Monday, 29 June 2015

The Interview....

As you know
A lady called Dyna Fayz contacted me from Levant Tv
Levant Tv is a Middle Eastern tv station based in London
They were doing an item on eating disorders
And having found me through my blog 
Dyna wanted to know if I would speak to them
Along with a psychiatrist and the mother of a young girl with an eating disorder
I spoke to Dyna last week
She outlined what the discussion would revolve around
And what questions I may be asked
It all sounded really exciting
So I agreed to do it
Dyna informed me that the show was to be recorded yesterday
When they would ring me
And I would participate by phone
I also supposed them with a photo they could show their viewers while I was speaking

Over the weekend 
I wrote out some flash cards for myself
Subjects and topics and words to trigger my brain as to what to speak about 
Yesterday morning 
I saw my doctor
Collected my meds
But did t take any
As I wanted to be as alert as possible
Dyna was due to ring at 3 30pm
So my day was spent worrying and fretting
And generally being all over the place
I arranged my notes on the coffee table
Asked my Mum to stay in the room with me
And waited
Half past three came and went 
My nerves were shot
Eventually 
After 4pm
I got the call
A disembodied voice asked me to hold on for Dyna
I could hear the other interviews taking place
Mostly the psychiatrist
After another lengthy wait
I finally was put on to Dyna

I was super nervous
And I could hear the shake in my voice
She started off by asking me a bit about my story
I couldn't tell you what I said
It was all a blur
I do remember trying to speak clearly and confidently 
I didn't use any of my notes 
And mostly spoke off the cuff 
The mother of the young girl also asked me some questions
About whether the negative voice in her daughters head would ever go away
I tried to be as honest as possible
To give a realistic account of what it's like to live with and recover from an eating disorder
The presenter asked the psychiatrist what advice he would give me
He simply said 

'Find out what you want to be and be it'

I thought this was good advice
And is exactly what I am trying to do at the moment 

And just like that 
It was all over 
I couldn't quite believe it
As I hadn't said half of what I had planned to say
There was so much more that I wanted to cover
Everything written on my notes
The interview lasted about fifteen minutes according to my Mum who was in the room with me
But it felt like seconds  
They told me they would send me information about when you the show is broadcast
We said goodbye
And that was it 

At first I felt disappointed
Because I didn't say half the things that I wanted to say
I felt I had said very little really
But my Mum assured me that I had covered quite s lot
How and ever
I did my best
And I just hope that it will help someone just a little bit

I was completely wound up after the interview
Full of nervous energy
I rang a few people to talk it over with
I feel really good that I did it
Because I was full of anxiety about it
I'm really looking forward to seeing it broadcast
And hopefully I can share it with you too

It just goes to show 
The amazing things that can happen through writing a blog
When you put yourself out there
Wonderful things can happen
I write my blog everyday
Sending my words out in to the abyss that is the internet
I never know who is going to read then
Who is going to comment
Or email
Or get in touch with me
I wake up every morning looking forward to reading my emails
As there is always something interesting to find 
The aim of my blog was always to help others and help myself in the process
I really feel like my story has a purpose
That there is a reason why all this happened
You know?
 
If you want to check out Levant Tv
They have a Facebook page 
But otherwise
I will post the link to the show when I get it
Here's hoping it all turns out ok.....

Good News!

Just a quick post this morning
Monday is doctor day as you know
My doctor wasn't very chatty this morning
He asked me how my week went
And how I got on with my new dose
I told him this week went better
But could he please not reduce my methadone this week
He agreed
Last week he said he was going to reduce it by 2mls a week
Which is quite a lot 
He made the point that we were hoping to be completely off it by next Christmas
And now that won't happen
I don't mind though
I would rather be on more methadone and be stable
Than be on less and messing around
So I am still on 36 mls
And that is just fine with me

I came home 
And wrote out some points for my interview this afternoon
They are going to ring me at 3 30pm
And my slot will last around fifteen minutes
I am super nervous 
I just hope I can do you all proud 
And speak honestly and openly
I will do my very best
That's all I can do

In other news
The postman came at about 11am
With One letter for me
My Mum left it on the coffee table for me
I immediately knew what it was
It was from my course
I slowly opened it
And scanned down through the writing
You know what?
I got in!!
I have my place on the course!
Exciting!
I am delighted to have made it on
Now I have some decisions to make
If I accept this place
My disability benefit will be stopped after one year
And I will have to go on Jobseekers
Who very much stay on your back about getting work 
When my payment is stopped
I can appeal it
But that is a nightmare of red tape that I don't want to go through 
The thing is
If my disability is stopped
It will be nigh impossible to get back on it
I was first put on this payment when I went in to hospital for the first time
My psychiatrist wrote to social welfare
And I was immediately put on disability
And it's great to be on it
As they really do leave you alone
No signing on
The money goes straight in to my bank account
No pressure from social welfare
And I also get a travel pass
Which saves me so much money
My case is reviewed every few years
And that is usually just routine questions 
So if I do this course
I will lose that payment
That security
And all the perks that go with it
It really makes no sense to me
But then that's this country for you

I do have other options
I could try and find another course
It's just that I had my heart set on this one
As its specifically for adults returning to education
It's part time
There's a lot of support
And it's near my home
I guess all I can do is find out all my options
Then make an informed decision
I have two months until the course starts
So I will try to make it work 

I am trying to kill time before my interview
It never ceases to amaze me
The things that have happened through my blog
It just goes to show
That if you are willing to put yourself out there
Wonderful things can happen....
 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday

As long term readers know
Sunday used to always be my worst day of the week
The last day of my meds week 
I always overtook my meds during the week 
And had none left by Sunday
So it was always a long, boring day
Often on the verge of withdrawal
I always tried to get up especially early on a Sunday
To tire myself out
In the hope that I would get some much needed sleep that night

But God almighty Sunday was an endless day
The yawning would start early 
The watery eyes
The runny nose
The dull ache in my limbs
The mental torture
It was not fun let me tell you

By Sunday night
My body would be absolutely exhausted 
But my mind super awake 
It's a horrible way to be
Craving sleep so much 
But not being able to snatch even a few minutes
The night is long when you can't sleep
The minutes become hours
The darkness makes everything seem worse
And it feels like you are the only one in the world who is awake
I tried to kill time by reading
Watching box sets
Chain smoking 
And drinking endless cups of tea
Often I would end up in tears
Just so exhausted
And mentally spent
By the time dawn came around
I was just starting to doze 
But then 8am came
And it was time to get up and go to the doctor 

I would drag myself out of bed 
My eyes bleary
My head fuzzy 
My eyes red and swollen from crying 
I felt wired 
Like the walking dead
Often losing the power to make any kind of sense
I don't miss that

So today is Sunday
And it is such a treat to have meds left
Somehow I even had 5 extra mls of methadone too!
That is just unheard of in my house
So today
I can enjoy Sunday just like everyone else
I can relax knowing that I will sleep tonight
And my friends
Is a freakin' revelation.....

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Nervous Nelly....

