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.