Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Bulimic's dream / Anorectic's nightmare

So I survived Christmas day
Just about
How about you?
I came the whole way to Sydney to experience Christmas in the sun bit in honour of me it rained all day
Oh well at least I felt at home
Jet lag still has me feeling like I'm high
Is it wrong that I love that feeling?
I was pretty anxious about the day as my sisters partners family were coming for dinner and I'd never met them before
I didn't want to be falling asleep in my dinner so I didn't take my meds until after they had left
My sister, her partner Jen, my mother and I all pitched in to put a traditional Christmas dinner together
Roast turkey, ham and all the trimmings
Jen's parents and her gran arrived for dinner at 2pm
It was a bulimic's dream and an anorectic's nightmare
I couldn't decide between the two
We all got to know each other over canapes
I spoke to avoid eating
Then came a round of oysters
Under a bit of pressure from my sister I downed one
Through gritted teeth I said 'mmmm' and tried not to throw up
Then it was time for the main event
There were literally mountains of food
And more

My sister

I took the smallest plate so my meagre portion wouldn't stand out
My plan was to eat just a little so I wouldn't feel the urge to purge
But even with eating so little, I felt incredibly uncomfortable
I was the first one finished and I waited until people were deep in conversation and then excused myself to 'have a cigarette'
The tiny bathroom was right beside the kitchen with only a plaster wall separating it
I took a gamble and decided to purge
I am quick and quiet so I figured I'd get away with it
I only hope that the toilet would flush it all down
I pressed the flush and prayed
Yes, thank God it's gone
I tidied myself up
Washed the vomit off my face
Tried to stop my eyes watering and sat back down at the table

Then dessert
Not one but two desserts
Fruit pavlova and Christmas pudding with brandy cream

I opted for a small piece of pavlova thinking I could manage to keep it down
But no
Oh no
Again bulimia reared her ugly head and demanded attention
I excused myself for a second time
I was confident I would get away with it
Big mistake Ruby
I forgot that cream or ice cream doesn't flush well
After I flushed it all rose to the top if the water and floated there like white rose petals
I flushed once, twice, three times but they were still there
I couldn't risk flushing again without drawing attention to myself
So I covered the water with toilet paper and hoped the next person wouldn't notice
I sat back down at the table praying no one would cotton on to my antics
I couldn't concentrate on the conversation
All I could think about were those white petals that could give me away
How embarrassing would it be for my potential in laws to find out that I'm a raging bulimic the first time we meet
I couldn't stand it any longer and I again excused myself to the bathroom
I flushed again
Rose petals still there
There was only one thing for it
I had to fish them out by hand
I plunged my hand in to the toilet water and tried to scoop them out
It took a while but I managed to get them all
At least now I wouldn't be found out
At worst they probably think I 'm a little bit strange
Who ever said eating disorders were glamorous, come walk a day in my shoes
This is the ugly face of bulimia
It's scary
It's messy
It's disgusting
It's what I live every single day
While everyone else was enjoying Christmas dinner, I was fishing the contents of my stomach out of a toilet bowl
And the sick thing is that for me that is normal
It's part and parcel of a bulimic's day
Just another day at the office
The minute the guests left I downed 2 days of meds and slept for the rest of the day
If I'm not careful I'll have all my meds gone by week two

Other snap shots of Christmas day

Sunday, 23 December 2012

So this is Christmas!

So I arrived
Here I am in sunny Sydney
I still can't quite believer it
It feels like a dream and I'm going to wake up any second
It was a marathon journey to get here
All in all we were travelling for about 36 hours
I collected my meds from my doctor on Monday
36 days of methadone, olanzapine and mirtazapine
I immediately handed over most of it to my mother, not trusting myself with all of it
But on the journey I did take about 3 days
On the flight from Dubai to Sydney I kept waking up with my head on the shoulder of the man next to me
My head was practically in his lap at one point
I'm still suffering that effects of jet lag but I kind of like it
It's like being on drugs

I arrived in Sydney feeling like a beached whale

My body was swollen from my head to my feet from the flight
Then having to change from my winter to clothes to summer clothes was traumatic to say the least
I feel huge
But  my appetite has vanished in the heat
I also haven't purged since I got
It's pretty much out of the question as we're staying in a small house and it would be very obvious if I was purging
I happen to be a very quick and very quiet purger but I'm not taking any risks
And because my appetite is non existent I am not thinking about food half as much
And that is amazing
It's so brilliant not to constantly thinking about what I'll next and when
I'm just not hungry so I don't eat

