Validity does not come from a checklist of hospital admissions.

I have a private Instagram account which is used for the sole purpose of documenting my recovery from different mental illnesses. There are thousands of accounts just like mine, and we are called the ‘recovery community.’

But there is one thing that needs to be addressed about this ‘community’ and that is people becoming obsessed with how many times they have been in hospital. Im not talking about those who write ‘trying to recover in the community after a 2 year admission’ or ‘currently inpatient’ because those are cool, but it is not rare for you to stubble across an account and their bio to look like this

‘hospital x38 inpatient x64 sectioned x193’

This is a major problem. It baffles me why anybody would want to boast about how many times they have been in hospital. It is not some honourable badge for your to wear with pride. Being in and out of hospital is painful and horrific and deeply upsetting to everyone around you. Why would you want to promote how many times that has happened? How do you even know how many times it has happened? Do you all keep a check list or something? I have no idea how many times I have been in hospital because IT DOES NOT MATTER.

This is not a competition. It literally does not matter one single bit if you have been in hospital 10 times and someone else has been in 12. It doesn’t matter if you have never been into hospital before. None of it matters. Do you really think anybody cares if you’ve been inpatient 20 times? What are you trying to prove? That you must be really sick? Well excuse my language but that is bullshit.

VALIDITY DOES NOT COME FROM A CHECKLIST OF HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS.

Say it with me!!

Validity does not come from a checklist of hospital admissions. Your illness is valid whether you’ve been sectioned 13 times or 0. YOUR ILLNESS IS VALID. People seem to have this notion that if you have been inpatient or in hospital or sectioned a certain amount of times then you are ‘worse’ than others. There are two things wrong with that. The first being the need to be ‘worse’ than others. WHY?!?! Why would you want to be more mentally ill than somebody else? Surely you would want to be better than others? Why do we have this mentality of needing to be the worst? IT IS NOT A COMPETITION. Secondly, I know people who have attempted suicide once and were admitted to inpatient straight away. I also know people who attempt suicide weekly and have never been inpatient. It is all dependant on your local mental health team. It has nothing to do with who is sick and who is not.

I wish we could all get over this whole ‘my mental illness is worse than yours’ crap, because it is tiring, it is draining and it makes people feel like their illnesses are not as valid. I personally haven’t been in hospital for 3 months now, and that should be something to be majorly proud of, but thanks to Instagram instead of being proud it just makes me feel like my illness is not valid. This is what these bios do.

It took years for people to finally realise that putting lowest weights in bios was stupid, I just hope it doesn’t that that long for people to realise how ridiculous this is.

 

It is not your fault.

This post is something I have wanted to talk about for quite a while but have been too ashamed and too embarrassed. But I refuse to be silenced any longer. After recently watching 13 reasons why, I have found the courage to write about this. If this post helps only one person, then it will be worth it.

This post comes with a heavy trigger warning.

There are many four letter words. Joke. Half. Soil. Cool. Yolk. There are many words that hold little to no meaning. Chair. Bottle. Shoe.

One of those words is not rape. Rape is a four letter word, but t is a powerful word. When I hear the word rape, violence comes to my mind. I find it is a very violent word, but rape is not always violent. This is something that is very important to remember.

Rape is commonly associated with dark alleyways, strange men, and violence. This could not be more wrong. Approximately 90% of victims know their attacker.* I knew my attacker. In fact he was my boyfriend. Somebody I trusted. Somebody that I thought I loved. Somebody that I had never dreamed would hurt me, but people surprise you. The signs were there, but I refused to acknowledge them. He would never hurt me right? He loved me right? He was just damaged right? He just had his own issues and couldn’t handle them, right? Wrong.

I go over and over that night in my head, and all the nights leading up to it, and the nights that followed and I ask myself where I went wrong. I blame myself. What should I have done differently. What should I have done to stop him. I should have fought back. I should have said no louder. I should have said no more than 5 times. I should have screamed. I should have pushed him away. People often assume that rape is violent. People don’t understand that in such a traumatic situation, you can freeze. Your body, your mind, it stops. You become mute. You become still. You are screaming out for help but no words are leaving your lips. You’re willing your arms to move but they are glued down. There is nothing you can do but wait for it to be over.

