Thursday, 30 April 2015

When the going gets tough.....

It was yesterday
I felt good 
My peace of mind was intact
I had no worries
Nothing on my mind
In the evening 
My friend picked me up
And we headed to a meeting
We chatted and laughed on the way
And arrived at the meeting slightly late
It was an AA meeting
One my sister usually attends
Although she wasn't there last night
We walked in to the room 
It was packed
We grabbed seats where we could
And the meeting started

The was a girl telling her story 
It was really good listening to her
I could identify a lot
The the meeting proper started 
I didn't like the way it was run
The chair person picked people at random to share
So you never knew when your name was going to be called
It sent my anxiety in to over drive
I didn't like it

All of a sudden
My name was called
My heart was thumping in my chest
I wanted to just run out of the room
I began to speak
I could hear the shake in my voice
I was trying to say that I could relate to the speaker when she talked about treatment
And the family days
How I been on both sides of the family day
Both the patient
And the family member 
And how hard that was
But I think when I was speaking it came out arseways
And once I had finished speaking 
I realise that people may have thought I was talking about my sister
When in actual fact I had my dad in mind
And this was my sisters home group
So everyone knew her well there

One by one everyone spoke
A girl at the end shared how she couldn't understand some of the things she heard at meetings
That she had a brother in recovery
And was very close to him
I started to get paranoid that her comment was directed at me
And started to feel really uncomfortable
I just wanted to run

The meeting finished up 
And cups of tea were made
There were a good few women at the meeting 
And we all gathered to have a chat
In my eyes
Everyone seemed so confident and together
They all seemed perfectly content in themselves
I on the other hand
Felt so out of place
So awkward
I froze 
I couldn't speak
I couldn't join in the conversation
I just sat there
Like the socially inept person that I am

I could feel tears stinging the back of my eyes
That old familiar feeling of not fitting in was back
It hit me like a smack in the face
And completely threw me
I started thinking all sorts of paranoid thoughts

These people don't like me
They don't like what I shared 
They'll probably all talk about me when I'm gone
They think I'm a bad person
They hate me

And this went on and on in a loop in my head
We finally left the meeting at 10pm
I was dying to get home 
My friend and I chatted again on the way back to my house
I laughed about how I am a social retard
But then as she pulled in to my drive way
I suddenly felt really sad
And the tears came
My friend was great
She promised me that things would get better
And that she was there for me 
I pulled myself together
But I knew it was just a matter of time before the huge dam  of tears broke again
I hugged my friend 
And she left

I got in to my house 
Stopping in the kitchen to pet the dogs
They never cease to make me feel better
I went on to the living room
My sister was watching The Island
I sat down
And feel apart
Hot fat tears fell from my eyes
Landing on my lap
My sister jumped up to hug me
I told her what had happened 
She told me that I was being paranoid
That everyone loves me
I cried some more
And she sat and soothed me
She wrapped me in a blanket
And made me cups of sweet tea
I began to feel a little better

But as I lay in bed that night
I replayed the evenings events in my head over and over again 
Fighting with myself
Telling myself to shut up
And generally driving myself completely nuts 
It got to the point where I really though I was going mad
It was exhausting
I go to meetings to feel better
And here I was
A complete mess after attending something that is supposed to help me
I felt so confused 
The urge to use was massive
I kept thinking
One phone call 
And I could have sweet oblivion
I wanted it so bad
Knowing my two using friends were close by was so tempting
But for some reason
I didn't ring them
And I didn't use
I kind of figured it would just make everything worse
Even if it did temporarily ease my pain

And even more worrying than using
I actually had some very strong suicidal thoughts
The though they I could end my pain was comforting
And the idea of disappearing seemed very attractive
I wondered how much of my meds it would take to kill me 
I actually planned it in my head
But again
I came to the conclusion that that wasn't an option
It might be the end of my pain
But it would open up a world of hurt for my family
I can't do that to them

So I considered my other options?
I could continue on
Keep going to meetings 
Hang in there 
Keep plugging away at recovery
And hopefully my anxiety will lessen
And my confidence will grow
So I made a deal with myself
I will give recovery a fair shot for 6 months
And if nothing improves
I can always go back to the drug
The drug will always be there
My recovery might not be

So that's what I'm going to do
Also I think I'm going to stay silent at meetings got the next while
I just get too anxious and worked up about the whole speaking thing
So I'm not going to

I guess this is all part of recovery
But it really sucks!
I just want to be well now!
I want to be confident now!
I want to be anxiety free now!
But these things take time
And I know I need to actively work on them 
But flippin' heck
I am losing the will to live over here

I'm just really tired 
Tired of fighting
Tired of this uphill battle
I just hope the view at the top is worth it.....

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

3 Years

My blog is three years old today
It's hard to believe
Time goes past so quickly
I can remember three years ago like it was yesterday
I had been reading blogs for some time
And saw that there was a great little community here on blogger
I wanted to be part of it 
I was so entrenched in my illness
So lonely
I rarely left the house
But as much as I was afraid of living my life
I craved to be around others like me

I was welcomed in to this community with open arms
It was a safe place to come and be honest
Without fear of being judged
While I was in midst of my illness
I was accepted 
And there was no pressure to recover
I was knee deep in my disorder for the first two years of my blogging
Then last year things changed

I had just come out of treatment 
For the umpteenth time 
I felt utterly hopeless
So low
So scared for my future
I ended up overdosing
And I didn't tell anyone 
Until a week later
When I told Mary
She sprang in to action
And I had an appointment with my psychiatrist the next day
He assessd me
And changed my meds
Adding in Prozac
I didn't hold out much hope for the new meds
Ive been on so many different anti depressants over the years
And they rarely work
So I was hoping against hope

A couple of weeks after
I began to feel a little better
The fog dissipated 
My depression and anxiety lifted 
And I began to feel hope again
I managed to get my binging and purging under control
That was massive
As I had been purging 10-20 times a day
It was killing me

Slowly but surely 
I began to gain weight
And yes my weight did rise to a place where I wasn't entirely comfortable in my own skin
But now it seems to have settled
And I can live with it
Just about

As time went on
My quality of life improved
I gave up smoking
My relationship with food was better
I started going to meetings 
Which is a huge help
And I generally felt a lot better
About me
My life
My world

Blogging through all of this has been amazing
To have documented every up and down is so awesome
I can read back
And see how far I have come 
Also to share it with you
You all have been a big part of my story
I have met the most amazing kind, caring and thoughtful girls here on blogger
Some of you have been with me from the very beginning
Some are more recent
But you all mean so very much to me
You are true friends
And I am eternally grateful for that

So Happy Birthday dear blog!
Thank you for saving my sanity so many times 
Here's to another 3 years.....