It's Christmas eve today
And so the real purpose of this post is wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas
I'm exactly where I want to be this Christmas
With my family
With my sister who I've not spent Christmas with in years
The only thing I am missing is my dogs
So take good care of you today
Enjoy the day
And remember it is just another day
Stay safe
Stay well
Stay connected
Reach out if you are struggling
Don't suffer alone
And Christmas can be a lonely time of year
Being here and seeing how my sister and her partner live has really opened my eyes to how I live such an isolated life
They have jobs
They have a beautiful home full of beautiful things
They hobbies
They have a life
I on the other hand have no life to speak of
I live in my mother's house, where I barely leave
My life has shrunk to just me and my eating disorder
My sister is always saying how I should come and stay for a year
How I would love to do that but I just don't have the confidence
I just don't have the belief in myself that I would mange to support myself
My life at home is a bubble
Anxiety and fear keep me prisoner

But here I feel like I am getting a taste of the life I could lead
I could fill my life with things outside of my eating disorder
I could find other things to occupy my mind
I have wasted enough time on this illness
Surely I deserve to have a chance at happiness
Or at least contentment
Surely I deserve to have friends
To have an education
To meet someone
To fall in love
To travel
To live in my own place
To laugh
To eat food and not feel guilty
To eat and not have an over whelming urge to purge
To allow myself to eat just because it tastes good
And you deserve these things too
We deny ourselves so much
We have eaten out a couple of times so far and I haven't eaten anything
I didn't deserve it
And I'm getting a sick pleasure out of watching others eat while I just sip a cold drink
 know I will struggle tomorrow with Christmas dinner but I will try my best
I will try to enjoy myself

So where ever you are in the world
Whatever you are doing
I wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas
We've come this far
Let's hope 2013 is a better year for us

All my love

Ruby-Tuesday x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New 'do!

I leave for Australia early tomorrow morning
I'll be there for a month so I may not be around as much over the next few weeks
However I will check in and try to post once a week
So I just wanted to take this chance to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas
Christmas can be tough for us
It's that time of year when we reflect on the last 12 months
For me it's been a tough year
Highs and lows
Ups and downs
Tears and tantrums
Hospital and treatment
Weight loss and gain
Fear and anxiety
I know that a lot of you struggled too
But 2013 is on the horizon
The chance to start over
A clean slate
An opportunity to make changes and resolutions
And I whole 12 months to meet our goals
It's a chance to take a leap of faith
It's a time of hope
New beginnings
Let's make 2013 count
Let's not waste another year, month, day to this cruel illness
Let's take a chance on life

I've come to know some of you quite well
Even though I only started writing this blog a few months ago, I feel like I've known you all longer
You have seen me at my worst and at my best this year
I can only thank you for your unwavering support
It really means the world to me

I hope and pray that 2013 is a better year for all of us
This year I clocked up 13 years in the grip of this illness
There have been crippling lows but like every cloud there have been silver linings
And my silver linings are the people I've met along the way
People who I would never have met otherwise
You are the ones who have got me through
I stand by my statement that the girls I've met in hospital, treatment and here are some of the most beautiful, loving, talented, caring, giving and artistic that I have ever met
We come form the 4 corners of the world but we are all bound by common threads
We are eating disordered
We are hurting
We feel pain probably more than the average person
We're afraid
We're lonely
Some of us just want to disappear
Some of us are holing on by our finger tips
We are in the midst of anorexia, bulimia and EDNOS
We define ourselves by our illness
We don't know how to function without it
Some of us don't want to know
But we are not happy
In our bodies or our minds
We struggle to get through the day
We welcome the sweet release of sleep
Some of us don't ever want to wake up

But I do believe that everything happens for a reason
I do believe there is a reason this is happening
I don't know yet
But I do believe the reason will become apparent in time
Then it will all make sense
Then we will understand
We will see that we haven't suffered in vain

I hate that we are suffering
But I love that we are all in this together

I hate what this illness has done to us
But I love that we still believe there is hope

I hate that we feel so alone
But I love that we have each other

I hate the thought of being this way forever
But I love that we have the power to not let that happen

I hate that life terrifies us
But I love that we won't let that hold us back

So please take good care of yourselves over Christmas
If you are struggling, reach out to someone
Don't suffer in silence
Don't isolate yourself
Be gentle with yourself
Be kind to yourself
Take it easy
Don't put pressure on yourself
Use your supports
And most of all enjoy yourself
Have fun
Stay close to family and friends
Try not to listen to your eating disorder
Here's hoping 2013 will be better than 2012