Today is Saturday 
Which means the tv show is being recorded the day after tomorrow
And boy am I a nervous nelly 
My heart flutters every time I think of speaking in front of so many people
I am afraid that these people
Family members 
And professionals
Are going to look to me for all the answers
And I'm not sure if I have them
Or even if I have any

I haven't really been prepped for this discussion on Monday
I mean
I had a conversation with Dyna the presenter/ producer
And she outlined what the discussion will centre around
I am worried that I will either babble on like a raving lunatic
Ot completely freeze
And won't be able to utter a word 
I know the other people involved in the discussion are the mother of an eleven year old girl that is suffering with an ED
A psychiatrist
And the director of an eating disorder clinic
I know I will be asked what advice I can give the mother of the young girl
And I've been thinking about it a lot
My disorder developed when I was about 19
So to all intents and purposes I was an adult
So I haven't experienced my ED as a child
Of course the age does not matter
But I do think it makes a difference that this girl is a minor
And her parents are responsible for her
So I'm sure they're doing everything in their power to help their daughter
But the reality is
That no one can make you eat
No matter how hard they try

Eleven years old is so young
And it's such a complicated illness
That I'm sure this poor child does not even understand what is happening to her
But she is not starving herself because she is a happy well adjusted child
Something is going on there
And somehow she has got the message that if she doesn't eat
This will somehow help her situation
I'm sure her and her parents are locked in a battle of wills
And it becomes a competition to see who can hold on the longest 
In this childs mind
Her parents have now become the enemy
And the disorder has become her friend 
In a child's world 
It's as simple as that

EDs change the most well mannered polite person in to a lying, cheating manipulative and difficult person
It's a lot like living with an addict
The addiction takes over
And to the addict
Nothing else matters
Only the drug 
Or the ED
So how do we go about helping someone with an ED?
How does a family navigate the choppy waters that are anorexia or bulimia 
First off
I think we need to recognise that the disorder fulfills a need in the person
The person is getting some sort of pay off
Whether it be control
Attention
The perfect figure
Relief of anxiety
Often the sufferer won't entertain recovery 
Until the negatives of the disorder begin to out weigh the benefits
The first port of call is usually your GP
He/ she is not an expert in EDs
And will refer the sufferer on to mental health services
Or what ever services are available in the community
I saw numerous counsellors and therapists over the years 
And found them of little help
But then I had no interest in getting well
It wasn't until I started seeing Mary a few years ago that I began to even entertain the idea of recovery
I've also been inpatient numerous times
And have come to the conclusion that it is not for me
I don't doubt that it works for some people
But definitely not me
I have always done much better recovering from home
That's probably because I am lucky enough to have a very strong family around me

Often in the grip of an ED
Our world shrinks to just us and the disorder
We push away family and friends 
We lose interest in school and hobbies
And become completely immersed in the ED
We read about it
Watch films about it
Watch documentaries about it
Maybe we speak to others on line about it
Nothing else matters
Nothing else captures our attention like our ED
I thinking the tricks of recovery
Is finding something that matters to you more than the ED
What ever that may be
A hobby
A job
A person
An interest
In my case it was my dogs 
They meant more to me than my ED ever could 
And have massively helped me in my recovery
Everyone has something that they love 
Be it horse riding
Reading
Writing 
Acting
Hula hooping 
It could be absolutely any thing
As long as it means something to you

I don't have all the answers 
All I can do is share what worked for me
And give some one rough guide lines
I'm not an expert
I have been through it
And am lucky to have made it out relatively unscathed 
I like to use the analogy of the wild animal when talking about recovery
I think recovery is like training a wild animal
You can train it 
And manage it 
But there is always the possibility that it will bite
As you can never fully tame it
I never consider myself out of the woods 
I know it's a life long battle
With many hurdles
All we can do is take it day by day
Meal by meal
Keep putting one foot in front of the other
And keep going
To have hope 
Faith 
And courage
And as I always like to say
Baby steps all thee way! 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Tv Show Update

You might have noticed that I deleted a post about an email I got regarding taking part in a tv show
I received an email from a lady from a tv company called Levant Tv
Asking me if I would be willing to take part in a tv debate about eatingdisorders
That is to be recorded next Monday
I was suspicious of the email at first
As it was so general
Out of curiosity 
I emailed the lady back
A response came quickly
And it all sounded very professional
However 
I did want to speak to someone before committing to anything 
So I emailed my phone number 
And asked her to give me a call
The call came in within minutes
And I spoke at length to the lady
She explained that Levant Tv is Lebannese 
And their shows are streamlined on line
As well as being shown on tv in some countries
She described how there would be a few people taking part in this particular show
A psychiatrist
An eating disorder clinic director
The mother of a young girl with an ED
And myself
This lady found me through my blog
And wants me to spread the message of hope
That there is light at the end of the tunnel
And that there is life beyond an ED

To me
This all sounds great
This is exactly the reason that I write my blog
To give others hope 
Yet give an honest and unflinching account of what it's like to live with an eating disorder
I can't lie
I am nervous beyond belief to do this
But more than wanting to do it
I feel I need to do it
I feel like it's my responsibility to speak for us 
For everyone one of you who is out there in your own little corner of the world 
Suffering
Some suffering alone
And in silence
If I can give someone at least a little bit of hope
Then I am happy with that
I know when I first started trying to recover from drugs
It was so important to me that I saw someone who was doing it
Who was actively enjoying recovery
Not enduring it
Someone who had been there
Done that 
Bought the extra small t-shirt
It's so very important to see another human being achieving what we want to achieve 
Because then we know that it is possible
Then we know that it's real

Part of me is feeling like a bit of a fraud though
I mean
In all honesty
I am no poster girl for recovery
I still struggle on daily basis 
I am no where near recovered
But I guess that is a more realistic view of recovery
Recovery is a spectrum
We are all at different points
But we are all on it
What ever stage we are at
Recovery is not so black and white
There is a  huge grey area 
Where most of us reside
I hope to carry a message of hope
And also a realistic version of recovery
I just hope that I can do it justice
As you know
I am not a great speaker
I much prefer to write 
Then I can get the words out at my own pace 
Maybe the fact that I am on the phone will make it easier
I don't know

I had to send a photo of myself that they will show when I am speaking 
Now that was an ordeal
Which photo to choose?
Instead of trawling through them all
I used the first half decent one that o came across 
It was taken last winter 
I am out walking 
And the beach is in the background 
Anyway 
It'll do as they say

With all said
I am throwing the floor over to you
Are there any specific topics or areas that you think I should address?
Is there anything that you think is important to mention?
Any advice you could give the mother of the young girl?
Or anything they you think is worth mentioning?
Do let me know if you can think of anything 

Ok
I'm off to pace manically
And chew my finger nails 
As I await the up coming day.....

Day 6

Today is day 6 of operation don't weigh for a year
Whilst trying to decide whether to do the year or not
My only set of scales decided to give up and die
So whether I like it or not
I am scale free
Goodbye dear scale
You served your time with me
You brought some joy
But mostly you brought despair and disappointment 
I am through with measuring my self worth with you
It will hard to break the tie with you
You were an integral part of my ED
Intrinsically linked to my self esteem and confidence
I'm sure I will miss you
But just like with smoking 
I know I'll get over you
I'm sorry to break up with you do suddenly
But you are causing me too much heartbreak
I can't live this way any more 
It's time for you to go

Our relationship was bad news from the start 
I knew it was unhealthy 
Toxic
I should have known that it would end in tears
I tried to leave many times
But every time you lured me back in
I was too weak to resist
I am stronger now though 
I have some recovery behind men
And for the first time in my life
I feel able to stand up to you 
I won't let you control me anymore 
It doesn't seem like much
 But breaking the cycle with you
Is one of the most important things I can do
So I'm going to do it
Today is Day 6
6 down
359 to go.....

