Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Difference between Ireland and Sweden

I know this post has been requested several times, and ive promised to write about it, so here goes!

Why it has taken me so long to write about this topic is because i havent known what to write. To me, i find that Ireland and Sweden are completely different. In many different ways - economically, health system, oppertunities, education etc

But also the fact that in Ireland i lived out in the country - as far out as you could go, on the coast. What surrounded me was pretty much water and green grass and cows!! haha
  But as i was younger, and growing up it didnt bother me. Everyone knew everyone in the village we lived in. Our lives and routines were the same.... it was like everyday was the same, no difference. The scenery didnt change, nothing new really happend.

And in Sweden, i live in the Capital - Stockholm. I live around 15 minutes from the central station, so im close to everything. I take public transport pretty much everyday, i can go to the shops if i want, im close to my school, i have more freedom and oppertunities.

Before i ended up in hospital due to my anorexia my mum had actually been thinking about moving back to Sweden. She had noticed that i was depressed, but also that my CF health was declining (she didnt know i had an ED aswell). Though she didnt want to pull me and my sister out of school, but also because our dad lives in Ireland, and our half brother. So it was just thoughts my mum had.
  However when i ended up in hospital and spent more than 2 months there, and instead of getting better i was getting worse. Both with my ED, depression and self harm. And as i was losing more weight and getting sicker, this was having an affect on my CF. And the only answer the doctors there could think of was to put me on tube feeding with 24/7 watch - i.e a nurse sat in my room all the time. I wasnt even allowed to go out, and this was after spending 2 months locked in a kids psychiatric ward on full bed rest.

My mum made the decision to move to Sweden, a decision i didnt even know was being made until the day before i was going to travel. I didnt think it was a permanent decision, infact i could barely think at that time. I didnt really know what was going on, apart from the doctors arguing with my mum and telling her that it was not a good idea that i travel or move.
   I got to spend 1 night in my bed in Ireland (back in 2010) and i havent been back to that house since....

Its hard to compare the 2 countries, because you know what. I like that i grew up in Ireland, out in the country. I was a country girl!! Running in the fields, going for walks, jumping on the trampoline. We barely had internet access or telephone coverage. Meeting friends outside of school was tough, as they all lived 20-40 minutes away with a car. And the closest food shop was 10 minutes in the car.
   During the weekends my mum would drive my sister and I 90 minutes to the closest 'town' which i used to think was big. However, whenever i go back there i cant help laughing at how small the town actually is! But i still know that place like the back of my hand! Infact, icould draw the whole route from our house to the town (90 minutes in the car) .- thats how well i remember it!
   My mum, sister and I were all very close. But ive always been closer to my dad. I only got to see him during the weekends, but then i would sit with him in his room and we'd listen to music (he's a sound engineer), we'd work on photoshop, or put together videos or talk about Chelsea (football club!), we'd watch football matches, and he would make the perfect sandwiches and hot chocolate (with both cream and ice cream!).
  Whilst my mum and sister liked to go shopping, go to the spa, do their nails and hair etc!

Irelands health care... its not really something i want to go into, but its somethign i do know alot about. As i have spent several months at a time in hospital. There have been times where i have been critically sick, but havent been able to get a room to be admitted. Or there hasnt been any beds for my mum to sleep in the same room as me. And i am not even going to mention the hospital food (which is never good, in any country. But trust me... the food served was more likely to make your more sick)
   My dad has made several fund raisers to try to earn money so that a special unit for people with CF could be built (as people with CF shouldnt share room with others and not be around other sick people), but also the amount of people who have CF in Ireland is one of the highest.

In sweden, the health care system is alot better. That is the reason why we moved to Sweden, both times. As i have needed proper health care, but havent gotten it in Ireland. I really dont know so much about the Swedish health care system (apart from that its free), but it is very good. Of course, there are flaws to all systems.

The education system? Ireland and Swedens education is very different, in Ireland it is ALOT harder. It is also alot stricter, most schools have uniforms there. Strict with times, but also the amount you learn is alot harder. However i think their grading system is alot fairer than in Sweden. In ireland it goes on procent, but in sweden you need to show all these knowledge requirements, and continuously.
   Ex. say you get A on 5 of the criterias, C on 1 of them, and E on another, you're final grade will be a D, even though you have gotten A's on some of the criteria.... so its very tough to get an A.
   You cant have a bad day, or do badly on an assignment because chances are your grade will be very affected.

In ireland your grades however are based on tests and test results, but in Sweden 10-15% of the grade is based on how you are in class.... its to encourage everyone to participate in class discussions.
   Also there are more assignments and essays.

