that the public are campaigning to get these sites criminalised
The parents on the documentary said that if their daughters hadn't had access to these sites
Then things wouldn't have got so bad
I guess we are still in the infancy of the Internet
And things like pharmaceuticals, synthetics and drugs are easy to buy
And these sites are not monitored 
I'm sure in time there will be stricter laws as to what you can and can't do on the Internet
I see blogger is removing any offensive content now from blogs

I'm almost tempted to go looking for these so called Pro-ana blogs
Just out of curiosity 
I'm presuming that these sites are run by maudlin teenagers 
I hope that anyone older than that would know better
Maybe I'm wrong
I don't know 

I guess there are a lot of sick and twisted people in the  world
To think that someone would encourage you to starve or purge or self harm
Is a scary thought
I deliberately don't comment on people's weight here on blogger
I don't condone or congratulate weight loss
It's not something that is healthy to endorse
Unless the person needs to lose weight
And is doing it in a healthy and careful way

My point of view on what constitutes  beautiful has changed in the last year
I used to crave extreme thinness
Protruding collar bones
Pointy hip bones
This was perfection to me
But now my perception has changed
I no longer crave that look
Now I want to be fit and strong
Healthy even 
What a revelation!

I was wondering about you
Have you ever used Pro-and sites?
What is your view on them?
Do you think they should be banned?
I'd love to know...

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Clothes Post # 15

 I had to make a visit to my dentist this morning
As two of my crowns came out
While I was in town 
I nipped in to River Island
I had tried on a dress there last week
And instead of impulse buying it
I decided to wait a few days to see if I still wanted it
It's now a week later
And after trying it on again
I still liked it
So I purchased it
And also a cheeky pair of jeans
The navy and white striped dress is a size 8
And cost €46
The faded jeans are a size 10
And cost €50
Here is some photographic evidence......






Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A weighty issue....

I just spent about 45 minutes trying to take a flattering photograph of myself
To post here on my blog
I put on make up
Tried on different clothes
Put my hair up
Took it down
Straightened it
Tried different poses
Smiling
Frowning 
Pouting
But no matter what I did
In my eyes
I looked like a beached whale
I actually hated the way I looked
And it reduced me to tears
I finally gave up
Certain that no matter what I did
I would still be a fat girl with wonky teeth and lines around her mouth and eyes

I won't lie to you
Since I stopped using
My food issues are spinning out of control
I'm binging and purging like it's going out of fashion 
And am hating every second of it
When I am binging and purging one of two things happens
I either lose a lot of weight very quickly
Or I gain a lot of weight very quickly
Unfortunately for me
The latter is happening 
And I've gained 5 pounds in the last week
5 pounds may not sound like a lot
And of course it could be a fluctuation
But to me
It might as well be 50 pounds
It is bothering me that much 

I weigh myself every morning
And that little number that shows up has the power to ruin or make my day
That number dictates my self worth
Self esteem
And confidence for that whole day
That number can send me shooting into euphoria
Or spiralling down in to depression
I hate that it has so much power over me
But it does
I might be perfectly fine 
Mood stable
Feeling good in myself
Then I step on the scale
And my whole world comes crashing down
I shit you not

Because the scales is in my bedroom
Members of my family come in to weigh themselves from time to time
My other sister was down on Sunday
And she asked me if she could weigh herself
I accompanied her down to my room
As I am always fascinated to watch others weigh in
For me weighing is an intensely personal thing
I do it alone
And the only other person who I would let see was Mary
Of course I also like to watch others weigh
As I compare my number to their number

So my sister and I went down to my room
She removed her boots
And stood on the scale
I hope she won't mind me revealing her weight 
She was 142 pounds
She stands at about 5'2
I was fascinated to watch her reaction
According to her she had gained about 10 pounds since the last time she weighed
She was a bit disappointed
But she didn't let it get to her
She said she knew she had gained
As her clothes felt tighter recently
But five minutes after she had weighed
She had forgotten all about it
And got on with her day

My other sister is the same
She weighs herself in my room from time to time 
Just to keep track of it
And again the number makes little or no difference to her
She sees the number 
She may feel a bit happier or a bit disappointed momentarily
But then she moves on
And gets on with her day
How I would love to be like that

