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:


Friday, November 27, 2015

Mental illnesses need to be accepted and viewed as valid reasons

Yesterday evening i began thinking about how depression never really feels like a valid reason. It feels like even if i did say, "I'm sorry i dont feel like doing anything today because i am struggling to get out of bed" or "I am mentally so extremely tired today i dont have the energy to leave my house", it feels like those arent really accepted. I'm told to just take a coffee and leave anyway, because it will make me feel better. But if i say, "Sorry I am taking very strong medication for my physical illness at the moment which makes me very tired, i dont feel like doing anything tonight", that is ok. That is accepted and I am told to rest up.

In school i have always been allowed to take days off to focus on my CF care and health. i.e my physical health. But it is frowned upon to take mental health days even if you are stressing out completely. Of course i think some teachers and people in general are a little more accepting of this now a days, but some abuse this term and so can make a mental health day seem invalid for everyone else because others use it just to slack off of school.

Also it feels like it is more ok to say I am going to the hospital for my CF rather than, I am going to a therapist or an eating disorder clinic.

This may just be my own interpretation and doesnt mean it is this way for everyone. But for me, because i do have both a mental illness and a physical illness and ive had times i have said that i dont have the energy or dont want to leave the house and said it is due to energy levels, tiredness etc but that doesnt seem to be a valid reason. But when i say it is becayse of my physical illlness, then people are accepting of it and it is an ok reason. Such as in school, i have never been late with assignments or essays but i am pretty sure if i were late and i blamed it on my bad CF care then the teacher might accept it, but if i told the teacher i was stressing out completely and not feeling good mentally i would most likely be told that everyone else is stressed as well but got the work done. (This is a generalization, there are of course teachers who understand when you say that you are very stressed and need extra time or say that you need a mental health day. There are of course people who understand mental illness and dont see it as excuses or non alid reasons).

I also wanted to write about something which i have noticed which is that, people say they are understanding and supporting of mental illness but then once someone close to them suffers. (In this case i am taking depression as an example and from my own experience) Once the person becomes extremely tired and unmotivated, not as good at making plans or keeping in contact. Then people around them start to tell them to "snap out of it", that "it is just a phase" or begin to think that "this act is going on too long": They say they are understanding of mental illness but once someone is in the grips of one and starts showing the signs and symptoms, then the person isnt very understanding. They distance themselves from the person because they realise it might not be so fun around someone with a mental illness, they realise that depression isnt just black and white pictures and feeling a little sad for a week, but that it is so much more than that. And not alot of people are so understanding of depression and think that it is just a phase, or that happy thoughts will make everything better. (Of course, i do believe this HELPS, i believe positive thinking HELPS, but it doesnt take away the root problem.) People say they will help and they care but once the person begins to change or is not like their old self anymore, many dont seem to have much support at all. (Though i need to add in, that for people around someone who is struggling with a mentall illness. It is very tough for them as well, in a different way from the person with the illness, but still.)

Where do i want to go with this post? Well that there is so much stigma around mental illness, still. At times it can feel like people dont really care until someone takes their own life, and then suddenly they become really motivated to help get rid of the stigma around mental illness, or they say they will make a change but dont really. I think that mental illnesses should be a valid reason for not being able to do things.

Though, this is a fine balance because if someone is prone to blaming their mental illness for everything and then get a job and never go to their job and just blame their depression then it will make it very unlikely for the employer  to want to higher someone else with a mental illness.For example, even if i suffer with a mental illness if i had a job i would still go there and work the hours i was supposed to because i knew i needed to. It might happen that i take a day or two off if my mental state is very bad, but otherwise i would still work. But i want it to be ok for me to say, "sorry i dont plan on doing anything at all today and i dont really feel like meeting anyone because i am really struggling today and cant get out of bed and just want to be alone", i want that to be a valid reason instead of having to say 101 other excuses such as i feel sick, i have lots of work to do etc as those are more accepted reasons. Physical excuses/reasons are more accepted than mental ones, because most people think you can just "snap out of it". 

This is just a thought post about the stigma around mental illness and how i hope it changes over time and i want to be part of making that change. By spreading awareness and help.

Comment below what your thoughts or experience about this are. Are people understanding of your illness or do they disregard your reasons because they are due to your illness? Do you think people are more open or still dont really understand what mental illness is?

Now, the stigma surrounding mental health isn’t surprising – at all. A mental illness generally suggests that something is wrong with the brain. Our brain is our control center. It’s responsible for everything we do, and the idea of something being wrong with the brain generally suggests that we’re out of control. And as humans we hate that idea. We hate it so much that we just don’t talk about it. We sweep it under the rug and pretend that it’s not there. But it is. Mental illnesses are a thing. They’re real, and they’re very present. And we need to talk about them.
— Jack Harries


  1. I have the exact same thoughts about that topic! Nobody really understood why I needed a one year break from school because of my anorexia, especially when I was slowly reaching a healthy weight. Now I'm back at school and can't cope with life... And at school there is a boy who had a car accident some days ago and everybody understands that he needs to leave some lessons earlier (me too - don't get that wrong!) aah that makes me angry that people just "accept" physical pain as real pain -.-

  2. When I was at the height of my depressive illness a psychiatric nurse came out to see me on a home visit once a week. I remember her saying to me that people don`t react in the same way to a mental illness because they can`t see it, and she used to say if I had a broken leg in plaster they wouldn't expect me to function 100% - they would advise me to rest an generally try to make things more comfortable for me. She also advised me to think of my illness as "broken" that way I wouldn't feel I had to struggle on regardless of how I was feeling just because people expected it of me.
    Her words really helped me and I did manage to accept that people didn't always understand mental illness but that was no reason to feel worse about myself because of it - that it was ok to rest and take life at a slower pace without feeling guilt that I was letting people down. When you have a mental illness you have to become a bit selfish and put your survival first because sadly a lot of the time other people won`t do it for you. There is a stigma attached to mental illness and I don`t see it being overcome anytime soon for all the increased awareness. Sad but true and I think there has to be a whole lot of improved awareness to try to change people atitudes towards it.

  3. i feel guilty everyday for not working and feel like i have to justify myself, that they think I'm lazy and if they are working why shouldn't i - i feel so guilty and lazy and depressed that it takes so much out of me to keep going to keep eating to keep challenging that this feels all too much. I've tried working and every time I've ended up in hospital as my health takes a back seat. when health should be your number one priority why does it make you feel so guilty and lazy for saying you are taking time out to concentrate on your health? stuck on this one