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Interview Update

I'm just back from my interview
As I said in previous posts
It's a two year course
Business and computers
Specifically for adults who want to go back to learning 
It's ideal for me
I've been out of education for a long time
So it's a nice way to ease back in to it

I woke up at 5am
I knew I would sleep anymore
So I got up 
And sat with the dogs for a while 
Watched some tv
And dozed on the couch
The interview was on my mind all morning
I knew it would be more of a chat than a formal interview
But I still wanted to do as well as I could
The interview was at 2 15pm
So I got dressed at about one 
I changed my outfit slightly 
And added a blue shirt instead of a white t-shirt
As I thought it looked a bit smarter 
My Dad was here
So he drove me
And we set off at about 1 30pm

After a couple of stops 
We arrived at the school at 2pm
My Dad went and parked 
And I went straight in
I saw a sign telling me where to go
I saw some seats and a girl looking very nervous
I asked her if I was at the right place
She said I was
She seemed super nervous
I tried to make small talk
But she wasn't interested
After a few minutes a girl came out of the interview room
And the girl next to me was called in
When I get nervous 
I always have to pee
So I went for a quick one
When I got back to my seat 
I realised I could hear practically every word of the interview
A heard a couple of questions 
And filed them  mentally so I would have the answers if I was asked too
Soon the girl came out
She wished me good luck
Which was nice of her

Then the door opened again
And it was my turn
My heart gave a flutter of anxiety
And I walked in to the room
There were two women there
They told me their names and who they were
But for the life of me I can't remember 
I sat down 
And the interview began 
They asked me where I'd heard about the course
What interest did I have in the subjects
What exams I had
They saw from my application that I was on disability benefit
And explained that I need to write to social welfare to tell them I am doing the course
They also mentioned the possibility that my payment could be stopped after one year
Which is worrying 
And something I'll have look into

I've been on disability benefit since I was first admitted to hospital in 2008
It's great because they kind of leave you alone 
And only check up on you every few years
I was also able to work a few hours over the years
But  having  the payment cut would cause me a lot of problems 

Anyway
Back to the interview
They asked me about previous work 
Where I had lived 
Had I done any voluntary work
Thankfully I remembered that I had 
When I was an exam scribe
Then asked if there was any reason that I wouldn't make it in to the course
I took this as my opportunity to tell them about the fact that I've struggled with eating disorders
They asked how that would manifeste itself
I said it would probably be a mental thing at first
A crisis of confidence
Or experiencing anxiety
I did however 
Emphasise that I am the bed I've been in a long time
And hoped to continue that way 
They really were very nice 
And said they would do everything to support and help me
I felt so relaxed and comfortable
And got such a good vibe 
After a few more questions 
I couldn't believe I when they said it was lovely to meet me
And just like that
It was all over
I couldn't believe it 
I felt like I had just sat down 
They told me that the offer letters would be posted tomorrow
So I'll be waiting for mine with baited breath

I left the interview feel positive and hopeful
The only stumbling block is the issue of my payment 
Which more than likely will be stopped if I do this course
I guess I have to weigh up which is more important
I will also speak to my mum who works in adult education
Or used to work should I say
As she retires this week
I'll find out as much information as I can
And make a decision the 

I feel wrecked tired after the interview though
I was a bit wound up about it all morning
And it's just nice to have it over and done with
Also
Thank you all for your comments, texts and emails wishing me well
It really means a lot 
Right
I'm off to have a little nap
Are you on the next post....

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Honey and Lea

As you know
Honey and Lea are my two dogs
Lea is a beautiful golden retriever 
And Honey is a fiesty terrier
I got them when I moved up here ten years ago
And they both turned ten recently 
Honey came from the local dog shelter 
She had originally been in a home with a single mother and a baby
But she couldn't cope 
So Honey was left on to the shelter 
I can still remember the day I collected her
She was five months old
And so giddy and full of energy and fun
I brought her home
She wasn't in the house ten minutes
When she made herself at home
And jumped up on one of the chairs in our sitting area
She was cheeky from the start
And nothing has changed in that respect
But that is one of the things I love about Honey
That she has a naughty streak
She knows she's only allowed on the kitchen 
But any chance she gets
Age runs out the door and down to my bedroom
One of her favourite things to do is roll around on my bed
And no matter how many times you tell her not to do it
She will chance her arm again and again

A few months after we got Honey
We decided to get another dog
I specifically wanted a retriever
So I found Lea through an advertisement 
Again 
Lea was about five months when we got her
From the start
She was the complete opposite to Honey
When we brought her home
She spent the first day hiding in the bushes at the bottom of the garden
She was super nervous 
And very wary of us to begin with
Over time Lea has improved a lot 
She can still be anxious
But she had come on leaps and bounds
And found her confidence

My dogs have literally been a life saver 
And saved my sanity over and over again
When I couldn't find a reason to get up in the morning
I got up for them
When I didn't want to leave my house
I left to walk them 
They give uncinditional love
And are always so delighted to see me if I so much as leave the room for ten minutes
When I went in to hospital at the end of 2013 - start 2014
My mother and father looked after my dogs 
It was around this time that Leas fur began to fall out
First on a little patch on her back
But it soon spread so that her whole back was almost bald
My mum didn't tell me at the time
As she didn't want to worry me
But when I went home for Christmas 
I saw it for myself
My mum also told me that Lea had sunk in to a kind depression since I had left
I was worried
We brought her to the vet
The took bloods
Checked her hormone levels
But everything came back normal
They couldn't find any medical reason as to why her fur was falling out

I went back to hospital
And Lea continued to deteriorate 
A few weeks later
I was discharged 
And went home for good 
It was soon after this that I overdosed 
And all the professionals stepped in
A plan was put in place
My meds were tweaked 
And slowly but surely 
I began to improve 
I gained weight 
My mood picked up
And my anxiety lessened
Then I noticed that Lea began to perk up
Her mood improved
And miraculously 
Her fur stopped falling out
And began to grown back
We were all shocked here
And my mother came to the conclusion that she had been ill because I was ill
And my illness effected her so much 
That she fell in to a depression and her fur fell out
As I continued to improve
So did Lea
And it did me the world of good to see her recover
As I'm sure it did get to see me
We spoke to a vet afterwards
And she confirmed that it could have been Leas stress levels that made her so unwell
It still blows my mind to think about it

When I was in hospital
Every Wednesday night
A lady brought in a therapy dog
She went around the wards 
Visiting patients
Letting them stroke and play with the dig
So it is recognised that dogs can aid recovery
I know my dogs massively helped me over the years
Even when I was at my sickest
I still walked them daily
Fed them
And played with them
In a lot of ways 
They kept me going 
Helped me hang on
And most definitely kept me sane

