Monday, 31 August 2015

ED Community

An anonymous writer left a very interesting comment on my blog yesterday
Posing a couple of questions
First
About the ED community
And does the idea of such a community help strengthen or weaken the fight against the illness?
And also
What role an ED should play in a persons identity?
I thought these were really interesting questions
And it's something I've thought a lot about over years
And I remember it being addressed in treatment also

First question
Does the idea of an ED community strengthen or weaken the fight against our illness? 
I think there is no simple answer for this
And of course every case is individual 
In my opinion
Our community can do both 
As we know 
Support is essential 
Both in the midst of the illness
And in recovery 
When I first started writing my blog three years ago
I was in a very different place
I wrote about fasting
And actively trying to lose weight
I can remember me and other girls encouraging each other to lose weight
And that is so dangerous 
Thankfully 
In my case 
That didn't last long 
And I saw that I was treading on thin ice
But at the same time
I craved to be with others like me
It was so important to me to connect with others in the same situation as me
This community has saved my life over and over again
And in a lot of ways has helped me recover and move on from my ED 
Our community is a mixture of people still in active ED
And those choosing recovery
And we seem to co-exist well 
Although I do admit
I've had to pull back from some blogs that are upsetting or triggering
That is nothing against the person
It's just very difficult to be around very ill people when you yourself are trying to get well
And of course when in recovery
You want to build a good foundation
And probably have more in common with those in recovery 

I guess this why Pro-ana is so prolific
There Is strength in numbers
You are more likely to do something 
If someone is doing it with you
Hence why people have 'ana buddies'
In a sick and twisted way
These girls are each other's cheerleaders 
It's something that fuels the ED

I remember when I was in treatment 
It was a psychiatric hospital
With an eating disorder recovery programme
The ED girls were on a ward called St. Brigids 
It was a mixed ward
So there were patients with other illness there too
Like anxiety or depression
There were up to eight girls on the ED programme at a time
We spent so much time together 
All day every day
And most of the time we were talking about food, weight and our EDs
Although this wAy works for some
It most definitely did not for me
Bring in such close contact with other sufferers made life so hard
I was constantly comparing myself to others 
That and the fact that our sole existence was wrapped up in the ED 
Made it so hard to make steps towards recovery

One thing that I noticed while in treatment
Was that if one person was doing well
The rest tended to do well too
But if one person was struggling
The rest struggled too
Why was this?
Well
We were all so in tune with each other 
And if one persons behaviours were very disordered 
That permeated through the group
But also if some one was making positive steps 
It was almost like it gave permission to the other girls to do the same
So I think being part of an ED community can both help and hinder

As ED sufferers 
We have to battle triggers every single day 
Triggers that can send us right back in to the arms of our ED 
So support is essential 
And very necessary 
I know that I couldn't possibly do this on my own 
No way
No how 
We crave to be around others like us 
So we know that we are not alone 
This can be both a blessing and a curse
I guess it would be like an alcoholic or a dug addict
In their addiction 
They spent all their time with other addicts
Whether they liked them or not 
They were on the same wave length
But when one addict gets clean
They absolutely have to change one thing 
And that one thing is everything
Including people, places and things
A recovering addict can not spend all their time with using addicts 
And expect to stay clean
As the saying goes
If you hang around a barbers for long enough
You will end up getting a haircut 
In the same vein
You are the company you keep

To answer the other question 
What role should our EDs play in our identity
This is also a great question
And again
Is something I addressed in treatment 
In the midst of our illness
Our identity and the illness become so emeshed 
I know when I was sick
My illness was my identity 
Everything else that I was was overshadowed by my ED
I was no longer a sister
A daughter
An auntie
A friend 
Now I was anorexic 
And precious little else 
I distinctly remember saying in treatment that I was so afraid to let go of my ED
As I didn't know what would be left without it 
I panicked about the fact that giving up my illness
Meant giving up my identity
When I was sick
I assumed the sick role
And when you have such a role for such a long time 
It's very hard to break away from it

For me 
I felt that my illness brought my family together 
And I worried that if I got well
Then I wouldn't be as close with my family
Because that's what happened when I became ill
My family came together 
And got very close 
So I feared the opposite would happen if I let my ED go

Eating disorders continue to be complex and difficult illnesses to treat
The person in question has to want to get well 
And will not get well until they decide to
No matter how much somebody wants it for you 
They can't do it for you
Support is essential 
I know I couldn't have got well without the support of various professionals, my family 
And of course you my beautiful blogger friends 
We alone can do it 
But we can not do it alone
As they say in the meetings 
I know for sure
That being part of this community has been a huge part of my life for the past three years
As you know 
I try to write every day
I spent copious amounts of time on blogger 
You girls are some of my best friends
I worry about our little community
As it seems to be ever shrinking all the time
Blogger seems to not be the place to be anymore
Instagram seems to be the cool place to be
But blogger will forever hold a special place in my heart
As its here that I started 
And I love to follow the stories of you girls 

Anyway
Let me know what you think about the questions posed in this post
And anything else on your mind.....

