I am 23 now. I left the town I grew up in almost three years ago – pretty impulsively to be honest, haha. I decided I would finally move away and was gone not even 2 weeks after. It was scary at first, very scary but definitely worth it. To this day I don’t think I have made a better decision in my life yet. I left the country with almost nothing and started over 400km away from my hometown. I felt like I needed as much space as possible.
After moving away, I got a job to be able to pay for a therapist and finally received the help I needed. After a little over a year of therapy, I don’t see my therapist anymore, but I will forever be grateful for her support. I would definitely say that therapy played the biggest role in getting my life back together. Now I am on top of things again. A couple of years ago, I could have never imagined feeling so at ease with food as I do now. I can store food at home, without having to worry about it all being gone within minutes. I can eat meals without overthinking or overeating. My body is not perfect, but what is perfect anyway?? My mind is at peace most of the time and that is what matters.
I still struggle with opening up to others and lowering these walls I have built up over time, but there’s always time to start somewhere, huh? And yes, sometimes memories of that time creep up into my mind, but I am in control, not any negative thoughts. And over time, things will get easier and better. Promise! Our thoughts can be our worst enemy, but only, if we let them.
What initially helped me a lot was trying something new, not dieting for once, no meal skipping for once, less exercising for once, because obviously my way, did not work. What did I have to lose? I tried to look at myself as a tree or a house or a car or anything for that matter. Why on earth was I trying to fix these broken things by trying to make the outside look nice. Emphasis on trying. The inside was way too broken anyways to keep the eventually beautiful outside up? What was I even doing? Painting a nice car that has a broken engine? What good was that for? I told myself that I would put my “outside”, so my body, the weight loss, on hold and just wait and see what would happen and started to focus on my mental health. Of course, it was rough, beginnings are always rough, but for the first time, I finally felt like getting somewhere! I started to feel better over time and the problem with eating slowly started to get smaller and smaller. The symptoms of my illness slowly started to disappear after I tackled the real problem at hand – low self-esteem and low confidence. I just never thought of myself as being good enough. What I also found to be really helpful at times of struggle, was imagining what I would tell a good friend, if they had the same problem. And then try to do just that. I found that I was being a really big hypocrite and would treat friends differently / better than I would treat myself or advise things to other people that I thought were helpful, but I was just too afraid to do myself. Like wanting to advise getting help, talking to someone or opening up about something, whereas I would be too afraid to do so, although I thought it was a good solution / step in the right direction.
What really bothers me though is the stigma that still is with mental illnesses. Society doesn’t look at you in a strange way, if you get any physical illness, so what is the big deal with a mental illness? Looking back I wish I was more comfortable to be open about this and not have the feeling having to hide.
To conclude this text I just want to tell everyone struggling with similar problems that things will get better! If you go through hell, keep going or you will never be able to leave! I want to share this story to show people that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if we can’t see it at the moment. It is there! Never lose hope, if you fall down, get back up and try again, because at the end it will so be worth it. Like I said, I could have never imagined my life to be the way it is now, but if I can get through and out of this, then so can you!
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