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Damage limitation

Thank you all
For your feedback and support after my last post
I guess it was only a matter of time before The Boy reared his head again
I was just coasting along
Happy as Larry
Thinking all was well
And then I got that phone call
It really threw me
Especially knowing that my ex boyfriend is now around too
When I'm out
My heart stops when I see a green jeep
And there are many green jeeps around here
So it makes for interesting times when I'm out and about

Several people contacted me yesterday to tell me to block The Boys number
I keep going to do this 
But something stops me
I guess there is part of me that wants to know that he wants to see me
If that makes sense
It's twisted thinking I know
But then that's me all over

As I said yesterday
I haven't told my sister or my mother
As I don't want to worry them
But in actual fact
My sister read my blog
So she knows
And is doing my head in about it
We had a fight last night
Because I don't want to talk about it
I don't really see the point
I know what I need to do
And I am trying to do it

I saw Breda yesterday
My addiction counsellor
I told her about the phone call
She was helpful
And made some good suggestions
It was good to talk it over with someone who is not directly involved
And can give an objective perspective
She is trying to help me build up my confidence
And self esteem
Back in January
When I relapsed 
I had no resistance against the drug
And when it was put in front of me
I didn't have the strength to say no
But this time 
I have some recovery behind me
I feel stronger
More stable
More secure
I have the capability 
And the strength to say no
And that's down to the work I've done over the last couple of months
It just goes to show
How much the meetings help

Breda asked me how I felt about knowing these two guys were so close by
And what they were doing
I had to admit
It does play on my mind a little bit
Sometimes I go to the dark side
And I start thinking that they're having a great ol' time
Drinking poppy tea
Smoking weed 
And generally getting messed up
And out of their heads
Then I start thinking that I am missing out
Then I start to resent my family
Because they're the reason I can't use
Then I get really angry 
And lash out at my family
I have to keep reminding myself 
Of where I will be if I contact these guys
And use
I have to remember of where that life will bring me
The damage it will cause
The devastation
The heartache
Then I remember that I want a better life for myself
That I want to be clean and sober
I really do

So no
I don't feel like I am missing out
They are the ones who are missing out 
They are missing out on their whole lives
At least I am trying to forge a new life for myself
A better life
And as hard as it is to choose to live in reality
I stand by my decision 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Boy bites back

It was Saturday evening
I had just had s great day with my mum and sister
We climbed a mountain
Then went for dinner
And I was generally feeling really good
Happy to be alive
Grateful to be clean and sober 
Feeling content
And dare I say it, happy?
We had just come home
I sat with the dogs for a while
Plugged in my phone to charge
And settled down in front of the telly with a cup of tea

I was watching The Cube
When my phone rang
Thinking it was my friend who I had just texted
I jumped up to answer it
I looked at the screen
And to my shock and surprise
Saw it was The Boy
I stared at the phone 
Not knowing what the hell to do
My sister saw my face
And asked me what was wrong
I told her nothing
That it was a private number 
I didn't want to tell her who it really was 
And possibly worry her

Needless to say
I didn't answer it
I sat back down
Feeling shook and anxious
Then my phone pinged a message
I checked it
And it was a voice mail
I dialled 171
And listened to the message
It was him
Asking me to ring him
And also telling me that my ex boyfriend was staying with him for a while
And did I want to meet up
I hung up
And felt stunned
Seconds later my phone pinged again
A text message
Asking me to ring him 
If I wanted 'plenty of tea'
I put the phone down
And tried to process this information
I haven't heard from The Boy in quite a while
So this is really out of the blue
I actually had a physical reaction
My heart was racing
As were my thoughts
I felt shakey and unstable
And I would have killed for a smoke just for something to do

It really unsettles me to know that both The Boy and my ex boyfriend are in my area
Having poppy tea
And probably plenty more besides I'm guessing 
I really don't want to know what they are doing
What drugs are available
I would rather not know
And live in blissful ignorance

It's now Monday
Two days since he rang
I haven't texted or rang him back 
It hasn't even been an option 
I know I can't
I have too much to lose
Things are just getting back to normal after the last debacle
I think my mum would lose her mind if I used again
I don't want her to have to go through that again

We moved up here ten years ago to get away from the drug scene
Yes it was a geographical
And no that's not the answer
But it gave us a chance for a fresh start
And gave us breathing space
And time to heal
But now it seems like my old life is catching up with me
And I don't like it
I don't like it at all

So the plan is damage limitation
I haven't told my mum or my sister 
Maybe I should
But I don't want to worry them
I'm seeing Breda this morning so I will talk to her and hatch a plan
I just really don't need this right now
Things are just starting to turn around for me
Abd this is really a test
A test for my willpower
For my resolve
My will to recover
But I feel pretty sure that I won't use
At least I hope I won't 

Healthline 2015

I just found out yesterday 
That andthenshedisappeared has been voted one of the best eating disorder blogs of the year by Healthline
I was super excited to find this out
As it is the third year in a row that I have recieved this honour

My blog will be 3 years old at the end of this month
And it has been an amazing 3 years
Such a rollercoaster of highs and lows
Ups and downs
Victories and defeats
Tears and laughter
Sadness and joy
I am so glad that I documented the last few years
And I have it to look back on
And see how far I've come

I had been reading blogs for a while before I started my own
The very first blogs o read were
Recovering anorexic over on Wordpress
Who is no longer writing under that name
Lou over at my life with ed, and, Mia
Yummy secrets
And 2Medusa
I was so inspired by these strong ladies
That I decided to start writing myself

My blog started off as something bordering on unhealthy
I wrote about fasting 
And trying to lose weight
But over time 
I began to document my life fighting both addiction and disordered eating
And now it is a lot more recovery based

I started my blog because I craved to be around others like me
In my real life my world had shrunk to just me and my illness
I was desperately lonely
Writing was the perfect medium for me
As I could get the words out at my own pace
And I found writing much easier than speaking
I soon found a real love for it
And I think my writing is improving all the time

This little community we have here on blogger is unique
When I first started writing 
There was a thriving community here
And there was a real buzz about the place
Over the lay year however
So many bloggers have vanished
I wish I knew what has happened to them
These were the ladies who welcomed me in to this community with open arms
Left heartfelt comments on my blog
And we're there for me through the drama that is my life
I miss them
I hope they are ok

So yea
I am delighted that my blog has been recognised
I feel so passionately about helping others like me
To warn and educate younger kids about the dangers of EDs
To think that my blog helps others truly warns my heart
So thank you Healthline
You have made my day......