Sunday, 30 August 2015

G

I got a text message the other day
Out of the blue
It was from a girl I was in treatment with a few years ago
A girl who I will call G
I met this girl when I was in hospital for the second time
In 2011
G was about half way through her treatment when I arrived
She had come in to hospital at a dangerously low weight
She was very ill
G struggled through treatment 
Struggled to break out of being sick
And all that went with
I firmly believe
Whether we like it or not
That our EDs serve a purpose 
There is a reason that we are eating disordered 
Because we get some sort of payoff from it
Whether that be attention
The relief of anxiety
The numbness 
The protection
The not feeling
I guess it's different for everyone 

Anyway 
Back to G 
She had a history of self harm also 
And suicide attempts 
Towards the end of her treatment 
She was discharged as an inpatient
And started to come as a day patient 
From the start she really struggled 
She self harmed when she was at home 
And began to purge 
I remember thinking that purging was a useless effort 
And told her so 
But she continued to deteriorate 
She took up a lot of time in groups 
Asked to see the doctor nearly every day 
Some of our group began to resent her 
And the attention she seemed to need
But as I have since learned from being in treatment numerous times 
Sometimes there is competition among patients to be the sickest
To need to most attention from staff
To be the thinnest 
And the most eating disordered 
I've come across it many times 
Heck, I've been there myself 
In competition with other girls to lose weight
Steering conversations to get the other person to tell you how thin you are
I've been there
Done that 
Bought the extra small t-shirt

Often people
As in family and staff members
Tip toe around the person with an ED
And that is understandable 
Because the person is in a very vulnerable position
They can be weak
Mentally and physically 
But it also means that the person in question is kept in cotton wool
I remember when I was in treatment 
The person who ran the Eating Disorder Recovery Programme was a nurse
She was the nicest person you could ever meet
She was really like a mother to all us patients 
I never once saw her lose her cool
Or get frustrated or fed up
And she was dealing with ED patients all day every day
When this nurse went on holidays 
Another nurse from the ward would take over
This nurse was much more hard hitting 
She really took no prisoners 
She was honest
Brutally so
Direct 
And did not hold back
But you know what ?
I actually did better with this nurse
I responded better to her
I'm not saying that's the same for everyone
I'm sure the softly softly approach works for done 
But not for me 

I'm digressing again
Back to G
We texted back and forth 
She told me that she was also diagnosed the borderline personify disorder
And was put on a cocktail of meds 
Due to these meds 
She went from a size six
To a size twenty very quickly 
And even though she was still very much bulimic 
Was not treated for her ED 
Because she was not underweight
This is something that makes my blood boil
Everyone is on red alert when someone is underweight
And rightly so
It's a dangerous time
And as we all know
Anorexia has a high mortality rate 
But just because someone has regained weight to a healthy BMI
Does not mean they are cured
Of course they could be on the road to recovery
But often times the person is still struggling
I have found that because I punished my body so much over the years 
Now 
My body physically won't let me lose any significant amount of weight anymore
My weight tends to fluctuate around five kilos up or down 
But that's it 
It's like my body won't let me be underweight anymore
And that's fine with me

But yes 
It's a common problem among the ED community 
Often the body recovers long before the mind
So we are left with a healthy body 
But a very anorectic mind
And that let me tell you is a living hell
Everyone tells you how well you look
And all you want to do is slice the flesh off your body
Often those who are bulimic 
Maintain a healthy weight
But that does not mean they are healthy
There could be all sorts of complications under the surface
This is the ignorance of people
They don't know enough about eating disorders to be aware of this information
So it's up to us 
The ED community 
To let people know 
To educate them 
That eating disorders come in all sizes from obese to emaciated to everything in between
I know that I was just as sick at my highest weight as I was at my lowest weight 
Fact

I rely felt for G
She has been through the mill
And although her BMI is now healthy
She still struggles
It was good to hear from her though
You form strong bonds with the girls you meet in treatment 
They are fellow soldiers in the war against  this thing we call ED

I'm hoping they through our blogs
We might be able to educate people about EDs
Mental health is still quite a taboo subject
And eating disorders and other conditions are still whispered about 
Rather than talked about 
I'm hoping that in my life time 
This will change 
People will talk openly about their issues
Without fear of being labelled 'crazy'
We've all grown up with someone on our street or in our neighbour hood
Who was labelled 'nuts' or 'mad'
I know my auntie lived in the same estate as my family
She was called Mad Mary
It's cruel
But it's because people don't understand 
And they fear what they don't understand 
My auntie was not mad
She had a bona fide mental illness
But instead of helping or understanding 
People chose to ridice her

I've often written here about my fathers side of the family
Out of his ten brothers and sisters 
All of them have suffered with some form of mental illness or addiction
My mothers side of the family has none
And out my my two sisters and my brother
My sisters and I all have been diagnosed with mental illness and addiction
And live with these traits every day
My brother on the other hand is most like my mother
Go figure 

Anyway 
That's my Sunday morning rant over
Don't know if I made any sense 
Congratulations if you made it this far 
Both in this post 
And in life
Ha 
I have officially stopped making sense 
Think I'll go and stick my head in the oven...
(That is a figure of speech in my house
Whenever someone gets fed up they say 'I think I'll go and stick my head in the oven' ala Sylvia Plath)
Ok enough!
Goodbye 
Adios 
See you on the next post....

