Best selling author - Key note speaker - mental health & eating disorder advocate - Blogger
I’m the author of ‘Seconds to Snap’ which is the critically acclaimed & bestselling book accounting my experiences with anorexia and how I was able to reclaim my life from the brink of it ending - to live a happy and successful life.
I live in Scotland, and a passionate campaigner for mental health, and attend speaking events across the world as part of my global aim to raise awareness of the condition and help end the stigma around Mental Health issues.
My story is a message of hope and how recovery is possible.
I’m invited regularly on TV in the UK appearing on Lorraine Kelly, Channel 5, Jeremy Vine as well as national newspapers and magazines.
Talks in schools, universities and workplaces across the world.
Alongside supporting many families and sufferers on a one to one basis.
The Lancet Medical journals review has allowed me to work alongside clinicians in general practice as well as private hospitals and therapists helping many others.
The British Psychological Society invited me to become as a critical reader on guidelines around eating disorders in the UK
Brenda Chapman the creator/ director of Brave is writing the screenplay of ‘Seconds To Snap’ for potential movie options in 2018.
As a teenager I suffered terribly with anorexia and was sectioned into an adult psychiatric unit to keep me alive. By the time I was 20 years old I was ready to be integrated into society via a rehab unit as I had lost all my social skills.
My whole self flourished as each page turned. By the end of the book I felt like I was starting to understand myself and why my brain had created the monstrous anorexia. It allowed me to become mentally fitter each day and make sense of what had just happened.
I covered self-esteem, self-awareness, mental fitness, being non-judgmental, resilience, compassion and the power of positivity and the impact of how having all of this can help you through some challenging times in life you may or may not face.
In my talks I explain the whole journey and hope it helps others seek out further information that I know from experience can make huge differences to lives. The feedback I get from people is inspiring to me as so many have went out and really worked hard to discover themselves through various different ways.
To date raising all the children is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. It's been an honour for me to have raised them the best I could. I can honestly say hand on heart I've given it my best shot - also to watch them become happy adults has been everything I had hoped for.
It was a wonderful experience and I loved every minute. My very fair Scottish skin did not take too kindly at all to the glorious sun... My face developed what I felt at the time were the ugliest freckles. They were huge and sporadic. They had no regular path or shape. If they had I may not have been so conscious of them.
I tried to tell a friend for comfort and she told me I was a potential danger to her child so needed to stay away. I was devastated. I did not know what to say and simply withdrew further into my mental anguish, staying away from everyone like a shamed hermit. Silenced again by another person's opinion which I valued dearly at the time.
Since then, on many occasions I've heard many naive people say to sufferers or their loved ones: "Just eat something". Or stupid things like: "God I wish I could be anorexic for a few weeks to lose some weight".
Dubai is a remarkable city - vibrant, multicultural, intelligent, future thinking and led by a very smart man, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has wonderful foresight for his beloved country and its people.
They say all suicides are preventable by speaking out - reaching out. Having the confidence to open up about what you're going through is clearly the hardest thing for so many people to do as they fear the reactions of the loved ones towards them.
As a 13 years old teenager my family fell apart after a very violent divorce. Our house was repossessed and at times we had no money for food. I would raid the bins for bottles to help feed my younger sisters.
Never underestimate the impact just being there listening to someone can make a huge difference... Sometimes we all need to feel there is someone there to support us in a time of vulnerability without fear of judgement or stigma.
I think this is something that new mums fear especially if they have a previous bout of mental illness. I've spoken to many ladies who have felt this way and some who actually went through postpartum psychosis.
27/03/2017 14:54 BST
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