Queen Maeve's Trail

My mum and my sister and I are planning to do the Camino next year
So we have started to train a little bit
Last week we did the mountain at the back of our house
And yesterday we did Queen Maeve's Trail
Which is up another mountain
It was 2.5km up
And 2.5km down
We made it up and down in two hours a
I didn't find it too bad
But my mum and sister found it tough going
It's only really because I don't smoke anymore
And I walk and swim a lot
If I was still smoking 
There is no way I'd have made it to the top

We made it down just before the rain
And went to Shells cafe for lunch 
We were so hungry
I had a burger and chips
That's how hungry I was
But it was well deserved
And treated us to an ice cream after

Here are some photos from the day.......

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Summer clothes post

I picked up some summer clothes over the past few weeks
And I finally feel able to wear them as the weather is heating up
The following clothes are from Fat Face, Roxy and protest
Here they are......

Friday, 24 April 2015

The skinny of it

LIf we look back at weight over the years
And what was considered attractive
Like fashion
It goes through trends
Back in the 60's
Curves and shapes were very much in
Marilyn Monroe who was and still is considered one of the worlds most attractive women
Was a beautiful size 14
Then in the 90's
The rise of the super model took over
And models like Kate Moss 
Made heroin chic sexy
All over the run ways and magazines
Thin was in
Women flaunted their bones like trophies
Sharp cheek bones
And chiseled features were the flavour of the month
And then of course the phenomenon that is size zero
Became an international obsession
The skinnier the better
And that is still popular
But I think positive body image is something that is so important
I saw a show during the week 
Called Plus Sized Wars
It was about the rise and increased popularity of plus size models
Especially on the Internet
Girls like the model and blogger Tess Munster
Who is a size 24
And has a massive following on line

It's people like Tess
Who are bucking the trend of super skinny
And empowering women of all sizes to be proud and confident in their skin
Tess really is a beautiful looking girl
And I can see why she is in such high demand
And even though she is three times the size of an average model
She is still smokin' hit
She also sending out a positive message to young people
That beauty is not a clothes size
Or a number on a scale
It is so much more than that

This show was an eye opener for me
As I am one of the peoe who has been influenced by the media
And although the media did not cause my ED
It most definitely did not help
I used to look at photos of models
Long and lithe limbs
Flawless faces
An impossible standard to reach
But I still compared myself to them
And my confidence took a real battering
My own perception of what is attractive has also changed
I used to favour skinny 
The thinner the better
And there was no such thing as too skinny
I envied other girls 
But these other girls were usually a lot younger than me
It's a pain in the ass fact that as you get older 
Your body changes
You no longer have the lean frame you had when you were twenty
Your body developes curves and shapes
It's all part of being a woman
For some reason
It is really hard for me to call myself a woman
Because I swear I don't feel like a woman
And don't really look like one
Or dress like one
Or behave like one
In my mind I am still 22
But the fact is that I am a woman
A curved
Shapely woman
And I am beginning to accept that 

As I get older
I see that being attractive has very little to do with physical beauty
And more to do with confidence and personality
Beauty radiates from within
It comes out when we smile
When we laugh
I always find passion attractive
When someone talks about something they love
That can be really attractive
It's not about what a person wears
It's more about what they say
Their behaviour
Their openness
Their honesty
Their kindness
Their sense of humour
The way they treat others
What they believe
Their values
Their ability to laugh
And laugh at themselves
To see the positive in life
A hunger for life
For adventure i
There is so much more than a pretty face

My BMI has now settled at 19
Just about healthy
And surprisinglyHuuoi
I am ok with that
 I know that I am not overweight
Or underweight
I don't feel big or awkward the way I felt this time last year 
And that my friends is a freakin' revelation

I was wondering about you
What do you find attractive?
Do you think thin is still in?
I'd love to know......

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Appointment with Mary

Today was pretty busy
I was asked to open the lunch time meeting today
Which meant that I had to have the room open and ready
Provide tea, coffee and snacks
Mind the money
Put chairs out
And read the preamble

I have to admit
I was really nervous to do this 
And spent all day yesterday fretting about it
Which led to an epic binge/purge session 
That lasted all freakin' day
This morning I was a bit calmer
I had a job to do
And I was determined to do it well

I arrived at the meeting venue at about12 45pm
I arranged the chairs in a circle
Put the kettle on
And generally got the place ready
It felt good 
I felt like I was really part of things
And that I could be trusted to do this job
Another lady came then
And helped me 
One by one people trickled in to the room
And at about 1 05pm
I started to open the meeting
There was a lot of reading to be done
And I was anxious about that
But somehow o got through it
Without letting my anxiety get the better of me
When that was done 
I was the first to share
And we went around the room
Until everyone had shared

After we all said the serenity prayer at the end
I breathed a sigh of relief
I did it
I got through
It felt great

Then this afternoon 
I had an appointment to see Mary
I have seen her in about eight months
So I was really looking forward to seeing her
I settled in the waiting room
And soon I saw her friendly face PPP around the door
I followed her to the room
As soon as I walked in 
I saw the dreaded scales in the corner of the room
My heart skipped a beat
And I quickly looked away

We caught up for a few minutes
I filled her in on what has happened since I saw her
I told her that I am planning to do a course in September
But that I was very nervous about it
Mary told me a story about her going back to college in her forties and getting her degree
And now she is doing her masters
It was really inspiring to hear
She never ceases to amaze me

Mary reminded me of the first time I ever met her three years ago
She said I was so numb
So hopeless 
So battered by my ED
She compared them to now
And said I have come a long way
She sldo spoke about the ED conference that I spoke at two years ago
She said that people still tell her how my speech impacted them
That was so nice to hear

We decided that I would see Mary for eight sessions
And then reassess after that
It's great to have the support for my ED
And I feel like now is a critical time for me
I'm on the verge of being in recovery 
And I want it so badly

So all in all it was a good day
I'm now going to sit down with a hot cup of tea 
And relax......

