Friday, 10 August 2012

Doggies' Day Out

I had an unexpected visitor the other day
Anyone who knows me knows I love dancing and wanted to be a dancer before I got involved with drugs, alcohol and food
I used to teach hip-hop to kids but had to stop due to illness
So this girl called on to my house to inquire about getting dance lessons one on one as she couldn't find any dance groups to join in this area
She is 15 and such a sweetheart
She reminded me of me when I was her age, so keen and eager to learn
I asked her if any of her friends were interested in dancing and she said most of them are only interested in getting drunk or high at the weekend
I told her I thought she was great to not get sucked in to that and was impressed how determined she was to dance
I studied ballet and jazz from the age of 10 -16
I loved it and it was my whole life
I ate, slept and breathed dancing
But once I turned 16 it wasn't cool to be a dancer and I wanted to hang out with my friends so I began to lose interest in dancing
I also started dabbling in drugs and so I gave up ballet completely
It is my one major regret in life that I gave it up
I often wonder how different my life would've been if I'd carried on
Fast forward to a couple of years ago and I'm teaching hip-hop
I had no knowledge of this type of dance so I got out loads of DVD's and taught myself
But overnight I lost my confidence and was starting to lose weight again so I gave it up
Looking back I don't know how I managed to teach for 2 years, I can't imagine doing that now
I just don't have the confidence or the self belief
Anyway I told the girl I would think about it and I'll ring her next week
Part of me would just love to do this
To dance again would be a dream come true
But I am also terrified
If I do this I want to do it right, for her sake and mine
I am going away to Cork for few days next week so I will think about it then
What do you think I should do?
If you were me would you do it?

As I said in my last post, my older sister is home from Sydney and we get on like a house on fire
She has been living in Sydney for the last 10 years so I only get to see her once every couple of years
She really is a good influence on me and when we're together we're always laughing
She is 10 years older than me so we only really started to get on in the last few years
When we were younger all we did was get drunk and get off our faces
But now neither of us drink or use
She is a real go getter and always want to be on the go and doing something
So she decided she wanted to go swimming in the sea and talked me in to going with her
Bear in mind I live in Ireland, so even though it's summer here at the moment it's not that hot
So we donned rashies and board shorts and headed for our local beach with my 2 dogs in tow
My sister ran straight in but I was more cautious and slowly moved out deeper and deeper
I finally mustered the courage to put my shoulders under and as the icy water hit me I shouted out
'Mother-fucker' at the top of my lungs
Cue disapproving looks from mothers and fathers
It was lovely though and my dogs also swam with us
The water was so cold it took my breath away and I hot footed it back out to the shore
I felt great after it though, revitalised and energised

My brother is also staying here for a few days and my aunt is coming on Sunday so the house is getting pretty full
This means my routine is all of out whack
I usually do the same thing everyday at the same time (yes I am that sad)
But now my routine is out the window as there are so any people around
I love that my sister is so spontaneous, I'd love to be that way
She just gets an idea to do something and goes and does it
I on the other hand, would have to plan days ahead in order to anything
Also as regards food
She love food just like I do and she's a great cook
She eats whenever she's hungry and doesn't when she's not
I wish I could be like that
I can't even identify when I'm hungry anymore
It's strange having so many people in the house
Usually I dread the thought of people being around
My eating disorder likes to be alone and it makes binging and purging difficult
But I find that I am enjoying there being a bit of life about the place
The sound of laughter and chatter is lovely
I even find that my mood had improved
It's only when I'm feeling better that I realise how depressed I was
Is this what happiness feels like?
I'm not sure as I've not felt happiness in such a long time
I am the youngest of 4 and yes I would say I am spoiled
Not with material things as such but with attention
I get on great with everyone in my family and I am always going to be the baby
Because I was given so much attention growing up, I think I am always looking for attention or more like validation and acceptance
I have always wanted to be liked and loved and because of this became a social chameleon, changing my personality to suit the person I was with
If I was with a quiet person, I too would become quiet like them
If I was with someone who was loud and boisterous, I too would be loud
From an early age I was fascinated with accents, mainly because I thought I didn't have one and I love the way you could identify someone and where they came from by their accent
I really just wanted to be accepted and to belong so I would change my accent to fit in
When I lived in Dublin I acquired a Dublin accent
When I went to London I tried to sport a cockney twang
Growing up I also tried to belong somewhere
I tried to fit in with the hippies, the goths and the geeks and finally found acceptance with the drug crowd
But of course that world was a web of lies
I've tried so long to blend in but as I get older I see that differences are what make us interesting
Who wants to live in a world where everyone is the same
How boring would that be?
So I am learning to embrace my quirks and foibles
I like to be different
I don't want to be a clone of someone else, I want to be me
There are very few people  that I feel totally comfortable around to be me
I feel comfortable around my family in particular and very few others
My sister is someone who I love to be around as I can say or do anything and I know that she won't judge me
I can be my absolute batshit crazy self around her and I know she won't bat an eyelid
I've slowly but surely pushed away all the people who I don't feel comfortable around

I was wondering about you
Are you like me and change your personality to suit others?
Are there many people you feel totally comfortable around?

