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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Depression - guest post
My depression began a few years ago with a gradual decline of my mood and emotions. I was under a lot of stress at the time and was going through quite an emotional and unstable period of my life, which I am sure contributed to the
cause of it. At the time I was surviving, putting on a brave face over my troubles and trying to carry on as normal. For the most I succeeded, I was busy and energetic and to those who knew me no different, but inside I was slowly losing it.
I began to get very tearful and would cry for hours on end, my sleep was disrupted and I began to isolate myself.i had panic attacks. My appetite disappeared but still I strived to carry on as normal in my day to day life, it was only in the evenings when I was alone that I gave way to my feelings.
This went on for a while until suddenly things went downhill rapidly. Virtually overnight I went from being capable of struggling through the days in the face of others to not being able to cope at all. I lost all spirit of independence and was incapable
of the smallest task. My motivation was zero, my mood was at rock bottom, I wasn't really living, I was existing. I had no emotion apart from to cry - which I did frequently - and could not be left on my own. My partner had to take long term leave from work to look after me. Looking back it was a wonder I wasn't hospitalised at that stage. It really was a dark and awful time.
Two years followed of attendance at various mental health day centres and clinics. I was admitted to psychiatric hospital three times. The doctors struggled to get my medication right and I was prescribed many anti depressants before they found the right combination for me. When they finally did that was my salvation. I truly believe that I would not be here today if it wasn't for medication.
Living and coping with depression is tough. In my early days I had no choices to make, it was all done for me. I went to a certain day centre on a certain day, I took my medication when they gave it to me. At that early stage I was incapable of thinking and functioning for myself. Apart from help and support from medical agencies and my family, what got me through it was routine. I had a timetable of tasks I had to do each day - get out of bed, have breakfast etc and this routine gradually gave me stability as I had a reason to get up each day, if only to tick each check list off the timetable. It is very important whilst suffering from depression that you try to have activities in place, however small. You need to have that motivation forced upon you to do something other than ruminate with your thoughts and distraction is definately key.
I started CBT with my psychiatric nurse and that was very useful, although at the time I didn't understand it. I had to write my thoughts and feelings down then write next to it what I thought the outcome would be. Then my nurse would go through it with me and we would discuss what the real outcome would be, which was never the result I had written - the result of my dark thoughts and worries was totally unrealistic.
Over time my depression stabilised and I began to be able to function again. Through therapy and medication I have got to where I am now, but I can never forget those early dark days. To anyone suffering from low moods, anxiety etc I would say seek help as soon as possible - the earlier it is treated the better. Don`t put on a brave face and try to carry on regardless like I did because you are doing yourself no favours. There is no shame in admitting you need help.
Remember that even in your darkest days you will get through it, it will pass. Things that can help you are having activity to your day, have something in place to do every day so you have a reason to get up in the mornings - it is so easy to just want to stay in bed or not leave the house otherwise. Go for a walk, go window shopping, meet someone for coffee - anything to get you up and out of the house. If you feel a low mood or episode of anxiety coming on, distract yourself. Bake, listen to music, have a shower, colour, go for a walk - anything that can take your mind off the present situation. I remember phoning my crisis centre in absolute despair and being told to vacumn the house - at first I thought they were crazy, but you know it worked. Any physical activity will distract your thoughts away from your present mood.
Writing out your thoughts and feelings also helps. Don`t worry that it may not make any sense, no one apart from yourself is going to read it. And be kind to yourself. Don`t have unrealistic expectations of yourself, a broken mind (because that's what depression is) takes time to heal. Its ok to rest or nap during the day, or do something that you know you will enjoy. To survive depression I think you definately have to be a little selfish and put yourself first. You have to do the things you know that make you feel better, and if you`re the type of person that always put the needs of others first, as I was, that is a tough lesson to learn. But you have to learn to recognise your own needs and how important they are. Its ok to say no to things.
With help and support it is possible to get through depression, always believe that. Its not easy, its the toughest thing I have ever done. But work with the sources of help and support you have available it becomes easier over time. And never give up no matter how dark your thoughts or how desperate your situation appears to be. There is always help available be it from friends or family or medical help. And in times of crisis there are mental health organisations and helplines.
Never feel that you have to struggle on alone or that your thoughts and low mood isn't important. You are important and how you feel is important, you just have to find the courage to reach out for help.