Warning, some readers may find this post triggering.
Help can come from the most unexpected places. For years, I hid my struggles with borderline personality disorder and bulimia. Outwardly, I was bubbly, confident and relaxed, afraid of nothing and living every day to the full. In reality, there were some days where I couldn't even get out of bed. The only people that I allowed to see the "real" me were my poor mum and sister. They were the ones who picked up the pieces after a night of binging or drinking. They were the ones who bandaged my wrists and stroked my hair.
At university, mum and sis were not so readily available- the pressures of university life, drinking heavily and eating junk food started to get me down and I found myself "freaking out" in front of a guy I hardly knew. Hardly knew, but admired. He was the kind of boy that everyone loved, that made you laugh, that everyone secretly fancied. Instead of running away, he sat me down. I was mortified but he calmly told me about his anxiety. I listened as he spoke about his paranoia, low self esteem and the pressures he put himself under- I couldn't believe it!
You see, you never can tell who is suffering. We treat mental health issues with fear and embarrassment but I'm proud to say I battle every day. I lead a normal life and don't feel ashamed of my niggling thoughts or the silver lines on my arms. It's time to talk.