You don’t have to be skinny to have an eating disorder

To mark Eating Disorder Awareness week  on Feb 27th- March 5th I have written a post about bulimia and how it can happen to anyone of any size. I hope that this will break down some of the stigma associated with having an eating disorder.

I was 17 the first time I made myself sick. It was Christmas time and I was on a diet. I was planning on going Debs dress shopping in the January sales and I was dreading it. I’ve never been a skinny girl and the idea of going shopping filled me with dread. I was convinced that the only way to ensure I got a dress to fit was to starve myself in the few months beforehand. It was going well and I had dropped over a stone through a combination of eating more healthily and exercise. Continue reading

Birthday celebrations and reflecting on 2016

It’s my birthday tomorrow on the 17th of December. I’ve always really struggled with my birthday as I tend to over-analyse the previous year to see if I have achieved all my goals. I have pretty high expectations so it always feels like I never meet them or even come close, therefore I always feel like a failure. Anyone else do that? Long story short, I pick my life to pieces around my birthday- I suppose it doesn’t help that my birthday is in December just when most people are reflecting on the previous 12 months.

This year I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. I’ve been quite ill over the past 6 months and spent quite a while in hospital. Over the past two years I’ve spent a sizable chunk of it in hospital or ill at home. I need to make big changes if this is not to continue into 2017. I don’t want to spend a few months well followed by a couple of months sick. It’s just not a healthy way to do things.

How am I going to do that you might ask?

  • Well I hope to have more of a work/life balance when I get back to work.
  • I need to plan to have things to do during my weekends that don’t involve sleeping and lying in bed.
  • I need to make time for friends
  • I need to pay visit is to Donegal and my family more often (even if the journey takes forever)
  • I need to eat healthily and make time for exercise

 

These are just a few of the things that I’m going to be implementing into my life come January when I’m back to work. Any other tips? Would love to hear them!

 

I never thought I’d need to ring a suicide helpline

Everyday in my day job I signpost people to mental health support services. I know the mantra- Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness, there is no shame in reaching out for help, don’t suffer in silence. Talk. Talk to anyone, it doesn’t matter who, but whatever you do, do not keep things to yourself.

I know all these things, they roll off my tongue automatically. So why do I find it so hard to apply this to myself? Why can I not apply this to my own life? Why do I find it so hard to ask for help when I’m struggling?

Why do I when I dial a helpline do I feel so ashamed. So alone. Unable to confide in anyone as to how I really feel. Although I refer people to helplines such as Samaritans and Pieta House every day, little did I think that I would one day be relying on their services. Continue reading

Reducing meds and starting to feel things

Up until recently, every night before bed, one by one I would take my medication. Nine tablets counted out carefully on my bedside locker. I would swallow them down with a little resentment every night. I resented the fact that I had to take them, I felt weak even though rationally I knew this was not the case. I’ve been taking this combination for over a year now and they were an important part in helping me stay and in keeping me well.

I take a cocktail of drugs made up of 1200mg Lithium, which is a mood stabilizer usually given to people with Bipolar Disorder but also used for treatment-resistant depression, like in my case. 120mg Duloxotine which is an anti-depressant and in this case is used to boost the Lithium (at least that’s my understanding of it.) Continue reading

The fight for my life

About 18 months ago I got sick. Very sick. I ended up in hospital, and was to stay there for almost nine months. I was embarrassed and ashamed and felt that I couldn’t tell anyone where I was. I told some people I was on holidays, others that I was away for work. But the truth was that I was on a psychiatric ward fighting for my life. I say fighting because that’s what I felt I was doing.

It all happened rather quickly. One minute I was bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding and the next thing I was inpatient on an acute psychiatric ward. It all happened so fast and in a number of weeks I unravelled in spectacular style. Continue reading

You don’t have to be skinny to have an eating disorder

To mark Eating Disorder Awareness week I have written a post about bulimia and how it can happen to anyone of any size.

I was 17 the first time I made myself sick. It was Christmas time and I was on a diet. I was planning on going Debs dress shopping in the January sales and I was dreading it. I’ve never been a skinny girl and the idea of going shopping filled me with dread. I was convinced that the only way to ensure I got a dress to fit was to starve myself in the few months beforehand. It was going well and I had dropped over a stone through a combination of eating more healthily and exercise. Continue reading

Dealing with suicidal thoughts

The first time I had a suicidal thought was at the beginning of last year just before I ended up in hospital. In fact, it was the reason I landed in hospital.  It was new and it scared me. Suicide had crossed my mind before but this time it felt more real. More urgent. And definitely something that I had fight to keep myself safe from.

I began to make a plan, and think about ways I would do it. All along at the same time I was trying to keep myself safe but the thoughts continued. I was afraid to tell anyone what was going on. It was such a difficult time in my life but I felt too scared to talk about the thoughts that were running through my head that were telling me that I’d be better off dead. Continue reading