It changes you. You view the world in a different light. A hug begins to terrify you. The thought of being alone with a man results in panic. You become hyper vigilant. You are constantly aware. Constantly on edge. Constantly expecting it to happen again. Questioning everyone’s intentions. Late at night, when the flashbacks come, you are paralysed. You cannot breathe. Its happening again. Over and over and over. You can’t make it stop. Sleep is not escape. The nightmares flood your mind. There is no escape.

Only there is an escape. It takes time, but there is a light at the end of that tunnel. This was not my fault. No matter how many times my mind tries to convince me that it was. I did not deserve what happened. I did not ask for it. I did not provoke it. I did not want it. And it is not your fault either. Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year.* Those figures break my heart. The pain and the torture and the heartache is something that I would not wish upon anybody.

I want you to know that it gets better. With the correct support, and the love and compassion of those around you, it gets better. The nightmares lesson, the flashbacks are easier to handle. You are brave. You are courageous. You deserved better. You deserved a say in what happens to your body. You deserved respect. But I am here to tell you, it gets better. Don’t give up hope. Don’t give up faith. Every day that you make it through is another day that your attacker loses. Every seven years every cell in your body regenerates, in seven years time you will have a body that your attacker never touched. Hold on to that. I have found it to be a great comfort.

I am a rape survivor, and I am proud to say I am recovering.

*https://rapecrisis.org.uk/statistics.php

You are not alone.

In a perfect world nobody would get hurt.

Nobody would feel lost and alone.
Nobody would look to death to end the pain.
Nobody would take their own lives.

But sadly we do not live in a perfect world and we lose people to suicide every day.

To those reading this, you are not alone. Mental illness is difficult. It is painful and tormenting and challenging. It can take away the most important things in your life. But you are not alone in this battle. You are loved and you are wanted. You are cared for.

Sometimes it can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.
It can feel like you’re drowning and nobody is there to help keep you afloat.
It can feel like you are screaming in a crowded room by nobody even looks up.
It can feel like the only way to end the pain is death.

But death is not the answer. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It may take a week, or 3 months, or 20 years, but things will get better. The clouds will part and the sun will shine again. You deserve so much more that a life of pain. You deserve happiness. You deserve love. You deserve compassion and kindness. You are strong. You are brave. You are courageous. Do not give up hope.

Every day write down something good that happened. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as small as having a really great cup of tea. Write it down. And pop these little snippets of joy into a jar. And every time you feel like life isn’t worth living, open this jar and remind yourself of all the good things that life can bring.

Remember that you have to get through the bad days to experience the good, and the good days are worth every ounce of pain that you have to try to hard to push through.

If you are looking for a sign to stay alive, then this is it. You deserve life. You deserve to be happy and free. Things will get better I promise.

It’s okay to not be okay.

We all know recovery is not linear. Often it feels like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. Things are not always going to be happy and cheery. You will not always be celebrating the successes. There will be times of hardship. Times of downfall. It is okay to say that you are struggling. People often tell you to ‘cheer up’ and ‘be more positive’ as if it will magically fix everything. What people should be telling you is that its okay to not be okay.

It is okay to feel.
It is okay to cry.
It is okay to scream.
It is okay to curse at the world.
It is okay to spend the day in bed watching sad movies and eating a tub of ice cream.
It is okay to want to lock yourself away and crawl into a hole.
It is okay to be angry or hurt or upset.
It is OKAY.

Imagine that your brain has a special bucket for things we don’t want to deal with, and your emotions are water. Every time you block out an emotion it goes into this bucket. This may be okay once in a while, because lets face it, sometimes we aren’t ready to deal with certain things. However if you are doing this every time you feel an emotion that you don’t want to feel then this bucket is going to get full very quickly. It will start to crack. It will start to break. It will overflow. And the more you add the worse it becomes until one day it bursts. You’re left with nothing but a broken bucket and all the things that you were blocking out  flooding to the surface. Everything you pushed down deep inside will explode. This is when your emotions can become so overwhelming and so intense that it can become dangerous.

