Monday, 27 January 2014

24 Days

Today is my 24th day in treatment
I've been meaning to post for ages but we are kept so busy here it's hard to find a quiet moment to write
At the time of writing my last post I was on threat of discharge for failing to meet my weight targets
The good news is that I did reach my target and even managed to get off bedrest
The bad news is that I did have some backlash from the weight gain
This past weekend was incredibly difficult and I purged quite a bit
This morning my weight was down 1kg
I was so disappointed because now I will probably be on bedrest again on Wednesday

I find motivation so hard to maintain
It comes and goes and waxes and wanes
Some days I wake up feeling so motivated and so hopeful
Like this morning
I had such a bad weekend and even felt like discharging myself
But today I feel more able to fight and want to get through that day without purging
Including the 7 weeks before Christmas, I have only had one purge free day
And I have yet to gain and maintain any significant amount of weight

I have to admit that I am quite stuck
I am on the fence
Even though my life was a complete mess before I came here, there is still a part of me that wants to hold on to the ED
My ED would have believe that I am not that bad
That my case is not that serious
But deep down I know that that is my ED trying to lure me back in
She tells me that I don't deserve my place here in treatment
That I can function and still hold on to her
She tells me that my weight is not that low
That  am not critical
She tells that I need to prove to others that I have an ED and can lose weight
That I need to live up to the title of 'anorectic'

I keep having to remind myself that I am 32
That I have been living this way for almost 14 years
That before I came in here I was purging 10 - 15 times  day
That weight is not always an indicator of how ill we are
That they wouldn't have given me a place in treatment if they didn't think that I needed it
I keep having to remind myself that I am ill
I am struggling
I do have an eating disorder
And it is serious
I am not an anorectic imposter
I am not a fraud
I deserve to be here

Today I am trying
I am fighting
I am doing the opposite of my what my ED wants
Even though I feel so uncomfortable that I could burst
Even though all I want to do is purge
Even though I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs and telling everyone to fuck off
Even though I want to crawl in to my bed and stay there forever
I am still going to try

I am treating today as an experiment
I will eat my meals and not purge and see what happens
I won't know unless I try right?
I won't know that recovery is like until I try
My ED will always be there
I can always go back to it
Recovery might not always be there

As I said we are kept very busy here
Today we had goals group, recreation and then we usually have CBT in the afternoon
And of course food
For breakfast we are expected to have cereal and bread or a cooked breakfast and bread
I usually opt for toast and an egg
For lunch we have either a starter and main or main and dessert
And for tea we have whatever is on with bread
Sometimes I feel like all I do is eat
For everyone else meals times are a break but for us it is a huge challenge
After every meal we have post meal group
This is where we can talk about our meals and if we had any difficulties
It's great for me because I need the extra support when I feel like purging

We are not made do anything here
We are not made eat
We are encouraged to take responsibility for our own actions
And I think it works better that way as when we go home we will have to do it ourselves

A journalist from the Daily Telegraph contacted me last week
She wanted to know of she could interview me for an article she is doing for Eating Disorder Awareness Week
The article will be published at the end of next month but I will let you know in advance when exactly that is

I hope you are all doing ok
I miss reading your blogs

Take care,

Your friend,

Ruby x

Friday, 10 January 2014

One Week In

As the title suggests I am one week in to treatment
Everyone is telling me how this admission has to be different
Nothing changes if nothing changes
The number one offender remains
My old friend bulimia
She is proving to be stubborn beyond belief
It's a sad fact that purging has become such a normal part of my day
Just like brushing my teeth

I had a very interesting group this morning
I was told that I am keeping staff at arms length and not looking for support
It's true
I don't go to staff
I try to just struggle through it myself
I hate having to ask for help
I remember reading once that the three hardest things to say are:

I love you

I'm sorry

And help me

I can vouch for that

I miss blogging
I miss my home
I desperately miss my dogs
I keep leaving them
They must be so confused

My weight was down again this morning
Another loss and I will be on bedrest
I feel incredibly frustrated with myself
Why can't I do this?
Why am I content to live the half life that is this ED?
Why don't I want to live more?