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Honesty is the best policy

I'm writing this post in response to L
Who commented on my blog anonymously yesterday 
I'm dedicating a post to it
As it would be too long to respond in the comment section
So L 
I hope you see this
To give you the gist of it
L made the point that the reason I'm not doing the course should be because I have no interest in the course
And not because my disability will be cut
L went on to ask if I was never going to work
And she understands that life can be cosy on benefits
But that was just existing 
And not living 

First of all 
I want thank you L
For having the courage to write what a lot of readers were probably thinking
I know you said that you didn't want to come across as harsh
And you didn't 
You came across as honest and concerned
And I am grateful for that 
Correct me if I am wrong 
But I find that both in real life
And here on blogger
Honesty somehow gets lost
I know I am guilty of telling people what they want to hear
Just to keep the peace
People pleasing I guess
It's easy to say/write a hundred 'I love you's'
It's much harder to be brutally honest

I acknowledge L that this comment must have been difficult to write
And I know I had to read the comment a few times to let it sink in
To answer your question
The reason I am not doing the course is because I really don't have a lot of interest in business and computers
Yes it's true 
My disability would be cut
But that was not my primary reason 
Up until last week
I was 100% sure that I was going to do the course
But then I read the course content
And none of it appealed to me
And it's definitely not the area that I want to work in
So it really didn't make sense to go ahead and do a full time course for two years 
When my heart wasn't in it
I didn't want to start the course 
Only to drop out by Christmas 
I think I am better off looking for something that really interests me

And to answer your question about work
Yes I absolutely do want to work 
I wanted to be independent 
And support myself 
I want my own place
I want to pay my way
Pay taxes 
Contribute to the society that has helped me out greatly over the years 
I did in fact look for work this summer
You might remember that I inquired at my local dog kennel to see if they needed help
Unfortunately they couldn't take me on
Due to insurance reasons 
I also asked at the pizzeria that I used to work at
And they still haven't got back to me 
So I am actively looking
But to recession here
There are precious little jobs

No
I don't plan to be on disability for the rest of my life 
I've been on disability since my first hospital admission back in 2008
Now a days 
It much more difficult to be put on long term disability
As there have been so many budget cuts
So if I am to come off disability 
I want to make sure it is the right time
And the right circumstances
As if I am taken off it
It will be nigh on impossible to get back on it if I needed to

I guess what may come across as reluctance to work
Is in fact a case of low confidence
And low self esteem 
I still have some of those core beliefs From when I was really ill
Like I am not good enough
Not smart enough 
Not capable enough 
And these thoughts get in my way
Whether I am looking to start a course or find work 

And yes
I know I have it easy right now
I am luckier than a lot of people 
I live with my Mum and sister 
In a house with no mortgage or rent to pay
All I have to do is contribute weekly to shopping and bills
Everything else is taken care of
I pay my own bills in regard to my car and my phone 
But I know that if I was stuck 
I have two parents
And two older sisters and a brother who can bail me out

Then there is the dog shelter 
Where I have an appointment next Thursday 
I know it will be a voluntary position
But I think it will do me the world of good
To have a purpose 
A reason to get up in the morning
And what better reason than to help dogs that are in need 
As you know 
Honey and Lea and my previous dog Leo came from this very shelter 
So it's really cool to be going back to volunteer there 
And who knows 
Maybe it will lead to more opportunities 
I am a firm believer in the thought that if you push yourself to go outside 
Wonderful things can happen
You just have to push yourself to get out there
Out in to the world 
Meet new people 
And you never know what might happen

To go back to the point of commenting and friendship
The thing about our little corner of blogger
Is that a lot of us are ill
Vulnerable 
In poor health
Mentally and physically
Delicate and fragile
I know I've read posts written by bloggers
And my first thought was not the thought I wrote 
I chose my second thought 
Which was much more politically correct
Because I don't want to hurt the person
Or cause them any sort of pain
As they are already going through hell without me adding to it 
I don't want to disrespect the love that people show here on blogger
I love to spread the love
And feel the love
I guess what I am saying is that there is a time and a place for everything 
Showing love is brilliant
But sometimes raw honesty is called for too
I hope I am explaining myself properly
And I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings

In the last six months 
I have lost two very good friends here on blogger 
Some of you will remember The writer named A
And also Loulou 
I say I lost them because I have no idea what happened to them 
Loulou and I had a disagreement 
Then she deleted her blog 
And emailed me that she didn't want to be friends anymore
I haven't heard from her since
And A 
We also went through issues
Then all of a sudden 
She vanished from blogger 
And is not responding to my texts or emails
The reason I mention these two girls 
Is that I valued their friendship so much
Because they were always brutally honest with me 
I could always depend on them to tell me the truth
Even if it did hurt both me and them
I think only a real friend will do this
 I'm not saying that all the lovely comments people leave are not genuine
I truly believe they they are 
But girls 
We can't afford to tiptoe around each other 
Many of us are living in life or death situations 
Many of us are on the edge 
Being honest with someone might be a huge favour you could do for them