I just ran over to my neighbour 
To tell her I would walk her dog in a while
I mentioned that I am going to have reflexology done today
She seemed interested in it
So I was explaining that my counsellor referred me to it
My neighbour asked me how I am doing
And I told her I am good for the most part
She told me that I look great
Compared to what I looked like 18months ago
I thanked her 
But it's still hard to accept compliments
I know people are kind
And want to acknowledge my getting better
Their heart is in the right place 
I understand that
But I still find comments about my weight hard to take
Maube in time that will improve
But I guess it's still early days for me

My Dad has been staying with me for that last few days
While my Mum and sister are away
He has noticed the binging and purging
And mentions it sometimes
A lot of the time 
I am not even aware of it
I'm on auto pilot 
Matching from the kitchen to the bathroom
Over and over and over again
It's constant
Non stop
And it's exhausting
Soul destroying
Relentless
I hate it so much
And yet I can't stop

Breda tell me that I have been referred back to Mary
Although I haven't heard anything yet
I don't know if I mentioned it
But Mary has been reinstated to her job of ED therapist 
Which is just awesome!
So hopefully I will hear from her soon
As I really need the extra support right now 

I turn 34 this year
That means I've clocked up 16 years in the midst of this illness
Almost half my life
And my self worth has been intrinsically linked to my appearance and weight in all that time
It's not that I want to go back to being underweight
I really don't want to go back down that road
Where I was sick and miserable and emaciated
Been there 
Done that 
Bought the extra small t-shirt
I want to be healthy
I was to be strong and fit and able
I want to look like my age
But I also want to feel good in my own skin
I want to be able to walk down the street and not burst in to tears when I catch my reflection in a window
I want to be able to look in the mirror and think
Hey, you look ok
I want to be confident when someone takes out a camera to take a photo
And I want to look at that photo and not want to die inside
I just want to be ok to be me
And to look like me
You know?

So yes
I'm about 5 pounds heavier than I would like to be
Not a huge amount
But enough to make me feel quite uncomfortable 
I'm not going on a diet 
Or anything like it
But I am going to be mindful of what I am eating
And try to make healthy choices
On the other hand
I guess I could try to accept these 5 pounds
I could try to love them the way I'm trying to love the rest of me
I am still in the lower range of healthy
So maybe I can afford to carry 5 extra pounds
And maybe I will lose them as quickly as I gained them
 
And anyway
Us ladies are under a lot of pressure to be thin
And to look perfect
Imperfection just isn't tolerated 
Ads on tv are all about trying to make us feel inadequate 
So we will buy that anti ageing cream
Or that lash volumizing mascara
The advertisers like to keep us in a state of insecurity 
So we will buy whatever it is they are selling

And the thing is
The people who love us
Will love us no matter what we look like
No matter what dress size we are 
And no matter what we weigh
I know i don't judge people by how they look 
So why do I think others judge me?

Today I will accept the extra five pounds that clings to my body
I will hold my head up high
And walk with confidence
I will do my best to love myself
And to be kind to myself
God knows I've hated myself for long enough
It's time to call a truce on my body
It's time to let bygones be bygones
To forgive and move on
To let go of all that hate that I've held on to for so long 
And to rock
And make the most of what I've got
Are you with me ladies?
For today
Just for today
Let's stop hating and bullying ourselves 
Let's be ourselves
And feel beautiful in our own skin 
I'm tired of hating on myself 
Are you?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Where is everyone?

Is it just me or is blogger deathly quiet at the moment 
Hardly any blogs show up on my reader now adays 
And it seems that more and more people are abandoning their blogs 
I hope and pray this is because they have got well
Because they don't need this support anyore
I hope it's because they are now living a full and rich life and don't need this outlet anymore
I hope it's because they finally told their EDs to fox trot Oscar
In other words to f#*k right off

I'm wondering is it blogger?
Is blogger yesterday's news?
Have people move on to something else?
Wordpress?
Tumble?
Instagram? 
Twitter?
Blogger is the only social media I really use
I'm not a big Facebooker
Never have been
But blogger means a lot to me
Next month I'll be blogging three years
That is great for me
As I am a person that tends to start things with great enthusiasm
And usually gives up when I get bored
But blogger keeps me coming back
Mainly because of you wonderful ladies
I've followed some of your stories for years
I genuinely care and worry about you all
And you mean a lot to me
We are all now part of each other's stories
We're woven in to the tapestry of each other's lives
Even if blogger is old news
I still want to be part of it

