Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Toe, The show and other stories

My mother had her surgery yesterday 
My sister brought her to Dublin on Thursday 
And the operation happened early yesterday morning
My Dad stayed here while they were away
And we busied ourselves cooking and cleaning 
And generally making the house nice and comfortable for her
They arrived home today late afternoon
Mums foot is bandaged tightly 
And she has to wear an orthopaedic sandal
We helped her in to the house 
And on to the couch
The general anaesthetic has made her very ill last night 
So she just had tea and toast and water 
We sat and chatted for a while 
Mum told is all about the hospital and the staff who were nothing short of brilliant
Then I helped her put away her things 
And in to her pyjamas 
She's not as incapacitated as I thought she would be 
She can use crutches 
And get to the bathroom ok
But she needs to help changing her clothes and things like that 
So right now me and mum are in the living room 
She is relaxing 
And I am blogging 
She will need a lot of looking after for the foreseeable future
But I don't mind one little bit 
She has often done it for me

Mums operation has been a great distraction for me 
Given what is happening tomorrow 
The show in my equestrian centre
The dressage show to be more precise 
Myself and Star are making our debut!
I can't lie 
I am nervous 
I really don't know what to expect of the show 
I'm hoping there won't be too many people there 
As lots of people make me anxious 
I basically have to do a routine with Star 
There are different letters around the arena 
And you walk or trot depending on the instructions 
All in all 
I've only done the full course about five times 
And I definitely dont know the course of by heart 
But look
I will give it a go 
It will be fun
And good experience for me 
Myself and Star are building a nice little relationship 
And he has started to co-operate with me 
Which is great 
So I spent the evening getting my clothes  ready for tomorrow 
Eilish gave me some proper riding boots
Which I cleaned up 
I'm wearing olive coloured trousers
A grey top
And a grey fitted jacket
So hopefully I will look the part

I'm off to have dinner
Wish me luck tomorrow!
I promise beaucoup de photos....

Z is for Zodiac!

And so we have reached the end of the A-Z Challenge 
I actually Googled words beginning with Z
And zodiac immediately jumped out at me 
I was born in early September 
So I am a Virgo
According to the zodiac
Virgos are perfectionists 
If you want something something done 
And done well
Ask a virgo

Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac to be exact
And that's they way virgos like it: exacting 
I am forever the butt of jokes for being so picky and critical
But our attention to detail is for a reason
To help others 
Virgos more than any other sign, were born to serve 
And it gives us great joy 
We are tailor made for the job
As we are industrious, methodical and efficient 
My sister is always slagging me how I do everything in fast forward 
As quick and efficiently as possible
Our sense of duty is great
And ensures that we will always work for the greater good 

Virgo is represented by the Virgin
Although this association should not be taken literally 
We tend to take on some the qualities of the Virgin
Things like modesty and humanity 
Some might consider us repressed
Although Virgos would argue that it is a noble quality 
As opposed to a negative one 
As a Virgo
My brain is in overdrive most of the time 
Which is why we get so much done 
Virgos are able communicators
And use their mental strength to maximum advantage 
All of this brainpower can make Virgos prone to skepticism 
And can even lead to the type of overthinking that can lead to over kill 
Virgos enjoy studying a situation in great detail 
Whether it's in work, a project or relationship 
We are truly interested in understanding things 
Virgos are also neat and clean, reliable, and practical and oh so useful to have around 

The element associated with the sign Virgo is earth
And in keeping with that
Most Virgos are grounded, salt of the earth types
Virgos do enjoy material possessions and are picky about what they bring in to their lives
While Virgos can be worriers 
We do our best to temper these impulses 
If left unchecked this nervousness can lead to hypochondria 
For that reason Virgos are extremely health conscious 
And many choose a health or medical career 

When it comes to love, Virgos are able to loosen up somewhat 
And are devoted to their partners 
Even if they can be a bit jealous 
The great strengths of the Virgo is in their practicality, sharp mind and attention to detail

With all that said
I was wondering about you 
What star sign are you?
Are you a typical one?
Do you read star signs?
Do you believe them?
Inquiring minds want to know....

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for You!

And so we are on the home straight
Only two letters left
I'm so glad to be almost finished this challenge
I am notorious for starting things
And being all enthusiastic for the first ten minutes
Then my energy gives out
And I promptly give said activity up
So completing this challenge is great for me 
To actually see something through until the end 
No matter how hard it gets 

So yes
Y is for You
As in being yourself 
In your full
Bat shit crazy way
It's taken me a long time to be comfortable being myself 
And I'm still a work in progress 
Today for example 
I was walking down my road 
With my dogs 
And I looked down and realised that my trousers were on back to front 
A few years ago 
If that happened to me
I would have been mortified
But today 
I had a little chuckle to myself 
And carried on walking
Not giving a hoot who saw me
I mean 
In the grand scheme of things 
Who actually cares?
Not me anyway

I guess we have different faces for different situations 
Our work persona
Family persona 
Girlfriend persona 
Sibling persona 
We wear many hats 
So being ourselves is a real treat
I covered up my true self for so long 
That it becomes hard to even identify your true self 
And isn't it so liberating to be around someone who is completely at ease within themselves?
I find that I get on with some people and some People not so much
But that's life 
You can't like every one
And everyone can't like you

I've spent my whole life trying to fit in
Trying to be part of the 'cool kids'
At school 
Fitting in seemed the be all and end all
But then I grew up and realised that it's more fun to be different 
And not to follow the crowd 
As an adult 
We can seek out others like us if we want 
There is always someone who will get us 
Understand us 
Even when the majority of the population doesn't 
Being yourself is so important I think
Because pretending to be someone you're not is exhausting 
I've been there 
It's not fun
In fact it's soul destroying 
I am happy to be me 
I'm doing ok
Given what I've been through
I'm not doing too badly at all
I try to be a good person
I do my best to be a person of integrity 
I've made a lot of mistakes over the years 
But I've learned a lot too
And I'm now in a good place 
The best I've been in a long time 
I want to maintain that 
And live my life 
As well as I can 
I enjoy being me 
I am curious 
I have a big heart 
And lots of love to give 
We as people 
And as women 
Should be ourselves 
We are bright 
We have so much to offer 
We are the next generation
The future 
The planet is in safe hands 

Do you think It's important to be yourself?

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for X Chromosome!

