Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Eating

And so we are on to the letter E
E for me 
Is eating
Eating is mandatory if you want to live
If you want to have energy
If you want to work
Work out 
You have to eat if you want the systems in your body to work
And work well
If you want to have healthy nails, skin and hair
Without eating 
Our bodies pretty quickly give up
And we die of starvation and dehydration 
Eating and feeding are one of the first things we learn in life 
As a baby 
Feeding is everything 
But for those of us with eating disorders 
Eating can be a tricky business 
Whether you have anorexia 
The art of food and eating can be a mine field 

I love my food 
I really love my food
I don't rightly believe anyone who says that they don't enjoy their food
Food and eating are one of life's great pleasures
It brings us together 
To celebrate 
To party
To mourn 
To chat 
To put the world to right over a cuppa and a slice of cake
But my relationship with food has been rocky to say the least 
I love it 
And hate it in equal amounts 
At times over the years 
Food has been my nemesis 
I denied myself food 
Starved my body and mind 
I stuffed it with food 
Then promptly threw it all up 
I over exercised my body with not enough food 
I skipped family occasions becsuse I didn't want to eat 
I ate out of a bin
I ate food straight out of the freezer
I stole food from my family
From my house mates 
From shops and super markets 
Food drove me to the brink of insanity 

15 years down the ED road 
I have made a kind of peace with food 
I've had to
I don't hate my food anymore 
I don't hate eating 
I don't battle with food the way I used to
I try to eat three meals and snacks a day
I dont deny myself what I want 
I don't make my body purge as much as I used to 
I enjoy eating now 
I sit at the table now 
I used to eat in front of the TV
Mindlessly shoving food in to my mouth 
Now I take my time
Chat with my family 
It's a social thing also 

One of the most important things in ED recovery 
Is to keep eating 
Even when you don't wany to
When you don't feel like it 
When you are full 
It is so important to eat 
And keep it down of course 
Because once you start skipping meals and snacks 
It is a slippery road back down the rabbit hole
So I do it
I eat 
Because I want to be well
To be healthy 
To have energy 
I eat because for the first time in a long time
I want to live 
Because I now I can see they my life is worth living 
That there is life after an ED
And I do have a chance of happiness as well as health 
Speaking of eating 
I am off to have a ham toastie with relish
Lip smacking good.....!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Drugs

I'm back on track for the A-Z Challenge
D is for Drugs
As you may know 
In another life 
In a parallel universe 
I was addicted to drugs
In my teens 
I dabbled with all the usual suspects 
And at 18 
I took heroin for the first time 
I was instantly hooked
The thing about drugs 
Is that at first, it's fun
For me
I can still remember fondly the first time I took heroin 
I felt like I had finally found something that helped me be myself 
It gave me confidence 
It helped me feel like I belonged
Like I finally fitted in
I felt untouchable 
Like a was in a safe cocoon 
And nothing could hurt me
Of course 
The honey moon period does not last 
And I soon found myself in the murky underworld that is addiction
I spent years trying to recreate that first time I used 
But it was never the same 
Now I was using to not go in to withdrawal
Just to feel normal
I became an expert liar
A proficient thief
And a master manipulator 
I hurt the ones I love the most 
I ripped my family apart 
I left a trail of destruction in my wake 
It was a nightmare 
And I couldn't get out 
For a long time I didn't want to get out

For most of my addiction
I was with my ex boyfriend 
You often see couples in addiction together 
Because no matter how bad things got 
We still had each other 
No matter how low we sank
We still had each other
But for the last couple of years of my addiction 
I was on my own
It was hell 
I was a young girl in a big city 
I was taken advantage of many many times 
And there was nothing I could do about it 
My addiction was cyclical 
Get clean 
On and on it went 
For a long time 
I didn't want to get clean 
I just wanted the drug 
I spent a lot of time in treatment and hospital 
But always relapsed spectacularly
I was even frog marched over to London 
To do a detox
And yo have any opiate blocker implant fitted 
Which meant if I used 
It would have no effect 
It was supposed to last six months 
But for me 
It lasted a lot longer 
And it didn't stop me using 
I just used other drugs 

