Shining Star Recovery - Journey with Anorexia Nervosa
I'm a 20-year-old University Student who's interested in Mental Health. I've suffered from Mental Health Disorders for most of my life but more severely in the last 7 years. I suffer from Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, OCD and Anorexia Nervosa. My blog is all about my own journey with Mental Health, aiming to end the stigma and to inspire others to recover too.
I've been dreading this day for a while now, I didn't want to be here for it because I knew how much I'd struggle. The way this event has affected me over this past year is horrible, I've self-harmed, restricted my food intake, abused my body and made attempts on my life. Physically I'm recovered from that night, mentally I've not, and I'm still a long way off being recovered.
That night one year ago, everything changed. He ignored the "no" "leave me alone" "get off me", etc; he didn't care about what he was doing, he didn't care that I didn't give consent, he didn't care that there was CCTV, he did what HE wanted to do.
On a daily basis, I'm affected by what he did, either through flashbacks or when I look in the mirror. I've learnt to hate my body more than ever, when I see myself in the mirror, I see what he did, I see his face. At work I see him there, I see the site where it happened. Reminders are everywhere, I can't escape.
My trust in men was broken and I still struggle at times with men. There are only a few men I trust enough in my life and they're helping me regain that trust.
This man is FREE!!
He's out there living his life FREELY, FREE of consequences, FREE of reminders, FREE of self-torture, FREE of any criminal charges.
TRAPPED with self-hate, TRAPPED with flashbacks, TRAPPED with self-torture, TRAPPED with the reminders, TRAPPED with feeling him touching me, TRAPPED with seeing his face, TRAPPED with panic attacks when around men, I'm TRAPPED with full consequences.
I've had split reactions to this, most are supportive and help me through my tough times but I've also had those negative people that like to make out I'm wrong, that it's fake, that I lied, or that I asked for it. Well you spend one day in my head and then you'll see what truly happened, you'll get to feel how I feel. Going back to the site almost every day is a struggle, having to see his face, feeling him on me, feeling he'll be just around the corner, to hurt me again.
I wouldn't even wish this on my worst enemy as its horrible.
That night I DIDN'T ask for it, I DIDN'T dress SLUTTY, in fact, I was wearing joggers, top, jacket and my coat, the complete opposite of what is the stereotype. Consent WASN'T given, not in the slightest, the police ask you the question "was there any consent given, even the smallest amount?" oh how I hate that, it made me feel like it was my fault. The lack of support from services made me feel like I weren't worthy of help, that I didn't matter.
I hate knowing this man is FREE, that he can be out there doing it to someone else. I blame myself that I couldn't do more to get him prosecuted, maybe if I remembered more or if I could remember even the smallest thing, maybe then there'd be enough evidence. If only the CCTV could pick things up in the dark but it can't, It can't see things once it gets dark, it's a bit useless.
Now we know what happened on the 4th May; I can now start explaining the rest, I'll put a Trigger Warning on the post as it contains content about suicide.
Before my mental breakdown I had planned that I was going to take my life on the 18th May ( 2 years after my Grandad passed away). I'd been declining for a while and I just didn't want to live anymore. Once everything with my mental breakdown happened I said F*** it, I'll kill myself the day before so I don't have to even see sunrise.
17th May 2018
I went university and then went to the cemetary to visit my Sisters and my Grandads grave, knowing I'd be with them soon and that gave me so much peace. I knew I'd be going home and taking my life. It was just happening a day eariler than originally planned so it should be easy right?? I knew exactly what I was going to do. That night I took and overdose and self-harmed on my leg, it was all under weigh and under control, until my leg wouldn't stop bleeding, I'd gone deep and I started to feel sick and dizzy.
No matter what I did, I couldn't get it to stop, I thought S*** I'm gonna have to tell my parents what I did, I was scared at how they were going to react.
I contacted a friend that could drive and he took me to hospital and stayed with me all night.
I got to hospital around 9pm, the nurse practioner was lovely but wouldn't let me leave. They didn't say but I think I was on a high risk so if I attempted to leave they'd call the police. I had my cut stitched as it was "seriously deep". I then got admitted to another ward as the nurse practioner said as I'm gonna be there for a while I'd have to be admitted there, where they can supervise me. In this area I had my obs done and bloods taken, had to wait 4 hours from taking the pills to getting the bloods taken and then 1 and a half hours for the results so 2:30am, I didn't get my results until 3:45am as they had to get them double checked.