Shout out
And a big thank you to Julia
Who suggested X chromosome for the letter X
You are on the ball today Julia
Great suggestion
And it means I get to write about the women in my life

I am blessed to have some amazing and strong women in my life
I often write about my mother
And what a rock of support and love she is 
For a little woman
She is the strongest person I know
When she was my age 
She already had four children
Three girls and a boy 
She lived with an alcoholic husband up until the year 2001
Then three of her children developed addiction and mental health issues
She has been through the mill
And she did it with the grace and elegance that always surrounds her
In recovery 
I have become very close to my mother
And she never ceases to amaze me 
She is super smart
An avid reader
She can hold a conversation with the best of them
But she is humble with it
She doesn't judge
She doesn't discriminate
People are drawn to her
Like moths to a flame 
She leads a very active life 
Even though she is retired
She has many friends 
And is always doing something
And going somewhere
She has always supported me
As I have often said 
If love and support could have made me well
I would have recovered a long time ago
She has never given up on me 
And has gone to extreme lengths to help me over the years 
I moved back in with my mum ten years ago
And I love it 
I love spending time with her 
I love doing things with her
She is interesting and interested
If I grow up to be half the woman she is 
I will be doing pretty well

I also have two sisters 
Who like me
Struggle with life 
My sisters are also strong independent women 
And people I look up to 
They are super intelligent 
And bags of common sense
Something I struggle with
I am lucky to have such great sisters 

Then there are the professionals
As you know 
I started seeing Mary a few years ago
And have been seeing her on and off since then 
From the start
She has been a constant support
We clicked straight away
And she is so knowledgeable about EDs and life in general
I actually saw Mary earlier today
It was great to be able to tell her how well things are going 
She reminded me of the first time I met her 
And how far I have come
She regularly mentions the conference I spoke at
And the amazing feedback mine and my mothers speech got 
She brought up the subject of discharge 
I am nervous to let Mary go
So we decided I would see her once a month from now on
And see how we go from there 
This is good 
It's all good
I will miss Mary 
But I know I can ring her anytime 
And I know it's time to move on
To spread my wings and fly 

The other professional in my life is Breda
I started seeing Breda over a year ago 
After I relapsed
I liked her from the start
She is no nonsense 
On the ball
Full of good advice
I have seen many addiction counsellors over the years
And Breda is by far the best 
I see her about every three weeks
And even though I am now very much clean and sober 
It's no harm to keep going to see her

I love being a female 
A strong, recovering female 
And am surrounded by such brilliant women 
No offence to men 
But we are the movers and shakers of this world 
You've heard the saying 
Behind every great man
Is a great woman
I think this is so true 
I am proud
Proud to be a woman
And proud of the fellow women around me
And you 
My beautiful blogger family 
I know the vast majority of you are female 
And you have become part of my story 
You have been such a support to me over the years 
This blog has been a life line 
And I feel so blessed to have met some incredible women from all over the world 
We are strong 
We are independent 
We are learning 
And blossoming 
They say at the meetings 
That women should stick together 
And the men too
I agree with this 
As there is no agenda with a fellow woman 
Well I guess there could be
But most of the time there's not 
So this post is dedicated to you 
My blogger family 
And I don't write thdt flippantly 
You are like family to me 

X is for?

I'm struggling to think of a word for X
Any ideas out there....?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for weight!

Another ED related post
But there aren't a whole lot of words beginning with W
So weight it is
And it is topical 
Given my last post

I want to thank you all for your valued feed back on my last post
I know you all have my best interests at heart
And I really appreciate that
I've decided not to go ahead with the media company
It just didn't feel right
It almost felt like the photos I provided weren't shocking enough
And that is really sad
I could go ahead and share the ones of me in my underwear 
But they are so very personal
I just don't feel at all comfortable with it

You all made some really good points about the story they wanted to run
Emaciated girl gets healthy is a popular theme 
The before and after 
The shocking and the victory 
From illness to recovery 
That story has been told a million times
What about the majority of sufferers who are not underweight?
And who have never been physically compromised
That story is almost never told
Because it's not sensational
There are no emaciated bodies
No pointy bones 
Or sharp angles 
The story of say the girl with bulimia
Who is a healthy weight 
Just doesn't capture the attention of an audience 
But as you wrote yesterday 
It's that story that needs to be told
So people are aware that EDs come in all shapes and sizes
Not just super skinny

I have stopped weighing myself 
My scales broke 
And I was weighing in my doctors surgery on a Monday
But I've stopped doing that now
Because it doesn't matter 
The number does not matter 
All I'm concerned about 
Is that I feel good
I feel strong 
I feel capable and able
My clothes fit
My hair and nails and skin are healthy
Unless I drastically lose or put on weight
I am not going to worry about it 
And you know what?
It is the best feeling in the world 
Letting go of that pressure and control
I feel like a weight has been lifted off me
Now I have so much to stay healthy for
So much to live for
I am no longer Ruby the anorectic/bulimic/addict
I am in recovery 
I am a work in progress
I am letting go of the ties that bound me
Unhealthy food habits
I was at a meeting yesterday
And after it
Someone came up to me
And said that it was really good listening to me
That made my day
Because now I feel I have something to offer the world 
I feel I can help others 
Be a good person 
And spread a message of hope
Because there is hope
There is always hope 
I feel so blessed for what I have in my life 
My family 
My dogs 
My friends 
I have such good and strong people around me 
I know I am more fortunate than most 

If you do one thing today
I urge you to recognise the good things in your life 
The people 
The pets 
The family and friends 
As ED sufferers 
We are so hard on ourselves 
It's time we have ourselves a break
And look to the positives in our lives
Weight has absolutely no correlation to happiness 
If it did 
Then I would have been deliriously happy at my lowest weight 
I wasn't 
Happiness is not a number
It's a state of mind 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Voyeurism!

Part of an ED that can be very sick and twisted
Is other people wanting to see the skeletal body of the sufferer
People like to be shocked  
To me it's voyeurism
Like when you pass a car crash
You can't help but look
I was contacted by a media company a few weeks ago
They asked if they could have an informal chat with me over the phone
And I agreed 
So they rang
And we had a conversation
But straight away 
I felt some red flags popping up
She wanted to know my lowest weight
Smallest clothes size
And seemed very interested in the numbers 
But then people always are 
So I didn't think too much about it
Then they asked for some photos of me when I was underweight 
I really needed to think about that one 
I don't have photos of me at my lowest weight
But I do have photos of me over the years underweight 
I also have a few photos of me in my underwear 
Which my brothers girlfriend took
But they are very personal photos 
And I didn't feel comfortable sharing them
I did however find some photos that I felt ok sharing 
And sent them to the media company yesterday 
They got back to me this morning 
And said the photos aren't suitable 
That they want to see more of my body 
And could I send some more explicit photos 
That right there was enough for me to worry
Like typical media
They wanted the photos to shock
To sensationalise my disorder 
They want to see emaciated bodies 
Pointy bones
And sharp angles 
Which I can understand 
People are curious
They want to know what drives someone to starve themselves in to emaciation
The girl from the media company emailed me back
And told me that they need some photos to show how ill I was 
To contrast with how well I am now 
To be honest 
The girl from the company seems lovely 
And has said many times if I don't feel comfortable doing this 
I can pull out at any time 
So I really don't know what to do
I don't want to be exploited
I don't want to be used
I don't want to be put in a vulnerable position
Where I leave myself exposed
But at the same time 
It is a good opportunity to spread awareness 
And a message of hope 
It's a tricky one 
I emailed the girl back 
And told her thdt I need a couple of days to think about it 
I will speak to Mary about it on Thursday 

