One of the hardest things I have found whilst struggling with mental illness, is to tell the people closest too me what’s really going on. This is not because I have never trusted them but because I was afraid to admit I was failing. I didn’t want to fail my family, being the daughter that causes unnecessary stress and worry. I didn’t want them to have to look after me, especially with being the eldest child. And I didn’t want to appear weak.
But this is where I went so desperately wrong!
With having suffered from an eating disorder for many years, in different forms. Last year I had started to “recover?”, well kinda? I was eating slightly more (not enough) and exercising less. I managed to use the motivation of getting through my GCSE’s to pull me through and even though I was still unwell, I was in a lot better place than previous months.
However towards the end of the summer holidays things became increasingly difficult. I started restricting and exercising more. At this point it was the ideal time to have mentioned that something wasn’t quite right but instead I brushed it off and pretended everything was ‘fine’.
“FINE”, my most frequently used word…
But all was not ‘fine’ and things started to slip, I would walk for hours on end, would eat very little, exercise excessively and get rid of my food in any way possible. Looking back now, by this point, just a month on from when I started to realise I was struggling ,I was completely consumed by Anorexia. I wore baggy clothes and scarfs, got in my pyjamas when I got home from school and used ankle weights round my waist when being weighed. I could no longer reach out for help because simply I didn’t want too.
I believed losing weight was the only way to happiness, to feel comfortable and gain control over certain aspects of my life.
I was wrong!
The more weight I lost the more I felt isolated and alone. It was horrible. I had reached that certain point when you are no longer in control – just a slave to Anorexia. I was trapped in a living nightmare but if only if I had reached out and told someone at the start, they could have helped save me…
It was too late, I was digging my own grave.
Fortunately, I was admitted to hospital – although at the time it felt like the complete opposite. Looking back it was truly the only thing that managed to detach me from Anorexia and set me on the road to discover who I am again.
That being said, some people aren’t always as lucky as me with 10% of those suffering from an eating disorder in the UK dying. Yes, I myself never believed I would even end up in hospital but it happened. Also having spoken to other people with Anorexia or similar illnesses they also never thought it would happen to them either. As though it something you hear about but would never happen to you. But I think this just shows that if you or someone else doesn’t recieve help it can happen to anyone..
So please, my best advice is to reach out for help before it is too late. Dont suffer in silence however small or big you think your problem is. After all you wouldn’t hide a broken leg, so why should mental illness be any different?