I love each and every one of you
I consider you dear friends
Thank you for your support and love
Thank you for being there
For not judging
For reminding me that I can do this
For showing me that I'm not a bad person
For allowing me to be part of your journey
For welcoming me in to this community with open arms

Stay strong girls
Stay safe over Christmas

All my love,

Ruby x

Ps I got my hair done, here's the result

Monday, 17 December 2012


I saw Mary on Friday
I felt ok going in
But then she started talking about reaching a healthy weight
A healthy normal weight
She told what my BMI is and I just lost it
Tears streamed down my face

'I don't want to be normal or healthy'

'Why not?'

'If I don't have this I don't have anything'

And I really do feel that way
I don't know who or what I am without my eating disorder
I have no idea who Ruby is
What her beliefs are
Her morals and values
Her opinions
She is a stranger to me
All I know is Ruby the anorectic
Mary asked me to write out how I spend my day
Everything I did revolved around my eating disorder
I think about it all the time
When I'm not thinking about it I'm writing about
When I'm not writing about it I'm engaged in some ed behaviour
And as for gaining weight?
I'm ashamed to admit that I'd rather be thin and miserable than fat and happy

I'm a mess by this stage
Tears continue to fall from my eyes and I can't catch my breath
I have a massive urge to get up and run out of the room but I stop myself
I tell her I think I'm wasting her time
That I don't think that I want recovery
She says that if I didn't want it I wouldn't keep coming back week after week
I guess that's true

But I've also taken a step back in the last few weeks
I'm barely leaving the house
Not seeing my friends
Obeying the voice in my head
I'm just so afraid
Constantly afraid
I live with my eating disorder
But I also can't live without it
I feel like I am in limbo
A wishy-washy no man's land
Maybe I just have to accept that it's over
My love affair with anorexia has come to an end
As with any relationship one of the parties doesn't want it to be over
I feel like anorexia is pissed off and angry that I'm trying to leave
She won't go quietly and is putting up a fight
And I am undecided whether I want it to end or not
Recovery is unknown territory
I need to take a massive leap of faith
Or maybe just a baby step of faith

The years are going by so fast now
I'm missing out on the best years of my life
My school friends are doing well
They have careers and qualifications
Independence and freedom
I on the other hand am a spectator
Watching life from the sidelines
Desperate to join in but too scared to make the first the move
Wanting to live but instead I'm just existing
I know if I don't do something soon my life will be full of regrets
I don't want to end up bitter and resentful
I'm still young
If I started now I could rebuild my life
I could regain my confidence and independence
If only I took the chance

I had been with Mary for an hour and a half when she finally said she would weigh me
Reluctant as ever I stepped on the scale but didn't look
I watched her take note of the number trying to work out what she was writing
Curiosity always gets the better of me
'You haven't gained' she says
And I'm so glad because I think I gain might have tipped me over the edge
She said that even though my weight is below average, this might be my set point
Can I live with myself at this weight?
I'm not quite sure yet

In addiction there is something called 'euphoric recall'
It's when you look back at your addiction and only remember the good times
Romanticizing it if you will
I do this a lot with my eating disorder
I reminisce about my sickest days
I almost think fondly of them
Which in itself is sick
I guess it's a bit like someone is an abusive relationship
You forget the abuse and the cruelty and you keep taking the abuser back in to your life
And anorexia is an abuser
And I keep taking her back again and again
Each time she promises that things will be different
This time will be better
She swears she will behave
That  things won't go so far this time
We'll just lose a few pounds and leave it at that
But of course this is all lies
There are no half measures with an eating disorder
It's all or nothing
I all too easily forget the misery of anorexia and look back with rose tinted glasses
But what is romantic about binging and purging 10 times a day
What is glamorous about cleaning vomit off the bathroom floor
Stealing food
Having papery skin
Limp hair
The list goes on and on

And the cherry on my weekend?
I got my period
My first period in almost 10 years
To quote Cher from Clueless I'm 'surfing the crimson wave'
I swear it was as traumatic as the first time I got it
I told my mother and sister and they practically threw a party
Another person might have been glad to get it
It's a sign that your body is recovering and back to working normally
But for me it's not
For me it's a reminder that I'm not as thin as I used to be
That I'm inching ever closer to a healthy weight
I don't like it
I don't like it at all
Take me back anorexia, all is forgiven