I know this is typical media 
Wanting the shock factor 
Something for their readers to gasp at
And to read more 
It seems to me that people ate fascinated with EDs
They want to see the lengths we go to for our illness
They want to see us wasting away
They pity us 
Which I hate 
Because I don't want your pity 
I don't want your sympathy 
It's hard enough to live with an ED without you getting your kicks out of looking at my underweight body 
I'm not a victim
I'm a survivor 

Have you ever experienced this?

Sunday, 24 April 2016

U is for Undeterred!

I was having trouble coming up with a word for the letter U
I was going to do underweight 
But after what happened yesterday
It could only be one word 

Rewind to Thursday
I got it in to my head 
That I wanted to do more riding 
And check out the stables in my area
I got a couple of numbers 
But got no answer 
So I decided to call in to an equestrian centre that's about 20 minutes from my house 
I'd been to this centre before 
A few years ago when I did a beach trek with my sisters 
So I knew where it was 
My Dad and I set off 
We drove in to the yard 
And we were greeted by a woman called Rachael who runs the place
I asked her about the possibility of lessons 
She said they don't do adult lessons
As they don't have the demand for them 
But she did say I could book a private lesson
Costing €35 for half an hour
And €45 for an hour 
So I decided to book a half hour lesson for yesterday 
Half an hour doesn't sound like a lot
But when you are riding with no break 
It's exhausting 
The lady asked me about my experience
I said I could trot and canter 
I'm now thinking after what happened I shouldn't have said I could canter
As I've only really done it once 

Sunday came 
And I spent all day looking forward to my 4pm lesson 
The time finally came 
And my Mum and I set off
First I had to get fitted for boots and a hat 
The lady said to me that I had skinny legs
And gave me a pair of children's boots
My ED loved that one!
So I got myself kitted out 
And then went around to the stables
Rachael introduced me to my horse called Sonny
And OMG!
He was huge!
Much larger than Star
We went in to the in door arena 
Where I held Sonny until my teacher came 
She came like a ball of energy
Susan was her name 
Something I've noticed 
Is that horse people are hardy 
Very hardy 
The second thing I noticed about Susan 
Was that she had two facial piercings the same as me 
Straight away 
She had me get up on Sonny 
And straight in to a trot
There was no messing around with this girl 
The first thing I noticed about Sonny
Was that he was much faster than Star
An awful lot faster 
But it felt amazing!
Soon she asked me to go in to a canter 
From a trot 
You sit in to the saddle 
And kick and squeeze with your legs 
I grabbed the safety strap
And kicked on 
What happened next happened so fast I can barely remember what happened
Sonny shot off like a bullet 
And completely took me by surprise by how fast he was going 
As he turned the corner
I could feel myself losing control
And began to slip off the side of the saddle
My feet came out of the stirrups 
So I had nothing holding me on 
I was bouncing around on Sonny like nobodies business
And the the next thing
I tumbled off 
And fell in a heap at the side of the track
The first thing I thought was Sonny was going to go over me 
And I instinctively curled up to protect myself 
I don't know where Sonny went
But he didn't run over 
The thing was 
I could feel myself falling 
But even though it seemed to happen in slow motion at the time 
I still got a huge shock
I got up straight away
Susan asked what if I was ok
And if I was hurt
I didn't think I was 
Nothing was broken anyway 
I asked her for a minute to catch my breath 
She said ok
But to get back up on the horse first 
I tried to mount Sonny
But I was shaking so much 
I couldn't get a grip to pull myself up 
Second time 
I managed 
And I just sat there for a moment 
Susan said it was important to get straight back up on the horse 
As the longer I left it
The harder it would be 
Soon I was ready to go again
And we began to walk around the arena
Slowly at first
Then trotting 
Then Susan asked if I felt ok to canter again
I must admit 
I was afraid 
But I really wanted to try again 
I didn't want my fear to get the better of me
So I tried again
Straight away
Susan stopped me
And said she knew why I fell
It was my feet 
In riding 
You are supposed to push your heels down and toes up to anchor yourself 
But i was riding with my toes down and heels up
So I was totally unbalanced
After she discovered the problem 
I was able to correct it 
Although I found it hard
I felt like I was sickling my feet
The way I used to do in ballet 
So Susan was constantly shouting at me 
Heels down!
Heels down!
We tried the canter again 
And this time I felt a lot more sturdy and balanced 
Susan said it was one hundred times better

By the end of the lesson 
I was wrecked 
And sweat was pumping out of me
Susan showed me how to put up the stirrups 
And take off the saddle 
And the bridle 
Which was good to learn 
I was still pretty shook as I went back to change out of my boots and hat
Susan said if I am going to pursue horse riding 
Then that was my first fall of many 
To be honest 
It had never occurred to me that I might fall off the horse at some point 
I had no fear about it
As I always thought that a fall happened when jumping 
Now I know different 
Susan said I could join the kids class on a Saturday if I wanted to
Or I could continue with the private lessons 
I stil don't know what I'm going to do 
So I told her I would think about it
And give them a ring 

The lesson yesterday was so different to the horse therapy I do on a Wednesday
Therapy is so informal and relaxed 
And it's more about the social side of things 
And less about technically getting better 
It's about gaining confidence
And building a relationship with the horse and trainer 
To be honest 
I kind of felt like I was cheating on horse therapy going to another stables 
I just wanted to do more of it though 
As once a week is just not enough for me 
So I'm wondering if I should tell Eilish I'm doing other lessons
Or should I continue with the extra lessons at all?
When I got home yesterday
I was telling my sister and her partner all about the fall
My sister was horrified 
She said we will already have my mum in plaster 
We don't need another broken bone in the house 
She pleaded with me not to go back
But the thing is 
I really want to
I really enjoy the adrenaline rush
The speed 
The power 
It's like a drug 
My sister said that I always have to push things that little bit extra 
And she is right 
Maybe I am turning in to an adrenaline junkie!
Who knows?