Lea and Honey are now both ten years old
Honey has one eye left
But she is still going strong
In dog years 
They are now 70
So really they are elderly 
And I can see it in them 
I just can't imagine life without them
They are part of the family
An integral part of the family
Here they are on Fathers Day
Cheeky Honey will never look at the camera 





Methadone and the scales

It seems that yesterday's post provoked quite a response
Some people really don't agree with methadone 
And see it as a 'free heroin'
And as just another addiction
Others seem optimistic that it works of dispensed correctly
It's the same here on this country
There are thousands of people on methadone 
And it always causes fierce debate
I think it's really a case by case situation
Like most things
Methadone will suit some people
But not others
It depends on how each case is handled individually

Some people genuinely want to get clean
Off everything
And use methadone as a stepping stone to get there
This is probably a healthy way of looking at it
Methadone will provide stability and structure to the addicts life
They will no longer need to turn to crime to fund their habit
They will have the structure of weekly doctor visits 
And possibly daily pharmacy visits

When I first started methadone 
I had to go to Dubln once a month to see the head doctor over methadone  in Ireland
I also had to see my own doctor every other week
I started off on 70mls
And worked my way down over the years
I am now on methadone over ten years
I am pretty sure that a patient is not meant to stay on it indefinitely
But again
I guess it goes by a case by case basis
I have not had ten straight years clean
I have slipped every so often 
It's part and parcel of addiction and recovery 
I know at one point I was down to 18mls
And it looked like I would be off it completely within a year
Now I am back up to 36 mls
And it looks like I will be on it a lot longer

The thing with methadone
Is that there is always the temptation to abuse it
To use on top of it
To sell it
Not to take it properly
I know sometimes patients pretend they need a lot more than they actually do
And sell some of it
People fix their urines
So they give clean urines when in actual fact they are using 
The are lots of ways to fiddle the system 
And people do
I know I did

I do agree that methadone is just as addictive as heroin
If not more so
And is a total nightmare to come off
And withdrawal I've ever had was a lot harder coming off methadone 
They say it gets in to your bones 
Some may say that addiction is addiction 
It doesn't mater if it's cocaine or cornflakes
It's not about the substance 
It's about how it effects your life
And as you all know
I've struggled with my meds
Almost as much as I struggled with illicit drugs
And I really need to get some stability back in my life
So I can function
So I can do my course
So I can learn to live in reality
So I won't worry my family
So I will grow in my recovery

I can't lie
I am super super nervous and anxious to come off my methadone 
It wouldn't bother me if I never came off it
It's sad to say 
But it's the truth
The thought of living in stone cold reality scares the be-Jesus out of me
I really don't know if I can do it
If I can live with out some sort of drug
But the thing is
I know I will never have the things that I want 
If I let myself stay addicted
I won't recover
I won't feel
I won't engage
I won't truly be present
I won't be living in reality
I'll be living in my own fuzzy, cloudy, methadone coloured world
Do I really want that?
I know when I came out of the doctors yesterday 
I thought I would feel good that he increased my methadone
But in reality I felt nothing
I feel nothing
There's nothing to feel
It's hidden beneath layers of meds and methadone 
Do I want to live this way?
I'm not entirely sure

Anyway
On to other matters
You know I've been writing about not weighing for a whole year
Well it seems that the universe took matters in to its own hands 
And since Saturday 
My scale has been broken 
Dead 
Done
Departed 
Finite
I took this as a sign that I should go ahead with my idea
So since Sunday the 21st June
There will be no weighing
Not until 21st June 2016
When I will reasses the situation
Already I feel a sense of freedom
Not knowing the number is liberating 
And not having the anxiety of weighing is a joy
So I think it's a good idea all around 

So it's all go again this week
Back to meetings
Back to Breda next week
Mary 
Seeing friends 
Back on the wagon
Back on track
Baby steps all the way....

Monday, 22 June 2015

D Day

As I type this
I am sitting in the doctors waiting room
I don't need to tell you that I am beyond nervous
I just saw him walk by
And I swear
My heart jumped in to my mouth
I lay awake last night 
Trying to piece together what I was going to say to him
Tossed and turned as I ran through the conversation in my head over and over
Trying to find the right words to explain my situation
It's not easy 
No one likes to admit that they f**ked up
Especially not to their doctor of over ten years
I just keep telling myself 
It will all be over in minutes
Then I can accept whatever decision he makes 
Walk out 
And start getting busy trying to recover

I'm a big girl
I can do this 
Slips are all part and parcel of recovery
I know this
My doctor knows this
Sometimes it's one step forward 
Two steps back
At least for me anyway

Edit: just out of the doctors
And sitting in the chemist waiting for my meds
M doctor knew by looking at me that there was something wrong
'How are you doing?'
'Eerrrmmm ok...'
'That's a very tentative ok'
I sat down and took a deep breath
'I've been messing around
Not with heroin
But with my meds'
'Ok why are you doing that?'
'I don't know
I just get anxious and bored and feel the need to break out every so often
The thing is I have my interview for my course this week and I really want to get back on track
And I'm all over the place at the monent
I can't trust myself at all'
'Are you using anything else?'
'No' I answered honestly 
'Ok' he said 
' you know what this means?'
'I know' I replied
'Daily dispensing fot at least the next couple of weeks
And as well as that I'm going to increase your methadone to 34mls'
Then he seemed to change his mind and said he would increase it to 36 mls
I was actually blown away by this 
That's a 12 ml increase
Any time he had increased it
It's only been by 2-4 mls
So this is him being very lenient
And I very much appreciate that
He spent some time tapping away on his keyboard 
Asking me questions 
Then he wrote out my script 
Told me to try and stay on the straight and narrow
I thanked him and left
It was all over in a matter of minutes
I left feeling a bit bewildered
But glad 

I can never tell how it's going to go with my doctor
Sometimes he over reacts
And gets really frustrated with me
Other times he is calm and collected 
And just gets on with the task in hand
I know I'm hard work
And not an easy case 
I'm sure I'm not who he wants to see first thing on a Monday morning
Me with my baggage and endless troubles with addiction and food
It just never seems to end 
If it's not drugs
It's meds
If it's not meds 
It's bulimia or anorexia
I'm sure I am a doctors worst nightmare
And I am lucky to have the doctor I do 
He has put up with more than a little BS from yours truly
And he is never anything short of kind
My doctor has a conscience
He is ethical
And upstanding
Always doing things by the book
Even though he gets paid handsomely for my methadone treatment 
He has been trying tirelessly for years to get me off it
I've known doctors clock up as many methadone patients as the can
And keep them on file for as long as they can
All in the name of money
I've cursed my doctor over the years
Wishing he would be just a little bit crooked
And prescribe me what ever I want
But in reality 
I know I'm lucky to have such a good doctor 

Even though my meds have been taken in hand 
There is still the opportunity to abuse them
I could store my meds
But I feel positive that I won't 
I have my interview for my course on Thursday
So I really want to be lucid and compos mentis 
The increase in methadone will probably have an effect on me
And make me a little sleepy
So I really want to avoid that on Thursday