It seems people want to see photos more than they want to read text
It's easy to post a photo
A picture tells a thousand words and all that
But here in our little corner of blogger
We are all about the story
We keep up with each other's lives
Our ups and downs
Our highs and lows
Our progress and our setbacks
It's important for me to keep up with what's happening on your lives
And I still think about bloggers who aren't around any more
And wonder how they are

My sister and my Dad and I 
We're having a conversation the other day about the Internet
And whether having online relationships are good for us or not
My dad made the point that people don't talk face to face anymore
That people text ot email rather than having a face to face conversation 
Or a phone all
And that the art of conversation is being lost
For me 
It's all about balance
Having my virtual life and giving time to it
While at the same time
Not neglecting my real life relationships
Nurturing both 
I mean
I still think it's amazing that we can be in touch with people all around the world
That we can be best friends with someone that we have never even met
I am in contact daily with people from the four corners of the earth
That is pretty awesome

So what can we do to make sure our little community survives?
First I think it's important to acknowledge that for a lot of us
Blogger is the only social interaction we have
Blogger is literally a life saver for a lot of us
I know when I was up to my neck in my ED
Blogger saved my sanity countless times
So I think it's important we preserve what we have
I guess what we can do is keep supporting each other
Read each other's blogs
Comment
Stay in touch through text or email
And also welcome new people in
I know that I can be wary of new people 
But I guess we were all new once
So we should really be open to new bloggers joining our community

I know that a lot of people think what we have here is no where near that healthy
That we are 'Pro-ana'
And we don't encourage each other to recover 
We do of course encourage each other to choose recovery
But we don't force it on each other
If someone decides that they don't want to recover
We respect that choice
While still encouraging the person to stay as well and as safe as possible
We don't promote EDs
We don't condone tips and tricks
We genuinely care about each other
And want nothing but the best for each other

I for one am extremely grateful for this community
And for each and everyone of you
Who all have a place in my heart 
I have never met any of you
And may never meet you
But you have been for me for the last three years
You have seen me at my worst
At my lowest
And you never once judged me 
Especially after my most recent relapse
You all were there for me
Even those of you that I hurt
You never gave up on me
And I will be eternally grateful for that

I was wondering about you
Do you think blogger is quiet at the moment?
Why do you think that is?
Do you think there is anything we can do to preserve our community?
Do you think it is worth saving?
I'd love to know what you think......

Monday, 16 March 2015

Stats

I check my statistics from time to time
To see if anyone is reading my blog
And so see which posts get the most hits
This blog gets anywhere from 300 - 1000
views a day
I have no idea if this is a lot
Or a little
Or if it's average
It's nice to know that people read
But sometimes it can be a bit disconcerting knowing that this many people are reading my words 
The aim of my blog is to tell the truth about what it's like to live with addiction and disordered eating 
And I do so as honestly as I can

I love writing this blog
And it wouldn't bother me much of I had one view a day
Or a million views a day
It's a hobby
Something I do every day
It's not part of my routine
And I really would be lost without it

I was wondering about you
And your blog 
What are your statistics like?
Do you check them often?
Does it bother you if they are low or High?
Do they spike after a particular post?
Would you mind if someone you knew read your blog?
I'd love to know.....

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Life on life's terms



And boy have I had some storms to deal with recently
My life has been turned upside down in the past few weeks
My world has been rocked
I thought that I was doing ok
Coating along
Not using
Not critically underweight
But now I can see that I was just treading water
I was like a ticking time bomb
It was only a matter of time before I exploded
The Boy was the catalyst
But the wasn't the cause
It could have been anything
It just happened to be him

Despite the devastation
And the destruction that this recent relapse caused
And there was a lot of it
Some good things did come out of it
I am now back at meetings
Which is a huge step for me
If you have been reading for a while
You will know that I have been trying to get to a meeting for years
I also found out who my real friends are
Some people ran for the hills when it came out that I had used
Others rallied around me
And I am eternally grateful for that

I am one week clean today
I know that is a pitiful amount of time
But it marks the first steps of my recovery
Recovery from all mind altering substances
I  now see that I can't use
Anything
Be it alcohol
Or speed
Or cocaine
Or heroin
Or poppy freakin' tea
They are all a no go area for me
Maybe some people can use re-creationally
And still maintain a normal life
And function
But I sure as shit can't
I know that for sure now
I've always been an all or nothing person
There are no half measures with me
That's just the way I am
And I have to accept that
My self will has been running riot recently
And I left a trail of destruction in my wake
I want to be a better person
I don't want to be the person that I have been for the last few weeks
That is not the real me
Drugs turn me in to  a person that I don;t even recognize
And that is truly scary

I heard someone say this as a meeting recently

Give time, time

In other words
Things take time
Gaining back trust takes time
Becoming a better person takes time
Staying clean and sober takes time
Those three words mean a lot

So it is onwards and upwards
No looking back
No feeling sorry for myself
Time to dust myself off
And stand up as the person I want to be
Fake it til you make right?
I think so.......

