Hello, I started to suffer from anorexia, bulimia and extreme exercise from the age of 17. Self-harm decided to join the mix in my 20s and 30s. Now, it’s more depression and I bloody pick endlessly at my fingers. I think surviving and generally coping with mental illness is rarely seen as courageous, when I think it is! I look back and feel very proud to have survived what I did, when there were times when I nearly didn’t. I find laughter a help; I mean you have to be able to find some humour in the evils of depression 🙂 I have also benefited from therapy to tackle the causes and find ‘coping techniques’ that I can actually use. And the Samaritans have helped for those moments in the middle of the night when I’ve been lost and living in the fog, the evil thing that many of us know all too well.
I find it sad that ignorance of mental illness continues. Only recently I had a debate on the Guardian with someone who said that people with eating disorders should ‘man up’ and pull themselves together. I think by being brave and talking about our illness we can overcome this and make the world a bit kinder when it comes to something that is so hideous but so common.
I’m coming to my first event in July. I’m looking forward to meeting some of you and I hope the sun shines!