I said to my mum today 
'I don't know if you've noticed but I've been abusing my meds recently' 
'Yes of course I have noticed' she replied
'I avoid you when you are like that and there is no talking to you.
It's like talking to a drunk person'
I don't know why
But I was surprised to hear this
Most of the time I go along thinking they no one else notices
But of course they do
It's hard not to miss

Hopefully this is the start of my turning around the meds situation once and for all
My doctor said he is going to reduce 
My methadone over the next few weeks
But I'll believe that when I see it
So all in all
It was a good result
And I feel hopeful about the future 
It just goes to show 
When I do the right thing
And be honest 
Good things do happen

I'd also like to thank all of you for your support, well wishes, advice, comments and emails
You guys have saved my sanity more times than I can count
Your support means more than you will ever know
Thank you
For being there
For listening
Reading 
For your words of wisdom
Your honesty
Your candour
For telling me what I need to hear
And not what I want to hear
Good friends are hard to come by
And I am blessed to count you among mine  

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Fathers Day

It's Fathers Day here today
And it's also my other sisters birthday
So we are all having a family meal here
Which I am cooking
Chicken chasseur
It was only after I bought all the ingredients 
That I remembered that I made this the last time we all met up
But how and ever
I'm sure no one will even notice

I get on well with my Dad
And see him regularly
As you know 
My parents split up when I was 19
The best decision they ever made if you ask me
Growing up in our house was tough
There was often a grim atmosphere 
And my father drank a lot
My parents were constantly fighting
And I actually hated my father
I can distinctly remember being afraid of him
And worrued that he was going to kill us all
That is no exaggeration

But in recent years 
Things have drastically improved 
My father hasn't touched alcohol in years
And the family gets on much better
The only thing is 
That my father denies that he did anything wrong while we were growing up
So we avoid that subject like the plague 
I get on good with my Dad now
He spent a lot of time with me when I was really unwell
So I guess we have that bond
My Dad absolutely loves Honey and Lea
And they adore him
So we also have that
Which is nice

Anyway
On to other subjects
Regarding weighing
I think I am going to go ahead and discard my scale
And try to go a full year without weighing
Maybe I'm bonkers 
Maybe this is a terrible idea
But I feel compelled to do something
To take control of the whole weighing situation
However 
I will talk to Mary next week
To see what she thinks 
Call me crazy
And maybe I don't need to be so 'all or nothing'
But that's the way my brain works 
Let me know what you think about it

Last but not least 
I will leave you with today's outfit
Shirt - River Island
Skinny jeans - River Island



Saturday, 20 June 2015

A year scale free?

I've been thinking a lot about the whole weighing situation 
At the end of my last session with Mary 
We decided that neither she or I would weigh me for the next few weeks
She also asked me to keep a food diary
And I made a commitment to eat regularly
And preferably not purge
Mary assures me that my body will find its own natural set point if I feed it correctly
To be honest
I haven't quite kept to the agreement about not weighing
And did so once yesterday
No good can come of it though
It's a lose lose situation
Do what is an eating disordered girl to do?

I remember a while ago
I stumbled across a blog over in Wordpress
The writer was documenting her life without weighing for a year
I remember thinking it was an amazing idea
She wrote every single day
And was recovering from an eating disorder
I think her year is up by now
It was an incredible experience for this blogger
And it is something I am thinking about doing
Getting rid of my scales
And not weighing for a whole year

It's just a thought at the moment
I haven't made an concrete commitment yet
I wanted to share the idea with you guys
To see what you think
Because the thing is
Weighing myself
And being weighed by Mary
Is really holding me back
And keeping me stuck in a negative thought cycle 
I hate knowing the number
Yet I feel compelled to step on the scale on a daily basis
And emotionally torture myself
I think not knowing at all is the best policy
I will know from my clothes if I am gaining or losing weight
So that will be my guideline

I really want to go by how I feel inside
Rather than go by how I look
After my conversation with Mary
It really hit home that I am Nevet going to be happy if I hang everything on what I weigh
Or how I look
I can finally see that happiness and contentment is an inside job
No number on a scale 
No clothes size
Can fulfil me
And fill the hole in my soul
I am regularly reading over my list of ten goals for the future 
They are what really matter
They are the things that are going to build my confidence and self esteem
They are going to help me develop a thick skin
And a back bone
Because right now I am putting too much weight in what I look like
I mean yea it's nice to look nice
Have nice hair
Flattering clothes 
They can make me feel good
But only temporarily
I need to find something with more substance
And more meaning
I need a reason to get up in the morning
To bound out of bed
And face the day head on
Righting now I am just drifting along
I'm abusing my meds
Struggling to stay clean and sober 
And hating myself most of the time
There is more to life than being a certain size and a certain weight

In this year without a scale 
I hope to find other ways of liking and loving myself
I hope to find value in me as person 
Not as just a body
I hope to sppreciate myself just the way I am
And not judge myself by how I look
The lovely Sam left such a lovely comment on my last past
She asked me why I am focusing on the wrapping and the box
When there is such a lovely gift inside
These are such kind and thoughtful words 
And they are so true
Our body is just a vessel 
A vehicle 
To house what really matters on the inside
Our personality
Our hopes and dreams
Our minds 
Our brains 
They are the important things

With all that said 
I was wondering what you think about this idea
Living scale free for a year?
Yay or nay?
Inquiring minds want to know......

Friday, 19 June 2015

Memories

During my last session with Mary
She reminded me of a time when she asked me to show her a photo of a time when I felt happy and content 
I remember bringing in the photo to her
It was taken seven or eight years ago
I was in my early twenties
My weight was stable
And even though I had my struggles
I remember feeling pretty good back then

The photo was taken in my brothers house
And I am surrounded by my brother
My mother
My nephew 
And my sister
I like this photo as I think I look healthy
Like I don't have a care in the world
There's a spark in my eyes
And I look alive

There's another photo I have that I like
It's no exaggeration to say that these two photos are probably the only ones I like of myself
This one was taken in Avignon
In France
Again about seven years ago
We stayed in a beautiful apartment
And it was one of my favourite holidays ever
In the photo
I am sitting by the door 
Waiting for my family before we head out to dinner 
I'm reading 
And seem engrossed in the book 
I have a cup of tea beside me
And a cigarette in my hand 
I wasn't aware at the time that the photo was being taken
And that is probably a good thing
As I look more natural 
To be honest 
I was struggling a lot at this time 
Was underweight 
And purged my way around France 
But even though things were tough 
I still really enjoyed the holiday
And have precious memories of it

Both these photos bring back lovely memories
And prove that there were times in my past when I was happy
Things weren't perfect
But then when are they perfect?
These photos are so precious to me
In my house
I am the one that buys photo frames 
And displays the photos 
I just think that having an actual photo
is amazing
It's great to have them on the computer
Or memory stick
But holding an actual photo is one of life's little pleasures 
For me anyway

So
On to the photos......