Mothers Day

Usually I spend Mothering Sunday with my Mum
Usually I make her breakfast in bed 
Give her gifts
And bring her out for lunch
However 
This year is different 
This year my sister brought my mum to Prague for a few days
They arrived yesterday
And are living it up in a beautiful suite in a stunning hotel
I'm so glad that mum got to go away
God knows she deserves a break

So I am at home
Not home alone though
My Dad has come to keep me company for a few days
And of course Honey and Lea are never far from my side
I made my Dad dinner yesterday
Italian beef stew
I'm always meaning to post some recipes here
I can make a few dishes well
Taught to me by my sister who is an amazing cook
Anyway
I will get around to it at some stage 
So my Dad and I are spending quality time together
And are making dinner for my other sister and my nephew
Who are coming down later

Mother's Day reminds me how lucky I am
To have a mum that stood by me through everything we have been through
It reminds me to thank my lucky stars that I have a strong, kind and selfless mother
I have put my mother through more than any one person should have to take
Through my rebellious teenage years
Through my drug fuelled twenties
And of course through the eating disordered years
Which are still going on to a certain extent
Yes
I have broke my mothers heart more times than I care to remember
She has given me endless second chances
More than I deserved
So thank you Mum
For being there
And for knowing when to turn your back
For holding my hand through everything
For never giving up hope on me
For believing in me when I couldn't believe in myself
For carrying me when I couldn't walk
For loving me when I didn't love myself
For being strong when I was weak
Thank you

I'm doing my level best to get back on track
I've planned my week with things to keep me occupied
Unfortunately
Because I am getting my using under control 
My ED behaviours seem to be spinning out of control
Purging has increased some
I'm weighing multiple times a day
Although my weight seems to be staying stable
Fluctuating a kilo or so either side
I don't know if I am happy at the Wright I'm at
I mean
It's fine
It's ok
It's not fantastic 
I don't feel super good or confident
But I can accept it
And maybe that's enough for now
Maybe this is as good as it gets for me

After the dentist last Friday
I went to Rivet Island for a look
I found a lovely navy and white striped dress
With pockets and a tulip skirt
I took in a size 8 and a size 10
The 8 fit me perfectly
And I really liked it
I didn't buy it though
Not like me I know
But I think I am going to go back and buy it tomorrow
I will post photos too

Two of my crowns came out when o was eating chocolate yesterday
I bought some polygrip to try and secure them back in 
But that didn't work too well 
So it's back to the dentist tomorrow
To get them cemented back in
Pain in the buttocks 
But it has to be done

Anyway
I'm off to make dinner
See you on the next post.....


Friday, 13 March 2015

Weather forecast

To give us all a break from the drama that is my life
I thought I would write about something completely different today
As you know
I live in Ireland 
The west coast of Ireland to be a bit more precise 
I've lived in Ireland my whole life 
And there is one topic of conversation that is talked about more than anything else
More than the state of the worlds economy
More than any of the wars that are going on
More than any murders, rapes or kidnappings 
What is this subject I hear you ask?
Well 
As you might have guessed
It's the weather

We love to talk about the weather in this country
And we get great mileage out of it
It's talked about everywhere you go
With your neighbours
With shopkeepers
With people you pass when you're out for your morning walk
Oh yes 
We love to chat about the weather

Ireland is pretty well known for its weather
Especially rain
Rain is a common occurrence here
But the thing about this country is
You have to be prepared for every eventuality
It is not uncommon to have rain, wind, sunshine, hail and snow
All in the same 24 hours
So if you are heading out for the day
You really need to be prepared
And should really bring rain gear
Fleeces 
A heavy coat
And shorts and a t- shirt
Just in case

You would think that living in this country all year round
That we would be well prepared for all the weather we get
But we're not
You can always tell a tourist in this country
As they will be dressed weather appropriate
You can always spot an Irish person too
As they will be the one wearing a t-shirt in a storm
Or high heels in snow

