I'm joining my fellow bloggers again for another Confessional Thursday . Today I just have one large confession to make. It's a...
I'm joining my fellow bloggers again for another Confessional Thursday.
Today I just have one large confession to make. It's a bit serious so I won't blame you for dropping off now. But it's something I've been wanting to write about for a long time and guess I've finally developed the courage to do so.
I confess that when I was 15, I was diagnosed with anorexia, depression, and OCD. I'm not telling you this to get your sympathy, I'd actually prefer you didn't give me any. I'm writing this because I know there are a lot of other people out there who are fighting a similar battle, or have in the past. I'm writing this because I know how alone I felt when I was going through the worst of it, how alone I still feel whenever it tries to comes back to haunt me. I'm writing this because I feel the strong desire to reach out and help anyone who needs it. Whether that help is sharing my story, my recovery, or simply being an understanding listener.
Many people, at some point in their lives, go through the dieting mentality. I need to lose weight, I want to be thinner, etc. so I'll skip the occasional meal or count some calories and jump start this diet. There's a very large, very depressing leap from that to a true eating disorder. It happens when it goes from occasional to constant. From a passing thought to an all-consuming one. From not a big deal to life-threatening. Anyone who's been through it knows the difference. And no, not every teenage girl goes through it. No it's not normal and shouldn't be written off as a passing phase. And no it doesn't just happen to women. It is not something done for sympathy, attention, or to maliciously hurt someone close to you.
Many more people will go through depression in their lives. For many I'd say hormone induced depression is quite common (puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, mid-life crisis, menopause, etc.). For others, it is a life-long battle that will rear it's horrific head whenever stress gets a little too high in life. I know there are many who need help with depression, even if that help is just knowing you're not alone. OCD is probably not as common as the other issues. For me it wasn't about obsessively locking the door or counting things, but the obsessive thinking that goes along with something like an eating disorder. When my brain gets caught up on a problem, or something I perceive as a problem, it will circle there for what seems like forever, until I can break the cycle. This is what gives me insomnia, the biggest symptom and reminder that I am still not completely rid of my obsessive thinking.
As horrific as all of this has been, I'm glad I went through it, and still go through some of it. It is one of the many experiences that makes me who I am today. I am stronger, healthier, and more alive because of it. I don't take my health for granted since I know how truly fragile it is. I don't take my sanity for granted as I know how it is to feel insane. And I don't take my loved ones for granted because I know how easily I could've lost them. As a parent, I don't want to imagine what that's like to watch your kid starve themselves. Even as a close friend or significant other, it would be heart-wrenching. At some point, even the most dedicated loved one would not be able to watch it, would have to step away.
The details of what, when, and why I won't get into here today. If there's an interest from my readers then I will write future posts about mental health, so please let me know your thoughts. Today I will simply leave with saying this. If you or someone you know shows any signs of a mental health issue, don't ignore it. Don't shun them, make fun of them, or judge them, because you don't know what they're going through. If it's you having the problems, don't be afraid to get help. Help can be in many forms, it doesn't have to be traditional and you don't have to tell everyone around you either. But you should tell those closest to you so that you can get the support you need to recover.
I once had a therapist tell me that I would never be totally recovered. I'm here, alive and healthy today, to tell you that is not true. Yes it will be a battle you will always fight, but that does not mean you can't recover. You can and you will if you want it. You just have to truly want it.
About author: Melanie
Mother, wife, web developer, writer. I blog about my life as an anorexia survivor, depression battler, being a mother to 2 boys, 1 with NF1, living healthy, and much more!