So, at 14 I developed an eating disorder, I didn’t talk to anyone about this and even struggle talking about it now. At 16 my eating disorder completely spiraled out of control.
I faced my fears
I put on weight
It was one of the hardest and best things I have ever done. I feel better about my body now way more than I ever did when I was unwell. I can now exercise for enjoyment instead of punishment and can actually enjoy food. I still have a long way to go, I still struggle to some degree with my body image and with certain foods, but I am committed to changing that when the time is right.
Now at 21, I realise that there is a lot more to my mental health than I initially realised. I am depressed, anxious and have had my bouts of suicidal thoughts ever since my early days at 14, so I know I’ve still got a long way to go but every single step I am proud of and is completely worth every ounce of energy I put into it, because I know that through recovery my life can only improve. At 21 I still struggle to talk about my mental health mostly because of the stigma that is attached. I am currently going through a particularly bad spell of depression because of a few events which have happened recently and I have a lot of suicidal thoughts. I often long to talk to someone and often type out messages to friends explaining how I feel and then delete them because I am scared of how they might react.
Recently, I opened up to a friend about a few of these things and it turns out she’s going through a similar experience. So we are now supporting each other through the good times and the bad of recovery.
In hindsight, I’m beginning to realise that hiding away my mental health problems, just makes life even harder, having to lie and make excuses for your behaviors on a regular basis and having no support, always makes things worse. Opening up to my friend was a brilliant thing, because I now have someone to talk to, or someone who will simply talk at any time of the day to make sure I’m OK, someone who will understand when I say “I can’t make it out tonight” and doesn’t ask why. The relief of never having to make up an excuse or to feel anxious when faced with something that I’ll have to lie to get out of, is an immense weight off of my shoulders.
So, to whoever is reading this, who is screaming out for help but no one is hearing, who is typing those messages to friends and then deleting them, I urge you to speak to someone about how you are feeling. Anyone, because believe me it makes the world of difference.