I'm not giving up though
Not yet
I have eleven more weeks here
And it's never too late to start

I hope you all are ok
I hope you are fighting
Because none of us deserve a life half lived
None of us deserve the punishment we put ourselves through
I still firmly believe that there recovery is possible
Even for me
I am blessed to have a wonderful family
People who care about me
But it's time we started looking after ourselves
Ultimately it is down to us
As much as they would like to, our families can't do this for us
We have to find our own way

I have to keep reminding myself that I am not a teenager anymore
And this is not my first rodeo
I don't have to prove to anyone that I have an eating disorder
Or that I can lose weight
We can all do that
I also don't have to live up to the title of anorectic
I don't have to justify my illness
You don't have to either

Take care,

Your friend,

Ruby x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Back to treatment

I'm heading back in to treatment tomorrow
I've been home for 3 weeks now
I had been dreading coming home
Mainly because I had a family wedding and we had people staying in our house all week
I wasn't planning on being here for any of it
But then I was discharged prematurely
I could have chosen not to go
But I wanted to be there
I was asked to do one of the readings at the mass
I agreed to do it but it caused me no end of anxiety
Even though it was just 3 lines, it was a huge ask for me

The wedding was on Saturday
We stayed in a hotel in town
I put on my glad rags and war paint and put on my best 'I'm fine' face
I was so nervous waiting to do my reading
I had my brother ready as a back up incase I completely crumbled and couldn't do it
Then it was my turn
Before I knew it, it was over and I was back at my seat
I did it

After the mass it was on to the reception in a restaurant
Glasses of champagne were being passed out
At first I refused
But then I took one for a bit of 'Dutch courage'
I drank it quickly and it went straight to my head
I had another
And another
I didn't get drunk
Just pleasantly merry

The meal was amazing
6 courses
I got through it by purging twice

I was so glad that I went to the wedding and didn't get home until 4am
It just goes to show
A lot of the time it's the thought of these things that is worse than the actual event itself

I won't get to blog now for a while
I had been seriously considering closing this blog
But I really don't want to do that
I will continue to write
But I want this to be a blog about recovery and hope
I don't want this to be a car-crash blog
It's a sad truth that the worse my life got, the more views my blog got
I'm not concerned with how many followers I get
I just want to be honest
I want to tell the truth about what it is like to live with an ED and addiction

An anonymous comment was left on my last post
Basically saying that it was selfish of me not to read or comment on others blogs and continue to write my own
I just want to clear that up
I will continue to write my own blog
But for my own sake I can't continue to read and comment on blogs that I find triggering
Is that selfish?
Maybe it is
But maybe I need to be a little bit selfish to help myself right now
However I will keep in contact with the girls who I have become close to

As I said I won't get to blog for a while now
In the mean time please take care of yourselves
Be kind and gentle with yourselves
Keep fighting
Don't let this thing define you
Don't let it break you
Don't wait to do something until it is too late
Don't let it kill you

With love,

Ruby x

Friday, 27 December 2013


Christmas day came and went
Just like any other day
I made an effort to be a normal human being
I attended mass with my mother in the morning
I watched the local Christmas swim with my Dad and dogs
I helped out with the cooking
I made Eton mess for dessert
I resisted taking my meds until dinner was over
Bulimia was an unwelcome guest though
She managed to worm her way in and tried her damdest to ruin my day
Today I am trying to get back on track
Although my mood has dipped quite a lot
The next few days will be hard
I have a family wedding
Many lunches, dinners, drinks to follow in the next few days
If I thought about it too much I think I would crumble

Since coming home my mood has been good
Too good
I had almost convinced myself that things were going well
But now that I look back I can see I was slowly slipping over the last 2 weeks
My ED subtly creeping back in
Then yesterday I came down with a bang
It was like I was holding on for Christmas and then when it was over I plummeted back down earth

