Let's stop the stigma

What they didn’t know was that between the ages of 17 to 19 I struggled with Bulimia. I say Bulimia, though I never went to the doctors to be formally diagnosed, I found myself consumed in a state of wanting to be skinny, feeling that everything was out of control - Nan dying who I was very close with, failing an A level - I was always academically bright, so this upset me and being in an unhealthy relationship with my then boyfriend who was very controlling.

Looking back it was just the sense of control I needed but then I felt I was fat, not worthy and not good enough.

I would drink black coffee, smoke cigarettes, exercising for hours and take laxatives to make sure I didn’t put the weight on, counted every calorie and weighed twice a day. I even bought size 14 clothes when in fact then I was probably a size 6!

I thought I looked great but when my brother commented to mum that he could see my ribs and she found the laxatives in my bedside cabinet, she knew she had to do something.

I guess I was lucky, I knew deep down what I was doing was wrong, I knew it wasn’t good for my body (my periods had virtually stopped and my hair looked awful) but thank goodness I have a strong mum who could support me and give me the strength to sort myself out and also a new boyfriend who was supportive of me and my insecurities.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have issues occasionally, though people look at me and say I look great, I don’t feel it as I don’t feel perfect, but I don’t have time to focus on perfection, and even though I know there is no such thing, I still have the off hang up which I deal with. I have a business to run, I don’t have time to worry like I do, my focus is elsewhere. It consumed me for a couple of years and though weight/food will play a part in my life, it won’t be the all-consuming element that I focus on.

I am proud that I was strong enough to deal with it, that I had and still have great family and friends around me.

So if anyone reading this doesn’t believe they can stop and help themselves, you can! If you are reading this and think it’s too late as it's been too many years, it’s not, there is support there and you can do it. If you’ve just started thinking about the control element as to what you would feel like doing this and how this would change your life - I can assure you it won’t change anything for the good so don’t start, please.

There is no stigma with needing help.

There is no stigma in admitting you have mixed feelings when it comes to food.

There is no stigma in admitting you have or are suffering.

People see me as such a strong person and I am, but we all need help, support and love, but most of all it starts with you believing you can change. :-)

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