Most schools in Sweden are more free, not so strict. No uniforms, you can have more of a relationship with the teachers. When i first began going to school here in Sweden, i was shocked at how free the school was... it felt like i got no homework (but in Ireland i would get about 2 hours homework each day), but also how somedays i finished at 1pm, others 4.30pm, somedays i started 8 others i started at 10. In ireland you wuould go to school (or in my school anyway) from 9.30 to 4pm.  And each class was 40 minutes long.
  But here in Sweden the classes can be anything from 40minutes to 2 hours long, but the average is 65-75minutes.
Also, in Sweden all kids who go to school get paid money (from the government). But if you have too high an absens, you have to pay back all the money you have been given. This is to stop teenagers from skipping school, which is very common as the schools are so free.
   The money is an initiative, because if you want to skip school, you can do that. But there are consequences.
  There are many i know who only go to school so they recieve the money, but dont have so high intentions or motivation in school.

It feels like this post has become really long now... but i could seriously write a book about the differences and what i think.
   
The countries are so different, but i like that i grew up in Ireland. I had my childhood. I didnt grow up taking the tube everywhere, having a mobile from the age of 5. Instead, i got to run in fields, not care how i dressed and just be a child!!!
  And now when im a teeanger (or more grown up, maybe not a teenager?) i like living in Sweden. I am closer to everything. I have more of a life, which i never really had in Ireland. But also, i like the Swedish society of how things are quite healthy. Sweden is one of the top countries for eating healthy and exercising. And it feels like i fit in so well :) hahaha Though it of course does lead to people developing ED's and there are people who arent so healthy - in the other direction. But thats how it is in all countries i guess.
I have more oppetunities here in Sweden!! i can come further in life, achieve more than in Ireland. Or out where i was living in Ireland anyway!!!

Ohhh, and also. One thing which i sort of miss in Ireland is how everyone is alot friendlier... everyone knows everyone. You can talk to pretty much anyone, but in Sweden everyone is quite cold, and if you try to talk to someone on the bus or bus station, you are likely to get very angry glances and the person moves away from you!

^^(Thats the swedish kingn in the picture) ^^ But like it says on the picture, thats exactly how it is!

Ok.... ive written loads now, so ill stop now. But of course, if you want me to talk more about Sweden or Ireland, or about this topic or you have any questions - Just ask!! I have no problem talking/writing about it :)

18 comments:

  1. That's amazing, I recently went to Ireland and the Cliffs of Moher, Ennis and Killarney, but I love love Dublin! Have you ever kissed the Blarney Stone? You certainly do have the Irish gift of storytelling! One day I hope to visit Sweden too. Hope you're enjoying your weekend :)

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    1. No i havent ;) Thank you!! Hope you havea great weekend as well!

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  2. When did you learn to speak Swedish? (:

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    1. Ill answer this in a post coming up :)

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  3. Off topic advice begging:
    I "lost" about a kilo in the week abroad. No good, for sure. I'm just wondering can it seriously be actual weight loss? I ate perfectly normal, calorically probably intense restaurant food _a lot_, same with the snacks (plenty of ice cream, nuts etc). The physical amount of food was less but I never was in hunger so I felt like my energy intake was adequate. Can in be lost liquids from muscles (no work outs) or just because of the heat there? My digestion has been quite fucked up, to be honest; no sources of fibre were offered there.

    Should I be worried?

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    1. It most probably is weight loss... it could be that you've lost water weight from walking or just because you've been eating differently.
      But the fact is, it is easy to lose weight... you most probably havent been eating as much as you should, but also its been a shock for your body to be away. You might not have worked out, but you said you would most probably be walking alot, so you've most probably done more exercise than you think.
      I mean when i was in NY i know i lost some weight even though i was eating what felt like alot, but i was doing hours of walking each day.
      As long as you dont keep losing weight, or this triggers anything, then its no huge deal. But try regain the weight, otherwise you might relapse, or slip back into bad behavuour again.

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    2. Thanks. I'm now going back to my normal eating and trying to see what will happen. And eating a little extra perhaps. This kind of bouncing has happened a few times lately, though, and it has come back, I guess... I'm not feeling triggered - actually this was what I feared and was anxious for during the entire trip. I'm so frustrated - there's othing to be trusted into about my body I guess. I went for it and ate according to my hunger signals and over the fullness because of the lack of chances for eating times. I trusted my body, I behaved and felt all free and recovered and then this happens. All I want to do is give up on everything, just stay in my bed forever and binge all the shit (I don't practically have binging tendencies, I just feel like hurting myself. It's funny how I couldn't even imagine actually going for the self harming, I just keep on thinking of it sometimes.)

