Story 1, part 2 – my way to recovery

Before I start, I just wanna say thank you everyone for all your messages, comments, calls everything. I was so nervous to post my first story especially because it’s probably the closest thing I keep to me but, after some messages my best friend sent me, I thought let me just do it! The response was amazing and everyone was so understanding and supportive ❤ so thank you guys!

I was confused on what to write next based on my previous post and was going to post another story but someone made me see this another way. The previous post was a lot about my experiences with Anorexia and how it affected me whilst I had it so I’ve decided that this post will be about my journey to over-coming it. I’m gonna be so honest because I still have problems with food and even writing the word ‘Anorexia’ makes me feel weird. It’s also hard to write a post on how I ‘recovered’ if you like because a) everyone is different and what worked for me might not work for someone else and b) I’m not 100% there yet so I wouldn’t wanna lie or make things seem like they’re better than they are but let me try.

Recovery was hard – eating was hard. I started by getting back into the routine of eating 3 meals a day which was hard because as well as the mental side to things, my stomach had shrunk. It was hard, but I used motivation of things I wanted to do in the future and how much I wanted to get there and if I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t have been at uni now, and met some of the fab people I know. As well as that, I did, and stuck to doing drama because it kept me distracted and sane. I’ve always liked the idea of acting like someone else because it kind of made me avoid being myself as weird as that sounds. So I act through characters. When you go through mentally challenging times, keeping busy with something you love doing keeps you going because it reminds you of your purpose. Keeping busy though, I’ve always thought that was a way of avoiding everything rather than dealing with the problem, but in fact, it’s what pushes you to want to do better.

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1st Year Uni exam exploring autobiographical performance with a fab group of people

Anorexia cut me off from all my friends because I didn’t want to face anyone and didn’t have the physical energy. Another thing part of recovery that helped was seeing people. This was hard, probably the hardest one; because of my thinking process, I thought when people saw me again after being a normal weight, everyone would notice I’d put on weight and comment on it. That made me so anxious because that was like my worst nightmare, it still is. Slowly, one by one, I saw people and it lowered that anxiety I feel from comments. When you feel like avoiding everyone, sometimes the best thing to do is try to fight that thought and push yourself to it because the feeling after is like no other. Almost makes you feel normal – despite how hard it can be.

Like I said, I’m not 100% there yet and do still find food situations hard. When I go out for a meal, I still look at the menu before to know what I’m having. Check nutritional information on food, avoid certain food situations like big family gatherings because it means I have no control over what I’m eating and breaks the healthiness I still focus on with eating. It still makes me panic, but what I can do now that I couldn’t when I had Anorexia, was fight that fear. It might be hard but I do it anyway because I feel accomplished rather than guilty for eating something I wanted to. Not every time, sometimes I feel so bad I avoid any food for the rest of the day; but, the difference between then and now is that I do it and it makes me proud.

It may not be the same but I hope it’s a little glimpse of hope for anyone who feels like they’re trapped in a mental state, it will get better and no matter how hard it seems, keep pushing so you can get there and look back on everything and think, I did it.

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Story one, Anorexia and me

I’ve had this written for so long… I’ve just not had the guts to post it but here it is.

In sixth form, I had a fab group of friends. We had some crazy times out, in school, there was never a dull moment, I loved it. Slowly though, I withdrew myself from everyone and people started noticing. I remember 2 of my good friends now, taking me aside and asking me if everything was okay and I exploded ‘yeah everything’s fine’. I was scared people were noticing something was wrong. (I appreciate that so much now btw guys x).

I’ve been uncomfortable in my own skin for a few years, small comments from when I was younger about how I look, being called fat and ugly (I know everyone gets that, its rubbish). One day, I decided to take a step to change, I wanted to take control so I started going to the gym. I went for a while, and got frustrated I couldn’t see any difference and wanted to take another route. So, I stopped eating. I tried to do it slyly so no one would notice, making my portions smaller, etc. I did this for a few months, and people started noticing. I’d go to sixth form and get comments like ‘omg you look amazing’, ‘how did you lose so much weight you look so good’. It was like a drug, the more comments I got, the less I ate because I felt good, I felt confident, I liked the way I looked. Slowly, things started deteriorating… my body temperature was always cold, my periods stopped, my hair was falling out, I didn’t want to do anything because I didn’t have the energy, I didn’t want to see anyone. All of this didn’t matter though because I felt good, I looked good. Then, my mum took me to the GP and I was fuming. All that control I had, was taken away. Constant arguments, and avoiding things. I liked the way I looked, and going to the GP was the same as her forcing me to eat, making me fat and I was so angry at her for it. I had Anorexia, and it was horrible. Being told I have to eat or die was the hardest thing to hear because it’s like I had no way out. I was going to die. Eating & putting on weight for me, was like dying, the thought was the same. I had 6 month’s therapy and didn’t tell anyone. I did my A levels throughout everything, I just acted like everything was ok. Food is something that you can’t avoid. If you’re claustrophobic, you can avoid busy places, food is everywhere. I feared lunchtimes at sixth form, especially when people commented on my food I would just want to sit alone and cry. I came home and argued and cried every day to my mum saying I felt unhappy and that I couldn’t do it anymore, it was too hard to eat, I didn’t want to because I was scared of putting on weight. I felt alone, like no one understood how hard it was to eat, how much I want to eat and be happy with it. I did the 6-month’s therapy, despite it being the hardest thing I have done, and am a normal weight.

Mentally, my mind is somewhat still confused and food is still challenging for me. I try to ignore it now but maybe that’s the wrong approach. Living with Anorexia is a thing, and that’s what I’m learning to accept. It’s a part of me and will always be in the back of my mind trying to control what I do and how I feel about myself. I have to just try my hardest to remind myself that it’s ok, and I am healthy now, I should do it in the right way not because I want to look a certain way, because I want to be comfortable being me.

This might sound cheesy but meeting someone, made me forget everything. I was so in the moment whenever I was with him it felt surreal how normal and happy I felt. I remember those initial few days so well and will never forget them because they made me feel like me again, like nothing had happened. It’s taught me to hold people like this close to me.

I’m still working on myself, but it’s ok to not be all there. A lot of the things I say to people, especially people closest to me, is influenced by everything. Have self-love and happiness in the centre of everything you do. Nurture your soul, this is my way of doing it. It’s okay to feel lonely, and if anyone reading this feels the same or somewhat similar know, you’re not alone.

Autobiographical performance

Studying Drama at Uni, this performance meant a lot to me because it allowed me to explore the things I’ve kept inside.

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Hello

Hello! I’m new to blogging, and I don’t know how to do this properly but let’s try. I’m here to share my mental health experiences with everyone and hopefully allow people who feel or have felt the same way to recognise themselves and know that they are not alone. Mental health is an important topic that we don’t speak about and I want to understand why. It’s just as important if not more than physical health and has its toll on you just as much. It can push you away from the people you love the most and make you feel lost within yourself, losing who you are. Let’s speak about it and be open!

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