So L
I hope I have answered your questions
And given you the reasons for why I'm going down this path
Again
I thank you for your candour 
It was exactly what I needed to hear/read
And I'm hoping that maybe more of us will take a risk 
And be honest with our friends and fellow bloggers
God knows we really can't waste time on platitudes 

With all that said 
I was wondering about you
Do you think that honesty is the best policy?
What is your take on telling others the truth?
Are you Always honest with friends and fellow bloggers?
What stops you saying/ writing what you really think?
I'd love to know...

Friday, 28 August 2015

What next?

I'm about a year in to my recovery now
I  am weight restored
My mood is good
Anxiety under control
I feel strong 
Capable 
Able
I've just about recovered physically
And am on the way to becoming recovered mentally
Although I don't think I'll ever be fully recovered
But I'm hoping to be as well as I can possibly be 

Now that I'm feeling better
Now that I am no longer caught in a deadly game of life and death
I find myself wondering
What now?
What next?
What do I do now that I am feeling better?
My ED dominated my life for over ten years 
It was like a job
I worked all week ie restricting 
And at the end of the week I expected a big fat pay check ie weight loss
Then of course 
I had my addiction to contend with over the years
Which was also like a full time job

So now I find myself thinking 
Where do I go from here?
I wrote about starting a course
And I thought they was what I wanted to do
But if I am honest 
Business and computers are not my thing
They don't interest me
They don't capture my attention
I guess I would prefer to study something a bit more arty
That would suit my personality a bit more
So I've decided that I'm not going to do the course
Plus the fact that I will lose my disability benefit if I start the course
Everything is telling me not to do it
So I'm not going to

What are you going to do?
I hear you cry
Well I've decided for the next year
To concentrate on my recovery 

Prioritising my health and recovery
Focus on meetings and therapy
And also volunteer at my local dog shelter
I rang then today to inquire
And I'm going to see them next Thursday 
to fill out paper work
I am super duper excited about this 
I can't wait 
They mentioned that my main jobs will be walking and socialising the dogs
My idea of heaven!

In other news
I can't wait to get my next piercing done
But can't decide which one to get
Can any of you lovely ladies help me out with a suggestion
Inquiring minds want to know...


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Hole in one...

So my piercing and I are slowly but surely getting used to each other
When I woke up this morning
And remembered that I had it done
I jumped out of bed to examine it in the mirror
The redness has now gone down
And I like it even more than I did yesterday
My Mum can barely look at it
And is pretty horrified that I got it done

Yesterday was a really cool experience
Going to Zombie Dolls
Meeting Terry 
Getting the piercing done
I'm so glad that Terry was straight up with me
And to me that the labret piercing wouldn't work
And didn't let me go ahead and do something that would later cause me problems 
I really liked Terry 
It was like she had no filter between her brain and her mouth
And I love that!

Now I definitely want to get more done
Maybe a few in different parts of my ear
My belly button
My tongue 
Eek I can't imagine how painful that would be 
Yesterday the pain was intense 
And my instinct was to pull her hands away
Thankfully it didn't last though
And I lived to tell the tale

Here are some photos of it today...





Wednesday, 26 August 2015

P Day

So
Today was the day
The day I get my piercing done
For my birthday
My birthday gift to myself 

My sister and I set off early this morning
The studios name is Zombie Dolls
And is about half an hour from my house
From the start
I had butterflies in my tummy
I like to think that I have a high pain threshold
Having been through many many dental surgeries
Pancreatitis 
And sticking many needles in to myself over the course of my addiction
I like to think I'm a tough cookie in that respect

We arrived in town
And parked 
It took us a while to actually find the place
But we did 
Eventually 
The place itself was so cool
All black
With black and white paintings on the walls
There was a young girl on reception 
She told us to take a seat
And Terry would be out to see us shortly
Terry being the piercer
A couple of minutes later
She came to greet us
A really pretty girl
About forty I would guess
With strawberry blonde hair 
And covered in tattoos 
I liked her immediately
And the place
Sometimes 
These places  can be intimidating
But this place had a lovely atmosphere
And a nice vibe

I told Terry that I wanted to get my labret done
Which is just below the bottom lip
She took a look at my labret and gums
And said that it wouldn't really work as my lip was so low it wouldn't be seen
And it would also effect my gums
I was really disappointed that I couldn't get it done
But Terry suggested that I get the bit of skin between my nose and my upper lip done
I wasn't too keen on this 
Then my sister suggested that I get my nose done
I liked that idea 
And decided to go for it
I wasn't leaving that place until I had something pierced!