Something that really helps me when I am struggling with something that I want to block out is to try and imagine that my emotions are like a wave.  Experience that emotions as a wave coming and going. Don’t ignore or block it out. Feel it. Allow yourself to feel every big of anger or pain or guilt or heartache. But also remember to let go. Don’t get caught up and hold onto that emotion. Let it wash over you and watch the wave pass by. And remind myself that this is okay. This is normal. This is healthy.

Remember that your feelings are valid. They made be irrational to others, but they are rational to you. You do not have to block out your emotions for the comfort of others. You need to put yourself first. In your world, YOU are the most important person, and you need to make sure that your needs are taken care of before you tend to others. It’s okay to not be okay. Don’t let anyone else tell you any different.

 

The Vegan Kind Product Review.

After being so incredibly impressed with the vegan kind monthly lifestyle subscription box I decided to browse their shop and of course the moment I was paid the first thing I did was order some products and I was definitely not disappointed.

  1. Soy Whip (£1.99) – I have been looking for a vegan whipped cream for my hot chocolate for absolutely ages so I was very excited when I saw this. I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing this tastes. It’s just like the dairy version. I can’t wait to pop this on a desert for my mum and see if she can tell the difference. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.19.50.png
  2. Dairy Free Rasberry Ice Bites (£1.49) – I cannot fault these. They look amazing, smell amazing and taste amazing. They have a fudge like texture. The raspberry really bursts in your mouth. There is a coconut after taste, and usually I don’t like coconut, but these do not over power you, and the coconut is the perfect balance. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.20.13
  3. Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie: Birthday Cake (£1.99) – I have wanted to try one of Lenny & Larry’s cookies for a very long time, so how could I resist when I found them on the vegan kind website. These are perfect. They are incredibly soft and moist and packed with flavour, with the added benefit of 16g of protein. The moment I started eating it I couldn’t put it down. They taste just like dairy giant cookies. I am very impressed. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.20.24
  4. Plamil Organic Orange Chocolate Spread (£3.15) – These is one of my favourite vegan products. I have tired all of their flavours but in my opinion this is the best. It tastes like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange but in a spread and best of all its completely vegan. I can confidently say this is the best chocolate spread I have ever had.. even better than nutella. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.20.30
  5. Follow Your Heart Shredded & Grated Vegan Cheese (£4.69) – I was extremely excited when I saw grated vegan cheese. I am lazy and having cheese already grated is perfect for when you want to chuck some on top of a jacket potato, inside a burrito or at the side of a salad. I have only tried a small bit out the packet, and at first I wasn’t sure it was for me, but once I pair it with other flavours I think my opinion will change. It’s not as strong as I used to like my dairy cheese, but that doesn’t bother me. The texture is quite soft, it almost melts in your mouth, which is strange, but I imagine this cheese will be perfect for melting. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.20.18
  6. iChoc: White Vanilla (£1.99)  – I have always been a massive fan of white chocolate, and this is no exception. It tastes even better than the dairy versions. I am very impressed with this bar. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.20.07
  7. TVK ‘Vegan Because I’m Not a Baby Cow’ and ‘Vegan Because We Are All Earthlings’ (£5.99 each) – How adorable are these mugs. When I saw them there was no way I could leave them. I will admit I do collect mugs, reaching around the 30 mark now, and these were a perfect addition to my collection. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.20.35
  8. Follow Your Heart Salad Dressings: Bleu Cheese (£4.19) – The bottle size was a lot bigger than expected which I was pleasantly surprised by (335ml). I have only had a little taste, but I am completely amazed. I would say it tasted a lot like a caesar sauce dressing, perfect for any salad, or to add to a burger. I cannot wait to try this with my dinner. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.19.59
  9. Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks: Sweet Chilli & Lemon (No Price) – The vegan kind were kind enough to include these as a free gift with my order, and my gosh they are amazing. I will definitely be back to buy some more. It is hard to believe that they are made with 72% peas. The texture is like wotsits which I am loving. Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.21.18

Overall I am very impressed with my order, and cannot wait to try the cheese and bleu cheese dressing with my food throughout today.

