So over the past few days I’ve been reaching out to others with the opportunity to share their stories anonymously to give people an insight into mental health from different perspectives and different angles. Ive been very lucky to be contacted by one of our visitors who wanted to share their story. It’s a story that truly should remind us all of the importance of being kind. You have no idea what your words could be doing to someone.
“Don’t wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain.” I love this quote and its in my opinion the best way to live. I have always struggled with my mental health throughout my life. Growing up, mental health wasn’t something I knew about or that was discussed where I was from. The struggle with my mental health started with my self-esteem because I was bigger girl and I was very conscious about my weight. My close family made comments like “you would be so pretty if you were thin” or “it’s a shame you are fat, you have such a pretty face” I absolutely hated high school, it was during this time that my weight became an issue to me. Constantly getting bullied, from little comments, to having milkshakes thrown over me and being called “piggie”. I became so self conscious from a young age I started wearing Spanx and skin tight shorts to try and cover and suck in my fat. I wouldn’t change my clothes in front of anyone and I started isolating myself from friends and family.
In year 10 I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food. I started making myself sick after I had eaten, it had gotten so bad it was after every meal I had. I didn’t eat food in front of anyone because where it had become such a habit I couldn’t contain my nausea after eating anything. I hated my body so much I started to cut the parts I wish wasn’t there. Due to my focus being on what I looked like and being undiagnosed as dyslexic my grades started to slip.
After high school, I started working 2 jobs and I threw myself into work as much as possible. As a result of not looking after myself, the bulimia had turned to anorexia. I wouldn’t eat for days at a time and I used to track every single calorie intake and replaced food with caffeine. I felt like a burden and an embarrassment to everyone. At this point I didn’t realise I had anxiety and depression and I didn’t know how to ask for help. I had become someone I wasn’t and I didn’t know how to get me back. My eating habits had gotten so bad that when I went and seen family that hadn’t seen me for a while, they didn’t recognise me.
Thankfully I’m now in recovery. I still don’t like the way I look but I have the feeling of disgust regarding what I have done to my body, every time I look at myself. I am so grateful for the people around me now, they have saved me and I honestly think if I didn’t meet the people I have now, I wouldn’t be here today.
When I was sent this, I was speechless. Firstly for the incredible bravery of this person to be happy to share this story with the world, to help others and to make people feel less alone. Secondly, because doesn’t this story just prove how words spoken can never be taken back and they could affect someone’s whole life.
Please be aware there is a national bullying website http://www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk It offers advice for those being bullied and for parents if they believe their child might be being bullied.
Please also know there is help and advice out there for those with eating disorders. NHS website and websites like http://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk are among some of the pages with guidance and support for dealing with such disorder.
Don’t forget you can contact the samaritans if you feel you really need to talk to someone or you are suffering with your mental health by calling 116123.
In a world where you can be anything, please…..be kind.