I sat up on the table
And Terry prepared her tools
I decided to go for a small ring
Instead of a stud
She assured me that it wasn't too painful
And that it would all be over in a split second 
Then she did it 
She pierced my nose
And holy hell people
It didn't half hurt!
My gut reaction was to pull her hands away from me 
But thankfully the pain didn't last
And it was all over before I knew it

Terry secured the ring in my nose 
And I went to the mirror to have a look
I love it!
It's subtle 
Just what I was looking for
Terry suggested that I don't get any more piercings on my face
As my face is 'too soft'
And suggested that I go to town on my ears
One thing is for sure 
I will definitely be back for more
I've been bitten by the bug

Terry herself was amazing
She talked non stop for the whole time we were there
At one point she noticed my psoriasis
And have me the number of a homeopath who works wonders
She told us how she used to suffer with depression
And how she tried everything
Including medication
But nothing helped until she went to this man
It was funny
It was like she knew that we were struggling with some of the same issues she was 
It was like she sensed it somehow
You know how they say people can recognise their own traits in others
Well that was what it was like

I was so relieved when the whole thing was over
And do delighted that I had gone through with it
My sister was snapping away on my phone the whole way through
A picture paints a thousand words....













Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Piercing

I rang the piercing studio today
It's called Zombie Dolls
I plan to go there tomorrow
It's about a half hour drive
And my sister is going to come with me
My Mother is horrified that I am getting it done 
But I'm hoping she'll come around 

I have to admit
I am both nervous and excited
I asked the girl how painful it is to get just below the lip pierced
She didn't lie
And told me it would hurt
Albeit for just a split second
She told me they its all over very quickly
Iike to think that I have a high pain threshold
I guess I'll find out tomorrow 

I'm thinking that it can't be any worse than the dentist 
I've sat through many an hour in the dentists chair over the last 12 months
So I'm hoping that this will be nothing like that 

I've actually wanted to get this done for years
But never got around to it
I'm hoping it will all be ok
And that I will like it 
However 
It is a piercing
And if I don't like it
I can remove it with relative ease

With all that said
I was wondering about you
Did you find your piercings painful?
Have you had the one that I am getting done?
Just below my lower lip
Did you find it very painful?
Have you any tips or tricks to look after it?
Inquiring minds want to know....

Puppy Love....

Me and my two best girls
Honey and Lea
Who keep me going when I think I can't go on
Who greet me as though they haven't seen me in years every time I walk in to the kitchen 
Who sit by side 
Lie at my feet
Walk with me every morning
Who are never more than a few feet from my side 
I'm telling you 
Dogs are the best medicine I've ever had
Better than any drug
Any anti depressant
Any upper or downer
And sedative
Or sleeping tablet
If you want to improve your health
Physical and mental
Get a dog 
Or a cat 
Or a ferret
Or a hamster 
Something that you have to look after apart from yourself 
I promise you
What you give 
You will get back one hundred fold

They say in recovery 
That in order to understand responsibility
You should first get a plant
Keep it for a year 
And if that is successful
Get a dog
If that works out
You are then ready for a relationship

I can't begin to tell you how having two dogs has helped me 
They take me out of myself 
They remind me to keep life simple
To value what matters 
To be kind 
And loyal

Do you remember 18 months ago
When I went in to treatment for the umpteenth time 
My poor Lea fell in to a depression
And her fur began to fall out 
It continued until she had a huge bald patch on her back 
It wasn't until I came home
And began to recover myself
That Lea began to recover too
I find that utterly amazing 
That my illness effected her so much 
And manifested in a physical way

So yes 
My two buddies
My best friends 
My constant companions 
Ever by my side
I can only hope they live for another few years
As I would be truly lost without them 




Monday, 24 August 2015

Hermit

It seems that I struggling to get out and about
And do my normal daily activities
More and more 
I am refusing invitations to go places
Opting to stay at home
And drift in and out of sleep
I haven't been to a meeting in weeks
I didn't go to my nephews birthday
Didn't go and see his flying lesson 
Missed various trips and meals out
It just seems to be getting harder and harder to push myself out of the comfort zone that is my house

What I am doing
Is getting up really early in the morning
Doing everything I need to do 
Like walking the dogs and shopping
Having it all done before 10am
Then heading home
And spending the rest of the day there
Barely moving from my seat on the mat in the living room
I only go from them kitchen to make tea
Frequent trips to the bathroom because of said tea
And back to my mat 
I am literally going around in circles over here

I'm not seeing friends 
I'm spending more and more time alone 
Even speaking less and less
Yesterday we went out for lunch
And I decided to go as it was my Auntie B's last day
But oh my God 
What a palava to get out of the house
It was lashing rain 
And all I wanted to do was put on a tracksuit 
And zone out in front of the TV
But I went 
And tried my best to be sociable
I won't go so far as to say I enjoyed it 
More like endured it
I had no appetite 
And ate very little
And purged what little I did eat
I was just glad to get home 
Put on my pyjamas 
And pretend the world didn't exist 

I don't know what it is 
I mean
My mood is ok
Things should be ok
But as ever  
I  am creating problems where there are none 
I think they call that the art of over thinking
Every time I leave the house 
I just can't wait to get home
I say it's because I want to get back to the dogs
And it is
But it's more that I want to get away from whatever situation that I am in
I just can't handle life outside the little bubble that is my house

