“Look After Yourself”

It’s hard to know how to start your very first blog post, and especially the first sentence. Do I state the obvious or do I build-up the way a novel does, ending on a cliff-hanger? Then I realised that there is no right or wrong, correct or incorrect. It’s just about telling the truth and if this stops one other person from feeling like they are the only person with a mental health condition from feeling absolutely alone and misunderstood… well then I have served my duty as somebody who has travelled far on a journey towards health, bouncing back and forth between the darkness and light.

So I suppose you are likely here to read my story because either you know me, are intrigued by what little you have so far read or have stumbled upon this. If you are reading this because you feel alone, scared, abandoned, confused or unable to even label the feeling then I will do my best to help you feel better, even if just for a moment or two. It might not feel like it but life is worth hanging onto in even the worst of times if only because no particular emotion will be there forever, and eventually will change. Perhaps that means anger will turn to sadness, but it is also a possibility that sadness will turn to something pleasant like happiness.

Not for one moment would I deem myself to be educated enough in the subject of mental health to truly make a difference but if I can persuade you through my words to seek out support (if needed) then this will be worth it. I’ll include some useful links at the end, but for now I’ll tell you a little about myself and what I have been through.

My name is Emma and in the main, I am in recovery from anorexia. I have also experienced bulimia, anxiety, depression, OCD and paranoia to name just a few of the battles I have had to confront. Essentially this blog is not going to be a deep, intrinsic account of my life or my family, but my experiences in general. I’m writing a book that will go into the (I’m pausing here to search for the appropriate word) harsher aspects of what my journey has been, but for now that is not what this is about.

To feel so horrible about yourself that you think it would be better if you didn’t exist is an awful sensation from within the depths of your heart. I know that were it not for the support I received from my loved ones and professionals that I would be dead by now, which is no exaggeration. Like I said though, this isn’t all about me but it is about what I have learned along the way.

My number one piece of advice would be to talk to someone. It doesn’t make a difference if that someone is a stranger or somebody you know. If you are based the United Kingdom you can call The Samaritans for free on 116123 before you make that drastic decision to hurt yourself. Before I was ready to tell anybody the extent to which I was suffering, I called them and they persuaded me to give life another chance and to seek help, which I did. I couldn’t even tell you whether the individual I spoke to was male or female because things were so difficult that they are nothing except hazy, but I do know that they calmed me enough to be able to sleep for a few hours.

What you need to try and get your head around is the fact that there is always somebody who cares about you. Thinking about the fact there are so many suffering that I am powerless to help or aid at all is something heart-breaking, and from a conversation I had with a friend, I know that she feels the same. There we go, that’s two more people than you realised were there, right? Oh and please don’t use the excuse that we don’t count as we don’t know you- it doesn’t matter one iota!

Please don’t give up. Even if your only reason for surviving the next twenty-four hours is the fact that you have read this then use that. Anything that stops you from turning away from a destructive method is what you need. Maybe it is a childhood toy, teddy bear, Disney film, rock tunes or uplifting words from a favourite book. Whatever works for you!

As promised the useful links are-

The Samaritans- http://www.samaritans.org/

Mind- http://www.mind.org.uk

Beat- https://www.b-eat.co.uk/

I’ll do my best to get back to you if you would like to get in touch as well to provide a sounding board. Stay strong.

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Author: lookafteryourself

Mental health blogger

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