, September 29, 2016

Kirsty - Break the stigma

Today, I have received the most exciting news which I cannot wait to share...

I am being discharged from my eating disorder unit next month!!!

Being told this today was one of my most happiest and most proud moments in my recovery so far, because of...

  • the idea of finally being free
  • getting on with my life and
  • enjoying all the things I used to.

But it also left me with an overwhelming anxiety over…

  • the fear of things getting out of control again
  • ending up back in hospital
  • leaving the constant support of all the staff behind and
  • lastly saying goodbye to some of the kindest people I have ever met.

In this post I’m going to explore how discharge still only means the beginning of recovery...

As those of you who know can now see I am now much more confident and outgoing than I was previous to admission. I have done things recently that I would never have dreamed of doing, not only because I barely had the energy to walk but, because I was consumed by social anxiety

This is something I haven't really mentioned to many people as I have managed to hide it in such a way that people would laugh if I told them. Firstly, I would like to to say not all mental illnesses are obvious, and just because someone has social anxiety it does not necessarily mean they are socially award. In fact, over the years the way I have coped with it is in quite the opposite, and if you asked anyone I knew they probably wouldn't expect it. I am not ashamed of this because it is a very common problem amongst people of all ages and can come in various severities and forms. This can be from getting a panicky feeling when going out with friends or paying in a shop, to the fear of seeing anyone at all.

Likewise with anorexia – just because I am getting discharged and my weight is now restore does not mean I am magically cured. See, this is the misconception with eating disorders, as many people assume just because you're eating and a healthy weight, things are perfect. However, it can be quite the opposite as people who experience eating disorders may still have to battle daily with the thoughts of restricting and losing weight, not because they are giving up but because anorexia convinces you this will make you happier, more comfortable and better able to handle situations.

But with my first hand experiences, anorexia does quite the opposite, not helping in the slightest. It just worsens your ability to think straight and cope with everyday life, making it especially difficult for people in the midst of their eating disorder to understand that recovery is possible and won't make things worse. This can be frustrating for carers.

I thought by sharing this today it would give you an insight into how things aren’t always what they seem, and show that no matter what size, weight or age people are, it is always the right time to reach out and help them if they are struggling…

“Discharge is only one step closer to the finish line and I’m racing towards it!”

Kirsty blogs regularly at embracingauthenticityblog.wordpress.com

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