Self harm is not a quirk.

Self harm is not a quirk.
Self harm is not cute.
Self harm is not fun.

Self harm is pain. It is suffering. It leaves you damaged and scarred. Nobody will save you. Nobody will find you bleeding out and clean and bandage your wounds like you see on TV.

Self harm is harming yourself because you feel you deserve the pain.
Self harm is harming yourself because the physical pain is easier to handle than the emotional.
Self harm is praying nobody needs the bathroom because the floor is covered in blood.
Self harm is being unable to cook your own food because you don’t trust yourself using a burning hot oven.
Self harm is damaging your tendon to the point of not being able to move your hand or arm without excruciating pain.
Self harm is walking around with a scab on your forehead because you just couldn’t stop banging.
Self harm is passing out from blood loss after cutting your vein.
Self harm is endless amounts of hospital trips and stitches.
Self harm is sweating in a jumper when the sun is out because you’re terrified of people seeing your scars.
Self harm is judgment and fear.

It may help to explain what self harm is to those who are unaware, or only know the stereotypical view of self harm. Self harm is the deliberate harm of one’s own body. This can be anything, including, but not restricted to, cutting, burning, punching, scratching, hair pulling, skin picking, poisoning, head banging, ligaturing and interfering with the healing process of a wound. In accordance to self harm.co.uk* it is estimated that around 13% of young people aged between 11 and 16 will self harm at some point. Mentalhealth.org.uk** state that around every 400 in 100,000 people self harm and it is most common in those aged between 11 and 25 with rates being higher in those who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, eating disorders and depression.

People often believe that those who self harm are attention seekers. That there is no other explanation as to why a person could possibly want to harm themselves. People self harm for a number of different reasons. Some feel they deserve the pain. Some use it as a form of punishment. Others need a release when their emotions become too much to handle. Regardless of the reason, when a person self harms their whole world changes. The way they see things becomes different.

A razor is no longer just a razor.
A pencail sharpener is no longer just a pencil sharpener.
A wall is no longer just a wall.
A scarf is no longer just a scarf.
A lighter is no longer just a lighter.

You start to look at the world as your own personal playgroup full of tools to harm yourself with. You lose focus and become somewhat detached from reality. Nothing is as it seems anymore. You pray to go back to the days when you could sharpen your pencil and not think about the blade inside. You crave the days you could fry some food and not think of the hot oil on your skin. Everything becomes a weapon of destruction. This is how self harm changes your life. Changes your perception. You wish you could take back that first cut, but you never can. Your life has now changed forever.

Self harm is not a quirk.

*https://www.selfharm.co.uk/get/facts/self-harm_statistics

**https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/self-harm

 

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day.

‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ is something I have heard countless times from family, friends and professionals. Something they didn’t understand was the acknowledgement of breakfast being the most important meal, made me more reluctant to eat it.

‘You won’t lose weight if you don’t eat breakfast’ the dietician would try to hammer into me every time I saw her, relaying the same as the week before, and the week before that. This week I didn’t eat breakfast. I never eat breakfast. Granted I didn’t eat lunch or dinner neither. Binge food was my only source of intake. But breakfast was their goal. They wanted me to eat breakfast.

Something they never understood was that breakfast triggered a binge. I loved hunger. I craved it. But not the ordinary kind. The kind of hunger in which it feels like your body is eating itself. The kind of hunger that causes pain. I thrived off it. I was high off hunger. No food before 12pm was the rule. At all costs. When I ate breakfast it not only broke this rule, but it also changed the type of hunger I felt. The pain of severe hunger would turn into the hunger that ‘normal’ people feel. The hunger that comes when your body needs more food because the energy from breakfast has worn off and it’s time to eat lunch. But this hunger was not okay. This hunger was not allowed. And it is this hunger that made me binge. Eating breakfast felt like a death sentence. If I ate breakfast I would binge within one hour. And that was unacceptable. And there grew my 8 year crippling fear of eating breakfast.