My weight had been dropping
But yesterday it went up
Albeit a very small amount but it still went up
I'm sure most people would be delighted to gain so little over the holidays
But here in ED-Land normal rules do not apply
I'm wondering if that it is why my mood dropped so much
It's always been intrinsically linked to my weight
I hate that
I hate that those little red numbers on my scale have such power over me
It makes me wonder how the hell I am going to allow myself to gain when I go back in to treatment
Imelda from the programme is ringing me on Monday
I'm half hoping she won't
I'm half hoping that everyone will forget all about it and I can continue on my journey in to oblivion

Sometimes I read blogs and I think to myself 'That poor girl, my heart breaks for her'
I get angry at how much some people have to suffer
I have to remind myself that I am one of those people
I am sick
I am unwell
I am struggling
I need help
It's not my job to save everyone else
I need to save myself

I've been thinking a lot about this blog
I've decided to keep writing for the moment but I won't be reading other blogs or commenting as much
Taking in everyone's struggles is just too much at the moment
I can just about deal with my own

Take care x

Monday, 23 December 2013

I promise you

Monday again
And it couldn't have come soon enough
I over indulged on my meds last week leaving me with nothing for Sunday
I didn't sleep a wink last night
I stayed up all night chain smoking and drinking endless cups of hot, sweet tea
I watched the movie Never Let Me Go
Perfect for an insomniac with too much time to think

I dragged my weary carcass out of my bed at 8am to go to the doctor
The first thing I noticed when I sat down was his Christmas tie
When I complimented him on it he proudly pressed a button and lights lit up on it and festive music played
I had to laugh as the music continued to play as he tried to discuss serious medical matters
The first thing he asked me was how I had got on with less sleeping tablets
I guess a face that hasn't slept paints a thousand words
I explained how I hadn't slept last night (true)
And how my sleep hadn't been great during the week (false)
So he agreed to keep me on the sleeping tablets
For now

I remarked how he had probably noticed that I am very resistant to coming off any meds
He said he had
How could he not?
He said that people are put on meds in hospital and then never come off them
That would be fine with me because the truth is I am freakin' terrified of coming off any of my meds
Especially the methadone
I'm on it 10 long years now I don't remember life without it
Even this morning, after not having it for 48 hours, I could feel the withdrawal setting in
The dull ache in my bones
The sweats
And that scares the be-Jesus out of
You would think that it would scare me in the direction of wanting to come off it
But it makes me want to stay on it even more

I had an extremely vivid drug using dream last week
It's a recurring dream
In the dream I inject myself
The thought of going back to that life is beyond frightening
I would rather die

Anyway back to the matter at hand
It's Christmas time
A veritable nightmare for an anorectic
And for a bulimic?
Well, it makes for a binge filled holiday week
I am half dreading, half looking forward to Christmas
We also have a family wedding on the 28th so there will be mucho family event, lunches, dinners, drinks etc
If I thought about it too much I would crawl in to my bed with a bottle of vodka and not get up until February

I'm trying to use the skills I learned in hospital to help me through
I'm not going to put pressure on myself
I'm going to do as much or as little as I can
I'll join in
I'll help with Christmas dinner
I'll attend the wedding
But I won't be pushing myself beyond what I feel comfortable doing
It sounds a bit selfish
A bit self serving
But it's the only way I am going to get through the next two weeks

I know that a lot of you are struggling
Especially at this time of year
Just remember to take it easy on yourself
Do as much as you can
No one expects anything more

So Happy Christmas to you!
If you are lonely
If you are sad
If you are so low you can't bear it
If you would rather eat your own foot that celebrate Christmas
If you are eating disordered
If you are underweight, over weight or somewhere in between
If you are questioning if you even have an eating disorder
If you are depressed
If you feel like you can't hold on
If you are asking yourself 'What is the point?'
If you are on your own today
If all you want is a hug from someone who cares
If you are considering disappearing
Hold on!
Find something
And hold on to that
All we have to deal with is right now
The past is gone
Tomorrow might never come
Just worry about you
Right now this second
If you are reading this and are wondering how the hell you are going to get through the next week
Just for a minute
And breathe
You can  get through this
You are stronger than you think
You are more powerful than you think
I promise you

