Friday, 10 May 2013

See you on the flip side

I've decided to take a break from blogging
I'm not sure for how long
Maybe a week
Maybe a month
I just need some time to sort my head out
To sort my life out
I've been treading water for too long
Stuck in this limbo, somewhere between my ED and recovery
I need to do something
This isn't goodbye, not at all
More like see you later
Take care of yourselves
Be kind to yourselves
Be true to yourselves
Each and everyone of you have touched my life in some way and I'm so grateful for that
Please feel free to contact me by email if you want
I'll always reply
I will be back
I just don't know when
See you on the flip side

All my love,

Ruby x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


I've made a decision
I'm going to try
I'm going to fight
I have to
This has gone on for far too long
I've lost too much
I can't afford to lose anymore
I've lost 12 years to this illness
Starting tomorrow I'm waging a war against my eating disorder
I'm going to kick her ass in to next week
I know she will fight back but I know her too well
I know her tricks
I know how she manipulates me
I can fight dirty too

I'm going to try and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner
I'm going to choose my foods carefully
Avoid binge food
Distract after eating
The temptation to lose weight is still very much there
But I've been there
Done that
Bought the extra small t-shirt

I want to want to get well
I want to break out of this prison
I want to be able to eat without feeling guilty
I want to eat and not have the overwhelming urge to purge
I want to eat and not want to kill myself
I want friends
I want to go to the cinema and eat buttery popcorn
I want to laugh until my sides hurt
I want to cry salty tears
I want to be able to feel emotion without wanting to escape
I want to be able to cope
I want to feel good about myself
I want to look in the mirror and not want to smash it
I want like and accept myself
I want to grow up
I want to be independent
I want peace of mind
For me and my family
I want to stand up and not feel like the floor is pulling me down face first
I want to learn
I want to love
I want to dance and not care whose watching
I want to write
I want to wake up in the morning and not dread the day ahead
I want to help others in the same position as me
I want my parents to be proud of me
I want to take my meds properly
I want to have a purpose
I want to have fun

I don't want to be afraid all the time
I don't want to measure my self worth by the numbers on the scale
I don't want to live in this limbo
I don't want to live in a constant state of anxiety
I don't want to be bitter and resentful
I don't want to have regrets
I don't want to live this half life
I don't want to give up
I don't want to want to die
I don't want to care what others think about me

I want to learn how to cope
I want to realise that everything can't be solved by taking pills
I want to feel that I'll be ok
I want to be a better person
I want to stop shoplifting
I want to make my own decisions
I want to to wake up in the morning and think 'I don't want to die today'

I feel a sliver of hope
Mary says that she knows I can do it
That I can get well
And for the first time in a long time, I think that too
Maybe I can do this
Maybe my ED has been lying to me
Maybe I can put the jigsaw that is my life back together
Maybe all is not lost

I don't doubt that this thing will kill me if I don't take action
I'm afraid to recover but I'm more afraid to stay this way
All I can do is try
Do my best
I think I want to live
I think I really do.....

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Binge Monster!

I have very few words any more
I just don't know what else to write or what else to do
Mu aunt has been here for the past week so I had to be very sneaky about my binging and purging
Maybe that's why I've been doing it at night
We dropped her off  the airport yesterday
Sunday is usually my worst day
I thought that because I had been out all day that I had got away with it
But when I came home that evening, the binge purge monster reared it's ugly head
The kitchen was already stocked from the day before so I had plenty of food to hand
I started off slow
Tried to convince myself that I would only do it once
But the more I ate, the more I purged
The more I purged the more I ate
I get in a state where I'm like a zombie or a robot
Mechanically preparing food
Eating on auto pilot
I don't even taste the food
I'm already on my way to the bathroom with the last bite in my mouth
And when I get in to that state I can't stop
I literally can't stop
I have this massive compulsion for more, more, more
An insatiable appetite
The food never tastes as good as I think it will
In my head it will be the best food I've ever tasted
But in reality it's just cheap supermarket crap
I prepare food that take a short time to cook and a long time to eat
All washed down with lashings of 7up free
All the better to purge with my dear

After finally going to sleep at about 2am this morning, I remember thinking that this is the last time I do this
I remember vowing to start afresh today
Monday being the start of a new week and a new Ruby
But then it's Monday and all my resolve floats away
The binge purge monster has had a nights sleep and is ready for another round
I went shopping with my mother this morning
It was plainly obvious that I was planning a binge as I went to 4, yes 4 shops to stock up on food
If she hadn't been there I would've not paid for it
I'm literally spending all my money on food and I hate that
Such a waste