Once the doctor medically cleared me I had to wait for the Crisis Liaison Team to come and see me, they came aroun 4:15am and spoke to me about what was going on and why I decided to make an attempt on my life. They then said they were going to get me back into counselling by the following week as they believed it'd be able to help me cope with my emotions and what was going on.
Once we finished and she said I was safe to go home I just had to wait for the doctor to discharge me which felt like forever. 5am I got discharged from hospital and was aloowed to go home.
18th May 2018
Unfortunately I made it to the 2nd anniversary of my Grandad's death, I failed. I felt horrible that I made it to this day, I hated myself. I felt both mentally and psyically sick. I missed my appointment with J my mental health advisor at the uni, she starting ringing me and my home phone and when she had no response from me because I was driving she called my psychologist. Once I got to my psychologist she told me I had people worried and told me that J rang her with her concerns. S my psychologist spoke to me about what happened the night before and asked on a scale of 1-10, 1 being unlikely and 10 being very likely, what were the chances I'd make another attempt on my life.
I said 5, after talking a bit more with S she turns round and says that she doesn't think it's a 5 but rather a 8 or 9. She believed that it was highly likely that I'd make another attempt and in my head I knew she wasn't wrong, I knew I would but I didn't want to tell her that.
She rang UCAT to try and get me some support for the weekend and over the next week and then we got on with remembering my Grandad and writing down memories I blocked out because they were too painful for me to remember.
Once I got home I missed the phone call from UCAT as I was outside with mum, and my mood was so low and anxiety too bad that I couldn't call them back. Work rang me to talk about my Sunday shift and they knew something was wrong, they didn't want to talk about my Grandad as they knew that would upset me but they knew something was wrong.
I've been slacking on my blogging recently, I'm so sorry. I've had a rubbish month and haven't had the energy to blog, now things are slowly getting better I feel I need to continue with my update as it's a bit all over the place at the moment.
Part 2S and M didn't know what was going on and because I was in such a state they couldn't make any sense of what I was saying. I just kept crying and shaking, I couldn't look at anyone, I just wanted to die.
Since I was still a student at the time M called the nurse who said to take me up to her. S and M told me I needed to drink something but I kept refusing, I didn't want anything, I just felt so rubbish about what had happened and that a so-called friend could do that to me. I was going to tell K, my counsellor, everything come my next session but I'd never get the chance. S took me up to see the nurse and had to tell work I wasn't gonna be in, once we got up to the nurse S tried to get me to have a drink and again I refused.
The nurse that was on is the one I get on with but as they always tell me, "we're not mental health trained so we can't help" that was just giving me so much hope and positivity....not. She wanted to ring the doctors to get an emergency doctors appointment as she didn't believe I'd be safe, it was either that or she was going to ring an ambulance to take me to the hospital, I refused both as I told her that K said she was going to ring the doctors and I just had to wait for her to let know. She also called my parents as she didn't want me to drive home, I eventually got her to allow me to drive, but I had no intention to go home as I was scared at what my parents were going to say.
Once she let me go I had to walk back to where I parked my car. Saw my friend along the way and she had a chat with me and tried to get me to feel better about everything and encouraged me to go home. The doctors rang and arranged for me to go in that afternoon, I agreed but had no intention of going, but my friend encouraged me to go to my doctor's appointment. I knew what the doctors would say and I didn't want to hear it, it's always the same old rubbish. S was getting worried as I hadn't returned and rang to see where I was, once I got back she started to tear up as she thought I'd either collapsed as I'd been refusing food and drink, or that I'd left.
I just kept apologising to S and M because I hate them seeing me down and especially in that state as I know they were really worried about me and never seen me like that before. I was still wanting to die and just wanted to disappear but I went home (parents said absolutely nothing to me but my mum was forcing me to go to my Grandma's with them), went to the doctors who were S***, he put me back on antidepressants but wouldn't give me more than a weeks supply at a time and said my parents had to have my meds because he said I'd use them to overdose, even though I said I wouldn't use them for that while on prescription.