Thursday, 18 June 2015

Tough session

I saw Mary yesterday
I wasn't expecting it
But it was a really tough session
With all the elements for a good drama
Anger 
Tears
Tragedy 
Comedy 
I feel like I ran the gamut of emotions
All in the space of the hour

First things first 
Mary wanted to weigh me
I had no objection to this 
As I had weighed that morning
And knew what my weight was
I didn't look at the number as I stood on the scale
For some reason 
Seeing the number is harder that hearing it
I put my shoes back on
She asked me what I thought my weight was
I gave her a number
Then she told me 
And flippin' Norah
It was two kilos heavier than my scale at home
Cue complete meltdown 

I just wanted to run out of the room 
At first I felt anger
Anger at myself for being so effected by the number
Anger at Mary's scales 
And anger at Mary for weighing me on her cruel heavy  scales 
She continued to speak to me
Asking me why I put so much weight on what I weigh
I barely heard of what she was saying
Couldn't even look her in the eye
I remember her saying that I was one pound heavier than I was last week
And that could be muscle, faeces or fluid
I know that 
But it doesn't make it any easier

Mary wanted me to write a pros and cons list with her
About the benefits of having an ED
And the negatives
By now 
I had my head in my hands
And tears were stinging my eyes
I couldn't write the list
It was taking all my energy not to tear my own hair out

Earlier on in the session
I had been telling Mary how I compare myself to my sister
How I'm always interested in her weight
And sometimes ask her to try on my clothes 
So I can see the difference in what we weight
This is very eating disordered I know
And I need to stop doing it
Mary challenged me on this 
And I was starting to feel attacked
Although looking back 
I wasn't attacked
She was asking difficult questions 
Questions that need to be answered if I am going to recover
I said to Mary 
'I think I should go'
But she continued to speak to me
Now trying to make me see sense 

I said I didn't understand why I needed to be weighed 
When knowing the number had such a negative impact 
She said that it's important to know my set point
And to have at least an idea what I weigh
I don't agree 
But I see her point 

I was now starting to feel a little better
The initial shock of hearing the number was wearing off
Mary asked me to write a list of where I would like to be in five years time
I listed ten things 
From being clean and sober 
To having my own place 
From recovering from my ED
To being in a relationship
Mary then asked me to number them in order of importance
Which I did

'Ruby
If you want to get well
And not care about weight or shape
These are the things you should concentrate on
Don't compare yourself to others
Don't body check
Don't weigh obsessively 
These are the things that matter to you really 
And if you do achieve them
Then you will be happy'

I've heard it a million and one times
That happiness works from the inside out
Not the outside in
But for some reason
Hearing Mary say those words 
It suddenly clicked with me
I'm not going to be happy if I hang my happiness on my weight 
Because it's losing game
A game I can never win
Because my ED is never satisfied
Never

It's the same with my buying clothes all the time
I buy them because I think I will be happy when I have that item of clothing
And I am
For five minutes it fills the hole in my soul
But after the novelty has worn off
I'm on the hunt for the next hoody, trousers, trainers
It's like a drug
Once you get and use the drug
You feel massive relief
But it doesn't last 
And so its on to the next fix

Hearing Mary say these words today
Looking at that list 
And feeling so raw and emotional
I suddenly had the revelation that no
I will never get well
Or be happy 
If I continue the way I am going 
With my food
With my meds 
With my constant need to shop for clothes
They are all just symptoms of a greater problem
And that problem is that I don't like me
That I am not worthy unless I am skinny
That I can only deal with life when I pop a pill
That me Ruby
A 33 year old woman
Can not handle life on life's terms
I'm looking for happiness in all the wrong places
Looking for quick fixes that temporarily ease the pain
But in reality they only postpone it
And it comes back two fold 
Again and again

We were coming to the end of our session
Mary acknowledged that this was one of the hardest sessions I've had
She is not wrong
This is all stuff I don't want to look at
Never mind deal with it 
But I must if I am going to get well

Yesterday's session was a bit of a revelation
I finally saw for the first time
That happiness does not come in a pill
It's not a clothes size
Or a number on a scale
Happiness comes from the inside
Finding self worth
Self confidence
And self esteem
In knowing that I am ok just the way I am
That I don't need to change my appearance to fit in with society's idea of perfection
I have come through drug addiction
Alcoholism
Anorexia and bulimia 
I'm lucky to have even made it this far
What I look like is irrelevant
I'm just glad to be still standing 

I don't know why this has never registered with me before
That in order to live a happy life
I need to do the things I love
Surround myself with people I love 
And reach for the goals I've set myself
I guess I am a slow learner
As this is only beginning to dawn on me
Better late than never I guess

Even though it was a really tough session
It ended well
She asked me jokingly if I wanted to come back next week
And I thanked her for putting up with me
This is exactly the reason why everyone needs a Mary in their lives
A lesser councillor would have been at loss as what to do when I had my meltdown
And was hiding my face in my hands for ten minutes
In short 
Mary was well able for me
And she does it all in a kind way
I left the session feeling a little better
A bit clearer about what I need to do
So I marched out in to the big bad world 
My list of goals in one hand 
My car key in the other
Ready to do battle with this bitch
Once and for all.....



The meds situation

As you know
I've been struggling to take my meds properly
I misuse them about 5 days out of 7
And it's getting to the point where I think I want to do something about it 
Because I need to get my stuff together 
If I want to start my course in September
But not just that 
If I want to be truly clean and sober
And if I want to lead any semblance of a normal life
So it's decided 
I'm going to tell my doctor on Monday
I'm going to bite the bullet
And come clean

I can't go on like this
Spending my days face down
Cross legged
My head balancing on the top of my tea cup
Spilling endless drinks
Worrying my sister and mother
Going to meetings while drowsy
And that feels so wrong to me
Going to meetings 
While under the influence
It doesn't sit right with me

As with a lot of decisions I make
I think it's time for a good old fashioned pros and cons list
To sort out what I'm getting out of this behaviours 
And the negatives that effect my life
Of course the pros of this behaviour 
Are that I can check out of reality
And literally get out of my own head
This baffles me some
As my reality is not that bad
But it's been a pattern of mine over the years
Whether it's alcohol
Drugs
Food 
Shopping
Escaping life has always been part of my life

I guess I have it easy right now
I live in my family home
I don't have huge rent or a mortgage to pay
And money I get is mine to spend as I see fit
After I contribute to weekly shopping and bills
And also 
My meds cost very little each month
So I don't have to worry about that either

Prescription drugs are tricky
Because it's not like I'm taking an illicit drug
These meds are prescribed for me
And I am meant to take them
I'm not doing anything wrong when I take them
They are for legitimate medical conditions
But the thing is
My meds have not been reviewed in years
I was speaking to someone at a meeting one day
About anxiety
It turned out that we were both on the same anti anxiety meds
Except for the fact that I was on over double that he was on per day
And this was a big six foot guy
Surely that can't be right

Over the years 
My meds have accumulated
Especially during hospital stays
When meds tend to be tinkered with on almost a weekly basis
Trying to find that magical combination of drugs that heal us from the inside out
And of course 
So now that I am getting well from home
I probably don't need to be on as much medication
And I don't speak up about that
Because it suits me to have a lot of medication
Because I am an addict
And a greedy one at that

I'm not looking forward to telling my doctor about the situation
I don't want to let him down  
And I know I've manipulated him over the years 
It's not fair
And it's not right
Part of me is hoping he will increase my methadone
But that's the addict in me again
Rearing its ugly head