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Eloise Parry - Diet pill death

This is Eloise Parry
A normal 21 year old
Student at university
The world at her fingertips
At least it was 
Until she began taking diet pills

Much of the following is from the BBC website

The mother of a student thought to have taken highly toxic diet pills bought online has appealed to others not to consume them.

Eloise Parry, 21, from Shrewsbury died in hospital on 12 April after becoming unwell.

Police say the tablets were believed to contain dinitrophenol, known as DNP, an industrial chemical.

Eloise's mother Fiona said that it was 'an awful way to die' and people should not take the drug in any quantity.

Glyndwr university student Eloise initially attended A and E after taking more than the recommended dose of tablets.

Her mother told the BBC that the pills appeared to be Eloise's little fix adding, 'this allowed her to achieve her Superskinny appearance but it cost her her life'.

Fiona Parry said she had no idea her daughter was taking the pills until after she died describing them as bad news.

Eloise had walked in to the Royal Shrewsbury hospital herself and there was no great panic until a toxicology report revealed how dire her situation was.

As the drug kicked in it made her metabolism soar. 'They attempted to co her down but they were fighting an uphill battle. She was literally burning up from within, when her heart stopped, they couldn't revive her. She has crashed. Two tablets was a lethal dose and she had taken eight'.

Dinitrophenol or DNP is highly toxic and not intended for human consumption.
An industrial chemical, it is sold illegally in diet pills as a fat burning substance.
Users experience a metabolism boost leading to weight loss but taking even a few tablets can be fatal.
Signs of acute poisoning include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and irregular heart beat.

I was shocked but not surprised to hear of Eloise's death
I heard a statistic today that one in ten people have bought diet pills online
I know I have
A few years ago I bought two bottles of ephedrine on line
The recommended dose was to take two a day
But me being me I took about twelve
I thought I was going to die that weekend
I was so ill
Throwing up so much that my body was convulsing.
Never again

But I'm sure many of us have bought pills on line
Anything that promises weight loss is appealing to us

I just hope that this poor girls death serves as a warning to others not to buy diet pills on line.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Post, delete, repeat

After my last post
A reader left a comment expressing concern about what I had written
That I seemed to be boasting about my weight loss 
After reading this comment
I went back and re-read my post
And having done this
Promptly deleted it
That post was written by someone who was high on weight loss
I was revelling in it
And though I don't think I was boasting about losing weight
This post was definitely not healthy
And not written by someone who claims to be in recovery
Apologies for that
And thank you to the reader that had the courage to tell me the honest truth

Yea it's true that I have lost weight
But it's nothing to worry about
At least I think it's not
I'm still at a healthy weight
I still consider myself to be in recovery
I don't want to promote weight loss
Or eating disorders
And I think I was coming worrying close to that on my last post

Recovery is hard
It's more about progress than perfection as they say in the rooms
And I am most definitely not doing it perfectly
Sometimes I feel the lure of my ED
Sometimes it seems like the only option
I've had a family situation here over the weekend
Something that I won't go in to here
I will say that it upset me a lot
And I turned to the coping mechanism that I've used for 14 years
At the time it seems to help
Maybe in the short term
But in the long term it creates more problems than it solves

It's up to me to put the brakes on now
To maintain my weight
And maintain my recovery
I am in charge of my own destiny
I am the maker of my own dreams
I don't want to relapse
I don't want to be underweight
I just wanted to be happy in my own skin
I thought I would be at this weight 
And I am 
Kind of
Some of the time 
I guess it's part of the illness that we struggle greatly with body image
And that doesn't go away over night

I guess this is all part of the path of recovery
Sometimes we vere off course
Sometimes we get distracted
Or lured back in by our disorder
We think we want to go back to that life
Because life was simple then
Only one thing mattered
The illness
And losing weight
Recovery is an altogether different beast
There are challenges every single day
It's not an easy choice
Recovery can be tricky
It can be head wrecking
Anxiety provoking 
But I would still choose it over my disorder any day of the week

Call it a momentary lapse in judgment
Call it being drunk on weight loss 
But that is not me
Any one who knows me knows that
I'm not giving up
I'm not giving in
Not by a long shot

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The weighting game

I was reading back over my weight notebook last night
I go through periods of recording my weight
Although sometimes I don't want to be reminded of my weight
I tend to only record it if it's going down 

As you know
It was around this time last year that I began to regain weight
It happened quite suddenly and quickly
But I didn't feel too bad about it
That was until I kept getting bigger
And my weight hit an all time high around September
I was really uncomfortable
I felt so big and cumbersome
And I don't think it suited me at all
Some people can carry a bit of extra weight
But my frame is so small that any excess is really noticeable 
I can remember going out for lunch for my mums birthday around this time
The weather was amazing
And I wore a dress
I can remember feeling so self conscious
I hated my new curvy shape

It was also around this time that I gave up smoking
And I know I was eating more to fill the hole
Then as suddenly as I put in on
I began to lose it again
And lost almost twenty pounds
I was back weighing myself every day
Back obsessing about the number
I was bordering on a healthy weight
And I actually felt ok in my skin

Recently I put back on a few pounds
And wasn't feeling great about it
That's when I began to restrict again
I hadn't restricted in years
Thought I couldn't do it any more
But it's amazing how we can slip back in to old behaviours 
Like a comfortable pair of slippers
My weight is back down to a BMI of 19
Nothing to worry about 

I'm now at the weight that was my target weight when I was in hospital
It's bearable
It's manageable
I feel ok in my clothes
I think back to when I was 20 pounds heavier
And I don't know how I tolerated it
It's such a horrible feeling 
When your clothes begin to feel tight
When you are spilling out of them
When all your favourite clothes are too small
It's soul destroying 
And the thing is
When your weight is at a healthy point
People assume that because you look ok
Then you must be ok
And you don't want to explain that your still in the grip of your disorder
The only thing that's changed is the number on the scale
You don't want to tell them that you can't stand yourself and your body
It's a miserable place to be

The ideal thing now 
Would be to maintain this weight
I feel something approaching ok at this weight
I know that I ned to address the restriction 
Before it gets out of hand
When my mum came back from work this week
She commented that I looked like I had lost weight
My ED was overjoyed to hear this
And added fuel to the fire that is my disorder
I know I need to put the brakes on now
And not hurtle head first down the rabbit hole
I've come too far to let that happen again

I was wondering about you
Have you ever been in this position?
When you regained weight
Was it all over the place like money?
Do let me know....

