Monday, 16 April 2018

My mental health story



I have always been a very anxious person since the age of around 10. With alot of trauma in my early life, I have had to fight with myself everyday to just keep strong, be brave and to keep going. Since the age of 11, I have suffered with an eating disorder. This hasn't been constant and there have been many years where I was recovered but it has always been there as a way of coping and of a way of controlling things around me when I felt overwhelmed.

Back in September, I started to feel that familiar out of control and completely overwhelmed feeling. I felt like i was failing at everything I was doing. I put so much pressure on myself to be the best at everything and I couldn't live up to my own expectations. I felt that everyone else thought the same and that no one really wanted to be around me. I fought hard with myself to put those feelings aside and to carry on but no matter what I did, I just couldn't win the battle. It is so hard because it really isn't you making those decisions to skip a meal or to not eat for the day. I so desperately wanted to because I felt so poorly but there was something stronger in me that made those decisions for me and there was nothing I could do. The weight dropped pretty quickly and I had lost two stone within the next two months. I was regularly passing out, I would get in from work and just lie down for the rest of the evening and I was so out of touch with reality that I couldn't make simple decisions or focus on anything without becoming panicked or confused. It was a living hell and there was nothing I could do to get myself out of it. I felt like screaming and shouting and I just wanted it to all go away. I wasn't sleeping and I wasn't eating and my body was just shutting down. I could feel my heart racing and I was having chest pains and headaches and I felt dizzy all the time. I would have to sit in the bath every night to stay warm but it hurt so much as my tail bone and spine grinded into the bath. I would just have to sit with my arms around my knees, shivering and in pain. I lost my passion in everything. I didn't want to go out, I didn't want to blog, I didn't want to pick up my camera. I just wanted to stay lying down and any energy that I did have, I would exercise. I would go for long runs or run laps up and down my hall way for hours when my husband wasn't home. Running up and down the stairs as many times as I could before I felt like collapsing and doing as many star jumps in my kitchen as I could before I felt like collapsing. I was so miserable and alone and didn't think there was any way I being better. I was preparing myself for the worst and, in all honesty, I didn't think there was any way that I would get better. The thoughts and voices were too strong and I had started to just give up.



I was so very lucky though because my family, friends and work colleagues all gathered around me. There were interventions, meetings, stern words, shouting, crying and I was sent to see doctors and I had weekly blood tests and I was admitted to an outpatient treatment programme as well as therapy and weekly weigh ins. At that point, I hated everyone for making me go and I did cancel or not turn up to many of those appointments. I was so angry and I am not an angry person. I just felt that they all wanted me to get fat and were ruining all the hard work I had done. My husband was threatening to admit me to a hospital and so were the doctors and I had reached a point where there was no were else to go apart from up. I had an awful day at work. I just couldn't concentrate on my job and I made a few big mistakes during the day. I actually thought I was going to be fired and I went home that evening and I couldn't have felt any lower. I just didn't know what to do and I didn't know how to get better but I knew that I was losing my life and that I had to stop. It wasn't fair on the girls or my family or my friends. I was letting them all down which caused even more anxiety so I just cried in my husbands arms and begged for help. I begged him to help me to eat something and to help me keep it down. I begged him to help me live! I started to eat little bits. The weight went on so so quickly and I was so freaked out and hated to even look at myself. I had messed my metabolism up and my body was holding onto everything. But I knew deep down that my body needed the food and it needed the fat for me to survive. So i gradually started to eat a little more and more and after two months of recovery, I am not weight restored. I am at a healthy BMI although it is still on the very low end but I look healthy. I have muscle again and my cheeks are not caved in. My chest bones don't stick out and my arms don't look like they might break!

I am now seeing a hypnotherapist who is the most wonderful and amazing lady. She has given me a whole new lease of life and I just wish that I had started to see her years ago. Being able to talk and not feel judged has been wonderful and I am now starting to deal with my anxiety and I am starting to deal with the trauma that I experienced and buried deep inside me. I am starting to feel like myself again and I am making plans and goals and going out on adventures and blogging and taking photographs. Recovery is tough and there are still days where I do struggle but I am working so so hard to be the best version of myself that I can. My friends and family really did save my life and I am so grateful to be here, writing this and to be living.

If you are looking into therapy, there is a wonderful website called Betterhelp which helps you find online therapists. Invest in yourself and your mental health and happiness. You will be so grateful to yourself for doing it. I am!


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7 comments

  1. So pleased you were able to share this, lovey, and even happier that you're on the road of recovery. It takes remarkable strength to turn things around like you have. I hope they just keep getting better and better from here on!xo

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  2. So much love to you, Keri-Anne! So much love!
    Stay strong, never stop fighting! Life is so worth living, for your girls, for your husband and most of all, for yourself!
    You are a strong and beautiful woman! You deserve everything life has to offer!

    HUGS
    /Michelle

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  3. You are so,so brave - for fighting on and sharing your story. Keep steadily going and do be gentle on yourself too. Xxx with love xxx

    Keep calm and start writing ~
    www.23milymay25.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. Many, including those who treat and support them- and the mentally ill themselves, frequently - see the mentally ill as weak. Mentalism Minds

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  5. You are brave and beautiful to share this. I was pooling up and nodding all the way through reading it. Thank you for hanging on, for fighting, for choosing to live. You know that the world (in addition to your family) needs you, and needs you just the way you are. When I went through a dark time several years ago (I remember my mother saying, "Promise me you will eat one meal a day and drink one glass of water every two hours"), I found the following tumblr site to be a lifeline: http://the-healing-nest.tumblr.com/. May God bless you, continue to heal and guide you, and fold you in His ever-loving arms. Thank you for all that you do. I love your blog and art-life. And I'm so thankful that you are still here with us to cheer, encourage, and inspire us. You inspire me. ♥

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  6. p.s. Also, I think this really can reset how you see yourself, google images for the following full-figured beautiful women, and save off your favorite photos of them: Sophia Loren, Kate Upton, Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Bardot...think healthy, sumptuous, luxurious curves. You said it so well when you said, "it really isn't you making those decisions..." There really is something else doing it, so refocusing away from that something and heading determinedly in a different direction seems to help. Sometimes it is like you just want to sit and cry for yourself because you won't let yourself eat, and shutting down everything else in life that you can until you have enough time for self-care and slowly rebuilding yourself bit by bit helps, too. And sneaking in nutrients every time you have the least opening or window of opportunity, the rest of the time, eating anything that sounds appealing enough that you will actually eat it...pudding, pie, comfort foods, then sneak in any veggies that you can tolerate. Comfort music (favorite Christmas music any time of year), comfort books, comfort blogs. Well, I know you know.

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  7. An ancient book of secrets that can really help: https://archive.org/details/introductiontodefran

    You are a candle...protect the flame.

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