I really appreciate all your support during this
Apologies for not replying to comments the last couple of days 
Normal service resumes today


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The aftermath

It's been a couple of days since my sister and I had out last argument 
What started off as a petty squabble on Sunday night 
Soon escalated in to an out and out row
The second in a week
My mother was here on Sunday
And tried to get us to work it out 
But we were both too hurt and upset to make it up

The next morning 
I was in the living room
My sister came in and wanted to call a truce
We shook hands 
And murmured that we were sorry
I wanted the fighting to stop
If only for my poor mothers sake
It's not fair on her to have to listen to us
As she said herself
We were acting like children
Since then things have been very cool
And there is an icy atmosphere in the house
We are staying out of each other's way
Not easy
But we are trying 

I wrote in yesterday's post about wanting to move out
I wrote that post when I was still very upset
Now that I have calmed down a bit 
I know it would be silly to make a rash decision
Or make a decision out of anger
And you 
My wonderful readers 
Were  on hand with some great advice
Sonetimes it seems that you know me better than I know myself 
I consider myself more than fortunate to have a little army of people 
All with their own words of wisdom to pass on
So thank you for that

Of course
I still want to move out
And I crave independence so very much
But as one of my live readers pointed out
It's best not to make any major decisions in the first year of recovery 
I think this is sound advice
As the first year of recovery is hard enough
Without making any life changing decisions 
The first year of recovery is all about firsts 
First year clean and sober
First birthday
First Christmas
First holiday 
There is so much to contend with
Without having to make any major decisions
So
I will still look in to my options
And see what's what
At least then I can make an informed decision 

My mum and I were talking about my sister yesterday
And we both agreed that she is not herself
She is coming off her meds at the moment
And seems to be struggling with side effects
She is volatile 
And emotional 
And we are wondering whether she should be coming off them at all
But that's her decision 
And she seems determined to do it

When I was very unwell
Moving out was out of the question
I just wouldn't have managed by myself 
And also I had no urge to move out
I was too busy in self destruct mode
To care about anything else
I guess it's a good thing that I feel the need to spread my wings 
I just crave my own little place so badly 
But the way things are at the moment
It might not be the best idea 
 
I've made no secret of the fact that I am struggling to take my meds properly 
You know 
My family know 
The only people who don't know are the ones who really should know
The professionals 
I know I should get this situation under control
Or else it could escalate if I was on my own
I just can't trust myself at the moment 
I don't have the resistance to say no to drugs
And if I moved out
Away from the support of my family
Things could get worse rather than better
I know that I need to get this meds situation under control
Especially as I am due to start a course in September
And I really do want to be as well as I can be by then

Every night before I go to sleep 
I make a vow that I will do better tomorrow
That I'll get to a meeting
And start taking my meds correctly
Then morning comes around
And I misuse them again
Promising that this will be the last time
But it never is
I am the very definition of insanity
Doing the same thing over and over again
And expecting different results
I misuse my  meds 4-5 days out of 7
I skip my methadone some days
So I can take a double dose the following day
I also misuse my tablets
And the mixture has almost an opiate like effect

I know if I want to recover
And truly get well
That I can't continue in this way 
The thing is 
I have it easy
I get to use
Without any of the negative consequences 
I have a nice place to live
A roof over my head 
Clothes on my back
And food in my fridge
My drugs are free
They are prescribed 
So I am not doing anything illegal 
I don't have to steal 
Or beak the law to get my fix
I don't have to associate with other addicts
This is the tricky thing about meds 
They are prescribed
And completely legal
But in abusing them
In my mind
That is as good as using
Same shit
Different substance 
So you see
There isn't the urgency
Or the impotuse to stop the behaviour 

I think if I were to move out now
My addiction issues could well get worse
As there would be no one else there 
A huge part of my sobriety is staying clean for  my family
I know
I should do it for myself 
But if that was the only way
I'd never get clean
Integrity is doing the right thing
Even when no one is watching
I don't know if I have much integrity right now

So I will stay put
For now
It's not the right time to move out
And I would be doing it for all the wrong reasons 
So I guess I will make the best of the situation
It's horrible to be on such bad terms 
But 
It is what it is
I know I need to give my sister a break 
As she is dealing with a lot 
But I also have to protect myself and my recovery 
They say you can't pick your family 
And that is true 
Usually I get on great with my sister
Which makes me think that a lot of this has to do with her coming off her meds

So I will wait
I'm still in the very early stages of recovery 
I'm just finding my feet really
And learning to live life on life's terms 
It's not easy 
Reality is boring 
And tedious
And monotonous 
And I tend to escape any chance that I get
But I have to learn to deal 
Or else I will be running away from myself forever 
I don't want that 
I want to be able to live a good life
To be happy to be in my body and mind 

Again
Thank you so much for all your continued support
It means more than you will ever know
I feel blessed and lucky to be part of this community 
I just hope that I can give back to you even a little bit of the kindness that you have showed me

Monday, 15 June 2015

From bad to worse

Things with my sister have gone from bad to worse
We made up after out fight last week
But things erupted again last night
This time with my poor mother in the middle of it all
We had a short but nasty row
It escalated so quickly
And now there is a sour atmosphere in the house
I spoke to my mum this morning
And she seems to think my sister has such a short fuse at the moment
Because she is coming off her meds 
I think I mentioned before
That my sister has suffered with depression in recent years
And is on an anti depressant 
Recently she had started to come of it
And she has been like a bull dog chewing a wasp for the past couple of weeks 

Of course I am not entirely innocent either
We know each other well
And know exactly how to push each other's buttons
I know how to wind get up
What will drive her mad
It escalated so quickly
One minute we were fine
The next
World war 3 was breaking out
My mother called us both in to the kitchen
And tried to broker some sort of peace
But neither myself or my sister were willing to back down
Stubborn as we are
Mum made the point that we all have to live together
We all have to find a way to get on
This is true
And mum is retiring in a couple of weeks 
So there will be three of us in the house from then on
It's rally not fair to have mum in the middle of this 
And I hate that it's effecting her so much 

They say you should never go to bed on an argument
Well we did last night 
And woke up this morning feeling almost hungover
With a heaviness in my head
I went to the doctor  first thing
It was Nice Woman Doctor again
She asks how I am 
I hesitate 
And she asks what that is about
I tell her that I am thinking of moving out on my own 
Which I am
It's always been in the back of my mind 
And these rows have just kind of made it more urgent
I can't say too much to the doctor
As she is also my sisters doctor
We talked for a little while
She told me to weigh up the pros and cons 
Which I will do

But yes 
I am seriously thinking of moving out
It's not just the tension with my sister
Now that I am feeling a lot better
I have a huge urge to be independent 
To do my own thing
To have my own little corner of the world 
The more I think about it
The more I think it's a good idea
I spoke to my mother about it this morning
She advised me not to make a decision out of anger 
And not to rush out in haste
I know what she is saying 
And I won't rush in to anything
I guess it doesn't hurt to find out what my options are
Obviously I am on disability benefit
And won't be able to privately rent 
So I will have to find out what I am entitled to
In the line of rent allowance and such