Friday, 17 April 2015

Tramadol test

I was at a meeting this week
Where I was talking about anxiety
I'm really struggling with it at the moment
And it is driving me nuts
It affects everything I do
And makes seemingly simple tasks impossible
Anxiety is a horrible thing
It's why so many people think they are having a heart attack
When they are in fact having an anxiety attack
I guess they are both similar
They both affect the breathing 
Tight chest
It can be a terrifying experience

So I was at this meeting
My anxiety wasn't too bad that day
And I even managed to read out the daily reading 
Usually I can't read in public at all 
When I was finished speaking
One of the men began to share
He said he was wondering why I read out the reading so fast
But now realised it was due to anxiety
Later on he suggested that I try Tramadol for my anxiety
I knew what Tranadol was
It's a morphine based pain killer
I remember when I was in hospital with pancreatitis 
Tramadol was the first thing they gave me
It didn't work at the time

I was chatting with my friend after the meeting
She told me not to listen to the man
That he was not well
I left the meeting
And thought no more about it

During the week
My neighbour asked me if I would look after her dog for a few days
As she was going away
I said I would
So I've been over and back to the house
Feeding the dog
And bringing him for walks
I decided to sit with him for a while last night in the kitchen
I was watching tv
Minding my own business
When I spotted some blisters of meds on the table
My curiosity was pricked
And I turned the pack over to see what they were
And wouldn't ya know it
They were Tramadol

I had a huge urge to take a couple
I must have sat staring at them for ages
I had the dog on my lap 
And I kept thinking
Just one
One won't hurt
She won't even notice
At one point 
I picked up the pack
And was so close to taking a couple
But some how
I managed to resist 
I figured that my neighbour had trusted me with the key of her house
And left me in charge of her dog
How low would it be to steal her meds?
This woman was recently widowed 
And the last thing she needs is her greedy addict next door neighbour helping herself to her meds

I got home and breathed a sigh of relief
I can't lie
I was very close to taking those tablets
It was temptation in pill form 
I'm just so glad I didn't take them
And it's because I have gotten stronger over the last month
That I can resist
It's because I have been going to meetings
Because I am working a programme
Because I want to do the right thing
Because I want to get well
Because I want to be a good person
Tramadol test passed...... 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Looking after #1

When I was in the midst of my addiction and ED
I didn't care about myself
Or my health
I was too busy self destructing
And generally trying to kill myself
My health or well being just Nevet cane in to it
I didn't care about my teeth
It skin
Or hair 
Or nails
Drugs occupied my every waking moment
It was always a race to keep the sickness at bay
And I was always playing catch up

Even before my addiction and ED
I didn't give my health a second thought
I didn't like myself very much
So I didn't look after myself
As I didn't really see the point
I didn't think I was worth the trouble 
I didn't think I was worth the effort

During the worst of my ED
I denied myself basic human rights
Food and water
I starved
And binged
And purged
I did everything I could to hurt myself
I was so disconnected from my body
And what it needed
I didn't know how to care for myself
It felt so foreign
So wrong 
Hurting myself became normal

It's only really in the last year that I have started looking after myself
Last February
I was just out of treatment
Having been discharged after failing to gain weight
My weight was low
My mood was lower
I feared for my sanity and for my future
To cut a long story short
I did what I call a half hearted over dose
And took a weeks meds one evening
Thankfully all it did was put me in to a deep sleep
And I woke up the next day

I didn't tell anyone about the overdose
But then when I saw Mary the next week
I found myself telling her
She jumped in to action immediately
And gave me a choice
I could either present at the local psychiatric hospital
Or wait and see my doctor the next day
I chose the latter
And promised Mary I would be safe until then

I saw my doctor the next day
Mary had filled him in about what had happened 
I don't remember much about that appointment
Other than he changed my meds
And started me on Prozac 
All I could do then was hope and pray and wait for the drugs to work

Thankfully they did work
And my mood began to lift
And my anxiety lessened
It wasn't really a conscious thing
But I began to gain weight
As I gained the weight
I started to feel so much better
Life became easier
I could tolerate being me for the first time in a long time
Also my binging and purging became a lot more manageable 
I had been purging up to twenty times a day
It was killing me
It was such a relief to finally be free
Well almost free from bulimia

As I began to recover 
But by bit I started to take care of myself
Personal hygiene
Which really sufferers during my addiction
I started to take pride in my appearance again
Doing my hair and wearing nice clothes
Life was getting better

Years of being on methadone
Had really taken its toll on my teeth
Do last August I began the process of improving them
I found a brilliant dentist
Who gave me seven new crowns
Which drastically improved my teeth
And just two weeks ago
He finished them
And they now look a million times better
I had been so self conscious about them
And they really affected my confidence
It was a big decision to get them done
A big commitment
Especially financially 
It was a long and painful process
But they are now done
And I couldn't be more pleased with them

My teeth were the first thing to tackle
Then it was time to address my feet
As I explained on Tuesday
One of my big toe nails needed to come off
As it was beyond saving
I've had a problem with this toe for years
And kept putting it off yo do something
But I finally got it done this week
And it is such a relief to have it done

The next thing on my agenda
Is to get my eyes tested
My eyes are really failing at a rapid rate 
And I think I need glasses
I'm actually looking forward to getting them
As I think they can look really cool with the right pair

These are all things that I am doing for myself 
Looking after myself 
My body
My mind 
My spirit 
This is something of a revelation for me 
For such a long time it didn't matter
I didn't matter

It's a good feeling to be kind to myself
Because it's about time I began taking care of myself 
And putting myself and my mental and physical health first
Because without them
I have nothing

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The jockey

I was listening to the radio the other day
There was a jockey being interviewed 
He had just raced in the Grand National
For anyone that doesn't know
The Grand National is a horse race that happens every year
It's very prestigious 
And also very dangerous
As there are so many horses
There are often many casualties
This jockey was speaking
The interviewer was female
And I was wondering if she was going to ask him about his weight 
As that would be the first question I asked him
And she did
She asked him what his competing weight was
He told her that he was 5'10
And weight a certain weight
I quickly worked out my weight in comparison to his
And came to the conclusion that he weighed less than me for his height

