Community Magazine

Keep on Keeping on

By Rubytuesday
I knew Autumn had arrived when I walked in to my kitchen yesterday and smelled my mother's chicken soup
It's strange
The seasons change
The months change
The days and the weeks change
And yet nothing changes
Does that make sense?
After reading back my last couple of posts, I was very tempted to delete them
Does the blogosphere really need to know the gory details of my ED?
I asked myself this question and came to the conclusion that yes it does
When I started writing this blog I was determined to expose my ED for the nasty, cruel, ugly, disgusting thing that it really is
I didn't want to sugar coat the truth
I didn't want to be in denial about the lengths I go and the depths I sink to for this thing
I find it quite difficult to put my drug addiction in to words but for some reason I seem to be able to explain my ED in a way that maybe a person without an ED may understand
But it is really hard to explain addiction
Especially to someone who has never experienced addiction
It's like trying to describe a colour
If someone has never seen the color red, how do you explain it to them?
It's next to impossible
With addiction you can use words like 'compulsion' and phrases like 'physically addicted' but it doesn't really explain the feelings that someone in the grip of an addiction or an ED go through
On the other hand I find it hard to understand what it's like not be an addict
To be able to have one drink and stop there without any difficulty
For as long as I can remember I have been an addict
Maybe I was born that way, I don't know
I was addict long before I picked up a drink or a drug
Food was probably the first substance that I experienced an addiction to
Of course at the time I had no idea
As I child I loved white bread
I just had to have it
I ate at home
I requested it at friends houses
I ate it slice by slice and couldn't get enough
I remember when my family put bread out to feed the birds I would eat it when they weren't looking
I couldn't help myself
That was harmless enough but as I grew in to a teenager I became addicted to shop lifting
Then drugs
Then alcohol
The prescription drugs
And now an ED with some sub addictions (exercise, enemas, purging)
I've always been addicted to something
I truly believe that a person can become addicted to anything even if it's not physiologically addictive
If I can get a good feeling or a high of something, then I will do it over and over and over again to the detriment of my life
When I was addicted to drugs I was both physically and psychologically addicted
I just couldn't stop
I don't have that switch in my brain that says 'Ok that's enough now'
After I overdosed for the first time I was admitted to hospital with respiratory arrest
I was lucky I didn't die
But the very next day I was using in the hospital bathroom
I just couldn't stop
That feeling is incredibly difficult to describe
The feeling that you have to use even though it could kill you
Even though it's drive you insane
Even though you are breaking your families heart
Even though your life is in the toilet
Even though you are suicidal
You. Just. Can't. Stop.
Imagine you have an itch
It's the itchiest itch you have ever experienced
It's driving you crazy and it's all you can think about and focus on
Now imagine instead of fingernails you have razorblades on the tips of your fingers
If you scratch that itch you will shred your skin to ribbons and possible die from blood loss
But that itch just won't go away and you can't help but scratch it
Every time you scratch you tear in to your skin
You bleed and bleed but you just can't help yourself
Everyone is telling you to stop
Everyone is trying to help you
To bandage your skin and help you stop scratching
But you can't
You just can't stop
That's what it's like to live with an addiction
It's an itch that you just can't help but scratch
But of course the paradox is that you can stop
Yes, it is extremely difficult but it can be done
For some people it's a life changing event that makes them stop
Maybe they have a near death experience
Maybe they become homeless
Maybe they hit rock bottom
But mostly people just becomes sick and tired of being sick and tired
Then it becomes possible to stop
When the negative effect of using out weighs the positive effect
And the crucial thing is to want get well
To want to live
That is half the battle
It's a long and difficult road to get to that place
It takes a lot of hard work and an army of support to beat an addiction
But it can be done
I truly believe that
A good friend once said to me that it's not a choice between my ED and recovery
It's a choice between life and death
I think this is so true
Living with an ED is a slow suicide
It's a very visual way of saying 'I don't want to be here'
I do believe that recovery from disordered eating is possible
But I don't know if I am in a place where I want it
Of course I do want it but there is a huge part of me that feels I just can't stop
Addiction is all consuming and I hate that
Addicts become completely self absorbed
They forget that there is a whole world out there
Places to see
People to meet
Experiences to have
Food to taste
Everything boils down to the drug or weight loss or.......
It becomes your whole world
Nothing else matters
Not family
Not friends
Not love
Being in the grip of an addiction is soul destroying
You lose everything
Zest for life
Self esteem
You lose that spark that makes you you and you become a shell
You lose you
I have come through drug addiction and alcoholism so I know beating an addiction can be done
Beating an ED is slightly trickier
With drugs I could literally walk away from my old life
Away from the drug
Away from using friends
My old town
I walked in to a brand new life
With food I can't do that
I can't cut food out of my life (well I could but that would defeat the purpose)
I have to eat
I have to find a balance
A happy medium
And that's the hard part
As grim as things are at the moment I do have hope
As long as I am breathing there is hope
I will continue to fight
Continue to write and spread awareness
Continue to live my life the best I can
What's the alternative?
Lie down and give up
That's not really my style
So if you are struggling today remember that it doesn't have to be this way
There is a way out
There is life beyond addiction and EDs
There is a second chance for you
There is hope
Recovery will be the hardest thing that we ever do but it will be so worth it
Don't give up
Don't give in
Keep on keeping on
Keep on keeping on

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