I had a few posts planned for this week, but today I just feel like getting a few things off of my chest.
First of all, I’m really ecstatic to have a few new readers around this site. I am loving getting your feedback and I really appreciate you all taking the time to stop by and hang out.
Last week was really terrible for me. I mentioned that I had gone off my meds for a few days, which I knew wasn’t a smart decision.
Still, there was a part of me that thought I might be better… that maybe I didn’t need them.
I was wrong.
I brought this up on Facebook and mentioned it on the radio show, and it brought about some interesting conversation.
I knew it was a polarizing topic, but it was really interesting to hear everyone’s experience and points of view.
Regardless of your stance, I do think mental health is something we all need to be talking about. It’s not something to be embarrassed about, and it’s not something you should feel like you have to hide. (Unless you want to)
For me, it has helped immensely to be open and ask for help. I know that everyone’s situation is different, as well as everyone’s needs.
It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling on and off with various degrees and manifestations of eating disorders for the last 17 years.
I didn’t receive any sort of treatment for the first 12.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have health insurance… and my parents would have done anything in their power to get me well had they known the severity of the situation.
It saddens me now to know how open and supportive my family and friends have been towards my situation. But back then? I was scared. I knew that I had a problem(s), but I didn’t want to be seen as different or “less than” or sick.
I think women with eating disorders especially have a difficult time with perfectionism. It’s part of the disease.
For a while, I thought I had beaten my eating disorder on my own because I stopped purging. But I took to abusing food in other ways and became extremely unhealthy and overweight.
Even then, it wasn’t talked about. People tip-toed around my bulimia and people tip-toed around my “fat.”
My father eventually took me aside and told me gently that he was worried about my health. At that point, he vaguely knew that I had a history with bulimia, so I know he was worried that the conversation would be triggering.
That conversation was difficult. But that was the first time I realized that people cared about me and about my well being… and I knew that I had a support team and that I didn’t have to be alone.
A few years later, and after a drastic weight loss, I found myself back to my old restricting and bulimic patterns. I kept it quiet at first, but after a while; I knew I couldn’t deal with it on my own.
I also knew that my parents would be understanding and supportive. They were worried,sure; and weren’t sure what their role should be, but it helped just having someone I could talk to if I really needed it. I didn’t feel completely alone.
It’s still difficult for me to talk about. It wasn’t until recently that I started opening up to my boyfriend and a few friends, and talking about it here.
Even now when I’m going through my most difficult times, my first inclination is to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to appear strong.
Still, I’ve learned that the more open I am, the less strong a grasp these disorders have on me.
My point to all of this is-it really made me happy to have gotten so much feedback from others who have had some experience or another with facing their own disorders and mental hurdles.
Medication works wonders for some. For others, not so much. Some of us prefer therapy or support groups. Some of us are dealing with eating disorders or addictions. Some of us are depressed. Anxiety Ridden. Obsessive Compulsive. Attention Deficit Disordered. All of the above.
We’ve been abused. We’ve been ignored. We’ve felt shame. We’ve felt paranoid. We’ve felt that we weren’t good enough.
We’re all on some sort of journey.
And while yes, I agree- the smarter choice would be to talk to a doctor before quitting all of your meds at once- it’s a much more pleasant world when we can talk about our experiences.
I wish that I had known earlier in my journey that I had a community of people that I could lean on. I still have a ways to go, but I’m not so scared anymore.
Keep sharing your journey. Whether it’s to a friend, a therapist, a doctor, a support group or social media.
We’re all in this together.