This really disturbed me
The thought that I weighed more than a man
I know that jockeys are like boxers
In that they strictly control their weight for competing
And they are probably not the healthiest people in the world 
But still
I couldn't get the though out of my Head

I guess you could say that this massively triggered me
I have been struggling with restriction anyway
And this has just added fuel to the fire
I'm going long periods of time without eating
And getting a great kick out of having an empty belly
Seeing the numbers on the scale go down is also addictive

I badly need to reign myself in
My behaviours are all over the place
I'm seeing Mary next week
And I guess that is playing on my mind too
I know she will weigh me
And I am dreading it
I guess sometimes I still feel the need to live up or down to the label of anorectic 
Plus I hate being weighed 
I hate knowing my own weight
And more than that
I hate anyone else knowing my weight
To me it is such a personal thing
So to have an audience is beyond difficult
I wish the professionals wouldn't be so reliant on what the scale says
I mean
Can't they go by what I tell them?
Or how I present?
We are told do often that weight doesn't matter when it comes to EDs
But clearly it does
Because otherwise we wouldn't be weighed so much
For the first few years of my ED
I never weighed myself
It never even occurred to me
It wasn't until the professionals started weighing me that the number started to matter
It seemed important to them
So it became important to me

I've gained weight since I last saw Mary
That it is no secret
I realise that I am a healthy weight
With a BMI of 20
But still
I am worried about what she will think of me
Even though rationally I know she will be nothing but happy for me
I'm still worried 

I can feel that I've lost weight
I can feel it in my stomach
And I can see it in my legs
God forgive me for enjoying that
The scale is my friend now
Because the numbers are going down
For so long they went the other way
And the scale was my nemesis 
But I wish it didn't matter either way

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sans nail

Busy day today
Walk dogs - check
Reflexology - check
Meeting - check
Sun shower - check
Get toe nail removed - check

The toe nail was the big one
It was so hard and thick 
That there was only one thing for it
It had to go
So today was the day

I arrived at the doctors at three
The nurse took me to the surgery
And chatted about this and that as she prepared for the doctor
It took him an age to appear
But he finally did
He is very much in demand don't you know

First it was the anaesthetic 
They warned me that this was the worst part
They weren't wrong
He had to inject directly in to my toe
Beside the bone
No less than four times
I hid my face in my hands 
And cursed like a sailor
It hurt like a mother f.....

I was then left to my own devices 
Until the anaesthetic worked its magic
I was well bored
I looked around the room
Inspected the implements on the table beside me
And generally wished that the whole palava was over

My doctor came back
And this time he had a friend
Another younger doctor
Who wanted to observe
Now I had a freakin' audience
The doctor took a tool called a divider 
And began to work under the nail
I had to watch
I had to see what was going on
But then it was suggested that I don't look
So I lay back in the couch
And prayed for no pain
I could feel every thing
And told him so
Cue more anaesthetic 
And more waiting

This always happens to me
I seem to need double the anaesthetic that a normal person needs
It always happens in the dentist too
As my mother says 
I must be becoming immune to drugs

The doctor returned
And we began again
I could feel pressure
It wasn't sore as such
But just knowing what he was doing was enough to make me squirm
It must have taken him about ten minutes to pride off the nail
But it felt like an eternity
Finally I looked down
And it was done
Nail removed 
Operation over
Oh the relief 
The sweet relief
It felt so hop to have it over and done with

The doctor left
And the nurse applied a bandage
It all looked very neat and tidy
And I was one satisfied customer
I hobbled out to the waiting room 
Where my sister was waiting for me
We collected our respective meds 
And headed home

I got straight in to my pyjamas
And made a hot cup of sweet tea
It was a difficult day
But a good one 

Monday, 13 April 2015

10 years

Both Honey and Lea both turned ten recently
And we also celebrated 10 years living in this house
Which also means it is 10 years since I first went in to treatment
Which means it is 10 years since I first dipped my toe in to the pond of recovery

In some ways it's felt like forever
But in others it has gone by in the blink of an eye
So much has happened
So many ups and downs 
Highs and lows
But the important thing is that I made it through it 
We made it through it

Here are some photos of my best girls today

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ana's return

You know that game 
Where you use a little hammer to hit the heads that pop up
And as soon as you hit one down
Another one pops up somewhere else
That is exactly what my life feels like right now
Let me explain

I have what they call 'dual addiction'
In that I battle both substance abuse
And an eating disorder
But you already knew that
Since the age of 18
I have bounced between the two
When one is under control
The other spins out of control

For instance 
When I was using a few weeks
My ED was in the background
As drugs dominated my every waking moment
It's not that my ED had gone away
It was just lying dormant 
And was bound to erupt at some point

I managed to get my using under control
And hey presto
What do ya know?
My ED returneth 

At first it was purging 
My old friend bulimia was back in town
All re-charged after a rest
She meant business
But along with bulimia
The negative thinking
And the madness returned
I could feel it seeping in to my body and mind
Like a poison working its way through my system
I just couldn't handle it 
So I went to the other extreme
And stopped eating

At first it was like a game
To see how long I could go without eating
10 hours
24 hours
36 hours
I wanted to see how far I could push it

But every action has a consequence
And usually restriction like this ends up in an almighty binge
The taste of food after a fast can go one of two ways
It can either taste amazing
Or make you feel sick to your stomach
And you never can tell until you eat it

After every binge
The restriction starts a fresh
New game 
New player
Let's see if we can beat our last score

Fasting for me is actually hellish
I spend the whole time arguing in my head about whether to eat or not
Sometimes it feels like I am going mad
Going insane
Maybe I have already
I don't know

My weight is down a few pounds 
Nothing to worry about 
But I need to get on top of this
Before I fall head first down the rabbit hole
Which we all know can happen in the blink of an eye

I'm also struggling with meetings 
I haven't been to one in two days now
But I am determined to get back on track
To get back to a meeting a day
Every road has its bumps
And I am hoping that is all this is 

Friday, 10 April 2015

8 months

I am delighted and proud 
To tell you all
That I am 8 months smoke free today!
After almost 20 years of smoking 30 a day
I finally gave up last August 
While I was away in London
I think I can now officially call myself a non smoker

