Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018

anxiety, depression, eating disorder, Uncategorized

The 26th of February to the 4th of March is Eating Disorder awareness week.

As many of you will know this is a topic incredibly close to my heart. My battle with eating disorders began in 2013 and still impacts my daily life today. I’ve been recovered from anorexia for over 3 years now, but every day is still a battle, to remember that food is fuel and I am worthy of it.

Like me approximately 1.25 million people in the UK alone suffer from an eating disorder; about 11% of these people are male. Anorexia ruined my life, it took away my friends, hurt my family, caused me to lie, my hair fell out in handfuls, I’d faint upwards of 10 times a day, my fingernails were blue and despite it being summer, I would remain locked in my room with the heating full blast. On the 13th of October 2014 I entered anorexia recovery. Ever since, I’ve remained within a healthy weight range with large fluctuations, so psychically I am recovered and have been for a long time. However, I am a long way off being recovered mentally. Whenever I’m stressed it’s like a default setting, I somehow end up back at food restricting or binging, fighting.

Physically anorexia has left a lasting impact. I fractured my pelvis, this was an insufficiency fractured caused by my weakened bones. This triggered a condition called chronic functional pain syndrome, which leaves me in pain everyday without an organic physical cause. Despite still struggling everyday with my disordered eating and thoughts, I am in a better place. No matter how bad things are, I now realise I HAVE to eat, to live, to laugh and enjoy every single moment of life I can. Food is not my enemy, I am not defined by a number.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder I urge you to seek help, as overwhelming and daunting as it may seem, once you make the first step in asking for help, you can begin to not only recover from but understand your eating disorder. I am so pleased to say recovery has been a rough and rocky road, but I’m still here, still fighting, still beating my battle every day. For more wonderful information about eating disorders or to learn more about Eating Disorder Awareness Week please visit the BEAT website.

PS: Thank you if you have read this far, and I would like to apologise for my lack of activity on my blog; However with my current university commitments it is hard to post regularly. I hope you are all doing well,

Love from, Emily x

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The art of silence. 

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Where does silence live? It’s certainly not something that habitates in London. The home of 24 hour establishments and light pollution, where sirens never sleep. Every morning, I sit outside with a cup of tea and my messy bed hair. Come rain or shine I’ll be there; for that is my 10 minutes of sanity, of soulitude. It’s the breathe of fresh air as I rise to conquer the dawning day. I collect and arrange my thoughts to the sound of traffic, sirens and the manic mundaneness of a Monday.  You may wonder what leaves me so content, a mug simply steaming in the morning sun; that’s enough to keep me grounded, my anchor to the earth. These morning endeavours are merely a shadow, for the bigger picture is the art of silence.
Of an evening you may find me, in my garden somewhere in London; still pondering my thoughts. As the nights get lighter I’ll still be there, perhaps accompanied by a notebook or a sketchbook, putting the world to rights in my own sacred bubble. There comes a moment; when the art falls, when the sky is dark, as silence exists. A brief break in the madness of society. Everything stops. The art of silence, for a moment everything is right in the world, you bask in the nothingness as you feel your perspective shift.
The world returns to rotating, the traffic begins and the sirens commence; I stare down into my milky tea stained mug, and I’m brought back to reality. Sometimes I sit and wonder, wonder why we crave soulitude, wonder if silence is a universal language and doubt my own capabilities.
If you’d give me the chance, I’d paint you a picture; a canvas of every piece of humanity, of the sweetest love story ever told, of the most pristine picturesque landscape.  Maybe words fail me, yet that seems pretty apt, for the purest form of art at all; is the art of the silence. When the picture is complete, I’ll gift it to you and you will see the world through my eyes, and there will come a time…

When you are sat alone thinking in nothing more than your own existence, you’ll remember the picture I painted, you’ll remember the story I told you once about the time the earth stood still. Treasure the moments when they fall, and appreciate the art of silence.

 What will I ever achieve ? 

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Recently I have been struggling with my anxiety. This is a rather unusual occurrence as never before have I experienced anxiety without depression. Having anxiety independently is a new thing that I have had to get my head around. 

I’m constantly running on high anxiety at the moment. If I were a car; anxiety would be my fuel. I’ve been having panic attacks of various intensities, and also in the middle of the night. These panic attacks were starting to make me doubt my capabilities; and I began to wonder what I would ever achieve. 

This lead to me thinking and I decided to dig a little deeper. 