So today 
U is for undeterred
I got back on the horse after my fall
And i guess that's a metaphor for life 
When you fall down 
You dust yourself off 
And get back up 
Ready to fight another day 
I guess I've been doing that my whole life 
Maybe that's why the fall off Sonny didn't phase me too much 

I woke up this morning 
And my ribs and legs were hurting 
I was in with my doctor 
So he checked my ribs and lungs 
Which were fine 
But he said I may experience pain for a few days 
But you know what?
I kind of enjoy the pain 
It's a sign I was working hard
And loving every minute of it!

Rest Day

Today is another rest day on the A - Z Challenge
So I thought I would take the opportunity to write a personal post about what's going on for me and my family
Next Friday my Mum is having surgery in Dublin
A few weeks ago 
She saw a consultant 
And the surgery date is next week
It's surgery on her foot
Her toes to be precise 
You see, for as long as we can remember 
Mum has had a wonky toe
Her big toe is kind of growing the wrong way 
And is almost as a right angle to the rest of her toes 
Her toe had been a source of fun over the years 
Especially during the summer when her feet are out 
I would show you a picture 
But I don't want to scare you
But if you look up 'Hammer Toe' on Google 
You will surely find some pics 

Up until recently 
Mums funny toe hasn't given her any trouble 
Apart from the way it looks 
Which never has really bothered her 
But now 
She gets pain in her foot and up her leg 
So we finally managed to get her to go to the doctor 
Who promptly referred her to a consultant in Dublin
Who told Mum it was one of the worst cases he has seen
He immediately booked her in for surgery 
It's sounds like a small and simple procedure 
But it is in fact complicated 
Both the big toe and the toe next to it will broken 
And pins will be inserted to keep the toes in place 
All done under general anaesthetic of course
Mum will be in quite a bit of pain following the procedure 
And will be off her feet for a couple of months
So needless to say 
We will be looking after her for that period of time 
My sister and I live  here 
So we will be doing the bulk of the work
But we have another sister and brother who will hopefully help too
We have already done out a roster for cooking and cleaning etc
But I'm sure there are some things that we haven't even thought of yet
We'll get through it 
Albeit with a few sibling arguments and tiffs

The other thing is 
That recently I have become aware of my own big toe 
As it seems to be heading in the same direction as Mums
Which is a worry 
But I guess I don't need to worry about it just yet 
But I definitely won't let it go as bad as my Mums
Whose foot is now quite deformed 

My Dad is also going to see a consultant in Dublin next month 
It's his hands 
Over the years the muscle in his hands has wasted away 
And he now has very little power or strength in them
He can't close buttons 
Open jars 
His hands are quite disabled now 
It was hard to get him to go to the doctor 
But he finally did recently 
And was referred to the consultant 
I really hope they can do something to help his hands 
As soon they will be completely useless if something isn't done

It's worrying 
Both my parents having separate health issues
I guess it's a reminder that they are not getting any younger
It's scary to think that they are getting older
I'm not ready for it 
Even though I'm 34 
I feel like I am still growing up
I need them 
I still need my parents 
It's scary 
It feels like the rug is being pulled from under us 
And all of a sudden 
They are old 
I guess we are never ready to lose our parents 
And I don't think that will happen for a long time 
But it's something that will happen
Whether we are ready or not 

Having said all that 
I was wondering about you 
Do you still have your parents?
Or have you lost either parent?
Are your parents getting older and having health problems?
How do you feel about it?
Are you worried about them?

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Tea!

All my life 
I've been a confirmed tea drinker
Even as a baby 
I used to take hot, sweet tea in my bottle 
I was very attached to my bottle of tea
And having spoken to my Mum about it this morning
She tells me that I used my bottle of tea as a comfort up until the age of four
I can remember hiding said bottle when people came over 
Since then 
Tea has been a source of warmth and comfort to me
That first cup in the morning is heaven 
And when I smoked
A cuppa and a cigarette could put the world to right 
I can't lie 
I miss that feeling 
A hot steaming cup of tea
And a Carrolls cigarette 
Anything could be solved over it
I've never been a coffee drinker
Most of my family are coffee drinkers 
But I've never developed a taste for it
I wish I liked coffee
As it looks very sophisticated 
And I'd love to go in to a coffee shop and order a long black
But no
I am a dedicated tea drinker
And nothing else will do

It wasn't until I developed my ED 
That my tea drinking got out of hand 
If tea drinking can get out of hand
Now I must drink 10- 15 cups a day 
Depending on what I am doing 
If I am at home 
I will make one cup after another 
And drink it like it is going out of fashion
I also have particular cups that I drink out of 
I'm very picky about my cups 
The need to be narrow 
Quite tall 
Preferably with a nice design
I don't like cups with an internal colour 
I like them to be white on the inside
I have my favourite cups
And no other cups will do

When I gave up smoking 
It took me quite a while to get used to having a cup of tea without a smoke 
It just wasn't the same 
But as they say 
You can make or break a habit in 21 days
And eventually 
Like everything 
I got used to it
And the tea has to be Barry's 
I don't use sugar that much anymore 
And use 4 sweeteners instead
I'm off to make another cuppa
See you on the next post....

Are you a tea or coffee drinker?

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Summer!

Summer is fast approaching 
And as you know
I have a few things in the pipeline 
There is the possibility of a job
And also a course I could do 
Which is over a year long
IT and communications 
Two days a week
This week
I got a call from the manager of the holiday centre where I applied to work 
She asked me if I was still interested in work
And told me to pop in yesterday morning to have a chat
So I did 
She showed me around the building
Which can cater up to 60 people at a time
The living areas 
The dining room 
The office 
Then we sat down so she could tell me in depth about the job
She asked about my situation
I told her that I am on a disability benefit 
And because the job is only a summer job
I am keen to hold on to that payment
She totally understood that 
She asked me why I am on disability 
So I explained that I am recovering from an eating disorder 
I had no problem telling her that 
But then she became concerned that the job might be too much for me
She told me that the job is not only physically demanding 
But also very emotionally demanding
You see the holiday centre is run by a charity 
Whose aim is to give people a holiday who generally can't afford on
It's not free 
But it is at a reduced cost
So a lot of the people staying are vulnerable 
Or have difficult circumstances 
Different situation may arise 
And I would need to be very switched on to deal with them
The manager explained that the person she hires needs to have a lot of cop on and common sense 
A jack of all trades were the words she used
I told her that I would be available to work the 20 hours a week I am allowed work 
She said she would have to bring thdt information back to the board members to discuss 
And said she would get back to me next week
know that a lot of you think that I should take the full time work 
And I would love to
But I worry that it would be too much for me 
And I might cave under the pressure 
Plus I wouldn't have the time to look after my dogs 
Horse riding 
And appointments 
If I could work the 20 hours 
That would work perfectly 
But I don't know if it will happen

Then there is the course 
I went to talk on it yesterday 
And I have an interview for it on Monday
The course is two days a week
For 16 months
So it suits me really well 
If I got the 20 hours work 
Then I could probably squeeze the course in too
My other option is not to work at all and do the course 
The course work includes work experience 
So I would get some work over the next year
 I will wait for the manager to get back to me about the job
And I will go ahead and do the interview for the course 
But right now 
I am leaning towards doing the course
Even though it is a bit of a dilemma 
It's great to have options
It's great to be well enough to do these things
I feel like things are starting to come together for me
That my life is coming together 
And that is nothing short of amazing

I'd love to know what you think though
Your views and opinions 
So don't be shy 
Get in touch.... 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

R is for Recovery!