I loved smoking 
Loved every thing about it
At regular intervals through out the day
I used to make myself a cup of tea
And take 5 minutes out for a cigarette
Those minutes were precious
I did my best thinking at this time 

Cigarettes punctuated my life
And for a long time 
I had no desire to give up
Even though I was spending €100 a week on them
And was constantly broke
I loved them too much to give them up
And of course I believed the myth that if you give up smoking
Then you gain a lot of weight
I wasn't going to chance it

I wish I could say that I gave up for health reasons 
I didn't 
I gave up because I could no longer afford them
That was the only reason
If I were rich
I would definitely still be smoking

Last August 
My uncle went to Turkey 
And brought me back two cartons of my favourite brand
I decided that when they were gone
Then I would give up
I smoked my head off for the next two weeks 
And thoroughly enjoyed every one of them
One Monday morning 
At 10 30am
I found myself with my last cigarette
I waited until I was dying for it
Then I went out to the garden
Settled on the bench 
With a cup of tea
And my book
Conditions had to be perfect for my last one
I lit the cigarette
And inhaled deeply
I drank in every bit of it
And all too soon it was over 
I smoked it right down to the butt
And said my goodbyes as I extinguished it
That was it
My love affair with cigarettes was over

Since that morning
I haven't looked back
Haven't even wanted to
I made up my mind that I was going to quit 
And when I put my mind to something
I really give it my all
Ive heard it said 
That cigarettes are harder to give up than heroin
Just to set the record straight
That is uter horse shit
Heroin is by far the hardest thing I have ever given up
Don't get me wrong
Giving up smoking is tricky
But with heroin you have the double whammy of being both physically and mentally addicted
At least with smoking there are no physical withdrawals
It's more a mental thing

Today is a good day
It shows me that I can achieve when I put my mind to it
That I can overcome the obstacles in my life
It is possible to succeed at the goals we set ourselves 
Today is a good day 


In an effort to make myself feel a little better about the whole summer thing
I've taken to working on my tan
The weather here is starting to improve
So there is no need for knits and fleeces any more
Which is a shame because I love wrapping up on cold winter days
The one thing that I hate about summer 
Is the fact that less clothes are necessary
But I always feel better about myself if I have a colour
So I signed up for 100 minutes in the sun shower of my local leisure centre
I've already used 45 minutes in 3 days
As you know
I don't do things by halves 

The other reason I was dreading summer
Was because of my toe
This tie has given me no end of trouble over the years
What with in grown nails 
Growing in the wrong direction
And generally not doing what a big toe is supposed to do
After years of hiding my toes 
And pretending there is nothing wrong with it
I finally showed my doctor said toe on Tursday
He took one look at it
And said it would have to come off
The nail that is 
Not the toe
Even though the whole procedure sounds horrific
I am actually glad that something is finally being done about it 
At last I will be able to get all my toes out and not scare small children with its grossness
I would show you a photo of said toe
But I don't want to put you off your breakfast

In recovery 
You hear a lot about self care
Looking after yourself
And spiritually
In the midst of addiction or an ED
Self care is not high on your list of priorities
You are generally too busy trying to kill your self 
They also say that you need to be a bit selfish
And put yourself first
This does not come very easily for me
As I am a natural people pleaser
I want to please people
I want to be liked
And I want people to think well of me
But this can back fire
As people pleasers can be rather annoying
But I am starting to look after myself
By getting my teeth done
Getting my toe done
Going to meetings
Going to therapy
Keeping my side of the street clean as it were 

Taking care of myself is a new phenomenon 
I spent years abusing myself
I didn't care about me or my health
I can remember being down in my sisters house
She would always have supplements and vitamins and health aids out on the counter
I remember thinking why would you bother?
What is the point?
But now I can see that she was taking care of her health
And that is great
I'm just not quite there yet

My body image changes from day to day
From minute to minute
Sometimes I catch my reflection in a mirror 
And I think I look grotesque
Other times I see something that approaches ok
 My weight is holding steady
Fluctuating a kilo either way
If I am honest
I would love to be 5 pounds lighter
But I know it's a dangerous game yo think like that
My BMI is stable at about 20
Just about healthy 
And I am ok with that

I am trying to do little things to help me feel better about my body
The tanning
Wearing pretty and comfortable clothes
Doing my hair
My nails 
All these things make me feel a little bit better

I was wondering about you
How is your body image?
What do you do to improve your body image?
Are you like me and find summer difficult?
Inquiring minds want to know.....

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Are you addicted?

Yesterday was the first time in forever that I missed a day posting 
I did try to
But the blogger app on my phone wasn't playing ball
So it didn't happen
But anyway
On to todays topic

I was at a meeting last night
It's my sisters home group
So I called in to her on the way
And we went together
It was an AA meeting
And there was quite a big crowd there
My friend was there 
The guy who has an ED
He slept through the whole meeting
But who am I to judge 
I've often done the same myself

There was a woman doing the top table 
And she shared her experience of addiction and recovery
I was delighted to see a woman doing it
As more often than not it is a man
And boy do men love to talk
Especially when they have a captive audience
I have seen men speak for a full hour when they are given the chance
So I was glad to get a female perspective

The speaker was great
I could identify a lot
She spoke about how she has other addictions too
I could really relate to that
After the meeting 
The woman told me a bit about herself
And mentioned that she had a shopping addiction
And that she had nearly gone bankrupt she was spending so much money
This sounded very familiar
It sounded just like me!