Every so often we get extreme weather
Like bad storm
Or heavy snowfall 
You would think that we would be prepared for this
But no
Oh no
The slightest flurry of snow
And the whole country comes to a stand still
Roads are closed
Schools are shut down 
And people don't venture outside their front door
This is when preparation comes in handy
So for all you doomsday preppers  out there
Now is the time to break out your supplies

I was in my local store yesterday 
I was queueing up at the till 
There was a storm brewing outside
And there were about three people ahead of me in the line
The girl at the till had the exact same conversation with all the people before me
Girl: The weather is shocking today
Customer no 1: Oh I know it's desperate

Girl: The weather is tight today
Customer no 2: Absolutely

Girl: it's a miserable day today
Customer no 3: Absolutely

But more than talking about the weather
We Irish love to complain about the weather
We give out yards when the weather is bad
But secretly we are delighted as it gives us a great opportunity to complain
I've been to other countries
And no where I've  been do people talk about the weather as much as we do here
Why is that?
I'm not so sure
Maybe because we get such a variety of weather 
Maybe because the weather determined our day somewhat
What ever the reason
Talking about the weather is part of our culture
And when all other topics of conversation run out
The weather is always there 

Teething issues

As you know
I'm in the process of getting new teeth
Last August I had temporary crowns put in
They were replaced in December
And I'm now waiting to get permanent ones
I had an appointment this morning to take impressions of my teeth
My dentist is so funny
He's always telling me how great it is that I'm getting new teeth
And how he's getting 'great satisfaction' out of my case
It was a marathon session this morning
Almost three hours
First I had surface anisthetic applied to my gums
Then came the huge needle
I hate that part
It stings like nobodies business
There was lots of horrible noises 
And a lot of pulling and pushin and scraping
The noise alone was enough to make me want to run screaming from the room
He then took out my crowns
Which went flying across the room at speed
Next he took impressions of my teeth
It's a scary sight to see myself without the crowns
All that is left of my real teeth are little stumps
Pointy shards of rotting tooth
Next he put the crowns back in
Which took some time
I was so glad when he finally announced that we were finished 
I couldn't take much more

I've had an awful lot of trouble with my teeth over the years
A combination of smoking thirty a day
A drug addiction
Daily rinses of stomach acid
And ten years of methadone have really taken a toll on my poor teeth
I've had so many extractions
That all that's left in the back of my mouth is gum
Given all my teeth have been through
I'm lucky to have any left standing all
So I'm back in a couple of weeks for my final appointment
I'm dreading it already
But it's worth it to have nice white and straight teeth
My dentist is an artist I think

They say in recovery that you should do it for yourself
Get well for yourself
Get clean and sober for yourself
And if you can't do that
Fake it until you make it
When ever I have tried recovery
It's always been to appease others
And maybe that's enough to get clean
But not to stay clean
Which I am learning for myself
So this week
I decided to do a few things to help myself
I went to see my addiction counsellor
I had reflexology done
I went to a meeting yesterday 
And got my teeth done today
And I did all these things for my well being
I did them for my own peace of mind
My own self worth
And it felt good

So yes 
I went to a meting yesterday 
I was glad to see that the creepy man wasn't there
 I was asked to do a reading at the start of the meeting
For some reason this caused me huge anxiety
And at one point I didn't think I could do it 
But I took some deep breathes
Grounded myself
And I was able to continue

The meeting itself was great 
Listening to the readings
And listening to others share
Made me realise that I was in the right place
That I am an addict 
And I need a programme to get well
I'm not sure why 
 But I always fight with myself over going to meetings
A big part of me doesn't want to go
And resents going
But yet when I am there
I have no doubt that I am in the right place
And am around others who are just like me

After the meeting I felt like my battery was charged
Like my fuel tank was full again
And I felt able to go out and face the day
So often I am going around with an empty fuel tank
Running off of fumes
With no energy
Going to a meeting is like a shot of adrenaline in the arm
And it was much needed

My mother and my sister can't in to the living room yesterday
And told me they needed to speak to me
I immediately became anxious
As I had no idea what this was about
It turns out
That my sister is bringing my mother away for a few days to Prague
From Saturday to Thursday
Although my dad will come down for a couple of those days
I'm really glad they are going away
God knows my mother needs a treat
They made it clear that they are trusting me with the house
And if I mess up
There will be consequences
I am determined not to mess this up
I will stick with my clean friends
Go to a meeting or two
And generally keep my head down and out of trouble
This is my chance to prove that I can be trusted

That's all the news from here today
See you on the next post x