Anyway, here are today's photos at my local beach


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Fear and Loathing in Sydney

I was supposed to ring Mary this week but I still haven't done it
Not that I don't want to see her but she will weigh me and I just can't face it
I don't know if I've gained but it wouldn't surprise me after spending 10 days in the pizza and pasta capital of the world
My mood is good since I've been home and I know that's because my sister is here
She lives in Sydney but she is home for 2 weeks
We get on like a house on fire and crack each other up
My mother and I are going over to her for Christmas this year with the option of staying for 3 months on the holiday visa
I've been to Sydney once before but it almost ended in disaster
I had moved here 8 months previously and was supposed to be drug and alcohol free but I was having sneaky drinks on the side
My sister was also drinking quite heavily
One night I decided to try and find the local NA meeting
I found it but it was over so I sat for a while outside the community centre to people watch
Some people were setting up a free food stall for the homeless and it was attracting a big crowd
Of course I especially noticed all the drug addicts and dealers
All of a sudden a hit of heroin seemed very appealing so I approached a fella who sent me over to another guy
He said he was going to his friends flat and they were going to score so I decided to go with him
Looking back this was an incredibly stupid thing to do
These lads could have robbed me, beaten me or worse
Anyway we arrived at his friends flat and started talking about getting some crystal meth
I had never taken it before and didn't want my first time to be with strangers so I tried to talk them in to getting heroin but they were having non of it so I reluctantly agreed to get the meth
They rang their dealer and of course he took forever and a day to get to the flat
Looking back on my drug career I see that I spent most of my time waiting for people who were in absolutely no rush to come and meet me
Anyway the dealer finally arrived and the 2 lads proceeded to shoot up the meth
I had no clean syringe so I mixed some in water and drank it (not the right way to take meth)
By this time it was getting late and I just wanted to get the fuck out of there so I walked home
I arrived home to my sisters apartment and I felt like everything was in fast forward
I became very paranoid that my family would cop on that I was out of my face so I went upstairs
The paranoia became worse and I was convinced my family knew so I tried to avoid them, not easy in
a one bed apartment
There wasn't a hope of me sleeping that night so I sat outside all night chain smoking
The next morning I was already craving more so I went down to the bins where I had dumped the bottle I had mixed the meth in and fished it out
It took me nearly 3 days before I felt normal again
I am so glad I haven't come across crystal meth in this country as it is highly addictive and has the added bonus of loss of appetite
So this is why I am slightly nervous to go to Sydney this year
I am clean off drugs a couple of years now but I'm not complacent about my recovery, I know how quickly a relapse can sneak up on someone
I was just reading about the Rausling case In England
Such a heartbreaking story
Hans Rausling was the heir to the Tetrapak fortune
He met his wife Eva in drug treatment in 1989 and they married in 1992
They both managed to stay clean for the next 11 years and were active members of NA and AA
But on New Years Eve in 1999 Eva decided to have a glass of champagne and her husband joined her
They awoke they beast that is addiction and soon were back on drugs
They were mind bogglingly wealthy and live in a house in Belgravia worth 60 million pounds so you can imagine how much drugs they were taking
The house promptly became a crack den
A few weeks ago when police were searching the house they noticed a smell of decomposition and found Eva's body under a pile of clothes
She had overdosed and had been dead for 2 months
Hans was arrested and in interviews said he was in denial about her death and didn't want her to go
They have 4 children

It just goes to show that you can never get complacent about recovery
As the say in NA and AA addiction is cunning, powerful and baffling
I would never be so cocky as to say I would never use again
It's always a possibility
They say a relapse happens long before you pick up the drink or drug
It starts with behaviours
You might start thinking you don't need to go to meetings anymore
You might think it's ok to hang out at the pub
You might start to think one drink would be ok
While in Italy I noticed that a lot of people seemed to be able to have one or two drinks and leave it at that
I could never do that
When I got the taste of drink or drugs I just couldn't get enough
As they say in the meetings 'One is too many and a thousand never enough'
I envy people who can enjoy one or two drinks and then walk away
Addiction is a progressive disease so if I relapsed now I would pick up where I left off and it would only get worse and worse
I used to attend NA and AA and found them a great support
But then my anxiety started to get really bad and I couldn't speak in front of people
I was also abusing my meds so technically I wasn't even clean
I haven't been to a meeting now on over a year so I am what they call a 'dry drunk'
I've pushed all my friends away and am becoming more and more of a hermit
My birthday is next month and I'm going to be 30
I find this really tough to get my head around as I still feel 20
I think I stopped developing mentally and emotionally when I started taking drugs and when my eating disordered developed
People say I look a lot younger than 30 too and I definitely feel it too
I lost my twenties to addiction and anorexia/bulimia so I don't want to lose another decade