So now it's early afternoon and the fridge is stocked
The thought of another day on this merry-go-round makes me want to go back to bed and sleep forever
No matter how much I eat it's never enough
It reminds me of my drug using days
I was always a greedy addict
One is too many and a thousand never enough, as they say
It's hard for me to admit to this behaviour
Who wants to admit they are entangled in a messy love affair with food
I think most people on some level can understand alcoholism and drug addiction
Even sex and love addiction
But ED's and food addiction?
I think very few understand
Only those who have been through it really know
And it's very difficult to explain to someone without sounding just a bit insane
Dealing with food issues can be trickier than drug or alcohol addiction
With drugsI could completely cut them out of my life
I moved to get away from old friends
I started afresh
A whole new life
But with food it's not that simple
I can't cut food out completely
Well I could but that would defeat the purpose
I have to find a healthy balance
I don't have to be around drugs
But food is everywhere
And because it's so readily available, it's that much harder to resist
I find that once I start eating I find it next to impossible to stop
That's why I stopped eating
Because I was so afraid of spinning out of control
And I do feel totally out of control
It's a scary feeling

I'm not being 100% honest with Mary
I think she thinks I am doing a lot better than I am
I haven't been keeping the food records she asked me to keep
I'm too ashamed to show or tell anyone about my eating habits
I don't know how much more she can do to help me
2 hours a week is not enough
And I know what she will say
What she has being saying since day one
If I eat regularly then I won't binge, then I won't purge
It sounds so simple
So easy
Then why the freakin' hell can't I do it
Billions of people all around the world manage to do it every single day
But you might as well ask me to climb Mount Everest in a bikini

So I'm throwing the question over to you
What helps you?
How do manage to overcome binging/purging and restricting?
How do you fight the monster that is this illness?
Any suggestions welcome

Friday, 3 May 2013

Hope and Faith

I'm beginning to lose hope
Hope that I will ever get well
I just don't know how to help myself anymore
I had two appointments today and I cancelled them both
One with Mary and one with Sean my addiction counsellor
I just didn't see the point of going
Of sitting there and agreeing to take action when deep down I know I won't
Some behaviours are back that I thought had gone
One being night binging
As in getting up in the middle of the night to binge and purge
I had stopped doing this but this week it is back with a vengeance
Even in sleep I have no escape from this monster
Because I've been binging and purging so much, I've been spending a small fortune on food
And I resent spending money that will inevitable get flushed down the toilet
Literally money down the drain
I was standing in the queue of a supermarket the day before yesterday
All of a sudden I started to walk and carried on straight out the door without paying
My heart thumped in my chest as I walked
I scurried quickly to my car praying that I wouldn't be caught
I got away with it
Although part of me wishes that I hadn't

The other thing that is turning in to a problem is the enemas
I've gone from using them a couple of times a week to using them every day
Even though I know it's dangerous, I keep doing it
Even though I know it could give me a lazy bowel
Even though I could burst my bowel
I keep doing it
I go to different chemists to stock up
Classic addict behaviour

I feel like I am in self destruct mode
And I can't stop
I don't know how to stop
It's so scary
I feel so out of control
I don't know how this story is going to end
My weight continues to drop
I'm back in double digits
It's both terrifying and thrilling
Am I relapsing?
I'm slipping
I know that for sure
My mental state is fragile
I'm avoiding people
Avoiding reality
Hiding from life
I've never felt further away from getting well

Nothing matters anymore
I can't see the point of anything
I get through the day only to start all over again the next morning
And the next
And the next
I get through the week only to find myself at the start of a new one
I do the same thing every day
Almost to the minute
I'm a virtual recluse
I spend most of my time alone
I just don't know how to communicate with people anymore
I feel disconnected
From myself too

I called my blog And then she disappeared because eventually I was planning to disappear
I was sure of it
But now I feel that I can't
I can't do it to my family
I just can't
Even though part of me thinks that I am a burden to them and they'd be better of without me
It's just too cruel to do that to them
To leave a Ruby shaped hole in their lives
So I hang on for them
I live for them
I guess that's as good a reason as any to hold on

I just wish that I had a purpose
Something more than this illness
I need to feel like I am here for a reason
Otherwise what is the point?
I have to believe that this is happening for a reason
I have to believe that all this pain is not in vain
I have to continue to fight
Trusting that things will get better
To hope
As much as it is tempting to lie down and hold up my white flag, I won't do it
I wouldn't give my ED the satisfaction
She wants me dead
Of that I have no doubt
I'll do my best not to let that happen
I don't want to be a statistic
A scare story to warn others
I haven't come through the horrors of heroin addiction only for my ED to kill me
I won't let that happen
I just won't

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Thank you!

