America here we come!!

With less than 4 hours before we leave for America I can hardly believe we’ve made it this far…. Never in the three years of us planning and cancelling this trip did I ever think we’d ever get this close to flying. Our holiday we dreamed of – Disney Orlando Florida.

From mums many cancer ops/ procedures, Natalie’s spinal surgery, my Grandads heart attack and to top it all off my eating disorder, it has been a tough few years for everyone. We’ve faced a lot together and that’s not been easy, many tears have been shed, hands held and fingers crossed…. we’ve laughed, cried, screamed and been left feeling empty.!

This holiday has been our motive, the light at the end, the goal or maybe even the beginning of better times? 

It’s finally here. 

I haven’t let myself feel the reality that yes THIS IS HAPPENING, I suppose I’ve blocked it out filling my time with anything but planning. I’ve avoided packing until made to and had minimal input in deciding how to spend our days.

I’m desperately trying to remain positive but still fear its going to be ripped from our grip… 

But my family are my anchor in rough waters – and maybe we weren’t supposed to have it easy. Maybe it was this way because we’re some of the rare few who can handle these tough times and still carry on regardless. Maybe rock bottom will be the foundations in which we rebuild our life. 

Maybe this will be the holiday of a lifetime…


Suicide Prevention Day 10th September

So today is suicide prevention day and I thought I would help contribute by writing this post. Having been in both general and an eating disorder hospital I was shocked when finding that a vast number of patients where either admitted for taking overdoses, suicidal thoughts or had a history of attempts.

It was an eye opener!

Being brought up in a society that sometimes does not takes illnesses such as depression seriously, it really concerned me that people where obviously unable to access the right support. Depression is a serious mental illness that like any other illness can come with different severities, symptoms and of course different treatment will be needed for each individual.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year and in a short term figure that’s one person every 40 seconds. For such a common issue people need to be made aware that being there for someone even when they appear disconnected or uniterested could be a life saving action.

There is a lot of stigma around suicide, Depression and other mental ilnesses with some viewing it as attention seeking, a sign of weakness or sefishness. This is just not true! Sufferers usually have battled with these thoughts for a while looking for a way to end the pain. They may feel the option of taking their life is the best thing for others or the last resort to stop the pain.

Some people may have no one to turn to as they feel too ashamed to admit they are struggling due to the stigmatization. By breaking this stigma we could help contribute to the reduction of attempts as people may feel more comfortable to reach out for help..

“But what could  do I’m no psychologist…?”

  • Listen – sometimes just sharing an issue can give a release to the sufferer. It will allow them to express their feelings and hopefully by talking about it, it might actually help them find another way to cope with the underlying issue.
  • Be trustworthy – there’s nothing worse than opening up to someone only to see your conversation on social media or shared round the local neighbourhood. Being able to trust someone enough that they do not have the added pressure of worrying about who will be told is highly important in reducing stress levels. But don’t keep information that could possibly leave the person at danger to themselves because that also would also be unhelpful.
  • Give the person space – dont pressure them into revealing anything they feel uncomfortable to do so. If they want to tell you something give them time to build up their courage without pressuring them into doing so.
  • Get help – ask professionals what the best thing to do in the situation and if intervention is needed then that is probably best for the sufferer.

There are many help lines that are open to people both suffering from suicidal thoughts and those around them that are also affected. Many are open 24 hours with someone available at almost any time you need them. Below I have listed a few of the most popular…

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a help line for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a help line, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

If you would rather speak to someone you already know or trust here are a few other options

  • Family member
  • Friend
  • Teacher
  • GP
  • Mental healthcare professional
  • Healthcare professional
  • Religious / faith leader

For anyone struggling or affected by the loss of someone it is important you reach out and find the right support….

”Suicide doesnt end the chance of life getting worse it eliminates the possibilities of it ever getting better with the pain passed on to those left behind…keep fighting the battle and you will eventually move through it”


“Your current circumstances don’t determine where you can go they merely determine where you start!”

So this week I have attended a group for people in recovery from Eating Disorders located in Bedford. I have met some lovely people since I first started going, built up my confidence as I have got on the train independently, I have developed new skills and also it has benefitted me by speaking to others who ‘get me’.

Just to clear things up for anyone thinking we sit in a circle moaning about our life problems for an hour its the complete opposite!

Each week I have gone we have participated in art activities like scrapbooking, canvas painting and on Monday this week a guy called Ben came in to show us something called Pyrography (aka; wood burning!).

Its been a great distraction attending and a great way to spend some of my holiday – Thankyou everyone involved!!

The pyrography was really interesting and highly therapeutic! We all engraved key rings with patterns and writing in between the time spent burning pieces of wood because it smells AMAZING!!!……

I would recommend it to anyone even just for the smell!! Aha!

Anyway…Ben like many other people has suffered from poor mental health but after seeking treatment he has gone on to help other people with similar difficulties. He started a campaign “Let’s Be Open About Mental Health To Break The Stigma” (like the page on Facebook) to try to get people to talk more about mental health, bring awareness and to let others know it’s okay to ask for help.

He battled for many years avoiding reaching out to others due to the stigma attached to mental health and feels (like myself) that it is extremely important to let others know help is available and it is possible to Recover.

‪#‎BreakTheStigma‬ ‪#‎MentalHealthAwareness‬

The group sessions have really opened my eyes to the vast amount of people who are, or have been sufferers. I have met people of all ages, genders, races and backgrounds who have been victims to mental health since I began my journey to recovery and it has shown me just how mental health can affect anyone.

Previous to my difficulties I would never have imagined I would suffer from a mental illness (I don’t think anyone does!) but it just shows you how we have no control over who gets taken by these demons.

It doesn’t matter how supportive their family are, who they are friends with or where they come from – mental illness DOES NOT discriminate!

Ben could be that genuine, friendly guy, living round the corner from you with every right to go through life living happy and care free! But no, this wasn’t the case when he suffered from an illness that periodically left him believing he had no hope tomorrow let alone a future. I could sit here all day asking questions of why such a lovely person happened to become a victim? But instead because I cannot change what happenned I am thankful of how he has managed to overcome the worst of it and gone on to inspire other (like myself).

His experience has made him who he is today and we should be happy that after the pain he’s been through the outcome has created a remarkably stronger person than before!

Stories like this I find remarkable and just help re-assure me that although things might not be perfect at the moment in time it can all turn around and I can achieve something whilst helpingto show  others the way…

After all “Your current circumstances don’t determine where you can go they merely determine where you start!”

Like this page on Facebook and help support  us in beating the stigma surrounding mental health!!! >>> Let’s Be Open About Mental Health