F*** off, I can look after them myself like I've done before. I told him I didn't want antidepressants as they don't work for me and I prefer natural ways like aromatherapy, he then turns around and tells me "that's a load of rubbish" (literally his words). I was so annoyed that he wasn't listening to my concerns and told him meds will kill me. He wasn't having any of it and sent me away. I felt so alone in everything, I later found out that K my counsellor asked for me to be referred to the AMHT (Adult Mental Health Team) which the doctor hadn't even done, which meant I couldn't get the confirmation I needed in order to start back counselling.
Over the next few weeks, I had the meds and I was declining, self-harm was getting more and more serious, and this is what leads to my next storytime of being on high risk at the hospital.
When I asked last month what people wanted to see more of on my blog, quite a few peope said storytimes, here's my first storytime post which will also update everyone on whats going on and what actually happened. I've been distant social media since Friday and this will explain why. In order to tell this story time we need to rewind to Thursday night.
Thursday 3rd May
So Thursday was quite a bad day for me anyway. I didnt have th energy or motivation to do anything, I went counselling wanting to explain everything to her but that didn't happen, I only got to tell her about two of the things that were going on for me at the time. We spoke briefly about my suicidal thoughts but I was able to persuade her that I'd be safe this week, and that was true, I was going to be safe but that night things got bad. I was having a bad night and was such a mess, I ended up punching my wall, not out of anger but because I was so upset that I needed a way to hurt myself. Along with this I made a big mistake and made a tweet.
I will hold my hands up and say that this tweet was worrying but we all make bad decisions when we're upset. I said (along the lines of but not exact) that I didn't want to live anymore and this month would be it, I persuaded my counsellor not to contact the doctors/ police/ ambulance, and that I've not told her all my plans as I didn't want her to stop me. I accept that it was a stupid idea to post that but I was in a comlete mess Thursday night.
Friday 4th May
However, someone decided that they'd screenshot what I wrote and send it to my counsellor (who knows how they knew who my counsellor was) rather than directly messaging me. My counsellor then tries calling me which I didnt realise it was her as it was just a number and I don't answer just numbers but eventually I thought I'd best answer it. K explained to me that she'd been sent this tweet, she didn't know who but that she was concerned. She has to speak to 'her person' (all counsellors have to see someone) and she said that her person advised that she calls my GP and get me back on anti-depressents and that counselling should stop until the chemicals in my brain are more balanced.
Now K knows me very well and knows what this means for me, by stopping counselling while in my time of need is not helpful and anti-depressents don't help me. Everytime I've been on anti-depressesnts I've got worse, interms of self-harming gets worse and more dangerous (I've been able to stop self-harming dangerously for 11 months but now the pills are causing it to get dangerous again which makes me feel like a failure). I usually abuse alcohol and the suicidal thoughts tend to get worse. K also kept saying that she's not leaving and that she's not giving up on me as I guess she knows that I'll go into this zone where I'll feel she's left and that if she's given up then I might aswell give up too.
I was trying so hard not to cry on the phone but my voice kept breaking. I had to go work after and take a cake to a collegue as it was her birthday a couple weeks beforehand and I'd only just had time to make it. On the way there I was having panic attacks and crying, I knew I had to try and calm myself down before I saw M and S my work collegues.
I took the cake in and all S had to do was look at me and she knew something was wrong, I tried so hard to not show it and just turned away, but S knew something was wrong and I just broke down. I just burst into tears and thats when they knew it was bad as I never cry, especially infront of people.
I'll do part two as tomorrows post, otherwise this post will be extremely long.
This past week but especially since Friday has been a struggle for me and quite honestly I've not wanted to do anything, its been both physically and mentally exhausting. I'm not fully there enough to explain everything that happened Friday but once I'm ready I'll do an update.
I just want to put this post out to let people know that I'm safe, struggling yes but I'm safe and that's all that matters for now.
I've got my mental health advisor tomorrow who I've not seen in about a month and a half due to Easter and then me working on the days/times she could do. I'm not really worried about going but I just think it's a waste of time as we are focusing on coping with exam anxiety, but I've got my first exam on Friday so it's kinda a bit late.