My blog is exactly one year old today
It's hard to believe it's been a full year
Reading back on early entries, I can see that I was in quite a different place then
It was something verging on pro ana
I wrote things like

'I will be skinny'

'I'm starting a fast today'

Coincidentally my weight is now back at just below the weight I was when I started this blog
A lot has happened in the last year
And yet nothing has really changed
I started seeing Mary and she has been a massive support
I gained weight steadily over the year
And then lost it all in the space of two months
I travelled to Italy for my cousin's wedding
I spent a month in Australia visiting my sister
I spoke at an eating disorder conference
I was hospitalized with pancreatitis
It has been a roller coaster of emotions
Thrilling highs
Crippling lows
There were times when I thought I couldn't go on
Just last night I fantasized about death
I had an argument in my head about whether or not I should do it
But even in my darkest hour, something always stops me
Whether it's the impact it would have in my family
Or just blind faith that things will get better
I have to believe that things will turn around
I have to believe that I can recover
Otherwise what is the point?

I started reading blogs long before I started my own
The first blogs I came across were Yummy Secrets
2Medusa (which unfortunately is no longer running)
And Recovering Anorexic over on Wordpress
I was amazed to find people who were just like me
Who thought the same way
Had the same behaviours
I wasn't a freak
I wasn't alone
I was inspired by other bloggers to tell my story
And last May that's exactly what I did
I started to write

I wrote and wrote and I soon found that I loved it
I am not a great speaker so writing is perfect for me
I can get my thoughts out at my own pace

At the time of starting my blog I was just out of treatment
Having had a bad experience in there I felt disillusioned and a bit lost
I wrote and I soon found a whole community of people just like me and they embraced me with open arms
I still remember getting my first comment (from Pretty Lies) and my first follower
I was blown away that people took the time the read what I had written
That I could be in touch with people thousands of miles away
I've met some truly amazing and inspiring people through my blog
Some of the most caring, creative, loving, talented people
This blog gave me a much needed place to express my thoughts and feelings
A place to vent
To unload the weight of this illness
Having pushed all my real life friends away, I found new friends here
And you all have kept me going
Helped me get through the last year
This blog and you all have saved my life over and over again
You will never know how each and every one of you have kept me sane
When I thought I was losing my mind, you were there to assure me that I wasn't
When I was on the edge, you pulled me back
When I thought I couldn't face another day in the midst of this illness, you gave me hope
When I was weak, you gave me strength
When I felt worthless, you were there with kind words
It means the world to me to have this support

So this post is a thank you to you
Thank you for being there this past year
For listening
For reading
For caring about me more than I care about myself
For believing in me when I couldn't believe in myself
For reminding me to keep hoping
For encouraging me to fight
For making me smile
For understanding when I made no sense at all
For supporting my decisions
For not judging me
For accepting me
For telling me the truth even when it's hard to hear
For telling me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear
For your unwavering support
For your compassion
For staying when others walked away
And ultimately, for inspiring me every single day

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Aftermath

I'm home from Galway
It's a relief to be back in my safe little bubble
Where reality is suspended and I have complete control over everything
I really had to push myself this weekend
As I said in my last post my ED did  not want me to go
She screamed in my ear at the top of her lungs not to go
I could've easily backed out but I didn't
I really wanted to be there
And I'm so glad that I did go
I would've been angry with myself if I didn't
I did manage to enjoy myself
I chatted with my family
I ate lovely food
I smiled (albeit forced)
I laughed
Fake it 'til you make it as they say
I wore my new skirt and jumper
I did my hair and applied make up
I supported my brother
Isn't it always the way that the thoughts of something are worse than the actual event itself?

Bulimia did make an appearance though
On Friday my family went in to town and I opted out
I binged and purged multiple times
It's a strange experience binging and purging in someone else's house
I couldn't really relax for fear of someone coming home and catching me mid binge
I got through quite a lot of food
Food that didn't belong to me
But in that moment before a binge, I feel so crazed and ravenous for food, that who it belongs to just doesn't come in to it
I remember a few years ago I was sharing a flat with 3 girls in Dublin
I was 19 and although I wasn't aware of it yet, I already had an ED
We each had our own cupboards for food
I used to take the other girls food and then watched as they argued and blamed each other
It was really confusing because I didn't know why I was doing it
I just had this huge compulsion to eat and I couldn't stop myself

The other thing that I found especially difficult this weekend was the whole social thing
I am so out of practise so I found it a bit of a strain
There are members of my family who I an completely comfortable around but there are others who I don't
Plus they were all drinking and I don't drink alcohol so I didn't even have that to relax me
I hate not feeling comfortable in my own skin
I kind of stayed on the fringes of conversation
They talked and I mainly listened
I wish that I had a bit more confidence
To be able to walk in to a room and be able to talk to anyone
I guess everyone struggles a bit socially
I did my best though and that's all I can do