Recovery is an obvious choice for the letter R
But it's also an important one 
The main thing about recovery 
Is that it's about progress not perfection
And I am so glad for that 
Because I certainly have not perfected recovery 
Who has?
My recovery from drugs started as long as ten years ago
I've had many slips and relapses since then
And now have about a year of continuous recovery
Since my last relapse early last year
My recovery from my ED started two years ago
After I came out of treatment for the umpteenth time
But again 
It most definitely has not been a straight road 
There have been an awful lot of bumps in the road for me
And some might argue that I am not in recovery at all 
As I still purge 
Albeit a whole lot less than I was two years ago 
But bulimia still raises its ugly head from time to time 
The thing is 
That I am doing my level best 
To stay sane
And improve my physical and mental health 
I'm striving for a better life 
For me and my family 

It's taken me a long time to get to the ponit where I wanted to recover
In the midst of the illness
Recovery seems nigh on impossible 
It wasn't something that I wanted to explore 
And I deliberately avoided anything to do with recovery 
But there came a point 
Where I was just not willing to lose any more of my life to my addiction/ED
Where the negatives drastically outweighed the positives
I wasn't living 
I was hanging on by my finger nails to life 
But now 
I am so glad I managed to pull myself out of the rabbit hole 
And am even sorry that I didn't do it years ago 
It seems that as quickly as things can tank
They can also turn around just as quickly 
I can categorically tell you 
That there is life after ED and addiction
I know that recovery can seem so far away
And sometimes it is 
But it starts with the first step
That first leap of faith 
That is the most difficult part
But once you get going 
I promise you 
There will be no stopping you
Baby steps all the way
As I always say
Baby steps soon add up to be great strides 
And breaking it down in to small bite size chunks is much more manageable

As well as improving health and mental health
As well as weight restoration and all the health benefits that come with that 
Recovery also opens up new opportunities
I've done so many things in recovery
That I would never have had the confidence or the courage to do in the midst of my illness
I went on my first date 
I joined classes 
I started going to meetings again
I began horse riding
Which has quickly turned in to a passion
I've done interviews for different publications 
So many wonderful things can happen 
If you can just open your mind 
And your heart 
And take that first step away from the illness
In my ED
It was like being in a prison 
With meagre food portions 
And a punishing exercise routine 
There is nothing enjoyable about living with an ED 
Even the benefits it promises 
Weight loss 
Never works out 
As the goal posts always shift

Today is a good day
This morning I am going in to see the manager of the holiday centre 
Remember the job I applied for?
She rang me yesterday 
And asked me to go in for a chat 
So that is exciting 
I'm really hoping something comes of it
And this afternoon 
I am starting my course 
IT and communications 
I don't know if I'll be able to do it all
But I will give it a go 
And see how I get on 
I still want to leave time for horse riding
The dogs 
And my appointments of course 
As these things are the foundation of my recovery 
I have faith though 
That it will all work out the way it's supposed to 
And that's the lovely thing about recovery 
Things seem to all of a sudden fall in to place 
One day everything is up in the air 
And the next it's all slotting together like a jigsaw puzzle

In other news 
I went horse riding yesterday 
Myself and one of the lads are being entered in a competition 
A dressage show 
On May 1st
It's basically a routine with the horse 
Following a course 
We went through it twice yesterday
If you remember last week
Star was no co operating with me 
He was very reluctant to trot 
So I was given a whip yesterday 
Just to give him a little tap to start off
And lo and behold 
He began to trot when I tapped him
We are rough diamonds myself and Star
But we are slowly but surely forming a little bond 
And finding out way 
At one point when we were trotting 
Star began to go really fast 
It was amazing!
I loved it!
So much fun!
I just wish I could do it more often 
I feel on such a high after riding 
And the time always goes way too quickly 
And this 
The horse riding 
Is only possible by my being somewhat well
I wouldn't be able for it if I was underweight and struggling 
I wouldn't trade all the things in my life for a skinny body 
No way 
Maybe it's that in getting older 
I turn 35 this year 
And I guess I was bound to grow up at some stage 
And an ED is so life and soul draining 
That the older you get 
The sicker you get 
And the harder it is to find recovery 
I know I'm blessed 
I have an amazing family behind me 
Super duper professionals 
Who as a team
Have helped me massively 
And pancreatitis aside 
I've come out of my ED relatively unscathed 
Also economic factors 
I have a secure comfortable place to live 
I don't really have to worry about money 
And those things are massive
So all in all
Recovery is worth 
A hundred times over 
I just wish I could give you a little piece of the happiness I have found 
It's finally happening for me
I am recovering.....

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Q is for Quirky!

Q is a bit of a tricky letter
I decided to go with quirky
As it was one of only a few I could think of
I like quirky
Quirky clothes 
Quirky hair
Quirky colours
I especially love quirky people
And I am a bit on the quirky side myself
I can remember growing up
I desperate to belong 
To find people like me
A place where I didn't stick out like a sore thumb
As a teenager 
I experimented with lots of different styles
Prim and proper 
But I never felt I quite belonged to any of them 
I really had no clue who I was 
What I was about 
And what people I wanted to be around
For me 
Clothes are a big part of my identity 
It was only really in my late twenties 
That I found a style I liked
And felt comfortable in
I wear a lot of jeans, hoodies and trainers
But I like quirky ones
Surf type wear 
That relaxed 
Laid back 
And comfortable in style 

I love to meet people who are a little bit different 
People who March to the beat of their own drum
I'm attracted to people who I can be myself around 
As there really aren't many out there 
That's why I get on with my sister so well
She is quirky to the point of being eccentric 
And I love that about her 
She is also bat shit crazy
I know she won't mind me saying that
As I am too
I swear 
Some of the conversations we have are hilarious 
And I've been threatening to put a go-pro camera in the car to capture some of our funnier moments 
A sense of humour is so important I think 
Especially in the darker times 
My family have quite a dark sense of humour 
And it has got us through many of the tougher times 
Without it
I would have gone completely off the wall long ago

Remember in school
When being different or quirky was a bad thing?
It seems like the end of the world when you don't fit in
But as an adult 
It's endearing and interesting to be quirky or different 
Who wants to be like the crowd anyway.....?