I am far from recovery today
My ED still very active
I still ambivalent about recovery
As messed up as that sounds, it's the truth
But while I was in hospital I got a glimpse of myself with my ED
A fleeting glimpse albeit but it was enough
I feel hope for the first time in a long time
Up until now I truly believed that I would never recover
I had accepted that my ED was always going to be there
And I was ok with that
I have been to treatment numerous times
I have seen countless therapists, counsellors and doctors
Lost and gained a lot of weight
A lot of people gave up on me
I had even given up on me
But now I do see a glimmer of hope
It turns out that I might not be the wretched person I thought I was
It turns out that my personality is still there
It turn out that  maybe I can come back from this
It turns out that I want to live
And if I can then you can too

Please take good care of yourselves
Please know that you are not alone
You are not the only one who feels this way
I promise you

With love,

Ruby x

Friday, 20 December 2013

To blog or not to blog?

I can't quite believe it's nearly Christmas
I swear I blinked and a whole year went by
It's been an eventful year to say the least
I was doing well at the start of the year
My BMI was almost in the healthy range
I spoke at an eating disorder conference in February
I was hospitalized with pancreatitis in March
That was when I started to lose weight again
I wasn't intentionally trying to lose
But the pancreatitis took such a toll on my body, it was hard not to
I organized a family holiday in the summer
And of course I went in to hospital for treatment at the end of October
Then discharged just over a week ago

Since coming home I have been trying to hold on to the changes I made in hospital
I'm trying to keep to structured meal times
Eating at the table rather than on my own
I am managing to do this but my portions are not as big
I was determined not to start weighing myself at home but curiosity got the better of me during the week and I pulled out my dusty old scale that I had shoved in to a corner of my bedroom
I stripped and tentatively stepped on to it
Curling my toes as I always do
I had lost
Enough to delight my ED
Enough to worry the rational part of me

Even knowing everything I know about my ED
Even knowing that losing weight will not make a difference in my life
Even knowing that losing weight will only make it more difficult when I go back in to hospital
Even knowing all this
I still can't stop

I've been in quite good form mood wise since coming home
I guess because it's Christmas it's a novelty to be home
I'm sure reality will set in soon enough though
I rand Imelda in the hospital today
I hope to be back in by January 2nd
All going to plan

I mentioned on my last post that I'm not sure where to go with this blog
I started writing this blog just over a year ago
I had been reading blogs for a while
I was desperately lonely
I had pushed all my friends away
I was a virtual recluse
Instantly I found a whole community of people that were just like me
In the beginning my blog was bordering on unhealthy
Some may even have called it pro ana
But what my blog is really about is spreading the truth of what it is like to live with anorexia, bulimia and addiction
Writing this blog gave a purpose
A raison d'etre
I have met some of the most amazing people here on blogger
And I have grown to become fond of all you
But I have to honest
In the last couple of months I have been wondering how healthy this blog is for me
Yes, there are some positives to writing this blog
But there are also negatives
My ED is all consuming
It's all I think about
All I talk about
And now I was writing about it too
I think in order to recover I need to find interests outside of food and weight
I need things to fill the hole that the ED will leave
Since coming home from hospital I have only glanced at a few blogs
And some of those were all about losing weight
It makes me so sad to think of all the girls here killing themselves trying to lose weight
It breaks my heart
I have to keep reminding myself that I am one of those girls
I am unwell
I need help and I need to help myself first

They say with addiction you only have to change one thing to get well
I think that is true for EDs also
In order to recover we need to change our whole lives
I am only starting to see that now
And I have to ask myself the question 'Is this blog helping me or hindering me?'
At the moment I'm not quite sure
I think that I need to find a life outside of blogger
I need to reconnect with my real life friends
It's a sad truth that my virtual life is more active than my real life
Don't get me wrong I love to be in contact with all of you
But words on a screen are not the same as a hug
It's not the same as a cuppa and a chat
I need those things in my life
I need start living

I was wondering about you
Do you find that writing your blog helps you or hinders you?
Do you ever find that it is an unhealthy influence in your life?