My last slip was last year 
Remember The Boy 
And the poppy tea?
That lasted about a month
But caused so much hurt to my family 
I never used to count my clean time 
But I have started now 
And February 14th was day one 
As far as drugs are concerned 
I am quite stable 
As I wrote yesterday
I still get horrendous cravings every now and then 
But I now know how to handle them
And I know they will pass 
I can't say I will never use again 
As I don't know what the future holds
But I do know that I won't use today 
I will stay well today 
I will be a good person today

When ever I tell someone about my past addictions 
People are really surprised 
I guess I am not your typical addict 
And that helped keep me out of trouble over the years 
I suppose everyone has a story to tell 
And this is mine 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Day off

I only realised last night 
That Sunday's are not included in the A-Z challenge
I did C yesterday 
So I will take today off
And just do a regular post

I'm just out of the doctors 
And sitting in the pharmacy waiting for my meds
Today's topics included 
Horse riding 
Michaela MC Collumb, the Irish girl caught smuggling drugs back in 2013 who has just been released from prison in Peru
More of which later 
And methadone 
For the last few weeks 
My doctor has been talking about reducing it 
And every week I've come up with a different excuse not to
But today 
I was all out of excuses 
And so it was reduced from 26mls - 24mls 
Not a lot I know 
But as the amount gets smaller and smaller 
I worry 
Not that I ever notice the drop
It's more psychological than anything 
I am now almost at the point I was two years ago 
Back in 2014 
I was down to 22mls
And I panicked
So asked my doctor to increase it
He increased it to 34mls
And it's only now 
Two years later 
That I am almost back down to 24 mls 

As you know 
I have been on methadone for 11 years now
Every morning for the last decade 
I have taken it first thing every morning
Every Monday I have seen my doctor 
It has become part and parcel of my life
Just another part of my daily routine 
I can't lie 
I am nervous and anxious and afraid to think about life without methadone
Even though that is a long way off
It still scares me 
I would much rather come off my tablets first 
But I have to trust that my doctor knows what he is doing 
I guess I need to learn 
That I can handle life without relying on a substance 
Because up until  now 
I have always believed that
That I am not strong enough to handle life on life's terms
I guess I need to see for myself that I can manage without a drug or a drink

I saw Breda this morning also 
I was very close to cancelling 
As I didn't really feel like going 
But I know when I start thinking like that 
I am in dodgy territory 
So I went 
I told her what's been happening recently
About the course I have put my name down for 
Which is the local women's centre
It's communications and IT
And it runs two afternoons a week for a year 
It sounds like a great course 
And the women's centre is a lovely place
So the next thing on my agenda 
Is to find out about the job
And if it's still happening 
I am on a disability payment 
And can only work a certain amount of hours each week
So I need to find out about that 
Hopefully I will be able to do everything 
But if I have to stop something
I'm afraid it will be the job
But I still have some time to sort things out 
So watch this space 

It was great to see Breda 
And to tell her about all the positive things that are happening
I feel like I am the most stable that I have been in years
Even my ED is somewhat under control
The purging is at a minimum 
I'm not weighing myself 
And more importantly not caring what I weigh 
My clothes fit 
My skin, hair and nails are healthy 
I feel good 
Neither underweight or overweight 
I'm sleeping well
I wake up in the morning excited for the day
I feel alive 
I feel positive and hopeful for the future 
I feel like i am living 
Rather than existing 
Enjoying life 
Rather than enduring it
Life is good 
And that is an amazing thing to be able to say 
It's onwards and upwards from here 
Things are really coming together for me 
The jigsaw pieces are falling in to place 
And the picture that is my life is becoming clear 
With help from a small army of help and supporters 
I am finding my way 
Finding out who I am
What I am all about 
I feel like I might have a shot at having a good life 
A happy life 
That's all I want 
To feel ok in my own skin
To be able to lay my head down at night 
Knowing I did my best that day to be a good person
And not hurt myself or anyone else 
I am slowly but surely putting my life back together 
I really think I can do this 
I think I can be a good and honest person 
I've come a long way 
And it's taken years to finally figure out what I want 
And where I want to go
But I am getting there 
Great strides start with baby steps 
And my baby steps are happening 
One at a time 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

