Anorexia in one picture

Sometimes it is hard to capture in words exactly how I feel.
You know the saying ‘a picture says a thousand words’? Well I couldn’t agree more.

After a particularly upsetting day yesterday, I decided to let my feelings out not through self destructive behaviours, not through words, but through taking photos.

I’m going to put a trigger warning here because you can see my ‘spine’, although only because of the position I am in.

This, to me, symbolises anorexia.

The bare back turned away, vulnerable. Caught in a corner with nowhere to turn. No-one and nothing but anorexia. The hunched position, the fear and desperation. That is anorexia.

Anorexia is not this glamorised thing you see on ‘pro-ana’ sites or Tumblr. It is a life threatening and devastating illness. I’ve been in recovery for two years now, and still in some respects I am deep within its grasp. It is hard to let go, hard to do normal things and go about everyday life.

I wish more people understood and accepted that recovery from mental illnesses are not easy. I always feel pressure on me to recover and stop needing therapy. One of my biggest fears is not being able to connect with people, so when people don’t understand me it sends me into panic. Yet so few people do understand me. How can I expect others to understand me when I don’t understand myself?

I am trying, and I will not stop trying until I am through this illness.
For a few blissful months I was weight restored, doing well and hardly thinking about food. I was exercising sensibly, and for enjoyment. Now that frame of mind seems unreachable. But if I have done it once I can and will do it again. That is what I keep telling myself.

Stop saying tomorrow and start saying now. That is what I need to do. I need to get my life back.

Thanks for reading.

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We can never be prepared for some things

Today I found out that a boy’s (who goes to my boyfriends school) parents were murdered last night.

He was in the house, and heard something in the night. I don’t know exactly what happened, but essentially he called the police and tried to save his parents, but it was too late. He had to hide while this murderer was in his house. He has to watch his parents die.

Apart from the obvious terrible pain and terror of this, what is so awful is that the day before, he was probably messing around with his mates, stressing over homework and whether he was going to get invited to the next party… All such small things. And before he knows it, none of that matters anymore. His parents are gone. He’s alone.

I wonder what the last thing he said to his parents were. I wonder when he last told them he loved them.

Now I know it must seem silly, how affected I’m getting when I don’t even know this person, but it is just such a shock. I may not know him personally, but my boyfriend knows him and is in the same year as him in school, it’s just like having someone in my year’s parents be killed.

It happened in Fetchem, a lovely little village in Surrey. No one was expecting it.

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I guess it’s just made me realise that we never know what’s going to happen in life.

I already tell my parents I love them every day and hug and kiss them, purely because I’m scared that one day they’re not going to be here and I’ll be thinking back to the time I was with them with sadness and regret.
I don’t want that; no one does.
I am so scared of my parents dying or leaving me.
Whenever my parents drive somewhere, especially at night or if it’s far away, I wonder if they’ll be safe.
I don’t know what I’d do without them.
My therapists come and go, as do most friends and people in your life. But my parents, they’re different. They love me unconditionally, they have to, that’s who they are as parents; caring and loving, even if sometimes it might not always show in the way you want.

I know this post is rambling and doesn’t have a particular point yet. I guess I am simply just so shaken up by this murder, and I can’t help but think about if it were me, if one day my parents were there and the next day they were gone.
And the truth is, I can’t imagine it. Because I know that if they went, I’d go too.

This boy was so incredibly brave to call the police and try to save them. He was right to hide and keep himself safe, I just hope and pray with al my heart that he sees it that way too.

I did terribly in my psychology timed essay today, I cried in my physics lesson because I’m thick and don’t understand any of it. I’m bloated, I have a terrible body image, I despise both my appearance and who I am. I felt tired and wary and down.
I wish I could say that now this has happened, I see that it’s all irrelevant. That would make sense, right? That looking at the bigger picture, at least I have a loving family and I am safe. But all I can think of is how we never know what’s going to happen next, and that makes me want to do well even more. Imagine if today was the last day I lived? I haven’t done enough. I’ve struggled with school work, not done enough homework, cried in font of a teacher.. And yes, to some extent ‘so what?’. But I also feel like I owe it to this brave boy to man up and get on with life, not be the emotional wreck I am.

I have no reason to feel like this, to feel so hopeless and depressed.
Man. Up.
But I can’t.

I need to see this in a logical frame of mind.
We need to be greatful for what we have every day, no matter how small or irrelevant it may be, no matter how much you may take it for granted.

I am thankful for my loving parents, my wonderful family and amazing friends. I am thankful for the roof over my head and the amazing opportunities I have.

I am thankful, yet I am scared and lost.

Is it possible to be both so greatful or what you have and yet so dissatisfied with yourself and your performance?

I am just so lost.

I only hope I can be found again.

My prayers are with the family and friends of the Kettyle family.

News articles:
BBC
The Mirror
Get Surrey

Thanks for reading.

Getting bad grades due to depression sucks

I got my grade card the other day, and although it didn’t have actual estimates grades, it did have effort grades.

Here’s our effort grade system:
E – Excellent
V – Very Good
G – Good
S – Satisfactory
N – Not satisfactory

I do 4 subjects (AS Level in the UK) and got ‘E’s and ‘V’s in 3 of them, except my favourite subject.

The subject I work hardest in, the subject I am passionate about, I got an S. Now don’t get me wrong, in some situations ‘satisfactory’ would be great, but considering that is the lowest mark apart from ‘not satisfactory’ (which teachers hardly ever give) and the fact I’ve been putting my all into it, I was pretty upset.

Depression is a horrible thing, and this grade only makes it worse.

I emailed my teacher saying that I was disappointed and that I was working really hard and didn’t feel that he’d given me a chance, and he emailed back with this response (I’ve just picked out the few key bits I want to focus on):

“There have been several occasions where you have come into the room and immediately rested your head on the table, or done so during the lesson”
“… your focus has been lower than required at times” etc.

Reading that makes me feel like someone has punched me in the stomach. The teacher knows I was off school almost all of last year, that I dropped two GCSEs/ subjects because I couldn’t keep up, that I was ill. Why do I even bother trying if my hardest efforts only get rewarded with ‘satisfactory’.

I am depressed, that is why I rest my head on the table in some lessons. Simply because I am about to cry. That, in that moment, I want nothing more than to scream and relapse into self harm. That even sitting there is one hell of an achievement.

Does no one understand that?! How hard I’m trying?!

Yes, my focus is terrible. But after missing a whole year of school isn’t that understandable?
I find 6th form/ college extremely difficult, from work to friendships. I have my lessons right at the end of the day, when I’m tired and just about holding it together. As soon as I get home (/in the car even) I break.

There’s only so long someone can keep that smile plastered to their face. There’s only so long you can convince people you’re ok.
Last time when my mask fell it was because I was dangerously underweight and had to be pulled out of school, and I’m trying my hardest to stay away from that. Every time I show emotions something goes wrong because of it.

I don’t even know what to do anymore. I know it must seem like such a petty thing, but to me it is really important. I absolutely love this subject and hope to continue it at uni, yet from anyone else’s point of view it looks like I don’t give a dam about that subject! I feel so set back in my recovery, and I don’t know how I can survive another two years of this hell, also known as college.

Sorry for the ramble, I really needed to let that out; and I hope that by sharing it maybe others will read it and understand depression and mental health more.

Thanks for reading.