P is for Peace!

I'm going to write about peace 
In the context of peace of mind
At meetings 
A lot of talk centres around achieving peace of mind 
As an addict
And as someone who suffers with mental health issues
I have experienced very little peace of mind in my life 
Plus the fact that I am a worrier means my head is rarely quiet
For as long as I can remember 
The has a constant chatter
A running commentary going on in my head
Most of which is negative and repetitive and generally pretty destructive 
Then add an ED in to the mix
Which is also like another voice in your head
And it becomes very difficult to achieve peace of mind 
I am constantly thinking 
Constantly switched on
And am generally thinking about something that did happen 
Or something that is going to happen 
Very rarely am I in the present 
On the moment 
I am almost always in another tense 

I do strive for peace of mind though
And I do get moments of it 
Those moments are sheer bliss 
When the internal chatter stops
And my head is quiet
You can't buy that kind peace 
 To me 
Peace means not worrying about the past 
Letting the past be 
And not beating myself up about it 
It means not projecting in to the future 
Not wishing my life away 
Peace means being happy to live in the present 
To deal with things as they happen 
To live life on life's terms
It means accepting my situation
The good and the bad 
And making the most of it 
Peace means integrity 
Doing the next right thing 
Even when no one is watching 
It means living a life that I can be proud of 
Peace means being present 
Doing the best I can with what I have 
It means laying my head down at night 
Knowing I lived the best life I could have today 
I guess peace is similar to happiness
It's not a constant thing 
But we do get moments of it 
And those moments are priceless

What does peace mean to you?

Monday, 18 April 2016

O is for Orca!

A total change of direction here 
For as long as I can remember
I have been fascinated by whales
All animals really
But especially whales
It started when I did a project on them in primary school
And the fascination has never left me
There is something so magical about them 
Their sheer size alone is mind boggling
Last night on BBC
There was a documentary on about zoos
Presented by Liz Bonin
That asked the questions
Should we keep animals in captivity?
What are the costs and the benefits?
I wasn't going to watch said documentary
As in the trailer 
It said there were some upsetting scenes
And nothing upsets me more than seeing animals in distress 
I decided to watch it though
As even though it is really upsetting 
I want to be aware of what is happening 
The documentary itself was brilliant
It asked some really tough questions 
About why we keep animals in captivity
Their habitat in captivity 
Their behaviour in captivity as opposed to the wild 
Apparently an elephants life span is cut in half in captivity
They also experience other problems such as obesity 
Rotten teeth 
And foot problems 
All because they have been kept in the wrong sort of conditions 
The documentary also questions about extinction
In the case of the northern white rhino
There are none left in the wild at all
And only five exist in captivity
Is it better to keep a species in captivity to keep it alive?
Or should we allow these beautiful animals to die out?
It's a tricky one

But back to whales 
The documentary spoke about the movie Black Fish
The film that focuses on the events that led up to the death of 40 year old Seaworld trainer Dawn Branchaeu in 2010
I haven't seen the movie
As I think it would send me over the edge and traumatise me for life
The name of the whale that killed Dawn Brancheau is called Tilikum
Dawn was rubbing Tilikum as part of a post show routine when the orca grabbed her by her left arm and hair
And dragged her to the bottom of the enclosure
Tilikum scalped her
Broke her bones 
Dismembered her
She drowned 
The third person to have been killed by Tilikum since his capture over 30 years ago
Seaworld declined to take part in the film Black Fish 
But they did agree to an interview for the BBC documentary last night 
We got to meet Tilikum
Who still resides in Sea World
The head vet there 
Argued that Dawn Brancheaus death was a tragic accident 
And not a deliberate attack on her life 

Let's rewind here a little 
So I can give you some history of Tilikum
Tilikum is the largest orca in captivity
Weighing in at 12, 500 pounds
And over 22 feet in length
Tilikum was captured near Iceland
In November 1983
Two years old
He was ripped away from his family and ocean home 
He was covered in lanolin
An oil extracted from sheeps wool which is applied to the orcas whole body to prepare them for a long transport without water
Tilikum has been bought and sold like a commodity since his capture
Held in small holding tanks 
All he could do was swim in small circles and float aimlessly at the surface of the water 
In the wild an orca can cover an area of up to 100 miles a day 
So you can see how disturbing it must be to the whale
In captivity 
Food was held from Tilikum as a training technique
He was forced to perform every hour on the hour 
8 times a day 
7 days a week
On February 21 1991 Sealand trainer Keltie Byrne fell in to a pool containing three orcas including Tilikum
She was pulled to the bottom of the enclosure 
Tossed around among the three orcas
And ultimately drowned 
She was the first of three people to have been killed due to Tilikums stress, confinement and frustration

After the death of Keltie 
Sealand closed its doors for good
And Tilikum was sold to Seaworld
Over the course of Tilikums life at there
He has been involved in multiple acts of aggression 
The stress of captivity also drives him to exhibit abnormal repetitive behaviour
Such as on metal gates and the concrete sides of his tank 
The stress of captivity also drove Tilikum to kill a young trainer called Daniel P Dukes in 1999
Following Dawns tragic death in 2010
Tilikum was kept in a tiny enclosure
After a year of isolation
He returned to performing 
Aggression towards humans by orcas is almost non existent in nature
But the constant stress of living in incompatible social groupings inside minuscule tAnks at Seaworld causes them to lash out
Posing a threat of danger to other whales and employees alike

Having researched this topic today 
And some of the information here was taken directly from Seaworld of Hurts website 
I feel a sense of despair for these animals 
It really upsets me 
In fact cruelty to animals upsets me a lot more than cruelty to people 
I asked myself today
What I can do to help these poor creatures 
And I guess by raising awareness here on my blog is at least something 
I find myself with little pity for those that Tilikum killed
I mean these are wild animals 
Being kept in unsatisfactory conditions 
I'm actually surprised that more people haven't been killed
So I guess we need to ask ourselves some difficult questions
In order to solve this problem 
In my opinion
Seaworld and similar places should be illegal 
No more than dancing bears
Donkey rides
And any other activity that exploits animals for money 
As humans 
We do not own this planet 
Animals have every right to life in the wild  
As it seems keeping them in captivity does not work 

With all that said 
I was wondering about you
What do you think about places like Seaworld?
Have you ever been?
And also what do you think about zoos?
I know a lot of you out there are animal lovers like me
So I am interested to hear what you think...