I began to research inspirational famous people who suffer or have suffered from mental illness. I embarked on a mission to prove to myself that mental illness doesn’t eliminate your chances of success. I compiled this list of famous women who suffer from anxiety:

  • Adele- Anxiety and severe anxiety attacks (Adele has actually turned down opportunities of gigs due to her anxiety. 
  • Jennifer Lawrence- Social anxiety (Saw a psychiatrist for her anxiety.)
  • Taylor Swift- Anxiety surrounding relationships 
  • Leona Lewis- Depression and anxiety 
  • Madonna- Panic attacks 
  • Emma Stone- Panic attacks (She received therapy, but says acting helped her.)
  • Oprah Winfrey- Panic attacks 
  • Ellie Goulding- Panic attacks (Ellie attended therapy and took medication to help manage her anxieties.)
  • Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella)- Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Megan Fox- Panic attacks (Megan uses music to help relieve her anxiety.)
  • Kristen Stewart- Anxiety (Kristen suffered from anxiety during her teen years and describes herself as a control freak at the time)
  • Kate Moss- Anxiety (Kate also had a nervous breakdown around the age of 18.)
  • Demi Lovato- Anxiety and panic (generally in large crowds.)

So if you are ever in the position where you are left doubting your own capabilities due to anxiety, remember some of the most successful people in the world suffer from anxiety too. You are never alone. Despite how isolating mental illness can be, you are never alone. You can be successful and you will achieve things, no matter how big or small. Ignore that negative voice in your head; just always try your best, and you will be amazed of what you can achieve. So appreciate every little victory and shoot for the stars. 
Love from, Emily x 

What is wrong with my physical health? 

#dearmescheme, anxiety, art, asd, aspergers, autism, community, death, depression, disorder, eating disorder, humanity, Illness, mental health, mental health issue, positivepostits, support, Uncategorized

Hey, 
It has been far too long since I last updated this blog; a lot of things have happened. In terms of my mental health I am doing better than ever; unfortunately the same cannot be said for my physical health. 
For 5 years on and off I have suffered from seemingly undiagnosable pain. Generally in my left hip, however it has also appeared in my arms and legs. The past month has been by far the worst pain I have ever felt. It is no longer intermittent, I am now crippled with widespread pain, fatigue and headaches, I feel trapped. 
After numerous doctors appointments over the past month, I have been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency. I am now on 6000iu of vitamin D a day. I have had X-rays to try and diagnose my pain. My hip X-ray has come back showing some abnormalities; I have a shadow on my pelvic bone. I am now waiting for a fast track referral to a specialist. 

I do not currently know what is going on with my health, I am left waiting on eggshells, clinging to the last bit of hope I have. Regardless of whatever the cause of the abnormalities is, I will fight it. I cannot give up now. 
Thank you for reading this update/rant; I hope to be back to regular posting soon. 
Love,  Emily 

Managing Mental illness with art

#dearmescheme, anxiety, art, asd, aspergers, autism, community, death, depression, disorder, eating disorder, humanity, mental health, mental health issue, overdose, photography, Pinterest, Poem, poetry, suicide, support, Uncategorized

Recently, art has become by gateway to inner peace.

Photographing and poetry are my favourite alternative methods of communication my deepest emotions. Within are there are no rights and wrongs, everything is down to interpretation.

‘A place you can call home’ is my latest poem I have uploaded to my channel. I kept this poem utterly open-ended; meaning the purpose behind it alters from person to person. It is all down to interpretation.

I have now incorporated my passion for photography into my YouTube channel. The thumbnails for my most recent videos have all been updated, they are now each a piece of my own photography.

Let me know what, if any art forms help you remain calm, in difficult situations.

Please feel free to check out my most recent poem, ‘A place you can call home‘.

 

 

 

 

Things get brighter…

#dearmescheme, anxiety, asd, aspergers, autism, community, Decor, depression, disorder, eating disorder, humanity, mental health, mental health issue, overdose, Pinterest, positivepostits, prayforhumanity, recovery, Room, suicide, support, Uncategorized

My room used to be a place I hated. It was full of negative memories and I despised the place. 
I was sick of hating home; so I set myself to work. I repainted the red shelves white. I added some pretty fairy lights and bunting. 

My quote wall is also under construction. I have filled my lonely walls with yellow sticky notes with quotes, mottos or messages to remind me to remain positive. 

I know feel like my room is something you might find on pinterest; and I enjoy spending evenings relaxing in my own little bubble. 

This really shows how small changes can make everything so much brighter; and completely change my outlook.   

Pray for humanity

#dearmescheme, anxiety, asd, aspergers, autism, bombing, community, death, depression, disorder, eating disorder, humanity, isis, lebanon, mental health, mental health issue, murder, overdose, paris, positivepostits, prayforhumanity, prayforparis, recovery, suicide, support, war

When terrorist attacks usually happen, it doesn’t always feel real. The places are far away and you never think that might be you. What has happened in Paris has hit us so hard; for Paris is just over 300 miles away. That is too close for comfort. I am not saying that other terrorist attacks are insignificant; but this one is close to home. If this has happened 300 miles away, what is stopping it happening here?
Everybody is in shock. Disneyland is shut for the first ever time since opening in 1992. What is wrong with this world? Innocent humans murdered while living their everyday lives.
While everybody is so caught up in events close to home we are forgetting the ISIS attack in Lebanon and the bombings in Baghdad. These tragic man made disasters. This could all have been avoid.
People in Japan and Mexico are suffering hugely due to the natural forces of Mother Nature. Despite all of the natural turmoil, people are still out to kill.
Forget ‪#‎prayforparis‬ as religion has already caused so much damage. All people suffering are in my thoughts.
Despite all of this tragedy everyone manages to pull together for support.
‪#‎prayforhumanity‬

Sensory issues past childhood.

