Things are looking up.

10 January 2018


So here we are, eight days into 2018 and it would be fair to say that for me, much like the latter half of 2017, it's been a little bit shit. I've been stuck in a pit of self-loathing and depressive darkness that I naively thought I had not only climbed out of, but left far behind in my past. 

2017 wasn't the best year for me - I neglected my mental health, turning a blind eye to its slow disintegration and my lack of self-care; especially around eating and nourishing myself properly. To have come so far, only to have depressive, anxious and anorexic thoughts creep up again, taking me under their dark wings whilst I pretended not to notice too much can only be described as disheartening. But, although I may be in the pits now, having got to the other side before, I know I can do it again. One's mental health is constantly evolving and adapting - it just takes a little work to get there.

No singular point sticks in my mind as a trigger, but in only a short amount of time, a lot of the old (and to be honest somewhat comforting) feelings came creeping back into my life. And once you've reached a certain low, there's a perverse lure to these diseases that makes it easier to sink and embrace them than try and fight your way out. 

Weirdly, I'm grateful that I had the chance to experience these feelings once again, because without reaching a 'rock bottom' of sorts, I don't think I'd ever have reached a full recovery - instead been left stuck in the semi-recovered life I was living. That's not to say that I haven't had amazing times over the last couple of years: I've travelled with my friends, got into university and had an amazing first year, moved away from home and became more independent, made new friends, partied, landed some amazing modelling jobs - the list could go on. But, all this has been achieved within the confines of my 'safe zone'. 

Whilst I managed to maintained a healthy weight and even relationship with food at some points, I've never fully come to terms with the way that my body should look at it's best, and continued to indulge in habits that really should have been broken far earlier. I won't go into detail for risk of triggering others with specifics, but the control I felt I needed wasn't allowing me to live to my full potential a lot of the time. It's only now looking back that whilst I do believe that I've been truly happy in parts, I was far too close to the cliff face which is relapse a lot of the time. 

So a shock was what I really needed to get me back on track - and that's exactly what landing in hospital after reaching my lowest weight in years gave me. From now on, I want to live without fear; with spontaneity, balance and a continual effort to keep my mental health in check, or at least seek help when I do start to need it. I'm not sure the scars my experiences have given me will ever truly fade, but an acceptance of the past and a conscious effort to better the future can only help. 

If thighs that jiggle slightly are the price I have to pay for eyes that sparkle with laughter, radiant skin and a warm glow in my bones, then it's a currency I'm willing to exchange in. Here's to never living a half life again.

Helplines if you or someone you know is struggling: 

Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 (24 hour)
Beat ED: 0808 801 0677
(Also have dms open for support @BeatEDSupport)
Sane: 0300 304 7000
Anxiety UK: 08444 775 774

A visit to your GP is also worth a go, even if the NHS sometimes have a long way to go in terms of mental health
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