Monday, 16 December 2013

Back to Monday

It's Monday morning
My first Monday at home in 2 months
But nothing changes
Walk my dogs
Nothing changes

I saw my regular GP this morning
I had to inform him of my meds change
He was fine with it all up until I mentioned that I was put on a sleeping tablet
He said I didn't need it
I said that I did
He said I would be more active at home so to try going without it
Again, I said I needed it
He said I was accumulating medication I didn't need
I insisted that I needed it
At this point I realised that my inner addict was being unleashed so I backed off a bit
In the end he agreed to give me 4 and would re-evaluate the situation next week
You can bet your ass that I will go in next week and report that I didn't sleep
Bad Ruby, very bad, he he!!

So how are thing going now that I am back in the big bad world?
Well, the first positive thing I can report is that the purging has vastly decreased and I have had no major binge purge episodes
That is a revelation in itself!
The bad new is that I'm not purging because I am eating very little
I have no idea how much I weigh
I don't care
It doesn't matter anymore
The other good news is that I am sitting at the table with my mother for my 'meals'
Baby step all the way!

I miss hospital
I miss the people
I miss the chat, the craic, the banter
I am in daily contact with my friends there but it's not the same
I can't wait to go back
That in itself is not a good sign
The hospital is like a cocoon
So safe
All I had to worry about was turning up to meals and groups
Not like the real world
But I guess it's good that I want to go back
If I want to go back for the right reasons

During my first 2 week in hospital I was very shy and quiet
My ED had stifled my personality so much that I didn't know who I was any more
I spent a lot of time in my room
Only venturing out to the smoking room every so often
I was beyond anxious
I could barely speak to anyone and had anxiety attacks in groups
I couldn't relate to anyone
Even the other girls on the programme
It's such  lonely place
But as the weeks passed I began to come out of my eating disordered shell
The girl who had been so hidden under layers of anorexia, bulimia and addiction began to emerge
I started to smile
I started to enjoy talking to and being around people
Heck, I even laughed
Mostly at myself
It felt good
It gave me a glimpse of what my life could be like without this illness
I wanted more
I want more

An anonymous comment was left on my last post
Wondering why, when I had a 'golden chance' to get well, surrounded by so much support, why I couldn't take that chance
It's a very good question
One I asked myself every day in hospital
It's true
I had a great opportunity
I was in the best psychiatric hospital in the country
With the best psychiatrist
With every support both in hospital and from my family
So why didn't I avail of that opportunity?
I know a lot of people would kill for a chance like that
The honest answer is that I didn't want it enough
Yes, I went in to hospital extremely motivated
Very clear in my mind what I was going to do
But being in hospital can be a strange experience
You are given the label of 'anorectic'
In some ways I felt I had to live up to that label
But it wasn't just that
In all honesty weight restoration was my  biggest hurdle
It's very difficult to accept that you have to gain a significant amount of weight when you can't see that you are underweight
And I genuinely don't see it
In my mind I am of a normal healthy weight
Not thin
Not over weight
Just normal

Unfortunately you can't have recovery without weight restoration
It just doesn't work
God knows I have tried
It's like an alcoholic saying that they will have just one drink a day
It just doesn't work

Getting well has to come from us
We can have all the support in the world
But no one can make us eat
Or stop purging
We have to want it so badly
If love and support could get us well then I would have recovered a long time ago
I was very torn in hospital
There was a constant battle going on in my head about whether to try or not
The truth is that I hang on to my ED because it serves a purpose
Yes, there are many, many negatives to my ED
But I hold on to it because it keep me numb
I don't have to grow up
I don't have to take any risks
I don't have to face life
I don't have to live

I am still ambivalent about recovery
I want to  want it
But I will go back to hospital and I will try my best
That's all I can do
That's all any of us can do

I think it's very normal to feel this way
Recovery is scary
It frightens the be-jesus out of me
It's uncharted territory
But what is the alternative?
End up like my friend
55 years old and still battling this thing?
No thank you very much
I'm still young
I can still have the life I dream of
I can still follow my dreams
I can still hope and believe
It's not too late for me
It'a not too late for you too

All my love,

Ruby x