On that note:
I've got my Animal Anatomy and Physiology exam from Friday 11th May and then my Animal Law and Ethics on Thursday 24th May. This time last year I was nearly done with my exms but this year I'm only just starting, but once they're done then I'm finished uni forever and honestly I can't wait.
Friday I've also got my psychologist, I've not seen her in two weeks and theres so much to update her on. I think she'll be a bit dissapointed to know that I've not been able to eat since Thursday, patly due to what happened Friday, I've not felt like I deserved to eat. But I think it's finally taking its toll and I'll try and have something later.
I've got gone in work today as I felt seriously sick and quite faint, I weren't sure if I'd actually make it home as I felt so faint. I got home and just collapsed in my room. I think I'm just going to just relax for the rest of the day and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow as I'm at work all day.
This past week has been a strange one for me and one that I've struggled with if I'm quite honest. I'll start at the beginning.
So last week the flashbacks became worse and I couldn't even go to a shop or get petrol. It's been over a week now since I went into a shop alone. Today was the first time in over a week I went near to a shop, my sister got me the things I needed so I could make the cake but seriously I can't be out anywhere.
Wednesday 25th April - I started taking pills, I'd promised my counsellor I wouldn't do anything but it all got too much, especially with work that day and I just thought it was the easiest thing. But I stopped and didnt take many, my counsellor did want me to get checked out as I'd mixed pills with alcohol, but I was fine as I stopped myself that night from doing something stupid.
Friday 27th April - I thought 'he' was in the house and was going to get me, and hurt me for reporting him to the police, I ended up having a panic attack, and crying for what felt like hours. I was punching the wall and self-harmed as a way to I guess distract myself from overdosing. I just felt the sexual assault all over again and felt disgusting and that he'd hurt me again.
Monday 30th April - Something shit happened which only a few friends know about, I was meant to tell my counsellor today but I couldn't. I'd written it all down for her but she said she wouldn't read it as she wanted me t say it, I was so scared to say it as it would mean it actually happened. She wouldn't presure me to say which I appreciate as I just couldn't tell her, but she does want me to try and tell her next week and if I still can't then she said that she'd read it but she wants me to try and actually say it.
Tuesday 1st May - My great uncle passed away, that makes a total of 5 deaths in less than 2 years (10 deaths in the last 7 years). It's a lot to cope with and brings up so many memories of my Grandads death. I talked to my counsellor about it today and literally I was almost in tears multiple times. She asked why I didn't seem upset when I said I get upset talking about my Grandad and I was like, because I hide in, and told her that I was currently holding back the tears. After she read me something I felt so emotional and I think she could tell, she asked how I was feeling so I told her and she said that it's ok, its what she needs, she needs me to show my emotions and said it'll be good for me too.
We briefly taked about my safety and she asked if there was anything in my notebook saying about me harming myself that she needed to read and I said yes but no, theres no plans written down. She was trying to get me to tell her my plans which I didn't want as she'd then try and stop me. She got concerned about my safety and wanted to call people, she wouldn't call my parents as I'm and adult but she also knows that wouldn't help me at all. So the choices were either my doctors or if she thought I'd go away and do something then she'd get the police and ambulance, she asked if I'd be able to cope with people coming to my house and I said no so she made me agree that I'd try my hardest not to do anything this week. She's trusting me and feels there's enough respect between us that my word is my word.
Yet again I made the stupid promise that I wouldn't do anything but like she said she knows I won't agree 100% because we don't know what this week holds but lets see.
On a plus note, I found out that I got an A in my anatomy and physiology assignment which means I can completely f*** up m exam and still pass, I don't even need to turn up and still pass, which takes a lot of stress off my shoulders. Law and ethics I got a C- which is still good, and again I can fail my exam and still pass so hopefully this year I'll pass.
I've not been active much on my blog as I've needed some time out of things to try and work on myself, the past few weeks have been quite tough for me and I'm feeling quite lost in myself, wondering who I am.
Anorexia, Depression, PTSD, Anxiety, Panic Disorder and BDD have been terrible and not a good mix. I've had so many flashbacks these past few days and felt completely unsafe going anywhere, the worst thing is that I feel so unsafe at home, the flashbacks are causing me to panic around most men, including my own family, hence why I feel unsafe at home.