C is for Cravings

Cravings are something that I deal with on a daily basis
Being a former drug addict
A former alcoholic
A former smoker
And a former anorectic 
Cravings are part and parcel of my life
They can hit you when you least expect it
And I can be triggered by almost anything 
Certain smells 
I could go on and on
The first major thing I gave up was heroin
That was no mean feat
And to this day 
Is the most difficult thing I've given up
And overcome 
But even now 
After being away from the drug for quite a while
I still get cravings 
I can't watch anything about drugs in films or on tv
Can't listen to certain music
And just being in Dublin is one massive trigger
I also don't go back to the town I grew up in
As it too is a trigger in itself
A craving is a funny thing
Whether it's a craving for heroin
Or vodka 
Or a smoke 
Or a craving to lose weight
They all start off the same way
With a longing to escape
And I am someone who loves to escape
I get bored easily
And if I'm not doing something that captures my attention
Like dancing or my dogs or horse riding 
I find that my mind wanders
The devil makes work for idle hands and all that

They say that a relapse happens long before you pick up the drug
It happens when you begin to let things slip and slide
When you stop going to meetings
When you start isolating 
When you start making excuses 
Good recoveries are made on good foundations 
If you don't have a good foundation 
Your recovery will inevitably crumble and fall
But how ever your good and solid your recovery 
You will encounter cravings 
It's nigh on impossible to avoid them
They can hit you like a smack in the face  
You might be thinking about something completely innocent 
And before you know 
You are reminiscing about the good ol' days 
And wondering how soon you can get to your nearest connection
The trick about cravings 
Is to catch them before you do anything stupid 
As soon as you are aware of it
To do something about it 
So you don't run away with it in your mind
There are many things you can do before a craving turns in to a slip 
Talk to someone 
Get to a meeting 
Ring a friend/member/sponsor 
Think about what will happen if you do use 
It is possible to stop yourself 

I am off cigarettes about 20 months 
I still get horrendous cravings for a smoke 
I know now that they only last minutes 
Sometimes just seconds 
And I know if I just hold on 
It too will pass 

Are any of you doing the A-Z challenge?


An obvious one
But B is for Bulimia
As I wrote yesterday 
Over time 
My ED turned from anorexia in to bulimia
I guess I just got the point where I was so hungry 
That I went on an almighty binge 
As I got older 
The harder I found it to resist food 
In my younger days
I could go for days without eating so much as a morsel of food 
But my body just won't let me do that any more 
Up until very recently
My bingeing and purging was out of control
At my worst 
I was purging up to 20 times a day
Every day was the same back then
I would wake up
Walk the dogs 
Go to the supermarket 
Buy or steal binge food
Go home 
And spend the day going round in circles from the kitchen to the living room to the bathroom
I had a path worn 
It's the closest thing to hell that I've ever experienced 
Bulimia doesn't get as much attention as anorexia 
People with anorexia are treated with pity 
Where as people with bulimia are thought of as out of control and disgusting 
Both are deadly illnesses 
But bulimia just doesn't get the same attention
Like all EDs
Bulimia thrives on secrets and lies 
Often the sufferer manages to maintain a healthy body weight
So no one would ever know unless you told them 
For me 
I lose weight when I purge 
So it was often quite plain to see that I am struggling 
Even as recently as Christmas I was really struggling 
But have managed to get somewhat back on track in the last month
It's not easy 
I battle every day with my ED
Some days I win 
Some days I lose 
But most days are good days 
And every day that I manage to get through relatively sane is a success 
I write my log in the hope that I can help others and myself fight the war against these illnesses 
For me 
Writing and horse riding have helped fill a hole that my ED left
My life improves even despite of myself and my self destructive ways
I am hopeful for the future 
I have a feeling that something wonderful is going to happen...

Friday, 1 April 2016

A (A - Z Blogging Challenge)

I signed up to do the A - Z Blogging Challenge
Then promptly forgot about it 
I saw Mich had started it
So I thought
Better late than never right?