I guess it could be due to the fact that I'm trying to avoid so many people
The Boy
The Plumber
The Shopkeeper
People I used to use with 
It's like being in a real life computer game 
Avoid the gremlins
And I gain more points
It's just a pain in the ass
I want to be able to go wherever
Whenever I want
I don't want my house to become a prison
I want to want to just be a normal
Oh to be normal
And not batshit crazy
However 
I hear that normal is over rated
So maybe I am better off
I don't know

My doctor is off again this week 
So I saw Nice Woman Doctor again this morning
And will also be seeing her next week
As my doctors day is packed with appointments already
I briefly told her about what's going on
How I'm supposed to be starting a course next month
And I don't know if it's going to happen
Because of my disabity being cut
She wrote me a letter 
Saying that the course would be of Therapeutic value for me 
So now I have two letters 
So hopefully that will do the trick
I had resigned myself to the fact that the course wouldn't happen
But now I really want to do it
I mean
What else will I be doing?
I think it will be good for me

I left the doctors with my letter
And headed to the chemist to pick up my meds
Then at 9 30am
I had an appointment with Breda
My addiction counsellor
After going through a stage of cancelling my appointments
I am now making an effort to keep them
I only see Breda every two weeks
And she is really helpful 
Very practical
And very straight which I appreciate
I td her about struggling to leave my house
And not going to meetings 
I described how my problem is actually getting out the front door
Once I am out the door 
And in my car
I am fine
It's the anxiety of thinking about it before hand that gets me
Usually the event itself is fine
And I wonder why I was so anxious in the first place 
She suggested that I make a daily plan
And try and pace myself 
And also go to a meeting as soon as I can
As the longer I leave it
The harder it will be to go back

I also told her about Mums retirement do
And how I had two drinks
I linked that to the stress I felt about making the speech
And even when it was over
I still wasn't out of the woods
She asked me why I took on making the speech if it caused me so much stress 
I told her that everyone else refused to do it
And I wanted to do it for Mum
Breda mentioned that I need to be assertive in these situations
And I know that
It's just really tough sometimes to say no

But all in all 
It was a positive session
Breda told me that I am doing well
And life is getting better for me
There are just a few tweaks I need to make
She asked me how my eating is going
And I was pleased to report that it is going well
I'm not starving or binging
My weight is stable 
Yes, I purge from time to time
But nothing like the way I used to
Breda told me that I look really well
And I was able to take the compliment and thank her
And things are going well ED wise
My weight fluctuates a lot
But I haven't been underweight in over a year
I think back to that time
And the never ending binging and purging
What a miserable existence
I'm surprised that my heart didn't give out
And I didn't drop dead from all the stress I put on my poor body
But the great thing is
That I don't hate my body the way that I used to
I am a healthy weight for my age and height
I am curvy
I have boobs and a bum
I can now fill out a pair of jeans
And you know what?
I don't mind it
When I'm in the shower 
I notice my thighs
And they are shapely
Like a grown woman is supposed to me
I don't live it
But I don't hate it either 
I am learning to accept it
And go by how I feel
Rather than what I look like

I'm sure you have noticed that I don't write about my ED half as much anymore
This blog started out as an ED blog 
And it will always be one to a certain extent 
But now I have so many other things to write about 
Like life 
And everything it throws at me
It's amazing to not have my ED controlling me
In everything I do
It doesn't dominate my life any more
More and more it's becoming a smart part of my life 
Amen to that 

So yes
I know what I need to do to get back on track
I will do my best to get to a meeting this week
I will make a daily plan
And use my tools to manage stress and anxiety
I have come too far to turn back now
I know that with a little bit of effort
Life could be so much better 
So much more fulfilling 
I know that just as quickly things can go pear shaped 
They can also turn around just as quickly
I have the awareness
The knowledge
And the skills and tools to improve myself
I have the ability
I just need to knuckle down and do it

I know that a lot of you are struggling right now
With various different issues
I just want to tell you today to never give up
As long as we are alive
There is hope 
Hope for a better life
For better mental and physical healthy
No matter how low you go
There is always a way back up
I promise you that 
I had written myself off as damaged goods
A failure 
A mistake 
I though I would die young 
Heck, I wanted to die
I couldn't handle life 
Reality
And everything that went with it
I felt so lost 
So alone 
My blog and my dogs and my family are the only things that kept me going
My ED was killing me slowly
And I welcomed it
But now 
Now things are so much better
My life has taken a complete 180
And it wasn't until I started to feel better that I realised how bad I had been
My depression lifted
My anxiety lessened
And the incessant binging and purging came to a screeching halt
My quality of life has improve so so much
I think back to a couple of years ago
And I had all but given up
So my message to you today is to keep going
Keep the faith
Keep hoping
And believing
Know that there is a way out
There is life after addiction and mental illness 
And it is a life rich with love, laughter and fun
Don't give up
That's exactly what your ED wants you to do
Don't give in to her
Don't forget that you are a good person
You are worthwhile 
You do matter 
You are special 
So please
Today
Go easy on yourself 
Take some time to be kind to you
To be gentle in you
Because you matter 
I promise you that