My psychologist has informed me that there may not be anything they can do to help if I'm happy with losing weight, but who wouldn't be happy to lose a few lbs, its natural, obviously my anorexia is causing me to lie to people and that's something I really hate because it's not who I am.
I've lost who I am now and I'm not sure how to find myself again, it's like I'm just a shell of who I was, and slowly I'm losing my hope, strength, self-worth and my fight. This time of year is tough for me and I know that but I've been feeling this way a lot longer than these past months.
My counsellor wanted to call my doctor last week after reading my letter to her. She felt concerned for my safety and made me promise I wouldn't do anything until we meet again this Thursday to work on what I'd written. I've made it to today, f*** knows how as it been a tough week. But I promised her I wouldn't do anything but come tomorrow that promise will no longer count and I'm not going to promise her every week just so she can stop me doing anything.
I'm not quite ready to tell people fully what's been going on for me but when I'm ready I'll write it all up. But for now just know that I'm taking some time away just try sort myself out, and to 'focus' on myself.
It's a fact that in life there are things that challenge us, it is also a fact the every one deals with these challenges differently, and that's okay. I've always struggled to deal with death, friendship issues/breakups, and family issues. But when I'm already struggling all those things I don't usually struggle with just seem to add to the problems which in turn makes me feel worse.
Over the past few years with the help of counselling I've learnt how to cope with these scenarios much better. I can tell that I can handle things a lot better than before, roughly 70% of family issues, 60% of friendship issues and maybe 20% around death, but I do still struggle, sometimes more than others. Say if I'm having a bad day and then my family start kicking off then I would just break down, however, if I'm having a good day and my family kick off, I can just brush it off and move on with my life.
This past month - two months I've lost friends and family. The family side of it was because I couldn't have certain members in my life who were affecting my mental health negatively, some friends I've lost due to my mental health and others I've just lost touch with but that's ok and I will eventually come to terms that it's a good thing and change is ok. Today I've struggled with that but I've got great, supportive friends around me that are helping me through and reminding me that it's ok and I'll get past this.
I'm not going to lie, right now I'm struggling and the challenges that keep getting thrown at me are not helping the situation but my psychologist and counsellor are working very hard with me to try and get to cope with them better. My psychologist whose only meant to be helping me with my Eating Disorder is helping me with other stuff too. My meeting Thursday, I went in not feeling myself, but with the intention that I'd just tell her what she needs to know, but she could tell, she knew I wasn't myself and I ended up telling her a lot more of what was going on and she was so understanding and wants me to start writing down what's going on when I feel really low, bring them to the sessions and then we'll go over them together. I already write down in a notebook when I'm feeling low but it's always kept private so to have someone read it will be a challenge in itself.
My counsellor, I didn't see this week as she booked the week off but there's going to be so much to update her on when I see her Thursday. On a positive, I've not self-harmed in 36 days, and I've only once had the urge to self-harm so that's a really good achievement compared to where I was this time last year, self-harming every day, multiple times a day.
After recent things, I've felt so alone, felt like harming myself, coming off all social media and even running away but now that I'm thinking more clearly I know that's not going to help and what I need to do is focus on those who are around me and focus on myself because I know that I'm trying as hard as I can right now and since as I've not had both my psychologist and counsellor for 3 weeks, I think I've done alright considering, and I've not completly broke down just yet.
I feel that I need to be semi-honest with you all about whats going on for me. I don't feel like I'm ready to be totally open because honestly, I don't even know whats going on myself. I'm going to try my hardest to explain some of what's been going on for me recently.
I haven't seen my psychologist in two weeks as she had meetings all last week so didn't have any free space to see clients and to make it even better my counsellor is off this week as she booked it off. I'm really not coping with not seeing them both, my psychologist helps me understand where my ED has come from while my counsellor is helping me process everything else.
I've recently lost a lot of trust for people that are around me, people I thought would always be there for me have left and some have betrayed me and that's knocked me quite a lot. This has affected who I speak to and about what, over the past 6 months since my sexual assault I've closed up and everything with welfare has caused me to bottle things up, even more, this is to the point where if I do speak to someone about things they only know 40% of whats going on, the other 60% is being bottled up.
