Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Helping someone with mental illness - friends, family, partners, carers

Helping people with mental illnesses is sometimes so frustrating. And this goes for myself as well... i was the worst when i was sick. It didnt matter what people said to me or how people tried to help me... it just didnt sink it. I didnt care what they said, i was so wrapped up in my eating disorder. Words didnt help me and advice was barely useful as i didnt accept it or put it to action. I had case managers get angry and irritated at me... wondering why i couldnt just eat at home? What was so hard about it... but everything was hard about it. I couldnt just eat... it wasnt that simple.

My mum and sister both got very irritated at me and my dad often cried when he visited me in hospital.... the frustration they felt at me, i can sometimes feel that when i blog or answer emails. Its the frustration where you so badly want to help, you want the person to feel better, you want them to experience a better life and you want thing to get better for them. But it also means that they have to do something different and its them who has to face the fears.... which i know from first hand experience, really isnt that easy. And i think that is important to remember for friends, family, partners and carers of those who have mental illnesses. That you need to be patient and supporting, because no matter how frustrating it is and how irritated you may feel... shouting or getting angry at the person wont help. Instead you need to remember how tough it is for the person who is struggling, and all you can do is to support them. Whether they choose to accept the help or not or choose to listen to the advice or not is up to them. But you can not make the person recover even if you can force them into treatment it doesnt mean they will recover unless they want to recover and choose to accept the help.

Helping people with mental illnesses isnt easy... because things that are easy for "normal" people isnt easy for people with depression. Eating, sleeping, getting out of bed, resting, leaving the house, brushing your teeth.... those things aren't always easy and people don't always understand that. Sometimes just getting out of bed is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of that and people supporting you should be proud of that as well. You dont recover over night, its small steps forward. And it can be frustrating when you care about people and they start to go back wards but all you can do is support them and try to help, but know that it is their journey (this is a reminder for myself when it comes to helping many of my readers... i so badly want to help you all and just wish you all the best, but i have to remember that i cant bend over backwords and try to do the work for you. All i can do is give advice and whether you choose to follow it or not is up to you. But it is a tough journey and actually putting advice or facts to action isn't always easy, its about having blind faith almost and giving things time.)

But also i am thinking about how frustrating, in a sense it must be for those around me at the moment.... granted i amnt very open about how i am actually feeling or what i am going through. So they just think i am a grumpy teenager (though i think my mum knows). But for me, i can only imagine how annoying i must be if i had a close best friend... or even for my boyfriend. Just how irritated they would feel at me.... never answering, barely speaking, having little energy, never really smiling, being very withdrawn at the moment. If my best friend were to do that to me i would be frustrated, because i would so badly want to help her/him and know that there isnt much i can do apart from support them. But it is tough to be around someone who is struggling, just like it is tough to struggle yourself. I am basically in both situations... everyday helping others who are struggling and so badly wanting to help them, while at the same time struggling myself.... its so weird to so badly want to help others but not wanting to help myself. And THAT is the frustrating thing... for both myself and those around me, when i dont really want to help myself..... and that is what people get frustrated over with at those who suffer from mental illnesses when they dont want to recover or dont do anything towards recovery. Because from an outside perspective and from someone who cares alot about that person it is awful to see someone wasting away, wasting their life and not doing anything about it.... and especially when you really want to help the person.


Anyway, what i basically wanted to write was that it takes alot of patience to work with people who have mental illnesses and for friends, family or partners of someone struggling who are reading this blog/post. Dont get angry at the person who is struggling, it wont help the situation... all you can do is support them, give them advice and try to help them, but you are not the one doing the hard work. The decision to recover and to fight the demon inside their head has to come from them. But also know that you cant go completely out of your way to try to help someone, you also need to think of yourself and what your limits are.

I also want to mention to those of you who are suffering, know that it is also tough on your friends and family around you.... those who see you struggle and suffer. Those who so badly want to help and would do anything to see you get better but dont know what to do. It is tough on them, and so if they get angry at you, try not to get angry... just know that it is a very emotional and tough situation for everyone and everyone feels differently. This was just a little extra note!

6 comments:

  1. This is so true. Mental illnesses are a real struggle for those who love you. It´s hard because they don´t understand the fight you are fighting inside and they don´t understand why you can´t just eat or just be happy. I´ve experienced that moment when my mom just gave up on me, she said to my face that she did´t care anymore. She said that if I want to starve to death she won´t try to stop me and that my illness had lost all meaning to her. This was after I started to relapse after getting a bit better. she was so disappointed in me the I was´t cured even after spending months at the hospital. She got so tired of trying to help me when it was no use. At that time I had been diagnosed with anorexia, depression and anxiety disorder. This hurt me so bad and almost pushed me over the edge. Now after some years I do understand my mom, she just got so tired of seeing the real me disappearing under anorexia. And she got so tired of being constantly worried and hurt herself. She wanted distance and a break from all of the illness around me.
    In reality she couldn´t not stop caring and now 3 years later I´m so much better, free of all medication, no hospital or clinic contact and almost fully recovered.
    Still I do have some really bad days that makes me want to give up but also a lot of good days.
    But so so true that being near people with mental illnesses can feel overwhelming and can make you say things you don´t mean. But maybe seeing that others are hurt can motivate for trying to get better.

    I wish strength for all of who are struggling and also those who have some one close to you struggling <3 There is hope!

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  2. Izzy, I know that there is somewhere a post about the "tourning point in your recovery, where YOU started to want to recovery somewhere in 2012?).
    But I actually can`t find it anymore. Would it be possble to link it again?

    Thanks for all your help, you are so great, wish you ALL the best!!!

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    Replies
    1. Not sure if you mean this post : http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/03/when-i-chose-to-recover.html ? ::)

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    2. Thank you so much! Hve a nice weekend!

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  3. love and support to you and all the other people struggling
    (from someone who reads along, and thinks of you) x

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  4. First off, Izzy, thank you for being an amazing person. I really appreciate your blog and all you thoughts.
    This post was really relevant to me, as I have been struggling with whether to tell my friends about my ED. I'm recovered, but side effects still occur;) I feel as though I'm hiding something from them by not telling them, but I don't know how to breach the subject. Any advice?
    Take care of yourself! Hugs and smiles!

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