When I was at my lowest I felt like no one could relate to me and I couldn’t relate to anyone. Confusion and loneliness hung over me like a swarm of bees on a hot summers day, threatening to swallow me hole. I felt like what I was going through was exclusive to me and only me, feeding into the overwhelming loneliness I felt. But was it exclusive to me? Is it? No, it most certainly is not..
1 in 5 people experience some form of mental health disorder in their lifetime. Thats a shockingly high number. Whats even more shocking is that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate compared with any other mental illness, meaning that they cause the greatest number of deaths, whether that be from complications brought on by the illness or suicide. The stark reality is that they effect so so many people.
If I knew that, why did I feel so alone when the reality is that the numbers of people effected is so high? The reason is as follows; I wouldn’t acknowledge, let alone admit, that I had an eating disorder. I convinced myself that I was fine and that there was nothing wrong. That was not the case. I ended up being referred to CAMHS where I recieved care in the community for a little over a year before being transferred to an inpatient unit in July 18. I remained in hospital for 7 months, spending my 17th birthday on the ward, before being discharged in February 2019. Throughout my inpatient admission, namely via lots of CBT and talking therapy, I slowly begun to accept that what I was struggling with was Anorexia. That alone was a hard pill to swallow. What was even harder however was accepting that there is no shame in having an eating disorder, nor does it define you. Learning this massively helped me in my road to recovery. It ultimately got me to the stage I am at now- in the best place both mentally and physically I think I have ever been in.
So, why am I telling you all this? Why do I make myself so vulnerable, telling my deepest thoughts to strangers?
I do it because:
- I want to use this platform to provide support to other people going through what I have been through based on the experience I possess in this field.
- I want to inspire people to embark on their road to recovery.
- But most importantly, I want people to know that they are not alone- not now, not then, not ever.
You can do this. You can get through whatever it is that you are going through. I know that right now it probably feels like your whole world is caving in around you, but things will get better, I promise.
Hang in there and stay strong.