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Reminders

Every time I smell hairspray
It reminds me of my dancing days
And ballet exams
Spraying and lacquering our hair until it was rock hard

Every time I see tinfoil
It reminds me of smoking black tar heroin
Running the lighter under it
Until it melts and bubbles
And the smoke wafts off it

Every time I eat a raspberry 
I am immediately transported back to my childhood
And the raspberry and red berry bush in our back garden
Never ending sunny days
Lying on the lawn 
With the grass tickling our feet

Every time I'm in Dublin
And I smell the hops from the Guinness store house
It reminds me of my using days
Getting off the bus at Heuston station
Walking by the old hospital
All the way down the quays 
Until we reached Thomas Street
Where we scored 
And went and cooked it up in the flats 

Every time I eat a scone
It reminds of when I lived with my ex-boyfriend
When we didn't have a penny
Because it all went on drugs 
And we made crude buns out of flour and water 
Because we had no other food

Every time I smell chlorine
It reminds me of swimming competitions
Of Lining up to race
And the butterflies in my tummy

Every time I see a green jeep
It reminds me of The Boy
Of driving around
Drinking poppy tea
And drifting in and out of reality

Every time I smell vodka
I'm reminded of the first time I got drunk
When me and my best friend raided her Mothers drinks cabinet
I woke up the next morning in a pool of vomit
We were 14

Everytime I wake up in the middle of the night
It reminds me of the days 
When I was sick from drugs
When my whole body ached
And sleep was an impossibility

Every time I hear the Friends theme tune
It reminds me of the late nineties
Watching my favourite show on a Monday night
Then having to wait a whole week for the next one

Every time I bag up my rubbish bin
It reminds me of the times when my boyfriend and I used to bag up heroin to sell
Then ended up taking it all ourselves 
I was always a greedy addict

Every time I hear the Drake song 'Coming home'
It reminds me of my last stint in treatment
When I heard that song
And wished I was home

There are things everywhere that remind me of my past
Some welcome 
Some not so much
It's amazing the way a smell
Or a taste 
Or a feeling 
Can bring me right back to a place in time
Right back to a child
To an addict
To a teenager
All the lives I have lived
It's hard to be reminded
But I welcome it
I don't want to forget where I've come from
What I've been through
It's taken every experience I've ever had
To get me where I am today
I don't resist it 
I welcome it


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Cosmetic surgery, yay or nay?

According to a Glamour body image survey, 97% of women admitted that they have at least one negative thought about their body image every day
Ninety
Seven
Per cent
And men are not immune either
According to the National Eating Disorder   Association, 43% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies
Stark numbers
But honestly
It doesn't surprise me
We are bombarded with so many images of the perfect body every single day
On TV
In magazines
On the Internet
Often bodies that are utterly unattainable for the average person 
It's really no wonder that we have such poor body image 

I was watching a show the other morning
And the topic was cosmetic surgery
There was a 19 year old girl being interviewed
She had her first cosmetic procedure when she was just 18
Filler put in her lips 
They showed before and after photos
To me she looked beautiful before she had the procedure
She said that after she had her lips done
She took over 300 selfies
Trying to take the perfect photo
There was also a cosmetic surgeon being  interviewed 
He said it was common for people to bring in photos of celebrities 
And ask to look just like them

If you ask me 
I am nay in the whole debate
But that's nay for me
I have no problem with anyone else doing it
I just think it's very noticeable when someone has cosmetic surgery
You know that kind of stretched face look
When eyes are pulled up
And there is not a line or wrinkle in sight
The Botox look is especially noticeable
When someone can't move their face
Because they have injected so much of the stuff

I guess if you don't agree with altering your face or body
You could also throw make up and hair dye in to the equation
I have no problem with either of these
They are temporary
They can be removed with relative ease
And they are not invasive 
Unlike cosmetic surgery 

Although I've sufferers badly with body image over the years
I've never hated a part of my body so much that I considered cosmetic surgery
Not saying I didn't hate my body 
I did 
I guess it just never crossed my mind
It wasn't the done thing
At least in my part of the world 
I just wanted to be smaller
Thinner all over
And as far as I know there is no cosmetic procedure for that
Of course I've looked in the mirror
And wished away my bulging belly
And thunder thighs
But I don't ever recall thinking that I would like to have cosmetic surgery

Someone who springs to mind when I think of cosmetic surgery is Heidi Montag
Some of you will know her from the reality show The Hills
I think she was so beautiful before she had the surgery
Young 
Fresh faced
The typical all American girl
I think she had far too much done
And barely looks like herself anymore

Image result for heidi montag
Before surgery



Image result for heidi montag
After

A woman called Jae West took matters in to her own hands recently
Jae is a body image activist
From Australia
She stood in Piccadilly Circus
In just a bikini and a blind fold
With a sign say that she was doing this experiment for people with bad body image 
And those suffering with eating disorders
She herself is in recovery
The sign Also asked people to draw a love heart on her in solidarity
She held markers in each hand
One by one people came up and drew hearts on her
You can see a video of it if you Google her

 Jae West took to Piccadilly Circus wearing nothing put her underwear to promote self-acceptance 

With all that said
I was wondering about you
Are you yay or nay in the whole cosmetic surgery debate?
And why?
Have you ever considered cosmetic surgery?
If so
What would you like to have done?
Answers on a postcard please....