I just can't live like this
It's not healthy for any of us 
And I'm sure my sister is just as fed up as I am
I know that I am no angel 
I give as good as I get
And I do acknowledge that my sister is coming off her meds
And is probably not herself these days 
But I can't live like this 
With this horrible atmosphere lingering
At the moment
No one is happy
Not me
Not my sister 
Definitely not my mother
Who is caught in the cross fire

This week the plan is to stay out of my sisters way
Get to a lot of meetings
Talki things over with Breda and Mary 
I'm interested to see what they think about the situation
Meet my friends 
Marie rents with rent allowance
So I will pick her brains about how to go about applying for that
I will also inquire about what my options are
There are so many empty houses around here
Do it won't be hard to find a place
It really boils down to how I will manage financially 
At the moment 
I have few bills
No rent to pay
I contribute a certain amount every week to shopping and bills
I pay my own car tax, insurance and my phone bill
If I move in to my own place
I will have considerably more out goings 
Money will be a lot tighter 
So I guess I have to weigh up which is more important
To live here in the tension
And have more disposable income
Or move out and have that independence but less money
At the moment 
The latter seems more appealing to me

They say you can't pick your family
And it's so true
My sister is home nearly a year now
And although we've had the odd fight in that time
Things have deteriorated a lot in the past couple of weeks
Usually we get on like a house on fire
But that fire can turn nasty very easily 
And now it is suffocating us both
So the option of moving out seems really attractive right now
 
When I was very ill
Moving out just wasn't an option
I needed the support of my family 
I wouldn't have been able to manage on my own
There was always someone here with me
But now that I am feeling physically and mentally better
I crave independence so so much
Don't get me wrong 
I love living with my mum
I love this house 
And I know it's company for mum too
I've always felt very at home here 
It's given me the time and space to recover
I've been living here ten years now
And although I've loved it
I just have the feeling that it's time to move on
To spread my wings a bit more
And find my own little place
Here 
Even though I feel very comfortable 
I'm living in someone else's house
Under their rules
I want to make my own rules
I want to do things my way
Take responsibility of my own life

Of course Honey and Lea would come with me
And I do acknowledge that it would be a huge change for them too
They know no other way other than living here
And they are so comfortable here
So at home
They place I move to would have to be animal friendly 
There's just no way on this earth that I would move without them 

But
As I said 
I won't make any rash decisions
I will investigate my options
Put the feelers out 
And go from there
I must admit though 
It's really exciting to think of having my own place
The other thing is that I have to be able to trust myself
Living on my own
It would be do easy to use 
To drink
To starve
To binge and purge
I need to be sure that I can manage those things
And to be completely honesty
I'm not entirely sure I can trust myself 

Do that's where I'm at today
I would love to get your thoughts on the situation
Do you think I am being rash?
Do you think insipid wait?
What do you think I should do about the situation with my sister?
I'd live to know......

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Blogging

Since I started writing my blog is April
2012
Blogging had become an integral part of my life
More than a hobby 
It's something that I feel compelled to do
And it's part of my everyday routine
Every morning
After I walk my dogs 
I settle down on the floor of the living room
My back to the sofa
Cup of hot sweet tea at hand
And just write until the mess of tangled words in my head makes some sort of sense
While I walk my dogs
I listen to the radio 
I love chat shows
And phone in shows
Listening to conversation 
Without the pressure of having to contribute
I also think about what I'm going to write about that day
And by the time I get home
I have the bones of a post formed in my head
I try to write every day
I do that on purpose 
Because writing my blog is something I do every day 
One day at a time
A lot like AA

Inspiration comes from everywhere 
And I'm always on the look out for interesting topics
Something might happen in my life
Like my relapse
Or getting caught shoplifting
I might review a book I've read 
Or a documentary I've watched
It might be an item about mental health or addiction highlighted in the news
It may be a personal post
A thought post
A story from my past
Inspiration is everywhere 
And I get my cues to write in the most obscure places

I've always written 
For as long as I can remember
I kept diaries 
Logs of different times in my life 
Usually when I was in treatment 
And had the time and energy and clarity of mind to write
There something lovely about documenting a moment in time
Something that the memory fails to recall no matter how hard you try
There were a few years where I wrote pretty much nothing
I was on the throes of addiction
And it just didn't seem important 
Now I wish I had documented that time
As there are so many stories
Things you couldn't make up 
Things that memory can't quite do justice to 
As I have said before
When I think back to that time
I can't quite work out if something really happened 
Or if it was a dream
Or a hallucination 
Because it could have easily been any of them

I was a late comer to the world of the internet
What with being strung out
It held no interest to me
Then I moved to a place where there was no internet connection
And do it wasn't until a few years ago that I first dipped my toe in the World Wide Web
By then 
My ED was in full flight
And I began looking for others like me
I started reading blogs probably about a year before I decided to write my own
By then 
Blogging  was huge
And every one and their mother had a blog
I didn't expect anything from blogging
I just wanted to know that I wasn't alone
That there were others like me
And people who had come out the other side alive and well

Blogging is a strange phenomenon 
And what with Facebook
Tumblr
YouTube 
Twitter
And Instagram 
It seems everyone wants to share their lives with anyone who will read, watch, listen
I don't use FB
Never have 
But of course I have looked at it
Yes something's are thought provoking and funny
And I do recognise the place social media has 
I guess I use my blog instead of Facebook
As I find it much easier to share my life with strangers than I do with those I know personally 
I thought about why that is
And I think it's because I'm not emotionally attached to the person
I'm not going to hurt them
Or disappoint them
Or let them down
Or worry them 
I can share my thoughts and experiences safe in the knowledge that there will be no come back
Is it the same for everyone?
I don't know 
You tell me

I share most things on the Internet
So I can't really give out about others who do the same
But why do we do it?
What compels us to share our thoughts
Our experiences
Our triumphs and failures
Our deepest secrets
And our sickness?
Maybe it's because we don't have anyone in real life to share them with
Maybe we are looking for others like us
Maybe we want sympathy
Or empathy
Maybe we want our struggles and pain to be acknowledged 
Maybe we want attention
Recognition
Maybe we want notoriety
Maybe we want to shock others
Maybe we have more sinister reasons
If I am really honest 
When ever something happens in my life
One of my first thoughts is
Oh that's something to write about 
How healthy is that?
I'm not entirely sure 

Of course
We wouldn't write 
If we didn't get some kind of payoff
For me
It's the connection with others 
The hope that my experiences will help
Someone else get through the day
I'm lucky to have amazing readers
Who leave such thoughtful and kind comments
Which absolutely make my day
Everyday 
I get emails from people across the world 
I feel privileged that these people share their stories with me
And I always try to reply 
Of course there is the odd nasty comment
But that's to be expected 
When you put yourself out there

On the whole 
Blogging has been an extremely positive experience
And force for good in my life
I read back over posts 
That I have no recollection of writing 
And I wonder how I am still standing 
It just goes to show what we can withstand 
And overcome when we have to 

With all that said
I was wondering about you
Why did you start blogging?
Has it been a force for good in your life?
How long have you been writing?
How often do you write?
Answers on a postcard please ......