#dearmescheme, anxiety, asd, aspergers, autism, community, depression, disorder, eating disorder, mental health, mental health issue, overdose, positivepostits, recovery, suicide, support

Sensory issues later in life.

I am currently 16 years old; an age I never thought I would reach, however sensory issues still majorly impact my life. Being diagnosed with ASD has made my life more manageable, and I now understand why I have so many quirks.

Having recovered from anorexia, I am constantly determined to never let my weight slip too low. This is somewhat a problematic task as many of my sensory issues are food related. I am currently struggling to maintain my weight as my list of “safe foods” is rapidly decreasing.

A therapist I had a while ago helped me to better understand how Autism and Sensory issues go hand in hand. Food, to me, can seem very overwhelming, and at times repulsive. Of course anxiety has a major impact upon appetite and I frequently feel nauseated. The only foods I am currently comfortable consuming are plain. Beige or yellow in colour, I feel that this removes the overwhelmingness. I also find having a large quantity of food on my plate also puts me off; so plain foods little and often it is.

I would like to point out that there is a massive difference between picky eating and a more serious issue. I have never been picky but I go though phases with what I am comfortable eating.

I believe this is how I fell into disordered eating habits which later developed into anorexia, however I do know that food isn’t the enemy, and the nourishment is essential. I have had to go back to basics with food, however I am not slipping back into disordered habits. ASD has it’s ups and downs; my weight doesn’t have to follow suit.

I would love to hear everybody’s experiences and tips with ASD and/or sensory issues.

A year on

#dearmescheme, anxiety, asd, aspergers, community, depression, disorder, eating disorder, mental health, mental health issue, overdose, positivepostits, recovery, suicide, support

Today is the 27th of August 2015.

Tomorrow is my birthday: and it will mark a year on with my life.
If somebody told me a year ago; that within 52 weeks, my life would be utterly different, I would have laughed. “There is no way I will be alive in a years time!” I would have exclaimed. Yet here I am.

I should have died a year ago; so in my eyes now, everything is a bonus.

A year ago tomorrow:

I was an absolute wreck; utterly consumed with anorexia, trapped within my depression and claustrophobic within myself. The thought of having to survive another year, was torturous.

I overdosed; after having a pointless meeting with my social worker, and my desperate pleas for help ignored. At this time I was on antidepressants and anti-psychotic medication, but it had made me worse, before anything could get better. I was isolated; the white noise in my head was louder than ever; and among the stifled screams of my parents, I snapped. Frantically ransacking the kitchen, I found my anti-psychotics. The earth fell away from beneath my feet.

After being denied treatment from paramedics; my parents drove me to hospital. My brain -now utterly poisoned by my overdose- fired obscene abuse at my parents; I hated them for making me live.

I collapsed on the A&E reception floor. Yet did not get seen for a further 50 minutes. I was hallucinating and incredibly aggressive as I had taken 12x the average dose of medication.

Within an instant my remaining shreds of dignity were torn from me. Being forced out of my safe clothes; that clung to my bones. I was left fully exposed. My left arm had over 40 cuts where I had had a mental breakdown earlier that day. I stood in a clinical room, naked, in front of 2 judgmental professionals, I was interrogated. Searched head- toe for cuts, and hooked up to an ECG machine.

I was later informed that I had consumed a lethal dose of medication; that works my slowing the heart. I had an incredibly low heart rate to begin with :52. This plummeted to just 14. The artificial lighting and the lack of support was only making matters worse. I ran away from the hospital.

I do not remember that journey home. If I had fallen asleep at this point, I would have never woken up. I woke up the next morning, and suddenly realised that I wasn’t dead, I had been given another chance.

I am not saying that miracles happen; a year of tears, hard work and determination has got me to where I am now.

However I do not take the credit for this transformation myself. If it wasn’t for my supportive family and friends; who went on a journey to hell and back, none of this would have happened.

I still take my anti-depressants and take sleeping medication. I no longer take anti-psychotics.

I am now back to a healthy and stable weight; and love embracing my new found curves.

I am now discharged from therapy; and went above and beyond expectations in my GCSEs.

Finally, I now have a life that isn’t ruled by depression and calories; I love each and everyone of my friends; and truly treasure every moment.

Of course I still have mad days; but now there is a beam of light, in the darkest places.