Friday, 21 August 2015

Life is like an obstacle course.....

My golly gosh
Life is becoming quite the complicated thing
Let me explain
As you know
I get up early each morning
And walk Honey and Lea
We either go to the local beach
One of the local lakes
Or down the back roads behind my house
This morning we decided to do the cliff walk over looking the beach that the surfers use
I don't know if I mentioned it
But every time I want to go in to the village
Or in to town
Or the beach
I have to drive by The Plumbers house as he lives on the main road 
I was going in to town one day last week
When as I approached his house 
He was pulling out in his work van
So I had to drive right by him
I really had to fight the urge to set my dogs on him
Or roll down my window and hurl abuse at him 
I like to think I had a lucky escape there

So this morning 
I was driving to the beach 
And stopped in the village to get a couple of things in the shop
I was just after coming out 
Was starting my car
When I saw The Boy pull in across the road
I knew it was him before I saw his face
As I know the reg of his car
At first I froze
I haven't heard from or seen The Boy in months
I dont think he saw me
As I sped out of my parking space and down the road
I didn't look in my rear view mirror
I didn't want to see him
I can't go back there 
So I did what I always do
And carried on 

I walked the dogs 
Did some shopping
Got petrol
Went to the post office
I was
Just leaving town to go home
When I got stuck behind a few cars 
And had to stop
Unfortunately 
I was right outside the shop where I was caught doing you know what
(Can't bring myself to say the word)
And then
I saw the owner come out and stand T the door
Like right beside me
I just kept looking straight ahead 
And prayed for a green light
Which eventually came after a few seconds
Ay Carumba 
What a morning 

I was on my way home
Had just come out of the post office 
When a car drove by me
I recognised the people as people I used to use with
Again
Something I could do without
But that's life I guess 
It just makes my day that bit more stressful and complicated
Trying to avoid people
And situations 
But I guess the only thing to do is just get on with things

In other news 
I rang the piercing studio
I think I am going to get a stud on my chin
Just below my lip
It costs €30
And it's walk in
So I don't have to make an appointment
I will definitely get it done before my birthday
So that's something to look forward to 

Right 
Must dash 
See you anon 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Glutton for punishment

A few days ago
I wrote about having a huge urge to weigh myself 
And then having a few awful body image days
Prompted me to go ahead and do it
I had put my scales away 
In the back of my wardrobe
I pulled them out
Dusted them off
And placed them on the wooden floor beside my bed
Usually I feel super anxious and nervous before I weigh
And get butterflies in my tummy
Yesterday however
I felt nothing 
I stripped 
I tapped the scale
And the numbers flicked to zero
I tentatively stepped on
I had absolutely no idea of my weight
As I hadn't weighed in weeks
The screen flashed 
And settled on a number
A number higher than I am comfortable with
And one I have seen since this time last year

I stepped off the scale 
Dressed 
And tried to process the information
Usually 
I have a viceral reaction to weighing
Relief if it's a safe number
And sheer devastation of it's a high number
There have been times when I've had a full blown meltdown after weighing
And sat on my bedroom floor
Naked
And sobbing
But you know what?
Today I felt nothing
The number meant nothing 
I felt neither relief or devastation
I just acknowledged the number 
Didn't let it get to me
And moved on

As you know 
I was an obsessive weighed when I was very unwell
I weighed my self worth in pounds and ounces
I can honestly say 
That this is the first time I have weighed myself
And not had a dramatic reaction
And that my friends
Is nothing short of a miracle 

This is progress I think
Seeing that the number is just a number
Nothing more
Nothing less 
It's just a number 
It is so freeing to finally not feel tied to the scale 
I know that I am not over or under weight
So I am ok with my weight
Not thrilled
But not in despair either
It just is what it is 

My body image has improved today too
Which is strange
You would think after weighing
That I would be all over the place
But surprisingly 
I am dealing with it rather well
Of course 
I am still adjusting to the weight re-gain
Some days I feel like I should roll instead of walk
I go between  absolutely hating my body
To somewhere approaching something 
Like looking like ok

But 
As ever 
I will keep ploughing on
I will try to stay as well I can 
I will try to accept and love my body as best as I can 
I will continue to be a pessimistic optimist 
As ever 
I will fight for a better life
For sanity 
For peace of mind 
For my family 
For my own mental health
I  am much more than a number
A clothes size 
I don't have to be skinny to be beautiful
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes 
And is most certainly in the eye of the beholder 
I do t want to go back to being sick
It's only now that I am feeling better
That I realise how ill I truly was
I  on the way to getting better
Everyday I get a little stronger
And you know what?
I wouldn't trade it for anything