one of the most challenging conversations two friend can have

It’s officially been over a year since I went for the coffee which basically saved my life. It was probably one of the most challenging conversations two friends could have but also one of the most important.

I dreaded that coffee. Ella dreaded that coffee. There is no denying that we both wished that we never had to confront the issue. I wanted to pretend so much that there were no problems and she had no idea what was going on, I was so ready to lie. In reality though she saw everything and was brave enough to risk my reaction and our friendship and ultimately put my future and life first. We started talking, she explained how she felt, she explained what she could see me doing and she shared her own experience. She recognised what I was going through.

((I am not going to lie, I hated her. Well no, my disorder hated her but then my disorder hated everyone including me.))

In the end though, her talking, recognising what I was doing, showing me that I wasn’t alone, and her friendship was something I couldn’t ignore. I wasn’t suddenly cured, I mean she’s great but not a magician. I did get worse before I got better ((what does better even mean???)) and I held on to a lot of hate. But I did go home. I did want to get better. And I did start talking more. I thank you Ella for all that you have done for me and the support you continue to give me, you are an inspiration.

This week, from Monday 26th February to 4th March is Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018. This year EDAW is asking the question #WhyWait? It’s all about having that lifesaving conversation with someone who you think may be struggling and recognising signs and symptoms as soon as possible.

Beat reported that on average, 149 weeks pass before those experiencing eating disorder symptoms seek help. That’s almost 3 years, 37 months, or 1,043 days. Shockingly, it was reported that 34% (1 in 3 adults), could not name any signs and symptoms of eating disorders. Do you know any of the warning signs? ‘Being thin’ ‘weight loss’ ‘fasting’ ‘bingeing and vomiting’ do these spring to mind? Well, these have been listed as top answers to that question, but 79% of adults can’t even name a psychological symptom. Eating disorders signs and symptoms don’t just include these physical signs but incorporate a range of behavioural sign and psychological signs. I urge you to follow this link to find out more.

Fortunately, I have been surrounded by people who haven’t waited. Luckily, Ella saw a lot more than just what I looked like, and was able to recognise early certain behaviours and changes in me as a person. There was no hesitation to confronting the situation and enabled me to start my recovery quickly.

I can’t stress enough how much, talking about eating disorders, talking about mental health, physical health, your dog and cat’s health is going to help. Let’s not only campaign to improve mental health services in general ((because let’s be honest, they’re still pretty shitty)), let’s campaign to raise awareness, particularly enabling people to recognise signs and symptoms so we can encourage and empower friends and family to take action. Use this week as a chance to grab a coffee with a friend and have a chat, it might be scary (Trust, me and Ella were scared on so many levels) but #Whywait?


p.s If you wanna help raise more awareness post a picture of you in your favourite coolest socks with the #sockittoeatingdisorders ((hence the feature photo))


“yup everyone thinks you are freak who needs to be congratulated for eating…WTF is that all about”

A big part of my depression and eating disorder has been about accepting myself and being happy with who I am, which has always been something I have struggled with ((such a cliché I know)). Looking back at my time through school I would always put myself down and need reassurance from my friends that they did in fact like me ((which must have been exhausting and really annoying, sorry)). From that I tried to be someone who I thought people would like or who I thought people wanted me to be, which long story short got me caught up in a whole lot stuff I shouldn’t have.

Coming to King’s in particular, I didn’t want to fall back into that way of thinking, but putting that into practice is actually really hard because you want to be liked by people…obviously. I also wanted to go into uni being open and honest with the people I met about who I am ((unfortunately I am not part of the that gang who have been to South East Asia to find myself… maybe that’s where I am going wrong??? But I do think I have some idea now)). So along with trying to impress all my new amazing friends ((lol)) with all the fantastic qualities I have, I didn’t want to hide any of the not so bubbly and outgoing aspects of me ((this blog makes that a little hard to do anyway)). I have thankfully been lucky enough to have met some really accepting people who have not even batted an eyelid about any of the stuff I have shared with them ((I mean unless they are all lying and do think I am super weird haha)).

It’s hard though, and I have already realised that it is far easier to pretend everything is ok and go along with everyone else, but I have decided to embrace the JOMO

It does and probably will always worry me that if people know me, like properly know me, then they won’t like me, inevitably making friendships and relationships a lot harder. I have to constantly remind myself that if people don’t like me ((then fuck ‘em)) then fair play to them I probably wouldn’t like them either. Surprisingly ((or unsurprisingly)), it’s made my life, particularly at uni a lot easier. People have been really supportive and understanding and I think it’s made the friendships more genuine, something I didn’t have when I was at Edinburgh ((Ella that clearly does not include you, you are practically family now, what could be more genuine than that?)).

In saying this, I have found that revealing that I suffer with an illness has sometimes made it difficult to move on from that fact. By labelling myself, in my opinion I have got ownership and control of that label but at the same time I feel like I have created an expectation of not being able to cope. In other words, I have literally set myself up for failure. I stand by the fact that I have done the right thing in being open about myself. In doing this though, I have noticed people treating me differently, which at some points I am thankful for because boy do I need all the support I can get, but at other points I think “yup everyone thinks you are freak who needs to be congratulated for eating…WTF is that all about” and then I wish for it all to go away. It is such a double-edged sword I know, help her then she’ll be annoyed, don’t help her she’ll be annoyed. I am not saying either one is the right one ((please don’t stop helping me)), but has been a different kind of problem I had never considered would be an issue.

One fab thing about being more open and honest with the people I have met has been that in return, other people tend to also be more open and honest with you – which can make things a little less scary.