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Rest Day

I spent the morning trying to think of words behinning with the letter O
Then I remembered that Sunday is a rest day in the A-Z Challenge
I could relax
This week has been exciting 
I got a few promising emails 
And also did an informal chat with an on line media company 
I'm not sure what will come if it
But it's fun just to do it
It never ceases to amaze what can happen when you put yourself out there 
I have been contacted by people the world over
To do interviews
Skype chats 
Writing pieces for publications
It's all fun 
And it's all part of gathering awareness for addiction and EDs 
This month 
I am four years blogging 
It's quite hard to believe
But in other ways 
I feel every bit of the last four years 
I think back to 2012
April 2012
I was 30 years old 
11 years in to my illness
And had been up and down since up until then 
Mostly down if I am honest 
I started looking for blogs on the Internet for like minded people 
I needed to find others who were like me
It's human nature 
The need to know that we are not alone 
The first sure I found was Yummy Secrets 
Some of you will remember this site 
It is no longer active now
I also found Recovering Anorexic over on Wordpress
And both these blogs opened the door to whole host of other blogs 
Some in the midst of their illness
Some recovering 
As well as the usual smattering of pro ana too

I read back on my first posts 
And I write about wanting to lost weight 
I know back then I was about 50-54kg
And I wanted to be smaller 
Blogger was so active back then 
There were so many blogs to discover and follow 
I would say that 75% of those are now defunct 
And there are only a handful of us left 
I worry for our community 
That it will die out 
I sincerely hope not though
As I know a lot of us depend on this community and each other 
Over time 
My blog has become more about my struggle to get well
I think ive grown up a little 
Finally says you
But seriously 
It's been an amazing ride
To document everything that's happened in the last four years
To meet and get to know so many lovely people
For you to be part of my story 
And me to have been part of yours
It been like writing a diary 
And sharing it with the world 
I hope my blog has in some small way helped in the plight against EDs and addiction
I am one girl writing a blog
But together I believe we can make a change 
For the better

So Happy Birthday to you today blog!
And long may you last!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for Night time!

N was another tricky customer
I was going to go with numb
But then decided on night time 
As I think I can write more about that 
Up until a few years ago
I was most definitely a night person
During my drug using days 
I would typically get up in the evening 
Stay up all night 
And go to bed in the morning 
It wasn't unusual not to see daylight for weeks on end 
When I first started using drugs 
I associated them with night time 
It was some thing you did at night 
At the weekend 
Even when I first started taking heroin
I still associated it with night 
I remember the first time I saw someone using heroin first thing in the morning 
It had never occurred to me to do that 
But it seemed like a good idea
So I started using in the morning too
This is how an addict is made 
My drug use began to bleed in to the day time 
The weekend began to get longer and longer 
Until my drug use became an every day thing 
As with everything 
You take the bad with the good
And with heroin 
Comes a physical addiction
It's a cat and mouse game to stay one step ahead of sickness
And I was always playing catch up
And can remember nights when I had no drugs 
And no money to get drugs 
Those nights were sheer torture 
As I've said before 
I was a greedy addict 
And whatever I had 
I took there and then
Leaving nothing for the following day or days 
Withdrawal is a horrific thing 
You will start to withdraw about 24 hours after your last usage 
It starts off quite mild 
Your eyes will begin to stream
Your nose will run 
You will yawn continuously 
Then your muscles will begin to get sore 
A dull ache in your bones that saps the energy right out of you 
By now you will take to the bed
As you won't be able to do anything other than lie down and wait it out 
You will sweat profusely 
Alternating between hot and cold
The sheets of your bed will be damp with the sweat 
What ever way you lie 
You can't get comfortable 
And even though you are mentally and physically wrecked 
Sleep eludes you 
Then comes the stomach cramps 
The vomiting 
The diarrhoea 
As the last remnants of the drug leaves your body 
You are now in full blown withdrawal
You are climbing the walls 
Hallucinating with fever 
It feels like your body is trying to turn inside out 
If only you had the drug 
One smoke 
One turn on
Could put an end to all of this 
The night is endless 
And everything seems worse at night 
You are lonely 
So alone 
It seems like you are the only one in the whole world who is awake 
The nightmare goes on 
Until you find someone you can borrow money off 
Or you manage to drag yourself out of bed to find money somehow 
And when you finally get the drug
The feeling of the sickness draining out of your body is the best feeling ever
You immediately stop sweating 
The ache in your bones vanishes 
The mental torture subsides 
All is well 
Until the next time 

Over the years 
I have turned from a night owl 
In to a morning bird 
I don't stay up past midnight 
And I am up between 7am and 8am every morning 
I like to go out and do my bits and pieces in the morning 
There is something lovely about that time of the day 
When there are only a few people around 
When it's still and quiet
And the world hasn't quite woken up yet 
When the surfers 
Dog walkers 
And runners are all about 
It's a magical time of the day
Night time can be magical too
But I just don't have energy or the inclination to be a night owl any more 

Which are you
A night owl
Or a morning bird?

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Mind!

I had a couple of things in mind for the letter M
Like my Mother 
Or Mary
But I think I will keep those for W for Women 
So mind it is 
I am grateful 
So very grateful
That my mind has stayed in tact
Despite my best efforts to self destruct 
I've pushed my body and my mind to its limits over the years 
And managed to reach recovery relatively unscathed 
My mind continues to be sharp
And continues to be curious and inquisitive 
Pushing me to learn more everyday
I think my mind as it is, is a result of nature and nurture 
I was born with my mind 
And over the years It has grown and matured
My mind allows me to do so much 
It allows me to question what I don't understand 
To think deeply 
To be sensitive and emphatic 
It allows me to be open minded 
To think outside of the box 
To learn 
To study 
To work 
It allows me to make sense of the world 
To form my own views and opinions 
To be adventurous 
To devour knowledge 
To read 
To write 
To be me
To be quirky 
To talk 
To listen 
To laugh 
A cry 
It allows me to feel emotion 
It is where all my thoughts and ideas are formed 
I feel blessed to have all that I have 
Including my mind 
Without it 
I surely wouldn't have made it this far

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Lea!