I said I would do a food post so I'll post some pics
I don't need to tell you that the food in Italy was amazing and it's also my favourite type of food
The wedding meal was 7 courses over about 3 hours and I purged 3 times to get through it
It included a sea food platter, sea food pasta, asparagus risotto, beef, lemon sorbet and 4 different desserts
I love sandwiches and the bread was so good, crispy and crunchy filled with slivers of pink parma ham, plump tomatoes and lettuce
While others wanted to see the sights of Italy, I wanted to find the supermarket or the food markets
I really had no opportunity to binge and purge although sometimes I would go back to the apartment earlier than everyone else and binge and purge a couple of times
I'm sure it was obvious that after every meal and snack I excused myself to use the bathroom but I didn't care, sitting with the full feeling was too much to bear
My top 3 favourite meals were -
3.   Parma ham, lettuce and tomato panini
2.  Pennette al Ragu
1.  Steak with peppercream sauce and chips

Eating out all the time was difficult as regards to purging
I am always afraid the toilet won't flush and I'll be found out
Thankfully all the toilets had good flushes
How sad is it that one of the good points of my holiday was that the toilets had good flushes

Anyway here's some food porn for your enjoyment..........

Monday, 6 August 2012

Home Sweet Home and Holiday Photos

I'm back on home turf
I'm aware my last post was quite negative about my holiday but things kind of improved towards the end of the week
I always seem to find that I only start to enjoy myself just when it's time to return home

One of the highlights of the week was when we went to Verona to see the opera Aida
The opera was set in the Arena Di Verona which has been standing since the first century
It was an amazing setting, it held 40,000 people
We were sitting in the nose bleed seats right at the back but the stage was so big it didn't matter
As the sun set everyone lit little candles that they had handed out and it looked so beautiful
It was 4 hours long but was so worth it just to experience it
On the drive back to Sarnico I counted the prostitutes on the outskirts of the city

I don't need to tell you that I struggled enormously with food
I'm sure it was totally obvious every time I excused myself after a meal or snack to use the bathroom
I could have played safe and restricted but I didn't want to miss out on the gastronomic delights of Italy, a bulimics paradise
So eat I did, pasta, pizza, steak, overflowing sandwiches with crunchy bread
Towards the end of the holiday I obsessively took photos of everything I ate
The food was so colourful when it was served but the plate looked so ugly when the food had been demolished
 But 10 days of restaurant eating soon gets old and I am glad to be home without the pressure of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday
On the day we left I braced myself to try and squeeze myself back in to my jeans that had fit me perfectly on the way over
Thankfully I slipped neatly in to them
Relief, maybe I hadn't done as much damage as first thought

Our last night was spend in Bergamo
Compared to the sleepy village of Sarnico it was all hustle and bustle
I loved it
Being able to walk down the street as just another visitor and not Ruby the eating disordered, heroin addict was such a joy
I love the fact that no one knows your history, you're just another face in the sea of people

I am so glad I pushed through my anxiety and went on this holiday
I would've been so angry with myself and deeply regretted it if I had backed out
It was the first time myself, my brother and my sisters had been on holiday together and we took some lovely photos

So now I am home
Back to reality
In one way I'm glad to be home, my eating disorder demands 24 attention these days and it was not one bit happy with the unpredictability and spontaneity of meals abroad
But in another way I am sad to be back
I got a taste of the life I could be living while in Italy
The friends I could have
The partner I could meet
The places I could go
The experiences I could have
Instead I am back to a life ruled by food and numbers
An unwilling slave to this sinister illness
It feels like a cruel joke
Flirting with the life I could be living and then thrust back in to a nightmare
If I were smart I would use this as the catalyst to get well
Jump at the chance while I still remember the feel of the warm sun on my skin
What better motivation
But I know all too well it is not that simple
The answer is not a geographical one
My sister who lives in Australia is home and as I type she is making homemade chicken soup
She is banging around the kitchen as if she were building a house
The perfect antidote to a week eating rich food
I am already planning how I will get out of eating it
Planning a detox and maybe a fast
Bulimia is somewhat tired after her food holiday and is handing over the reigns to anorexia
No doubt she will gladly accept
How will this pan out?
Watch this space I guess

Anyway on to the photos
We tool so many that I'll probably post them in stages and maybe do an Italy food post
Myself and my family are in these photos so I may take them down in a few days

Anyway enjoy.........