But here I am, typing this, at 10am having just eaten breakfast. After 8 years I have been able to finally accept that breakfast is important. That breakfast is NEEDED to prevent binges. Breakfast does not cause the binge, bulimia causes the binge. It started off slow and hard. But I have eaten breakfast everyday for the past month now and have managed to not binge afterwards. I still struggle to see how long I can go before eating breakfast. 1 hour after waking, 2 hours, 3 hours. But in spite of that, I always eat breakfast before 10am. This has been a challenge. This has been hard. But it has also been worth it. Most of you make think this is no big deal. I am still binging and purging every day. I am still stuck in the grasps of bulimia. So what does it matter that I eat breakfast? But recovery is about taking baby steps. It is not about tackling everything all at once, it is about taking one thing at a time. For me this is a huge step towards recovery. This marks the end of something that was impossible for me for the past 8 years. I am finally able to say that I enjoy breakfast.

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Let’s talk about hygiene.

Yesterday I managed to brush my teeth for the first time in 5 months. I know, you’re already thinking ‘EW!’ and ‘GROSS’ and you know what? It is disgusting. But I was proud to have finally managed to brush them after so long. It was a small achievement, something that may seem like an ordinary part of their morning and nightly routine to some, but to others it is a task that only comes around every so often. I posted a celebratory post in a Facebook mental health support group and I was overwhelmed with the floods of people telling me they knew exactly what it’s like. I was shocked by how many people thought they were the only ones that struggled with their hygiene. And it got me thinking, one thing that never really gets talked about when it comes to mental illness is hygiene.

When you struggle with any form of mental illness, personal hygiene can become a thing of the past. You wake up one day with no energy or motivation to even get out of bed and tell yourself you will you will do it tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will shower.
Tomorrow I will brush my teeth.
Tomorrow I will get dressed.
Tomorrow I will change my underwear.
Tomorrow will be better.
Tomorrow you will have energy.
You just need some rest.

But tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow is a repeat of yesterday, and so on and so on until one day you have gone 5 months without brushing your teeth. It feels like nothing in the world could get you to look after yourself. Even getting dressed becomes an impossible task. It’s no longer a quick task done without thought. You lie in bed thinking and thinking, going over every small detail in your head.

I need to find something to wear.
I need to find clean pants.
I need to take my trousers off.
I need to pull my top off.
I need to pull my pants down.
I need to put the dirty pants in the washing basket.
I need to fold up my pyjamas.
I need to put on my clean pants.
I need to pull the top over my head.
I need to pull up my skirt.
I need to put on my tights.

Getting dressed is no longer a small and simple task. Getting dressed becomes 11 enormous tasks. Each one takes such a large amount of energy. Each task feels like you’ve run a mile. You barely even have the energy or motivation to open your eyes, let alone get dressed. And so you go back to bed. You block out the day and tell yourself you will get dressed tomorrow. But as we have discussed, tomorrow never comes.

When you  are in such a deep and dark place, hygiene becomes ridiculous. Why would you change your pants when you want to die? Why does it matter? Why do I even deserve it? You are so full of hate for yourself, and have such a lack of care that hygiene doesn’t even enter your mind. Not until your mum tells you you need a shower. Not until your roommate notices that you have only done laundry once in 6 months. Not until your teeth have become so yellow that you force yourself to brush them, because you don’t want to die ugly right?

People underestimate how difficult the small and simple tasks that people carry out on a daily basis without even thinking are for those with mental illness. That’s not to say everybody with mental illness has poor personal hygiene, but it is very common. It does not make us lazy. It does not make us dirty people. We are sick. We are sick and we just want your understanding. We don’t need to be told how disgusting it is. We need support. We need love. We need compassion. We need gentle encouragement. And we need help.

The Vegan Kind: March Box.