And so we are on to L
And that brings me on to my lovely Lea
Lea is a beautiful golden retriever 
Like Honey 
Lea is eleven years old 
We got her when she was 5 months old 
The runt of the litter 
From the start
She had to work harder than the other pups 
Just to survive 
I got her from a have a go breeder
Some guy who was just looking to make a quick buck
She lived with her family up until I got her 
And was never really socialised properly 
We collected her on a bright sunny May Day
We bundled her in to the back of Mums car 
And headed for home 
From the beginning 
Lea was a nervous wreck  
When we got home that first day
She jumped out of the car 
And ran down the garden 
Where she hid under a bush for the full day
I had to be so gentle and easy with her 
As the move seemed to be very traumatic for her
She was in a strange place 
With strange people 
And it took her a good while to settle in 
I had to be so patient with her
As slowly but surely she gained confidence 
I was the first one she bonded with 
She ran away from everyone else 
But I knew if I persevered with her
She would come around 

Lea has always loved her walks 
And gets very excited every morning at the prospect of going out 
The first few times we brought her in my Mums car 
She got very ill 
And promptly threw up
But when she got to the beach 
She was like a different dog
She ran on the sand 
Rolled in it
Swam in the water 
She loves the water 
And generally ran around like a lunatic
For the first year 
Lea was all legs 
She had quite poor co ordination 
And regularly fell over herself 
And her tail rotated she was wagging it so much 
Over time 
Lea got used to the car 
And now she absolutely loves it
Some days she likes to just sit in the car 
For hours at a time 
She really is a lovely dog though 
So placid 
And gentle 
You might remember the last time I was admitted to hospital 
Lea took it very hard
And took to her bed 
The fur on her back also fell out 
She seemed to be in a kind of depression
When I came home and began to recover 
Lea began to recover too 
It's no exaggeration to say that my dogs have saved my life and my sanity over and over again 
I have so much love for them 
And they bring such joy and fun to our house 
So Lea?
This one is for you....

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for Knitting!

Over the years 
I've been quite partial to a bit of knitting 
Not that I am any good mind you
For the last ten years 
My Mother and I have been trying to make a blanket 
Knitting squares of different wool
To see together to make said blanket
We have gone through phases of knitting over the years
And recently 
We have taken it up again
It's easy really 
We just knit squares of plain rows
No fancy schmancy stitches 
My repertoire does not reach beyond plain stitch 
Id say we do about an hour each a night of knitting 
We take it out when we are watching TV
Or chatting in the living room
I find it really relaxing 
And it passes the time 
Every so often I make some sort of mistake 
And have to hand it to my Mother to fix
My mothers knitting is very neat and tight
Mine is more loose and messy
But it's ok
It will give the blanket character I guess
At least that's what I'm telling myself

Here is said knitting....

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Job!

As you may know
I did a job interview a few months ago
I was unsuccessful  in the position in question
But they did offer me another job
Working in the holiday centre 
From May - September 
I gladly accepted the offer 
Grateful for any type of work 
As jobs are pretty scarce around here at the moment 
I did have a few obstacles in my way though
There is a course I want to do
And also there is the question of my disability benefit 
I can legally work up to 20 hours a week
And still keep all of my benefit
Any hours after that 
My benefit is cut on a sliding scale 
It's really difficult to know what to do
And everyone has an opinion
Some think I should just work the 20 hours 
Some think I should forget about the job and do the course
And some think I should forget about the disability benefit 
And take as many hours as I can
It's a tricky one 
I know that once I take myself off disability 
It will be nigh on impossible to get it back if I need it 
I guess it's a security blanket 
But at some point
I'm going to have to grow up and let it go 
I want to work 
I do 
I guess it's a confidence thing 
I haven't worked 
And worked for someone in a long time 
My last job was teaching kids dance 
I stopped because I lost my confidence 
And just couldn't do it anymore 
I've never really regained it after that 
What I will so
I don't know yet 
But it's nice to have options 
It wasn't too long ago 
That I had no options 
No course
No job 
First world problems I guess 
But I do think work will be good for me 
For my self esteem 
Feeling that I am contributing 
And being a productive member of society 
I guess I will have to make a decision soon
And I will do what is right for me 
I'm just not sure which way to go....

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for Identity

I was another tricky customer
But after giving it some thought
I decided to go with Identity 
As it's something that comes up for me again and again
In my illness
And in recovery 
When I was very unwell
My whole persona revolved around both my addiction and my ED
From the age of 18
I was Ruby the drug addict
And that's a label that's hard to shake 
As along with that come the labels of liar, thief, manipulator 
They say a reputation takes years to form
But only seconds to undo
I had a reputation of being trouble
And boy did I live up to it 
Somewhere along the line
My ED began to develop
And it wasn't long until I had acquired a new label
Quickly followed by bulimic
In a strange way
Once you are labelled with these titles
You feel like you have to live up to them
I knew nothing about eating disorders before I was diagnosed
I had never known anyone with one 
I had no experience at all 
My diagnosis was a complete shock 
I wasn't trying to lose weight 
I wasn't unhappy with my size
In fact more than that 
I never gave it much thought 
It wasn't until the professionals started weighing me 
That I began to take notice of the numbers 
They seemed important to them
So they became important to me
And have been the Bain of my life ever since 

After my diagnosis 
I completely identified myself by my illness 
I was no longer Ruby 
I was Ruby the sick one
And when you are sick 
People are generally very nice to you 
Very caring 
You get a special kind of attention
I know it might not be popular to say that 
But for me 
It was the truth 
I used to get a kick out people telling me that I looked unwell
That I looked pale and wan
I almost wanted people to feel sorry for me 
I'm not entirely sure 
But I do know
That once you become the sick one 
It's really very difficult to shake that label
Because being sick becomes your whole world 
If it's taken away 
What will be left?
And that's exactly what terrified me
Who would I be without my illness?
It was like my ED slowly but surely taking over my life 
My personality
My body
And without it 
I had nothing 

There comes a point in life 
When you either sink or swim
I came to that point about two years ago  
After I got out of hospital for the umpteenth time
I had to make the decision 
To recover 
Or sink further down the rabbit hole
I began to gain weight 
And get well 
It hasn't been a straight road since then 
I've been up and down and all over the place 
And had a minor relapse last year 
I bounced back 
And continue to bounce back
There was a time 
Not too long ago 
That I did nothing of a day 
Apart from binge and purge 
All I did was watch TV all day 
And eat 
And throw up
I had nothing going on in my life 
No job 
No course 
No hobbies 
No interests 
It was just me and my ED
But over the last year 
I have carved out a life for myself 
Now I have a life 
I am no longer Ruby the anorectic 
I am Ruby the woman
Ruby the daughter 
Dog owner
Horse rider 
Ruby the dancer 
The swimmer 
Ruby the recovering addict and anorectic 
I am
Now I am so much more than my illness 
My illness has faded in to the background 
And I  starting to live 
And love
My life