When I got home
I was thinking about how I think it's possible for me to get addicted to anything
I just have that type of personality
Where if I get a good feeling off of something
Or it numbs me 
Or gives me a buzz
Or it takes me out of my head
And away from myself
Then there is a good chance that I will go back for it again and again
Despite the destruction it causes

So we all know I was addicted to drink and drugs
And that I have an eating disorder
Very common addictions
But what else am I addicted to?
I remember doing a post on this back a couple of years ago
So this is an update on that
As my list has changed done

The number one offender has to be methadone 
I'm now ten years on a methadone programme
And I am well and truly addicted to it
Every freakin' way
The first thing I do every morning is take my methadone
My life revolves around it
I have a routine of going to the doctor and pharmacy every Monday morning
And then collecting the methadone every few days
It has become such a big part of my life
Part of me
Of who I am 
It is being reduced though
Albeit very slowly
And I am putting up some resistance
It was reduced this week
Just by 2 mls
But it's still a big deal
Any change is a big deal

Then I have my other meds
Two anti depressants
And anti anxiety meds
I am pretty dependant on these too
Although they are not physically addictive
To me they are addictive
I would really miss them if I did not have them

One huge thing that has changed on my addiction list is cigarettes 
I was a confirmed and passionate smoker for almost twenty years
I loved smoking 
The first one of the morning was always my favourite
I was quite a heavy smoker
Thirty a day 
Which was costing me €100 a week
So last August
While I was away in London
On the morning of the 11th
At about 10 30am
I smoked my last one
And haven't had one since 
It's now been eight months 
And I haven't looked back
I am now officially 
A non smoker

But of course when I get one addiction under control
Another one always pops up
Cue shopping addiction
When I gave up smoking
I found that I had some extra money at the end of the week
But instead of saving it like a normal human being
I elected to spend it
Now it seems like when I get money in to my hand 
I feel compelled to spend it
It's only just out of the ATM
And I am handing it over in a shop
Or spending it in line
On line shopping has become quite the hobby for me
And I have to admit 
I get a great thrill out of it
Trawling the Internet for new clothes
Finding something that I just have to have
Clicking the 'Buy now' button
Getting the email that tells me my order has been successfully placed
Then the email to tell me that my order has been shipped
Oh the excitement of it all is too much!
Knowing that there is a parcel on its way to me
And then when it finally arrives
I am almost beside myself 
When the post man rings the door bell
And I open the door to a big juicy package
I sign for it
And take the package in to my arms
Cradling it like it is a new born baby
Then tearing in to it
To find the treasures inside
I take out the items
And my life now feels complete
Now that I have this shirt/skirt/scarf
I never need to shop again 
My wardrobe is also complete
But of course
That buzz wears off quite quickly
Soon the item you just couldn't live without 
Becomes just another piece of clothes
Like every other piece you own
That's when I'm drawn back in
And I find myself searching the Internet once more....

I their addictions which feature in my life to a greater or lesser extent are as followings
In no particular order
Hot sweet tea
If I am at home 
Then I have a cup of tea in my hand
I am constantly boiling the kettle 
And it drives my family nuts
I just love tea
It's warm 
it's comforting 
I used to enjoy a cup of tea and a smoke 
Now I just enjoy the tea
Over and over again

My phone
Since I got my first iPhone
( yes I was a latecomer to this world)
I am pretty much addicted to it
I used to look at my sister 
Who was constantly glued to her iPhone
And wonder what was so interesting
Now I know 
Now I know the wonder that is the phone
I am coverted

I tend to go through phases of being addicted to different foods
Right now it's white chocolate
More specifically Milkybars
I crave it the way I used to crave heroin
The craving is that strong
I have been known to drive miles out of my way to get my precious Milkybars
I remember a few years ago it used to be Drifter bars
One day before I learned to drive
I had my mother drive all over the place looking for these bars
Nothing else would do
I ate then like they were going out of fashion
And then they did
So I had to find something else to fixate on

As many cups of tea I drink a day
I use three sweeteners in each cup
These don't be long adding up
And I'm sure they are bad for me
But since when did that stop me?

I am a tv addict
Especially food shows
Like Come dine with me
My kitchen rules
I also love a good box set 
Like Breaking Bad
The next one I'm going to watch is Better call Saul
Can't wait to get stuck in to that one

That's all I can think of right now
I guess it's enough 

I was wondering about you 
Are you addicted to anything?
Are you like me and have an addictive personality?
I'd love to know
Are you addicted?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Monday Monday

TI was so glad to make it to today
Yesterday was a tough day
It started out ok
I brought the dogs for our usual walk
It was a beautiful day weather wise
I came home
My sister and her friend were going out for the day
But I elected to stay at home
Thinking that I wanted some time to myself
So I ended up being home alone all day
And I did nothing but watch tv
A few hours in
And I could feel my head starting to go
I started thinking
And over thinking
And ruminating 
I could feel the madness setting in
And I didn't like it

I was supposed to meet a friend in the evening before my meeting
But he cancelled 
So I had the whole day alone
About two hours before the meeting
I began to argue with myself whether to go or not
I was going around in circles in my head
And couldn't make a decision one way or the other
My mother came home 
And I was I foul humour
I finally decided to go to the meeting
But I was now running late and needed to hussle

I jumped in my car
Feeling under pressure
I was speeding along 
I got on to the main road
And I could feel the anxiety building in me
Then it all got too much
And I had to pull in to the side of the road
I didn't know what to do
I felt so overwhelmed 
I rang my mum
And she told me to go home 
So I turned around 
And admitted defeat

I got home
And felt like utter crap
I really wanted and needed to get to a meeting 
And was beating myself up that I didn't go
My mother told me to write off the day
And start a fresh today

I haven't been to a meeting since Saturday
And I really feel it
I feel tense 
A little bit crazy 
It just goes to show 
I do need a meeting every day at the moment
I need all the help I can get right now
But if nothing else
I learned something from this weekend
That I shouldn't spend too long on my own
And I need regular meetings

I had my doctor appointment this morning as yesterday was a bank holiday
I woke up feeling a lot better
And headed in for 9 am
He mentioned the fact that we were supposed to decrease my methadone today 
I put up no fight
As I am all out of excuses and reasons not to
So it was dropped from 26 to 24 mls
I probably won't even notice it to be honest

For the last couple of years
I've been having a lot of trouble with the nail on my big toe 
It was in grown in the past
And part of it had to be removed
And then it started to discolour 
And grew extremely thick
I've been meaning to show it to my doctor for months
And finally got around to it today
He said it would have to come off
And made an appointment for me for next Tuesday
I don't even mind
I am just glad that fine thing is being five about it at long last

After my doctor
I had an appointment with my counsellor Breda 
We talked about a lot of things
She really is very good
One of the best I have seen
It's great because there are so many positives in my life right now
So many things to be grateful for 
I have so much support
And as I always say
If love and support could get me well
I would have got well a long time ago

I even feel better about my body image today
Which is so good 
Eve made the point on my last post
That feeling ugly at certain times is not an ED thing
It's a girl thing
And you know I think she is right
I think a lot of the time
Our confidence
And self esteem
Is connected to our appearance
It shouldn't be 
But it is
So I tried on my outfit again today
Here it is......