I have always wanted to sign up for a vegan subscription box as I find it difficult to try new products as I am scared of wasting my money. Last week I deceived to sign up for The Vegan Kind lifestyle subscription box. It costs just £10 (plus p&p) per month and you get a box full of treats. You will be happy to hear that they also post worldwide. When the post man arrived with me box this morning I physically couldn’t contain my excitement. I could not wait to see what goodies awaited me.

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To start with I am in love with the packaging. I love that it says ‘Be Kind, Go Vegan’ and hopefully it will have made my post made a little curious as to what veganism is. I didn’t expect to have so many amazing treats in one small box.

  1. Hoots Smoked Bacon Multigrain Snack 35g (60p) – I opened these the moment the box arrived as I was completely amazed at a smoked bacon flavoured snack that is actually vegan!!!!! I used to love smoky bacon crisps so these were perfect. I really enjoyed everything about them. The bacon flavour wasn’t overwhelming, it was just right, and I really love that they are wholegrain. They are surprisingly filling and were perfect for a mid-morning snack. At only 169 calories a pack you really cannot go wrong. Even my mum, who swears she will never even go vegetarian, really enjoyed these.
  2. Clear spring Organic Seaveg Crispies Toasted Nori Snacks 5g (89p) – These definitely intrigue me. I have yet to try them, but I love the sound of a crispy seaweed thin snack. You can sprinkle them over salads or noodle soup, make sushi with them or simply have them as a snack on their own. They are gluten free and MSG free which is always a bonus. Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 11.46.16.png
  3. Faith in Nature Shower Gel and Foam 100ml (£2) – The scent that I received was coconut. I am not a massive fan of coconut anything, however this smells absolutely amazing. The coconut scent is not too overpowering which is perfect for me. I love that it can be used as a shower gel or bubble bath. It is also free from artificial colours and fragrances, so if you prefer your products to be all natural this is for you!! I am extremely excited to try this out next time I have a shower.
  4. Melting Pot Madagascar Vanilla Dairy Free Fudge 90g (£2.40) – From the moment you open the wrapper to the fudge you are hit with the gorgeous scent of vanilla, which instantly gets your mouth watering. This is honestly the best fudge I have ever tasted. It is so rich with flavour and leaves you wanting more. It the perfect little snack to nibble on throughout the day. It is also gluten free which is fab!!Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 11.46.05
  5. Garbanzo Snacks Cajun Kick 30g (99p) – I am always a massive lover of chickpeas, so any snack that has chickpeas will always be a favourite of mine. These taste like heaven. The cajun powder gives them a slight kick which is perfect for me. The packet is just the right size for a snack and again these are gluten free.
  6. Oatly Chocolate Milk Drink 250ml (85p) – Do even need to say anything here? Oatly chocolate milk is absolutely amazing. I have never been a fan of chocolate milk, I prefer strawberry and banana. But Oatly is a whole other ball game. Their chocolate milk is to die for. I could drink is all day every day and I am sure you all agree!! Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 11.46.30
  7. Sarelle Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate Cream Filled Wafer Bar (90p) – I am unsure as to whether or not I will like this chocolate bar. The idea of it sounds delicious, and whilst I am a huge fan of hazelnuts in chocolate, I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate. But I am excited to give it a try.
  8. Terra Vegane Easy Cheezy Sauce Mix 150g (£3.35) – I cannot express how excited I am to try this. I have tried other cheese sauce mixes in the past and none have quite measured up to the dairy version, so I am hoping this one will be the one I have looking for!! I cannot wait to make lasagna and mac and cheese and have it with nachos!! Cheesy nachos… I have missed you!! Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 11.46.39

Overall I am very impressed by my first ever TVK box and I cannot wait for April’s box to arrive next month!!

Want to subscribe? – https://www.thevegankind.com/subscribe/

 

Life as a bulimic.

