Its purchase also coincided with the early stages of an eating disorder. The trip to Paris was a treat for my good GCSE results- higher than expected mainly because I'd starved and pushed myself to the brink in pursuit of "perfection". I came out the other side of year 11 having gained eight A*s, and lost almost three stone.
A lot of people tell me that I am "brave" for being so open about my mental health problems. But one of the reasons why I am open is because I don't want "brave" to be a connotation for opening up mental illness anymore. I want people to talk about their issues without being scared of people's reaction.
Cough, splutter, sniff, nose wipe, BOOM...eating disorder? Surely not. While the general consensus has always been that anorexia and bullemia are a little more complex than the common cold, recent studies suggest new parallels which indicate that, like your snotty nose, eating disorders might be somewhat contagious...could this be true?
I feel trapped... Trapped in my skin, trapped inside buildings, trapped inside myself and trapped in a body I absolutely despise and then comes the urges to attack myself. I declare war on myself. I self-harm and create scars as ugly as I feel, I go to sleep wishing I don't wake up so that I never have to see my reflection again or feel how my body makes me feel.
If you're thinking about taking a leave of absence, make sure you get a few different opinions, work out the reality of what it will mean (i.e. will you have to restart any modules) and try and hold on to the fact that often taking time out can be the strongest decision, rather than any sign of failure...
People tell you that things happen for a reason, often when the situation lacks any reason at all. I've been thinking a lot recently about life and it's challenges. The way I see it is that you live, you love, you often lose but then you continue to find a way to pick up the broken pieces or smooth the edges in order to live again.
Mental health problems can be so very isolating at times. Last week I was a bit of a social butterfly, catching up with three friends who I've not seen in far too long. Some days it's tricky, there have been times when seeing people has just been really hard and I've avoided certain social situations. This is a message to my friends...
From 2010 to 2013 I suffered quite badly with bulimia. I was always of average weight, so no body really looked at me any differently or noticed. It ended up getting quite bad, to the point where I was hospitalised at the end of 2011 with pneumonia and a collapsed lung - caused by the vomit that had been trapped in my chest area from purging all the time.
Many of us with eating disorders, like to personify the illness as a separate person or voice. 'Ana' for Anorexia and 'Mia' for Bulimia. Don't get me wrong; Ana is definitely not a 'friend' even though the internal voice I hear says otherwise. Personifying my eating disorder is definitely something that I found rather useful in my road to recovery.
I worry about my health, I know I could die, I know I could lose out on life and opportunities if I am not well enough to grasp them with both hands. It's a spiral and it's all spinning around my head and it's making me dizzy. I'm constantly out of breath. Exhausted. Exhausted by this mental illness.
The MHA should only be used as a last resort as a safeguard for any forms of harm as it deprives an individual from their liberty. If a patient is well enough to return home to their own freedom and independence, then they should have that option. I have strong views on this, having experienced it first hand.