EATING DISORDER AWARENESS WEEK 2019.
14 years ago, on the 14th of February I was admitted to an inpatient unit for anorexia at the age of 11. Little did I know at the time, that this would change my family and my life forever. 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder- a scary figure.
Each year the anniversary passes, I feel the weight of time lying heavy on my shoulders, because I am not better yet. 🕐 But I am also not defeated. In that time, I have learnt so much about myself, the people around me and it has given me an insight that some people will never have. You learn to value things like walking out your front door freely, to feel the sun on your skin, the smile of a loved one… the list goes on. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming surge of emotion when I enjoy these simple moments, we are so blessed to be alive. 👨👩👧👦
The thing about anorexia and every mental illness is that you cannot look at someone and know how ill they are. I think sometimes because of its complexities and the duration, it makes it hard to understand and also even harder for people to stick around and support you. Your life remains stagnant whilst everyone else moves on. Time doesn’t stop but for sufferers, life does. However, you don’t need to understand to be compassionate. Your struggles are different from mine, but they are still struggles. Be kind and patient with others. 🌸
The post isn’t a pity party, we all have demons. This week is about remembering all those who lost their lives in their battle with their illness. I wish you had received more help and I wish you could see the beauty that life has to offer, both in illness and health. For others, it is a celebration for those who have recovered or are in recovery. Life can be beautiful again. You are strong, you are worthy. It is celebration for all those parents, family members and friends who have shown up and continue to show up every day and endure, support and encourage their loved ones and friends. You are special, I thank you for not giving up on me. To my mum Jane, my dad, my brother Calum and the dug… there are no words. You are the most important thing in my life. ♥️
And to others, I encourage you to be thoughtful, and remember that there is always a greater story than what first meets the eye. That person who cancels plans, may simply be struggling. That person who doesn’t reply to text, may not feel worthy of company. That person who says no to a dinner date, may simply not be able to cope with that yet. Please do not give on them, I know it’s hard to understand but they are grateful even when their actions appear otherwise. 🙏
No matter what your struggles are, always remember that there cannot be a rainbow without a bit of rain first. There is always beauty within struggle and struggle makes us strong. Recovery is a long process, but don't let the length of time dampen your dreams. Please do not be ashamed of where you are at in your own journey and where you have been. I know I sometimes feel that way, and that is why so many people suffer in silence. You are not alone. Reach out. 🌈