Yesterday was #timetotalk day: an initiative by the charity Time to Change who aim to get more people talking about mental health. Find out more here: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-us
It was great to see so many people and organisations getting involved yesterday, starting conversations and sharing their experiences on social media.
Through Beating Eating Disorders’ Facebook page I discovered that there is a name for my fear of vomiting (a large part of my eating disorder) called emetophobia. Anyone who says “well no one likes being sick” really doesn’t understand the impact of this fear. It makes travelling really difficult as I’m scared of motion sickness and of all the germs I could catch. It makes eating out or eating anything I haven’t cooked really difficult. I tend to steer clear of animal products for this reason. I asked my mum about 20 times if she was sure the chicken was cooked when I bravely tried some for the first time in nearly a year. Any mention of sickness sparks an internal panic attack and I am gripped with anxiety for 48 hours until I know I’m safe.
You can learn more about it here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/maggyvaneijk/its-all-i-worry-about?utm_term=.wsN7K8GEAr#.jpnovVXNBE
One of my friends bravely shared her experience of mental illness on Facebook and also replied to my post about emetophobia. This started up a conversation where she told me about gestalt therapy and gave me some contact details. When I commented on Beating Eating Disorders’ post lots of other people replied, including them, reassuring me that I’m not alone. This is what #timetotalk day is all about; letting people know that they are not alone and sharing tips and experiences.
Here’s my turn to talk: I can’t stop crying today. I’ve felt like it all week. Its hormones, I know it is, but it’s awful. I feel frustrated and irritable and so emotional. The tiniest thing sets me off. Last week I felt fantastic, better than I have in ages. The sun was shining and now it feels like a big heavy rain cloud is sat on my chest. I haven’t been able to think straight so haven’t been able to do any study which has in turn made me feel stressed. Exercise exhausts me straight away, even gentle yoga. To top it off I am just a horrible person to be around, snapping and grunting and crying at everyone. I feel so disappointed that I’m feeling rubbish again and I feel like a disappointment too. Like I got everyone’s hopes up and now I’ve regressed back into the tired, achey, depressed version of myself. I guess it easier to love the best version of yourself, but so much harder to love the less good version. I’ll have to work on that one. I tried talking a few times this week, but I always feel like a drama queen or a disappointment. There is no reason for me to be unhappy: I have a roof over my head, food to eat, people who love me, a bit of an income. I feel so guilty that I feel so miserable.
I’m trying to be kind to myself. Tell myself that there’s nothing I need to do so I can rest. My brain fog is preventing any study from going in so I’m going to leave that and watch some more Gilmore Girls instead. I watched Gilmore Girls every day when I got home from school when I was really struggling with being ill, stressed and bullied. Lorelai and Rory were my friends then and they are getting me through tough times again now. At least talking about how I’m feeling and having a good cry has released some of the pressure in my head and chest. As the wonderful George Harrison sang: “all things must pass”.
Image: raindrops by LucaHennig on DeviantArt