Every year for eating disorder awareness week I share my experience on social media in attempt to raise awareness. However this year I felt fake. I am not in recovery right now, in fact I am stuck deep within the illness. I would call it a relapse, but this relapse has been over two years long and thats not really a relapse now is it? That is once again being caught in the clutches of this terrible illness, unable to break free. But just because I am no longer in active recovery, does not make my voice mean any less. So I am a little late to the party, but eating disorder awareness week has just passed us by so I felt it only right to share with you something that has plagued me for many years.

I am a diagnosed bulimic, b/p (binge/purge) type. I have experienced binge eating, laxative abuse, self induced vomiting, self starvation and during one period I developed anorexic tendencies. I have been in recovery and I have relapsed. I have been battling with an eating disorder for over 8 years, and sometimes it wins, but sometimes I win. There are good days and there are bad days.

It may help to tell you a little bit about bulimia. Bulimia is categorised as binge eating (eating a large amount of food in one sitting) and carrying out a particular behaviour to compensate, most commonly purging (self induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse). It is one of the 3 most well know eating disorders. What is less well known is that there are two types, b/p type and non b/p type. Those with the b/p type will struggle with self induced vomiting and laxative or diuretic abuse. Those with the non b/p type will struggle with over exercising and self starvation. Whilst there are two types behaviour from the two can overlap. According to the b-eat website, more than 725,000 people in the UK suffer with an eating disorder and around 40% of those struggle with bulimia in particular.

I often hear people say that ‘bulimia is the fat girls disease’ or they are ‘failed anorexics’. I have often seen the quote ‘twice the taste, zero the calories’ floating around. These are extremely damaging to those with the disease and add to the stigma. Those with bulimia are usually a healthy weight, or overweight, but that doesn’t not make it a ‘fat’ girls disease, nor does it make us ‘failed anorexics’. I wish bulimia was as simple as ‘twice the taste, zero the calories’ I really do, because well, wouldn’t that just be great? But that is far from the harsh truth. The reality is, it is so much more horrific.

Bulimia is choking on your own vomit because you didn’t chew enough and the food has clumped together.
Bulimia is only eating certain foods because they are easier to purge.
Bulimia is eating food out of a bin because you are so desperate to binge.
Bulimia is smelling of sick, tasting of sick and getting sick in your hair.
Bulimia is getting spots around your mouth and chin from vomit.
Bulimia is brittle hair, weak nails and pale skin.
Bulimia is cuts over your knuckles from them scraping against your teeth when you purge.
Bulimia is tooth decay.
Bulimia is knowing all the best toilets to throw up in at college so that you won’t get caught.
Bulimia is eating your own sick in attempt to throw up more because you don’t have the energy to put your fingers to the back of your throat anymore.
Bulimia is getting one hours sleep per night because taking a whole pack of laxatives a day is more important than getting rest.
Bulimia is scheduling your day around when you take laxatives so you don’t end up crapping in a public bathroom.
Bulimia is not getting to the toilet on time and soiling yourself.
Bulimia is throwing up in the shower and getting the drain clogged.
Bulimia is exercising until your body physically collapses.
Bulimia is exercising until you throw up.
Bulimia is starving yourself until you can barely stand.
Bulimia is dehydration and dizziness.
Bulimia is passing out from exhaustion.
Bulimia is panicking because you just ate and have no where to throw up.
Bulimia is pain and tears and blood.
Bulimia is an awful, devastating and heartbreaking disease that KILLS.

Bulimia is not going to make you lose weight. Bulimia will not make you look pretty. Bulimia will not make you quirky or popular or fun. It will make you miserable.

That is the harsh reality of living with b/p type bulimia. This is my reality.

I hope those reading these are disgusted and confused as to why anybody would ever do this to themselves. I hope that nobody is reading this and agreeing with what I am saying, knowing the struggle all too well. But you know what they say about hope? It would be foolish of me to believe that we live in a perfect world where everybody else has a perfect life. That would be the dream. The sad truth is, a lot of people reading this will be able to relate. I hope if anything it makes you feel a little less alone. I have been there. I am there.

But recovery IS possible. I do not like to say I’m in recovery because I keep screwing up, but I am 3 days b/p free. Lets hope today will be my 4th.