      My body feels like an useless double-faced bastard and all I would want to do is to scream at it just because it is so freaking dumb, even dumber than I am in general.

      Like I said, I'm not going to do anything harmful, that's for sure. I just simply hate myself right now. I'm all stuck with my invalid self. Since I'm too lazy to decide to start a diet, my body creates its own one all by itself.

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  4. Hi Izzy!
    The question I´m about to ask has nothing to with your post above. (Which was very interesting and well written ;) )
    So I have anorexia and haven´t had a healthy bmi in about 5 years, my recovery has gone up and down. Now I´m really motivated.
    The question is how do you or anybody who is reading feeling about the following. My dad is overweight and doesn´t do any exercise and eats unhealthy so he should loose some weight. I was thinking about making an agreement with him that in the end of the summer I would have an healthy bmi and he would have lost some weight and would start healthier lifestyle. Could this motivate both of us? For me this would be a huge accomplishment and I know that having a deadline or a price or punishment depending on the outcome has helped me gain weight before. But I have never reached my healthy weight during my illness. Should I suggest this to my dad?
    I would be thankful for any opinion or guiding, thanks!

    p.s. love your blog

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    1. Thank you :)
      I think that sounds like a great idea. However you need to realise that in the end, you need to gain the weight for you. Because say if your dad doesnt lose the weight, or begins 'cheating' then you cant let that trigger you. And you begin eating less, just because he begins eating more. But it can help motivate both of you...
      Hopefully though it wont trigegr you, if he begins eating less and exercising more? You need to think about your own goals and put your health first! But definitely bring it up with your father. Talk to him about the benefits of HIM losing weight, and saying that you btoh need to work hard to reach your goals!! It can also be good to have deadline, to be motivated to reach that goal :)

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    2. Thank you so much for answering :) I will talk about it with my father and keep that trigger thing in mind :)
      You are such an inspiration <3

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    3. My dad made a "deal" with me like that as motivation, and I would not advise it. In the case that your dad loses motivation and either doesn't lose the weight, or gains it back again like my dad, you may feel like this is a tool to support your own positions. For me, when my dad didn't hold up his end of the deal, even though I had gotten to a healthy bmi, I was so angry that he had not done what he had promised, and it hindered me keeping the weight on, as I began to stress about him again. So I would say think about why you are recovering, to manipulate others into healthy living, or to be the healthiest YOU can be? I know, you probably want both. But in reality, you can only change you. And your dad has got to want health from his HEART, just like you and recovery. If there's no heart change, there will be no life change!

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    4. Exactly, great advice :)

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  5. Super interesting post :) thanks!
    xxx

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  6. Do you find it easy to make friends in Sweden? As the kids in your class are 2 years younger than you, right? What do you miss most of from ireland? (your dad, guess, and your best friend?)
    Was it clear to your mom that leaving ireland would be for ever? Didn`t she have a partner over there? Where did she met her new husband? On what did both of you live in Sweden, did your mom get a job soon? What about your brothers and sisters, how many do you have and why don`t all of them live in Sweden? What languages do you learn in Sweden? Can you go to university after your final exams? Why did you choose to write your blog in English not in swedish?

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    1. Ill answer these questions in a post :)

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  7. It most probably is weight loss... it could be that you've lost water weight from walking or just because you've been eating differently.
    But the fact is, it is easy to lose weight... you most probably havent been eating as much as you should, but also its been a shock for your body to be away. You might not have worked out, but you said you would most probably be walking alot, so you've most probably done more exercise than you think.
    I mean when i was in NY i know i lost some weight even though i was eating what felt like alot, but i was doing hours of walking each day.
    As long as you dont keep losing weight, or this triggers anything, then its no huge deal. But try regain the weight, otherwise you might relapse, or slip back into bad behavuour again.

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  8. I'm really intrigued by your description of the Swedish school system. Does everyone get paid, or only older students? Same for length of school day - is it more consistent for students under sixteen? Because it would be hard to plan for childcare if your kid got out of school at a different time each day . . .

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    1. Im not so sure if the younger children get paid aswell... but i think its from the age of 7? or i really dont know!! But at times its the parents who get the money, as its like 'child support' as well... I think from the age of like 12 and up it starts becoming different times. But i guess it depends on the school as well. If you live in Stockholm and the city, you almost have to grow up qwuickly and are expected to be independant, and able to take care of yourself... like take your self home on the tube etc etc

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