The letter A
Well it's a bit obvious 
But A is for anorexia
I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was 19
Although looking back over my life
I can see that my food issues started when I was a child
As a youngster 
I had a thing about bread
I would be in a friends house 
And I would take slices of bread to eat
I also remember my mother throwing bread out for the birds
Which I would then eat 
I've always loved my food 
Growing up 
I preferred proper dinners to burgers and chips 
I can remember I used to eat a certain way
And kept the foods I liked best until last
Through out my twenties
I lost and gained so much weight 
I've been every weight from emaciated to healthy and back again
Over the years 
My anorexia morphed in to bulimia 
And can no longer starve the way I used to
If anorexia is cool and silent and aloof
Then bulimia is her loud, brash and in your face cousin
Both are equally soul destroying 
Today I am doing well
I am of a healthy weight
And I am the most stable I have been in a long time 
I don't think I will ever recover fully
Like any addiction 
An eating disorder is managed not cured 
Recovery is not a straight road
Sometimes it feels like one step forwards and two steps back 
But the important thing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other 
And to keep going 

On my mind....

Wednesday has been on my mind a lot this week
As in the day I brought my nephew horse riding 
He is great 
He is very independent 
And very much amused himself 
So I went and had a cuppa with Eilis who owns the place 
And another French girl
The three of us were sitting up in the spectating area
Watching the kids ride 
Eilis and Lara were talking ten to the dozen 
And having a great laugh
I however 
Felt like a spare wheel
Like I was crippled with self consciousness 
And couldn't contribute to the conversation at all
I'm just really not good at that kind of thing 
And I withdraw very quickly if I feel at all uncomfortable 
I was struck how these two girls were so comfortable just to be themselves 
They are older than me
And probably haven't had to deal with an opiate addiction or an ED
Maybe their lives have been a bit more straight forward than mine 
I'm sure they have had struggles in their lives 
Everyone has 
But from their personalities 
And their confidence 
I can tell they have lived a successful life 
I was just dying to get to help with the horses 
But they had so many helpers 
That Oisin and I were hardly needed at all 
We helped where we could leading the horses 
Helping with lunch for the kids 
Tried to calm them down when they were bouncing off the walls
And drying their tears when they inevitably knocked a head or an arm or a foot 
Or a willy in one little boys case! 

I just felt so awkward and out of place 
Like I didn't fit in 
And was paralysed with fear and anxiety 
I hate being like that
I hate feeling uncomfortable 
And in turn making others feel uncomfortable 
I remember I was at a meeting once
This girl was speaking 
And she was saying how through working the programme 
She could walk in to a room full of people anywhere in the world
And feel comfortable to be herself 
I find that I mirror people back to themselves
If you are quiet 
I'll be quiet too
And if you are more outgoing 
I will try to be too
I guess I just haven't found my own little way yet 
I'm still learning who I am 
What I'm about 
What my opinions and views are
What makes me tick
What I am passionate about 
What angers me
My likes and dislikes 
This is all new to me 
I am new to me
But that's ok 
I am going through growing pains 
Albeit a little later than most people 
But I will get there 
I just really want to build up my confidence and self esteem
And feel ok to be me
As I have often said 
I've had to fight tooth and nail to get to the point where most people start off
It's not easy 
Staying clean and sober 
Managing an ED
It's an effort every single day
But it does get easier 
It definitely does 
And I am in it for the long haul
Oh yes
My ass is committed to this 
I guess we don't always see progress on ourselves 
I see it in others 
I see them grow in to beautiful young men and women 
But we don't see it in ourselves 
I definitely don't see it in myself 
I just have to trust that it is happening 
Whether I notice it or not 

I found another course that I am interested 
It's running in the local women's centre 
Communications and IT 
It's a year long 
And starts next month
Two afternoons a week 
Which is perfect for me 
As I could fit in all my other things around that 
I rang yesterday 
And out my name down 
Now I have a decision I need to make 
Go ahead with the job
Or concentrate on learning and furthering my education 
It's hard to know which one to choose 
As both would be great for me
I guess it's time to do a good ol' fashioned pros and cons list
And see which one comes out on top
But you know what?
It's great to be in a position where I can choose 
It wasn't so long ago that I had no options at all
So that my friends, is progress 
I have a little time to sort this out
I will chat  with my family
And try to figure this out
Suggestions and thoughts are welcome
I need all the help I can get....