It's funny, the place where I have ever felt the most comfortable was in treatment, which was a psychiatric hospital
It wasn't a typical hospital though
This one was for people with money or insurance
The ward I was on was called St Brigid's
It wasn't just for ED patients
There were all kinds of people in there
People with anxiety or depression and other illness
I felt so free when I was in there
There was always someone to talk to and they understood exactly how I felt
People were so open about their problems and that was such a breath of fresh air
We cried
We laughed
We helped each other
Supported each other
I was myself and it felt amazing
I could take off my mask and just be Ruby
But in the real world people aren't so open
I miss that feeling

It was incredibly difficult not being able to weigh myself for the past 4 days
Of course in my head I imagined that I had gained 20 pounds
When I got home the first thing I did was weigh
I find weighing very anxiety provoking
Because I know the effect those numbers can have on my mood and self esteem
I hate that those numbers have so much power over me but they do
I stripped and carefully stepped on the scale
Holding my breath as if the air in my lungs would effect the number
The red numbers flickered and then settled
I had gained a grand total of 1 pound
Relief flooded through my body
I just couldn't handle any more than that

Since returning home I've been binging and purging non stop
I can't stop
I don't know how to stop
It's a relentless cycle of eat, throw up, eat, throw up........
I have a path worn from the kitchen to the bathroom
It's soul destroying
It leaves me mentally and physically exhausted
But I don't know how to stop
I'm spending a small fortune on food these days
I'm paranoid that the people in the shop know what I'm doing with all this food
Please bulimia just give me one day off
A chance to recharge my batteries
I just need a  rest
Some peace of mind
I want to get off this merry-go-round
This has to stop
It has to
I can't take another day with my head stuck in a toilet bowl
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the toilet water and I don't recognise myself anymore
I just a girl with papery skin and dead eyes
She's dead on the inside
She's lost
She's alone
She's afraid
She's me

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Book Launch

It's Sunday morning here in Galway
We're heading home in a couple of hours
I have to admit I am relieved to be going home
These days I am not a social butterfly
More like an anti social caterpillar
The book launch was a huge success
And I am truly delighted for my brother
But this weekend was quite testing for me
4 days of lunches, drinks, dinners, family
I did as much as I could but I opted out of dinner a couple of times
The one thing that nearly drove me insane was having no weighing scale
For all I know I could've gained 5 pounds
The first thing I do when I get home will be to jump on my scale
Please be kind scale

Two people told me that I look really well
Any normal or sane person would be delighted to hear this
But not me
When I hear the words 'really well' all I can think of is that I must look healthy and in other words fat
The first night we were out of drinks and my uncle shouted across to me
'Ruby you look really well, a lot better than you did in Italy'
I didn't know what to say so I just looked at him trying not to explode
My other uncle said
'You can't give Ruby a compliment'
So in the end I just said 'Thank you'
At this point I must tell you that in Italy I weighed almost a stone heavier
I just don't know how I could look better
I was still wondering this the next day so when we were out for a walk I asked my uncle why he thought I looked better now
He didn't really give me an answer so I decided to file it under 'I don't give a crap' in the back of my head

Even though I was around family most of the weekend, I still found time to binge and purge
It's not the easiest thing in the world doing that in someone else's house
You could be interrupted at any time
So I chose my moments carefully and I don't think anyone was the wiser
Although my brother might notice some food missing

I guess I dealt with the whole weekend better than I thought I would
I always seem to find that the thoughts of something are worse than the actual event itself
What I did notice though was how shy I've become
Even around my own family
This is what happens when you spend most of your days alone
You forget how to interact with others
You forget how to laugh
My family spend a lot of time taking the piss out of each other and I even forget how to do that
They all seem so easy around each other and I feel a bit disconnected
Like I am behind glass looking in at them
I suppose being social is something you have to practise
The more you do it the easier it becomes
I think that's why I like blogging so much
I feel much better able to write than to speak

I am glad that I came though
I'm glad I pushed through that fear and the anxiety
As I said before my brother and his girlfriend have been a massive support tome over the years so I really wanted to do this
My brother and his girlfriend have been together for 20 years and she is like a sister to me
She told that she read some of my blog after I came out of hospital as she wanted to see how I was doing
I feel a bit weird about family reading this blog as I don't want them to worry
I try not to censor what I write and I'm sure some of it can be a bit shocking to see what is going on inside my head

So yea I'm glad I pushed myself and didn't let things stop me from coming
It was a good weekend even if bulimia did make an unwanted appearance
It was great to see my brother so happy
He deserves this
He has worked so hard
And it's great to have something to celebrate for a change

I'll post properly tomorrow

All my love x