But due to the recent events, I feel like I shouldn't speak to anyone about anything and keep 100% of what happens to myself and that's what I'm going to start doing. My depression and especially my anorexia has caused me to lie to people and that's, not me doing it in a horrible way it's me trying to protect them from getting hurt and to prevent them from worrying about me, and so far it seems to be working.
I've got to the point where I feel I'm not worthy of the help I'm getting and that both my psychologist and counsellor should be spending their time helping those that actually deserve their help. I see my psychologist through the Eating Disorder Service, however, my counsellor is private so therefore I pay for every session I have. I just feel that if I tell them this then they'll just be like "ok then, we'll stop the sessions and you won't continue coming".
It's just hard for me at the moment, I'm trying to support my friends that are currently going through a tough time themselves but it scares me that I'll lose them. I'm scared that I'm going to wake up and they're going to have succeeded in their suicide attempt and that scares the s*** out of me. These girls mean the world to me and I'd love to take their pain away so they can be happy and live a full life, but I'm 100% scared I'm going to wake up and they'll be gone from this earth.
I honestly don't know if I'll be able to cope with that because they do mean everything to me and I care for them so much. These past two years have been hard on me with losing my Grandad and them 18 months later my Aunt, so if I lose someone else I think that'll really just break me.
29th March 2018 Today marks 6 months since my sexual assault, I honestly can't believe it's been 6 months already. I thought I'd do a little update on how I'm doing 6 months later.
Over the past two months, I've been struggling so much with dealing with what happened and how it's left me feeling about myself and the world around me. 50% of the time I can go through my day without it affecting me much, however, there are times that the flashbacks and feelings are just too much for me to handle.
I hate the fact that this man is free to live his life however he wishes, yet I'm stuck with dealing with the consequences of what he did. I hate the guilt I've got that he could go out again and do it to someone else, I just wish I could've remembered more, yes they caught the man but due to little evidence, they couldn't prosecute. I also hate the fact the CCTV was poor and couldn't see what happened, I hate that I've got to go on to the site this happened at every day and constantly get reminders of that night.
I feel I should've worn more clothes, I know it doesn't matter what clothes are worn a person that wants to sexually assault or rape someone will, no matter what. I wore trackie bottoms, a vest top, a jacket and my coat and I still got sexually assault so I full well know that it's not about what clothes you wear, but I just think, what if I wore more. Yet I also know I shouldn't be living in the "what if's" and my counsellor keeps reminding me of that.
When I have flashbacks, I'm literally re-living that night over and over again, I see him and feel him, I remember everything. To feel him touch me over and over again makes me feel sick, and unsafe even if I'm in my room, I shower in the hopes I won't feel him touch me but that doesn't help and I usually end up crying.
On a positive note, being back in counselling and being able to talk about it helps me to come to terms with what happened a bit more each time we talk. It's a lot about reminding me it's not my fault what he did and that I can overcome what happened and live without the flashbacks. We also think that the sexual assault aided my Anorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) to get worse. I've always hated my appearance and the way I look but the sexual assault caused me to hate my body even more. Since I also have a bad relationship with food and I was going to get food when this happened, it's caused food to really become my enemy. My brain partly punishing me for getting food but also because if I weren't going to collect the food, the sexual assault wouldn't have happened.
I now have a fear of going out to collect food or even go to many shops, I'm usually ok going to supermarkets as they tend to be busy but smaller shops can sometimes be challenging, especially if I'm already struggling that day. It's given my anorexic brain another reason not to eat because if I eat, it could happen again. Also, I'm not happy with my body due to my BDD so I want to change it, and the sexual assault has just added to that. The world is a scary place for me now, I fear strangers, especially men, if someone I don't know or trust touches my arm, I become very anxious and sometimes have a panic attack, flashbacks come flooding back.
I like to remind myself of this, I saw it a couple months after the assault. Every cell in my body is replaced every seven years, so one day I'll have a body that he didn't touch. Just another 6 years and 6 months to that day. Most of the time this doesn't help as seven years is a long time, but I'm hoping that working with my counsellor will help me cope with what happened so I can live my life fully without worrying if he'll come back and without flashbacks.